Goldfish Behavior To Distressed Kin?

caddopecanOctober 24, 2010

Does anyone know if a distressed goldfish affects the behavior of other goldfish in a pond? We have a rather large goldfish pond, about 5000 gallons, 4' deep, complete with all the filters, bells, whistles, and water lilies. A week ago, we did our annual cleanup and roundup of all the fish, catching about 200 little ones that were born this spring. Reducing the herd to the 12 large goldfish, a couple extraordinary little ones and about 10 that were too smart to catch. In our pond there are hiding places that only a goldfish would know. We have some brick that are stacked around the lily pots. The fish have hiding places amongst and inside the bricks and pots. This year, I drained the pond to about 2" of water, caught the fish and restacked some bricks that had fallen over. So here come the question. In restacking the bricks, I may have sealed in some goldfish, and these fish are now distressed since they can't find a way out. The behavior of the 12 large fish in the pond has not returned to normal, and is different than the way they should be acting at this time after being returned to the pond. They act nervous, distressed for no apparent reason. The only thing I can think of that might cause this situation is other distressed fish that are trapped. But does anyone know if goldfish do react this way? This has been going on for several days. I normally don't drain the pond completely because I didn't want to kill the hidden fish. But, I didn't realize I may trap them and get into this situation. And there is no problems/differences in the water, filtration, surroundings, etc. Does anyone know why the fish won't settle down and go back to their normal behavior?

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ccoombs1(7B SC)

Have you tested your water? Fish lack the portions of the brain required for emotion, so no...they are not distressed about their kin that are trapped behind the wall. But what is possible is that dead fish behind the wall are decaying and making the water quality go bad. I'd check the water for ammonia and nitrites ASAP. Also check your pH. Use a test kit that uses drops of regent in a test tube, not the kind that uses the little dip strips. That kind is VERY unreliable. Another possibility is the annual cleaning stirred up some nasty stuff in the water and that's making them sick.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 6:45PM
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sharon_greenacre

Your fish have also all been netted recently, which can make them more wary of you. Another possibility is that a heron has spooked them. But yes, test your water parameters. A big clean-up can cause "new pond syndrome", and biofiltration bacteria may not be back in full force.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 2:21AM
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