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Hi There, Newbie here in Portland OR.
Any comments would be welcomed. So...
I thought it would be easy to build a pond and give a few goldfish a happy life!

I basically extended my block wall retaining wall to create a 4ft by 5 ft, with a 2 ft depth = apprx 300 gals. rectangle that I put a liner into and filled up with the hose.

It is really pretty cool. BUT, I realize that my surface area is only 20 sq ft and my depth is 2 feet. I have just read that it should only be 1 foot deep. So I might have an anaerobic water situation at the bottom?!

I have a 680 gpm underwater pump which sits on a brick at the bottom and has a nice bell fountain, which I thought would take care of oxygenation needs. I have 7 3-5" goldfish and a floating plant. I thought this was a super great set up. It's been together for about a month.

Sadly, I lost two fish yesterday. :(
pond.jpg


The pond started to get really green and it was difficult to see the bottom. I dosed with "Pondsafe" algecide that stated it is safe for fish. I dosed for 200 gals, (to be safe). The temperature went up to 90 yesterday. The fish stayed in the "fish tower" (upside down 12" diameter jar placed just under surface) all day. I thought it was fun to see them, and they did not look distressed at all. But the behavior was weird.

By morning the two smallish ones were death swimming and the other larger ones are pretty listless and hanging at the bottom. AGH

So after reading all this, I have 3 questions:
1. Do you think it was an oxygen deficit that hurt my fish?
2. Is the pond too deep for the surface?
3. Do you think I can ad a air pump stone to add oxygen at the bottom to overcome the depth problem?.
 
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Welcome @liznpdx ! I'm sorry to hear about your fish - that's always a sad situation.

I don't think you have to be concerned about the depth of your pond. Aeration however is always a good idea.

If I had to guess I would say it was the algacide that killed your fish. The combination of dying algae and high temperatures may have done them in. Both will deplete the water of oxygen.
 
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Mmathis

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Hello and welcome! I agree with @Lisak1 — you are fine with the depth because you have good aeration. That was an interesting bit of info in another thread about the surface area to depth ratio, BUT, as many things are with ponds, that probably applies more to a natural-type pond — one without filtration or aeration. Unless you have a thick layer of gravel or muck on the bottom of your pond, you shouldn’t have to worry about an anaerobic situation. An air stone never hurts, but again, I don’t think this is your problem.

One thing to consider regarding your fish deaths is ammonia and nitrites. Your pond is only a month old, and may not be cycled yet. It’s also on the smallish side, and you added 7 decent sized goldfish right off the bat. Your pond needs time to develop a “garden” of beneficial bacteria. The algae was there because your pond had more nutrients (fish waste, mostly) than what you beneficial bacteria “garden” had grown to meet the needs of the ecosystem, so the algae was nature’s way of eliminating the excess ammonia, etc.

Do you have any type of filtration system? Please read up on the nitrogen cycle.

If you don’t already have one, you might want to buy a water test kit. Most of us use the API brand. You will want the Master kit with tests for pH (hi and lo ranges), ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. Liquid drop tests are more reliable than test strips. You can add tests for KH and GH. We will be more than happy to explain all of these to you, and how to interpret the results.
 

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Welcome and a few questions do you have city water or well water and do you have a liquid API test kit and do you know the temperature of your water .Do not ever use algae products ,do not feed the fish much and they will eat it
 

j.w

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upload_2018-8-31_8-41-19.gif
@liznpdx Sorry for the loss of your fish and I too think good aeration will help. Chlorine from city water will kill fish also. I have a volcano of air coming up from my 3&1/2 ft deep pond. Prolly don't need that much but the fish like swimming through it in Summer. I turn it off in Winter so as not to stir up the cold water. I do leave my waterfall running tho which also helps w/aeration.
You can see all the bubbles from the air pump:
IMG_6187.JPG


Way in back falls and air pump creating aeration:
IMG_8655.JPG
 
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View attachment 115353@liznpdx Sorry for the loss of your fish and I too think good aeration will help. Chlorine from city water will kill fish also. I have a volcano of air coming up from my 3&1/2 ft deep pond. Prolly don't need that much but the fish like swimming through it in Summer. I turn it off in Winter so as not to stir up the cold water. I do leave my waterfall running tho which also helps w/aeration.
You can see all the bubbles from the air pump:
View attachment 115354

Way in back falls and air pump creating aeration:
View attachment 115355
Beautiful Pond, thanks for all your input. I did buy an aeration stone (waiting on Amazon) None of the other fish are dead. I'll go get the test kit right now!
 
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Welcome @liznpdx ! I'm sorry to hear about your fish - that's always a sad situation.

I don't think you have to be concerned about the depth of your pond. Aeration however is always a good idea.

If I had to guess I would say it was the algacide that killed your fish. The combination of dying algae and high temperatures may have done them in. Both will deplete the water of oxygen.
AGH, I'm a monster! I'm off to get a test kit. NO algaecide ever ever again! Thank you for your help on this.
 
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Hello and welcome! I agree with @Lisak1 — you are fine with the depth because you have good aeration. That was an interesting bit of info in another thread about the surface area to depth ratio, BUT, as many things are with ponds, that probably applies more to a natural-type pond — one without filtration or aeration. Unless you have a thick layer of gravel or muck on the bottom of your pond, you shouldn’t have to worry about an anaerobic situation. An air stone never hurts, but again, I don’t think this is your problem.

One thing to consider regarding your fish deaths is ammonia and nitrites. Your pond is only a month old, and may not be cycled yet. It’s also on the smallish side, and you added 7 decent sized goldfish right off the bat. Your pond needs time to develop a “garden” of beneficial bacteria. The algae was there because your pond had more nutrients (fish waste, mostly) than what you beneficial bacteria “garden” had grown to meet the needs of the ecosystem, so the algae was nature’s way of eliminating the excess ammonia, etc.

Do you have any type of filtration system? Please read up on the nitrogen cycle.

If you don’t already have one, you might want to buy a water test kit. Most of us use the API brand. You will want the Master kit with tests for pH (hi and lo ranges), ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. Liquid drop tests are more reliable than test strips. You can add tests for KH and GH. We will be more than happy to explain all of these to you, and how to interpret the results.
I am off to get a test kit. I have also seen beneficial bacteria to add to a pond. What do you think of that.? Right now it is cool and rainy, and the rest of the fish are ok (i guess) right now. I am not doing anything to it today. Still pretty green pond though. Also, when I set up the pond I did use chlorine remover with minerals that was supposed to be good. Thanks for your help. --Fish Killer Liz :(
 
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No beneficial bacteria - your pond is growing it's own! (It won't hurt anything, but you might as well just throw your dollar bills right in the pond for all the good it does in an established pond.)

When you get things straightened out, we'll talk about algae! The hows and whys and whats!
 

Mmathis

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Ditto what @Lisak1 said! And best to go a step at a time.

And when you get your test kit, we can help you through putting those pieces together, as well.

You are NOT a bad person or a bad fish-mommy! We’ve all been where you are at some point. It’s a learning process!
 
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Welcome to our group!

One of my ponds is around 300 gallons, 2.5 feet deep. Like said above the algacide may have been the issue.
Thanks for your help.I got a test kit...
 
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Ditto what @Lisak1 said! And best to go a step at a time.

And when you get your test kit, we can help you through putting those pieces together, as well.

You are NOT a bad person or a bad fish-mommy! We’ve all been where you are at some point. It’s a learning process!
thank you. I did go get the testing kit.
 
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Hi There, Newbie here in Portland OR.
Any comments would be welcomed. So...
I thought it would be easy to build a pond and give a few goldfish a happy life!

I basically extended my block wall retaining wall to create a 4ft by 5 ft, with a 2 ft depth = apprx 300 gals. rectangle that I put a liner into and filled up with the hose.

It is really pretty cool. BUT, I realize that my surface area is only 20 sq ft and my depth is 2 feet. I have just read that it should only be 1 foot deep. So I might have an anaerobic water situation at the bottom?!

I have a 680 gpm underwater pump which sits on a brick at the bottom and has a nice bell fountain, which I thought would take care of oxygenation needs. I have 7 3-5" goldfish and a floating plant. I thought this was a super great set up. It's been together for about a month.

Sadly, I lost two fish yesterday. :(View attachment 115300

The pond started to get really green and it was difficult to see the bottom. I dosed with "Pondsafe" algecide that stated it is safe for fish. I dosed for 200 gals, (to be safe). The temperature went up to 90 yesterday. The fish stayed in the "fish tower" (upside down 12" diameter jar placed just under surface) all day. I thought it was fun to see them, and they did not look distressed at all. But the behavior was weird.

By morning the two smallish ones were death swimming and the other larger ones are pretty listless and hanging at the bottom. AGH

So after reading all this, I have 3 questions:
1. Do you think it was an oxygen deficit that hurt my fish?
2. Is the pond too deep for the surface?
3. Do you think I can ad a air pump stone to add oxygen at the bottom to overcome the depth problem?.
 
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Okay. First, wow! what a generous group! Thank you all for your words of encouragement and advice. It helps a lot!
So.
Went down to PETCO and got the API freshwater master kit....

Here's where I am:

  1. pH is between 8 and 8.2
  2. Ammonia is under 0.25 ppm, I'd say halfway between 0.00 and 0.25
  3. Nitrite is 0
  4. Nitrate is 0


    the rectangular block/liner pond dimensions are 5 by 4 by 2 deep which gives me close to 300 gallons. I have a water pump on a brick at the bottom that is moving 600 gals per hour up a bell fountain for aeration. I just ordered an air pump with two bubble stones to put at the bottom...waiting on that.
Do you wizened ponders have any suggestions? Oh by the way, the goldfish (5) seem to be a little better today.
 
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Hi Liz. I totally agree with all the advice you received. The only chemical you should ever add to a pond is declor. If you want to cut down on ammonia and algae stop feeding until the pond has properly cycled. They will not starve. Also you are not the first person that ever lost fish when they first started. My first pond was about 10 years ago. I lost all my goldfish except one when I first started. I felt bad because he was so lonely and I did not add any more fish until all my readings were perfect. I still have that fish and it is a pretty as ever! Good luck!
 
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