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Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

Overnight loss of goldfish. An egret, bobcat, cats, raccoon or something else?

Posted Monday, March 15, 2021, at 5:08 PM
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    I have been trying to give away some of these fish to reduce the population, but never considered this. To those I offered recently, my apologies and a word of caution.

    It might help in the design of your ponds to consider water deep enough to keep them from being easy pickings, protective underwater cover (like the black pipe I am putting in) or an artistic draping of fishnet.

    The birds would be hesitant to go under, since the last thing they want is an obstructed escape path, but I think it needs to be over all the shallow water or the bird will just stand there and wait for the fish to swim by.

    Anyone have other ideas? There is also protection from some of the other predators I mention at the start.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Mar 15, 2021, at 5:08 PM
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    Some kind of bird would be my best guess. The absence of tracks would seem to let the raccoons and cats off the hook.

    -- Posted by fair share on Mon, Mar 15, 2021, at 9:28 PM
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    Well, the bandit struck again. We lost two last night even though the pond was covered. And this time I found a trace of a fish on the deck.

    So, while blaming a raccoon is the next logical step, I am not aware of them totally immersing themselves to catch a fish. They usually wade in but jump in? Whatever it is must be coming up on the deck and walking the stones to keep their feet out of any mud. Sneaky.

    We got up at 2:00 and 4:00 to watch the pond, looking for movement. Nothing. Still no blood but the pelvic fin was a sure thing. Actually the cats helped me find it. They were stalking it, but I do not see a cat jumping in.

    So that leaves me with the thought of a mink. There was enough room for them and they are good swimmers.

    The raccoons and opossums are well fed with cat food. They come in and clean up whatever is left and sometimes are eating with the cats, while I am there, so it is something else. A bobcat could do it but they would probably go after the cats before climbing under wire to take a swim.

    Short of removing the last 4 goldfish, I am considering placing the wire panels on rocks, partially submerged in the water. The predator will have to dive under water to go after the fish and will have a hard time coming back up.

    I am not trying to drown the predator. My thoughts are that they will not be comfortable going under when their exit is limited. No use using live traps since I will catch cats.

    If someone wants to adopt the remaining, let me know, quickly. After this I will probably fill the pond and make a bog garden. I don't need the drama and we never sit out on the patio anyway. A biting insect will find my wife, regardless of the clothes or repellents she wears.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Mar 16, 2021, at 10:49 AM
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    Seems like you have covered the possibilities fairly well, Steve. Here are a few more to think about.

    Turtle, tortoise, or terrapin, depending on which definitions you use. We used to have a red eared slider named Buck. After he outgrew a small indoor aquarium we moved him outside to the small koi pond. Occasionally a fish would go missing. Not sure if it was Buck, stray cat or racoon. Eventually Buck went missing also. I take comfort in thinking whoever took him probably only has 9 fingers now. Gotta wonder if maybe Buck made his way to your place?

    Don't let this next possibility get you down. But have you considered possible fish suicide? In this day and age, anything is possible.

    -- Posted by fair share on Tue, Mar 16, 2021, at 3:20 PM
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    We used to have a baby snapping turtle (Snappy) in the same pond as these goldfish. He arrived on his own one day. We bought turtle food for him and figured while he was small, he would not take a chunk out of the goldfish that were much bigger.

    He would come up to the surface whenever we fed the goldfish and it seemed to work, but I presume he went on his "walk about" after two years and we never saw him again. Never lost a fish either to our knowledge.

    I fixed the wire at water surface and will report on our success or failure tomorrow.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Mar 16, 2021, at 4:21 PM
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    Good luck!

    -- Posted by fair share on Tue, Mar 16, 2021, at 5:28 PM
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    Luck prevailed. We still have four goldfish!

    Of course the aesthetics leave much to be desired. The marauder will probably check on the pond for itís lifetime so I will have to make permanent plans.

    I cannot go deeper with the pond because I hit a large sheet of stone so I either have to provide underwater hiding spots or re-home the remaining fish.

    Building a varmint proof fence around the pond will both be a pain as well as ruin any hope of creating a serene setting.

    I almost forgot, another solution would be to get another dog, but it has been tough to find one that will settle in with the cats. Hmmm.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Mar 17, 2021, at 8:02 AM
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    Congratulations!

    Have you thought about a serene medieval motif? You could have a moat surrounding the pond and fill it with quicksand. Not only would it protect fish from land based predators. It might also cure the problem and let you identify the cause.

    Add a layer of chicken wire over the top of the pond to protect from aerial attack and you should be able to sleep soundly at night.

    -- Posted by fair share on Wed, Mar 17, 2021, at 10:26 AM
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    A layer of chicken wire just below the surface might be another option. If it is not below the surface, it will encourage testing it out for walking. It will also return a certain amount of aesthetics.

    There are some kinks to work out like being able to access the pump with the wire on, and supporting the wire just in case something does test it but I think there is a solution.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Mar 17, 2021, at 10:46 AM
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    Luck prevailed. We still have four goldfish!

    Of course the aesthetics leave much to be desired. The marauder will probably check on the pond for itís lifetime so I will have to make permanent plans.

    I cannot go deeper with the pond because I hit a large sheet of stone so I either have to provide underwater hiding spots or re-home the remaining fish.

    Building a varmint proof fence around the pond will both be a pain as well as ruin any hope of creating a serene setting.

    I almost forgot, another solution would be to get another dog, but it has been tough to find one that will settle in with the cats. Hmmm.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Mar 17, 2021, at 6:14 PM
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    Luck prevailed. We still have four goldfish!

    Of course the aesthetics leave much to be desired. The marauder will probably check on the pond for itís lifetime so I will have to make permanent plans.

    I cannot go deeper with the pond because I hit a large sheet of stone so I either have to provide underwater hiding spots or re-home the remaining fish.

    Building a varmint proof fence around the pond will both be a pain as well as ruin any hope of creating a serene setting.

    I almost forgot, another solution would be to get another dog, but it has been tough to find one that will settle in with the cats. Hmmm.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Mar 18, 2021, at 12:08 PM
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    Luck prevailed. We still have four goldfish!

    Of course the aesthetics leave much to be desired. The marauder will probably check on the pond for itís lifetime so I will have to make permanent plans.

    I cannot go deeper with the pond because I hit a large sheet of stone so I either have to provide underwater hiding spots or re-home the remaining fish.

    Building a varmint proof fence around the pond will both be a pain as well as ruin any hope of creating a serene setting.

    I almost forgot, another solution would be to get another dog, but it has been tough to find one that will settle in with the cats. Hmmm.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Mar 20, 2021, at 3:32 PM
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    Luck prevailed. We still have four goldfish!

    Of course the aesthetics leave much to be desired. The marauder will probably check on the pond for itís lifetime so I will have to make permanent plans.

    I cannot go deeper with the pond because I hit a large sheet of stone so I either have to provide underwater hiding spots or re-home the remaining fish.

    Building a varmint proof fence around the pond will both be a pain as well as ruin any hope of creating a serene setting.

    I almost forgot, another solution would be to get another dog, but it has been tough to find one that will settle in with the cats. Hmmm.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Mar 22, 2021, at 1:02 PM
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    Luck prevailed. We still have four goldfish!

    Of course the aesthetics leave much to be desired. The marauder will probably check on the pond for itís lifetime so I will have to make permanent plans.

    I cannot go deeper with the pond because I hit a large sheet of stone so I either have to provide underwater hiding spots or re-home the remaining fish.

    Building a varmint proof fence around the pond will both be a pain as well as ruin any hope of creating a serene setting.

    I almost forgot, another solution would be to get another dog, but it has been tough to find one that will settle in with the cats. Hmmm.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Mar 25, 2021, at 7:10 AM
  • Steve I believe Sui is rubbing off on you. Repeating the same thing over and over again. At least yours make a little sense even if it does go....

    On and on...

    on and ooon....

    on and oooooon......

    -- Posted by Blessed Assurance on Fri, Mar 26, 2021, at 6:07 PM
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    Blessed Assurance, thanks for pointing that out. Curious what I did to repeat it so much.

    Well, luck ran out for all but one. I totally enclosed it in wire for the past week but starting to feel bad about restricting it so much.

    Anyone want to adopt this last one before I let it loose to live or die?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Mar 26, 2021, at 11:36 PM
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    I had kinda noticed that too, Blessed Assurance. But isn't it a lot less tedious to read?

    Steve, sometimes you just gotta let nature take it's course. If your remaining fish falls prey to your icthyophagous predator, at least one of God's creatures got a meal. It may be looking for a loaf also.

    -- Posted by fair share on Sat, Mar 27, 2021, at 12:41 AM
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    Paint a piece of 3" pipe "Black" about a foot long and drop it in.

    What you really need is a camera to see what it is that is getting the fish. It may be a snake or something you might want killed before it gets your cats or plants or YOU!

    Gold fish will come to the top if they think you are going to feed them. I used to tap on the edge of the pond before I sprinkled food in so they would come up to eat.

    -- Posted by sui on Sat, Mar 27, 2021, at 12:56 PM
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    The Suez Canal is being blocked by one ship sitting sideways in the canal and may cause an economic collaspe since no other ships can pass through the canal. Their cargo may go bad, or die and not be able to deliver to the other side of the world. Will we have a food shortage or Toilet Paper shortage again?

    They are thinking about unloading some of the containers to make it light enough to get the EVERGREEN Ship unstuck.

    This same EVERGREEN Ship was owned by Hillary Clinton and hauls Containers, and transported Trafficked Children in those containers.

    See how things are changing everyday? Should there be any Children in those Containers or Proof there were Children at one time in those Containers, that will wake the people up to the Conspiracy Theory that live children WERE Trafficked and is no longer a conspiracy theory but the truth.

    That's gonna hurt a lot of people. I can't say that would happen, but it could.

    Why did God make THAT Ship get lodged in the Suez Canal?

    Is it because, everything that was done in secret will be revealed.

    Does this mean that you will find out what took your fish, Steve? I think so.

    -- Posted by sui on Sat, Mar 27, 2021, at 3:29 PM
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    Well, I would like to know. The fish used to all greet me with open mouths. This last one will not surface to eat until I am gone.

    I had not thought about the possibility of human ďcargoĒ on that ship.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Mar 27, 2021, at 3:53 PM
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    Years ago when we lived in FL we had a fish tank in the living room. Every time my wife went by they would jump and carry on, so my guess, is your fish felt safe when you came out to feed them. When they saw something or heard a sound they may have thought it was you and came to the surface.

    When I saw the Name EVERGREEN, I remembered that was Hillary's Trafficking Ship. I have a strange feeling that ship got turned sideways in the Suez Canal for a reason. I think we are going to find out why!

    -- Posted by sui on Sat, Mar 27, 2021, at 5:56 PM
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    I was looking at the fish in the tank one day at this beautiful sword tail gold fish we had in the tank. As I watched, this bigger Gold Fish twice the size of the Sword tail swam up behind it and opened it's mouth and swam straight ahead. The Sword tail gold fish didn't know what happened until it got dark. There was no thrashing or fighting or resisting. Not even a ripple in the water. That made me so mad that I flushed the big Gold Fish down the toilet as fast as I could. I doubt it enjoyed it's last meal. At least not for very long.

    That same upset feeling I experienced is going to be experienced by Billions of people around the World in the next few months. Actually it will go on for several months.

    -- Posted by sui on Sat, Mar 27, 2021, at 6:19 PM
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    I've heard that Beta Fish are bad about fighting to the death but we have not experienced goldfish on goldfish. They seemed to have arrived at a balance with the #30 for about 4 years. No new babies and like I may have said previously, they have been with us for many years, 25+-.

    I finally let the single survivor out of its' wire cage. At first it did not swim past the cage boundaries but eventually it started swimming around and around the pond. I am guessing it might have been searching for other survivors. Sad.

    I added more floating black pipe, a black mesh plastic tray (floats) and a roll of 1/4" wire mesh just big enough for it to swim through but a turtle big enough to consume it could not follow.For four days now, it has stayed safe.

    The lesson sadly learned was that I should have built more hiding places into the pond. This one fish now stays under those shelters and some day soon I will construct shelter more aesthetically pleasing, BUT effective. Then I might consider getting some new buddies to keep our survivor company.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Mar 30, 2021, at 10:41 AM
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    Steve, I'm glad you still have a surviver. You know, if your fish had been listening to sui, it would be saying "Damm, why didn't I listen?". Fortunately, it didn't have that to worry about. Just the real world. But it has a great caregiver. And I'm sure it appreciates you.

    -- Posted by fair share on Tue, Mar 30, 2021, at 8:49 PM
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    Have you stopped to think that the survivor you are trying to protect may have been the one who swallowed all the others? Nah! That's too obvious. It would be big enough to eat by now after swallowing all the other fish.

    -- Posted by sui on Thu, Apr 1, 2021, at 11:49 PM
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    It is a big goldfish but there were bigger so.....

    But speaking of the survivor, I have not seen it in two days. I saw the tip of its' nose three days ago inside one of the floating plastic drain pipes so maybe in this cold it has chosen to stay inside these. Will check again today but I am not planning on disturbing the pipes to see. I will have patience.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Apr 2, 2021, at 5:28 AM
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    I let my pipes sit on the floor of my pond so animals couldn't reach in a grab them. Most domestic animals don't want to get in the cold water unless they are really hungry. Wild animals, they go after the kill that's easy or available.

    -- Posted by sui on Fri, Apr 2, 2021, at 4:56 PM
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    Did you ever find out what was beaming you fish up out of the pond?

    -- Posted by sui on Thu, May 6, 2021, at 6:13 PM
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    Nothing conclusive. The last one disappeared even though the water had numerous places to hide, almost covering the whole surface.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, May 6, 2021, at 8:46 PM
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