Friday, July 22, 2011

Heat, heat, heat. Are you aware that, on checking, our Concord heat is worse than that being experienced by the folks who live in New Delhi, India.  Amazing, at least to us who used to live through the New Delhi heat and monsoons.  Concord, North Carolina is hotter than New Delhi. Wow, who’d a thunk???
And as we were running around town yesterday, getting hotter by the minute, we were really running down physically. Around 6:00 PM or so, we were changing our clothes upstairs in our bedroom suite, ready to begin our evening rituals, one of which involves sitting by our lovely pond sipping a glass of wine, and feeding and watching our fish and our various flying critters fitting about in our back garden.  It’s a pleasant way to begin the evening hours.

So, as I was changing, I happened to look out our windows. And what to my wondering eyes did appear, but . . . a pond rather lacking in water. It looked to be around ¾ empty. We rushed downstairs and ran outside frantically to look at the horrible mess.  The pond had maybe a foot of water in it, tops. The lilies were splayed all over the place. All the plants looked topsy turvy. The fish were only dimly visible, with the remaining foot of water firmly in the grip of its algae cover.  A couple of our large koi’s were occasionally visible, looking in distress. Koi’s don’t take kindly to changes in their environment.

We looked about for some sign of the cause of the problem. Carol spied the problem—someone or some thing had caused the hose from one of our two pumps feeding our filters to pull away from the filter. The pump was madly pumping the pond dry.

We shut off the pumps, as they both were gasping for water, since the water level had finally dropped below the pump level. Not a pretty sight. I re-attached the hose and then, desperate measures, used duct tape to keep the hoses in place--mind you they are kept in place with clamps and screws. Something pulled really hard to separate the hose.
Our task was then to refill the pond, which we began doing. A major problem with this task, however, is that tap water is heavily chlorinated and fish can’t tolerate chlorine—it’s quite toxic. So we added whatever dechlor we had remaining, plus some stress coat—an additive that helps top coat their skin and helps them to cope with the stress. Then we ran out to PetSmart to get some more of both.

It took totally about five hours of water filling to complete this task.
The final step is to wait.  What do you wait for?? Well, to see who lives and who dies. Koi’s really hate it when you mess with their environment, and many will not make it.
We thought we were home free, since the pond looked on by midday, and no signs of distressed koi’s. Then we went out to the pond at around 4:00 PM. All of the fish were gathered at the waterfall, where the oxygen level of the water would be higher.  Sad, very sad.  That’s the first sign that they are in extreme distress. 

In the past, when we had the pond cleaned, we lost one of our favorite koi’s, Harry. He followed that same pattern of behavior—first gasping near the top of the pond, then finally giving up. We will await the bad news tomorrow morning, when the situation should have stabilized.  Hopefully, we will still have some of our stable of koi’s left. They give us much pleasure.
More later . . .
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