First casualty today

Discussion in 'Winterizing Your Pond' started by qclabrat, Dec 23, 2017.

  1. qclabrat

    qclabrat

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    First year wintering outside and had my first casualty today. The largest in my pond. :(

    Noticed he was on the bottom yesterday, but seemed to be touching the bottom in a slight angle. Thought nothing of it as I was planning tomorrow to clean some leaves and add a new aerator and deicer.

    I'm going to add the aerator today and do a water test. Is there anything else I should look for?
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
    qclabrat, Dec 23, 2017
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    sissy sissy

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    Do you have a pond heater .I always put one airstone near my pond heater .Once you test the water you will know more .But I found out something from Eric the ponddigger .To test water in the winter it may be better to allow the water to sit inside for awhile ,seems really cold water does not test as well .But it also makes me wonder about letting it sit for too long will that also effect the water test .He said leave it in a sealed clean jar .But I sometimes take my water to Danville to the pet store tat does testing and it takes me 30 minutes or more to get there .Not sure and tried both ways several times and seems the colder water tests had a hard time turning color .But allowing it to sit allowed the test to turn color .The test kit was also new and expire date was a long way off .I also wondered bout shipping test kits since they may be effected by temps in shipping
     
    sissy, Dec 23, 2017
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  3. qclabrat

    qclabrat

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    Was not planning to put in a heater, do I need one?
     
    qclabrat, Dec 23, 2017
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    Tula

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    Sorry about your loss :(
     
    Tula, Dec 23, 2017
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    brokensword Not all those who wander are lost

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    The way I see it is if your fish died from the relatively few days we've had of below freezing temps, odds are it wasn't going to make it anyhow. A healthy fish should have had no problem as it's metabolism should have slowed. I can understand over a prolonged period of either gas buildup or lack of oxygen, but I doubt you had any build up yet (without knowing if you're keeping a hole open in the ice) and the cold water holds more O2 than warm.

    Anyway, if you've taken care of any major amount of orgaic debris (leaves) and your fish were doing fine before, hard to think you have water related problems so quickly. The fish is surely dead, right? (I had one a month ago look like it was dying and took a chance, transplanted it into an aquarium in my basement, and it recovered. I think the cold and my stirring the pond a bit with last minute lily maintenance, caused it to reverse the seasonal metabolic slowdown. If your fish hasn't died, maybe do as I did or give it a chance to recover. If it has passed, sorry for your loss.

    In short, you should NOT need a heater. Gf are very hardy and if your fish are koi, they're close cousins. That said, koi would be more prone to issues in less than good water conditions.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Michael
     
    brokensword, Dec 23, 2017
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  6. qclabrat

    qclabrat

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    Water test showed nothing to be concerned.
    No ice, it's been warm so ice hasn't really been a problem. I had a fountain for aeration and now just added a proper air pump.

    Temps have fluctuated quite bit the last few weeks. Probably a 50 degree swing. Could that be an issue? I don't see any signs of injury either. BTW, what is the normal life expectancy for comet goldfish? Mine was about 6-7 yrs old.

    MVIMG_20171223_130510.jpg MVIMG_20171223_130519.jpg
     
    qclabrat, Dec 24, 2017
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  7. qclabrat

    sissy sissy

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    looks healthy to me .I know here we can go from 19 degrees all the way up to 68 degrees over night .I heard that most goldfish can live 10 years or more but even that is debated because of water conditions and other aspects of how fish are raised .I have seen on you tube where koi were close to 100 years old and were still healthy .Makes me wonder what is right and what is not .I had my huge fountain pond in NJ and kept goldfish that my son and his friend won at the fair and kept a heater in it plus 2 air stones in it .The aerator I bought at petco work for 5 years back then and a couple of years here .Then I upgraded 2 times to bigger ones .We had that bad snow storm back then and had snow almost up to the second story of the huse in drifts and the fish made it ,not sure how but they all made it
     
    sissy, Dec 24, 2017
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    brokensword Not all those who wander are lost

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    QC; how are the other fish acting? If this is the only one, I'd say you don't have conditions/disease related issued to worry about. I agree with sissy that your fish looks healthy. Temps fluctuating prob don't come into play as water loses/retains heat a lot slower than air, so rapid changes wouldn't affect the fish/water. Unless your pond is small. I'd ping Meyer and get his opinion.

    btw, what are your vitals; gallons, pond dimensions, fish load, water movement? It IS typical that when there's an O2 insufficiency, that the largest fish go first. Again, cold water though should have more O2 and you'd have noticed issues this past summer before now. And, is there a large buildup of organic matter decaying at the bottom?
     
    brokensword, Dec 24, 2017
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  9. qclabrat

    qclabrat

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    2000 gallons, 9 goldfish till yesterday. No koi. Stopped the bog filter a month ago and was just running the fountain for aeration till yesterday. Little leaves on the bottom since I use a heron net all year. Also plants were just planted in pots late in the summer so not much growth.

    Any thoughts @Meyer Jordan
     
    qclabrat, Dec 24, 2017
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  10. qclabrat

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    Get the water tested. Unless the water temps have been very low, running the pond without any biofiltration can be a potential source of issues.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Dec 24, 2017
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  11. qclabrat

    qclabrat

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    All the tests came out fine, no alarms
    The temps are now regularly below freezing and teens at night. Therefore I stopped the bog filter and waterfall a few weeks ago. Based on the zero ammonia test, looks like they may be going dormant for the season. Other fish also seem to be fine, sitting at the bottom, which is 4 ft.
     
    qclabrat, Dec 24, 2017
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    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    Are you maintaining your pond based on atmospheric temperatures? Get a pond thermometer. The difference between air temps and water temps can be quite large at times.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Dec 24, 2017
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    sissy sissy

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    Do you have a thermometer ,you can even use the ones at the dollar store to get a fast water temp. reading .I take mine temps from the bottom and the top .My pond is only a few feet away from my septic tank so readings down deeper are important for me .I get heat off the septic tank .I have both filters running and quilt batting in them
     
    sissy, Dec 24, 2017
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    brokensword Not all those who wander are lost

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    Seems to me you're doing everything just fine. I've had my bog and waterfall off since the end of October. There's a good chance that one fish had an issue or was just not going to be long-living. Especially if you don't see any obvious signs of disease, predation, etc. If it was a disease, I would expect other fish to show similar symptoms. Can't say I've ever lost fish in the fall, just a few upon an occasion in the spring. I assumed that they too were the weaker ones and were never destined to stick around that long. And like yours, no real rhyme or reason as I've lost small and large.
     
    brokensword, Dec 24, 2017
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  15. qclabrat

    qclabrat

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    Quick update,
    Getting at artic blast at the moment for the next few days. Remaining 8 fish look fine and the the small fry are still alive. The pond was frozen solid about a centimeter as the outlet tripped from what I suspect was the deicer. I didn't expect it to be so darn hot, ouch. Had to add another extension from another outlet to stop it from tripping the aerator. This spring, going to pull two lines from the basement to avoid this next year.

    Also looking for a low wattage deicer. As I don't think it gets cold enough here for the one I'm using.
     
    qclabrat, Dec 28, 2017
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  16. qclabrat

    PondMutt

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    arctic blast .. yup .
    have you ever seen solar pool covers .. colored bubble wrap ..somewhere from a pool supplier are theses nice round units .. i just use chunks.. works good ..

    air lifts...
    bubblers

    when it is really iced up i will throw hand fulls of salt out on the pond ..

    peer down through that clear ice at the fish..
     
    PondMutt, Dec 28, 2017
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  17. qclabrat

    qclabrat

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    Do you let the solar cover freeze over?
     
    qclabrat, Dec 28, 2017
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  18. qclabrat

    IPA

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    Sorry about the loss, maybe it was just its time.
     
    IPA, Dec 28, 2017
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    audioenvy

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    There is a reason homemade ice cream is made in a churn with salt water. The salt lowers the freezing point meaning it causes ice to melt--but why is that desirable when making ice cream? It's because melting ice requires a very large infusion of heat from the surrounding water. Melting ice draws the heat from the cream.

    So basically, when you throw salt onto the ice you are drawing heat from the water--but that's just making the fish colder. They would be better off with a protective layer of ice with a single hole for gasses to escape. There are a number of devices for sale on Amazon that are essentially rings float on the water and have a thermostat that causes a heater to come on just to keep the ring free of ice. It removes the ice by adding outside heat, not by removing that heat from the already cold water.
     
    audioenvy, Dec 29, 2017
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