Devastated, lost most of my pond goldfish

Mmathis

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It is easy to forget that fish, like all other animals, are subject to die at any age from what are usually described as 'natural causes'. It all goes back to the tenet "survival of the fittest". Inherited genetic weaknesses and predisposition to succumb to certain illnesses is well documented. Although the fatality rate may not be as high in humans because we have the ability to treat ourselves, these genetic weaknesses are still there as evidenced by the incident of illness in humans.
Just because we provide our finned friends with a controlled environment, the positive and negative aspects of which can be debated, does not automatically endow them with a greater protection from the natural order of things. If they are genetically weak they are subject to a greater danger from their environment, a danger that may come in different forms depending on the particular genetic weakness(s).
The occasional death of a fish maybe should trigger an alert to be more observant but should not be a cause for alarm because it may be..... the natural order of things.
Well stated, and I've thought the same on occasion. But when it's continuous, or as in Bettasangoldfish's case, continuous and total, and you can't find a logical reason......?
 

Mmathis

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We have trucks that go around spraying for mosquito here too. Living by the lake the skeeters can get bad. But I doubt that it has anything to do with the deaths of my fish. They spray every summer and it hasn't caused any trouble before.

Besides I have fish in my stock tank and they are fine. Do you keep any fish in your stock tanks Maggie? If so, have they been okay?
Yes, I do and they're fine as well.
 

Meyer Jordan

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We have trucks that go around spraying for mosquito here too. Living by the lake the skeeters can get bad. But I doubt that it has anything to do with the deaths of my fish. They spray every summer and it hasn't caused any trouble before.

Depends on what and how heavy they are spraying. The most commonly used pesticide for mosquito control is Permethrin, which is what the locals here use. Permethrin is extremely toxic to all insect life and aquatic life. Local spraying is now done ONLY if there is a heavy infestation or threat of Bird Flu or some other pathogen. Even then it is done very selectively.
I have a customer, decorative features only, that has an automatic mosquito control spray system in their yard. The property is DEAD, Absolutely no insect life, even no ants, and no birds, squirrels or other small creatures. Really eerie!
 
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No offence, but I can't imagine living in an area where trucks drive around neighbourhoods spraying insecticide in the air.
I'm not aware of that method being used in Canada.
 
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This used to be much more common practice. When we were kids we would ride behind the truck on our bikes trying to keep up with the cloud of spray. What were our parents thinking?

Spraying has mostly stopped where we live as we got smarter about the devastating environmental effects on waterways and the food chain. They've sprayed once in the last twenty five years due to a West Nike outbreak - it was commonplace to find half a dozen dead birds on the street every morning, it was so bad.

Mosquito control now is about making sure there are no breeding spots for the little buggers by eliminating standing water. Empty buckets, old tires, kiddie pools, the tiniest puddle are all just "the nursery" to these guys.
 
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This used to be much more common practice. When we were kids we would ride behind the truck on our bikes trying to keep up with the cloud of spray. What were our parents thinking?

Spraying has mostly stopped where we live as we got smarter about the devastating environmental effects on waterways and the food chain. They've sprayed once in the last twenty five years due to a West Nike outbreak - it was commonplace to find half a dozen dead birds on the street every morning, it was so bad.

Mosquito control now is about making sure there are no breeding spots for the little buggers by eliminating standing water. Empty buckets, old tires, kiddie pools, the tiniest puddle are all just "the nursery" to these guys.

What about encouraging development of ecosystems for the mosquito's natural predator the dragonfly?
If we do have a lot of moquitoes here, my wife and I can go out for a walk and be surrounded by swarms almost of darner dragonflies. We don't have to put on any mosquito repellant. It can be mezmerizing.
 
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oh great, now I have to worry about the city spraying and there is nothing I can do about it.

meyer, that is really sad that there is no life on that property. I would worry how the build up would affect people after time. kinda scarey.....

No offence taken Mitch, it just comes with living in certain areas. We get mosquitos bad here due to Lake Erie.
 
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What about encouraging development of ecosystems for the mosquito's natural predator the dragonfly?

@MitchM we have lots and lots of dragonflies and they are ferocious - I watched two of them dive bombing a hornet's nest in the tree in my front yard yesterday and they routinely chase bees, wasps and hummingbirds away from our pond.

Unfortunately in our part of the state we also have lots and lots of natural ponds, streams, creeks, lakes and wetlands which are breeding grounds for our blood sucking friends. We are going to have mosquitoes no matter what we do. The only variable is how many. We can go weeks without being bothered if it's dry, but one rainfall and they hatch by the billions. The eggs can dry up completely and then hatch as soon as they are wet again. The annoyance factor is bad enough, but the health risks are what concern most people, even us nature lovers.

People suggest purple martins, bats, dragonflies among other things as natural predators - all great consumers of mosquitoes, but there will ALWAYS be mosquitoes. Otherwise we would also not have purple martins, bats and dragonflies! You take the good with the bad in this old world, right?
 

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No offence, but I can't imagine living in an area where trucks drive around neighbourhoods spraying insecticide in the air.
I'm not aware of that method being used in Canada.
Does Canada have much of a mosquito problem? Here in the south, they are unofficially the "state bird" for many states, plus we have a longer "season" than more northern areas, sometimes not even having enouth of a winter to effectively kill them off -- depending on the temps., I've seen skeeters just about any time of year.
oh great, now I have to worry about the city spraying and there is nothing I can do about it.
No offence taken Mitch, it just comes with living in certain areas. We get mosquitos bad here due to Lake Erie.
Maria, I wouldn't worry about the spraying. It might be toxic, but the use is so widespread that I feel we'd hear more about it if it was causing problems. And usually, here, they won't spray if it's windy.
What about encouraging development of ecosystems for the mosquito's natural predator the dragonfly?
If we do have a lot of moquitoes here, my wife and I can go out for a walk and be surrounded by swarms almost of darner dragonflies. We don't have to put on any mosquito repellant. It can be mezmerizing.
That's a very good point, but other than spraying and encouraging people to avoid being out at certain times of the day, LA, or at least my area doesn't seem to be very pro-active when it comes to environmental issues. Go figure! Fortunately, with our current dry spell, I haven't seen many mosquitoes lately -- I can work outside without without using repellant. But I'm also diligent at emptying "mosquito farms" in the yard. The other day I picked up a bottle or jar cap that I'd used to put turtle food in. I'd run the sprinklers a few days prior and it had water in it. You couldn't tell it until I dumped the lid, but it was teeming with mosquito larvae -- and this was less than a 1/4 cup of water that was maybe 1/4" to 1/2" deep. It doesn't take much.
@MitchM

Unfortunately in our part of the state we also have lots and lots of natural ponds, streams, creeks, lakes and wetlands which are breeding grounds for our blood sucking friends. We are going to have mosquitoes no matter what we do. The only variable is how many. We can go weeks without being bothered if it's dry, but one rainfall and they hatch by the billions. The eggs can dry up completely and then hatch as soon as they are wet again. The annoyance factor is bad enough, but the health risks are what concern most people, even us nature lovers.

People suggest purple martins, bats, dragonflies among other things as natural predators - all great consumers of mosquitoes, but there will ALWAYS be mosquitoes. Otherwise we would also not have purple martins, bats and dragonflies! You take the good with the bad in this old world, right?

That more or less summarizes our situation. There are people here who keep maritn houses, but I haven't noticed many in recent years. Sometimes, at or just after dusk, I'll hear [and occas. spot] a bat or 2. Love bats! And I haven't seen as many dragonflies this year, now that you bring that up. Wonder why?

_________________________________
So, back to the original issue regarding airborn toxins...... Not that this is the problem with @bettasngoldfish's and my pond, but what measures can we take to protect the fish? Would it be enough to perform water changes more frequently during skeeter-spraying season? But, Maria has always done frequent [probably more so than I do] water changes, and still had fish deaths......
 
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And I haven't seen as many dragonflies this year

Funny you should say that - we've had TONS of dragonflies this year and we've heard and read that it's because the mosquito population exploded last year. The need to work faster! Looking pretty isn't enough! I was just out working in and around the pond (aka "My Happy Place") and got a half dozen bites in the middle of the day - that's when you know they're bad!

As for the spray being an issue - I agree with you. I think lots of ponds would have had problems - including natural ones - if it were indeed a problem.

We have a neighbor who we adore, but he is a huge believer in "Better Living Through Chemistry" when it comes to his yard and garden. As often as we have asked him to refrain from spraying for weeds at the fence that divides our property I know he still does it - can't help himself, poor guy! Never met a weed he didn't want to spray. I would be far more wary of that kind of chemical run off than I would the mosquito foggers.

What about mulch? Did either of you add new mulch around your pond? I noticed this year that all of the bagged mulch being sold at our big box stores was colored - black or red or tan - and "fade resistant". My first thought was "wouldn't want to get THAT around my pond!" What would it take to dye wood chips so they wouldn't fade in the sun and rain I wonder? Just a thought...
 

Meyer Jordan

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As for the spray being an issue - I agree with you. I think lots of ponds would have had problems - including natural ones - if it were indeed a problem.

A couple of observations.
Most natural ponds are considerably larger than the Garden variety and are located in less heavily populated areas so are not likely exposed to any measurable effects of spraying.
Neurotoxins like those contained in pesticides and herbicides have a cumulative effect similar to Heavy Metals.
Add to this the increasing levels of Pharmaceuticals, Health and Beauty products, cleaning agents etc. in all sources of water and a long term danger presents itself.
 
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Good luck maria, when i drained the pond i didn't repot the plants, i just rinced them off really well, even the water lettuce and hyacinth 's . I had to refill my pond right away because i still had a few fish. Thankfully it seemed to work for me. The fish and plants are growing and they are mutiplying ! I hope you'll have the same results that i did . GOOD LUCK.
 
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thank you cinder

I have some fish in my stock tank that are waiting to go in the pond. I think it will be a few weeks or so until I have it all ready.

Glad to hear your back up and running with babies and all :D
 

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