Sunday, 8 April 2012

The mystery of the water feature

Generally speaking, I wander down each morning to my water feature to feed the fish, and it looks something like this.

Many mornings, I get to see several blooms like these.

Yesterday morning I wandered down and was greeted by this.

Now, you may recall, that last weekend I cleaned out the pot and replaced the water, so it would be nice and fresh for the fish while I was away. At the time I noticed there were a number of leaves that had been very neatly severed about six inches down the stem.

I was really puzzled. The fish have never damaged the water lily, which provides them with protection from the sun and predators. Each day last week, there were more and more free-floating leaves that had been detached from the plant.

Yesterday morning, it was ridiculous. There were virtually no leaves left, so I investigated. Of the few remaining leaves, several were damaged.

I swished my hand through the water to retrieve all the fragments and saw a flash of orange, way too small to be one of the goldfish.  This is what I caught...

 A tiny little prawn or shrimp...

I couldn't risk losing the last couple of leaves, so the critter was summarily dispatched. But my very kind-hearted brother visited yesterday and questioned whether I had acted hastily. So now the self-recrimination and the questions begin... 

Has anyone ever had this problem? Do you think the crustacean was the culprit or the victim of a miscarriage of justice? How could anything do this much damage in a week? And how did he get there? It's only a small pot, so I doubt he could have arrived on the legs of a water bird like in a big pond or a lake. It is a mystery to me.


  1. That is a real mystery! Any more vandalism since the removal of the suspected culprit?

    1. Down to one leaf today, Bernie. Things are grim...and maybe the prawn was innocent, unless there is a whole family of them in there.

  2. That's really a mystery! Prawn in pot?
    Did the situation improve after the capture of this tiny fellow?

  3. Well there is still only one leaf there, but I still fear that all is not quite right. I haven't seen any of my white cloud fish for several days, and the goldfish seem very out of sorts. They might just be nervous because their protective covering of lily pads is leaving them exposed. I don't think this is a good time to be leaving them, but I will buy some more floating weed at the pet shop before I fly out and keep my fingers crossed they are okay till I get back from Jakarta.

  4. Fish will eat or snip off leaves. My husband has goldfish and had to remove the plants. The farm has koi and they eat a lot of vegetation.

    1. That must be the explanation, but they're their own worst enemies because without the lily pads they have no shelter and are pretty vulnerable to hungery birds.



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