I'm so upset! Two dead Koi! l


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The ice has thawed and my worst fear came to light. I've lost two of my four butterfly Koi throughout the winter. It's plenty deep enough on the deep end and I fear I put a little too must trust into the pond breather. I'm not happy to say the least!
 
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I'm so sorry :( I worry about trusting just one thing ( what if it should fail ? ) so pick 2 or 3 "systems". I use a Pond Breather, my smaller aerator with 4 airstones placed about 10-12 inches into the water, a pond deicer if it turns really frigid ( it's already in the pond and I plug it in if it turns bitter cold ) and I cover my pond.

Certainly this is no guarantee that something could still happen, but at least it's not dependent on one "system".

Again, I'm so sorry you lost 2 of your beautiful butterfly koi, it was a hard winter for lots of us.
 
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I'm so sorry to hear about your koi! That's a hard loss. How did the fish look? Were there any signs of illness? Or just dead? I'm curious too why you landed on the pond breather as the problem?
 

brokensword

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what Mitch said; I haven't read of any operable breathers being a problem re fish deaths...

Also, koi are not as hardy as gf, but almost.
 

sissy

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People doing reviews on them are poor .I do no always trust reviews but there are to many bad reviews .I see that quite a few report that breathers froze up and stopped working and others say the plastic cracked .I was surprised to see you can now get them for around 64 dollars .Houzz and blains farm supply has them
 

callingcolleen1

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what Mitch said; I haven't read of any operable breathers being a problem re fish deaths...

Also, koi are not as hardy as gf, but almost.
actually KOI are MUCH more hardy than goldfish and do very very well in ICE COLD RUNNING water, the trouble comes when they run out of air under the ice and then they die first as they are larger and need more oxygen than goldfish. I have had my koi outside in below minus 40 temps since 1991 and never lost one and that is because I KNOW they need lots of oxygen and keep the water running with special underwater filters and pumps that can run all winter.
I did try to warn everybody about those pond breathers and did say many times that they may not work for extreme temps and large koi.....
 

sissy

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I think most of the complaints that I read were from koi owners .The bigger they are the more oxygen they need even in the winter .I worry more in the winter and during the really hot summer days .I would rather stay with the pond heater and aerator like colleen says .I really don't get the severe cold weather here that some do so heater does not need to be on much .Colleen has managed for lots more years that most of us have and she is in the frigid tundra as I call it and her koi are old and big
 

callingcolleen1

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Come see my winter channel https://www.gardenpondforum.com/threads/my-pond-runs-all-winter-zone-2-3.10570/page-85#post-369537

I will try to help you as best as I can. I have lots of experience with winter and videos from the last three years and you can see them if you look over my thread. I do tend to go on about my other projects like my greenhouse and guppies when the winter is long... My ponds run just fine all winter, where you can see my two oldest koi who have been outside and alive and very well since the very early 1990's. Its best to have a good 1500 watt heater when the weather is extreme and run a spare pump with a hose leading to heater to evenly heat whole pond. You probably won't have the extreme or long winters like we do up here in Canada, so you will only need the big heater for a short time, but it can save your fish if ponds start to freeze up hard...
 
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Sorry to hear about your fish.
What makes you think the pond breather is the cause of the deaths?
We had such a bad winter here. Every time I turned around the snow had drifted over top of the pond breather. I was constantly digging it out. Not so much the pond breathers fault as mine for relying solely on that.
 
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I did try to warn everybody about those pond breathers and did say many times that they may not work for extreme temps and large koi.....
THIS makes total sense as I did lose my two largest Koi. I wish I would've seen your warning. I am totally new to this. My Koi are at least ten years old and have survived several winters with just an aerator and nothing else. I bought the pond used and the fish came with. I guess I should've stuck to her method and not relied alone on the pond breather.
 
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We had such a bad winter here. Every time I turned around the snow had drifted over top of the pond breather. I was constantly digging it out. Not so much the pond breathers fault as mine for relying solely on that.
I think a lot of folks were caught off guard by how hard this winter was, especially after a few mild winters. I don't know the size of your pond, but perhaps you could consider a cover next winter?
 
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I think a lot of folks were caught off guard by how hard this winter was, especially after a few mild winters. I don't know the size of your pond, but perhaps you could consider a cover next winter?
What do you use for a cover Tula? My pond is 20 feet long by 10 wide.
 

sissy

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I see at few on here use solar pool covers and all you need is to make a hoop house and ly the solar cover over it .The hoop house does not need to be big just sturdy enough to hold u under a snow load
 
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Without a discussion and exploration of the facts, online reviews are someone's opinion, nothing more.

When there is no knowledge or understanding of water quality test results, filtration methods, stocking levels, knowing the amount of decaying organic buildup before winter, pond design or ice thickness and length of time covered , then trying to place the fault on any one thing does not help the situation and will lead to further fish deaths, only to blame something else next time.

I believe neither Colleen nor sissy have seen or used a pond breather and I'm not really sure they understand how they work.;) Pond breathers provide an active aeration method for ice covered ponds. Floating heaters are passive and can become iced over, no matter the wattage. Aerators work well providing both circulation and aeration, but are best for mild climates.

Total ice cover presents the most hazardous time for a pond because it basically shuts off any gas exchange that keeps the water in a survivable condition for fish.
We can certainly help AngelaM prevent fish deaths in the future, but we need to examine all aspects of the pond, starting with the information required as I mentioned above.
 

brokensword

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actually KOI are MUCH more hardy than goldfish and do very very well in ICE COLD RUNNING water, the trouble comes when they run out of air under the ice and then they die first as they are larger and need more oxygen than goldfish. I have had my koi outside in below minus 40 temps since 1991 and never lost one and that is because I KNOW they need lots of oxygen and keep the water running with special underwater filters and pumps that can run all winter.
I did try to warn everybody about those pond breathers and did say many times that they may not work for extreme temps and large koi.....
disagree, Colleen; do some research first on gf and you'll see they can handle almost freezing temps (33 F) and koi are at 34. As I said, almost as hardy. No doubt being larger, the oxygen supply becomes more of an issue, so again, goldfish would be hardier during winter just because their size isn't as large. And you continue to promote running water but you also use a heater to help out. If you didn't, running the water during the winter would prove disastrous (imo) as you'd expose the lower levels of your ponds to even colder air, super cooling the lower depths and pushing the koi toward that 34 F temp. Without an air to water opening for oxygen exchange, fish will die after a prolonged period of ice coverage. Just the process of decay (which continues even in the cold) uses up oxygen.

To blame the breather is folly. As Mitch states; there's other factors that come into play. Fish can handle a couple of months completely covered and no air exchange as long as there's ample water volume (and depth) and little decaying debris. addy had a friend lose all their fish and they used only an aerator; do we blame the aerator? Would the fish have survived then not having an aerator? I doubt it, not if the ice was in place continuously for a long time.

Mitch lives and maintains a pond in MUCH more severe climate than we do here in Michigan. If he can keep a pond and its inhabitants alive with almost 5 months straight of ice WITH just breathers, I'm sure we here can too. And I'm sure he's got other factors involved but has taken care of those that would lower survival for his fish.

The breather is ONE way to insure a hole is maintained. Even if drifted over, the small pump and heating element would have kept the ice from forming inside the tube. And air transfer can happen through snow. So, more likely the size of the fish per volume+depth of water comes into play re their survivability. I'm betting goldfish would have made it in your pond...
 
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