Discouraged Pond Owner

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Sounds like frequent water changes and Prime are going to be what your fish need. Prime will make the ammonia safe for the fish. You can add it every 24-48 hours. Please don't mess around with ph level trying to lower it. It's very stressful for the fish and can kill them. Also don't feed while your having water quality issues. It just adds to them.
 
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One suggestion before I log off is to contact the Saint Louis Pond Society and see if any of the members are able or know if anyone in the area is able to temporarily house some of your fish. They are a first class organization with meetings at the Missouri Botanical Garden which is a world class facility. I love visiting there...especially in winter. Stepping out of the 'snow tundra' into a tropical rainforest is heavenly in January. Anyway, I am sure someone with the pond society can help you. Just a suggestion.
 
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Hi @Janice7, welcome to the forum and I'm sorry you're going through this.
as @Stephen Noble said most of us started out just like you, making mistakes and making some more trying to correct those mistakes.
I haven't read the size of your fish, but 180gls is too small for keeping koi!
Don't give up just yet, members here can help you learn all the basics so you can go back enjoying your pond
 
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Hi @Janice7, welcome to the forum and I'm sorry you're going through this.
as @Stephen Noble said most of us started out just like you, making mistakes and making some more trying to correct those mistakes.
I haven't read the size of your fish, but 180gls is too small for keeping koi!
Don't give up just yet, members here can help you learn all the basics so you can go back enjoying your pond
My goal was to bring them in for the winter and care for them without worrying about the pond freezing because the aerator hoes kept freezing. But I want to and still making plans for a bigger pond in the backyard and upgrade my small pond in the front. But my discouragement came from putting everything into making them happy and some still died. Definitely from my mistakes and I'm nervous now. So hopefully I can get my confidence back with having a great group of support like this. Thanks!
 
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My goal was to bring them in for the winter and care for them without worrying about the pond freezing because the aerator hoes kept freezing. But I want to and still making plans for a bigger pond in the backyard and upgrade my small pond in the front. But my discouragement came from putting everything into making them happy and some still died. Definitely from my mistakes and I'm nervous now. So hopefully I can get my confidence back with having a great group of support like this. Thanks!
I'm proud of you for not giving up! See ya around the forum!
118477
 
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St Louis Missouri. We just had about 14 inches of snow and more to come this weekend. The pond is currently frozen over since I don't have any fish in there so everything is off. My plan was to bring them in for 2 months and build a bigger pond for them. The current one I have is too small for the number of koi I have.
Hi Janice. I'm sorry about you losing some of your Koi. I started 10 years ago and lost most of my fish in the beginning and I think this is a pretty common experience for a newbie. I think you probably know this, but ammonia always needs to be at zero. The only way to keep it at that level is to have your pond cycled. I think it's probably really hard to do this with an indoor pond and that is causing your problems. Adding chemicals except adding declor to remove chlorine etc is pretty much a total waste of time. At this point I would make two recommendations. 1) Do not buy or add any new fish until the pond they are going into has very good readings with your test strips.
2) Read as much as you can about the nitrogen cycle through old GPF posts so you understand it and you have it properly implemented in all current and future ponds. Good luck!
 

sissy

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my koi are over 2 feet long and koi need lots of filtering and aeration of the pond
 
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I have not had very good luck with moving my fish. Some people here move them inside every winter.
I had to do a liner change once and lost a favorite koi. He was 14", beautiful salmon colored. I had garbage cans full of the pond water to house them temporarily. When I put this guy in he jumped out onto the ground. Even though I carefully picked him up immediately, he didn't survive. I guess the shock was too much. Out of about 25 fish, he was the only loss. Wish it were a cheapo feeder goldfish, I wouldn't have felt that bad.
I agree with not adding any chemicals. The only thing I add is dechlorinizer (Tetra Pond Aqua safe) since I'm on central water that is treated.
When it comes to pond chemistry, things don't happen overnight. Patience is important. It might take several days for readings to get back to where they should be. Partial water changes are needed sometimes. I'd rather do a partial water change than add chemicals. Too my horror stories from people adding chemicals that are supposed to be fish safe.
Once your pond is fully established, mother nature will keep it balanced. Too many fish can be bad too. I'm definitely guilty of that.
Lots of good filtration is needed. Bio material for a place where beneficial bacteria can reside and other means (filter pads, sponges) to filter out sediment. You can clean the filter pads, but never clean the bio material.
Don't be discouraged. Once it's all established, it's really not that much work. it pretty much runs itself. You can then sit down and enjoy feeding you little friends.
 

sissy

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But every spring no matter what it is like starting over I always put window screening with clamps on top of my tanks no matter what .I had a stupid mouse fall in my over winter tank for the water hyacinth and felt bad even though he did not belong in my basement .That was 6 years ago and use it on the edges of my pond also because I found out a long time ago during a hail storm how fish can freak out .That is also why I built the bridge to give them some protection .I also added a bigger over flow pipe and added a second one .Reason also my filters are inside the liner and my hoses are inside the liner ,moles and mice chew everything .Been there no fun and if filters overflow it all is good because it runs right back into the pond .
 
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In the beginning, before I knew better, I used a PVC liner instead of EPDM rubber. I had a severe tear during the winter. PVC is horrible as a liner. It's weak and gets brittle real quick. I had to keep adding water until spring when I finally replaced the liner. Before I installed the new underlayment and liner, I reshaped the bottom of the pond. I created a soil dividing wall across the narrow area about half the depth of the pond. This way if I had a leak on one side, there would still be plenty of water on the other side to support the fish. Call it paranoia if you want. I call it insurance. You can hardly notice the divider when the pond is full.
 
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But every spring no matter what it is like starting over I always put window screening with clamps on top of my tanks no matter what .I had a stupid mouse fall in my over winter tank for the water hyacinth and felt bad even though he did not belong in my basement .That was 6 years ago and use it on the edges of my pond also because I found out a long time ago during a hail storm how fish can freak out .That is also why I built the bridge to give them some protection .I also added a bigger over flow pipe and added a second one .Reason also my filters are inside the liner and my hoses are inside the liner ,moles and mice chew everything .Been there no fun and if filters overflow it all is good because it runs right back into the pond .
Great! With everything contained within the liner, your plumbing can't leak water out of the pond!
 
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Hi Janice, is there anything we can do to assist? Hope things are going well.
Well, I'm overwhelmed with the amount of information on building a pond. I have a front pond that was simple and easy to put in and maintain. No big pumps or bottom drains etc and that's because it's a small pond. Now I want to add a 2nd pond in the back around 4,000 gallons and the bigger the pond the more complicated it seems to be. There are so many things to buy that i didn't need before. Is there a way to start with the bare minimum and add to it over months? My backyard does not have any trees hanging or flowers. However, it is full sun and i know I'll need to create shade. Can you give me further guidance on this?
 

sissy

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My pond is not complicated ,no bottom drain just a swimming pool net to clean the bottom .I planted bananas and put a bridge I built over the pond and used pipes across the pond for window screening to help with that also .I live in southside VA and pond is full sun .
 
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Well, I'm overwhelmed with the amount of information on building a pond. I have a front pond that was simple and easy to put in and maintain. No big pumps or bottom drains etc and that's because it's a small pond. Now I want to add a 2nd pond in the back around 4,000 gallons and the bigger the pond the more complicated it seems to be. There are so many things to buy that i didn't need before. Is there a way to start with the bare minimum and add to it over months? My backyard does not have any trees hanging or flowers. However, it is full sun and i know I'll need to create shade. Can you give me further guidance on this?
It doesn't have to be complicated! We just built a second pond about 5,400 gls, other than the digging and the retaining wall cause we wanted it half above ground, the rest is pretty simple. No bottom drain, just a skimmer and bio fall system. and like the other pond (3800gls) we have a separate yet connected tub for lots of plants
 
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