Pond won’t support fish !


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new to the forum here guys. I am in dire need of help here with a clients pond I built about a month ago. The pond is about 14 ft long by 4ft wide and is in the shape of a bone. Is about 2.5 foot deep. Has a 3100 gal pump with a waterfall at each end with a 2ft drop to the pond. and a pond skimmer. Have an aerator in it as well. I have drained the pond probably 5 times and added beneficial bacteria, and water conditioner every time. I’ve been using wild blue gill as tester fish and those are some of the hardiest fish I can think of to use with no success. The only thing I can think of is the water temperature being too high considering we live in Texas but half of the pond has shade and the other half has lilies so I’ve made every effort I can to cool this pond down. I’m about ready to try using RO water.... any ideas guys ?
 
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sissy

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welcome but if pond does not have any of it's own bacteria it will not work .Most know bacteria in a bottle is nothing and you need to get the bacteria to start on it's own and that takes time .
 

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What are the water parameters of pond as well as source water? Ph, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate. Put numbers to it, not the tests are fine.

Is there chlorine in your source water?
If so, did you add dechlorinator of some sort?

Do you have pics of the pond to post?
 

sissy

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Do you know any one that has a pond and can give you water from it and maybe a filter pad they have used and yes you really need a liquid test kit .I have given several people starting ponds stuff like water and filter pads and other things from my pond and it helps a little
 

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@Optimumfishcare
 
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I appreciate the feed back guys! I am using tap water with a declorinator. It’s strange because these bluegill I recently added to the the pond came from a tank I have. The water used in the tank is tap water from my city with declorinator added. The strange part is According to water quality reports the city the pond is located in suppusodly has a better water quality than the water they were provided in the aquarium they lived in previously. This leads me to believe it’s not an issue of water quality. These fish are dying hours after they are put in. I think it’s either too high of a temperature which boggles my mind considering I’ve seen these fish thrive in water well above 80 degrees. Another possibility ive had in mind is some sort of lawn care chemical my be leaching into the pond from landscaping services. I find it hard to believe it’s a lack of nitrogen cycle. All else fails I can use media from an established pond I suppose.
 
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I built about a month ago. I have drained the pond probably 5 times and added beneficial bacteria, and water conditioner every time.

Welcome to the forum @Optimumfishcare, Sorry to hear about the pond troubles.

One issue with adding beneficial bacteria products, is that it is only good if it is "fresh"... Often times, a company may actually produce a usable product, but, by the time it is shipped from the manufacturer, traveling in extreme heat in shipping, then distributed to whatever store, again, in the heat, and then sitting on the store shelf for who knows how long... Usually results in a whole bottle of dead bacteria, and a waste of $$$.

Even then, with the pond getting "drained", more than once a week, either added bacteria, or naturally occurring bacteria, doesn't really get much of a chance to establish to a point where it aids the nitrogen cycle.

With 5 new starts within a month, its unlikely the nitrogen cycle has even had much of an opportunity to start. It can take 3-4 weeks just for ammonia readings to start to show up, and another couple months for it to complete.

Also, just how many bluegills are being added at once? Does your client intend on keeping bluegills permanently?

As you've mentioned, of course there could be problems with heat, and chemicals getting in the pond... So definitely investigate further into the possibility of run off spots from the landscape. But, IMHO, I'd fill the pond, add nothing but dechlorinator (like pond prime - which also treats for heavy metals), stock with only a few fish, and leave it alone - other than keeping tabs on the water tests.

Good luck with it.
 

sissy

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water quality in the tap water is not the test you need it is an API liquid water test kit .
 
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Welcome @Optimumfishcare to the GPF.

Water temperature can be an issue if the difference between the tank and the pond is too great. Since these fish are dying quickly, there has to be something about the pond water - temp or pH both come to mind - that is shocking them.

Can you post pictures of this pond? You don't mention filtration - are these biofalls that feed the waterfalls? This is about 1000 gallons, so your pump size should be OK.

And honestly, I would stop using fish to test the water and get yourself a good quality water testing kit - if you're building ponds for clients, it's something you'll want to teach them as well.
 

addy1

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Welcome to our group!

I built my pond, let it run for almost two months, added some fish, they died. The well water had a ph of 5.3. Never thought we had acidic water.

You need to get a test kit and test the water. API liquid test kit.

Post your results we can help you out.

Don't drain the pond any more, test the water.
 
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Something doesn’t add. He’s right about bluegills being incredibly tolerant. Here where I am a bucket of Bluegills is heaven in the frypan. I won’t say the conditions I’ve seen them survive in. Don’t understand why we don’t have ph and temp yet.
 
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What I don't understand is the fact that the OP is building a pond for a "client" and doesn't even own a proper test kit. You would think the first thing to do is check water quality with said test kit.
I have to admit I have not done one test on my pond the water is what it is being city water and the fish will tell me when there is an issue so ph I have no clue nor do I care the fish when acclimated slowly this is done for just such reasons. I would suspect much more then ph or temps though temps maybe a possibility. my question is where did the rubber come from ? is it firestone POND or is it roofing or is it carlise or even anjon. in texas are there crops near by ? an airport taking off over the pond or landing? and yest definitely look at fertilizers I know my lawn care guy applies ant and insect like grub killer like three times a yaer
 
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the fish will tell me when there is an issue

The only problem with that approach is sometimes it's too late by the time you realize the fish have a problem. Like in the case of the OP - these fish are dying within hours. That's indicative of some kind of traumatic shock - pH or temperature change being two obvious potential causes. But toxins are another possibility for sure. Although the fact that he keeps emptying the pond and refilling and then adding fish that die again would point to the first two as being more likely.

Also, some people take issue with the idea of "sacrificial" fish as being needlessly cruel, when you have the ability to test the water to make sure it's fish safe.

The OP is also apparently building ponds for other people for money, at least that's the assumption since he mentioned his client. That's a different level of responsibility than what one chooses to do with their own pond.
 

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@Optimumfishcare Hello and welcome! I have to agree with the other responses you’ve received.....but am also curious about this situation. You are building a pond for a “client,” yet you don’t seem to have the basic understanding of pond and fish care. I’m sorry if that sounds rude, but it does seem odd. Are you in the business of building ponds? Your screen name implies that you have experience.

You mentioned living in Texas. I am in Louisiana, and my water temps will be in the 90’s. I have shade sails that I put up during the summer. Not saying that water temperature is the problem here....but have you measured the water temperature at all?

And definitely agree that you need to STOP emptying the pond. Leave it alone and let nature get the water cycled for you! Yes, get a liquid pond (not pool) water test kit and let us know what the results are. Please give us the actual number results — as opposed to saying “the results are normal.”
 
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Also, some people take issue with the idea of "sacrificial" fish as being needlessly cruel, when you have the ability to test the water to make sure it's fish safe.
Well you will be happy to know there was no losses with the sacrificial fish . They all have grown three times there size. I am not the softest spoken or one who will say a project looks great when it looks like my 9 year old son built it. By sacrificial mainly meant I would not spend a fortune on the fish I bought koi at 6 for 135 bucks 6months latter they are all still alive and the money fish are moving in and the originals are already making the trip back to the supplier. I guarantee i will have many ideas and statements that do not agree with the norm. Everyone tells me you can't do that like the planted tank with a real tree stump and birds and even a mouse living above the open planted tank. So many like here with the koi keepers say you have to keep the pond clean no rocks. you yourself are proof of going against the grain so don't take some words so literally. You your self have said there's no way this is my first . well it truly is I just have some crazy ideas some work some don't and some defy reasoning but results speak for them selves.
 
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This is totally true!
Results are not instant when it comes to ponds.
This site leans toward mother nature doing the work and not chlorine. It takes time for mother nature to grow grass on concrete but she will given time and she will manage your pond giving her the basic tools and time to work with.
 
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