How long to leave a new pond before adding fish "Expert Guide"

How long to leave a new pond before adding fish "Expert Guide"

What Windsor fish hatchery does!!!

We wait for 3 days after filling the pond, then start to add the goldfish or koi. We will add only a small number of fish to the pond first , giving time for the new ponds bacteria to build in the new filter.

start with 6 fish in small ponds up to 3000 litres and 20 small fish in larger ponds. fish that are 10cm or less in size.

Add pool salt, 1kg to every 2000 litres, this naturally builds body slime on your fish which helps them deal with the stress of a new environment. Do this once a year.

If you already have larger fish, or a lot of fish you can add them to the pond, but you must monitor the water parameters daily.

If you already have larger fish, you can add them to the pond, but you must monitor the water parameters daily.

Fish pond requirements

While the filter is maturing the ammonia and pH should be carefully monitored, with a test kit. This is easy to do and test kits that are not to old or have been left in sun are very accurate.

pH for koi or goldfish should be above 7.6 to 8 neutral on some kits that shows as a colour normally blue, to blue green.

If the colour is yellow or orange showing the pH to be low (acid) this is not suitable for koi and goldfish do a water change of around 30%.

Reasons why the pH can be low is the water you are using to fill the pond, Rain water is acid, so tank water will be low pH and you will need to add a product to increase the pH.

Concrete tanks with rain water are normally a very good pH.

Tap water is normally the correct pH, check this with your test kit. Don't forget if you are using tap water add water ager, even if there is no fish in the pond yet, not adding water ager will kill the good bacteria.

Ammonia reading zero on most test kit chart shows as yellow if there is none in the pond, you don't have to do anything. Any other reading and you need to do a water change.

If your reading is the next colour up on the test kit result chart from the yellow to a green then do a 20% water change, add 10% to the water change for each degree the colour is up from the yellow (the darker the green the more water you need to change) up to 50% of the water only.

Never take more than 50% of the pond water at one time.

However in a well established pond, where the bacteria in the filter receives an adequate supply of oxygen rich water, they should never reach toxic levels. This is not the case if the pond and filter have recently been cleaned, or the filter replaced.

 When the filter has just been cleaned or is new there are two few bacteria present to complete each stage of the nitrogen cycle and toxic levels can occur. In the case of a new filter you should not be cleaning it at least for the first two months, for older and newer filters cleaning with the pond water instead of tap water will see most of the bacteria survive.

The bacteria in a new filter may take 4-8 weeks to fully establish( depending largely on the water temperature), although this time can be greatly reduced by seeding the filter with live bacteria

At the Windsor fish hatchery we don't sell anything we haven't tried in our ponds or aquariums. Being established for 37 years gives us plenty of experience in what works and what doesn't.

Test the pH in your water weekly & every 3rd day for the ammonia in the first three weeks.

Koi food, Goldfish food

  Once the fish go into the pond, feed the fish very lightly for the next few months. Excess food will cause ammonia.

Best koi and goldfish food is a low protein high quality food, which wont foul the water. Use a floating pellet so you can scoop out excess with a net. 

Fancy goldfish 5 pellets daily per fish. hikari staple goldfish food

Koi and Shubunkins, Marigolds, Comets one small handful of pellets for the whole pond hikari staple koi food

Pond Care

 In a new pond don't clean the filter till the pressure in the water coming from the filter outlet goes down. If you have a fountain connected to the filter pump or water fall, when the water pressure goes down, that's when you need to clean the filter.

When cleaning a filter always use water from the pond in a bucket and not the tap water, so you are not killing the good live bacteria.

To speed up the process add a waterfall, or 2nd pump for extra oxygen, this helps breakdown toxins and builds good bacteria. 

At Windsor fish hatchery we also add a pond block, this speeds up the process. Especially good if you want to add bigger fish or more fish quickly. 

Add any other fish over weeks and months, test for ammonia & do water changes when needed.

Trim water plants as needed of any dead leaves.

Net out bottom of pond debris from overhanging trees etc.

Windsor fish hatchery koi and goldfish farm sells fish to the public online.