Question about a missing koi

Discussion in 'Garden Pond Talk' started by Gemma, May 8, 2018.

  1. Gemma

    Gemma

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    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.
     
    Gemma, May 8, 2018
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  2. Gemma

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    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!
     
    Mmathis, May 8, 2018
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  3. Gemma

    ShawnInfirmity

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    @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?
     
    ShawnInfirmity, May 8, 2018
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  4. Gemma

    Gemma

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    Thanks! and yes, the not knowing is killing me
    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?
     
    Gemma, May 8, 2018
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  5. Gemma

    Tula

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    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.
     
    Tula, May 8, 2018
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  6. Gemma

    bagsmom

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    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!
     
    bagsmom, May 8, 2018
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  7. Gemma

    Gemma

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    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
    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
     
    Gemma, May 8, 2018
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  8. Gemma

    bagsmom

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    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!
     
    bagsmom, May 8, 2018
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  9. Gemma

    j.w I Love my Goldies

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    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.
     
    j.w, May 8, 2018
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    ShawnInfirmity

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    @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.
     
    ShawnInfirmity, May 8, 2018
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  11. Gemma

    Tula

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    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?
     
    Tula, May 9, 2018
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  12. Gemma

    Gemma

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    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 :)
     
    Gemma, May 9, 2018
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  13. Gemma

    Gemma

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    Thank you! :)
     
    Gemma, May 9, 2018
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  14. Gemma

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    @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!
     
    Mmathis, May 9, 2018
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  15. Gemma

    Gemma

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    Losing fish is so sad! smsad3.gif
     
    Gemma, May 9, 2018
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  16. Gemma

    Michael from Daytona

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    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):
     

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    Michael from Daytona, Jun 5, 2018
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  17. Gemma

    Souper09

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    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.
     
    Souper09, Jun 5, 2018
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    JamieB

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    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.
     
    JamieB, Jun 6, 2018
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  19. Gemma

    Gemma

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    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
     
    Gemma, Jun 6, 2018
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  20. Gemma

    Michael from Daytona

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    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.
     
    Michael from Daytona, Jun 12, 2018
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