Pond fish nightmares!

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gsong321

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Three years ago I bought a couple dozen little goldfish to put in my fountains...I thought maybe they would combat mosquitoes but I wasn't thinking too far ahead as they started to grow. I lost a few of them (getting sucked into pumps) and a few died because of my ignorance but I ended up with about 14 healthy goldfish. They continued to grow and I kept finding bigger things to put them in until I finally put in a small pond shell. The pond shell soon became too small, so I finally dug a big permanent pond and they of course keep growing. For the longest time I had fourteen then the racoons decided to raid the pond one night, fortunately I caught them before they could eat more than two. I fought those darn things for the longest time until one day...I decided "if you can't beat join em!

I built a cement pond at very edge of our property away from the house and fish pond. I put a nice fountain in it and toys for them to play with and that fixed that problem. Then a few weeks ago I was getting ready to go to the doctor when I casually walked by the front window and looked just in time to see a large blue heron (tallest bird I've ever seen) with one of my big females in it's mouth! I ran outside screaming hoping it would let the poor fish go as it took flight crashing into the redwood trees. Fortunately the bird only got hold of two. Now down to twelve fish I noticed the other day while cleaning that I'm down to eleven! I have no idea what could have happened to it (another big fat female) as I have two layers of nets over the pond now.

I went out the other day to feed and I noticed my largest (a fat male about twelve inches long) not moving underneath my main pump. I built the pump up on a plastic milk crate to keep it off the bottom in case a hose broke so all the water wouldn't be sucked out of the pond. I bent down to see that he was stuck in one of the grates and I had to extricate him. I got him out but unfortunately in the process it tore a lot of his scales off and did a fair amount of damage behind his gills. So now I'm reworking the system, adding med's and salt trying to keep him from getting sick.

I look back now and think of how much I've spent on those goldfish...it boggles my mind when I think of how much it's cost me! It's becoming increasingly difficult to keep outdoor fish! I feel bad for the wildlife because there isn't enough food for them...most of the ponds and lakes are drying up where we live because of one of the driest summers I've ever seen. I also have hawks and bald eagles sitting on my fence almost every morning licking their chops. Racoons are as thick as mice now in most cities. Sometimes I'd like to bag the whole idea of outdoor fish but I've spent a fortune already, to stop now just wouldn't seem right. Some day I figure, the fish will be big enough that the birds and racoons won't be able to carry them off...but I'm certain something else will pop up!
 

TexasDomer

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Don't do that though - that'll only encourage more raccoons and birds to come if you keep feeding them.

Expensive, but rewarding! Can you post pics of the fish? You don't see large, healthy goldfish very often!
 
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gsong321

gsong321

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I've given up with photos! I keep getting an administrative error! I'm a complete moron when it comes to this kind of stuff, someone sent me a link about it but it was like an online brain surgery course to me. My daughter fixed my avatar photo some how and it works but I've completely given up out of frustration...I do have some nice photos too. Maybe the next time she comes over I can have her help me...!
 

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Sorry to see your having pond issues. One of the main points I discuss with people when designing there ponds is what is their environment all about. Can one make it predator proof, for the most part yes, and that's where thinking out of the box comes in. Don't get me wrong in saying this, but it is these sort of things that help us achieve the next step, if willing of course.

I collect very special koi and we have all sorts of preds up here, less not forget all the roaming cats. The trellis over my pond was built for 2 reasons, shade and protection. Stream is covered with a black bird netting and main sides of pond are 18 in min. Pond edge is roughly 6 to 10 inches high as well. This makes it hard for reaching animals. The trellis also deters most large birds such as eagles and herons.
 
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gsong321

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That's probably why I'm so frustrated! A lot of thought and planning went into this pond. I put it as close to the house as possible so there would be lots of human traffic and keep it netted as well as shaded. I sit a large bottomless dome tent over it at night to keep unwanted predators away and it also has a large free hanging umbrella during the day. Unfortunately, the day the bird grabbed my female...I forgot to get the nets back over it after cleaning! I live in a metro area of about 125,000 people but our property is in a small forest at edge of it all. My house isn't even visible from satellite photo's because of the trees. It amazes me that the birds could even spot the pond...the eagles must have a nose as well as amazing eye's. As I stated earlier, this is the driest summer on record...we don't live anywhere near a waterway where you expect to find herons but everything has dried up and I think the birds are desperate for food. The racoons are totally out of control all over the nation...I just watched a video about the other night and it appears as there is no way of stopping them. They "were" enemy number one but now it's the predatory birds. I think sometimes regardless how much a person plans, things happen, like my big guy getting caught in the plastic crate. I had cut all the grates back and made it so that all the fish could pass under it (they like to eat the snail eggs that form on it) I just would have never thought that any of my fish could get stuck in that thing but....! I'm hoping we get some rain soon and things get back to normal, I feel bad for all the wildlife suffering through this awful dry season.
 

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That's probably why I'm so frustrated! A lot of thought and planning went into this pond. I put it as close to the house as possible so there would be lots of human traffic and keep it netted as well as shaded. I sit a large bottomless dome tent over it at night to keep unwanted predators away and it also has a large free hanging umbrella during the day. Unfortunately, the day the bird grabbed my female...I forgot to get the nets back over it after cleaning! I live in a metro area of about 125,000 people but our property is in a small forest at edge of it all. My house isn't even visible from satellite photo's because of the trees. It amazes me that the birds could even spot the pond...the eagles must have a nose as well as amazing eye's. As I stated earlier, this is the driest summer on record...we don't live anywhere near a waterway where you expect to find herons but everything has dried up and I think the birds are desperate for food. The racoons are totally out of control all over the nation...I just watched a video about the other night and it appears as there is no way of stopping them. They "were" enemy number one but now it's the predatory birds. I think sometimes regardless how much a person plans, things happen, like my big guy getting caught in the plastic crate. I had cut all the grates back and made it so that all the fish could pass under it (they like to eat the snail eggs that form on it) I just would have never thought that any of my fish could get stuck in that thing but....! I'm hoping we get some rain soon and things get back to normal, I feel bad for all the wildlife suffering through this awful dry season.
I hear you, while the politics and big corps try to sway us that gmo or any form of genetic displacement is without harm is pure ****, just open our eyes and ears. We play with the clouds, we play with the food, we play with life.

At my age I've seen many changes, not only to the environment, but all the peoples of the world in each generation. The shills will jump in and say "We're trying to feed a hungry world yet the garbage cans are full of our waste" Monsanto comes in with drought resistant, pest resistant **** and yet the crops are failing, but what many don't see or don't care about is the earth we farm is dead because of the genetics, pesticides and ferts. The lakes are filled with toxic algae, yet as a boy it was a playground. It sickens me to see just how many people have no clue about just how damaging our greed of the earth is. We drink crapola that cleans rust off bumpers, eat fast food till we become over-weight slobs and then hang on to the medical system because we're too fat to move.

This earth, the one we walk upon is a gift, one that breathes and vibrates with resonate energy we call life, yet we are killing it with greed, war and judgment. Every single person on this planet is born in innocence and acceptance - WE ARE NOT born with hate or destruction. A blind person sees no colour, a deaf person hears no hate; so why do people want to kill others and our mother earth? Pathetic we are wouldn't you say.

As an advent kayakist, I've seen so much loss of our natural world because of greed and control. I'm not an activist, environmentalist or other, just a concerned human that sees the perils of our egotistical ways and self-righteous ****.
 
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gsong321

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And not to mention weather modification, global dimming due to air traffic blotting out the sun with dirty fuel or God only knows what. I'm 60 years old and like you, I've seen so many changes! I feel sorry for the youngsters growing up today (like my grandson) he's never seen a "real" blue sky at least not the kind of blue sky I grew up under. Our atmosphere is a milky white reflective haze that's trapping and holding the heat in. Weather experimentation and modification will be the death of us all. What you said about the food is so true...I look at the fruit and veggies at the corner grocery store, they look sick and taste even worse! I remember beautiful fruit and vegetables, they were juicy brightly colored and so flavorful. We've been eating fake garbage for so long that few even notice and the younger folk's just don't know anything else. I guess what keeps me form going nuts are my animals and my fish...it's such an honor and privilege for me to be their steward. At least in my little section of the planet, I have the say and control (for the most part) while the rest of the world seems to be going mad! Take care!
 

Dadio

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I look at the rewards of keeping my many friends as in the rewards of the garden this year. At least for a little while we will eat some wonderful foods.

Almost your age, so it's a breath of fresh air to hear.
 
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