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Old 17-03-2003, 05:32 PM
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Default Pond Newbie need urgent help!!!


The critical test for determining the quality of filtration or the need for
filtration would be ammonia and nitrites. The ammonia is a waste product of
the fish themselves and from the bacteria digesting waste in the pond.
Ammonia is very toxic for fish and will burn the gills. The pond has
bacteria that digest ammonia and convert it to nitrites. Nitrites are
absorbed through the gills causing brown blood disease that keeps oxygen
from getting into the blood. A different bacteria eats the nitrites and
produces nitrates, which are much less toxic to the fish and can be used by
the plants. Water changes of about 10% per week will help to keep some of
these waste products down, but not nearly enough for an overstocked pond.
Get the test kits. Keep an eye on values. If the levels start to go up
after the pond has gotten over the initial 6 week establishment period, then
it is a definite indication that some form of filter is needed.

"John" wrote in message
Thanks for you expert help, you are absolutely right, afer a whole day
rain last Saturday, looks the wood, brick support is going to be fine,
and it did find a place to overflow the excess water.
I will wait 4 another weeks (total 5 weeks) to let the rest
chloramines evaporate before I put Koi inside, I already put 10 gold
fish in , there looks very good (at lease right now)
I will take your advise to put a few (6) small Koi inside first,
but I got one question, when will I know that I need a filter, by
testing the PH level of the water?
Thanks again.

"RichToyBox" wrote in message

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As for the leveling, what you have done should be satisfactory. I have
raised the edge of a pond using concrete block to get an extra 4 inches

depth. I would be sure that the high side of the yard, where it

the pond, is at least an inch or more lower than the edge of the pond to
keep runoff from the yard from flowing into the pond. Fertilizer, weed
killer, and other chemicals from the yard can cause serious problems for

pond. As for the water depth, it can come to the top of the liner. It

find a place to overflow during rainstorms, and you might want to decide
where that is yourself, and provide a low spot in the liner, with some

of gutter or dry stream bed to take the overflow.

I personally don't believe any pond, except very large mud ponds should

koi without a filter. At the size of your pond, the general rule of

would say you could have 55 or 60 koi. They will get very large in a

of just a few years. As for the use of plants in the pond, I have

plants in
my ponds, with koi. Generally they have not bothered the plants, but I

them about 4 times a day. Each feeding is about 1 cup of food per pond.
Each pond has about 20 koi, with most of them over 24 inches in length.

the above rule, I should be able to handle about 40 in my large pond,

but I
don't think they would be able to swim around each other. If you wanted

start out with just a few small koi, your pond may be able to handle the
ammonia, nitrItes, and other biological filtration functions without a
filter for the first year. This would give you until next year to

install a
filter. The veggie filter is simple, just another shallow pond with

lots of
plants, and an overflow into the pond.

Your pond water should have been treated with some kind of

Most areas are now using chloramines and these stay in the water for

some time. Both chlorine and chloramine are very toxic to the fish. It

have already done that, then the fish can start to be added almost
immediately. The bottled bacteria are good for digesting the leaves,

other solid debris, but are not the bacteria that convert ammonia or
nitrItes. These will establish themselves over a period of time. To

when they have established themselves, you need to test the water for
ammonia and nitrIte. Both of these are toxic to the fish. The ammonia

build first, and as the bacterial colony develops, they will convert the
ammonia to nitrIte, and then as the nitrIte builds, the other bacteria

go to work. The way to get this going without harming the fish is to

with very low fish loads, and keep feedings down to small quantities

the pond stabilizes. If the numbers go up, stop feeding until the

come back down. After the numbers come down, then additional fish can

added or the fish can be fed more.

I will let someone else address gold fish.

"John" wrote in message
To all ponders:
I have read pond FAQ 3 times (very very useful info),
and built my first pond 5500-6000 gallons (EPDM liner), I am having
some problems and questions:
1) my pond is not leveled!!!! (i did not notice that
until I fill the 90% of water) , the lowest end is 5 inchs lower than
the higher end, first I put soil underearth the liner edge, but the
soil was too soft, then I put some 2x4 2x6 wood, bricks, that got it
almost leveled, but I am worry about the long term effect on the
liner, because the 4 inches of water is supported by wood and bricks
under the liner, is there a better way to handle this situation or is
this the only way to do it? (I do not want to pump the water out
now,it will take forever! plus I want to see fish swim in the pond
2) how close should the water surface close to the
ground( top liner)? I am leaving it very close now(less than 1/2 inch)
3) Per FAQ, my pond should be fine without filters (in
terms of size) and I already put some plant inside the pond (planning
adding more) , how many Koi and gold fish I keep by without a filter
4) if i wait 2 weeks, can I start adding fish to my
pond without adding bacterial starter ?
5) per FAQ "Koi eat plants of all types, and so it is
not practical to keep plants in the same ponds as koi." is that means
I can not put koi inside this pond if I want put have plants??
I am in Los Angels,CA (zone 11?)
Please advise