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Old 06-02-2003, 02:08 PM   #1
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HELP!!! pond destroyed ... all fish dead ... MAJOR disaster

Ok, I am in a shambles right now. Still dealing with what happened to my wonderful, lovely pond fish! Let me give you some background and maybe someone can help point me in the right direction for resetting up my beloved pond and fish ... this is gonna be a long one, I hope you don't get mad at me ...

I've had this pond for the past 4 years. Started out with a water lilly and some medium sized Koi with a few small commets. Gradually I aquired more fish and got rid of the water lilly (as the fish just mangled that) and have had pretty good success with most. Last summer and fall went wonderfully, no fish loss and algea naturally under control of the feeders instead of chemicals but had a horrible winter ... unnaturally cold and long for us ... froze up the pump (didn't break though thank goodness!) but had a horrible, stinky mess to clean up with the dead fish in the pond this thaw.

Now, here we are into this my 5 season. After getting rid of the stink and scrubbing down the pond (no soap just a good scrubber and a lot of effoert) I was back up and running in late March. The weather started to warm up in early April so I purchased several (4) medium sized or so fancy goldfish to get things started. They acclimated well and the next week we purchased 2 more fancy gold fish and some very nice looking large regular goldfish ... I believe there were 6. This would be a good time to mention that my pond is a butterfly shaped, 2 tier (each of the 4 rounded corners has a step down into the middle oval) approx. 200 gal hard plastic pond. Anyway, end of April we had unseasonable cold weather (back to freezing) for about a week or 10 days and I was worried about the fish. Most survived unscaved but a did loose 4 of the regular goldfish. To my suprize the fancy GF didn't seem bothered by the temp and I was thrilled that they were ok since they cost more then the regular GF. Anyhow, I waited a week or so for the weather to clear up and in Mid-May added a medium sized algea eatter and a small blue channel cat to the mix. After 2 weeks of nice weather I also purchased 3 large BEAUTIFUL red and white commets with flowing tails ... They were spectacular looking in the pond. Now, that's 10 fish if you're keeping track in this 200 gal pond with a very large, adequate pump and filter (made sure of that when I bought it ... it says it can be used with up to 600 gal ponds). I don;t feel that was over stocking as I barely see any of them, except the larger commets ... the commets were about 4-5 inches long while the fancy GF are short and fat and only about 2 inches long. The algea eatter was about 3 inches long and the catfish about the same.

Anyway, this past week I noticed a couple of the fish hanging around the surface quite a bit but they'd dive down when I approched so I didn't think much of it. Then I noticed a dead GF, then the next day another. On Saturday I noticed that a few (3-4) fish looked like they had tiny white bubbles on them and some really crappy looking tails. Sunday I bought some "Ich" medication and added it to the pond as directed hoping to same at least some of the fish ... especially the commets which were so new to the pond. Today I woke up and went to check on them and all the fish were dead. How does something kill pond fish so fast? I mean the commets weren't even showing any signs of sickness until Sunday when I medicated the pond. I'm not even sure it was "Ich" that killed my beloved fish. Do you think I'm on the right track?

Well, I scooped all the fish and plants out and trashed them. I'm currently draining the entire pond which I plan to clean out, refill and medicate again just to be safe before adding anymore fish. Does anyone have any other suggestions as to what I should do before getting more fish? ANy suggestions as to why I had this problem in the first place? Did I bring something harmful home from the store and if so how can I help NOT make this mistake again? I'm so frustrated and upset!


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Old 06-02-2003, 03:44 PM   #2
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I am not a "pond" person. But I can sympathize with your loss.

Also, I have never had goldfish. But, what you describe, as far as the white spots and nasty tails, sounds more like a bacterial infection causing some kind of "rot". Also, I know pond fish are a little more hardy than their tropical cousins, but could the temperature fluctuations still be a bit too much for them?

As far as what you should do before getting more fish, I would suggest after refilling, you let your pond cycle for a few weeks, add your plants and then add your fish, slowly, just a few at a time.

I am sure that someone with alot more experience with ponds will have
a little more in-depth advise.

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Old 06-02-2003, 04:05 PM   #3
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I waited a week or so for the weather to clear up and in Mid-May added a medium sized algea eatter and a small blue channel cat to the mix.
Don't put a catfish in your pond, they will rapidly outgrow it and munch on your gold fish. Did this catfish come from the wild? If so, there's your most likely culprit for bringing in disease.
Well, I scooped all the fish and plants out and trashed them.
You didn't have to trash the plants, plants dont harbor disease.
which I plan to clean out, refill and medicate again just to be safe before adding anymore fish
You don't have to medicate it again, draining and refilling should suffice.

I just added a bit to what Hara said, other than that, I got nothing. One good idea is to have a quarantine tank, when you bring home fish, 2 weeks in the Q tank to make sure they arent bringing in disease.

Also--important for spring and fall-- feed the right food! No feedeing under 50 degrees, and between 50-65 feed spring/fall food. it is more easily digestable, as fish cant hadle the summer food in low temps.
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Old 06-02-2003, 10:50 PM   #4
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I'm curious as to how this pond was filtered?
I agree with the need for quarantine. I have heard of ppl losing all of the fish by adding new.
With a small pond like this, perhaps a strawberry pot trickle tower might work
I also know how it feels to lose fish......so sorry
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Old 06-06-2003, 10:54 PM   #5
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Sorry to hear of your loss. It's hard losing a pet.
Let me first ask if any of these "new" fish were put in quarantine?
Meaning isolating them for 6-8 weeks before adding them to your pond?
Fish from LFS can bring in many unwanted parasites and so thats why we need to keep a close eye on them in an aquarium or a stock tank and not in our ponds.
I also add salt to my tanks at a rate of 1#/100 gal
Have you checked ammonia, Nitrites, PH, Nitrates?
Take readings and post back.
Happy Ponding
5000gal + outdoor pond
125 gal FW tank
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Old 08-05-2003, 12:44 PM   #6
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Hi there,
i am basically wondering how you are getting on with your pond, Firstly i would say that you are not giving your pond long enough time to mature, You did not mention what filtration you was useing. I would say that you wan't to turn the volume of your pond over at least once an hour. If you have a pond that is 300 gallons you want to turn at least 600 gallons an hour. I do not recommend putting koi into a pond that is under 1000 gallons. Also if your winters are quite bad i would look to making the pond deeper.
please reply and we can discuss the make-up of your pond and go from there.
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Old 08-06-2003, 06:48 AM   #7
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Starting over

First you must look at where the problem was with the pond. Many things can go wrong quickly if the water conditions poor. Over stocking, lack of filters, parasite outbreaks, and so on. most of the time is a combo of things that lead to fish stress.....

Every pond will have parasites.
Parasites come to the pond from frogs, bugs, birds, and other newly added fish or plants. Many advanced Koi keepers use pp to help keep parasites in check.....

In a clean pond with good water conditions healthy fish can ward off the most parasites.

Sometimes a new parasite is added to the pond that the fish are not use to and an outbreak can happen. Not because the fish are stressed but because the fish are not use to the new parasite.

To prevent this one must take a few basic steps to avoid problems.

Quarantine all new fish 4 weeks or more, Pro-form C is a good q tank med.
to use during quarantine. some parasites can survive salt treatments.

Use a strong dose of pp on all plants to kill off any parasites before putting them into the pond.

Do water testing weekly, keep the pond clean, keep the filters clean, always look at your fish. If a fish doesn't act like a fish something is wrong.


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Old 08-13-2003, 06:16 PM   #8
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You did not say how hot it was outside.

The fish gasping at the surface for air was a clue that oxygen was a problem. A quick solution is to add a bottle of hydrogen peroxide to the water and stir it around. This will last several hours. A better solution is to put the peroxide in a squirt bottle and hold it under water and squirt it about 60 times per 100 gallons. This will dissipate the O2 quicker but it more difficult.

Also, for new ponds or tanks for that matter you should be checking the ammonia and nitrite and nitrate levels (pH wouldn't hurt either). Then perform a water change if the level indicate its needed. Get some amquel (or some such there are other products). Its used for clorine/clorimate control but as a side benefit it also eliminates ammonia. It does affect some ammonia test kits though!

Start fresh and for the first two weeks change 25% of the water every day!
Be sure to monitor the ammonia etc. Then change it every week 25%.
200 gallons is not a large pond and the number of fish was probably ok.

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Old 08-13-2003, 06:22 PM   #9
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Do you have any oxygenating plants? Anarchis works great.

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dead, pond

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