Small pond Spring startup

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Hi there,

I'm looking for some opinions on how I should start up my 125 gallon pond for the Spring. It was drained and covered for the winter. I only mildly cleaned the filter box (i.e. sprayed off the foam pads) and kept it full in my garage; I don't think it would have frozen much but it's possible.

Last weekend I uncovered the pond, cleaned out all the debris, put the filter back in and filled the pond. I also added top Fin pond water conditioner.

My fish are currently enjoying their winter condo, a 55g in my basement.

So I was planning over the next couple weeks as I do water changes in the aquarium, take 20 gal or so at a time and add it to the pond. Do you think this is worthwhile? Or should I just jumpstart it with a bacteria supplement?

Thanks!
 
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I don't know how many and size of fish we're talking about. I assume ammonia is your concern? If so you can continue whatever you were doing with the current 55 gal. If you want to jump start the pond you can add some ammonia from the store to feed the bacteria. Then measure ammonia and nitrite to see when bacteria is working. No need to add a bacteria supplement...they're everywhere. On your nose, keyboard, pond, everywhere. But if you want send me 5 bucks and I'll send you some off my keyboard. ;)

I don't see any reason to do the water moving thing. Yes, it's nice for the temp and pH to be close but it doesn't have to be perfect. Certainly moving fish to warmer water is no problem.
 
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Thanks!

I've got two goldfish and three koi, all about 4".

Yes, I'm thinking about ammonia and whether enough of the bacteria in the filter survived for it to start doing it's thing.

I haven't checked the water temp yet but our daily lows are still in the 30s and 40s so it'll probably be a couple weeks before I move the fish. Now that I think of it, I better let the water warm up enough to even start worrying about bacteria :)
 
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A bit off subject, but I'm a bit concerned about your fish load - five fish in 125 gallons may not seem like a lot right now, but three koi... those are going to be big fish VERY FAST. Do you have future plans to increase the size of your pond? If not, I would trade those koi for a couple more goldfish. You have a goldfish pond - not a koi pond.

Sorry - I know it wasn't your question, but I always get a bit claustrophobic thinking of koi in less than a couple thousand gallons of water.
 
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That's their lot in life.

Before we judge others let's not forget that to get those pretty fish in our own pond that over 98% of Koi are put to death. Most of the remaining 1% don't end up in ideal conditions. Life is harsh. Just because we don't see the killing doesn't mean it wasn't done on our behalf as consumers.
 

sissy

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Agree that any purchase of fish should be thought out .Koi get huge and if you don't plan on it you will need to rehome them .Seems to be there should be warnings on all pets .Cute now but I get bigger .
 
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We've recently started hearing that the state of Illinois is contemplating banning the sale of koi. I would venture a guess that many of the concerns come from people releasing fish into the wild that grow too big for their aquarium or pond. We'll see what happens...
 
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Maine has banned Koi for years and goldfish in outdoor ponds. Strange to allow goldfish indoors though. Seems like those would be more likely to be released into the wild.
 
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sissy

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I know parts of California bans goldfish .Sad to say people don't consider a pet purchase more closely .They all take time and work and love .You need to know what you are getting into .
 
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Hi there,

I'm looking for some opinions on how I should start up my 125 gallon pond for the Spring. It was drained and covered for the winter. I only mildly cleaned the filter box (i.e. sprayed off the foam pads) and kept it full in my garage; I don't think it would have frozen much but it's possible.

Last weekend I uncovered the pond, cleaned out all the debris, put the filter back in and filled the pond. I also added top Fin pond water conditioner.

My fish are currently enjoying their winter condo, a 55g in my basement.

So I was planning over the next couple weeks as I do water changes in the aquarium, take 20 gal or so at a time and add it to the pond. Do you think this is worthwhile? Or should I just jumpstart it with a bacteria supplement?

Thanks!
Unless you bleached your filter box and pads and the sides of your pond there is probably way more viable bacteria on those surfaces than they could ever get to survive in one of those sealed anaerobic environment bottles they supposedly sell bacteria in. If all your fish are in an aquarium you likely have a biofilter and some bio media in that filter, simply transfer that media to your pond when you move your fish and bingo! you'll have plenty of fresh thriving bacteria,,,, and you won't be throwing your money away.
 
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Thanks for the suggestions on moving the filter media - I will consider that. I am running an Eheim classic 600 on the tank, so there is plenty of media that can move to the pond filter and back in the Fall. But to Mucky_Waters' point, the filter box was put away full and mostly dirty (I rinsed the pads, that's it) I'm thinking it's probably good to go as-is once the temps get warm enough for the bacteria to get active again. I forget that just because I'm ready for the pond to start doesn't mean nature is. ;)

On the subject of fish load, I have given it a lot of thought. I know the koi will outgrow the pond and that 3 adult goldfish is probably the max capacity. At the time I bought them, I knew it wasn't the best idea but I let the clerk at the store convince me otherwise. Plus they were having a buy 2 get 1 free sale :facepalm: So, my plan is to rehome them (not in a local lake!) when they start getting big.
 

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