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Old 12-15-2012, 12:07 AM   #1
onekatietwo
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Default Strange Story and 'Is this a Koi?'

Ok, I'll preface this with a very, very long story because it's just so odd, but if you'd like to just help me out with IDing this fish, skip to the bottom.

So I drive buses for my university. I was just about done with my shift and my coworker got on the bus at one of the stops to take over for me and with him, he had a fish. It was in some gross, cloudy, greenish yellowish water in a very small container (slightly smaller than the fish was long, in fact) and I thought it was probably dead. I thought it was pretty odd that he was carrying a dead fish to work and, of course, questioned him about it.
He said he had found the fish in the container just sitting at the bus stop. He thought he'd pick it up since it was well below freezing out and it would probably be a block of ice with in a few hours.

??? Who leaves a fish at a bus stop??? Why??

SO WEIRD. So then he said "You have an aquarium, don't you?" and I immediately did not like where the whole thing was going. Anyway, after he took over the shift, I went to leave the bus and he was like "Hey, um, are you gonna take this thing? Because otherwise I think I'll just toss him."

So I groaned and sighed and gave in and suddenly took responsibility for a very sad, sick, and strange looking fish. I really did not want to deal with the damn thing, but once I took it, I knew I was obligated to do SOMETHING. I couldn't just throw the poor thing away. So, I went to my car, drove to the grocery store, did a little shopping, then drove home, and found that the fish was STILL alive. I took some water from my aquarium and dumped it into a SLIGHTLY larger container and dumped the fish in.
I forgot to mention that he had been in this teeny tiny container with a dead guppy. I don't know how, but I think that definitely adds to the story in a way. Anyway, the container and the dead guppy went in the trash and I had a strange mystery fish in a mixing bowl on my kitchen table.

I had NO CLUE as to the fish's species. I really thought it was something that somebody had found in a local stream or river. It looked dull and grey and kind of like one of the invasive carp species you can see from time to time, or just... something from a little stream.

Anyway, I didn't know how to make any progress on identifying the species, nor did I know how that would help me. I figured I would just stick the fish in a bucket and have it sitting around until it finally died and I was not happy about the entire situation. If it lived, that might even be worse because then I would have to actually figure out something to do with it.
I was getting even more stressed out by the fact that it seemed like it WASNT right at death's door. It was actually trying to escape it's bowl and swimming rapidly and seeming alive.

Meanwhile, it's getting later and later. I can't find the bucket I thought i could put him in, and since I moved into an apartment, I had to get rid of the little hospital tank I used to keep. I'm getting more and more tired and more and more annoyed with this ridiculous situation.

Finally, filled sleepy insanity and full of frustration, I decided to break what might be the number one aquarium keeping rule - Do not put questionable fish in your precious aquarium, especially if they look weird and sick and you don't even have any idea what kind of fish they might be and your friend/coworker/neighbor found it at the bus stop outside your student housing apartment. Seriously, you just don't do that.
But I did it. I dumped in this strange, sickly looking fish into my 55 gallon goldfish tank.

And he seemed SOOOOO happy. I'm still 99 percent sure I'm going to massively regret this bad decision, but so far, so good.
Anyway, once I got him into the tank where he could actually swim and under some aquarium lights, it suddenly struck me that he looked a LOT like a koi fish (and I was blown away by the fact that I hadn't seen it immediately. Also, this realization made me feel slightly better about dumping him in with my goldfish.)
So, still confused and unsure, I went to bed.

In the morning, he was doing fine. He ate food, didn't have his fins clamped anymore, and was swimming about like normal (though a bit more shy than my goldfish. He liked to hide in the back when I came near the glass or tried to get a photo.)

So I tried to look up photos of smaller koi and see if anything matched him. The only thing that weirded me out about him is that he has these massive plate-like scaled and where he doesn't have those, he doesn't have any scales at all. I've never noticed anything like that on any type of fish ever before and I couldn't find any photos of koi that looked like that. I finally did some searched for "Koi large scales" and found very few photos of a variety that does look like him, but all the sources seemed to suggest they were more rare (so even more unlikely to be left at a bus stop with a dead guppy?)

Anyway, so my question is this: "Is this a koi?"

Here are photos: https://plus.google.com/photos/10195...CJXd5Paw9NKwFg

I was just lazy and used my cell phone, but I could get some decent photos with my camera. But anyway, if it is a koi, are his scales and also lack of scales normal? If it is a not a koi, what is it? Do people frequently leave these fish at bus stops on very cold winter days? Is this as bizarre as I think it is? What should I do with this thing?
Excuse my ignorance. I've never had koi. Or really much of anything besides my silly little fancy goldfish.
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Old 12-15-2012, 12:37 AM   #2
emc7
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Well, first carp are not my thing, but by the dorsal, I agree its a cyprinid.

Can you see whiskers? They aren't obvious in your pics and supposedly (according to the internet, so don't quote me) koi have whiskers, but goldfish and golfish/koi crosses do not.

I don't suppose it was move out/end of semester at school. Its unbelievable what gets set out by the dumpsters when students fly away. Strange story, but fish are often the victim of evictions and its less weird than the red devil that fell out of a tree in Canada.
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Old 12-15-2012, 07:22 AM   #3
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Not as weird as the red devil story, my guess would be a really angry neibor with a cichlid that got too big who decided to thow it in a tree, but thats not the point of this post. Is the orange and whte fish in the 4th pic the same as the grey ones? It doesnt have wiskers, my best guess is a goldfish/koi hybrid, mainly because he was found with a common store bought fish, he was probably purchased too, and pet stores mainly just sell goldfish and koi carps
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Old 12-15-2012, 07:55 AM   #4
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I am a new member, as in this is the first post I've read, and what a way to start! You all are better than HBO! Mystery fish left at busstop? wierd! I almost fell over when you admitted to putting it in your tank--Not me, not in a million years. But maybe you had some suspicion it was koi, and that koi are agreeable to goldfish. I know very little about goldfish or koi, but my aunt had koi, and I can tell you that some actually did have the look of some very large scales. Update us on his progress, now and then! Now, I'm going to try to find that story about a devil falling out of a tree in Canada...

Last edited by C. King; 12-15-2012 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 12-15-2012, 08:29 AM   #5
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yep.....it's a koi...and yes it is a carp...a pretty nice koi at that...it appears to be a fairly young fish so whiskers are not always prominent...but if you look closely at the second pic you can see a whisker laying against the side of the mouth..get a nice big tote from kmart or somewhere...get something to reenforce the sides..put it in the to grow..no heat needed...just good filtration ..which you can do with a couple of good sponge filters....and some good koi food....grow it out to about 12-16" and sell it for about $50..
but you may not want to by then...they kinda grow on you..
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Old 12-15-2012, 12:36 PM   #6
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That actually looks like a silver koi...lol.
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Old 12-15-2012, 12:39 PM   #7
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Ok, the tree red devil definitely has me beat. But still weird. I guess part of the weirdness was that of all the people to find it, my friend taking over the shift did and then pawned the thing off on me.

Anyway, thank you all for your responses. I forgot to mention that he definitely does have little whiskers, which is part of what lead me to suddenly think he is a koi. They didn't turn out well in the crappy cell-phone photos, but they're definitely there. In fact, everything about his body seems to look just like a young koi fish, just the scales are wrong.

And emc7, it IS the end of the semester. Thursday of finals week, in fact. So perhaps you're right. It just seems weird that they would put him in a container with a guppy and leave him at a bus stop... I mean, at least leave him in a building so he won't be a block of ice in a few hours! Or just dump in the trash.
My other thought was that we have a small koi pond in one of the buildings at our university and the buses run straight to the university. Maybe they were moving out and were going to go release him and the guppy into the pond and forgot him at the bus stop (where the guppy proceeded to freeze to death)?? I don't know.

OhYesItsMe, I forgot to mention, it IS the same fish in the all the photos. The flash brought out more orange when he was in the bowl. Once I put him in the aquarium you could just see hints of the orange, but mostly a dark silver.

And I just happened to be at out local chain pet store last night too because on of my aquarium lights had gone out. I checked out the koi they had and none of them had scales even remotely similar to this fish. We have one other fish shop that has non tropical/non-saltwater fish, I'll have to check, just out of curiousity, if they have koi of this variety.

C.King, glad to be able to entertain. Haha. And I know! In my current state of mind, I would absolutely not add him to my aquarium, especially since I've had some of these little guys for about 6 years and I'm sort of attached. I guess I was just so tired and frustrated at the time... I had a lapse in sanity or something. But anyway, so far so good. Under better lights, he actually looks quite healthy (aside from missing scales? but it sort of looks like they just grow like that.) no visible parasites, very active, no lesions, eating well. In fact, he seems a little more chompy that my goldfish. I have algae growing on some surfaces in my aquarium and my godlfish will occasionally nibble at it, but he's already mowed a lot of it down!

And thanks lohachata! Good to hear something definitive. I think I'll try leaving him with my goldfish for a while as long as he doesn't outcompete them for food too badly. Most of them are a bit bigger than him so even though they're more awkward, they seem to be holding their own. And my tank is already over-stocked :\ but it's double filtered and Im pretty good with maintaining it and so far all my fish are healthy, despite being over stocked. Soooo maybe it'll be alright. And then this summer, I think I'll be moving into a bigger house AND will be working on a pond, so maybe he'll be the first addition once we get it set up.


He's a pretty lucky fish.
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:38 PM   #8
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That's very interesting, and there are koi that have large scales like your fish, he seems to be a very interesting color and looks to be a low quality fish.

Last edited by sleepyfish; 01-01-2013 at 10:43 PM.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:42 AM   #9
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actually the large scales are considered very desirable by many koi keepers..grow it to a foot or so and it may be worth more than 50 bucks.
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10 gallon..nothing but air

10 gallon...just more air

10 gallon...stale air

just don't ask about the rest
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:28 PM   #10
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The large scales I believe are called dragon or German scales & are more desirable. I have seen the combination of silver & the goldish color seen when it was in the bucket before it's not a great color but it isn't a throw back to the less desirable wild carp color either.
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Old 09-10-2013, 02:09 AM   #11
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Pretty koi! Update?


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Old 09-11-2013, 05:20 AM   #12
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Ah, a Mirror Carp. Nice!
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