Tips to redoing a pond


tbendl

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I have seen a bunch of posts of people who have lost fish when they redo their pond. I was curious about some tips for people to consider when they have to rebuild. For me, I used a recycled billboard tarp and will have to replace at some point in the not too distant future, so how do I do it safely for the fish in the future?
 
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sissy

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I prepared for a month and best advice is to have tanks for the fish or a kiddy pool and to save as much of the pond water as you can and save pieces of the old liner and anything in the pond that has good muck on it and get an aerator going in the new pond as fast as possible and test test test .Also don't feed your fish much while they are in the tanks and use fall and spring food if you have to feed them .Also work as fast as you can .
 

tbendl

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I assume I'd have to move them into a kiddy pond and I'd put that water into the new pond with the fish but what of the old liner? Just lay it in the new pond to allow it to cycle faster and then remove it? And then what's the time frame for cycling new pond?
 

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The old water isn't a bad idea but only because it has the parameters the fish are used to. Any "gunk" left on saved old liners will be just that,nothing but gunk if it's left to dry off or go without anything to keep the bacteria viable. The only real useful stuff is in the biofilter and on any mechanical filter media but only if it's kept fed and wet. I have changed ponds once and fish tanks several times using nothing to restart from the old environment but the filter material. Matching the water temp is really the only other thing that's needed.
 

tbendl

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I'm assuming I could add parts of the old liner and put them in the kiddie pools to keep them "active" while I drop the new liner in. I also assume that the water temp would eventually match since both the kiddie pool/old water and new pond would be in the same environment right?
I currently have a bog set up so no filter material to add back in. And truthfully I would rebuild that when I redo the pond.
Which adds another step I hadn't considered... Lol
 

sissy

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I used liner pieces in the tanks and a few rocks from the pond .I even bought a big kiddy pool clearanced out this summer .one of the snapset ones for 3 dollars .Will store it in the basement .I will need it for the other pond at the other house .Think i need to replace the liner there also .
 
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Meyer Jordan

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Saving all of the original pond water is paramount. Pieces of liner not so much. The aim is to induce the least amount of stress in the fish as possible. A Kiddie pool can serve as temporary holding, but only if a larger holding vessel is not available. A better choice would be an inexpensive outdoor 'swimming pool' that would provide greater depth and greater capacity.
All effort should be made to provide biofiltration to the holding vessel for the duration of its use. Transfer of the fish should be one of the last actions in the demo of the old pond and one of the first in the new pond.
Have used this procedure many times in pond upgrades and complete clean outs with great success.
 

tbendl

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See I would anticipate the pond being down for a day, 2 at most. I can pull everything around it and once the liner is out, I would like to do some minor shelfing around the edge and then the new liner would be installed, I just don't know how to retain all of the additional water. I haven't found a cheap outdoor pool. I guess I need to start keeping an eye out on craiglist and the like for something that would hold a large volume of water for a short period of time. and Meyer, what is a good temporary bio filter? Is that like using quilt batting to pump the water through while the fish are in there? I ask because I would like to expand and replumb the bog when I reline the pond so my filter will be down and that will take longer than the relining of the pond.
 
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I have been doing some moving of both fish tanks and ponds. I guess I am lucky as I have extra tanks and also preformed liners/water troughs. I use some of the old water in the pond switches, but the aquarium was a complete new set up as I went to a dirted planted tank. I had to do the complete cycling with that one. Thankfully I either had enough pumps/filters I could just use
them with old cycled media so I still had active bacteria working even with the new water.
If you can get ahold of some fish tank filters either hang on back or a canister, borrow one if you have any fish friends, and try to hook it up to the pond now to get it cycling then you can have it on a temporary tank when do your switch.
Depending on how big your pond is, you can usually get ahold of some 55 gal drums for $10 /drum, wash real well and store your water in those, but if they are sitting stagnant with no movement for several days, probably a waste of time to save over just adding fresh water.
 

Meyer Jordan

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I haven't found a cheap outdoor pool. I guess I need to start keeping an eye out on craiglist and the like for something that would hold a large volume of water for a short period of time.

Not sure what you mean by 'cheap', but you are not likely to find anything near suitable in the $20-$30 range. Walmart presently has a 700-800 gallon portable swimming pool 8" diameter by 30" deep for $70.00. This would be ideal. It has the capacity and the depth to hold most of your present pond water and the fish.
What are you presently using for biological filtering besides the wetlands filter?
 

tbendl

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Just the bog. I have a pot that I will add batting to if the water becomes cloudy but haven't needed it since last spring.
And yeah I was in the 20-30 range since the cost of the liner is going to be... you know... costly.
Now I do have a 3' deep small preform that's been sunk in the ground on the other side of the yard. Could I house the fish in there, using existing pond water and add a pump to aerate and quilt batting to house them while I cycle a new pond?
 
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Now I do have a 3' deep small preform that's been sunk in the ground on the other side of the yard. Could I house the fish in there, using existing pond water and add a pump to aerate and quilt batting to house them while I cycle a new pond?

That's pretty much what I have been doing, preformed just propped up/supported by concrete block around the side and a livestock 100 gal water trough, went through the summer like this. Once I get my new ponds in the ground, then I can transfer back in, but I think water trough will go in basement with fish for the winter this year since ponds wont be finished.
 

Meyer Jordan

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6 4" and maybe around 20 babies (less than 2") all Shubunkins.
I can look at re-homing most if not all the babies if that would help.

Rehoming some of the fish will help.
What you will be dealing with is the Ammonia level in the holding unit. This would normally increase in the absence of biofiltration, but with the fish being stressed from the transfer and the new environment (though temporary) the Ammonia can and will rapidly increase to a level of high toxicity resulting in mortalities. Although Goldfish are more tolerant of high Ammonia levels than other fish species they are not immune so provisions must be made to moderate these levels either through biofiltration or sequestration through the use of binders or adsorption. Since it appears that biofiltration will not be readily available then either the use of a binder such as Ammolock or an adsorption material such as zeolite is indicated. I would suggest the use of zeolite with Ammonia levels under close monitoring.
 

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... but the aquarium was a complete new set up as I went to a dirted planted tank. I had to do the complete cycling with that one. Thankfully I either had enough pumps/filters I could just use
them with old cycled media so I still had active bacteria working even with the new water....

What size dirted tank?
Have you seen my indoor pond/dirted tank setups?

https://www.gardenpondforum.com/threads/soil-substrate-pond.17305/

tbendl, if you never see ice, then you have lots of time to properly set up a temporary pond with a biofilm layer.(y)

If this was my project, my timeline would look something like this:

-set up and fill temporary holding tank, and move as many submerged objects as possible from the old pond into the holding tank. (day 1)
- add ammonia and monitor ammonia and nitrite levels in the holding tank using up to date testing kits (day 2 to 30)
-once ammonia, nitrite and PH levels match the old pond, transfer fish to temp holding tank (day 31)
-empty old pond and replace liner (day 32)
-fill new pond and repeat procedure that was used for setting up temp holding tank (day 33)
-transfer fish to new pond (day 63)
-empty, clean and store temporary holding tank for possible future use. (day 64)

Give yourself a couple of months for this project. There is no need to rush.
Transferring submerged items from the old pond to the temporary one and then back into the new pond will speed up the process.

Oh, and you mentioned a "bog", what is that? ;)
I know what a "wetlands filter" is.(y)

.
 
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