Please Help: Wildfires vs Fish Pond


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Hello Everyone,
With the recent wildfires happening in Oregon our family had to evacuate immediately from our house. Now that we got a the okay to go back, I wanted to know what to do with my fish. Our pond is small 1,000 gallon pond, and from what I understand there is ash mixed in it and on top of it. What should I do? Remove the fish, drain, clean and refill the pond is obvious. What I need help with is how do I remove them? Or more like is there a system or setup which would be more beneficial to do? We were thinking of just getting a big pond/pool, treating the water and adding a bubble box and putting the fish in there while we clean the pond. Is that the way to do it?
 
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TheFishGuy

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Where we live in Colorado, I also got a fair amount of ash in my pond, but I just left it be. Although I will be draining the pond in the next few weeks anyway. I am not sure how much ash you got though, so pictures would help!
 
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I'm afraid I don't have any experience with such an event, so I have no practical advice to give, but just wanted to say I am very glad you're safe!
 
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I'd check the pH of the water - it might be out of whack. Lots of calcium in wood ash and the pH may be too high.
 

Mmathis

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Hello and welcome!

That is an excellent question, but I don’t have an answer either. Stay safe!
 

Jhn

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I would check water parameters first, and See what is going on with the Pond first. Then go from there either doing partial water changes, then you don’t need to remove the fish.

If it needs to be emptied and cleaned out entirely....Pump the pond all the way down to almost nothing then catch them with a net. Add the filter/filter media ( dont clean it other than shake any gunk off) from your pond to the temporary holding pool, treat the new water if it has chlorine in it. Get some prime or some other product that will bind up ammonia, so the temporary pool doesn’t have an ammonia spike if the bacteria in the filter media Isn’t sufficient. You can try to match the water Params, ie temp/ph to that of the pond.

As for the pond cleaning I wouldn’t scrub it clean( you don’t want To wipe off the perphyton layer, think slick fuzzy algae layer) just change water and rinse off anything that has ash residue left.
 
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Unfortunately in wild fires the ash is not just from trees and brush. Many homes and business get torched and all our normal tests will not come close to what is possibly in the water. Like Jhn said id do partial to a complete water change. And again don't scrub your rocks or pond floor just vacuum out the heavy areas. If your still having issues with the fires in your area I'd place your fish in a hospital tank in your garage or basement , And cover it. Like a bong have your air pump pull its air in through a water chamber this will remove a lot of the contaminets in the air. if you can find a pump that draws from a tube.
 
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I’m sorry you have to deal with this, glad you’re ok. If the fire danger to your house is gone, but the area was burned, you may want to secure them where hungry animals chased out by the fire cannot get to them. They’ll be coming to your pond for a drink and maybe a dip, so expect visitors. I’d at least bring in the favorites and set them up in a stock tank type set up in the basement or something, and let nature have the pond till things get back to normal.
 

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