We have a 3 y.o. pond with waterfall...


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..., c. 20 x 20 and 3 1/2 feet deep at the center. It is a joy to hear the water and watch the fish, but I am eager for our fish to thrive and be happy, so I feel I am still a pond-custodian-in-training.
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Thank you, Shawn,
To be honest I am concerned about the health of my koi. They do not seem to be coming to the top and feeding enthusiastically and our pond water temperature is almost up to 70°. I am feeding them Microbe Lift summer formula.
I have just purchased an API pond master test kit and plan to get some figures today.
My secondary concern is that I just introduced some beautiful fantail babies into the pond and the big guys appeared to start attacking them just before sunset. I could not see evidence of any of them this morning but from a distance I just saw one of the larger ones leap into the air. Honestly, I am a bit worried and planning to become much more proactive to restore and maintain the health of the pond and the fish.
We completely cleaned the pond a month ago lowering water and washing down the sides and removing all the gravel that was there with decayed matter. Well, seems this is a saga to be continued…
 

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Mmathis

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We usually recommend 1) quarantine for any new fish, and 2) discourage cleaning by washing the liner (destroys the biofilm that helps the pond establish its balance).

How many fish (koi and goldfish) do you have now, and how big are they? “Leaping” can be a symptom of illness/disease (or just joyful fish). What kind of filtration do you have?
 
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In your other post you mentioned having 4 koi for the last three years and then you added six more recently. Are these koi or "fantails" as you mentioned in this post? Koi and other "single tail" goldfish (common/comet) are much faster and more agile than the fancy variety of goldfish (like fantails) which can make it difficult on the fancy fish when it comes to spawning and other playful activities. I suspect it could be a number of things going on at once.

1. the pond might have been cleaned too thoroughly which got rid of the good biofilm that @Mmathis mentioned.
2. the addition of 6 new fish at once could be adding more waste than the ecosystem can handle (especially after the recent cleaning).
3. the old fish could be "checking out" the new fish which would make a more stressful experience for them considering they're trying to adjust to a new environment. With that in mind, they may simply be hiding somewhere out of view until they are used to the new environment and/or the old fish stop "checking them out".

I would definitely test the water though and let us know what your results are because I suspect all these changes threw the balance of the pond off which could be another reason for hiding or "leaping". Your other post states that the pond is about 9000 gallons, what type of filtration do you have running? It is usually recommended to turn the water volume over 1.5 to 2 times an hour which means you would need to shoot for around 13,500 to 18,000 gallons per hour.
 
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Welcome to the forum!

You have a very nice pond!
Sometimes fish don't come to eat after something chased them or scared them in any way!
This year for the first time in 16yrs that I have the pond, my koi are dealing with a lot of stress over Bull frogs, if they don't come to me when I approach the pond, that's the first sign that a Bull frog is or has being around the pond.
Not much we can do about Bull frogs but do you have a cover to protect your fish from other predators?
 
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Thank you all for the welcome.
I am wondering if the aggressive 'welcome' of the new fish and the leap that I spied might be an indication that the fish are in a mood to spawn as I do not see them around the surface much of late. Someone said oxygen deprived fish hang out near the surface.
I am heading out to the pond with my water testing kit and am planning to get back with something SPECIFIC. Again, THANKS.
 
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..., c. 20 x 20 and 3 1/2 feet deep at the center. It is a joy to hear the water and watch the fish, but I am eager for our fish to thrive and be happy, so I feel I am still a pond-custodian-in-training.View attachment 112319

Hello Pond Friends,

QUESTION 1: So... My concern is that my four 3 year old koi seem to have NO interest in their summer food, i.e. Microbe-Lift Summer Staple. They ate it fine for the last two years. I threw out a small amount of pellets this afternoon (not for the first time) and they contentedly swam around under them but showed no interest at all. Could they be filling up on algae?! (There is plenty of THAT!) Should I be giving them blood worms or something else for protein? I have done a couple of rounds of Microbe Lift PL (friendly bacteria, I believe) last summer and this.

QUESTION 2: How can I keep my pond as healthy as possible? Should I replace a quarter of the water weekly?
Should I add a second aerator? What is your opinion on pond vacs? Should we add a pond skimmer? Is more filtration needed?

I have done my homework now and am herewith answering the list of pond-related questions asked and uploading photos of my water tests.

  • Size (gallons and/or dimensions)?
around 20’ x 20’ with graded sides to a depth of 3 1/2 feet. I believe c. 9,000 gallons.


  • Total number, size, and type of fish?
4 three year old koi. Just added 6 butterfly (I think) babies, 2-3 inches in length and am hoping they’re alive.


  • What kind of filtration do you have and what kind of/size pump?
I have a Pond Max filter that feeds the water through a UV light (Tetra GreenFree UVC 36), up to the top of a waterfall.

The pump is a Laguna Next Generation Max-Flo 4280 Waterfall & Filter Pump


  • Do you have any aeration such as an air pump or spitters to splash the surface?
There is a single aerator.


  • Where do you live — what USDA zone? (This is helpful because it gives other members who live in a similar climate a chance to share and compare!)
Northern NY State. Very COLD winters. But the fish (mostly) have made it through. First winter, we used a pond de-icer. Second and third years the aerator kept a hole in the ice. However, we lost one koi during each of our second and third winters. The third (of seven) koi died, I am ashamed to say, during a pond cleaning this spring. It was a large fish, difficult to catch, and I believe the movement of the fish into a holding tub caused it excessive shock.


  • How long has your pond been up and running?
3 years


  • Do you test your water for ammonia, etc?
Starting TODAY (6-19-18)


  • Are you on city water (treated), or well water?
well water


I recently wrote that I had added 6 small koi, I believe they must be 'butterfly koi', not fantail as I said earlier. In any event, I am hoping and praying that they are hanging out out-of-sight unharmed.
 

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View attachment 112333Welcome to the forum!

You have a very nice pond!
Sometimes fish don't come to eat after something chased them or scared them in any way!
This year for the first time in 16yrs that I have the pond, my koi are dealing with a lot of stress over Bull frogs, if they don't come to me when I approach the pond, that's the first sign that a Bull frog is or has being around the pond.
Not much we can do about Bull frogs but do you have a cover to protect your fish from other predators?

Hello, Gemma, VERY FORTUNATELY the pond has been off the predator radar, knock on wood! We do use a net in the fall to catch the leaves from the tree beside the pond and also skim the pond before ice sets in. Or in fact, I seem to skim the pond most days for some reason or another (grass, pollen, whatever).
 

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