Goldfish Sudden Death

holly_bc(Zone 7B VanIsle)July 27, 2013

In the last couple of days, two of our larger fantails have passed on. We are not pond experts but these guys have been with us for all our 8 years here and several more beyond that. We have no idea why they are dying. DH says they appear bloated if that helps? I can take pictures of the latest demise if that would help. I have no idea what to look for though.

The Pond - is about 10 x 12 and 3' deep approx. at it's deepest. It is cement and has no filtration system or any other fancy thing. It has an old well pump (as in really old) that a hose runs to and the water spills into the pond and thus allows us to keep the water level up and allow aeration into the pond. It only does this when we run it -- not a constantly running thing.

We are on a well, fed by an aquifer, so no 'Chlorine issues' with the water.

The weather here has been mid-70's plus daily for the last month or so - unusually beautiful. We love it but perhaps that's also heating up the pond more than usual?? We had a pond thermometer once but I think our puppy ate it (well broke it) and we've not replaced it. We'll get that done.

We cut back a lot of growth around the pond a month or so ago so much more sunlight on it now but that said, the pond water is actually clearer than I can ever recall. One can see the bottom which hasn't often been the case.

DH bot a dozen or so - what were termed - 'feeder goldfish' and added them to the pond recently. (Disgusting term if you ask me.) One deep sixed by the following day but the rest are swimming about quite happily it appears.

I've tried to relate as much 'has anything changed' info as I can so you expert peeps have something to go on maybe?

It's DH's birthday next month and I was planning on buying a few Shubunkins for the pond for him but I don't want to be sending them to their death.

I took a couple of photos of our most recent guy/gal who passed on. I don't see anything that looks like parasitic stuff or any wounds but then I'm no expert on fish stuff.

I hope you guys can help me with this situation. We are perhaps a little more relaxed than some but we seriously do our best to care for all our pets. I don't want anyone dying under my watch so I need to fix whatever is causing this.

Many thanks for any help you can offer.

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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Except for the bloating and feeder fish you haven't given us much to go on. Are there any streaks in fins or tails, red gills, have they been spawning?Are the scales protruding? Have they been feeding well, hiding or laying on the bottom? Have they been digging in the bottom or gulping at the surface?

Parasites can be internal as well as external. Bloating can be impacted eggs or dropsy or ??. Feeder fish could have brought something along with them. No water parameters so we don't have any way to guess about that and it is critical. Ammonia kills. No filter means a good possibility of bad bacteria from the debris and mulm on the bottom?.When was it last cleaned? Did something get sprayed into the water when you cleared the area? Did you do a water change or just top it off? Aeration is probably minimal. Larger fish are affected by low oxygen first. Does the water have any odor? Water should be moving 24/7 and does need filtration. How many fish do you have and how big? Are there stones on the bottom?

Maybe someone else could hazard a guess. A color photo might be helpful.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 7:35PM
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ademink(z5a-5b Indianapolis)

I would bet my bottom dollar that the feeder fish killed them w/ whatever new bacteria they brought in. Your little fellas were living in a closed system for a long time and new bacteria and perhaps parasites were brought in. Sometimes they can't handle it b/c their immune systems aren't prepared for the onslaught. This is why quarantining - while a pain in the big butt - is necessary!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 10:19PM
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What ademink said. That was my first thought. Seems the most likely cause without further info if you've had no problems before now. Definitely a pain to quarantine but I would never expose my big boys (and gals) to the possible dangers of newbies. Better safe than sorry.

Quarantine those shubies for dh's b-day before introducing them to the pond.

So sorry for your loss.


    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 11:48PM
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Yes it does seem like the feeder fish. Feeder fish are not meant to be kept as pets and are used to feed larger fish so therefore, fish dealers do not care what condition they are kept in. I think you should not add anymore fish into the pond until the situation becomes stable again, because there is a good chance they will become infected as well. In the future I would place newly purchased fish in a testing tank for a week. If they survive, then most likely they are healthy. I wouldn't trust any fish dealer with the health of their merchandise. As of right now, there is not much one can do. I'm really sorry about your loss and I do hope this information will help you solve this mystery.


    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 8:20PM
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