Hello from me & my little pond

Barb & her pond

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I’ve just joined and want to say hello to everyone. I’m Barb, and my new house came with an appr 400-500g lined pond, all stocked w a couple koi, shubunkin, a sarassa comet, and a fancy goldfish. All fish are under 5”. I’ve seen small minnow-looking fish that I assume are mosquito fish. Plants are bog, submerged, floating, and 2 water lilies that look young as they haven’t spread much yet.

I’ve seen a couple fish flashing, so I’m afraid there’s a parasite issue. I’ve tried catching said fish for over a month, but there are so many hidey holes it’s proved impossible.

Are there natural ways to treat the whole pond for parasites?? I know what sorts of things make fish flash, but I do not know what this is.

There’s detritus/sludge build-up on the bottom that I’ve been using beneficial bacteria to help combat/digest. Filtration is 2 tetra cheapo box filters w 2 sponges running to 2 waterfalls. I’m cleaning them every other day and it’s impressive how much sludge they’re pulling out. Also running carbon and ammonia uptake. Parameters are pretty good, but pH is kind of erratic so I’m studying how to buffer safely.
Ought to mention that I have a lot of freshwater and reef aquarium experience. That’s proving helpful as water testing, disease/parasite recognition, and nutrition choice proficiency slide over to ponds pretty well.
 
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Welcome Barb!
Do you have any numerical test results you can share?
Poor water conditions can also cause flashing and your pond will be technically overstocked once those fish grow to adult size.
Is there a proper substrate that you can tell, or are the submerged plants basically growing in detritus?
Your pond is small enough that you might consider emptying it, isolating the fish for treatment and starting again.
Pictures always help.
 

Barb & her pond

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3E381B6F-23BC-449D-AA1C-35FE81B675A9.jpeg DDD8940E-FBE0-4857-AB1A-D26BCE4FED7E.jpeg 1990F90E-540C-4D9F-8315-A450DAFCD486.jpeg B4FADF9C-D221-4B92-BEBB-CD356ED2BAD9.jpeg A96E2811-81A6-40EE-98F6-948BB3E44DDF.jpeg

Hi MitchM,
Thanks for the welcome!
I wasn’t able to test yesterday, today, and won’t be tomorrow..had a lumbar injection. Not fun, but effective. Not allowed to bend over! My test booklet is in my pond shed. I will post complete results on Sunday. We had a long hot, hot spell. I did a couple 25%-ish water changes during a one week period to cool it down, with conditioner. Big storms last night almost overfilled it, and it’s in the high 60’sF today.
I totally know it’ll be overstocked...ugh! Always a bad feeling.
Some submerged plants are living in bags, and some in the Goo. The substrate appears to be round river rock in sizes varying from 3-5” diameter, but also large rocks that have tumbled from a poorly built rockscape. I’ve been gradually removing larger rocks, but it ain’t easy!
Bog plants are in plant bags, and the medium is clay colored in one and black, shiny in the other both with pea gravel on top. One lily is in a basket w clay colored medium and gravel/small rocks, the other in a bag..I have no idea what the medium is as it’s tied almost completely shut.
I’ve tried catching the fish, but can’t. However, if I drain the swamp lol and contain them to one area I just may be able to. I have containers for the fish. Plants? Containerize them, and keep them aerated?
I won’t be able to completely empty the pond...will any living parasites in the remaining water just reinfect the fish?
I tried to upload a 26sec video but it wouldn’t allow it.
 
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I know with your aquarium experience, you are very familiar with the flashing behavior. But I will say -- I also thought my fish were flashing and I was quite concerned until I started looking at them more closely. Mine were even doing some weird maneuvers staying on their sides for longer than just a flash. I started watching and realized they were doing all kinds of strange aquatic contortions to eat the algae off of plant stems and roots. Some will do a "grab and twist" technique that I first thought was flashing. I have strange fish...
But again - you are familiar with flashing and that is unfortunately probably what it is. But just in case, maybe give them a little closer watch. You might be lucky, like me, and just have goofy, greedy fish!
 

Barb & her pond

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I couldn’t wait, heck darn the dr.
I want to take care of this!

API pond kit, solutions/test tubes, these are the only tests I have.

Wide range pH tested in a slower moving area +9 (filter here needs cleaning, will do Sun.)
Fast area 7.5-8
Nitrite 0
Phosphate 2.0 not surprised. I’m sure I’m over feeding + all the organics on the bottom
Ammonia, wide range >9!!, shallower, more flow 7.5-8
KH 3^-6^ dKH, or 89.5 German scale ppm
It took 5 drops to change solution from blue to yellow, so 5 drops x 17.8, 89.5

I ought to buffer to get my Kh up some, which will stabilize pH? If I’m correct, pure baking soda works, and I would need to calculate an amount.

I was able to capture the two fish! No external signs of parasites. Gills, mouth, eyes look a normal color. No fin shredding, no sores, cuts, weird skin areas. They were/are plenty feisty.
 

Barb & her pond

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I know with your aquarium experience, you are very familiar with the flashing behavior. But I will say -- I also thought my fish were flashing and I was quite concerned until I started looking at them more closely. Mine were even doing some weird maneuvers staying on their sides for longer than just a flash. I started watching and realized they were doing all kinds of strange aquatic contortions to eat the algae off of plant stems and roots. Some will do a "grab and twist" technique that I first thought was flashing. I have strange fish...
But again - you are familiar with flashing and that is unfortunately probably what it is. But just in case, maybe give them a little closer watch. You might be lucky, like me, and just have goofy, greedy fish!

Thanks! And hello! I’ll spend some time watching. I have noticed they move in fish ways I’m not accustomed to, and I know they’re feeding on the lettuce and hyacinth. Here’s fingers crossed that I’m catastrophizing
 

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Hello Barb, very pretty pond! Your ammonia test result was 9???? Think your test maybe bad as fish can't tolerate a level that high. Don't stessera over ph as long as it's somewhat stable. Can you net some of the debris off the pond bottom or maybe use an aquarium vacuum?
 

Barb & her pond

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Hello Barb, very pretty pond! Your ammonia test result was 9???? Think your test maybe bad as fish can't tolerate a level that high. Don't stessera over ph as long as it's somewhat stable. Can you net some of the debris off the pond bottom or maybe use an aquarium vacuum?

Thank you! I love it!
The test kit is a month old..expiry date is in 2019, and a different reading at a different spot? But it could be a bad bottle. I’m going to test in the same spot tomorrow morning to see what I get.
I’ve dragged a bunch of debris out, and now it’s down to brown sludge. Vacuum isn’t possible as there are 3”-5” river rocks, plus big rocks that fell into the pond from the surrounding (horridly I stalled!) rock wall. I’ve been dragging those out as I can, but it’s not easy. They’re slimy and I have a bad back.
I’ve been adding microbe lift biological products on a weekly cycle, and they are helping (I think lol)
 

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