Monday, September 8, 2008

Fish pond mystery

We have a small fish pond in our garden that has been home to some goldfish for about 3 years. We didn't spend a lot of money on fancy fish like koi - these were simply pet-store goldfish. But they thrived. There are lots of nooks and crannies for the fish to hide from preying raccoons, and there are lots of bugs and organic matter to feed on. We started with a dozen fish, and they bred. Some of the original fish got to be pretty big. They survived in our pond, winter and summer, for three years.

So it was very dismaying - and puzzling - to come back home from our two-week vacation to find our goldfish floating on top of the water, very dead. And no sign of any other living fish in the water. What happened?

Yes, the water level had gone down quite a bit while we were gone - had it been terribly hot? Yes, our fountain, which provided a little aeration of the water - had stopped, too, its pump motor clogged with organic matter, its filter missing. Had a raccoon gone fishing and snagged the pump, pulling off its filter?

Is it possible that the combination of decreased water volume, heat, and no water movement caused some kind of environmental change in the pond to kill the fish?

The flowers in the pond seemed fine. The tropical water lily had four blossoms. It seemed healthy.

OK - so I got a new pump motor for the fountain. And we went to Petsmart and bought another dozen $2 goldfish.

Let's see how they do.


Beverly said...

Ah, so sad. I hope the new fish thrive. I would love to have a pond.

Anonymous said...

So sad for the fish.

I wonder whether the fish asphyxiated; the usual reason for a pump is to circulate the water in order to oxygenate it.

mrs. blogoway said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I see you're in Southern Cal. (I used to live in Pasadena when I was young).

I hope your new fish do better. You didn't have anyone feeding them while you were gone did you? I know they can be fed too much and die. Our friends have a beautiful pond, much like yours. I know they have to pull out some of the water lilies, etc. from time to time or the fish get too crowded and can't move around. Good luck!

JCK said...

That is strange. I'm so sorry. I love it that you bought just regular, good ol' goldfish.

So, so glad you took on blogging, G!

CONNIE said...

That's so sad for the fish! I hope the new ones will thrive and live longer. Thanks for stopping by at my place, G! You're so kind.

Have a lovely day.