Pond Upgrade


Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Messages
696
Reaction score
53
Location
Indiana
I was gifted a preformed pond last year and ended up with a really nice goldfish habitat. I was having so much fun last summer that I decided this year I would dig a custom pond and start keeping koi. The pond is about 2000 gallons and I have already purchased 12 baby koi. They are currently living in the small pond until the water is ready in the main pond. As I've gone through this process I've always intended keeping goldfish in the small pond and koi in the larger one, and not mixing the two at all, ie no goldfish in the koi pond, and no koi in the goldfish pond.

My question is does this make sense? Does it make sense to even keep the little pond? It's so tiny I'm just not sure what the benefit of keeping it is. Based on my math the 2000 gallon pond should be perfect for my 12 koi as long as they don't get super huge, but adding 12 goldfish to it will tip it over the scales and now it's not big enough.

I think this is a purely opinion question, but I'm curious about some different viewpoints.

Thanks in advance.

Ryan
 
Ad

Advertisements

sissy

sissy
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
31,804
Reaction score
14,747
Location
Axton virginia
Hardiness Zone
7A
Country
United States
Oh my koi get very large and 12 are way to many .My koi are 8 years old and somewhere around 2 feet long and koi are very fussy about water quality and produce a lot of waste and because of that the pond will need more filtration and ph will need to be checked often .They are hard to take care of and if someone had warned me I would not have gotten koi
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Messages
696
Reaction score
53
Location
Indiana
But what do you think about having 2 ponds? Pointless? It sounds like you are definitely saying do not add the goldfish to the large pond as I'm over capacity as it is, but what are your thoughts about having 2 ponds? It's more work, but I'm just not sure about the pay off. Is it worth it?
 

sissy

sissy
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
31,804
Reaction score
14,747
Location
Axton virginia
Hardiness Zone
7A
Country
United States
I had 2 ponds for awhile and now have a 150 gallon stock tank and a 300 gallon stock tank but use them mostly for plants as koi destroy plants and you need plants for water quality .The more aeration in a pond the better and once the pond is established less feeding of the fish means less waste .They will feed off the good muck that builds up on the liner .You will need a good liquid test kit also for your pond and solar salt from lowes or home depot it is in the blue bag .
 

sissy

sissy
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
31,804
Reaction score
14,747
Location
Axton virginia
Hardiness Zone
7A
Country
United States
I also after stabalizing my ph I put in crushed oyster shells I buy from tractor supply .I get dollar store fine mesh laundry bags and put some in each filter and hang a bag from the bridge ,but aggie and bert my 2 biggest koi keep pushing and pulling on the bag so they can knock it off to root through it
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Messages
696
Reaction score
53
Location
Indiana
That's a good point, maybe I'll use the goldfish pond as my plant incubator. When you say "much" do you mean algae or the deaying matter at the bottom? I've never really thought about not feeding my fish daily, but if it means crystal clear water I'd be 100% open to that.
 
Joined
Apr 10, 2010
Messages
3,219
Reaction score
1,290
Location
Phoenix AZ
Does it make sense to even keep the little pond?
Makes sense to me. Doesn't make sense to my wife.

Based on my math the 2000 gallon pond should be perfect for my 12 koi as long as they don't get super huge, but adding 12 goldfish to it will tip it over the scales and now it's not big enough.
Love to know that math. It is not possible to compute what fish load a pond can handle. It's something you measure as the pond is running and make adjustments as needed. Most people don't do that and nature adjusts the number of fish to fit the pond.

I've never really thought about not feeding my fish daily, but if it means crystal clear water I'd be 100% open to that.
Clear water and good water quality for the fish are two completely unrelated things. The best water for fish is normally green. There are things you do to get clear water and separately you test water and adjust for the fish.
 

sissy

sissy
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
31,804
Reaction score
14,747
Location
Axton virginia
Hardiness Zone
7A
Country
United States
no muck that grows on the liner after awhile the fish love to eat it and when you get baby fish they love it and so do tadpoles .muck slime the yucky mucky I call it .
 

j.w

I Love my Goldies
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
26,139
Reaction score
15,740
Location
Arlington, Washington
Hardiness Zone
USDA 8a
Country
United States
I think it just comes down to your choice whether you want the goldfish pond or not. If you don't mind caring for them both and you like them both then keep it and enjoy it! Goldfish don't bug plants like koi do so you could keep the plants and goldies together and goldies will keep your plant tub free of skeeters :razz:
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Messages
696
Reaction score
53
Location
Indiana
The math I used was 1000 gallons for the first fish, and 100 extra gallons for each additional. That came up to 2100 gallons, and my pond is around that give or take. I don't plan on adding any fish, but if my pond is too small and 2 die off I guess I will take that as a sign from above that 10 fish is the right number. Ditto that on the wife thing, she didn't want the first pond, or the second pond, but at this point I think she's just given up. And as much as I want my fish to be healthy, I definitely want the pond to look gorgeous, so the clearer the better, I'm sure there is a middle ground between happy owner and happy fish.
 

sissy

sissy
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
31,804
Reaction score
14,747
Location
Axton virginia
Hardiness Zone
7A
Country
United States
there always is and it just takes time and patience and after that you will succeed .It took me 8 years to get there and with the help of this forum I feel like i am getting there .At first it seems like a lot of work but there is a time where you look back and say i did it ,I made it .Your wife will come to love there personalities also .One day you may hear her bragging about your pond so just be patient and hang in there .I use mountain and put a bag of activated charcoal in my filter with crushed oyster shells and pet mountain has the cheapest price for activated charcoal and i put at leas a pound in each filter .Hang on you will make .Just try not feeding your fish but once or twice a week and that will help alot
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Messages
696
Reaction score
53
Location
Indiana
My wife is just pretending to hate the fish. I catch her outside near the goldfish pond at least once a week feeding them, and last night while I was placing some flagstone near the deck she said, "We should redesign the deck to incorporate the pond better." For someone who hates koi ponds, that seems like a really odd thing to say. She's just being reluctant because it's so new. I have a feeling within a year she'll be totally on board.
 

sissy

sissy
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
31,804
Reaction score
14,747
Location
Axton virginia
Hardiness Zone
7A
Country
United States
I have a feeling she already is and is hooked but does not want to say until she is sure everything is going to work out .The first time she buys something for the pond you will know for sure and just remember smile and say that will work and looks great . :razz: Since she is already talking about the deck ,you are winning .Hate to say that since i am a woman too and never want to give a man the upper hand of saying I told you so .
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2007
Messages
1,191
Reaction score
380
Location
Colorado - zone 5a
Hardiness Zone
5a
I have to agree that your math seems a bit strange. My pond totals somewhere around 1200-1400 gallons. I have around a dozen goldfish from 3" up to 9-10". I have 6 shubunkins around 5-6". And I have around 9 koi, with one at about 4", three at 15-16", and the rest around 7". On top of that, I have a couple dozen fathead minnows and six or seven weather loaches. All of my fish are in excellent health, and except for one mystery death of a new fish last year, the only deaths I have ever had were from fish jumping out of the pond.

Don't concern yourself so much with how many fish per gallon you can keep... that rule-of-thumb doesn't even work for small aquariums. Instead focus on things like filtration and how much space the fish have to move. If you pack them in like sardines, of course the fish will not be in good health. On the other hand, goldfish and koi will school together and not take up a whole lot of space, however they still need enough space to roam around. Putting a single koi in a 100-gallon pond would be stressful and not give the fish room to grow, however putting 10 koi in a 1000-gallon pond gives them the space to move around. Hope that makes sense?

Filtration is not just how many filters you have... you also should include things like water plants, bog beds, and features like waterfalls that oxygenate the water. Another consideration is how much time you intend to spend on maintenance -- will you perform daily cleanings of dead leaves in the Fall? If you keep the muck out of the pond (performing manual filtration), the water will be in much better condition than if you rely on your filters and biological processes. There are a number of things you can do to greatly increase the quantity of fish that can be kept in a pond.

The only reason I can think of for keeping goldfish and koi separated is if you intend to do any breeding. The two can interbreed, but my understanding is that the offspring of such a mix is some very ugly babies that nobody wants. Otherwise, they are completely compatible with each other, and both fish actually appear to be more at ease when they are part of a larger school.
 
Joined
Apr 10, 2010
Messages
3,219
Reaction score
1,290
Location
Phoenix AZ
I hadn't seen that formula before...but that's fine. I guess some kind of ballpark estimate is needed. Yours is as good as any other.

My wife is pretty cool. As part of my next pond project she's OKed having at least one pond inside the house. But I don't think it makes sense to her, but she likes different things.
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Messages
696
Reaction score
53
Location
Indiana
Yeah, it's certainly just a starting point. I mean, 2000 gallons now with 3" fish I could probably keep 100, but I certainly don't want 10 to die every month as they all grow. That's just cruel. So I did that math, came up with 12 adult koi and bought 12 baby koi. It's going to look strange for a couple of years but I don't really care.

So if she ok'd at least one inside pond, how many does that translate into? 3? My wife wasn't too thrilled that I ended up with an aquarium in the house last year for my pleco.
 

sissy

sissy
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
31,804
Reaction score
14,747
Location
Axton virginia
Hardiness Zone
7A
Country
United States
Sorry but I can't imagine having that many fish in a pond and being able to keep it clean or healthy no matter what .I have 13 fish and my pond is around 10x24 with the water fall area and i feel i am over populated and my pond is around 4 1/2 feet deep and can be a hassle at times to keep it clean .i just don't have the time to do that and take care of the property .I guess if i had nothing else to do it would be fine but I also want time to sit and enjoy my retirement and enjoy the sound of the water .I think my next thing will be a pondless water feature no fish and not as much work and you still get the sound .Filters ,netting ,filter tanks ,water quality ,health of fish ,feed for fish ,water testing and all that can be a hassle at times .I have seen to many houses foreclosed on with abandoned fish ponds and ponds that are over populated and left go by the owners because they get tired of the work or get frustrated because it is not working out for them .Less fish in a pond means less work and much easier for someone just starting out in ponding .The pond is a big enough learning curve so don't make it to hard on yourself or you will give up and get frustrated .
 
Joined
Jul 13, 2011
Messages
401
Reaction score
111
Location
NE Indiana
Hardiness Zone
6a
Country
United States
Like someone else mentioned, 2 ponds are good if you do not want your koi and goldies to breed. Mine are all in one pond together, and I'm hoping they do population control themselves eating the eggs and frogs too. But if they do breed together, from what I've heard their babies are kind of a blackish color and look most like a goldfish with barbels, and the babies are sterile. I wouldn't stress to much about the number of fish you have. Just keep an eye on your ammonia levels and if they start getting too high you'll know there are too many fish. I have a 1000ish gallon pond 3 ft deep, and I have 4 koi, and a bunch of goldfish, probably around 25 or so, most of the fish are in the 5" range, 2 are 7-11" (goldies) My ammonia always tests zero. The water garden place around here that does installations has several ponds are their grounds with 15-20 large koi in them and guessing I would say they are around 2000 gallons as well, so I think as long as you built good filtration you will be fine and maybe even have room to add a few more down the road.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Messages
696
Reaction score
53
Location
Indiana
I still think the important point here is fish size. 12 teeny tiny koi are not going to pollute 2000 gallons of water. It's going to take years for them to mature, and if I don't learn enough to be efficient in 2 or 3 years then I'm doing something very very wrong. Look at my goldfish pond, it's crystal clear right now and it has 24 fish in it including the 12 aforementioned koi. If they're not ruining that 200 gallon pond they're not going to ruin my main pond any time soon.
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top