Yes they will hide in deeper areas or in the fish caves when predators come around. Only issue is they usually don’t do this until after at least one of them was eaten or attacked.Thanks, I hadn't considered the first thought that multiple feedings might make them easy targets, yes I was thinking to fatten them up in the first couple of years.
Do the fish generally find deeper areas when they are around? I have no idea if I'm going to have issues but the water for most of the pond is 4 foot and there will be some fish caves, there are some shallower areas near either side and the back.
The debris on your rocks will help start the cycle; no need for any added chems. There's bacteria everywhere and it'll get (already is to a small extent) in your pond. Look up fishless-cycling; you add some liquid ammonia and let nature have at it. Without fish though, you'll not have any nutrients for vegetation, so once the cycling is done, add some. To help diminish algae blooms, try and cover your pond with floating plants (60% coverage) and good aeration.So today's question for those of us new to this... I was washing down the rocks (I actually asked if I could do some of it this weekend).
Anyway, it got me thinking, I used weathered limestone because I think it looks awesome and I love the moss and it looks so much better than the TN/VA boulders that they usually use. As I was washing I noticed a lot of organic material, dirt, moss, grasses, etc... that will be underwater completely. Is it correct to assume that will die off, decay, and fuel its own cycle? I'm planning on adding some cold water bacteria as a starter then we will probably have 2+ months before we even get close to being able to add fish, but wondering if I'll need to plan for later than that while it all cycles through? I know I'll need to test for ammonia and nitrite before adding anything, so this is more of a planning question.
Additionally what test kits do people use?
Thanks, I'm pretty familiar with fishless cycles from the saltwater side, I guess what I'm wondering is on this scale will that much organic material be enough so I don't need to add the ammonia as a source? There's probably no way to know without actual testing so just looking for some guesses or any prior experience with the uncleaned weathered limestone.The debris on your rocks will help start the cycle; no need for any added chems. There's bacteria everywhere and it'll get (already is to a small extent) in your pond. Look up fishless-cycling; you add some liquid ammonia and let nature have at it. Without fish though, you'll not have any nutrients for vegetation, so once the cycling is done, add some. To help diminish algae blooms, try and cover your pond with floating plants (60% coverage) and good aeration.
If you're going to test, use the liquid type from API. It helps to also know your Gh and Kh. Don't worry re pH raising/lowering; just keep whatever you have constant. Over time with vegetation, if pH is high, it'll level out some.
same here; didn't really worry much as the plants and fish, when I first started ponding, were all small and few. Then the fish got larger and I added koi. That's when I started seeing some issues and expanded, so I've tried to stay ahead. Most would say my pond is over stocked (100+ gf and 20 immature koi, + 4 mid size turtles) but both fish and plants are still doing well. Keep the initial load low and have plants and you're fine, imo. Water movement (areation, wfall) will help stall a lot of potential problems and promotes a better environment.Personally, I’ve never cycled my ponds per se like an aquarium. I build the pond and the bog/wetland filter, plant the hell out of the pond and bog. Usually, with in a few weeks or so I add some fish, and have never lost any fish doing it this way Or fish even show any signs of distress. I will say I don’t add any large fish when the pond is new. My thoughts are the plants being in there first will consume ammonia, as well as nitrate lessening the severity of any cycling that does happen in the pond.
Also, being on well water in my area there are plenty of nutrients in my source water to feed the initial plantings until I start adding fish.
Exactly. And sometimes they will hide for a looooooong time. I had one guy tell me about his koi that he saw get speared by a heron, he startled the bird and it took off with the fish and then dropped it back into the pond as it flew over. He searched for the fish for days and never saw it so he assumed it was dead in the pond somewhere. The fish suddenly reappeared 9 months later.Yes they will hide in deeper areas or in the fish caves when predators come around. Only issue is they usually don’t do this until after at least one of them was eaten or attacked.
the fish are part of the cycle/equilibrium as without them, your plants won't have anything upon which to grow. That said, more plants helps diminish any algae blooms. Do both at the same time, imo.For initial stocking do any of you recommend getting the plants established in the spring before adding fish? I plan to go really slow with fish (relative to size of the pond). Just wondering if I should plant the wetland then give it a bit of time before adding the first fish, or just do it all as soon as it warms up enough.
I think the large and small tree stumps, moss, large boulders and lack of a defined shape helped in that regardI'm still amazed at how fast your pond looked fully matured! And I agree - all those plants with no fish would have languished. You kind of have to walk that fine balance the first few years.
Definitely. I think you can always tell when someone has spent time in nature, observing how ponds and streams and things look when they are developed naturally. Add the eye of an artist and you get a beautiful pond!I think the large and small tree stumps, moss, large boulders and lack of a defined shape helped in that regard
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