Thursday, March 12, 2009

Red Fish, Blue Fish

One of our koi is sick. I've had him quarantined for almost a week in a big galvanized trash can so that he doesn't infect the other fish (per the recommendations of experts on the web).

Apparently he has a problem with his swim bladder, which is inflated, and this causes him to float on his side. Otherwise his eyes are bright and he seems healthy and he can swim upright for short periods. Here he is taking a dive with some indignation (koi are very camera shy). When he is floating (which is 99% of the time) it is a very sad sight.

I refer to him as a male, though I don't really know. I guess if he's going to die, I would feel less emotional about a male fish dying.

The swim bladder problem sometimes is due to temperate changes and. like a bad case of gas, it may go away and the little guy will get better. Sometimes the problem is parasites or bladder disease. Some people recommend medicated food, some recommend frozen peas and many people just recommend leaving him alone.

The problem is: he doesn't want to eat. Yesterday I tried to feed him some peas, but he just ignores them. Just for fun I flipped one of the peas into the air and it popped right into his mouth--like making a basket from the half court line. Cheryl, for some reason, just gave me a funny look when I told her, which was OK because the fish spit out the pea a few seconds later.

I know this is some fuss over a fish, but I've grown to like the little guy. I try to visit a few times a day, but he probably thinks I'm a giant bird and is wondering if life could possibly suck more. At least he gets some exercise. Does he miss being with the other fish? From what I can tell, the fish would just as soon eat each other as spit. When one of them gets sick, the others go to the bottom of the pond and stay there. More later.

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