Being a fish and pond owner is all about having the chance to relax and watch your fish enjoy its watery home. However, there is nothing more frustrating than skittish fish. Skittish fish will dart away at the first hint of movement or worse, perpetually stay in the shadows of the pond. This frustration is only compounded when you cannot figure out why your fish is constantly hiding. Below are some possibilities to consider that may help you figure out why your fish are suddenly shy and unresponsive.
Pond fish are easily spooked when they are transplanted from one environment to another. Fish may be extra cautious and skittish simply because they were abruptly moved into an unknown area. If you are moving fish from either their original location to their new home or from one pond to another, remember that all fish will take time to adjust to their new habitat. Also, if there are existing fish in the pond, a new arrival may either intimidate or be intimidated by the original inhabitants of the pond. It will take time for both parties to become acquainted with each other.
Fish may also alter their behavior when changes in the water occur. As creatures living in water, fish can sense changes in their environment much more effectively than humans. Factors such as temperature, oxygen level, and pH level can all put stress on fish, causing them to become more timid. It is important to know the optimal water conditions for the species of fish that you are taking care of. Different fish will have different requirements and preferences, so it is your duty to know what your fish need. Periodically check the water conditions, making sure to take action when something is askew.
Although fish live in an underworld environment, they are acutely aware of what is happening on the surface of the pond. Fish need to constantly watch for predators, so if there are potential predators nearby, fish will undoubtedly stay hidden in a defensive fashion. Raccoons and fish eating birds see your fish as easy meals, so fish will hide if the danger is present. Luckily, if this is the problem, there are ways to prevent your fish from feeling constantly in peril. Motion activated sprinklers and animal decoys can discourage animals from getting close to the fish. Installing pond netting or planting aquatic plants on the surface protects the fish and give the fish cover and structure to hide from predators.
Lastly, fish may be shy if they are having health problems. If you spot a sick fish, quarantine it and take measures so that the sickness does not spread.