Posts Tagged ‘goldfish’

Our Back Yard Massacre

It’s Thanksgiving, a day for giving thanks and I find myself very saddened, mad, and agitated.  Tragedy has struck at the “Forthepeople” estate.  And, it’s nothing like “The Moldavian Massacre”, the “Dynasty” cliffhanger from May 1985.


When that shooting was over, it was revealed that only two minor characters were among the casualties at Amanda and Prince Michael’s royal wedding.

Our body count is much higher.  There is only one survivor!

Ray and I dug into the ground and made this beautiful fish pond in the spring of 2012.

Happier Day Fish Pond

We stocked it with several colors of “goldfish” and six made it through last winter and this year.  They were getting bigger.

From June 2013

That is a picture from June 2013.

While we live in a ravine, we’ve never had a problem with raccoons bothering our little fish community.

Last month, on my birthday, we were given five large goldfish — two white ones with what looked like diamonds on their side that we named “Razzle” and “Dazzle” and three large orange ones, including “Floater”.

If you recall, he or she is the one that had the swim bladder problem.  Rather than swimming around like the others, it just lied around on the bottom on its side.


This is me feeding “Floater” peas to try to correct the problem.

A couple of days ago, Ray and I were out at the pond.  He was cleaning the filter and I was clearing out leaves.  I made the comment that it was odd that I didn’t see the fish and he was convinced that they were deep in the pond under the oak leaves and I bought it.

Today, there was no denying reality when I found this.

Fish Carcass

Yes, that’s a graphic picture.  But, really, most of us are eating a turkey carcass today!  The only difference is that the turkey is cooked.

Upon closer inspection, I confirmed that all of our fish are gone, except one.  Here is the survivor in a picture from June 2013.

Lone Survivor From June 2013

As I mentioned before, we’ve never had a raccoon problem and our fish were never threatened.  Now, I know that with “Floater” being a very big, bright, handicapped beacon of vulnerability, it attracted unwanted attention.

There’s a part of me that wishes that someone came into our yard and stole our fish.  Or, what if they were abducted by aliens for experiments?


It happened on “The X-Files” and “American Horror Story: Asylum”!

Joking aside, I’m very ticked off and sad.  Raccoons are now at the top of my enemy list!

Rest in Peace, my fish, all 12 of you!


Ice, Ice (Fishing) Baby

Six months ago, Ray and I spent a Sunday afternoon digging up our backyard and we acquired fourteen new “pets”.  After the transition from pet store aquariums to our pond, ten of our goldfish survived.

Even with one of the hottest summers on record in the Quad Cities with highs reaching 90° or higher, 45 times and of those, five at or above 100°, adding ice cubes and a frozen bottle of ice kept them alive, happy, and plump!  Boy, did they grow.


With winter weather and freezing cold closing in on us, we had to make the decision of whether to bring in the ten fish or leave them outside this winter with the help of a heater.

That’s the option we chose and our de-icer arrived in the mail in late September and Ray installed it.


With overnight lows this morning and yesterday morning in the 20-25° range, our fish and the de-icer were put to the test.


Would we have frozen Gorton’s fish sticks or would the water be free of ice?  As I walked around the house down to the fish pond, here was the bird bath!

Bird Bath

And, when I got to the fish pond, it was a beautiful sight.  Not only was it free of ice and the fountain still had water sprinkling out, one of the fish was swimming around the de-icer.

Cold Fish Pond

Now, our little Nemos (actually, none of them look like Nemo, and luckily, none look like Asian carp) are ready to experience their first outdoor Mississippi Valley winter, complete with snow, cold, and blizzard-like conditions.

I found this picture online and let’s just hope this isn’t the case for our fish come January or  February.


But, I’ve read that even if there’s a layer of ice on top, the fish will still have enough oxygen to live through the winter as long as the pond doesn’t freeze solid!

And, if the heater isn’t enough to keep the ice away, we’ll get an aquarium and bring them indoors and then they’ll have to fend off Gretel’s two cats. 🙂