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This horrible winter is now taking it's toll on the pond fish

clm
March 15th, 2008, 06:34 PM
I netted out one of my fish yesterday. Spartacus, one of the newest and of course the most beautiful of all my pond fish had died. :sad: There's another one that I can see but can't get to yet, it's either Fred or Claudius. :sad: I couldn't see any visible sign of disease on him so I have no idea what he died of.
I'm just hoping that the rest are ok, but we're in for another round of winter by the sounds of things starting next weekend. Until the ice is off the pond, there is nothing I can do. All I have to work with is a 3 foot round hole in the ice right now, the rest of the pond is totally covered with ice and snow. It's a pretty helpless feeling.
I've only ever lost all my fish once before, it was over 15 years ago and the pond was overstocked. The ice isn't thick on the pond and all the snow has kept it relatively well insulated.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the rest are going to be okay, but I'm not getting a warm cozy feeling about it at all.

Cindy

ancientgirl
March 15th, 2008, 08:38 PM
I'm guessing you have a real pond and not one of those decorative man made ones you put fish in.

Sorry about Spartacus. Is the pond deep? I imagine fish aren't very active when the water is so cold like that.

hazelrunpack
March 15th, 2008, 08:42 PM
Can you get aerators for garden ponds to keep them open and oxygenated, Cindy? Or would that keep the water too cold?

Frenchy
March 15th, 2008, 09:07 PM
So sorry clm :sad:

clm
March 15th, 2008, 09:27 PM
I've got an air pump that's been keeping a hole in the ice all winter. The pond is around 3 - 4 feet deep.

They stay down at the bottom during the winter normally. I've noticed some of them up the past few days. It's not a good sign.

All I can do is wait for now.

Cindy

hazelrunpack
March 15th, 2008, 09:31 PM
And they're such pretty fish, too! :cry: Maybe it's just the two and the rest are all doing okay :fingerscr

rainbow
March 16th, 2008, 12:08 AM
clm, I am so sorry. :grouphug: ..... :rip: Spartacus. :candle:

CearaQC
March 16th, 2008, 07:59 AM
Don't blame yourself. It's probably nothing you've done or haven't done.

Animals (and plants) are doing funky things out of season all around the planet.

:grouphug:

want4rain
March 16th, 2008, 08:40 AM
do you have a waterfall of some sort? i imagine they are starving at this point. would slowly warming the water up help?? is that even possible?? while the air outside is still quite cold, making an artificial spring may save your fish. koi are quite expensive, a heater is probably less expensive than replacing your fish.

*dreamy* i dont suppose you have any butterfly platinum do you?? they look like angels...

-ash

clm
March 16th, 2008, 07:01 PM
do you have a waterfall of some sort? i imagine they are starving at this point. would slowly warming the water up help?? is that even possible?? while the air outside is still quite cold, making an artificial spring may save your fish. koi are quite expensive, a heater is probably less expensive than replacing your fish.

*dreamy* i dont suppose you have any butterfly platinum do you?? they look like angels...

-ash

2 waterfalls but both are shut down for the winter. He was actually still quite plump, their metabolism slows right down for winter so they don't need food. Once the water starts to rise above 45 degrees, they start to munch on algae and once it's warmed up over 60 they start coming over to you when you walk up to the pond looking for food.
The cost of heating the pond would be horrific. It's really not necessary either. You can pay a lot of money for koi, and while a whole lot more expensive than goldfish, I don't buy the pricey japanese imports, I stick to home grown types that will never be show fish, but are beautiful none the less. If you get them very young, like a year old, they usually cost me around 15.00 - 30.00 per fish. Unfortunately this is a learning curve for me too at present. I've kept goldfish for many years and while still carp, they're much hardier than koi and they don't get nearly as big. This is my 4th winter with koi and while it's never been a problem before, the koi get huge. I had it at just about maximum stocking level, but that's going by what I've read on other forums and books. I'm thinking maybe I need to half that to get them through winter with no issues in future, so instead of 10 - 12 koi in 4,000 gallons, it should be more like 5 - 6.

No platinum butterfly, but I do have one orange and black butterfly. Or at least I think I still do. :rolleyes:

Cindy

jessi76
March 16th, 2008, 07:30 PM
:sad:

I'm sorry to hear about the fishies... I didn't know they stayed in there all winter :eek: I'd be paranoid. I'd probably check them constantly. and then freak out and give them a tank inside the warm house till winter was over.... (then again, I don't do well w/ fishies, which is why I don't have any) but I do hope the rest make it through the winter - I LOVE seeing pics of your pond!

want4rain
March 16th, 2008, 09:32 PM
ah, i see. ive dreamed a bit about butterfly platinum koi but never got around to setting up a pond and researching them.

whats doing them in? i imagine if they have slowed down so much that your nitrates should be reasonable. air?? i never really thought through the logistics of pond fish and a frozen pond as its quite rare for *puddles* to even freeze here.

-ash

clm
March 17th, 2008, 05:54 AM
I test the pond water once a week for amonia, nitrates, nitrites, ph. All part and parcel of keeping a pond.
The fish I pulled out, and the other I suspect of not making it were both under a year old when I got them last summer. The first winter is the hardest for them and of course, this winter has been very cold and very long with no end in site for the moment thanks to the next blast of winter due to hit again Easter weekend.
Now if more than just these 2 have died, I'm going to have to suspect oxygen deprivation. 6 of my fish have grown to over 18" in length and I have a couple over 2 feet long now. I don't have an oxygen meter to see if it's low. Regardless, you can bet I'll have a pump running all winter next year to help agitate the water and add oxygen as well as a second air pump.
Normally you'd see them up gasping for air if it's low oxygen, and that hasn't been the case.
Hopefully the next 3 days here will melt the rest of the snow and a good portion of the ice still on the pond so I can get a better look at who's left and how they look. I have a 500 gallon portable show tank that I can set up in the basement if they look ill and I have to bring a few of them in, but 500 gallons is only going to keep 2 or 3 of them without running into water quality issues.

Cindy

want4rain
March 17th, 2008, 07:00 AM
*dreamy* im going to come back in a little bit to bask in your good fishkeeping.

if we get the butterfly platinum in again, let me know if you reduce your stock enough to take one on... they are just stunning!! i would be willing to ship one out your way when you guys warm up. they run about $30US, then another $30US for S&H (ok so mostly shipping, i can usually get boxes from my local fish store for free).

-ash

clm
March 17th, 2008, 11:28 AM
They are mighty pretty aren't they. Hubby doesn't like the butterfly types, but I do and those white scales just glimmer like diamonds.

Cindy