My pond is in the woods and has lots of leaves. Zone 6b. Should I add snails?


Jeff G

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My pond is a dug, 7 ft deep oval, but the bottom 3 ft or so is filled with leaves. The goldfish seem to love it. Little ones hide among the leaves while the big ones seem to sit right on top. I regularly clean the floating leaves off the top with a net. but I don't touch the leaves on the bottoms since it stirs up a cloud of mess. I hear that rotting leaves are bad for fish and I should clean them out - but that is not going to happen.
Would snails be useful or do anything? Would they survive the winter? I live in region 6b. Would my 6" goldfish just eat them?

(I'm sorry I am asking such basic questions. I'm a noob. I dug the pond as an afterthought while learning how to use a backhoe I rented for a house project. The hole turned into a "pond" when we had a big rainstorm and I've kept it filled ever since. This has turned out to be a fun project.)
 
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Jeff G

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It is an 8 ft x 12 ft oval. There are eight, 6 inch goldfish and a number of small ones that I put in at the end of the season. I counted 5 the other day but the others could have been hiding in the leaves.
The pond is unlined. Every time I mess with it, I raise up clouds of silt. That does not seem healthy for the fish.
 

Meyer Jordan

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Every time I mess with it, I raise up clouds of silt. That does not seem healthy for the fish.

This is, of course, an item of concern but given the pond's location it will eventually completely fill with organic matter (leaves, twigs, etc.). This accumulation will eventually affect water quality and likely the health of the fish. Clean it now or clean it later...your choice. But you will eventually be forced to clean it.
 

Jeff G

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I go out there every day and skim leaves and twigs off the top. I realize that is just a small percentage of what sinks to the bottom. I am now considering a pond cover net from thepondguys.
I had hoped snails or the fish would eat the leaves. Probably wishful thinking.
 

Meyer Jordan

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I go out there every day and skim leaves and twigs off the top. I realize that is just a small percentage of what sinks to the bottom. I am now considering a pond cover net from thepondguys.
I had hoped snails or the fish would eat the leaves. Probably wishful thinking.

Organic matter that is already in your pond will, in one form or another, remain in your pond unless removed.
 
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Jeff G

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I like that description. Maybe by some miracle all the settled organic matter will be turned into bigger fish. :)
 

Jeff G

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You are not making this easy. I assume I'll have to take the fish out of the pond and put them in a kiddie pool filled with pond water. Then II'll have to vacuum or try to scoop out the dead leaves raising a cloud of black muck. Yuk.
I don't have a filter - just a bubbler/aerator and a circulating pump that I spray into the air like a small fountain. The circulating pump is turned off for the winter.
I wonder how Nature does it. Are there fish or snails or jellyfish or anything that eat leaves and turn them into something that is not toxic for goldfish?
 

Meyer Jordan

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Nature's ponds are typically measured in acres and much greater depth and with a lot lower fish density than is found in a garden pond. Even so, these natural ponds will completely fill-in over time and become bogs, fens or other wetlands. The reason that the fish are not usually affected is because the toxic substances remain locked within the sediment. It is only when this sediment is disturbed will fish mortality occur.
 

peter hillman

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You've only got a few fish, net them into a holding tank, clean the pond and return the fish after it settles. A short term fix.
 
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Ruben Miranda

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Hello
One thing we.seem to forget or not take into account with natural ponds/lakes (and I am not talking man made) is that there is always a water exchange new water comes in and bad water goes out.

We as pond owners have no choice if we want healthy fish and a clear pond. We filter we Vacuume we screen we do water changes.
If you want the above then we have to do the work.
No way out of it.

Ruben
 
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hi , i think the amount of leaves your having is alot! if it was less then pond echosystem will manage and decompose make it fertilizer im against too much cleaning of leaves as its natural way to add fertilizer and food cycle in pond , but in this case seems to be alot of leaves this will consume alot of oxygen and resources to decompose and alot of harmful gasses buildup traped under mug eventually there would be algae bloom or sudden event where all oxygen will b gone and rot the water ... fish will die .

if suppose 2 foot is building in a year thats fine and yearl cleaning will keep it balanced so i think u need to clean it atleast in 6 months to keep it in control , fish are alive bcz depth is 7 feet or in 4 foot pond they would have been dead by now .

if u have water source you can keep changing and adding new water it will take care , or have a net on top or bottom drain , or buy a vacuum or if its raised above ..do gravity suction cleaning of bottom vy wide hose pipe or buy a powerful external pump that can suck solids out

i dont think its very harmfull in short run to have alot of leaves just in long run can have issues , in nature the water ratio is alot compared to debris so it takes care of it and echosystem animals plants is very strong aswell as soil at the bottom and sides
 

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