Hi - would appreciate some help please. I have a well established 1,000 gallon pond containing a mixture of koi, orfe and a sturgeon. None of the fish are less than 10years old; oldest 20 yrs. I inherited these all from my Father about 8 yeras ago. Over the past week, I have suddenly lost 4 orfe. One by one, they start to thrash around the pond crazily and then lie quivering as if they are recovering from a fit. They then pull round and then it happens again maybe some hours later. Once it starts, they are normally dead within 48 - 72 hrs. There is no visible sign of disease. All the water tests show excellent results and I have changed the water by about 10% twice in the last week. Temperature okay. I treated the pond with medifin when it started (safe with my orfe - have used it over the past several years). Now the sturgeon has started and he is a massive fish to be throwing himself around. I am really upset and feel absolutely helpless at what's going on. Any advice please? Thanks
Oh dear this must be very stressful for you so hope we can help I have moved this to the pond section and hopefully a pond advisor will see it a few questions if you don't mind, first can you give the actually water readings as this will save others guessing, also have you checked the filter or other equipment for any electrical faults as this could be a cause or is there any chance anything could have leaked into the pond how are your remaining fish at the moment, please let us know how you and they get on
Thanks Ella and Goldy for the reply and the concern. In all the years we have had a pond, we have never experienced anything like this. I guess the joys of fish keeping!
Nothing to our knowledge has leaked into the pond and whilst we haven't checked for electrical faults, everything is running fine - besides which, it is linked to a really sensitive RCD and if anything was untoward, I'm sure the electrics would have tripped.
We are not aware of any more problems with the fish (2nd night now) and the sturgeon seems to have calmed down as far as we can tell. We haven't seen any of the other fish (other than the sturgeon) thrashing around or showing signs of distress (fingers, toes and everything else crossed).
It has been suggested to me to repeat a course of medifin treatment (this time though without the UV on!) which I will try.
Water readings are:-
GH 180 Kh 180 ph 7.00 NO2 0 No3 0
Any suggestions would be gratefully received thanks.
I have no experience with ponds, however, I just "googled" what you said, and here are a few ideas which I found.
- Do you have stones in the bottom of your pond? Someone mentioned there fish was thrashing, and when netted, a stone was lodged in its mouth. Unlikely to be this though, as like you said, you have had the pond established for so long, it would be unusual for 4-5 fish to get stones stuck in the space of a couple of days.
- Is there any chance the fish could be spawning? Perhaps they are, and just wearing themselves out.
Unlikely to help, but you never know.
I would just say, just to rule things out; Have you altered the pond in anyway recently, eg plants, lining, method of cleaning, filter, anything at all etc. Have you added any thing to your garden, eg weedkillers, products for grass etc, which may have leaked into the pond. (If you live near fields), is it possible they have used chemicals recently which may be in the air etc?
I really have no idea, and whilst this is unlikely to help in anyway, you never know.
Hope all goes well in the future and whatever is happening stops.
The good news is that everything seems to have calmed down and we haven't had any more problems, particularly with the sturgeon which was looking like it was going the same way.
I saw the article too on the stones 19spur93 but it isn't that. Spawning? I have no idea to be honest. The fish are all quite old and I've not seen them do anything like this before. We really appreciate you looking for us though.
We have started the medifin treatment and I got a friendly local pond specialist to test the water for me for a second opinion. He found that the ph was a bit low (6.5) but as it has poured down for the last two days, he wasn't surprised. We have however now dosed the pond with pond salts to get the level up again.
We are as baffled as everyone else about this. Lets hope however we have turned a corner with this. I'll keep you posted.
Very sorry to hear about your troubles, I hope the fish are doing better now.
I am no expert so I don't want to add anything that might confuse you or make things worse, but one simple thing to consider at this time of year is the oxygen levels in your pond.
How does the water return from your filter into the pond? Is it via a waterfall or something similar that agitates the water surface a lot? That kind of setup helps with oxygen levels.
The symptoms that I saw last year for this were my fish gasping at the surface and dashing around in a stop-start kind of fashion. This was during the very hot days and nights last summer. At the time, I added an extra little fountain to help agitate the surface, and that seemed to help.
This year I have added a decent air pump and I haven't seen the issue again, and we have had some belting hot days this summer.