Crowded Waterfall


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Hi peeps, I enlarged my koi pond in my courtyard which meant getting a new liner. Had all my fish kept in 2 separate containers while I changed out the liner. Saved water from containers to put in pond. Ended up being about 109 gal of old water with about 600 new water. Kept the filter Iike it was for the bacteria. So now all of the fish are hanging out at the waterfall. Does anybody have any ideas to why they are doing this? Thanks for any help.
 
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Welcome :) Usually when fish are hanging out underneath a waterfall it's because of low O2. Tell us a bit more about your pond.
 

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Hello and welcome! Please give us more information:

  • What size is your pond? 700 gallons from 600 gallons?

  • How many fish do you have? All koi? How big are they?

  • Did you use a dechlorinator when you added the fresh water?

  • Did they have oxygenation and filtration while you were re-doing the pond? How big were the containers they were in?

  • Do you have a water test kit and did you check your water parameters?
 

j.w

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@Koiboy70
 
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It does sound like a lack of oxygen in the pond. High temperatures can reduce the oxygen levels in a pond. Has it been excessively hot out? The splashing of the water by the falls helps oxygenate the water. Do you have any water movement elsewhere in the pond? A small pump to splash the water, a fountain or you might want to purchase an aerator with one or more air stones.

My fish sometimes hang out by the falls to munch on the moss and other things growing there. Sometimes you can literally hear them sucking the moss and algae off the rocks.

I have two air stones, a small fountain and a small waterfall in my roughly 1700-1800 gallon pond.
 
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Hello and welcome! Please give us more information:

  • What size is your pond? 700 gallons from 600 gallons?

  • How many fish do you have? All koi? How big are they?

  • Did you use a dechlorinator when you added the fresh water?

  • Did they have oxygenation and filtration while you were re-doing the pond? How big were the containers they were in?

  • Do you have a water test kit and did you check your water parameters?
My pond was only about 300 gallons now it’s somewhere around 750. Yes I did use a Dechlorinator. I’ve had these fish now for a few years they started out as about 2 to 3 inches long and now they are about a foot to a foot and a half. There are six Koi in the pond. I guess tomorrow I’ll go and get a water test kit I mean the water should have plenty of oxygen the waterfalls producing oxygen and I have another pump getting rid of the algae that pumps back into the water. Course there is no algae now beans that it’s all new. I’ve done 75 to 85% water changes in the past with no problems I guess it could be a pH thing. And yes I did have filtration and water movement in the containers that they were in unfortunately they were in small containers for the size of fish that they are one of the containers is shown in the picture the gray thing the other thing was a small pond that I bought from Lowe’s
 

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750 gallons with six koi? Oh my! I'm afraid your pond is seriously undersized. I have no idea ho they were surviving in 300 gallons to be honest. 750 gallons is to small for ONE koi unless you have some serious heavy duty filtration on your pond. And with the pond now being completely new - mostly new water and new liner with no biofilm - you have reduced your biological filtration significantly.

I wish I had some good advice, but the best I can think of is to suggest you find new homes for your fish. Sorry... I know that's not what you came here to hear.
 
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750 gallons with six koi? Oh my! I'm afraid your pond is seriously undersized. I have no idea ho they were surviving in 300 gallons to be honest. 750 gallons is to small for ONE koi unless you have some serious heavy duty filtration on your pond. And with the pond now being completely new - mostly new water and new liner with no biofilm - you have reduced your biological filtration significantly.

I wish I had some good advice, but the best I can think of is to suggest you find new homes for your fish. Sorry... I know that's not what you came here to hear.
I put the calculations into a how big is my pond calculator and apparently I was off on the gallons it’s somewhere between eight and 950 . I’ve read where You should have 1000 gallons for 100 inches of fish and right now I have approximately 800 inches of fish no that’s wronyou should have 1000 gallons for 100 inches of fish and right now I have approximately 80 inches of fish. I have a 55 gal filter with lava rock and bio balls for the biological aspect and many levels of filters and sponges for the mechanical aspect. For the last 30 years I’ve been places that have koi ponds inside and outside and they’re so small and I’ve always thought to myself, that seems like a lot of fish for such a small area.
 
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Those "gallons per inch of fish" rules are from the aquarium world. In no way does that apply to keeping koi. (I can't even say for sure it works in aquariums, but that's not my point right now.)

Here's a chart I like to share with people to help illustrate this.


In particular compare the difference between the waste produced by a 3 inch fish and a 30 inch fish. If the plant"inch per gallon" rule was legitimate you would expect the difference to be ten times, right? Instead it's a factor of ONE THOUSAND. Put 10 three inch fish (which is 30 inches of fish for your formula) in a pond and you'd have 24 grams of waste produced per 24 hours. Put one 30 inch koi in the same pond and you'd have 2,449 grams per hour of waste - tremendous S.

The biomass of a big koi increases exponentially as it grows. I've never found a reference guide that claims to accurately be able to tell you how many koi you CAN safely keep in a pond. To me, the answer is always "far less than you'd like to".

Again - there are experienced koi keepers who understand water quality and are willing to do what it takes to keep a too small volume of water safe for too many fish. But that requires extensive filtration and constant monitoring of water conditions. You can't do that with your standard biofalls, sponge filters, and lava rock.

I too have seen many too small ponds inside and out in commercial spaces - here's a secret: they probably swap out their fish on a regular basis. Those fish act as ornaments, not pets. They have commercial services that provide them with fish, just like they have services that provide them with plants. I learned that at a local Japanese hibachi restaurant when I asked that very question - how do your fish stay healthy in that small pool? "Oh we get new fish all the time".
 
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I just have goldfish. But when it rains enough to raise the water level of the pond a bit, my fish go crazy near the waterfall. There is moss growing there and the higher water level means they can get up in there and get bugs and such. They eat and pick and mess around all the sides of the pond - but especially near the waterfall. It sounds like that is not your situation but I thought I'd share this, since it is fun to watch!
 
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Please ignore the inch of fish 'rule of thumb' for ponds and aquariums. It is absolute nonsense. Countless fish have been tortured because of that sales pitch. It is no wonder why frustrated people leave the pond and aquarium hobby.
 
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It does sound like a lack of oxygen in the pond. High temperatures can reduce the oxygen levels in a pond. Has it been excessively hot out? The splashing of the water by the falls helps oxygenate the water. Do you have any water movement elsewhere in the pond? A small pump to splash the water, a fountain or you might want to purchase an aerator with one or more air stones.

My fish sometimes hang out by the falls to munch on the moss and other things growing there. Sometimes you can literally hear them sucking the moss and algae off the rocks.

I have two air stones, a small fountain and a small waterfall in my roughly 1700-1800 gallon pond.

Fish are by far the most popular hobby/ pet in the world. And along with that the numbers that suffer from poor guardians is depressing. Not saying you fall in that category but it wont be long before koi outgrown your 750 gallon pond either. Take a look at gold fish there are some strains t5hat look just like koi without getting to 20"
 

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