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Thread: Post mortem

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012

    Post mortem

    Just had a Koi pond but last June. About 10 x 10 x 4, 2,500 gallons. Seven koi. Live in northeastern Wisconsin. Wintered the Koi in the pond. All survived the winter.... Had a sudden, unseasonal temperture rise last week. Went from 40's to 70's in three days. Koi became "active". My butterfly koi acted strangely. I posted the following on other sights when the behavoir concerned me.

    All seven of my Koi (and the shubunkin goldfish) survived winter in my pond..... They are slowly becoming active. Today has been an active morning. The are swimming around at all levels and not sticking together on the bottom anymore. Some have even eaten some of the food I've thrown in.... BUT, one is scaring me. The fantail - Ginger!!! Last night I was skimming junk off the surface with my net (which I have been doing every day). She went NUTS, swimming erratically and jumping out and up a couple of times. Then she surfaced floating on her side. I took the net and gently pushed her back and forth. She then went down to the bottom nose down. I took the net again and started pushing her. She got "stuck" in a rock. I thought she was a gonner.... When I touched her tail I thought I saw some movement, but I didn't want to hurt her with the net. ....(I had to go to a meeting that I had now become late for). She was right by the aerator so I turned !
    it on and left.....hoping. I got home a couple hours later and she was swimming as if nothing was wrong. Then, this morning, I spend about an hour or more just sitting on the deck edge watching (and letting them get used to me again). I went inside.. came out and she was floating on her side!! I again did the net pushing thing. She responded quickly and started swimming. Now she stuck to the surface and slowing swam around. She almost seemed to swim into the sides... Now she is down on the bottom. All the others seem fine... I checked water conditions with a chemical strip and all seemed find. Had another near incident this aft. Ginger just seemed lethargic, barely swimming along the edge at the top. I turned on the aerator and nudged her in that direction. She took off. What seems interesting is that the other Koi seem to be worried about her also. They seem to nudge her along and try to keep her moving. Hummmm,

    The next morning I came out to see if "Ginger" survived the night. She was gone....nowhere in sight. Not in the pond or around the pond. No bits or pieces.
    I assume she had an "issue" during the night and a critter found her.
    What I'm wondering. What was happening to her. Others I've asked seemed to suggest it was a swim bladder issue. What do you folks think?

  2. #2
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Orlando, Florida
    What you describe certainly sounds like a swim bladder problem. However, the cause is indeterminable. I suspect your longfin has had a problem for a while and it just was not noticeable until the water began warming up enough for the fish to do some swimming.

    Usually there are internal infections affecting the swim bladder or other organs. Sometimes, there is a loss of osmotic control and the fish develop a dropsy-type condition that impacts their swimming. Similar symptoms can be caused by pesticide exposure, heavy metals exposure and any number of other things. (You mention having goldfish... fantail goldfish can have buoyancy issues when they eat because their body shape is such the swim bladder has a tough time keeping things in balance when food gets added to the stomach. All sorts of things can create swim control issues.)

    At this point, I do not believe you will ever know the underlying cause.

  3. #3
    Oyagoi Eugeneg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Near Toronto, Canada
    I assume she had an "issue" during the night and a critter found her.

    What I'm wondering. What was happening to her. Others I've asked seemed to suggest it was a swim bladder issue. What do you folks think?
    It probably was a swim bladder issue. However the pond is quite small and is more suseptible to water temperature changes. You can help by having a cover over the top or float rigid foam insulation for the night.
    Do not feed untill the water temp is over 50f and not surface only water. I would start with a handfull of cheerios then well soaked wheat germ. There is a danger that after the fish have eaten there is a drop before the food is digested. So feed earlier in the day.
    I would never let the water temp drop below 44f during the winter certainly koi should not be kept under the ice.

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