Hey - Houston calling

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by jmajid, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. jmajid

    jmajid

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    Hi,
    I hate to be a fair weather member - i am new to outside ponds, but decided to join and say hi and share my woes also.

    I have had saltwater and coldwater indoor aquariums in my youth, but recently my wife and I bought a house that had a 2300 gallon pond with goldfish/koi in it.
    We moved in early December 2013 and were loving the pond - it was a big reason why we chose the house.
    The pond has been in the ground since 2000 apparently - the original owner of the house was a koi breeder...

    After Christmas we started losing a lot of fish - began with over 40 - all different sizes - upto over 12 inches for some of the larger Koi.
    As of today, January 8th we have 4 fish left - the largest of which a yellow/black Koi is in dire straits also.
    Dont know what happened exactly, but it may have been self inflicted...

    I am trying to nurse the fish along now - the weather doesnt help as its been below freezing a few times in the past days and I know that fish are going to have a tougher time getting out of being stressed in colder weather.

    I dont know all of the equipment i have, but i do know i have a waterfall with multiple stone steps where the water enters the pond and there is a bottom drain where the water is pumped out by the pump/filter etc.

    Its been a stressful couple of weeks - i wanted to say hi - before i started with the questions...

    Hope all you guys/gals in the north are handling the much colder weather OK and that your fish make it through OK.

    javid
     
    jmajid, Jan 8, 2014
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  2. jmajid

    Dave 54

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    May I ask first and foremost what all your water perameters are ?
    Next when was the last time you did any filter maintenance i;e cleaning the filter media ?
    If you have trees near the pond and they dropped them for the winter did any go into your pond , if so hy didnt you take them out or net your pond against this
    How often do you do water changes on the pond?
    Have you added new fish to the pond without first QTing them ?
    If you cant answer any of the above then your going to have to undergo a fast learning curve on how to do things and start .
    You dont loose 40 fish like that for nothing is there anyway you can get your hands on a microscope to do a scrape of one or two of these fish to see what problem they may have.
    Please dont think I'm getting on at you because I'm not we are just asking routine questions to try to get to the bottom of this rapidy so that you dont loose anymore of them.
    My guess its a maintenance issue caused by too many fish ........
    However weve been keeping koi for 27 years now can you describe the koi's symptoms we may be able to change yjongs around for you , better still do you have any photos of the dead fish and of this sick koi .


    Dave
     
    Dave 54, Jan 8, 2014
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  3. jmajid

    jmajid

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    Hi - from someone who used to live in Cumbria!
    Thanks for the reply - appreciate any help you or anyone else can give.
    This is an established pond - the previous owners have said they had no issues - and pretty much have had this amount of fish for years...
    They said they just take out leaves once in a while and used some algaefix drops on the waterfall once in a while - this was something i learned just a couple days ago.

    Like i said - i joined this forum to try and learn - didnt mean to ask for help straightaway...

    About a couple weeks after we moved in and a week before the fish started dying, i had a small orange/gold looking fish - not sure if its a koi or not , wander around, isolated from others.
    Looking closely we noticed it didnt appear to be scared when we approached the pond unlike the others which would scatter... and its eyes looked a almost clear - not black like the others.
    Now, since we had so many fish – I cant honestly remember if the fish was always like that – but I am sure I would have noticed if it was isolating itself…
    I noticed also that the water was a little greener than it had been, so i tuned on the UV filter.
    A week later i decided to try a water change at the coming weekend, so the day before i was planning on doing this, i tried to increase the flow of the water thinking that i would need to know how fast i could aerate or push water...
    This might have been my first mistake…
    As soon as I did that I noticed a lot of algae flowed from the waterfalls into the pond – making the water very dark green around the waterfalls…
    I panicked and saw the algaefix container the previous owner had left – looked at the dosage and then put that in – where the water entered the pond from the waterfall.
    I may have used double the dose.. mistake number 2 I think.
    The next day – a saturday – in the morning, all looked better – the water itself looked clearer, but the bottom now looked pretty dark – probably the algae that died off… I went to HD to find some parts to help me change the water and vacuum the pond – I have a oase pondvac3…but not all the parts to mate with my long flat hose.
    Anyway – when I got back to the pond in the early afternoon, we noticed some fish were at the bottom of the pond, near the drain and a few were on the surface dying – gasping it looked like…
    Note – the waterfall was never turned off.

    So – looking around at a different pond forum online, I tried testing the water.
    I used some test strips that the previous owner left - looking back they may have been old.
    They indicated the ph was above 9… so we did a quick water change of about 10-15%... and then I I went and purchased some baking soda...and put that in also.
    The next day – Sunday – saw more dead fish and more sitting at the drain – did about a 50% water change.
    Each time the water was changed – I did add dechlor.

    We did scoop a few of the fish out and had a small tub full of water – dechlorinated tap water – and we put a submersible bubbler in there – and hand held the fish in turns in front of the bubbles… some of the fish seemed like they were reacting better to the bubbles, but we couldn’t keep them all infront all the time – and then we decided to put them back into the main pond – kept a coupld in the tub, but they died also.
    So the next day, I reached out to the pervious owner – they had their own problems it seems and didn’t get back to me for about a week….i purchased some fresh test strips – 5 in 1 pondcare…
    Everything tested “normal” or ideal - including PH.
    My realtor had a neighbor who gave me some ammonia test strips – that seemed to show one level above the “0” or ideal - so I added some ammo-lock they had given also.
    Their other test strips also showed everythning ideal/normal.
    A few days later we had lost most of the fish – and with the holidays over – we went to a local garden nursery that tested our water for us.
    They said the water was fine – but this was now about 5 days after the initial problem.
    They said to put some melafix in – some koivital and some other barley type material _ looks like granulated powder – I don’t have the name of that right now – but can get it later…

    That day – I had I think 6 fish left – two large koi – who seemed like they were not that stressed – were moving around the pond, with each other, just like they had previously before the issue… so I thought they would make it.
    Seems like I was wrong there – one of them went to the bottom drain and sat there like the others had – couple days later, was at the surface, on its side – gasping – then died a day later.
    So now, I am here – about a week after I visited– ant the other large koi – who had always had small fins – was at the drain – then started swimming on its side and gasping. It would hid in some crates I have in the pond that are used to mount some water plants… that’s the hiding place for the other fish who are still surviving.
    I had not taken any leaves out of the pond in a week – after being told to leave the fish be and to not add stress to them… but before that I was removing leaves daily with a net.
    So here I am… pretty heartbroken that I may have inflicted this on the fish myself by acting too quickly to the algae that came into the pond from the waterfall.

    Too much info? Sorry….

    EDIT: i will post pics of the fish and the pond when i can later on....
     
    jmajid, Jan 8, 2014
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  4. jmajid

    Becky Administrator

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    Welcome to the forum! :wave: So sorry to hear about the problems you've been having
     
    Becky, Jan 8, 2014
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  5. jmajid

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    Welcome, but sorry to hear about your woes!
     
    Mmathis, Jan 8, 2014
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  6. jmajid

    jmajid

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    thanks becky and Mmathis.

    To all: should i get into the wait and see mode? or should i be doing something actively?
    i feel under prepared and lost, not doing anything.
     
    jmajid, Jan 8, 2014
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  7. jmajid

    Dave 54

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    No the more information the better

    Dave
     
    Dave 54, Jan 8, 2014
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  8. jmajid

    dieselplower

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    A double does of algea fix could surely cause the fish to be at the top gasping for air. That is what I would say is one of your main problems. Obviously I am just shooting from the hip right now since I dont have a ton of info to go on, but I feel confident about that. If I were you, I would get a water test kit that uses drops, not strips. Those strips will not give you or us accurate enough information. Please do not feel bad about coming on here and asking questions. The longer you wait, the more fish will die. Please, stop putting anything into your pond except for clean, dechlorinated water. It's all garbage.
     
    dieselplower, Jan 8, 2014
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  9. jmajid

    jmajid

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    dieselpower: thanks -
    the fish were not gasping immediately but more listless at the bottom...

    do you have a particular test kit in mind that i can find online?
    i know the local stores here do not carry any of the drop types.
    also - what if anything do you use for pond temperature?
    thanks in advance,
     
    jmajid, Jan 8, 2014
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  10. jmajid

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    addy1, Jan 8, 2014
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  11. jmajid

    jmajid

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    Thanks addy1 - i have ordered the master kit - i still have the test strips so i can use the master kit against them - as i am sure we all agree the strips are quicker to use....
     
    jmajid, Jan 8, 2014
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  12. jmajid

    adavisus

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    The high dose of algaefix means the fish got a high dose of a herbicide, which is a stressful when over dosed, a poison, That bumped off the algae in one harsh go, which at the same time as the fish were feeling real ill, made the water quality yucky with decomp gases and sediments, may well have triggered aneirobic conditions which is going to encourage some quite evil bacteria... especially in deep nooks and crannies, under rocks...

    Algae is harmless to fish, even has some beneficial aspects. The same cannot be said of algaefix active ingredients...

    Regards, andy
    http://swglist.wordpress.com/
    http://www.pinterest.com/adavisus/pondering/
     
    adavisus, Jan 8, 2014
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  13. jmajid

    Tula

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    I too think it was the algaecide. Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't it also deplete oxygen? It's a shame this happened, but an accident on your part. Take your time over the winter to read up and start afresh in the Spring. Kim
     
    Tula, Jan 8, 2014
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  14. jmajid

    dieselplower

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    I have read on many many sites that as the algae dies, one way or another, it does create a shortage of oxygen. I forget how but anyone interested in learning could figure it out with a quick google search.

    FYI to the OP, the algae "eats" or otherwise converts harmful ammonia and nitrite into a less harmful nitrate. It is also food for the fish. I do not really like algae because I like a crystal clear pond, but rest assured a bit of it is not a problem.
     
    dieselplower, Jan 8, 2014
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  15. jmajid

    jmajid

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    adavisus, tula and dieselpower:
    thanks for taking the time to reply.
    i have learnt this lesson the very hard way... no more algaefix or other chemicals in this pond.
    i since learnt that barley straw is a safer method to control the algae... and also that i need to make small changes...
    one more fish died yesterday - my largest koi - yellow black spots -
    thats why i wasnt around last night to respond to everyone.
    i have 3 left now - checked on them earlier and they were swimming - which is good.
     
    jmajid, Jan 9, 2014
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  16. jmajid

    Andy41

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    Hi Javid,

    Welcome, and sorry to here of your problems.

    It looks like you found the solution though.... I hope the rest of the fish survive.

    cheers,

    Andy.
     
    Andy41, Jan 10, 2014
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  17. jmajid

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    I control algae with plants, my pond has been green water and string algae free since it was built. I do have a huge bog, but even a small filter full of plants the water runs through will help
     
    addy1, Jan 10, 2014
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  18. jmajid

    jmajid

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    update on my pond today... the ambient air temp is close to 70F...
    i see two of the 3 fish out - third has been hiding for the past 2 days i think... one of the fish is looking for algae it seems and the second , a white/red koi about 9 inches or more in length, seems to be just hanging about midway in height in the pond then turns slowly in a circle and then hangs then turns... repeating this.

    i got my master kit late last night and performing a test just now - around midday, got the ph at 7.2, nitrite =0ppm , ammonia=0.25ppm and phosphate at 10ppm/l

    from what i can tell the phosphate level is nothing to worry about - it might affect the way my algae grows but otherwise nothing to worry about.
    the ph level and ammonia are taken together, nothing to worry about either.
     
    jmajid, Jan 10, 2014
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  19. jmajid

    jmajid

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    addy1: yes i am already planning to add plants to the pond - soon as i can figure out what to add - have watercress on my list and perhaps planting them in a floater ring.
     
    jmajid, Jan 10, 2014
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  20. jmajid

    sissy sissy

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    welcome but baking soda raises the ph and to buffer it we use crushed oyster shells
     
    sissy, Jan 10, 2014
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