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15 messages
23/09/2013 at 09:05

My goldfish, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Frank and Dave have all disappeared overnight.  I'm assuming, tragically, that they have become somethings sushi dinner but what I can't work out is whodunnit or how...  At least 80% of the water surface is covered by floating plants (primarily to protect from a local Heron). The water level hasn't dropped, there's no sign of plant disturbance. If it was the fox what dunnit, I'd have expected a scattering of plants and a lot of water displaced (it's a raised pool).If it was human fish-nappers I'd have expected them to also empty the potting shed of goodies en-route.

So I'm concluding aliens did it

23/09/2013 at 09:56

humans, stealing to order.

23/09/2013 at 10:12

Oh no, thats really sad, and frustrating! Horrible aliens!! Seriously though, would someone steal goldfish from someones pond?

23/09/2013 at 10:22

A few pond plants wouldn't deter a hungry heron. The only sign that one had visited us was a single grey feather on the path.

We then restocked the pond and strung fine fishing line across the pond. This unnerved it but it did come back and try again several times. We now keep the pond covered with green garden netting whenever we aren't in the garden. Even if we are at home but not in the garden, as it has visited us during the day when we have been inside the house.

Herons are large birds and can catch and swallow quite large fish in one gulp without leaving a trace. A fox would have been much messier.

23/09/2013 at 10:22

It's too depressing to contemplate.  If it's an animal it's annoying but 'natural'.  Much harder to accept the idea someone's done it deliberately.

The saddest part is that I am three weeks into building the fish a super new des-res. I was a bit worried about them getting through the winter in the small pond so had started construction of a much deeper, larger home.  Now I've completely lost heart about finishing (though I'm not sure what else I can do other than fill the hole back in) because when I think about Frank, Dave and the Bobs never getting to enjoy their new home I literally want to cry.  How pathetic is that?

23/09/2013 at 10:32

It is very depressing indeed. You do become attached to them and they do definitely have different little personalities. But, you are right, it is all a part of nature and the same thing goes on in rivers and lakes all the time. I find the pathetic noises of the little birds when they are caught by our pair of kestrels very distressing but they are only doing what they are designed to do and they have to eat.

I think that your deeper pond sounds like a good idea. If you can make it at least a metre deep in the centre and build overhanging stone or slate ledges into the sides so that the fish can hide underneath them you may have more luck. Plus, try the netting when you are away from the pond.

A fish pond brings a lot of pleasure. It would be a pity to give up on the idea.

23/09/2013 at 10:35

I lost all my goldfish in the last hard winter. The frogs, newts and toads have flourished, and we have had a lot of dragonflies this year.

23/09/2013 at 11:05

Yes carry on with your new pond. You'll have better luck with a deeper one.

23/09/2013 at 11:27

Thanks for the kind words.  I know I will finish and ultimatelyenjoy the pond but suddenly all the enthusiasm has gone.  I was determined to get it finished well in time for winter but now I might leave it until spring.  Particularly since I need to set a lot of concrete and the weather isn't particularly reliable at the moment.

The new pond will be long and narrow but 4/5 foot deep at its deepest end, specifically to give the fish a safer place that would withstand a very cold winter and a very long necked heron!  The hole is already dug but I'm putting a retaining wall at the far end since it's on a slope - so to be 'flat' it needs to be raised up three feet at one end.  At this stage it's just a big hole one end and a big pile of dirt on the other.  Oddly just the perfect depth and width to permanently 'lose' my husband in as I told him this morning when he failed to be sufficiently sorrowful about the abductees

23/09/2013 at 12:12

...I'm just posting this to see if the forum has been abducted, as it doesn't seem to be working correctly...

23/09/2013 at 14:55

I'm afraid humans aren't deterred by nets or anything else when it comes to stealing fish. Ours were all taken when we put the house up for sale- (the ponds were a big feature of the propert)  2 huge koi and 4 big golden orfe and then 3 more young koi from the small pond which was netted- and they put the net back. They dropped one koi amongst the nearby planting,which was then partialy eaten. They use some kind of 'probe' to stun them and get them out. There's no other way they'd have got ours- the pond was around 60/70' by about 30/40' and waist high depth in the middle. As you say- easier to deal with if it's a natural theft. We wondered if it was one of the young foxes which were in a different part of the garden at the same time but when we were unable to see any fish after a week or so we knew it wasn't them.

I hope you don't get disheartened McC - but it's sad how some people are isn't it? Post some pix if you can so that we can see your progress. 

23/09/2013 at 17:41

Sorry to hear about your loss Last year we thought all of our goldfish had been taken, and then at beginning of spring one of ours suddenly appeared perhaps you will have similar luck!

23/09/2013 at 19:15

If they get a fright then they can dive and hide for months, it's true.

23/09/2013 at 23:17

hi macavitythecat - I've sent you a message?

24/09/2013 at 12:52

Happy news!!  Frank, Dave and one of the Bobs did survive the attack (or have been returned by the aliens, depending on your point of view).  Whatever happened must have frightened them so badly that they hid out of sight under the marginal plants shelf but they have finally ventured out for food.  Obviously I'm still sad about the other Bobs (btw... all the Bobs were identical hence the identical names) but at least my enthusiasm for the pond has returned as now I feel an obligation to get my three survivors into a safer environment asap.

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