Where to start

Discussion in 'Newbies to Garden Ponds' started by Larry Haley, Jul 29, 2017.

  1. Larry Haley

    Larry Haley

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    I have a small plastic liner pond 160 gallon I think. Had it for years. It was basically a duck pond. I wanted a little more out of it. I decided to clean it up and buy a small bio filter and add some fish. They all died. Without asking 101 questions can I be pointed in the direction of the basics? With the enormous amount of mis info on the net I really need just a place to start. If someone could help I would greatly appreciate it. Thx
     
    Larry Haley, Jul 29, 2017
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  2. Larry Haley

    DutchMuch Lord Of The Aquascapes!

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    You can ask as many questions as you want! hopefully I can answer.
     
    DutchMuch, Jul 29, 2017
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  3. Larry Haley

    CometKeith

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    Hi Larry. Welcome! To create a successful fish pond you need to have a way for the fish waste to decompose into less harmful elements. This is what is called "cycling" a pond. During the cycle process beneficial bacteria develop and they help break down the waste. Most likely the water was too toxic for your fish because that process had not started yet and you had too many fish creating waste. I would suggest you do some research on GPF on how to cycle a pond and you will do much better with your fish the next time around. Many people suggest to start with maybe one or two small fish until the pond is ready for more fish.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017
    CometKeith, Jul 29, 2017
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  4. Larry Haley

    Larry Haley

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    Thx for the info. First time I heard anything about cycling a pond. I will check it out
     
    Larry Haley, Jul 29, 2017
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  5. Larry Haley

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Welcome to our group! There are a lot of very helpful people on this forum.
     
    addy1, Jul 29, 2017
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  6. Larry Haley

    Larry Haley

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    Wow, was not expecting such a fast response. Here is a pic of my little pond. It has a cheap Lowes Bio filter. Its supposed to filter a 500 gallon pond. I also have a water circulator pump. There are some plants more on the way. Its been running maybe 2 months and I added some bacteria from Lowes. After killing $50 worth of Koi there are now 17 feeder goldfish in there. i know i cant see them either they stay on the bottom. The ph is high and I have a test kit on the way so I will post results when it arrives. I jumped into this very quickly with no clue this would be so difficult but I love a challenge. Water is cloudy, algae is under control with a slime on everything. Any thoughts or concerns would be great, thx again.
     

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    Larry Haley, Jul 29, 2017
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  7. Larry Haley

    Gemma

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    Welcome to Gp! :)
     
    Gemma, Jul 29, 2017
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  8. Larry Haley

    Gemma

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    I would have started the cycle with only 2 fish!
    If you're set on koi, could you afford to go bigger? 160gl is too small for even one koi
     
    Gemma, Jul 29, 2017
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  9. Larry Haley

    Larry Haley

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    17 feeder goldfish. I can stick with goldfish if there easier. I really dont want to kill anymore Koi.
     
    Larry Haley, Jul 29, 2017
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  10. Larry Haley

    Larry Haley

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    I did say I jumped into this quickly and I am positive I have done little right. Thats why I am here.
     
    Larry Haley, Jul 29, 2017
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  11. Larry Haley

    brokensword Not all those who wander are lost

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    In case no one has mentioned, new/adding water should be accompanied by a de-chlor solution as the chlorine/chloramines in tap/city water is typically fatal to fish. If you're on a well, this won't be necessary but you should know the parameters (hardness, ph, etc) in case you have to adjust. I'm on a well and have had no problems and don't need the de-chlor.
     
    brokensword, Jul 29, 2017
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  12. Larry Haley

    cas

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    Welcome @Larry Haley . Nice little pond. Once you add some plants, it will help clear the water.
     
    cas, Jul 29, 2017
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  13. Larry Haley

    MitchM

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    You should have a water testing kit on hand so you can measure the chemical properties of your pond water.
    By measuring the chemical properties, you can make sure your pond is safe for fish before you add them.
    API makes a good master test kit.
    http://www.apifishcare.com/product.php?id=580#.WXy6ea2ZNzA
    In addition to that kit, you should also purchase a KH/GH test kit.

    Pure ammonia is the best substance to use for cycling the pond. No fish get hurt in the process.
    Here is a calculator you can use to determine how much ammonia you use to start the cycle.
    http://www.fishforums.net/aquarium-calculator.htm
     
    MitchM, Jul 29, 2017
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  14. Larry Haley

    Larry Haley

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    Getting some real good info here. Thanks so much guys. Exactly what I need. I am using well water but my water test kit has not arrived yet. Thx for the compliment. I'm quite happy with my little pond. The pond was given to me from a friend who has passed away so I feel obligated to make it look good. The rest of the materials I had left over from jobs. I will keep posting any changes or improvements.
     
    Larry Haley, Jul 30, 2017
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  15. Larry Haley

    sissy sissy

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    welcome and glad you joined and you will learn lots here and we welcome everyone who shares our addiction ;);)
     
    sissy, Jul 30, 2017
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  16. Larry Haley

    lapisazul17

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    I'm actually hoping for the same thing. Browsing here in this community, I know you'll find the right push.
     
    lapisazul17, Aug 2, 2017
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  17. Larry Haley

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Like she says, start with fewer fish. Give the pond time to cycle, it can take a few weeks.
     
    addy1, Aug 2, 2017
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  18. Larry Haley

    Lisak1

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    Welcome @Larry Haley to the GPF! You will learn more than you ever thought possible about keeping ponds here. Some lessons are learned the hard way, though and you're learning those, too. You'll get there - we all started somewhere.

    One thing I will mention - be aware that smaller ponds can be harder to keep balanced than larger ponds. The small water volume makes them more reactive to small changes. My two best pieces of advice - add lots of plants and avoid pond additives. (De-chlor is the only exception when you add water to your pond if you know you have chlorinated water.)
     
    Lisak1, Aug 2, 2017
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  19. Larry Haley

    Faebinder

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    You're right... Koi needs twice the gallon size of what you have to do well.
     
    Faebinder, Aug 2, 2017
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  20. Larry Haley

    Larry Haley

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    Well so far the newest batch of fish are doing well. I got my Api test kit and the only problem is general hardness is very low. Im using crushed oysters to see if that makes any difference. Im adding small amounts as not to shock the fish. KH is perfect and nitrates are 0. I bought some Lilly plants from a local nursery.
    Thanks to everyone commenting and giving advise. I promise not to add anymore fish, lol but it is tempting.
     
    Larry Haley, Aug 3, 2017
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