Guppies died suddenly


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Hi,
I am new to this forum and I’m hoping I can get some advice. We live in Honolulu and have owned a home with a pond for over 10 years. It is about 10 feet long by 4 feet wide by a foot and a half deep. The pond gets a lot of vegetation that falls into it (rubber liner).

When we bought the home, the pump broke, so that there has been no source of aeration for the pond. We have cleaned it out by skipping out dead leaves and debris periodically over the years, and have occasionally added fish to it. The only fish that survive long-term have been guppies.

In the last couple of years, there’s been a lot of algae growth. We figured that is indication of too much plant debris remaining in the bottom of the pond.

We were planning to clean out the pond this summer, but then we had an extra wake-up call when I noticed a couple days ago that all the guppies have died off.

Since then, we have done some major debris removal. I tested the pond for pH, and it’s ranging between 6.6 and 7.0.

I am not sure what to do next: should we pump all the water out, clean the liner? Should we simply add some form of aeration and try again with some guppies? Should we add a little bit of water? Any ideas would be welcome.

Thank you,
Grateful in Honolulu
 

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addy1

water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins
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You need some water movement. It will help keep the pond cleaner and healthier for the fish. Why the guppies died, hard to say, unless something got into the water IE a chemical.

The algae growth is due to nutrients that are not being used up, filtered which the beneficial bacteria in a filter eat up the nutrients and or a lot of plants in the pond to help eat up the nutrients.

Welcome to our forum!
 
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Welcome and I too agree with @addy1 :) Your pond water looks stagnant and needs some movement and aeration. I'm only guessing but think your guppies died because of low O2...also a possibility a PH of 6.6 is a bit on the low side.
 

j.w

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@Newly inspired pond owner
Yep your pond has turned to muck. You could just clean it all up and start all over as you have no fish in there now but don't scrub the liner. Leave that good short green carpet algae on the sides as it is beneficial for you water quality and the fish love it too. Get a new pump and you could get an aerator also to keep the water moving. Lots of plants too!
 
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Thanks, everyone! Very helpful. What plants would you suggest? The previous owner had water lilies that I believe were in a pot. Does that sound right?
 
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Yes. Lots of plants. Lillies like their roots planted, plain clay cat litter works, just add a bit of a pond fertilizer tab in the clay, and you'll soon have amazing blooms too. But any and all pond plants will help. Get a pump that will move your water volume 1 1/2 -2 times per hour, find time to drain the pond when the sides won't dry out and kill the biofilm before you finish, scoop out the muck, full it with dechlorinated water, add plants and pump, and then let it sit at least a week before adding fish. That week is to give the bacteria time to do it's thing.
On a side note, you are so lucky to be able to have tropical fish like that. Have you considered some of the other kinds, labyrinth fish like gouromi can get extra oxygen from air if there's ever a problem with o2 levels in the water. But if adding more than 1-2 pair, be sure there's plenty of places to establish territory.
 

j.w

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If you use the kitty litter for soil make sure to use the 100% clay kind w/no perfume or any other additives.
Walmart make a brand called Special Kitty. They change the packaging now and then.

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