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Koi died in a cooler - was it the oxygen?

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  • Koi died in a cooler - was it the oxygen?

    Hello Everyone,

    It is on a sad note that I begin my posting on this forum. This morning I discovered that my first koi had died overnight, and I suspect I accidentally killed it. I have a 12,000-15,000 gallon pond, with two waterfalls, and a 4 stage cascading stream attached. I purchased my first koi recently, and introduced it to the pond. It seemed to be doing just fine, and fed quite nicely 3 times a day. Yesterday, I discovered a problem with a pump that was working as a bottom drain, so I had to drain the pond to fix it, and in the evening relocated the koi into a large cooler. The cooler had water that I scooped up from the pond, plus I added some fresh water from a garden hose (I'm on a well system, so no chlorine). The cooler itself was 37 gallons. The koi was only to remain there overnight, but 10 hours later, when I checked on it in the morning, it was dead and floating on its side. I am located in Virginia, it was overcast, and the temperature at night was around 70 degrees. The cooler was just sitting inside the drained pond. I covered it with a lid so the koi wouldn't jump out, but left a large crack for the air. The koi was 15 inches long. I had assumed it would be safe to put it in this cooler just for the night, but evidently something had gone wrong. When I first purchased it, I transported it to the pond in the same cooler, and it stayed there just fine for the 3 hour trip it took.

    My best guess at the moment is that it ran out of oxygen overnight, and died as a result. But I want to make sure I'm not overlooking some other possible cause of death, so I don't repeat the same mistake in the future.

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  • #2

    Unquestionably the lack of oxygen and probably the build up of ammonia killed you fish. In addition, well water has virtually no oxygen in it to begin with. The fish was doomed from the start, odds are he was sucking for oxygen after 30 mins and dead within the first hour.
    Moto Kara Koi Kai ZNA

    Lone Star Koi Club

    Comment

    • #3

      Originally posted by Paulie View Post
      Unquestionably the lack of oxygen and probably the build up of ammonia killed you fish. In addition, well water has virtually no oxygen in it to begin with. The fish was doomed from the start, odds are he was sucking for oxygen after 30 mins and dead within the first hour.
      Thanks, that's what I assumed and the response I got at another forum. I just realized this forum was probably not the right medium to ask this question. I'm a newcomer to koi and this forum is for the more seasoned crowd, so you can ignore this topic.

      Comment

      • #4

        Originally posted by dex View Post
        Thanks, that's what I assumed and the response I got at another forum. I just realized this forum was probably not the right medium to ask this question. I'm a newcomer to koi and this forum is for the more seasoned crowd, so you can ignore this topic.
        You're fine we don't bite...well not usually. Since you are new to koi keeping I would recommend that you join a koi club. If you are in Northern VA then you want to check out ZNA Potomac Koi Club which also happens to be the club I belong to . We have a meeting coming up this sunday and a show 9/6-8.
        Koi-Unit

        ZNA Potomac Koi Club

        Comment

        • #5

          Also think about how you can do differently next time. Ammonia binder such as Chloramx. Air pump and at least one air stone. Large container such as a show tank or Rubbermaid stock tank that can hold at least 100 gallons. Net cover for the tank.
          Koi keeping is not a belief system; it is applied science with a touch of artistry.

          Comment

          • #6

            Here is the deal... a lot of people make the same mistake thinking all a fish needs to survive is water.

            If anybody bought a 15" Koi and put it in a 37 gallon aquarium with no established biological filtration and no air stone... I would not be surprised if the Koi was dead the next morning.

            Now you can put a 15" Koi in a bag with a couple of gallons of water and the rest of the bag full of pure oxygen (the way Koi are shipped) and can expect it to survive the next morning.

            Comment

            • #7

              Originally posted by dex View Post
              I just realized this forum was probably not the right medium to ask this question. I'm a newcomer to koi and this forum is for the more seasoned crowd, so you can ignore this topic.
              While this forum is geared to the 'serious koikeeper', there are all levels of experience among those serious about their koi. Those who are at the beginning of their journey in koi may find some discussions rather boring, but we are all learning. The learning never ends with koi.

              BTW, I like the setting of your pond. It has me thinking of rhododendrons in Spring and an arbor of clematis paniculata for the sweet fragrance in late Summer as the nights cool. ...Perhaps it is the miserable heat of the past few days that has me thinking of cooler climes. [80F/27C at dawn this morning.]

              Comment

              • #8

                Sounds like you learned a good lesson early on and won't be likely to repeat that mistake. Seems like something is wrong with your pond design.........you shouldn't have to drain your pond to work on a pump. Are you perhaps missing a shutoff valve that feeds the pump input water?

                Comment

                • #9

                  DEX you have not come to the wrong forum, you have just joined THE ONLY FORUM FOR YOU !
                  Not only do you have some of the best Koi keepers in the world, but you have One next door !
                  Join Rickshaw AND PICK HIS BRAINS !

                  Never a good time to lose a Koi, but better to only lose ONE AND LEARN THEN 20 !

                  Brian

                  Comment

                  • #10

                    Originally posted by semi skilled keeper View Post
                    DEX you have not come to the wrong forum, you have just joined THE ONLY FORUM FOR YOU !
                    Not only do you have some of the best Koi keepers in the world, but you have One next door !
                    Join Rickshaw AND PICK HIS BRAINS !


                    Brian
                    Virginia & California are not very close. I'm sorry to hear of the lose of the Koi, I'd suggest you meter the water when refilling so you know the gallons, 12,000 - 15,000 is to large a range if you need to treat the water. Good Luck
                    President : GLK&GS
                    Officer : NMZNA
                    Certified Judge : AKJA

                    Comment

                    • #11

                      Dex, This is the kinder gentler Koi-Bito! There hasn’t even been a post on the “Outside" in 6 weeks! You should have been here when the viewership was hitting the highs, oh those were the days. But most of those guys (and girls) have either been banned or abandoned their efforts to teach the unreachable.

                      We’ve all killed a fish or two by in attention or through ignorance. So we learned to pay more attention and apply what we learn. When people looking at my pond ask me “How long will these fish live?” I answer somewhat in jest “As long as I don’t kill them”. Rob

                      Comment

                      • #12

                        Originally posted by ricshaw View Post
                        If anybody bought a 15" Koi and put it in a 37 gallon aquarium with no established biological filtration and no air stone... I would not be surprised if the Koi was dead the next morning.
                        The same can be said about quarantine tanks.

                        The more seasoned crowd preach the importance of quarantining ALL new fish, but we fail to inform the new hobbyist that the quarantine tank must be a proper size and properly filtered.

                        During face-to-face conversation, 50% of the message is conveyed through body language, 40% by tone of voice, and just 10% of the message is carried by your words!
                        Kind of gives an insight, into how easily email can be misunderstood.

                        Comment

                        • #13

                          Originally posted by RobF View Post
                          We’ve all killed a fish or two by in attention or through ignorance. So we learned to pay more attention and apply what we learn. When people looking at my pond ask me “How long will these fish live?” I answer somewhat in jest “As long as I don’t kill them”. Rob
                          I know that I have killed my share!

                          I too have told people these fish could outlive their owner if we don't kill them.

                          Comment

                          • #14

                            Thank you everyone for the comments. I am making sure no future fish of mine will die of insufficient oxygen, I have ordered an aerator pump which will run on a dedicated UPS back up in case of a total power failure. I never realized fish could die so quickly due to oxygen issues. I had an order of 32 more koi due to come in next week, which I just cut down by a half. I think even 16 fish is too many for a pond of my size (I think it's closer to around 12-13k gallons or so), but the ones I had on order were only 6-8" long, so I'm hoping they will not prove too much initially, and the pond will have time to adapt before they grow up. The pond I have used to be a "natural pool" built by the previous owners, they used to swim in it all the time. But to my eye it looked like a perfect koi pond (aesthetically anyway), so that's why I decided to try koi keeping. That's also why it didn't have a proper bottom drain initially, which I retrofitted and had to make changes to when I drained the pond. It's all good now, with the bottom drain anyway. I had a bit of a moment of doubt yesterday evening, when I considered cancelling the koi order completely and not going down that road at all. I could just leave the pond as is, a water garden for decoration. But in the end I decided to give it a shot, you only live once, and I want to have the experience of having my own koi. So now I'm spending time reading up on koi keeping. I do appreciate that the forum didn't try to bite my head off for killing the fish with stupidity.

                            Comment

                            • #15

                              Originally posted by dex View Post
                              Thank you everyone for the comments. I am making sure no future fish of mine will die of insufficient oxygen, I have ordered an aerator pump which will run on a dedicated UPS back up in case of a total power failure. I never realized fish could die so quickly due to oxygen issues. I had an order of 32 more koi due to come in next week, which I just cut down by a half. I think even 16 fish is too many for a pond of my size (I think it's closer to around 12-13k gallons or so), but the ones I had on order were only 6-8" long, so I'm hoping they will not prove too much initially, and the pond will have time to adapt before they grow up. The pond I have used to be a "natural pool" built by the previous owners, they used to swim in it all the time. But to my eye it looked like a perfect koi pond (aesthetically anyway), so that's why I decided to try koi keeping. That's also why it didn't have a proper bottom drain initially, which I retrofitted and had to make changes to when I drained the pond. It's all good now, with the bottom drain anyway. I had a bit of a moment of doubt yesterday evening, when I considered cancelling the koi order completely and not going down that road at all. I could just leave the pond as is, a water garden for decoration. But in the end I decided to give it a shot, you only live once, and I want to have the experience of having my own koi. So now I'm spending time reading up on koi keeping. I do appreciate that the forum didn't try to bite my head off for killing the fish with stupidity.
                              Don't overlook the problem of ammonia poisoning (as mentioned here and on the other Koi forum). Biological filtration is needed to take care of the ammonia.

                              Comment

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