Tuesday, June 9

The Trouble with Arnie

As you near the front door to our townhouse, your attention will very likely be diverted a little to the right. If the obvious void in the flower garden doesn't get your attention, the soft sounds of water falling gently into the pond will. The pond, at first glance, appears to be an afterthought, a very small little puddle of water.

Appearances are (intentionally) deceiving. It's actually a fairly large body of water, over three feet deep in parts, and a easily six feet wide. It's all guess work, but I'm pretty sure it's over 800 gallons of water all said and done.

If you happen to step into the grass and give the pond a closer look, you'll notice two fish. Their names are Arnie and Sidney, and they've been living in that pond for probably five years. Arnie is the gold Koi, and Sidney is the red and white Sarassa Comet. Initially, they seem big, but not huge. Look closer, or get Arnie to come up next to you, and you'll realize that they are HUUUGE. Sidney is easily eight inches long, and fat like a stuffed sausage. Arnie, however, is the real beast. Koi get bigger than Comets to begin with, and he's taken this whole Growing Up thing very seriously.

(The black thing in front of Arnie is a 1 1/2 inch hose. Just figure out how many you'd have to lay side-by-side and you get an idea of just how long he is. He's definitely longer than my arm.)

It's really hard to portray Arnie's true size in pictures. In fact, it's hard to see just how big he is when he's swimming around the pond. Two years ago we had to make a repair to the pond liner and had to kick the fish out while we did it. Mr. Husband couldn't find a net big enough to hold Arnie, so he used his bare hands to grab him and toss him into a big rubber tub. He was easily 30 to 35-pounds back then, and couldn't even come close to turning around in that tub. He was basically stuck, head at one end, tail at the other, in the biggest storage tub that we had.

He's grown since then. A LOT.

So, when it came time to put the house on the market, we of course had a discussion about the fish. We wanted to keep them, but there is zero landscaping at The (New) House, and building a pond is no small task. Add to that the challenge of transporting two very large fish, and it seemed crazy to even consider moving them. After much debate, we decided that we would leave the fish, but only if whoever was buying the place promised to take good care of them. The offer came in and the buyer said he wanted the fish.

Fine. TONS of time saved.


The very second our Realtor reported that the buyer would happily care for the fish, I got that whole weird feeling in my stomach. Despite my declarations that I had no emotional attachment to the fish (I still swear I don't), I suddenly got all, "But they're OUR fish. Waaaaah!" I was all sorts of pissy that we had said the fish could stay, despite the fact that moving them would definitely S-U-C-K.

Then came the home inspection, and the Arnie and Sid roller coaster kicked into high gear. The inspector recommended to the buyer that the pond be closed (totally stupid reasoning, but whatever). I was relieved. We are off the hook and now free to take the fish (and frog, actually, if I can find it).

I have no freakin' idea how we are going to manage to transport a 40-pound Koi and his over-sized sidekick. Given my track record with fish, this should be very interesting. And cuss filled.


  1. 40 pounds? Peanut is only 25. Granted she's small for a 4 year old, but holy cow! Good luck.

  2. Good time to expand their home and dig a bigger pond. At the rate they're growing maybe you should just put in a diving pool and call it good.

  3. A couple of fish'n'chip dinners should do it.
    Just kidding.
    See if you can get started on a new pond right away at the new house, then on moving dayask your local pet shop for help with transporting the fish.

  4. I would never, in a million years, be sitting around thinking about all the things that can make moving difficult and just randomly say,

    "Hmmm. We're gonna have trouble moving the 40 lb. fish..."

    It's funny, and yet so totally awesome all at the same time.

    I love that his name is Arnie.

  5. Yay! And blogworthy! Um, I mean, wow I really feel for you and your fishy pain. :)

    What if you....got a kiddie pool and filled it with water and...somehow covered it with saran wrap or something else so the water wouldn't slosh out...and drove it really slowly (in the middle of the night? so you could drive slower? with no traffic?) on a trailer of sorts to the new location.

    Yeah, obviously I'm going to be no help with this one!

  6. What? They don't have 'fish movers' in the Yellow Pages?

  7. You could put the fish in your new home's flooded living room. It's just a thought.

  8. have fun with that!
    To pick him up though, couldn't you use a bed sheet from goodwill, cut just wide enough to fit his length, sort of like a strap across his underside, lift him out and place him in the transportation of choice whatever that would be for a huge fish...like they do when they hoist cows in a helicopter? Maybe the local pet store where you got them will come out and transport them for you?

  9. ChickLitLisa4:44 PM

    We moved our salt water fish tank from Florida to here...no casualties.....it was easier than I though it would be..you just need a container for him to float in (just enough of your pond water to cover him, including when the water sloshes) and a bubbler for bait...which is a battery pack and a tube that blows air...available at walmart, it think...but definitely gander mountain...I am not sure how long he can stay in it (our 5 salt fish and 2 starfish lasted 4 days)...the real problem is that you probably need some of your CURRENT pond water in his new home...that was the rule with our sw fish...so we transported 2 buckets w/ fish and live rock and several multi-gallon buckets of water! btw...I still have these if you need to borrow them (but sorry-no container for your fish)...but check with Wet Pets-they know pond fish better than me!

  10. ChickLitLisa is right about needing some of the original pond water. Large screw top bottles thoroughly rinsed are a good way to transport water. Can you get some 10-15 litre spring water containers? Otherwise get lots of empty soft drink bottles. Cordial bottles, wine, beer, whatever.