Feeding pond fish to start new pond

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Hey folks! As I get closer to putting water in my first pond, I came up with a question. I have a bunch of pond books and have not seen anything about this.
My pond is a 9 x 12 pond for any critters who want to visit. I'm going to have a few goldfish and I imagine the local wildlife will help keep the population in check. Ideally, I'd like the pond to be mostly self-sustaining, with the fish eating bugs and algae and such, rather than me feeding them. The pond walls are lined with rock to encourage a healthy biofilm. I'll have plants in pots and some well-behaved marginals planted in rock on the shelves. I know I will need to feed the fish initially, since the little mini-ecosystem will take a while to get going.
Do any of you have ponds that thrive this way - with Mother Nature doing the feeding? If so, I'd love to know how to go about that in a way that will be good for the fish.
(PS -- I have a waterfall filter and a skimmer.)
Thanks for your help!
 

sissy

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It will take awhile before you build up anything on the walls of your pond .I feed mine 3 times a week in the summer so they eat what is in the pond.Plus fruit I throw in to them .Gold fish breed so much that it could be hard to get the pond started .Last time I rebuilt my pond it took almost 8 months to get stuff on the liners and I used all my old water .
 

Meyer Jordan

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If you are planning on just Goldfish, throw in a coupe of bunches of submerged oxygenating plants and you will have a complete eco-system. Some supplemental feeding of the fish may be required to establish the initial Carbon level within the pond, but as the plants grow and the periphyton becomes well established, feeding can be tapered off to the point that the pond will be self-sustaining without any feeding.
First process to establish is a cycled biofilter.
 
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The plants you add depend on the state where you live because some plants are banned in some states. Look for a listing on the website of your local county agent for banned plants. In South Carolina the list is on the Clemson website. If water lettuce is not banned, or water hydrangea, you can add these and probably never feed again with goldfish. I would plan to feed fish occasionally, because it's during feeding that you can inspect your fish for problems. Feeding behavior is crucial in warning about problems. And its fun!
 

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