26. April 2011 · 1 comment · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , , ,
This is not the dead fish itself, but the calicos I killed looked VERY similar.

Yeah.  That would be me.  I killed not one, but FOUR fish today.

Back in December I mentioned the four 6″+ beautiful koi who were living in our water feature in the front yard of our current house when we moved in.  I diligently kept up with the water levels, water cleanliness and feeding of those fish all through the winter…

Let me refresh your memory here from my December 8th blog post:

And finally, I’ll share my newest hobby: a small fountain/pond in my yard.  Among the fancy front-yard landscaping is a pond/fountain, a plain fountain and a birdbath!  I’m looking forward to seeing more birds in the front yard when the weather gets warmer.

The pond was certainly a nice bonus to our house — and we were pleasantly surprised to see 4 good-sized goldfish swimming around in the pond.  The weather’s been so cold the fish are more or less dormant so it isn’t very interesting.  They’re also pretty shy, hiding under the fountain column a lot of the time.  The algae in the pond has been a problem.  So these past few days I’ve been spending 30-45 minutes per day working on cleaning out the pond.  As of now, I’ve done a 2/3 water change, scrubbed the algae off the concrete, and I’m making sure to run the fountain during the day so the water is well aerated.  The water I add to the pond is from a well, which means I don’t have to worry about chemical treatments or anything like that.  Every time I’d agitate the water the algae would stir up and become almost opaque green — seeing the fish at all has been difficult.  Once the temperatures warm up more in a couple months, we’ll start feeding them and hopefully we’ll see them come out more often.

The fountain.  The pump sends the water up to the very top of the column and then it trickles down the “trays” that are spiraling around the column.  It’s very pretty, but I’ve been challenged with setting the water pressure such that the water doesn’t blast out of the trays sloppily.

Here’s one of the fish on a rare occasion that the algae in the water was settled to the bottom.  The boys haven’t named the fish yet (I see that coming real soon), but this one likes to hang out near the warmer pump unit when the water’s cold.  We have two gold ones, and two calicos.  Each are 6-8″ long.

Today I was mortified to see all 4 of the fish lying DEAD among the rocks that surround the fountain/pond.  It was really strange…it struck me as odd that all four of the fish were in one general area outside the pond.  Two of them were even on top of each other!

My first thought was foul play.  That someone physically removed all the fish and tossed them onto the rocks.  However, that was a stretch because the fish are quite shy, so far I’ve been the only one who can stand near the pond without the fish dashing under the fountain to hide!

But upon further thought, I realized that there were probably numerous contributors:

  • Over the weekend I had increased the time that the sprinklers run every day.  It hasn’t rained in nearly 3 weeks and the yard was starting to suffer from it.  So there’s a good chance the pond overflowed and the fish were outside of the confines of their pond when the water receded.  
  • The hose that runs water all the way to the top of the feature had slipped and the evaporation rate had reduced significantly.  I usually count on about 1/3 of the water sloshing out daily from the sloppiness of the water pouring down the trays of the fountain.  So there was even more water than usual in the pond.
  • One of the hoses became disconnected and water was rushing out of that loose hose…in the direction of the rocks the dead fish were on.  I wonder if the fish swam in front of that jet of water and were propelled out of the pond.

I feel awful those fish perished.  Tomorrow I will head over to the local pet store…the owner seems VERY knowledgable about fish and will help me replace these four.