We had a power outage at our house for about an hour. I came home to find one of my koi floating upside down. The other koi seemed unaffected. Within a few hours, most of them began exhibiting odd behavior. Various degrees of jerky, head-down swimming. Three of them seem fine, and were willing to eat.
The floating koi has recovered somewhat. It's staying on the bottom.
I did a water quality check. The only thing abnormal was that the wide-range pH test in my kit showed a pH of 9; but my meter read 7.2. This is the first time this has happened. Is it a clue as to what's going on with the water?
At present I have a call out to the vet and am doing a water change. Any other suggestions for how to care for the fish?
Just lots of aeration to compensate and maybe dump the sumps ( reduce organics that effect oxygen levels in a negative way) . But keep an open mind in that it seems unlikely that it is some thing else other than the power failure but you never know if this fish wasn't having a problem before the failure and is just showing it now due to the stress of the event. Sometimes any disruption exposes underlying problems in ailing koi-
Note sure what goodit could even do, but I did a partial water change, and starting adding some salt to my pond. Two of my fish appear fine (I think), the other 6 are defnitely swimming strangely and are tending to hang out of the bottom of the pond, and perhaps have gotten worse over the course of the day, except for one who is perahps swimming a little better.
I am wondering if there is any chance for recovery from this situation? I would hate to think I am going to end up with a pond of half crippled fish. This is my first real koi disaster I have experinced, I have heard tales of others.
The irony is also that I am in the midst of planning a pond expansion, and in my new design I was planning on not haveing any pumps submerged in the pump (which may help avoid this situation?).
What makes you think they were electrocuted?
I can understand a power surge causing a pump to short out. However, it would not repair itself. The short and stray current would still be there now. Do you have a volt-ohm meter to check it with?
If there was oxygen depletion after an hour then you may have been operating too close to the edge all along.
I am pretty sure this was a case of electrocution because
Originally Posted by bekko
#1. Water quality is fine, I have only 1/2 my usual fish load since I still have half my fish boarindg somewhere else. The quality before and after the incident looked good.
#2. The timing. I fed the fish and all ate normally in the morning. I left, there was a power outage, it came back on an hour later, and when I came back after that I noticed the behavior. Definitely timed to the power outage, or return to power (maybe a power spike?)
#3 The symptoms. Most of the fish are swimming in a spasmodic fashion now, hanging out near the bottom.
I will get an volt ohmeter as you suggest and take a measurement.
If it was just a power outage at your house caused by lightning then I'll agree with you..if it was a neighborhood outage I doubt that electricity was the culprit.
And a spike would barely make the koi twitch for a second...especially a whole pond full....when electricity gets in water it gets diluted PDQ..you gotta have a ton of e- to tear those koi up like that.
Originally Posted by luke frisbee
It was the neighborhood...I am wondering now if I had a short...I got a voltohm meter and measured near the top of the pond and was unable to measure any current.
At this point, I have disconnected all my in pond electric heaters and pumps just in case I had short from one of those. I am doing partial water changes and adding salt (athough I know that is not really doing them any good).
The fish about the same, I can get one or two to come eat after swiming spasmodically to me,, the others are stuck at the bottom.
This is such a sad situation, I am doubtful this condition can reverse.
Thanks for the links,it was informative to read.
I did measure all around the pond to ground and did not measure any current.
A couple of the fish have improved slightly, at least to the point where they can manage to swim up to eat, or maybe they are just getting used to their new way of swimming. The fish that seem fine, still seem fine.
I get the impression that whatever happened, it happened very suddenly, and is not something that is progressing. The sudden occurance happened to coincide with my power outage.
I may never know exactly how this happened, but for sure when I expand my pond i am not going to have any electric pump, heater, etc. in the pond!
Power failure. Filter full of "stuff" loses water *circulating through it) for an hour. Stuff in filter goes sour, begins producing H2S. Power comes back on, slug of H2S hits water, poisons fish. H2S is dissipated before it can be detected (unless that "funny smell" was strong enough when the power came back up).
More likely than electrocution. Hard to kill a fish with electricity. I use a boat with a 10 KW generator and put 600 volts at 15 amps to the water to fish for (whatever) breeding stock (bass, stripers, blue cat, etc.) If it killed them, they'd be useless for breeding.
Slight current from a submersible pump can make the fish act funny when they hit an electrical field, but seldom kills them dead.