The big Koi in my 5000 gallon pond are all members of the original ones that I introduced into that pond as 6 inch babies more than 25 years ago. There are 4-5 smaller ones that are fairly recent additions all in the last couple of years. In their early days, they went through the same breeding ritual that Koi do with the males beating up on the females until she deposits her eggs at which time, the males all struggle to be the ones that fertilize them. They are usually followed by the remaining fish not involved in the mating looking to gobble up the eggs as fast they can find them. It’s a pretty messy scene and lasts for several hours and at times becomes quite violent as the males buffet the females. I have had a female jump clean out of one of the ponds during this mating process.
The Koi in the 5000 gallon pond have not been very active in terms of reproduction for several years but for some reason known only to themselves, decided that this was the year and the time as the males began to chase the females around. Not all of the Koi were involved and those that weren’t went about their normal business of eating the algae while all of the action was going on around them.
This went on for two days until finally, it stopped. I was afraid that with Koi this big and as rough as it got, there would be injured or dead Koi. Sure enough, two days after they had finished, I found one of the bigger Koi dead inside the skimmer where the water had washed her in. It was a bit of a struggle to get her out with the size of her but I finally managed it. As far as I could see, there were no visible marks on her to indicate external problems or animal attacks so I came to the conclusion that she was probably hurt either by the buffering or maybe the egg laying process, something that I was afraid might happen. It’s a shame but I have learned a long time ago that I have no control over what Nature chooses to do. I enjoyed her for 25 plus years and for that I am grateful.
This fish was 29 inches long and was 7 inches at the girth. I dragged my bathroom scales out and by a process of weighing me and then again holding the fish, figured out that she was around 15 pounds. She is not the biggest but like everything else, I hate to lose a fish. Not as much as my warm blooded pets mind you but even so…
Now she is food for the buzzards as Nature recycles her own.