Question about a missing koi

Joined
Jun 8, 2016
Messages
2,643
Reaction score
2,526
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
This fish was active and had a good appetite just like the rest of the fish in my pond, then one day, not too long ago, I found it in the skimmer box (my fish go in there a lot) I picked it up and released it back in the pond. I kept an eye on it for the rest of the day, just to make sure it was ok. It was swimming, and seemed fine.... but then at feeding time it didn't show up, and I noticed a second fish was missing as well...I looked in the skimmer box, no fish in there, I looked everywhere (clear water and nothing in the way) but couldn't find it.

The second fish that was missing, finally came out of hiding, now it comes out at feeding time to eat, then goes back hiding between the large stones along the middle wall, not sure why it hides, but at least I know it's alive.

The one that was in the skimmer box (10+" long) is no where to be found. They both acted scared, so I wondered if that one got in the skimmer to get away from a snake, or perhaps the large bull frog that had just moved in?
....anyway my question is: what if it's not just hiding, and dies, and I can't find it? What would that do to the pond, how bad would ammonia spike?

PS I've been testing ammonia the last few days, there isn't any.
 
A

Advertising

Mmathis

TurtleMommy
Joined
Apr 28, 2011
Messages
9,802
Reaction score
5,610
Location
NW Louisiana -- zone 8b
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
Sounds like a predator attack of some kind — judging from the behavior of the 2nd fish. I have goldfish, but have also had fish mysteriously disappear. I hate that! Not only is the fish gone......but you never know what happened to it. Hope it shows up and is OK!
 
A

Advertising

Joined
May 31, 2017
Messages
513
Reaction score
427
Location
Lake Dallas, TX
Hardiness Zone
8a
Country
@Gemma you still have your wire panel down over the pond I assume? Is this why you're guessing it was a bullfrog or snake because they would have to have squeezed through the wire mesh to get to the fish. How big are your bullfrogs and snakes that they could take out a ten inch koi and go unnoticed?
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2016
Messages
2,643
Reaction score
2,526
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
Sounds like a predator attack of some kind — judging from the behavior of the 2nd fish. I have goldfish, but have also had fish mysteriously disappear. I hate that! Not only is the fish gone......but you never know what happened to it. Hope it shows up and is OK!
Thanks! and yes, the not knowing is killing me
@Gemma you still have your wire panel down over the pond I assume? Is this why you're guessing it was a bullfrog or snake because they would have to have squeezed through the wire mesh to get to the fish. How big are your bullfrogs and snakes that they could take out a ten inch koi and go unnoticed?
Yes I still have the pond covered, I have not seen a snake in a couple of years I just assumed if a fish disappears the only likely predator would be a snake, I heard they can eat very large pray
The bull frog is about the size of an orange, I have no idea if it could/would go after fish that size, but my fish sure act scared

About my question, I've never had a fish discomposing (eeewwww) in the pond, how would that effect the water parameter if it would to happen?
 
Joined
Sep 14, 2013
Messages
3,963
Reaction score
3,102
Location
Cincinnati, Ohio
Hardiness Zone
6 A
Country
Well, I hope it turns up, might it still be hiding? Is it possible it could have been sucked into a pipe or pump....probably not too likely at that size.
 
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
1,028
Reaction score
1,151
Hardiness Zone
7b
If this eases your mind any -- years ago I had a 55 gallon aquarium with quite a few fish. One disappeared for months! He was a decent sized cicilid, so not easy to lose. I was sure it had died and been eaten by the other fish (blech). Lo and behold -- he showed back up. Mysteriously. Miraculously. After that, we called him Lazarus Fish because he apparently came back from death. LOL. But just sharing to say these fish are all very good hiders! He could be recovering from an injury and might pop back out again sometime soon!
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2016
Messages
2,643
Reaction score
2,526
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
Well, I hope it turns up, might it still be hiding? Is it possible it could have been sucked into a pipe or pump....probably not too likely at that size.
Thanks!
No there are no pipes that it could've been sucked into, the only place it could be hiding, is the wall in the middle of the pond, that's got large stones, but that's still a big stretch ...here's a pic from construction
...but my problem is not figuring out where the fish is, yes I care and yes I hope it's fine, but my biggest concern right now is water parameters if it decays in the pond, can that spike the ammonia way up and kill my other fish?

20160801_072233.jpg

If this eases your mind any -- years ago I had a 55 gallon aquarium with quite a few fish. One disappeared for months! He was a decent sized cicilid, so not easy to lose. I was sure it had died and been eaten by the other fish (blech). Lo and behold -- he showed back up. Mysteriously. Miraculously. After that, we called him Lazarus Fish because he apparently came back from death. LOL. But just sharing to say these fish are all very good hiders! He could be recovering from an injury and might pop back out again sometime soon!
I know fish can hide for a long time, the other fish that was missing and now comes out at feeding time, hid for nearly 5 months when it was new. @j.w named it "Cave Dweller" :D
 
Reactions: j.w
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
1,028
Reaction score
1,151
Hardiness Zone
7b
Neat pond! I am guessing if the fish is dead, it will start to get funky and will eventually float and you will see it. But let's hope he's just playing Hide and Seek!
 

j.w

I Love my Goldies
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
25,013
Reaction score
14,881
Location
Arlington, Washington
Hardiness Zone
USDA 8a
Country
I wonder if it is in those rocks? Might be stuck in there somehow, who knows. Fish can squeeze into places forward but it's harder for them to back out sometimes or they try turning around and get stuck. All you can do is wait. If it is dead or dies somewhere what can ya do? Not much and if you want to you can allow some pond water out and new water in just to ease your mind that at least part of the water is getting refreshed. Do it every day or so. Can't hurt.
 
Joined
May 31, 2017
Messages
513
Reaction score
427
Location
Lake Dallas, TX
Hardiness Zone
8a
Country
@Gemma I wouldn't think one dead fish in a pond that large would throw your whole system off totally. The bacteria that you have established should take care of any increase in ammonia that he fish would cause, but I totally understand your concern. I would definitely not want a rotting fish in my pond especially if it could harm the rest of the fish or plants.
 
Joined
Sep 14, 2013
Messages
3,963
Reaction score
3,102
Location
Cincinnati, Ohio
Hardiness Zone
6 A
Country
Could you lower the water to just below those rocks and use a strong current of water from a hose, between the rocks to flush "anything" out?
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2016
Messages
2,643
Reaction score
2,526
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
Thanks for your thoughts, everyone, I so much appreciate all of you!

@ShawnInfirmity I hope you're right that one little dead fish won't throw the pond out of balance

@j.w and @Tula Last year I lowered the water every other weekend to make sure the lil "Cave Dweller" was still alive, I guess I can do it again to see if this other fish is in there.. I've never seen it going in and out between the rocks, but if it's still in the pond that'd be the only place it could be. I'll have to wait till the weekend, it's too long of a job to do after work
Fingers cross please :)
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2016
Messages
2,643
Reaction score
2,526
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
Neat pond! I am guessing if the fish is dead, it will start to get funky and will eventually float and you will see it. But let's hope he's just playing Hide and Seek!
Thank you! :)
 

Mmathis

TurtleMommy
Joined
Apr 28, 2011
Messages
9,802
Reaction score
5,610
Location
NW Louisiana -- zone 8b
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
@Gemma Sometimes I’ll find a “floater,” but most of the time, when I notice that a fish is missing.....it’s just not there any more — and my heart sinks! No remains, no nothing!
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2017
Messages
9
Reaction score
7
Location
Daytona Beach, FL
Hardiness Zone
13b
Country
Gemma, raccoons are incredibly agile and clever. Judging from your photo, your environs look kind of rural or at least suburban, but regardless, you will find raccoons wherever you find humans. These guys have the capability of pulling up wire mesh and getting under it. I would suggest that you rake any bare ground adjacent to your pond area such that any raccoon or other predator would leave prints. Raccoon prints look like this (a really big one visited me while I was about to clean sludge out of the bottom of my pond and left these friendly marks):
 

Attachments

Joined
May 31, 2013
Messages
17
Reaction score
7
Location
South Jersey
Hardiness Zone
6B
I had a blue heron coming over for fish dinner, but I installed this item called a scarecrow that shot water at the pond and the heron couldn’t take the pressure and moved on. Never had a raccoon go after the kids in the pond.
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2017
Messages
985
Reaction score
665
Location
North Oklahoma
Hardiness Zone
7a
Country
I’ve had floaters, no harm to the others. A single fish in that large an environment, even if you don’t find it, shouldn’t harm the others unless it died of a parasite, fungus, or bacteria. Then you have a risk of that infection possibly spreading. But I’d guess you keep your fish healthy, so should be no problem.
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2016
Messages
2,643
Reaction score
2,526
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
Gemma, raccoons are incredibly agile and clever. Judging from your photo, your environs look kind of rural or at least suburban, but regardless, you will find raccoons wherever you find humans. These guys have the capability of pulling up wire mesh and getting under it. I would suggest that you rake any bare ground adjacent to your pond area such that any raccoon or other predator would leave prints. Raccoon prints look like this (a really big one visited me while I was about to clean sludge out of the bottom of my pond and left these friendly marks):
I do believe that raccoon can lift the mesh and get under it but, I have no shelves in my pond (4 1/2' deep) so it would have to swim after the fish and at this point why go after just the 2 smallest ones? I'm thinking a raccoon would have had better luck catching the larger and slower fish, and would not have been able to set the mesh panes back the way they were
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2017
Messages
9
Reaction score
7
Location
Daytona Beach, FL
Hardiness Zone
13b
Country
Good answer, especially about "setting the mesh panes back the way they were." So it ain't a raccoon. I lost the smallest of my dozen goldfish, a 3" fancy-tail I named "Tiny" (because all the other goldfish had tripled their sizes), to a predator but I couldn't tell what kind of predator. I don't have any anti-predator devices such as mesh or decoys, and until I saw those 'coon prints I was thinking that I was pretty well off security-wise. I've allowed floating water lettuce to cover 50% of my ponds in order to give the fish something to hide under. They usually come out when I check on them in the morning, expecting to be fed, but every now and then I have found them to be very wary and anxious. Like you noted, I would expect predators to attack the largest, slowest fish (2 koi about 12" long) but this has not been a problem.
 
A

Advertising

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Similar Threads

Plant question 8
Pond Pump Question 2
Bio Balls Question 3
Gold fish question 11
Question about API Pond Breather 5
Question about winter temps 4
milfoil pond plant...question. 2
New pond questions. 126

Top