Hi there. New member and pond novice.

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by LorraineT, Jul 11, 2016.

  1. LorraineT

    LorraineT

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    My husband and I just bought a new house and inherited a gorgeous koi pond with waterfall. We received no instructions from the previous owners about fish or pond care and were told to " Google it" when we asked about maintenance. We are responsible pet owners and instantly fell in love with out four beautiful koi, naming them, spending time talking to them, really enjoying this new experience. I had a pond company come out to show me how to care for the pump and fish properly and was told that everyone was healthy and the pond in great condition - just keep doing what we were doing. There was an enormous amount of ground cover covering most of the waterfall and evading the pond so it was suggested we cut it back so we could see more of what was going on in the pond. We discovered a much nicer waterfall then we imagined. However, the summer south Florida sun and rain started turning the rocks black with slime and it was getting murky in the pond itself. I had another pond company come out to pressure clean the slime and get the pond back to what we thought it probably looked like originally. They seemed to do a great job and we were very happy with the look of the clean waterfall and clear water. That's was Friday. All weekend the fish were acting trumatised after their ordeal of being moved then reintroduced into the now clean pond. My husband noticed lots of bubbles at then base of the waterfalls that we hadn't seen before but I thought was just air bubbles. We had a huge thunderstorm last night and this morning, like I do every morning, I check on the fish. All dead! I am so broken hearted and confused. I feel like we did something to kill these beauties by having the pond cleaned so we obviously need some expert pond advice before we restock with new fish. It's just terrible to not know what went wrong . I feel so bad for the poor fish.
     
    LorraineT, Jul 11, 2016
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  2. LorraineT

    Big Lou

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    Welcome and so sorry your loss.
     
    Big Lou, Jul 11, 2016
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  3. LorraineT

    Becky Administrator

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    Sorry to hear about your fish, but welcome to the forum! There is lots to learn here :)
     
    Becky, Jul 11, 2016
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  4. LorraineT

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    A pond should not be pressure-washed. This destroys the biological foundation established by the many micro-organisms that inherit hte growth on the submerged surfaces.
    However, pressure-washing alone would not cause fish fatalities, especially in that short of a period of time.
    Did the people that pressure-washed use any cleaner, solvent or other chemical in the pressure-washing solution?
     
    Meyer Jordan, Jul 11, 2016
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  5. LorraineT

    Dave 54

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    Firstly welcome to the forum from a sunny Plymouth UK ;)
    We are so very sorry to hear of the loss of your koi loss sadly these things do happen from time to time
    We had our koi pond struck by lightening last year thankfully all survived their ordeal sadly sometimes this sort of weather can effect your pond in ways you dont kow such as a lack of oxygen to give it the simplest explanation.
    Also I agree with Meyer about pressure washing ponds destroying the biological foundation established by the many micro-organisms that inherit growth on the submerged surfaces.
    Pressure-washing alone as Meyer says would not cause any fish fatalities, especially in that short of a period of time.
    However do you happen to know it the pond cleanersused any cleaner, solvent or other chemical in the pressure-washing solution
    A Question about airpumps comes next
    Do you have any Koi Airpumps running on your pond adding in air from airstones if not it may be an idea to pop onto a koi website and buy one ?
    See attachment :-

    http://usakoi.com/pond-accessories/air-pumps-and-accessories.html

    Dave
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2016
    Dave 54, Jul 11, 2016
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  6. LorraineT

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    Hello and welcome, but so sorry to hear about your loss :(!!!

    Like @Meyer Jordan, I wonder if the pond co. used any chemicals..... Most of us here don't pressure wash our ponds because it does destroy the beneficial bacteria and we like the natural look. But lots of serious koi people do this routinely (they want a pristine pond). It's not right or wrong, just 2 different cultures. And like Meyer suggested, the pressure washing itself shouldn't have caused the sudden deaths.

    Just curious as to why you used 2 separate companies for your maintenance? If you haven't already done so, I'd contact the 2nd people and let them know what happened.

    Then take some deep breaths and start learning as much as possible about ponding. There's a learning curve, but it's fun and you're gonna love it. We're here to help and answer questions :happy:!
     
    Mmathis, Jul 11, 2016
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  7. LorraineT

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Welcome to our forum

    So sorry you lost your fish.

    It sounds like some sort of chemical was used.

    Did they check the ph etc of the water going into the pond vs the water in the pond?
    If I emptied mine and refilled it would kill every fish, our well water ph is around 5.4.
     
    addy1, Jul 11, 2016
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  8. LorraineT

    LorraineT

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    They assured me they did not but are replacing the fish and will be checking the water to try to determine the problem. Thanks.
     
    LorraineT, Jul 12, 2016
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  9. LorraineT

    LorraineT

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    Thanks for your concern. We have a waterfall , spitter and small fountain head for airation in the water. I also added water conditioner to neutralize ammonia, chloramine and chlorine if water was added during our hot south Florida summer days & after back washing the pump. I was told that no chemicals were used in the cleaning and they are very apologetic and are replacing the fish. The owner believes his guys did not properly balance the ph.
     
    LorraineT, Jul 12, 2016
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  10. LorraineT

    LorraineT

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    Thank for your thoughts. The company told me they do not use chemicals and are being very professional about replacing the fish and trying to figure out the water problem. I had two different companies because the first guy who came out to help me learn how to care for the pond and fish does large commercial accounts and although helpful really didn't have time for my little pond. Knowing what I know now unfortunately, I can understand why the natural look is desirable. And the reason for my guilt about this. We had a beautiful natural pond with healthy fish but because we wanted it to be 'pretty' my beautiful fish are dead. In my defense tho I will say that shortly after we moved in we some really hot weather and a lot of rain and we had a terrible black slime in the pond that promoted the idea of having it cleaned. I was told that is normal for a pond here in the summer....? It made sense to me knowing how out of control mold gets during our rainy season. Look forward to educating myself and having a healthy pond once again!
     
    LorraineT, Jul 12, 2016
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  11. LorraineT

    LorraineT

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    Thanks. I was told that they did check the ph. However when I called the owner this a.m. He immediately took the blame for his guys not checking the ph properly and is quite remorseful. He is replacing my fish and going to make an effort to figure out what the problem was.
     
    LorraineT, Jul 12, 2016
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  12. LorraineT

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    @LorraineT Please don't feel guilty -- you didn't cause this. These things happen to all of us at one time or another! It's encouraging that the pond guy is trying to figure out what happened -- we hear so many horror stories about irresponsible companies. Please remember to let us know what they discover as the problem.
     
    Mmathis, Jul 12, 2016
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  13. LorraineT

    Usman

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    Dont worry dont panic ! Tc of ur new fishes grow them , Usualy its very simple taking care of fishes , just follow simple rules thers nohiden secret, itwill never happen again dont b dishearted it happened to me too frm disseases or mistakes fishes die then u learn ask ppl read more.

    it seems to b unfortunate accident ir mistake bcz fishes dont usualy die suddenly altogeather , can b he used any equipment or brushes which had detergint bcz u saw bubbles ? Sometimes fishes also create bubles when tgey are sick and galping fr air in fungus or food poisoning? idono may b any water treatment drops overdose? Did u added anything new ? or old food or over feed

    Iwud say sstart with new spirit , congrats on ur new home nd pond )
     
    Usman, Jul 12, 2016
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  14. LorraineT

    callingcolleen1 mad hatter

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    Awe, so sorry for your loss. Just wondering if lightning hit the pond and killed everybody?
    Wonder if the thunderstorm washed chemicals from grass into the pond?

    I never move my koi if at all possible, it just is too tramitizing for the poor fish...
     
    callingcolleen1, Jul 12, 2016
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  15. LorraineT

    Lisak1

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    So sorry @LorraineT - we do feel responsible for our fish, like we do all our domestic animals, don't we? Hopefully the pond company will get to the bottom of the cause of your fish deaths. I'm glad they are responding in a professional manner - we hear way too many stories here where that is not the case. I am a little surprised that the previous owners weren't more helpful before leaving their pond and fish when they moved. Although for some people a pond is more of a landscape item than it is a hobby or anything they take personal interest in.

    Stick around... things will get better!
     
    Lisak1, Jul 12, 2016
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  16. LorraineT

    LorraineT

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    Our pond company has been trying to figure out what happened and so far we have discovered that our water has no chlorine and they put chemicals in to neutralize the chlorine because they didn't test first! The company owner is very upset that his employees did not follow protocol which should have prevented the problem in the first place. They did drain and refill the pond on Tuesday and yesterday they introduced 6 new koi into the pond. The fish seemed happy last evening as they were getting used to their new home and this morning but hid out most of the day. This afternoon the bubbling problem seemed to get worse and now it looks like soap clinging to the plants and bubbling over the rocks in the waterfall! We have checked the Ph and it is high so with the advice of the pond guy we added baking soda and will check again shortly. The barley bale that I had in was removed during the cleaning so I just added a new one and that may be helping withe bubbles. We also purchased bacteria to add because the bacteria balls had been rinsed off but nothing new added. I REALLY hope we can keep these fish alive! Thanks everyone here for your concern! We are really wanting to get this once healthy pond back to normal AND keep the fish happy.
     
    LorraineT, Jul 16, 2016
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  17. LorraineT

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    @LorraineT Your water doesn't have chlorine, but they added chemicals anyway? (You must be on a well and not city water.) I wouldn't think too much dechlorinator would harm the fish, but guess it could happen. Where you run into problems is when the opposite happens.

    Be sure to watch the fish closely and keep an eye on your pond's ammonia level (get a test kit)*, especially if they completely changed out all of the water, and immediately added new fish. If the ammonia level starts to rise, you may need to do regular, partial water changes to keep it at a safe level until your biological filter has a chance to "cycle." You want the ammonia to be there, you just don't want the level so high that it is harmful for the fish. For sure you want your ammonia to be below 1ppm.

    What we usually do is add, maybe 1 or 2 small fish to start out. [what size are the 6 koi they added?] Their waste products (ammonia) are food for the beneficial bacteria that will eventually inhabit all of the pond's surfaces and the filter media. Right now (and the benefits of adding bottled bacteria, etc. are debatable), there aren't enough of the beneficial bacteria in the pond to process much fish waste (IOW, transform the harmful ammonia into less harmful chemicals). This process takes time -- many weeks -- and goes through several stages before your pond has "cycled." Which is the main reason most of us don't power-wash as it removes the good bacteria.

    Get a test kit *[that has tests for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, and pH], monitor the ammonia level, don't let it get too high, and don't over-feed the fish. You'll eventually learn about all the bacteria and the breakdown products that these tests monitor, as well as how everything [pH, water temp., etc.] interacts to give your fish nice, healthy water. One of the biggest fallacies/misconceptions about pond water is that clear water is healthy water. Healthy water is balanced water!

    *Most of us use the API brand test kit, which uses test tubes and reagent drops. Test strips are OK in a pinch, but tend to be less accurate that the "liquid" tests.
     
    Mmathis, Jul 16, 2016
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  18. LorraineT

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    @LorraineT I want to add to the above note without getting lost in the text (sorry it's so long). There's a lot to learn and it can be overwhelming. For now, focus on the immediate issue of monitoring the water and keeping an eye on the fish. Take it a step at a time and learn as you go.
     
    Mmathis, Jul 16, 2016
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  19. LorraineT

    LorraineT

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    Thank you! Believe it or not we are on city water so we have no idea why we have no chlorine. We are trying to find out if there is a filter on the house somewhere and short of that I'm going to call the city water dept. and find out if they know why this is. We are using a PondCare master liquid test kit from PetSmart because we had to get it right away. The 6 koi that were put in are pretty small from what I can see. There are 2 small, 4 - 5", and 4 that are about the same size, 8 - 10" maybe. They are not very active at all since yesterday morning I'd say. The first night they explored the pond and the following morning but since then they've been pretty still, laying in the bottom and not moving around much. They DID make it through the night so I'm grateful for that at least. And we added some bacteria today - a small bottle, again from Petsmart I know it's not nearly enough but we are supposed to get a gallon on Monday from the pond guy. Just ran an ammonia test and it is high - 4. Backwashing right now so we can add new water.......
     
    LorraineT, Jul 16, 2016
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  20. LorraineT

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    How was the determination made that you had no Chlorine in your source water? Was it tested for Chlorine?

    If your Ammonia reading is presently at 4.0, your fish may not make it to Monday.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Jul 16, 2016
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