Sunday, July 31, 2016

Recovery


The Big Broil--that particularly nasty heat wave back in late June, devastator of many, many plants, also negatively affected the Koi.  Perhaps the abrupt and intense rise in temperature (my neighbor's thermometer hit 111 F/44 C) killed off the beneficial bacteria in the pond, raising ammonia levels.  Or the Koi didn't like the heat anymore than the plants did.  For a couple of days they were all laying motionless on the bottom of the pond.  After that, they recovered, except Blondie.  
He did this for a month.  
 All we could do was cut way back on feeding (to keep the water extra clean),  do additional water changes (to keep the water extra clean), and hope he could recover.  His eyes began to bulge.  This is a sign of infection or possible kidney failure.  To the good, he had no ulcers and was not gasping at the pond surface, or flashing (a sign of discomfort--the fish will repeatedly rub itself on something, flipping around in the process).  

The days passed, and Blondie continued to lay quietly on the pond bottom.  The other fish were fine.  Weeks passed.  We kept hoping.  Many Koi owners will catch the fish, take samples of the slime coat and gill tissue to look for parasites, and give the fish a shot of antibiotics or medicinal treatment, but we are not at that skill level, nor is Blondie an expensive, exhibition-quality koi.  If he had exhibited suffering, we'd have had to take action, possibly terminal.

Suddenly this week Blondie became active, and he's now eating again with his usual enthusiasm, and acting normally.  The bulge of his eyes is subsiding.  We're still feeding minimally, to keep the water as clean as possible for him.  Recovery seems near. 

So, too, the plants--roses are blooming again, and another round of flowers from the Hemerocallis.  
 Toasted foliage on the blueberries have given way to fresh new leaves.
New growth also on small succulents liberated from pots and planted in the ground.   
Echeveria coccinea and E. 'Imbricata'.  
More flowers from the Echinopsis open-pollinated plant, purchased on our Tucson vacation.  This one happens to be super-fragrant.
Great to be able to go outside again near sunset.  
 Great to feel hope again.
 So glad Blondie's feeling better!

20 comments:

  1. What an amazing fish story. Thank you!

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    1. Thank you, Rachel. It was an anxious one.

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  2. Thank goodness Blondie is feeling better! What a cliffhanger. I loved the previous post on what's growing, what's not growing too. Your flapjack project is in great shape. I've never gotten the hang of K. luciae but love seeing them in your garden.

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    1. Thanks, koi are so relaxing to sit and watch, but there are anxious periods that balance that out.

      Got plenty of little Lucis if you want to try again. Morning sun/afternoon shade, light but regular water. Your bromeliad post was awesome.

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  3. I can imagine you fretted about Blondie - I'm glad he came through. Are there any measures that can be taken at the time of such an event to ameliorate the impact on the koi?

    Your garden looks wonderful. Mine is doing better, especially since I ramped up irrigation, but I haven't seen as big a bounce. My back slope still looks positively dreadful but at least my lemon tree appears on the mend. Most of the fruit simply dropped to the ground after the heatwave and what didn't drop rotted in place (until we removed it) but the leaves look healthy again and flowers and infant fruit have reappeared.

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    1. Just what we did--keep the water as clean as possible. Like that Colorado beer, "it's the water".

      It bounced back--most of the roses dropped all their foliage--it was awful out there. I was so surprised recovery was that quick.

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  4. I love your name for the heatwave "Big Broil". The Echinopsis is a beautiful flower. Good that the fish recovered.

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    1. We name our wildfires; I think maybe we are going to start naming our heatwaves. This is both funny and sad.

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  5. Oh Blondie! You must have been so worried and upset. Glad things are looking up, for the plants too!

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    1. He was first to the food this morning, again. What a relief!

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  6. What a relief to hear Blondie is recovering, and the positive turnout for the garden too!

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    1. Thank you, M&G. I'm sure you know what it's like with an ill Koi. Not easy!

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  7. I hate to see critters of any kind suffering. Glad things are looking up.

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    1. I was mentally preparing myself for having to euthanize--so happy it has not come to that. Blondie is 11 years old.

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  8. Dear Hoover, I am so pleased that Blondie is recovering and I hope he will be back to normal soon, we love our fish as much as any pet. The heat is very damaging to the garden, I hope all of the plants recover too. Lovely photos, yes it is always pleasant to spend some time in the garden just before sunset. The white flowers on the Echinopsis are spectacular.
    Hugs Dianne. xoxoxo. ❤️

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    1. Thanks and hugs back, Dianne. I am surprised and happy at how quickly the garden recovered, and so thankful Blondie is doing better.

      Isn't that Echinopsis lovely? Who would have thought cactus flowers would be so?

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  9. After reading this story I was so glad Blondie feels better now. I also love those beautiful white flowers of the Echinops, so wonderful white en even fragrant...

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    1. Thank you Janneke. I am so happy about Blondie.

      The flowers have a scent something like a lily, but more delicate. When I was taking the photo I could smell the fragrance.

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  10. So glad to hear Blondie is on the way back, and that much of your garden is showing its caliber. Hot weather is brutal, and I'm grateful that we up here have escaped a lot if it this year. (Knock on wood...) Feel for you guys...

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    1. He's continuing to improve, so we're happy. Now if it would just cool off. Glad to hear you've had a mild summer!

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