Winter doldrum

Not a lot of excitement around here and the pond digger is always looking for something to fiddle with on the winter pond. The shower filter was splashing a little more than we would like so he created a PVC something that would put the water shower on to the media with less water flying around. Since we cut off the aerator and threw in some small bubblers, he’ll be switching the air input to a weighted air hose. We think this will still give the koi plenty of oxygen without creating the excessive water movement.

When we set up the pond we had a lot of water movement and realized that some of our koi were looking exhausted. We cut back how the water flowed into the pond at that time and thought all was well. For the last two months the koi looked okay, generally hanging out in one spot for hours on end.

The past two weeks, we had four koi looking rather pathetic at different times — London, a small goshiki…Marius, a small showa…Athos, a medium large goshiki…and T2, a karashigoi. London seemed to float at the top of the water and had difficulty swimming. I removed him to a smaller bowl, tossed in some medicine and an aerator – in about 24 hours he was fine. Threw him back in and he continues to do well. Marius was the next fish that wasn’t looking good so we decided to try the removal method again. Unfortunately, Marius did die within twelve hours. Not really sure what was wrong with him because his skin looked good, gills looked good – we thought perhaps some parasitic or bacterial thing going on – best that he died. Then Athos decided to do the side stroke. We took Athos out and he immediately played dead in the quarantine tank. We watched him for a few hours and the pond digger declared him “only half dead”. The next day, Athos didn’t look too bad so we returned him to the water and once again swimming along just fine. So two days ago, the pond digger tells me that T2 is looking dead. Sure enough on his side at the bottom of the pool. We never toss out koi that look dead immediately because we’ve had experience with bringing them back from the brink of death. We placed T2 in a quarantine bowl where he would move from the upright position to the side position, back and forth. After 18 hours, T2 was staying upright more so we returned him to the pool. Just like the other two koi, T2 is doing just fine.

So we’re conjecturing that all the water movement might have been exhausting our fish, making them not want to eat anything (even though the water is still above 50), weakening them further. The pond digger cranked back a lot of the water movement and the koi instantly started to look better. They are now swimming around the pool more rather than staying in one spot. Some of them have actually eaten some of the Kenzen sinking pellets that we’ve thrown in.

We also threw in a few aquarium heating rods to create a warm space that the koi could go to should the water feel too cold for them. Last year we let our 300 gallon stock tanks go down to 40 degrees and the larger koi really struggled. I’m sure we will continue to get notices from the electrical company that we use more electricity than our neighbors 🙂

I filmed the koi today with the GoPro since it’s a nice way to check on the koi. It’s a longer video to watch but good for insomnia. Here’s hoping we don’t have any more koi playing dead in 2016!