Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Devastating Loss

It is with a heavy heart that I post this bit of sad news from Menagerie Manor.  Last night I lost all but three of our beloved koi fish from our big pond.  Saturday afternoon I had gone out to scoop leaves out of the pond and noticed one of the smaller fish was not well.  I called the local pond shop and described the fishes condition and then asked if they had a supply of rock salt which is a tried and true old remedy for bacteria infections in pond fish.  The young lady told me they just sold the last one but that she didn't think that that was the route I needed to follow and suggested that I dose the pond with a chemical that they had on hand.  So MeMa and I made the long trip out and picked it up.  While there I asked when they would get more salt in and she once again said that the chemical would most likely take care of things but if I wanted some, the feed store down the street sells it in 50 pound bags.  We stopped on our way and purchased one bag to have on hand.  When I got home I immediately put the chemical into the pond and went indoors hoping for the best.  Monday evening after work the dark purple that the chemical turned the water had dissipated and I was able to see the bottom of the pond.  That is a sight I will never forget as all but three of our oldest and dearest fish lay dead at the bottom and the three remaining looked as though they would not last much longer.  After netting out the dead fish I then grabbed the bag of salt and mixed the entire bag into the pond.  This morning I woke expecting to see the three remaining fish to have died during the night but they seem to be resting comfortably in different areas of the pond and not huddled together in misery as they did the night before.  Koi are like elephants in regards to family members, when one gets injured or ill another family member will stay with them giving comfort and sympathy.  Years ago I had a koi that was blind and the other fish would swim next to it directing it to the surface at feeding time.

Elmer (left) and Minikui (right)

Norman (top) Azul (bottom)

Confucius, the oldest at 28

Shimo the platinum Ogone one of the youngest at about eighteen



The three survivors thus far....
Athena

A rescue fish that has yet to be named.

Ariel

Wednesday November 19th  - I have mixed in the last 50 pound bag of salt and so far they are responding to the tried and true treatment that I should have done from the beginning.  Now I just keep my fingers crossed that these three survive the 21 days that they must remain in this salty environment.  I don't hold a lot of faith in dumping chemicals into a pond and am broken- hearted at the great loss of so many cherished members of our koi family.

15 comments:

  1. Really sorry to hear about the loss of your fish. We used to use rock salt in the Japanese Garden pond at Compton Acres Gardens, very effective. Good luck with the rest of the underwater family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Gary, yes we shall miss them terribly. The grandchildren loved to lie on the bridge and drop pellets of feed down into their open mouths.

      Delete
  2. Oh Doc I'm so sorry for you, I truly hope you can save the remaining fish.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Joanne, they are not out of the woods yet but are responding well and I actually found a fourth fish that I don’t see often because of its dark color. It is not a koi but a European carp species known as a tench.

      Delete
  3. So sorry to hear of this tragic loss Ron....I hope the remaining three can pull through! I'll ask Theresa to start saying her special prayer....love you big brother!
    Don

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks little brother, I guess the boys won’t have to worry about inheriting nine koi the three remaining should be easier for them to handle.

      Delete
  4. I had no idea koi attained such age. I just looked and see they live twenty or thirty years and one is recorded as over two hundred. I am sorry for your loss and for their suffering.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes they live frequently to 75 years in a well maintained pond. There is some speculation that with the early freeze the bacteria levels in my two filtering systems was destroyed and what I thought was hibernating koi was in reality very ill koi. We will miss them all very much.

      Delete
  5. Very sad. I had ordinary Goldfish for a while, then they all died. I filled-in their pond, and made it into an alpine garden.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. An alpine garden is easier to maintain

      Delete
  6. I am really sorry to hear this, Doc. Pet store people who don't know what they are talking about should not insist you try something new.

    Very glad to hear that three of them survived. *hugs* ♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well actually as of last night we lost the smaller silver one that was a rescue, so we are down to Ariel and Athena and they are up swimming at the surface looking for food....a very good sign.

      Delete
  7. So sorry for your loss Doc, I know how much you love your koi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks dad, yep that is one loss I don't care to experience again.

      Delete
  8. This makes me sad :( Sorry for the loss.

    ReplyDelete