Fish lying on their sides?

horton(6 b Ontario.)January 7, 2008

I have moved this post over to here from the "Conversations" page.

Posted by breezienj NJ (My Page) on Mon, Jan 7, 08 at 0:47

I know this is going to sound very ignorant but I am freaking out...... I have a pond with goldfish (4-5 inches) and 2 large planium Koi (16-18") They have gone through 3 winters already. THis has been a very mild winter until this week. It went from 40-50 degree to 10 over night and our pond froze over. (we have a heater so I wasn't worried) now that it's warm again the ice melted and the two large koi's are floating on their sides right in the middle of the pond....not on top of the water and not all the way down. At first I thought they were hibernating but now I am thinking they are dead! I am so heart broken we got these beautiful fish when they were only 4". What do you think??? The reason I thought they were hibernating is because I had read an article saying if you feed the fish to late in the winter they will lay sideways toward the surface trying to have the sun help digest the food I stupidly fed them. Any guesses? Ughghhh....thanks for your time.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
horton(6 b Ontario.)

It sounds like the fish in question may have undigested food stuck in their digestive tracts. This can cause the swim bladder to swell on one side and cause the fish tip over.

I would suggest you move the fish into a holding tank, that contains water from your pond. This is important, it is to ensure that the water is at the same temperature, so the fish will not be shocked by a water temperature difference.

Slowly, [Do not rush this part] over an hour or so, add WARM water [NOT boiling water] to the holding tank, with the fish in it. Until the temperature of the water reaches 50°F to 55°F. This will help get the fish's digestive systems going again.

Wait for a couple of hours and see if they void the impacted food.
If they start to come around, try feeding them some frozen green peas, mushed up. The peas should have the skins removed, before mushing them. This again is very important. You don't want anything else stuck in the fish's gut. The mushed up peas act as a laxative and can help clear the obstruction in the fish's gut.

If this works. let the fish rest for a day or so in the holding tank,then you can move them back out, into the pond.

BUT FIRST, you must bring the holding tank's water temperature down again, to the same temperature, as that of the pond water, before you move the fish out.
Do this by adding ice cubes, over a few hours. Do not rush these temperature changes.
Please let us know how you get on with this.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 7:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Horton, Thank You so much for moving this post and for awnsering so quickly. You are a very Knowledgeable person. Unfortunatly it was to late for my poor guys.When hubby went to pick them up to see if they were moving he said their skin was deteriorating.It had to be the fast drop in tempature? We tested the water and it was pretty good. It's a very sad day. They were beautiful. Thank You again for your help. God Bless. Cathie

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 12:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
horton(6 b Ontario.)

Thank you Cathy, I was sorry to learn that it was too late to save your fish. It may have been the quick drop in temperature that hit them or a lack of oxygen in the water when the pond iced over.
Did you actually see them eating the food you gave them?
Winter can be very hard on the pond's inhabitants and it is a difficult time for us all,when we loose any of our pond friends.
Take care and thank you again,

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 3:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Breezienj, I'm so sorry to read that your fish didn't make it. Whatever the cause, it's always difficult, especially when we've had them for several years. The last two we lost were abducted by a great blue heron; my daughter saw it, but I was fortunate enough to be spared the visual. We really didn't think the herons would fly in under the canopy of oaks and understory trees. Which brings me to the point of my post, aside from condolences:

We all learn from one other's experiences. No doubt someone else will benefit from your post, and from Horton's excellent advice - clear and thorough.

Perhaps when spring arrives you'll want to go choose a few new 4-6" babies to raise.


    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 11:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have 3 Beauitful koi I came out to my pond today and they were all laying on their sides! they water frozen over then thaw out not sure what happened are they dead or sleeping. What do I do

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 10:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My fish were lying on their sides but it was because the pump had a short and they were being shocked. We caught it in time but maybe you should check that too just to be safe.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 7:41PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Black Magic Elephant ear plant
for the first time I have two balck magic elephant...
New container water garden/fish pond
Hi everyone! We have wanted to create a water garden/fish...
Herron attack
Just want to vent. The day before Christmas I went...
Water chestnuts and Arrowhead (Saggitaria) from grocery store?
I also bought these at the grocery store to try for...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™