Making the mistakes, so you don’t have to…

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you are probably aware of my ongoing learning curve with our resident fish pond.  In no certain order, lessons learned have been:

  • electricity can kill.  check your pond equipment for safety
  • pond plants put oxygen into the pond during the day but take it away at night
  • always make sure water hose is turned OFF before leaving house
  • check tubing (this is the new one)

Just recently came home from a trip.  The fish were all glad to see us and all was well for a few hours.  Soon, I noticed that our giant white catfish was floating at the top of the pond, with almost no ability to swim.  Since he’s the largest fish, he is always the first to let us know there is a problem.  Long story short, we had a big (and invisible) problem.  I was cleaning out the filter canister on a regular basis but water circulation seemed to be getting weaker and weaker.  It just never occurred to me that we had a real problem–until I finally checked the tubing!  The filter tubing had grown stiff.  Over the year or so that it has been in use, this plastic tubing has been accumulating gunk on the inside.  The same stuff that I was diligently cleaning out of the filter had also deposited itself on the wall of the tubing, making water circulation (and aeration) almost nil.

Simple fix: I had unused hose/tubing on hand and simply replaced it.   Works great now.

But what about the catfish?  Well, he had developed swim bladder issues and was unable to remain upright for any amount of time.  Here are the reasons he may have developed this issue:

  1. water quality
  2. bacteria
  3. gulping air
  4. constipation (!!!)

There are many ways to right this problem and I tried all of them except for creating a little sling with corks.  So, what did I try?

  • tea tree: in case the problem was bacterial.  great medication for your fish pond.  check online or ask your fish professional for your recommended dosage
  • green peas: act as a laxative.  I actually held the catfish in my hands and inserted the peas into his mouth.  thankfully, catfish has a big mouth!
  • pond salt: 1 cup per 100 gallons.  I just use regular rock salt.
  • I massaged the fish’ belly.  I did.

Did any of these techniques work?  To be honest: yes/maybe/I don’t know.  Fish is swimming around nervously.  He won’t come to the top of the pond but he IS remaining upright!

So, there you have it.  Just one more mistake you don’t have to make!

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One comment

  1. pwahahaha!!!!!! I love it! I can envision you tenderly massaging your catfish… that’s great. Glad to hear he’s okay.

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