Fish acting lethargic


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so my fish are acting sick, not swimming around, lying on the bottom, not eating as normal. The water was tested yesterday
Ammonia - 0
Nitrate - 20 ppm
Nitrite - .5 ppm
Chlorine > .5
Alkalinity 120
pH - < 7.8
I added water conditioner and bacteria start and they perked up for most of the afternoon, but this morning they are back to being lethargic and sickly looking.
 
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What's the temperature of the water? Cooler water temps will slow your fish down.

And just one suggestion - adding chemicals to the water when you are already concerned about your fish may not be the best approach. What do you mean by "water conditioner"? Bacteria probably won't hurt anything, but I don't know how it would help either.
 
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I was experiencing the same thing a few weeks ago. Be honest - have you added any fish? Even one? I have had a pond for over 20 years and I was housing someone's fish, and without thinking - just released him into my water. Well, NINE fish deaths later - I am paying the price. I will NEVER add a new fish again without quarantining it for at least 21 - 30 days. Mine all started sitting on the bottom, then the deaths started. (This was almost a month after the new one was added.) I quickly did a major water change, added a bunch of pond salt, dechlorinator, stress coat renew, and waited. About four more died, the rest seemed to perk up in a major way. Took a water sample to a koi expert even though I knew the water was good, and also took him a deceased fish. He didn't even need to look at the water, after I told him I had added a fish w/o QT, he looked at the dead fish. Sure enough, a parasitic infection - gills were destroyed - fish had suffocated. Now he tells me chances are excellent that the rest of the fish are infected too. I need a product called MinnFinn. If you have any deaths, take one to an expert and get their opinion. But do a water change quickly. It may help. :shifty:
 
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@Cynthia Shelton - I think this is a pond rebuild for @Jetta.

It just occurred to me - that pool liner... could it have been treated with an anti-bacterial? I don't even know if that's a thing but it seems like today EVERYTHING is anti-bacterial. Just thinking out loud here...
 
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I haven't added any fish, the only difference is a New pond. I built a bigger deeper pond, added different filtration, new rocks. Before I had two ponds connected by filtration and one flowed into another. One did house baby fish I had collected from the other pond. Now they are all together, but they shared water and filtration the whole time.
 
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@Cynthia Shelton - I think this is a pond rebuild for @Jetta.

It just occurred to me - that pool liner... could it have been treated with an anti-bacterial? I don't even know if that's a thing but it seems like today EVERYTHING is anti-bacterial. Just thinking out loud here...
I had worried about that as well, but some research said no. Even so I did lots of washing of the liner before installing just in case.
 
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No lawn service unless you count the hubby who has explicit instructions for the last five years to not spray anything around pond or veggie garden. Also he built up the sides to keep anything from washing into pond.
 
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The fish have been in the pond for how long? And you refilled with the old pond water, right?

Also - what type of water conditioner and bacteria did you add?
 
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Nitrite usually shows up after ammonia (while cycling/maturing) you may want to use Prime which will protect the fish from the nitrite until the pond is finished cycling.

It would also be a good idea to add more aeration if you are able. A simple air pump with a couple airstones will work.

Forgot to mention that chlorine should be zero as well. I assume you are using a water conditioner that takes care of the chlorine? Something like AquaSafe or even better Prime as that can be used to detox ammonia and nitrite in an emergency.
 
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The fish have been in the pond for how long? And you refilled with the old pond water, right?

Also - what type of water conditioner and bacteria did you add?
One week, yes to the water though there wasn't enough to totally fill so I started off with half filled with water that I had added tap water dechlor and water conditioner , and api stress coat plus and Top fin bacteria supplement.
 
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I'm still confused about what you mean by water conditioner? I always think of dechlor when I hear water conditioner.
 
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I believe it's the same thing with aloe? Really no clue if there is a difference besides the labeling, one says it removes chlorine the other says it does that plus aides in slime coat?
 
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When adding dechlorinator (any type) if you are adding water straight to the pond from a hose you need to treat for the total volume of pond water (not just the amount of water added)
 
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I never add straight to the pond once fish are in, I put water in a bucket, add dechlor, let sit for a minute and let an aquarium vacuum slowly add it to the water, time consuming but hey.
 
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OK - again, in general... with any kind of pond additive (and I really can't say I recommend ANY) more is definitely not better. When your fish already appear stressed adding lots of things to the pond all at once will only add more stress UNLESS you know for sure what the problem is - i.e. ammonia too high. Not trying to criticize - just suggesting that you slow down and try to figure out what's going on. Lots of additions to the problem only complicate things.
 
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Honestly you could forget about the bacteria starter, the stress coat, and any extra conditioners. One good product that takes care of chlorine, chloramines, and heavy metals is fine.
 
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I agree, I only added the stress coat plus and bacteria supplement yesterday when chlorine and nitrite showed up in results. The only other thing I've added since start up of the new pond was my extra pump for increased aeration
 
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The stress coat said it removes chlorine, heavy metals, and added aloe.
 

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