Why are my fish hiding?
I received a phone call from a pond keeper telling me for the past three days her fish are staying at the bottom of her pond. Every time she approaches her pond the fish dive to the bottom and hide, not even coming up to the top to eat. Now these are fish that always eat from her hand.
After a number of questions about water quality, answers to which I found to be good and there wasn’t any addition of new fish, I asked her if she has seen herons or other predator birds around her pond. The answer was “no”. Next question was, has she noticed any foot prints of stray cats or raccoons? Her answer was she never checked.
After checking around the pond she did find foot prints of some kind. Now we had the answer to her problem. Predators have been visiting her pond at night and they scared her fish. She was very lucky that her pond was deep enough for her fish to escape the attack.
Her husband set a trap and sure enough he caught a big raccoon. It’s not the end yet, the next night he caught another raccoon. His total to date is four!!!
It’s going to take time for her fish to feel safe enough to come back to the top.
So if your fish are on the bottom of your pond not coming up to eat and your pond water tests perfect, consider predators.