Brand new pond owner !

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Tim B, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. Tim B

    Tim B Tim B

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    Well, i will try to keep this reasonably short but its been a bit of a learning curve. I bought this bungalow approx 4 years ago to retire to, it had a pond but the previous owner had also inherited it and it was just a big green puddle no mention of fish. we moved in in August and attacked the garden that is very small and dominated by the pond and lots of over grown shrubs (tenants don't do ponds gardens or anything else for that matter). Anyway sorted the garden found loads of frogs and noticed some movement in the pond possibly fish.
    First mistake cleared out 99% of the weed and put in a couple of bunches of barley straw read somewhere it would clear the green stuff, after a few weeks it cleared a bit and yes there are fish lots of them including some quite big koi, and at least 20 gold fish mostly white a couple of black ones 2 red ones and one white and red,
    Last week things started to go wrong Fish on surface panting and blowing bubbles, sprayed them with the hose pipe seemed to help but again read somewhere that tap water not good for fish so on the net and ordered a Velda 2500 filter airiator with UV no idea what i was doing but i thought order something to cover all basis and it seems to have worked water clearing fish seem normal.
    Now after reading the forums i see that the weed i pulled out was probably keeping the fish alive, and strangely these fish do not seem to like fish food they chew at the weed and suck around the green algae at first they did not even see fish food as food now they are eating a little bit but i net most of it out as they just leave it, they even suck out any snails that fall in the pond, but as far as i can see they look in very good nick, no sores no damaged tails, fat tummys, and oh so quick to dive deep if they see a shadow very shy especially the Koi.
    Yesterday i noticed a 2 inch long black gold fish (maybe), and some very small white ones, at least one smaller Koi. So I still have no idea how many fish i have or what they are but as the water clears I see more and more.
    The Pond by the way is egg shaped 10ft long 5ft 6ins wide at the thick end and varies in depth from 20ins to 36ins depending where you put the stick in. I have had a child saftey grid fitted just below water level as we have 2 year old grand daughter, and i thought safety first.
    i have put lots of new weed back but it grows slowly i also found a poorly lilie pulled it out took it out of its tiny pot and put it in a basket with a grit pebbles and aquatic soil all in a small sack and that seems to be doing ok have about 10 leaves up.
    Six weeks ago i just did not care or know anything about the pond now i am hooked, I think i have been lucky not to have killed all the fish due to ignorance now i am reading learning and trying to put it right,
    Any advice will be greatly appreciated, especially on how to run pond successfully and economically everything is so expensive at equatic and garden centers.
    Sorry to bang on but i did warn you. Finally the gold fish range in size from about 7ins to about an inch. the koi i think they are 3 one is dark gold and brown approx 15ins another is about 6ins and i get glimpses of a smaller one but it could be a dark colored Gold fish.
    I think that will do for now.
    Tim B
     
    Tim B, Sep 25, 2013
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  2. Tim B

    JohnHuff Friends call me Dr. Sir John Huff

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    Congratulations on becoming a pond owner! It's one of the funnest things in the world to be!
    And also a double thumbs up for putting in that child safety grid, but keeping an eye on the young ones is still the best defense against accidents.
    Can we see some pics of your pond? I can just hear some of our forum members rubbing their hands together waiting to give advice.
     
    JohnHuff, Sep 25, 2013
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  3. Tim B

    GreatDanesDad Electro-Mechanical Engineer

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    Well you figured out one of the big factors for fish in any pond of any size. Oxygen is very important and many plants create Oxygen. However, it seems that for the moment you have addressed that concern. Next and just as important is water chemistry. I recommend a liquid test kit such as this one on Amazon. Cheap, with easy instructions per test:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002DJNN0/ref=oh_details_o08_s00_i01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Ammonia is typically your first chemical to look for. The animals put it in, the filters, and good bacteria take it out. Most the other tests determine what point your good bacteria have matured to. For an in-depth discussion that every pond owner should read please go to the below link.

    http://jnfkoifarms.com/thescienceofwater.html

    Note, water quality and water clarity are two very different items. Clear water can be toxic, and, although ugly, green water can be very healthy.

    You did not mention if you have a pump, filter, or water feature like a waterfall. Circulating your water through a filter and pump and over a waterfall or fountain will help clean out the waste and add oxygen to your water. You said your pond was about 10x5feet and 1-3 feet deep in some places, and it is egg shape. I rounded up, but your approximate water volume could be 9x5x3ft by 7.5, or approximately 1000 gallons. Obviously that is not completely accurate, however, it may be a good starting place if you’re looking for pumps and filters.

    Lots of people on here including myself buy a pump but build the filter and waterfall to be cost effective. It is not complicated to build a great filter for a reasonable price. Look in the DIY section of the forum.

    Good luck and welcome! Hopefully this is helpful. Also, post pics, we love to see what is going on, and the advice here is so much more accurate when the folks know what they are looking at.
     
    GreatDanesDad, Sep 25, 2013
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  4. Tim B

    Tim B Tim B

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    Thanks for replies from some experienced members.
    Will take on board suggestion to get water test kit thanks Mr Danes dad,
    What i don't understand in this whole saga so far is how so many fish seem to have survived seemingly quite well for 4 years without pumps filters uvs, feeding and did not have any stress until i come along and interfere with them, Was the pond self sufficient, as i said there are also lots of frogs in the garden some no bigger than my thumb nail.
    By the way the pump i purchased is a Velda 2500 3 in 1 ie filter, uv, and oxegenator. it floats on the surface and just sends a small fountain up.
    Tim B
     
    Tim B, Sep 25, 2013
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  5. Tim B

    Tim B Tim B

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    Told You all i was new at this game, thought i was on a UK Forum, I am in Bristol UK, but maybe it was a good beginners mistake or maybe fish and ponds are the same world wide,
    Would be glad to stay if an old Pom is welcome.
    Tim B
     
    Tim B, Sep 25, 2013
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  6. Tim B

    JohnHuff Friends call me Dr. Sir John Huff

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    The administrators are UK based, but it's been taken over by us Yanks! Ponders from everywhere are welcome.
     
    JohnHuff, Sep 25, 2013
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  7. Tim B

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Your pond was self sufficient for years, the balance of plants, fish, frogs was able to survive. You , like all of us, Wanted to clean it out, get rid of the weeds, the muck the junk, well the balance became unbalanced. We have all done that. Now you just need to get your balance back. All will work out well.

    The more info you feed to the forum the more we can "help" you, pictures are great, gives us a visual on what you are dealing with.

    BTW anybody with a pond anywhere in the world is welcome to this forum, even fishless ponders are welcome.
     
    addy1, Sep 25, 2013
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  8. Tim B

    GreatDanesDad Electro-Mechanical Engineer

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    The answer is simple, mother earth is better at mantaining ponds than humans are. Between the plants and fish and all the surface areas of the pond, there was a natural equilibrium that was keeping everything healthy and fed. If it got over crowded, I am sure fish died, and when there good bacteria colonies cleaning out the toxins, then the fish were healthy enough to reproduce.

    There was a good thread a while ago discussing what kind of pond you want. If your ok with green and just an ocassional glimpse of a fish, the pond may survive well just as it is. If your priorities are similar to mine, you want to See the fish, and assuring the survival of said fish takes a little more effort on our part.
     
    GreatDanesDad, Sep 25, 2013
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  9. Tim B

    JohnHuff Friends call me Dr. Sir John Huff

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    What about pondless fishers?
     
    JohnHuff, Sep 25, 2013
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  10. Tim B

    sissy sissy

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    welcome and yep a pond is a pond no matter where it is .
     
    sissy, Sep 25, 2013
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  11. Tim B

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    lol at least they are not fishing in the pond
     
    addy1, Sep 26, 2013
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  12. Tim B

    Tim B Tim B

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    Hi everyone on the advice of Great Danes Dad took the following water tests today.
    please see readings and advise as i have no idea what they mean.

    Air temp 21c pond temp 63f/17.2C
    Nitrate level 0.25
    Ammonia level 0.50
    PH 7.20
    As it is now Friday have a nice weekend.
    Tim
     
    Tim B, Sep 27, 2013
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  13. Tim B

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Your ammonia is a little high, you might want to do a partial water change. (with city water make sure you use dechlor)
     
    addy1, Sep 27, 2013
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  14. Tim B

    sissy sissy

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    are you sure it is .50
     
    sissy, Sep 27, 2013
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  15. Tim B

    GreatDanesDad Electro-Mechanical Engineer

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    Your PH looks good, but I would take a reading in the morning and the evening and see how much it is changing throughout the day, PH can be deceiving. From my experience, my fish have been fairly tolerant to high or low PH, but they start “flashing” (flipping on their side trying to rub on pond surfaces) and seemed generally unhappy if I started getting more than a .4 swing from 6 am to 6pm.

    As for the ammonia, if it is .5, I would be worried about the fish a little and do a little water change and reduce any feeding for at least 24 hours. It will take a little time for the beneficial bacteria in your new filter to mature and start eating the ammonia.

    This is from that article I posted earlier but I love it:

    “When the Ammonia starts showing up, only then does this promote the growth of a specific bacteria colony (Nitrosomonas), which let’s say "eat" the Ammonia and convert it to less toxic, but still harmful, Nitrite, which is the waste product of these bacteria. When the Nitrite shows up as a byproduct of the first bacteria, only then, does this promote the growth of a second bacteria colony (Nitrobacter), which “eats" the Nitrite and convert it to less toxic Nitrate. This complete process is referred to as "The Nitrogen Cycle".”


    Currently you have ammonia which feed Nitrosomonas which are creating the Nitrite you are seeing. Soon the NitroBacter will mature and consume the Nitrite creating Nitrate. The plants and Algae will eat the nitrates. This is the circle of pond life or as it is called “the cycle”.

    I would assume your pond was cycled before you started working on it, so there are going to be some colonies of each of these in your pond already helping to bring your Ammonia and Nitrite down to near zero.

    Small water changes, taking regular readings, and waiting are your friends.

    I don’t know if others agree with me or not, but I try not to ever make big changes, 50% water changes, or adding chemicals to neutralize the ammonia because it seems to create big highs and lows and instability of the pond. It also delays the pond from completing a cycle in my opinion. Baby steps tend to make lasting changes instead of just temporary fixes. You can always take more water out later.
     
    GreatDanesDad, Sep 27, 2013
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  16. Tim B

    Tim B Tim B

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    HI there everyone.
    Did approx 10% water change, then it rained heavily most of yesterday so did not do any tests.
    Test about an hour ago showed the following.
    P/H stayed the same at 7.20. Nitrate same at 0.25. Ammonia has changed from 0.50 to 2.00
    the only other thing i did was take the pump filter out and give it a clean and have not fed the fish since Thursday.
    Fish appear to be fine but are staying quite deep in the water.
    Have to take the test kit back tomorrow but will order myself a kit.
    Tim
     
    Tim B, Sep 29, 2013
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  17. Tim B

    Tula

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    Hi Tim, Just want to welcome you:) I think 2. for ammonia is high, but I'm not in the position of giving advice, as I only recently began testing water myself. Kim
     
    Tula, Sep 29, 2013
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  18. Tim B

    Alan

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    Hey bud Phoenix as here as well. Well Peoria like your pond and fish
     
    Alan, Jun 14, 2016
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