Sunday, July 31, 2016
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!