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Thread: Hello from Ottawa, ON - need help! Long post!

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2018
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    Hello from Ottawa, ON - need help! Long post!

    Hello to all!

    My name is Marion and I am looking for some help. I've had my koi / goldfish pond for 6 years. It is 25 feet x 15 feet with a large waterfall. 15x15 is the waterfall and "shallow end" (30 inches deep) and 10x15 is the "deep end" (5 feet deep).

    I built the pond with the understanding that all of my fish would be fine over the winter. They have been, until this spring. I had 5 beautiful koi that I lost over the last month. My goldfish (about 20 of them, less than 6 inches long) are all fine .. I even saw the two babies that were spawned in the fall!

    This is the 6th winter I have had all my fish in the pond over the winter. I am extremely diligent in making sure everything is set up properly for the winter - I have a de-icer and an aerator. I am out there every day in the winter to make sure that the hole doesn't freeze over.

    I've googled trying to get an understanding as to why I lost my koi, and I've asked around, and I keep getting conflicting information.

    Google (I looked at about 10-12 websites) basically said that it was my water. I had it tested on Monday and my water is fine ... a bit high in ammonia, but with the plants and some of the leaves that I couldn't get out, it wasn't anything to be concerned about.

    Staff at stores have said that it could be bacteria that hit the koi (but no one knows why not the goldfish). Someone also said that because of the fluctuation in temperature, it was too stressful for the koi.

    As I mentioned, I live in Ottawa, ON. It gets very cold here in the winter. We have some days where it is -40 with the wind chill. In February, we had -30 then it climbed up to -10 and up to +10 ... the pond was thawing. My fish were coming to the surface and were "breathing" out of the water - I'm not familiar with all the technical terms. They did this last year, and the year before as well - and they were fine.

    And then 2-3 days later, we had another cold snap. I lost two fish during that time, and then two more two weeks later, and last week found the last one.

    Needless to say I am devastated. I had them eating out of my hand, and they had gotten pretty big in the last 6 years. They were all about 16-18 inches long. Short of paying $800 for a necropsy, I couldn't find anything wrong with them. They looked perfectly healthy - fins were fine, scales were fine, etc.

    I would like to get 4-5 more koi this summer, and have been researching options about "storing" them in the house / garage. Honestly, these are not really feasible options.

    The only place I have room in the house is in a spare room, and that would be a massive hassle to clean a 6x6 holding tank every week / two weeks. (I also have a cat, dog and a parrot that I have to make sure NEVER get in there!) I don't even know if the house would hold that much weight!

    The other option - the garage. Well, it's not heated for one, and while I am in there every day (I use my garage in the winter to park my car), maintaining a tank in the garage, is not really on my list of things I want to do in the winter - cleaning, etc.

    So my two options that I see as most feasible are these: no more koi ( or try and figure out what I can do help them make it through the winters.

    Heating my pond, and running the waterfall throughout the winter is not a viable option LOL I checked into it, and it would cost me about $700 / month.

    If you made it this far into my post, I thank you very much, and I hope I can get some help here!

    Have a great day,


  2. #2
    sschult's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Orlando, Fl
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    Marion welcome to the forum I will say this to you hang in there there are some folks around here that are very knowledgeable in your area that can chime in but like I said before it's pretty quiet around here for a while but welcome.
    At some point common sense must prevail.


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