Mystery of dying goldfish and other questions


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Hi guys,
I'm new to this forum and also new to the pond world. I just build the raised pond myself with bricks and put the liner in, then also have DIY waterfall filter with 600 gph pump running. The pond is about 650 gallon. - is the water pump too high?

The water that came down from the waterfall is hard and the surface water is moving all the time but my water plants do not move at all.

We had rain a lot a few days ago and now my water is brown, probably from the flag stones I used as the water fall.

Anyway, I have this pond for about 2 weeks now. I have about 27 small 1.5-2" comet goldfish, 3 still small 4-5" Shubunkin, 9 guppies, 5 dalmatian molly, 2 tiny catfish, and one algy eater that I dont remember what it was, also tiny. Do I over stock?

For the last week, my comet goldfish has been dying one by one, about a few days apart. I cant see any physical different... just some of them went sideway, breathing heavy and then died. I checked the water level and it seems to be in the safe or acceptable level. I'm at a lost of why this is... the fish was acting strong and the next day it just float and died.

Is my water current too strong that the fish have to swim against it too hard? Some of my fish, especially guppies love the waterfall and would stay at the bottom of the waterfall and swim against the current... my Shubunkin did that sometimes, and some of the goldfish loved it. But eventhough at the water surface, the water was moving but my plant didnt move at all, that should make the space for fish to rest, right?

I also have a little river rocks at the bottom of the pond but it was only one layer and I can still see the liner too. I dont think 2 weeks is long enough for the build up?

I also just changed the water (got rained on and went brown) on Saturday (then 2 goldfish died since then, 2 days apart of each other)

Should I try to treat the water with salt? Most of the fish died pretty sudden (for me anyway). And what can I do with the brown water fromt he rain :(

I'm open to any suggestions...
Thanks.
 

sissy

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welcome and that is a lot of fish for a small pond and you will get babies .Changing the water will ot help you need to get a test kit and test your water .Quilt batting in a basket will help clear up the water .Lots of rain will lower your PH and a test kit will help you with that .To raise ph is easy .I use API
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Thanks!

Quilt batting! I was thinking about something similar when I saw my dog bed filler but I wasnt sure if the filter has to be anything specific.

I think we are probably down to 22-23 goldfish by now. I'm thinking about the goldfish babies too but I dont think they will survive being eaten by the Shubunkin...

I thought the goldfish needs about 10 gallon each when it still small? the guppies are so small and the dalmatians are also small. May be I'm confused of how much fish needs :(

my PH test kit will come today. What is the lever I should head for? what is API?

Thanks.
 

sissy

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api is the test kit I use .I got mine at pet mountain .com but most pet stores sell them.Fish babies hide and will come out when they are to big to be eaten .I gave 30 away this year and kept 2 that I could not catch .I have 15 fish now but 2 of mine are koi over 2 feet long after 9 years ,no one told me they got that big . :cheerful: I would stay with what you have .I add a cup of solar salt to my pond only 2 times a year and that is mostly for the koi to help there slime coat .I have 2 filters and 2 water falls and my pond is 25x 10 and over 4 feet deep for summer heat
 
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Wow that is way too many fish for a new pond. Especially one of that size. Did i add correctly... 48 fish? I imagine the ammonia level is sky high. I would go with half that tops and I would have added them in slowly, AFTER the pond had time to cycle.
 

sissy

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ph I keep at 9 for koi but goldfish any where from 7 up .I use crushed oyster shells in my filters to keep my ph stable and I get it at tractor supply and activated charcoal in my filters and use dollar store laundry bags to put it in
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I rebuilt my water fall tank to hold more plants this past spring.I had the round tank and changed it to oval so I could put more plants in it to help clean the water
 

sissy

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also are you treating the water you put in your pond if it is not well water
 
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wow, Thanks for all the info, my head hurts lol.

I didnt relized I have a lot of fish :( should I get rid of some? I checked the ammonia level the other day and it was fine. How often should I check?

Thanks Sissy for the idea about the plant in the waterfall tank - that's really interesting. I have some plants and very small growing lotuses. My pond is in the shade so I cant really plant that many plant (Lotus needs sun I know, I just want to try to see if it'll grow).

I used some type of water treatment thing that I bought for the water I put in the pond. And then I test it afterward and all the level looked fine. I havnt check the level after the rain though. Will check the Ph tonight.

So you think the posibility that my fish is dying can be from ammonia build up and may be Ph?
 
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I wish I could make the waterfall bigger. My waterfall is small and in the corner so I probably cant change the size of it. But may be I can add more filter to it and also plant some plants in there :)

The picture was taken immedielty after i installed the waterfall so the water was still a bit cloudy. I thought I washed the rocks pretty good but since the rain, the water is now very brown :(
 

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Hello and welcome!

New Pond Syndrome? Maybe too many fish for such a small pond, and especially for a new pond. You have to start out slow -- start with just a few fish to get your biofilter started. This process can take weeks. Do regular water checks (I have the API freshwater liquid kit). Only add fish, a few at a time, as you go along. And yes, there are formulas for how many fish you can keep, but it's still going to depend on your water quality. And remember that teeny little fish will grow pretty fast.

I'm only beginning to understand any of this myself, and then only at a "surface" level (no pun intended). The fish make ammonia, which is toxic. You have bacteria "a" that converts that ammonia into nitrite, which is also toxic. Then you have bacteria "b" that converts the nitrite it nitrate (toxic in large amounts). It takes time for these bacterial colonies to grow large enough to work their magic, so in the meantime, the chemicals are building up in the water and harming the fish. Then there are other factors such as pH. That's why you need to check your water, do water changes, remove fish if you have too many..... And be sure NOT to over feed!

Don't get discouraged! It's a learning process. Try to focus on taking care of this problem. Read, read, read! Ask questions. Do what you can to take care of these fish, and in the process you'll be learning so much more than you knew going into this, 2 weeks ago!
 
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Yes a New Pond Syndrome :) I build this pond for my own mother's day gift (it's always like this at my house, my husband had a grand idea then I ended up do all the work) and I was so excited and got comet goldfish in as for my son surprise when he got back from his vacation - the comet was only 10 cents each so I got 10, then 15 (but some how we missed count) but about 5-6 had died already since I first had them so I think we are looking about 20 comet here. They were only 1 inch long then and now grow to be 1.5 - 2 inches. I was going to stop then my son loves some guppies and we went overboard on that becasue I started out with 3 but then 2 died. I thought I had to buy more to keep it some company and I wanted female so I kept buying more and now we have 9 guppies all at 1 inch (with tail). Then I accidentedly won an ebay auction for 3 beautiful Shubunkin (4 inches) which came in the mail and seems to be thriving. We got 5 dalmatian molly becasue my son loves them, they are about 1.5 inches. Then I know i need some bottom feeder so I got 2 catfish which was smaller than 1 inch (2 weeks ago)... Yes.. New Pong Syndrome - :)

If I see fish that doesnt look so good now, what can I do to help it?

Should I put some salt in my pond?
 
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I was trying to do a 20% water change last Sat but ended up doing a 60% water change. I cant do that large water change more than every two weeks or my husband will kill me, would that help?


I'll be back in a bit.


Thank you all for the replies.
 
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Hello from across the Pond from Plymouth in the UK, it seems that you've got into a pickle with your pond, first what worries me is that for the size of pond you have you are far to overstocked, please may I suggest you give away half of what you have.
You could to help stop and mature your filters use Microbe-Lift PL filterpad innoculent Gel ( just follow the instructions on the bottle its all self explanetory .
I would suggest you buy a good book on fish keeping to understand everything from the Nitrogen Cycle to fish diseases parasites etc. my first ever book was "The Interpet Manual of fish health" and it was an eye opener for both.
My Partner Val and I we still use it 27 year on along with our large Library of other books, you can pick them up on Amazon quite cheaply and in very good condition ( We do most of our book hunting on there nowadays).
You should get yourself a decent test kit for ponds API and Tetra do good ones, we prefare Tetra for accuracy but API is just as good.
Question with your dying commets can you see anything at all wrong with them i;e stress in the form of red streaks along the back or in the finnage of the fish ?
Sissy suggests that a good PH level for koi is 9 unfortunately she has made a mistake that could kill them the should be between 7-8.5 with 7.5 as being perfect, she correctly said about the crushed oyster shell helping astablize the pond water, you can also buy zeolite which will soak in any ammonia problems you may have when in a flow through your filter to recharge it soak it in a bucket with about 1lb of cooking salt (not table as it has impurities), you could as we do use two bags having one charged the other in situ in the pond.
May I ask a question that nobody seems to have picked up on, the wooden fencing around the pond, what preservative did you paint it with because if it isnt aquatic and pond life friendly with the rain pouring down as it does in the US it would be washing into the pond water and will kill fisb.
Rain water isnt good for the pond anyway (I always waterchange after heavy rain).
Koi however require a depth of between 4-5ft to aviod the worst that winter can throw at you.
You could also buy Policarbonate sheets to lay across the pond in winter giving some protection against the eliments.
To start with your going to go through a steep learning as you are finding out hence my suggestion about the book (we all go through it)if you can stick with it you'll be laughing about all this in a years time.
Feeding should be done above 10c never lower please see the diagrams I've posted for you, I've added a free diognostic chart for you to use it's for koi but the diseases are the same :-

Feeding by Temperature.jpg

fish.jpg

NT Labs free diagnosic guide.jpg

PH scale copy.jpg

waters_ph_chart.jpg

I hope this all helps you further yourselves in our wonderful hobby

rgrds

Dave
 

HTH

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I skimmed the other post.

Did you buy feeder goldfish? If so you can expect a good number of them to die off. They may infect your other fish too.
 
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Ah those bloody feeder fish again they have alot to answer for if it was them why do you have these fish you dont see them in the UK we are much more respectful of our fish .......
Yes HTH but they were all reported to be in good health when bought so they couldn't have been feeders could they ?

rgrds

Dave
 
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Dave, thanks for your reply and some nice tips :) I may as well give away some of the goldfish. Sounds like a good ideas. They always hungry anyway and today I put 30 some tadpole in and they ate all in 2 seconds!

I did the water test five minutes ago and all seems good, the Alkaline might be a bit on the high side though, what will that do and how to fix it? (Ill also search for answer on the web too). The ammonia level seems to be ok, the color is not exactly the same as the 'safe' level but not at the 'caution' level either. I'll have a better Ph test tomorrow but right now my stick test said its about 5-6. Is it too low?

One of the dead fish definitely show sign of stress with the blood spots and some red streak on its back, it scales were missing some too. But the one that died today didn't have any sign at all.

I live in the south so I'm not so concern about the winter that much, we had a cold winter last year but only the water in a bucket will freeze, I don't expect my pond to freeze over too :) but still need to learn all about winter feeding and all that since the water will definitely be cold, too cold to feed the fish (that's new to me, thank you)

When you said to give away some fish, do you mean just goldfish or my guppies count too? I thought guppies don't make much mess?

HTH, I'm not sure, I bought it from Petsmart and they were labeled as comet goldfish. The price was right at 10 cent each so I bought too much :). They were the first in the pond though.
 
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Dave, it could be, I don't know. When I bought them and put them in the pond I didn't do water test yet (didn't have the kit then) I had one goldfish died on me from that batch then, but that was it, it could've died from stress as the body was bent.
 
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If your pond is between 5-6 Ph wise that is way too low no wonder they are dropping like flies, if you dont rectifiy thi they are all going to succumb, however di you have any bicarbonate of soda in the kitchen, if so add 5ml per 50 gallons to the pond until you've reached the 650 gallons that will stablize it at neutral .
Its a quick fix that gives you the breathing space to get things right , Oystershell does the same thing as does calcified seaweed but they are a full time fix .
You really need to get a grip of this pond I've given you the answersnow you have to put that into practice and I really want you to buy the fish health book I mentioned and read it ok as it'll explain all can you promise you will rapidly one of my pet hates is explaining to a person what to do, then they go off and do it at their own pace .
Do that and more fish will die so speed is of the essence here my friend .
Best of Luck keep me posted by email if necessary

rgrds

Dave


rgrds

Dave
 
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Dave, did you mean baking soda?

After a google search, it is a baking soda :) I do have some, I'll do it as soon as my husband gets home to be with our son, should be very soon :)

Thanks for the tip!
 

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