Fish Waste Problem


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I have an 8X8 pond that holds roughly 1,000 gallons. I have 6 koi that total about 80" of fish. Over it's 5 year life the pond has alternated from murky (see today's photo) to relatively clear. It's been clear for much of this summer, but the last few weeks it's become murky.

pond sept 18.jpg
pond summer 18 with fish.jpg
I have been cleaning the basket and filters about 1x per month. I also have an Oase Pondvac I use occasional to clean the bottom.

When emptying the basket today I was surprised at the amount of fish poop in it. There was much more than usual. I have been feeding the fish only 1x/day in an attempt to slow their growth, since I know they are approaching what I thought was the limit of the pond for them. I have been working on the formula of 10 gallons per inch of fish.

I'm not sure if I'm reaching the limit or if this is just a temporary condition or permanent. So I have some questions:

1. Is it possible I'm not emptying/cleaning filters and basket often enough? If so, how often should I be doing that?
2. Is the formula of 10 gallons per inch incorrect or have I possibly passed the limit already. All fish appear to be fine and happy in their home.
3. The falls add alot of aeration, but will running an aerator help if I'm approaching Max Fish?
4. If you've had to give up fish what have you done to find them new homes?
5. Can I add any agent/lifeform that will help clear poop from the pond?

Thanks for any advice you can offer.

PS The reason I have 6 fish in a smallish pond is because I never expected them all to live. We have almost 17,000 bears around our small city and some of them are frequent visitors to my pond, which they like to stick their butts in when it gets hot. So I figured I'd lose a couple along the way. But they have not taken a single fish. Go figure...
 
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I hate to say it but I think you're way over capacity. The fish may seem "happy" but I fear the tipping point will come.

Someone posted a link to the reality of the "10 gallons per inch of fish" rule - and the truth is, as koi grow their biomass increases exponentially. In other words, 24 inches of koi puts a lot more stress on a pond than 24 inches of goldfish, even though that equation might be one koi to 6 goldfish. I'll see if I can find the link and share it.

Yes to cleaning more often. It certainly can't hurt. More plants would help if you can get them into the system somehow. Aeration is never a bad idea. But ultimately you need to reduce the bioload.

As far as re-homing fish, I'd try Craigslist or Facebook or a local pond store. You're being proactive so you have time to choose a new home and not just go with the first taker. Honestly - and again, I know this is hard - but a 1000 gallon pond is just not big enough for koi. If you want to keep koi in this pond, I'd limit it to two. Your pond size is really better suited to goldfish. If you can bear to part with them all I think they - and you - would all be better off.

Sorry... that's not what you were hoping to hear, I'm sure. Here's the link I mentioned:



Just for comparison sake, look at the waste produced by a 10 inch koi versus a 20 inch koi - you'd expect the numbers to double, but the are almost 10 times greater.
 
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I have four adult koi in my 1700 gallon pond and I've struggled with organics this summer. You didn't mention what your filtration is; but my solution is I'm going to add more filtration.

I rehomed two adult koi a few years ago and it was hard, I felt sad to see them go. I knew it was the right thing to do, 4 is my max. I was able to find a neighbor who had a large pond. You could try the Next Door app, Face Book or Craigslist.

You have a lovely pond in a beautiful setting.
 

addy1

water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins
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Very nice pond! Agree with above you need fewer fish, it looks like yours have gotten pretty big.
 
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Water changes at this point is almost a must .... if you can get the water that is to be added to the pond close in temperature and you set a exact point so you know if you drain out to this point and i add the same amount and you do so SLOWLY drain the pond to the point i'd say 200 gallons if you have a 1000 once you have drained the water out . then start adding the water change water to your pond a trash can can make for an easy temp storage vat. if you can and have the room look at building a bog
 
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