Was this a bad idea?!

Discussion in 'Newbies to Garden Ponds' started by AngelaM, Aug 28, 2017.

  1. AngelaM

    AngelaM

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    I LOVE Koi ponds and have wanted one for many years. The price of a new pond has kept it a dream for some time. Recently I met a lady with a Koi pond she wanted to get rid of so I bought it from her. I am working on making it pretty still but it is full of water and the filter is going. I bought an API test kit that tests Ph, high range ph, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. Now my excitement has turned into overwhelming fear. I had no idea I was going to have to be a chemist nor a mathematician to own a koi pond! I am supposed to bring home the 4 koi fish this week that she currently has housed in a stock tank and I don't want to kill the poor things. Now I'm reading I need to test the Gh, and Kh also. We don't even have a pond supply store near here where I can get a test kit. These koi will be here before I can get one online. Sigh...Can anyone PLEASE break this down in English terms for me. My internet research has me even more confused and overwhelmed. All I seem to find is people arguing about inaccurate test kits, and whether to use salt or not. Where can I find reliable information? The lady I got the pond from has had these fish several years with minimal care. Her pond looked horrible when I saw it. I can't believe anything was even living in it. I couldn't see the fish at all. She has given me advice but I'm not sure how accurate it is. So I've had well water in the pond a week now. I've added beneficial bacteria. She claims a week is good and these fish can be transported to their new home. Is this enough time? My ph is around 8.5 right now so I need advice on what to use to bring that down also. Thanks in advance. Sorry for the rambling. I'm nearly hyperventilating as math and chemistry scare the heck out of me! lol
     
    AngelaM, Aug 28, 2017
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  2. AngelaM

    IPA

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    Whatis the size of the pond and how big are the fish?
     
    IPA, Aug 28, 2017
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  3. AngelaM

    Gemma

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    Hi and welcome!
    That lady you got the pond from ran it for years, and the fish lived so I take it it is large enough for those 4 koi (?)
    If all the equipment is still in good condition, I'd say just give it time to cycle, resist from feeding during this period 2-4weeks, protect it from predators (Blue Heron, Raccoons....) then you should be able to relax and enjoy it!

    I've had my pond for 15yrs, the only time I had problems was when I was testing the water continually, trying to "fix" what I was told was off! Now I do one major Spring cleaning, periodical partial water changes and pre filter pad rinsing ...my fish are healthy so I don't even test the water until the following Spring

    I hope you can relax and enjoy your pond! :)
     
    Gemma, Aug 28, 2017
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  4. AngelaM

    Gemma

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    Mine is up there too! I learned it's best to just live it alone, you can do more damage trying to adjust it!
     
    Gemma, Aug 28, 2017
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  5. AngelaM

    ZEROPILOT Faster than you are.

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    Adding large fish to a pond that has not "cycled" yet will place some stress on the fish, but the filter and the fish will likely survive.
    Do ammonia tests now and keep testing every few days. Ad your beneficial bacteria and make sure there is plenty of aeration. Prepare to do some water changes if you see the ammonia climbing.
    What kind of filtration? How large are the fish and the pond?
    My pond is also about 8.3 currently.
    Yours will dip as your fish start to produce waste.
    Once your pond is stabilized, it gets much easier.
     
    ZEROPILOT, Aug 28, 2017
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  6. AngelaM

    sissy sissy

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    Bring home her filter media and as much of her pond water as you can .It is healthier for the fish .The test kits are easy and most pet stores will test your water also for a small fee .My ph is always around the same also .Get crushed oyster shells to stabilize ph .You can even buy it at walmart now .Put it in a fine mesh bag 101_0941.JPG
     
    sissy, Aug 28, 2017
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  7. AngelaM

    DutchMuch Lord Of The Aquascapes!

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    Sphagnum moss lowers PH
    So does driftwood.
    *these don't cause any trouble at all btw other than tannins, which will go away*
     
    DutchMuch, Aug 28, 2017
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  8. AngelaM

    sissy sissy

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    Depends on what kind of wood and also need to check wood for anything bad living in it .Never tried the moss but really never had a problem with ph .The crushed oyster shells do the job .
     
    sissy, Aug 28, 2017
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  9. AngelaM

    DutchMuch Lord Of The Aquascapes!

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    Driftwood is a specific "type of wood" (idk how to word that)
    Not just cutting down a tree and cutting wood.
    This is driftwood: (not a good selection but you get it, multiple sites sell it) https://aquaforestaquarium.com/collections/layout-material/driftwoods
    Put it in your filter or pond, your problems will be solved....



    @sissy also to prepare wood you boil it, this kills everything.
     
    DutchMuch, Aug 28, 2017
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  10. AngelaM

    sissy sissy

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    I know near my brothers house in Norfolk Virginia .I can gather it off the beach ,did not know you can by it .I have never put it in my pond ,I just use it for landscaping .
     
    sissy, Aug 28, 2017
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  11. AngelaM

    IPA

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    I work in Norfolk. There is a thrift/antique/craft store on the Eastern Shore that has cords upon cords of driftwood for sale. The good stuff has been cleansed in the oceans or lakes for years and dried long enough as well.

    I tested my pH Saturday, it was 9. Tested at dusk and it was 7.5. I fought the pH for a year but gave up because it was too difficult as it comes out of the tap at 9.
     
    IPA, Aug 28, 2017
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  12. AngelaM

    DutchMuch Lord Of The Aquascapes!

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    Driftwood, in the aquascaping hobby, isn't "driftwood" form a lake. Hence why it is so expensive.

    It is cut delicately from different types of trees. Soaked, and Sometimes prepared for you.

    Example of this can be manzanita wood.
     
    DutchMuch, Aug 28, 2017
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  13. AngelaM

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    @AngelaM Hello and welcome! It's always overwhelming at first! Since the fish will be here before you can get a test kit........ Once the fish get there, go ahead and add them to the pond. [You are using well water, is that correct? If you add any city water, please add some dechlorinator.]. The filter is going. There probably won't be enough of the good bacteria built up yet to do their job, but that's OK for now. Until you can get a test kit, and until your pond has a chance to "cycle," do water changes every day -- maybe 10% at a time [experts, is that enough?]. Remove some of the water and replace it with fresh. This will help keep down the levels of the bad chemicals.

    If you can't find a test kit locally, you can order from any pet center or from AMAZON.

    Your pH of 8.5 is OK. Don't worry about "bringing it down." You want it to be STABLE more so than you want to shoot for a number. @sissy had an excellent suggestion regarding the crushed oyster shells. They will slowly break down and will "buffer" pH to keep it stable.

    BTW, what size is this pond? Is it a preformed plastic pond? And how big are the fish? These will be factors to consider, but for now, let's just get you started.
     
    Mmathis, Aug 28, 2017
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  14. AngelaM

    AngelaM

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    The pond is 18 feet long by 9 feet wide. It's 2100 gallons total. The fish are 5 years old and about 12"-14" long.
     
    AngelaM, Aug 28, 2017
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  15. AngelaM

    AngelaM

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    The fish are 12-14" long and 5 years old. The filter is a PF-3000 and it's 2 years old. It has the bagged filter media which are brand new.
     
    AngelaM, Aug 28, 2017
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  16. AngelaM

    AngelaM

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    Thank you! Her pond is drained except for the stock pond she has them in now. I actually have oyster shells on hand as we have chickens also. How much oyster shells would you suggest in a 2000 gallon pond? When I moved everything from her place I tried to keep as much good algae as I could on everything. I didn't clean the liner so there is some algae growing on it already.
     
    AngelaM, Aug 28, 2017
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  17. AngelaM

    AngelaM

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    Yes we are strictly using well water. It's a pond liner, not a preformed. It's 20 feet long by 9 feet wide. 2,100 gallons total. The fish are 12-14" long and 5 years old.
     
    AngelaM, Aug 28, 2017
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  18. AngelaM

    Angel

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    Clean the liner down that algae is dead just hose it down good prior to fill and drain it out. Keep the filter material wet in the old pond water.
     
    Angel, Aug 28, 2017
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  19. AngelaM

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    This is the most vital information needed at this point. You do not need to be confused with the optional and myriad possibilities for water quality control. That can come as you learn the basics.
    The recommended pH range advocated by nearly everyone who is anyone is 6.5 - 8.5, so your pH is OK. You can shelve that subject and look at it more closely at a future date.
    Quit wasting your money on 'beneficial bacteria'. What you are using is not going to provide any help in establishing a new pond. Its the wrong bacteria for this.



    Edit; You posted the needed information as I was typing this post.
    Since this is a new filter in a new pond, a Nitrogen cycle needs to be established. there are a couple of ways that this can be done, with fish or without fish. In your case the standard method using the fish would be recommended. For this cycle to establish, Ammonia must be present in the water column. Fish excrete Ammonia through respiration, but, here is the Catch-22, Ammonia at relatively low levels is toxic to fish if exposed long enough. To work around this fish should be slowly added to the pond. Since these are large Koi, I would recommend adding no more than one of these fish per week. This allows the bacteria that converts this Ammonia time to colonize in sufficient numbers/
    This is where testing the water plays a part. Typically it will take 4 - 6 weeks for a pond to develop a fully functional Nitrogen cycle. Only through water testing can it be determined when this cycle is complete and also how it is progressing. Ammonia (toxic at a certain level) is converted to Nitrite (also toxic at a certain level) which is then converted to Nitrate which is not toxic at levels normally encountered.
    Koi can tolerate Ammonia and Nitrite levels of 1.0 mg/L without any lasting ill effects. The levels in your pond should not exceed this 1.0 mg/L if only one fish is added per week.
    Given the size of your pond, other parameters like GH, KH, Dissolved Oxygen can be addressed at a later date.
    The only other admonition is to try to match the temperatures of the Two (2) ponds as best you can. A variance of 5 degrees Fahrenheit is acceptable.
    You will likely have more questions later. We are here.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Aug 28, 2017
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  20. AngelaM

    sissy sissy

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    The stress will be in the move and the new pond home .How deep is the pond or how deep did you make it .If there is water on the liner the algae in it is good and adding water from her temporary pond may help also .Her filter media if good yet will help .How do you plan on moving them and how far do you have to transport them .
     
    sissy, Aug 28, 2017
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