My fish aren't eating


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Hello I have a small 200 gallon pond with 6 fish, 4 golds and 2 koi...they have been in the pond ince last summer, spent the Winter in there and the pond haas remained clear with the help of my 13watt uv light. Now recently I noticed the water getting cloudy and my fish not really doing much and not eating at all. Realized after I started checking things out that the uv filter burnt out had needed replceing. I have done several partial water changes because i had to wait for new uv filter to be shipped. Oh forgot to mention I took water sample to petland who told me my ammonia level was high. So I did 2 more 15/20% water changes 3 days apart. Received uv filter yesterday and hooked it up to my pump and so far nothing has changed. Fish still just hanging out at the bottom not really eating and watger is still murky looking and I dont know what else to do unless I have to wait a few more days for uv light to workl. Pond is 200 gl and uv light is 9watts. HELPPP I dont want my fish to die.
 
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I don't actually know what the problem could, there are many possibilities. I will say this...200 gal with those fish is a high fish load. It would have been nice to know what the ammonia level actually was, have to assume the fish were in high ammonia for some time which can damage the fish. I suggest you get a test kit that can test at least ammonia, nitrite and KH. I'm not sure 20% water changes 3 days apart is actually enough with that fish load and a new UV. The UV kills green water algae which, when growing and healthy, consumes ammonia directly. So fixing the UV I assume made the ammonia problem a bigger problem. Plus you have dead algae decomposing now, so double whammy. But without knowing daily ammonia levels I can't tell for sure, but my bet would be you still have an ammonia problem. It's not just level, it's duration too. Low level not considered dangerous can become dangerous if allowed to continue for long periods (weeks).

Fish not eating and inactive is a symptom of prolong ammonia exposure. But like I said, there are plenty of other possible causes.

Having an ammonia problem in an established pond this time of year means the pond either needs more bio filtering (a good one like Trickle Tower, Bakki Shower, Moving Bed) or fewer fish. Fewer fish is always nature's solution.So I suggest checking into a good bio filter.

It's great your fish overwintered in NY, but that doesn't mean they will this year. Not saying they won't be OK, just saying things have changed. After a year you basically should have at least twice as much fish mass...so your fish load doubled or more. This year the fish are heading into winter already stressed. I'd consider doing what you can to increase their odds this winter.
 

JohnHuff

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Hi:
Can you tell us more about your setup? What kind of pump and biofilter or mechanical filter do you have?
The uv light has nothing to do with their not eating or ammonia. High ammonia is not good for your fish.
How big are your fish? Do you have any plants?
 
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First off thanks for taking the time to respond. Secondly I take what you guys say serious and will do whatever I can to help my fish survive. I have 2 9 inches 3 6 inches and 1 4 inches. My uv livht is mounted on side of canister which has fine and coarse filfers and bio balls. Pump connected to the filter filter connected to skimmer which also has bio balls and filters and water goes back in pond. Should I clean filters because I was told not to change water and clean filters at same time....what would you guys do at this point if tbe ammonia level is still high....thx in advance for your help
 
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UV will take days to clear the water but it won't help with ammonia. If ammonia is still high I would do a large water change. Cleaning the filter won't do much, if anything, to bring down ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate.
 

callingcolleen1

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I would clean the filters if they are clogged or if cleaning is needed, and a good water change may be nessary if the pond is overstocked with large fish. That will help immedately and be a quick fix, but you will need to keep a close eye on that pond if overstocked. There are products to help keep ammonia down, I use these amrid rocks in my big 100 gallon fish tank as this tank has very large fish and they produce lots of waste. I also do a 70 percent water change in that tank every other month as it is needed.

Small ponds with large fish may need extra attention. Have you got plants in that pond. Low oxygen also may be the reason fish are not moving much, or very cold water will also do this as well...
 

callingcolleen1

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Which are the Koi? I see you have two fairly large fish, three medium sized, and one smaller one. If they are big fat koi they also produce lots of waste. If they are skinny goldfish with long tails, not so much....
 
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Is your pond getting oxygen? Do you have a water fall/feature or an air pump?

*(Edit) just saw where Colleen already asked that .
 
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I would sell or give away your koi as fast as you can. There is almost nothing you can do to maintain your size pond with that high of a bio-load. It not just inches of fish to consider but biomass. A 1" koi weighs on the average .001 lbs or .275 grams. A nine inch koi weighs on the average .42 lbs or 200 grams. So a 9 inch koi is equivalent in weight to 727 1 inch koi. So when you hear rules of thumb about an average filtered pond with 10-20 gallons of water needed to support every 1 inch of fish, these are usually for smaller 3-6 inch fish not the size fish your koi are. Another example is a 3 inch koi is about 7 grams so a nine inch koi of 200 grams is the same weight as 28 3" koi and certainly not equivalent to 3 3" inch fish if you are trying to go by inches alone. You can play around with the calculator below but in every case you will see how much a 9" koi will weigh versus smaller fish. Most "experts" recommend at least 1000 gallons for the first koi and then to go larger if adding more fish. As a side note if you go to photos on the cnykoi web site there are some great looking fish and ponds there!

http://www.cnykoi.com/calculators/calclenw.asp
 
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JohnHuff said:
The uv light has nothing to do with their not eating or ammonia.
That's the kind of forum stuff that gets fish killed.

Green water algae consumes ammonium (NH4+) which is part of Total Ammonia. Most test kits test Total Ammonia, not ammonia. As ammonium is consumed by algae ammonia (NH3) converts rapidly to ammonium which gets consumed, repeat, repeat, repeat..until ammonia is zero.

The algae is so good at removing ammonia that it can be difficult to get a bio filter cycled. Lots of studies and papers written for years on this. Google "nitrate uptake ammonia".

Turning on a UV in a green pond can cause ammonia levels to rapidly increase and kill fish.
 

JohnHuff

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Shakes my head... Read my sentence in the context of what the situation is.

If his uv light is killing the algae, then the broken uv light should increase algae, which should decrease ammonia.

Do you now agree that the broken uv light should not be increasing ammonia? I hope I don't have to spell out everything for you.

Don't confuse the OP just to try to take a jab at me. I have just lost a LOT of respect for you.

PS. I separated my paragraph into distinct lines for your easier understanding.
Waterbug said:
That's the kind of forum stuff that gets fish killed.

Green water algae consumes ammonium (NH4+) which is part of Total Ammonia. Most test kits test Total Ammonia, not ammonia. As ammonium is consumed by algae ammonia (NH3) converts rapidly to ammonium which gets consumed, repeat, repeat, repeat..until ammonia is zero.

The algae is so good at removing ammonia that it can be difficult to get a bio filter cycled. Lots of studies and papers written for years on this. Google "nitrate uptake ammonia".

Turning on a UV in a green pond can cause ammonia levels to rapidly increase and kill fish.
 
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I'm pretty sure he got a new UV bulb, which would kill the algae, and could cause ammonia to rise, IF the bacteria in the pond weren't up to their job. When ammonia is high, I wonder if the pond has "cycled" and I wonder what are the numbers for nitrite and nitrate?

Also, how are the fish doing now?
 
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Once again I must say a huge thank you to all for your help with my pond issues. To answer some questions asked, yes I have always had a waterfall, and just added 2 airstones today. I had plants last year but took them out over the winter and neer put any in this summer not knowing the importance of them so again yesterday I added plants covering about 60% of the pond. Also did a major water change 2 days ago. My 2 largest fish are Goldfish and the 2 Koi I have are the medium size fish about 5 to 6 inches long.mToday I threw a tiny amount of wheat germ food and they all came up and ate. I know now I have been overfeeding my fish and also not doing enough maintenance of the pond. My goal at this point is to try to get them as healthy as possible before the Winter to give them a fighting chance. Once again thanks to all, I will definately keep you guys posted as to how things work out. Oh by the way I am looking into a bio filter as was suggested. Thanks....
 
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I will quote a really good friend of mine here ....
"Systems that require more work usually dont get it".
"Fish only systems usually stay cleaner and healthier".
"Fish Health usually increases with increased water changes".
"For an unknown problem try a big waterchange".
Seems pretty logical to me...
He also says
"If it isnt broke dont fix it but try to remember all things mechanical will eventually fail"
So the logical thing to do is when they do, fix it.
Sound advice really and thats the secret of how our koi have remained alive in the case of two of them for 27 years.
Vidulence pays tenfold Maintenance also pays, as do waterchanges, water testing and knowledge.
All are needed when keeping fish be they koi, Goldfish, Orfe, Rudd etc.

rgrds

Dave
 

sissy

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you tube is the best source of step by step builds and if you over filter you can do it .
 

Karen Crowley

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I built a 400 gallon pond for two small koi. Within a year, they outgrew it!
 

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