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Whether you are in the countryside or in the middle of town, there are a range of domestic and wild predators that are more than happy to make a meal out of your well-tended koi and other pond fish.
Frustrating and costly, visits from herons, cats and even otters can devastate your pond stock, taking expensive fish and effecting the health of survivors through worry, lowering their immune system through shock and making them prone to parasites like white spot.
But fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help protect your well-cultivated stock, and these options range from relatively passive measures like Deterrent systems, to more barrier like methods that literally put a fence between your fish and their predators.
Pond Deterrent Systems
Often called ‘Heron Deterrents’, named after the most common and efficient pond predator, deterrent devices range in sophistication, cost and efficiency. Starting with the basics, an authentic looking model heron not only adds to the natural look of your garden, but it also scares away other potential predators, letting them know that your pond is already taken.
A step up from that, you can get devices such as the Velda Brilliant Pyramid. Still relatively cheap, this floating device sits in your pond and reflects the sun’s rays sharply, creating flashes of bright light directed upwards that will startle and frighten away herons.
But there are more complete systems on offer. Perhaps the most complete of the passive systems is the Velda Pond Guard. An electric system, it uses a motion sensor to know when your fish are being stalked, responding with a bright flash of light from the powerful LEDs, as well as a blast of sound that mimics a bird of prey, making cats and herons feel like they are the ones in danger instead of your fish – clever stuff!
Pond Guards and Fences
Unfortunately, some persistent predators can get wise to the passive methods of pond protection, or are simply so hungry they don’t care about the risks. If you have tried the above methods, it might be time for something a little more drastic.
Nets and fences are the next step up, providing an actual physical barrier between your fish and hungry herons or cats. Simple Pond Nets are one cheaper option, but sadly they can be detrimental to the look of your pond, but there are more high-tech options like Velda Pond Protector Kit – Electric. This is like a miniature version of an electric fence in a cow or sheep field. It by no means delivers a lethal voltage, but just enough to make cats and herons run a mile! They are safe when installed as per the instructions, and are still relatively affordable, especially at Swell UK.
If you are really struggling, a combination of both passive and barrier like options yield the best results, first deterring the majority of visitors, and then blocking the feeding of the ones that are determined enough not to be scared.