Fake Koi Fish For Pond

Not All Pond Fish Need to be Real

Koi ponds are a beautiful way to add life and beauty to any backyard. They can be a source of relaxation, entertainment, exercise for the mind and body, as well as an excellent way to improve the overall aesthetics of your yard. 

As a pond owner, understanding the importance of protecting your fish from the possibility of predators will help you with finding an effective and aesthetically pleasing option for your outdoor pond.

A Single Orange Toy Fish with Black Spots
A Brightly Colored Artificial Toy Fish

Decoy fish are an excellent method you can use to keep pesky predators away from your prized kois. Plus, the live koi themselves provide natural fertilizer for your plants in the pond by causing the algae to stick to the decoys instead of the pond itself! Let’s take a look at a few elements of having decoy fish in your koi pond and why you may want them.

Decoy Fish for Koi Pond

1: Setting Up the Decoys

All decoy koi fish are great, but you should aim to find fish that match your pond, so they look real to human visitors. If you have one decoy fish that’s much larger than your other fish, you may want to buy a few larger ones to make it stand out less, and thus prevent people from focusing on a single fish too much - this could give away the fact that they’re fake!

You also want the decoy fish to have some motion even when none of the water fountains or waterfall features are on, which makes battery-powered decoys perfect!

A Photo of an Orange Fake Fish
Decoy Fish Perform Best in Rural Ponds

2: Types of Decoys and How to Use Them

Some decoy koi fish for the pond come with their own LED lights, which adds a lot of character to the fake creatures! These are usually powered by batteries and can be used in any number of ways. It’s nice to have some that won’t get knocked around too easily on the bottom of the artificial pond itself. 

If you want these fake fish to float at the bottom of the pond, you’ll need to weigh them down with something heavy. You could use weighted fake rocks, for example, or ornaments filled with stones. If you secure the fish with string, be sure it’s strong enough to hold them down.

An Orange Decoy Used in Koi Ponds to Keep Away Predators
A Photo of a Sample Fake Fish used as Decoy in Koi Ponds

3: Best Fake Koi Fish for Pond

The fake koi fish for the pond you choose needs to be as real-looking as possible with a great motion feature. The battery-powered ones are perfect because they will work even if the electricity goes out, or maybe there is an issue with your water pump system, and it needs to get repaired quickly! 

These fake fish can sit on one spot without moving all day long but still look alive, makings them ideal decoys. If you want something more animated, make sure not to leave it running too much of the time. Instead, be sure to include a few fakes and vary their usage to make the pond appear more natural.

Why You Might Want Decoys

1: Decoy Fish Keep Your Koi Pond Safe from Predators

Since fake koi fish for ponds are not real, they won’t be eaten by any birds, so it's great to use them if you have a koi pond that is frequently bothered by birds. But, if one ever does come around and catch one of your fake creatures, they might be able to lift it off and carry it away because fake fish are lighter than real ones. So, be sure to use some rocks or stones to weigh them down.

White Heron just landed in the Pond
A white Heron aggressively lands on a pond to catch Koi

2: Decoys Help Prevent Algae Growth

Having fake decoy koi, or carp, will ensure that the water stays as fresh as possible without any algae growth. Algae is a big problem with real fish, so it’s good to have fake ones to avoid this issue altogether! 

In addition, fake creatures won’t be affected by any of the chemicals you put into your koi fish pond because they aren’t alive and can stay at the bottom of your pond undisturbed if need be.  If you have fake fish that swim, they will also help circulate the water and reduce the growth of slime.

3: They Add a Nice Spark

Adding fake fish to your koi pond is a great way to liven up the scenery. Artificial koi are often brightly colored and can add extra charm when visitors are coming over! Just make sure not to leave them out in direct sunlight too long because it will fade their color. Visitors might notice that a few of the fish that are faded are, in fact, fake! 

Algae is Seen in the Photo with Two Koi Fish Swimming
Fake Koi Helps Circulate the Water and Add Charm to Your Pond

It’s also nice that if there is ever an issue with any of the pond water features surrounding the fake creatures, they won't get hurt or die like real koi. A malfunctioning water feature won’t even damage these things, which means no need for repairs when something goes wrong!


Your backyard pond may contain a mixture of ornamental fish, a water garden and artificial plants (as well as aquatic plants) that contribute to the overall beauty and calmness of your home or garden. However, with concerns about predators that could potentially threaten the safety and well being of your koi fish, adding some fake fish to your pond can be a viable and quite desirable option to help ensure the longevity of your koi.

Frank Salvatore

In 2015 our family moved into a house south of Denver, Colorado with a  koi pond.  Since that time I've learned to really enjoy the koi fish and the pond. This blog is dedicated to providing helpful hints and information for koi pond hobbyists - as well as those of you who just inherited a koi pond and are thinking NOW WHAT?

About Me

Hey there - I'm Frank Salvatore. In 2015 our family moved into a house south of Denver, Colorado that had a Koi pond. The problem was I knew absolutely NOTHING about koi ponds.

This blog is dedicated to providing helpful hints and information for koi pond hobbyists - as well as those of you who just inherited a koi pond and are thinking NOW WHAT?
Learn More About Me

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