we have a pond and recently have been losing our catfish of variable sizes. Their discolored they have black and tan patches. The fish come up to the shore, then they lay on the edge and then we find them dead. We are wondering if there is oxygen deprivation. We have no vegetation in the pond and have ducks/geese.
Nothing, we do not know what is going on.
Hello,I'm sorry to hear you are losing your fish. Some additional information will be useful.How big is your pond?Are the ducks and geese wild or domestic? How many are there? Do they spend a lot of time in the water?How long have you had the pond and the catfish?Have you tested the water? If so, what were the results?Thank you.Anna
pond size is 3/4 acre. The ducks and geese are domestic-5 geese and 20 ducks. They spend about 1/2 the day or so on the water. We have owned the place 7 years and the fish we added about 6 years ago. Last week they did spray nitogen on the field next to us-which has never bothered them before. It did make one of my horses colic. We have not had the water tested-this just started 2 days ago.Thank youHelen
Thank you for getting back to me. I’m working on your answer and will post it as soon as I have it typed up. In the meantime, will you let me know what state you live in?Thanks!Anna
East Central Illinois
Thank you for waiting. Unfortunately, determining an exact cause of death in fish in ponds can be very difficult. You have a particularly complicated situation. Waterfowl and fish are not a good combination. The birds add droppings to the water, and in the numbers you have, that can be a considerable amount. Bird droppings contain both urine and feces, and this alone can increase the ammonia content of the water. Next we add in nitrogen runoff from the fields. That nitrogen also is in the form of ammonia. As the fish have grown bigger, they also release more waste into the pond than they did when they were smaller. Ammonia is very toxic to fish. In high enough concentrations, it can kill outright. In lower concentrations, it increases the need for oxygen, and the fish can die of oxygen deprivation. This is especially likely in warm weather. Another way that nitrogen can kill is that it depresses the fish’s immune systems, and they succumb to disease or parasites. You can use the aquarium water test kits to get a general idea of the ammonia level, but in a pond, it can change from hour to hour and day to day, so the readings may not be accurate. It is not usually economical or practical to treat a pond of this size with medication. It is recommended to fence all livestock away from ponds because of the nitrogen load they add to the water. Increasing aeration with a large fountain, a windmill, or an electric pump can also help. The usual life of a pond this size is about 10 years. Then lots of things start to go wrong, and it may be necessary to kill everything in the pond and start over. If you do that, you may want to stick to waterfowl with no fish. This website gives n more information on managing ponds in Illinois:https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:Dn_puEEEC-QJ:www.ifishillinois.org/pdf/PondMgmtTips.pdf+&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESgF9_WewyC2a IS-8oZ-A2gYvtAiSQ7fPQTEVFRBqcY52sgH-jVNvH0ehpah_855ZlaP_L757T65ErA3emAXyWE7R29B938qNzzWjd-42noJeYexeYmTvoA1RYY34ZSAL47tGCTU&sig=AHIEtbTQ4oVuiuQDnjr8pvcRsGbXb-GREgYour district fisheries biologist can give you information on how have oen of the dead fish tested to determine exactly what went wrong. I believe yours may be:Region I Office 2317 E. Lincolnway Suite A Sterling, IL 61081 (NNN) NNN-NNNNIf not, that office can refer you to the correct one. Your Cooperative Extension Agent is another likely source of help. There is no charge fro their services. You can find yours by going to this site and then looking for your county:http://web.extension.illinois.edu/state/findoffice.htmlIf you have more questions, let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope it will turn out that your problem can be resolved.Anna
40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.