My fish are acting skittish and won't eat after I cleaned the pond.


EAC

Joined
Aug 21, 2013
Messages
39
Reaction score
3
Location
Wildwood MO
So, I cleaned my pond and removed alot of rocks etc etc from it. This was on Sunday. My fish are acting very skiddish (Hiding) and aren't eating. They would usually start going crazy once I tossed in some pellets. Now, nothing :( .

Do I just need to give them some time to adjust?
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
2,395
Reaction score
987
Location
near Kalamazoo, Michigan
Can you describe the cleaning a bit more? You may have seriously disturbed the "ecosystem" which could be affecting them negatively. First things that come to mind would be if you filled the pond with tap water but did not dechlorinate. Or, killed off the "cycle" which could cause high ammonia levels. Or, changed the PH of the water, or the temp of the water. Or, like you said, they may just need a few days.
 

EAC

Joined
Aug 21, 2013
Messages
39
Reaction score
3
Location
Wildwood MO
I power washed all the algae / grime off the waterfall. Then, I drained the pond completely, scrubbed it, rinsed it, vacuumed it, then filled with tap water. Before I added the water, I added dechorinator, anti bacteria and anti algae chemicals. The temp of the tap water was definitely cooler, but I tried to acclimate them as best as possible.

There was also a lilly plant in there that I removed and replaced with a floater. I forgot what it’s called.

What does kill off the cycle mean?

Thanks!
Eric
 

HARO

Pondcrastinator
Joined
Jun 30, 2011
Messages
5,264
Reaction score
5,762
Location
Ontario, Canada
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
Canada
Test your water and post the results. You are starting off with a brand new pond!
John
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
2,395
Reaction score
987
Location
near Kalamazoo, Michigan
This is "the cycle", in short. Fish poop, pee, and exhale. This causes ammonia. Ammonia is poisonous to fish. After a while, bacteria grow that comsume the ammonia and convert it into nitrite. This is also poisonous to fish. Then another bacteria comes along and converts the nitrite into nitrate. The nitrate is less harmfull to the fish until it builds up into higher concentrations. The way to remove the nitrate in most cases is to do a water change. That is the basic "cycle". Now when you drained and cleaned the pond, you probably killed most of the bacteria. They live on the surfaces of the pond liner, rocks, plants, and in the filter. They love oxygen rich environments as well. So now you have nothing filtering out the poisonous ammonia. Your pond will also probably turn pea soup green for a while, which I would not panic over. I would also not pour anit bacteria or anti algae into the pond. They will actually work against you and the cycle.
 

EAC

Joined
Aug 21, 2013
Messages
39
Reaction score
3
Location
Wildwood MO
My kit only tests for Ammonia, Nitrate, Nitrite and PH.

Ammonia .50
Nitrate 10
PH 7.6
Nitrite .25

Is this bad?
 

JohnHuff

I have reached pond nirvana
Joined
Apr 17, 2012
Messages
2,249
Reaction score
1,612
Location
At my computer
Hardiness Zone
1a
Country
Kyrgyzstan
Yes, ammonia needs to be 0. You killed all the beneficial bacteria. Do a water change right away and stop feeding the fish. You need to get rid of that ammonia. Not sure what else people might suggest, but I might dump some algae, duckweed or simple plants there right away to suck up the ammonia.
 
Ad

Advertisements

fishin4cars

True friends just call me Larkin
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Messages
5,195
Reaction score
1,598
Location
Hammond LA USA
Hardiness Zone
8a
I am with John, stop feeding and start doing daily water changes, No more than 25% and be sure and use something to neutralize Chlorine,Chloramine (Which ever your water company uses) If your not on well water. Totally cleaning a pond in the middle of the growing season is almost never a good idea, best to do smaller cleanings and wait until the water cools below 50 degrees if your going to do a total clean out. It might be helpful to other to tell us what size pond, fish load, any details you might consider important including what your using for fitration.
 

EAC

Joined
Aug 21, 2013
Messages
39
Reaction score
3
Location
Wildwood MO
fishin4cars said:
I am with John, stop feeding and start doing daily water changes, No more than 25% and be sure and use something to neutralize Chlorine,Chloramine (Which ever your water company uses) If your not on well water. Totally cleaning a pond in the middle of the growing season is almost never a good idea, best to do smaller cleanings and wait until the water cools below 50 degrees if your going to do a total clean out. It might be helpful to other to tell us what size pond, fish load, any details you might consider important including what your using for fitration.
I'll stop feeding.

Pond is 7.8 x 4 @ 2 feet deep with 25 foot waterfall. So, around 500 gallons.

No filtration.
 

Attachments

  • 20130825_153910.jpg
    20130825_153910.jpg
    117.2 KB · Views: 396

JohnHuff

I have reached pond nirvana
Joined
Apr 17, 2012
Messages
2,249
Reaction score
1,612
Location
At my computer
Hardiness Zone
1a
Country
Kyrgyzstan
Just do small daily changes as suggested by fishin4cars until your ammonia reads 0. It might be a good idea for you to get a pre-filter or some kind of mechanical filter to filter out solids. What kind of pump do you have? And with a 25 ft waterfall, you might not need a biofilter, I would just add a bunch of gravel or pebbles to it.
 
Ad

Advertisements

fishin4cars

True friends just call me Larkin
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Messages
5,195
Reaction score
1,598
Location
Hammond LA USA
Hardiness Zone
8a
No, stay with 1/4 water changes, Now you may try doing smaller water changes twice a day until you start getting lower readings. The whole idea is to make changes gradually. A large water change,(Like cleaning out the pond) disrupted the whole bacteria process. Large water changes in a established pond can be done IF the bacteria are not wiped out. right now you have virtually no bacteria to help break the ammonia down so your having to do what the bacteria would be doing normally. I would recommend at least doing some type of filtration. It could be as simple as a large pre-filter sponge before the pump, to a do it your self filter in the water fall, add on filtration is always a option. As was suggested rocks and gravel in the water fall may help, the more area the bacteria can grow on where water is moving over it the better. This would actually be a most basic type filtration and by far not the best for your fishy friends but it is something filtering and far better than nothing at all.
 

EAC

Joined
Aug 21, 2013
Messages
39
Reaction score
3
Location
Wildwood MO
Well, I had to leave out of town and will return Friday night, so I won't be able to change out any water until saturday morning. I hope my fish live until then. They were just hanging out on the bottom this morning.

Should I buy a few more lettuce plants this weekend? Will that help as well?

The pump I have is the PondMaster Pond-Mag Pump 950 GPH. It has a cage on the end. How would I attach a filter to that?
 

Attachments

  • $T2eC16J,!yUE9s6NEGyfBRbu(KW,Gw~~60_35.jpg
    $T2eC16J,!yUE9s6NEGyfBRbu(KW,Gw~~60_35.jpg
    10.3 KB · Views: 279
Ad

Advertisements

studiovette

GS PETE
Joined
Apr 17, 2013
Messages
132
Reaction score
50
Location
NJ ZONE 7A
You should be fine. Plenty of good advice on here already. What kinda fish are they? Not sure if you mentioned that already. Also next time never drain the entire pond out. You alwyas want to leave some of the water which has the bene bacteria in it which will make restarting the pond up so much easier. I can understand wanting to clean the rocks and sludge off etc. I did that this past spring cause my pond was a swamp due to prior owner not caring enough to close it down properly.. Good luck
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Similar Threads

Fantail goldfish changed colour overnight! 7
Best Goldfish Food 7
My Fish Are HAPPY! 18
Fish acting lethargic 64
Are my fish acting normal? 18
Attracting fish or snails 6
Goldfish acting strangely 15
Goldfish acting funny 11

Top