Heron emptied my pond, chance to improve


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Hi all.

I've just stumbled across this forum today looking for some information about refilling my pond after a Heron has had all my fish for breakfast. Having had a good read through a lot of posts I realise I know next to nothing about keeping a pond! I want to re stock my pond in time but I want to take the opportunity to get the environment right and learn a bit more about keeping fish before I start filling it again. I have read a lot about water quality etc but I have never even tested mine so I want to take this opportunity to put everything right.

I inherited the pond when I moved house and have managed to keep the fish left for me alive up until the Heron took a shine to them this morning. The pond is only small, around 4' x 2' and around 1.5' deep, around 400 litres. I have a small pump with a UV filter attached (this one https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01MSWKJKI/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) and a few plants and lillies around. The pond had 5 small Koi to begin with but one got too large so I put it in my father in law's pond and I added 1 small goldfish.

The main things I wanted to ask are is my pond large enough to keep Koi? I would like to put some more in but I won't if it's not going to be the right environment for them. I also wanted to empty the water out and give the bottom of the pond a good clean out while I have the chance. Is there any reccomended stones/gravel to add when it is cleared out? I guess I will have to take the chlorine out once I start filling it so will have a look into that.

There are shelves at either end of the pond but nowhere really for the fish to shelter or hide apart from under the lillies. Should I think about finding something to give them somewhere to shelter?

I have also considered buying an air bubbler to float on the surface. Would this be neccesary or is the pump I have sufficient?

It has been a real eye opener coming across this forum, I was so naive and didn't have a clue what I was doing. I think my fish survived more down to luck than anything I've done!

I'm based in the North East of England if that matters.

Cheers
 

sissy

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no koi they get over 4 feet long ,I know I have koi and they are in a now 5000+ gallon pond .A net cover will be better for keeping heron away .Even window screening will work .
 
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Welcome @sterobbo99 ! Sorry to hear about your fish - those heron are something, aren't they?

Like @sissy said, your pond is too small for koi (although she said four feet - I think she meant they can get up to 3 feet long). A few goldfish would do nicely though!

An underwater shelter would be good for your fish, but once a heron finds you, it may not be enough. You may need to net the pond to truly protect your fish.

Post some photos and we can offer some suggestions!
 

sissy

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I measure mine when I rebuilt and even though it is hard to do my aggie is 4 feet long and I have seen koi from Eric that are 8 feet long and I cried .What am I going to do .I can barely deal with 4 feet long
 
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Hi everyone, thanks for the replies!

@sissy - the koi I had grew to around 5 - 6". With the father in law having a large pond to move the fish too, would there be any other issues other than them getting too large for my pond? I really like the colours and variety of the Koi so would like to put some more in there but if it's not good for them then I obviously won't bother. The ones I had only grew a small amount in the 2 years I had them.

@Lisak1 - I have purchased a net, i just wish I had done it sooner so i wasn't having this problem!

I'm at work at the moment but i will get some pictures up tomorrow as it will be dark by the time I'm home.

really glad I've found this forum, seems a really good place to learn (y)
 

sissy

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I really like fat fantails they really come in pretty colors and that butt wiggle is so cute .The one I have loves to swim into my hand to get a belly rub .But has gotten bigger and fatter and can't get a good belly rub anymore .They come in lots of colors .I would love a pond full of them .
 
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Herons are wading birds and are quite resourceful, but they don't like getting their bums wet. Though they will if push comes to shove..Puttng wire aound it won't deter them. They'll just step over it.

Once they've found your pond, they'll kep coming back.
The best solution's to get some black netting, World of Water sell it off a roll.
Get some plastic stakes from Wilko's and set them round the edge of your pond to secure it, makng sure it's taut. It's not that visable from a distance.
 
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Have you looked into shubunkin? They have beautiful coloring, similar to a koi, but are a variety of goldfish so remain smaller. I think your pond is too small for a koi to swim happily about.

A net is a good heron repellant, just make sure it's taunt about a foot above the water as the heron will still try to stab fish through the net. Additional aeration is always a good thing :)
 
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I measure mine when I rebuilt and even though it is hard to do my aggie is 4 feet long and I have seen koi from Eric that are 8 feet long and I cried .What am I going to do .I can barely deal with 4 feet long
8 foot koi - oh my :eek:
 
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@Doghouse Riley - I've ordered a black net off amazon today to cover the pond, I need one anyway for this time of the year with all the leaves coming down.

@sissy & @Tula - I will look into them species, thanks for the recommendations. A friend has had a big spawn in their pond so they have offered me some babies to replace mine with. Not sure what species they are yet though.

I am planning to take 2/3 of the water out while I have the opportunity and clear the bottom of the pond and replace the gravel. I've found this on amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004TOVGGU/?coliid=I4DM9W7OSFK9P&colid=3CFQQAHNT0HOE&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

Will this be the type of thing I need to treat the water I will fill it up with? I'm going to order a water test kit and I have seen some Bio Activator on there. Is this something that is useful or not necessary?

Thanks
 
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8 feet? Can you link to that video?

Here's what Koi Acres says - I have no idea how accurate this is, but they do specialize in selling koi:

How big do Koi get?
Most domestic Koi usually grow about 12 to 15 inches long. Japanese Koi usually grow 22 to 26 inches in long. Jumbo sized Koi grow up to 34 to 36 inches long.
 
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is my pond large enough to keep Koi
Koi on the large side get to 36" long and 24 on the short side. It is not for long term . gold fish would be a better alternative or blue gill
 
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Koi aren't suitable for small pools, Mine is 12' X 9' X 5' and holds over 2,500 gallons, it has a bottom drain and a 40 gall purgeable pump sump. The filter holds another 160 gallons.
I have a UV sterilizer and a 1000 lph air pump, which run 24/7.

This tancho sanke of mine is over 2ft long. They don't all grow at the same rate

P1010863.JPG



It came along with others in this box, overnight by carrier, seven years ago. The supplier has since ceased trading.

P1030546.JPG



in this poly bag. They were all about 5 to 7 inches in length and cost £10 each.


P1030547.JPG
 
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Thanks for your replies, them Shubunkin look the type of thing I'd like. I've only managed to look in the pond today as it was dark when I got home last night and there are actually 2 of the fish still there so not as bad as first feared. I have a net being delivered today so I'll get that up asap and hopefully that will protect them.

Anyone have any comments on the products I linked in the previous post? Just want some feedback as to if they are the right thing to get my water quality right if I change a portion of it out.

Cheers
 
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The pump you've chosen will be fine

If you're buying a pump which is combined with a filter. It's best to put it on say a couple of bricks on the bottom of your pond. It will reduce the number of times you will have to clean the filter.
Remember "koi's law" .....
(it's a running thread I started years ago on another forum where other koi keepers add the mishaps that occur with their pools. It's had 113 responses and over sixteen thousand hits).

.....states, that; " any leaf that falls from a tree or bush in the gardens in your road is likekly to end up in your pond."

A pond of less than 100 gallons will be more susceptible to water quality changes. So you'll need to keep any eye on it. The temptation with us all, is to over-stock a small pond.
 
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Just a quick update, my water test kit came today and I managed to test for pH and ammonia before coming to work. pH was 7 and ammonia was .2ppm so not too bad. I guess having 0 ammonia is more desirable but from reading up .2 isn't a huge issue if the pH is ok. What's the best way of getting that down?

No sign of the heron for the last few days so hopefully it has moved on from our area. I'm going to look at getting a few goldfish and shubunkin this week once I have ran all the water tests and am happy everything seems ok.
 

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