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John 13-03-2003 05:20 PM

Pond Newbie need urgent help!!!
 
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
ASAP)
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
Thanks
John

Bonnie Espenshade 13-03-2003 09:20 PM

Pond Newbie need urgent help!!!
 
John wrote:
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
ASAP)
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
Thanks
John


I can't help you leveling your pond. I would suggest no koi
if you're not adding filtration. Koi are very dirty fish
and filtration is a definite must!

--
Bonnie
NJ




RichToyBox 13-03-2003 09:56 PM

Pond Newbie need urgent help!!!
 
John,

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 of
depth. I would be sure that the high side of the yard, where it contacts
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 the
pond. As for the water depth, it can come to the top of the liner. It will
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 form
of gutter or dry stream bed to take the overflow.

I personally don't believe any pond, except very large mud ponds should have
koi without a filter. At the size of your pond, the general rule of thumb
would say you could have 55 or 60 koi. They will get very large in a matter
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 feed
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. By
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 to
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 dechlorinator.
Most areas are now using chloramines and these stay in the water for quite
some time. Both chlorine and chloramine are very toxic to the fish. It you
have already done that, then the fish can start to be added almost
immediately. The bottled bacteria are good for digesting the leaves, and
other solid debris, but are not the bacteria that convert ammonia or
nitrItes. These will establish themselves over a period of time. To know
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 will
build first, and as the bacterial colony develops, they will convert the
ammonia to nitrIte, and then as the nitrIte builds, the other bacteria will
go to work. The way to get this going without harming the fish is to start
with very low fish loads, and keep feedings down to small quantities until
the pond stabilizes. If the numbers go up, stop feeding until the numbers
come back down. After the numbers come down, then additional fish can be
added or the fish can be fed more.

I will let someone else address gold fish.
--
RichToyBox
http://www.geocities.com/richtoybox/pondintro.html


"John" wrote in message
m...
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
ASAP)
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
Thanks
John




Craig Cagle 13-03-2003 10:45 PM

Pond Newbie need urgent help!!!
 
John,
I am by no means an expert, but I do have goldfish in my 1000 gal. pond.
From what I've read, goldfish need about half the room koi do - about 50
gallons per fish assuming each one will grow to 10" at most. Using that
formula 6000 gal. should accomodate 120 goldfish.
As for adding dechlorinators to the water - I added nothing to my tap
water when the pond was built. Just let it sit half a day and added my four
6" goldfish who are still alive 4 six months later! I have heard that
goldfish are more indestructible than koi though.
Hope this helps.
Craig



John Rutz 14-03-2003 06:20 PM

Pond Newbie need urgent help!!!
 


Bonnie Espenshade wrote:
John wrote:

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


I had tjo do that w my first pond--- used treatyed timbers no probs w
the liner best is to bring in dirt and level that way if having liner
showing is objectionable
--
John Rutz

I'm not Porg am not am not am so
see my pond at:
http://www.fuerjefe.com


~ jan 16-03-2003 07:08 PM

Pond Newbie need urgent help!!!
 
John,

I also have a 1,000 gallon pond that is plumbed to be filtered "just in
case" but the last 2 summers has not been. I built it primarily for a lily
pond and a fishless place for the treefrogs to spawn/breed. Once the
tadpoles are of good size and the temperatures are right I put 2 fantail
goldfish in, by the end of summer I have numerous babies. In the fall I
catch as many babies as I can to grow up inside and the rest are left to
survive the winter.

Come spring I catch the remaining and put in a stock tank, this year I had
13 in there, then I drain it completely to get the muck out. There is
enough muck after one season to fill a 5 gallon pail once it dries out, so
be prepared for that. The longer you let it go the deeper the muck will be.

The reason I mention fantails is, they are easy to catch, without draining
the pond and they don't over populate a pond like a couple of comets can in
one season. Of course not feeding them at all can help control numbers too,
but I think most here will tell you, not nearly enough. ;o) ~ jan


See my ponds and filter designs:
http://users.owt.com/jjspond/

~Keep 'em Wet!~
Tri-Cities WA Zone 7a
To e-mail see website


John,
I am by no means an expert, but I do have goldfish in my 1000 gal. pond.
From what I've read, goldfish need about half the room koi do - about 50
gallons per fish assuming each one will grow to 10" at most. Using that
formula 6000 gal. should accomodate 120 goldfish.
As for adding dechlorinators to the water - I added nothing to my tap
water when the pond was built. Just let it sit half a day and added my four
6" goldfish who are still alive 4 six months later! I have heard that
goldfish are more indestructible than koi though.
Hope this helps.
Craig



John 17-03-2003 04:56 PM

Pond Newbie need urgent help!!!
 
Hi,Craig:
Thanks a lot for you advise, I bought 10 Gold fish last Saturday
and there looks very health in my pond, I do think they won't have any
problem, especially after a whole day heavy rain Sunday, they looks
very energetic now.
John
"Craig Cagle" wrote in message . ..
John,
I am by no means an expert, but I do have goldfish in my 1000 gal. pond.
From what I've read, goldfish need about half the room koi do - about 50
gallons per fish assuming each one will grow to 10" at most. Using that
formula 6000 gal. should accomodate 120 goldfish.
As for adding dechlorinators to the water - I added nothing to my tap
water when the pond was built. Just let it sit half a day and added my four
6" goldfish who are still alive 4 six months later! I have heard that
goldfish are more indestructible than koi though.
Hope this helps.
Craig


John 17-03-2003 05:20 PM

Pond Newbie need urgent help!!!
 
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.
John

"RichToyBox" wrote in message news:[email protected]
John,

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 of
depth. I would be sure that the high side of the yard, where it contacts
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 the
pond. As for the water depth, it can come to the top of the liner. It will
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 form
of gutter or dry stream bed to take the overflow.

I personally don't believe any pond, except very large mud ponds should have
koi without a filter. At the size of your pond, the general rule of thumb
would say you could have 55 or 60 koi. They will get very large in a matter
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 feed
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. By
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 to
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 dechlorinator.
Most areas are now using chloramines and these stay in the water for quite
some time. Both chlorine and chloramine are very toxic to the fish. It you
have already done that, then the fish can start to be added almost
immediately. The bottled bacteria are good for digesting the leaves, and
other solid debris, but are not the bacteria that convert ammonia or
nitrItes. These will establish themselves over a period of time. To know
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 will
build first, and as the bacterial colony develops, they will convert the
ammonia to nitrIte, and then as the nitrIte builds, the other bacteria will
go to work. The way to get this going without harming the fish is to start
with very low fish loads, and keep feedings down to small quantities until
the pond stabilizes. If the numbers go up, stop feeding until the numbers
come back down. After the numbers come down, then additional fish can be
added or the fish can be fed more.

I will let someone else address gold fish.
--
RichToyBox
http://www.geocities.com/richtoybox/pondintro.html


"John" wrote in message
m...
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
ASAP)
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
Thanks
John


RichToyBox 17-03-2003 05:32 PM

Pond Newbie need urgent help!!!
 
John,

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.
--
RichToyBox
http://www.geocities.com/richtoybox/pondintro.html


"John" wrote in message
m...
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.
John

"RichToyBox" wrote in message

news:[email protected]
John,

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

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

contacts
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

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

will
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

form
of gutter or dry stream bed to take the overflow.

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

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

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

matter
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

feed
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.

By
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

to
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

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

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

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

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

know
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

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

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

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

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

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

be
added or the fish can be fed more.

I will let someone else address gold fish.
--
RichToyBox
http://www.geocities.com/richtoybox/pondintro.html


"John" wrote in message
m...
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
ASAP)
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
Thanks
John




skelley69 15-11-2006 06:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by John
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
ASAP)
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
Thanks
John

John, first I have to say that the wood under the liner is bad-BAD idea. Wood in the ground brings termites and other insects like fire ants. Not good at all. Besides, as the wood decomposes, you will lose that "build up" you needed and might result in leaks. Bricks aren't bad, but sharp and jagged edges ALWAYS pose a concern; however, being so close to the surface of the pond's edge, it shouldn't be problematic since there is no downward pressure on those sharp edges. To fix your problem: drain the pond about 1/3 down. Draw the "short edge" inward toward the middle of the pond. [You may have to move or rearrange some rocks.] Pinching the liner inward will make you lose some surface area; however, it will give you the additional liner you need in order to raise your water level equal to the other side. Simply backfill dirt behind the newly pinched-in and raised liner wall. I'd recommend tampering the newly dumped dirt to speed the settling process. Easy fix.

Your second question: I would not recommend the water level being 1/2 inch below the liner. You WILL get leaks... its just a matter of when. Overtime (and with freeze and thaw in certain areas), the ground around the pond will settle, shift and the liner can slowly pull inward. 1/2 inch isn't much room for error, so hope that wind doesn't blow too hard. Typically, when I install ponds, I prefer about 6-12 inches of "extra" liner overhang. This gives you enough to plan for settling and trouble shooting.

Third: Not sure what size pond you have or the construction type, but the amount of fish will depend highly on the volume of water you have and the frequency of circulation. I've heard a formula that says 1" of fish for every 20 gallons of water. I'm sure you can push the limits to 10 gallons per inch, but be aware that more fish is worse. Koi and goldfish are carp. Carp are naturally dirty fish. Start with fewer and slowly add a few each year. If you use regular goldfish, in time they will spawn and you'll have more than enough anyway!

Forth: Bacteria starter is not for your fish. It starts the ecosystem using bacteria that feed on the amonia, nitrites and nitrates. Goldfish and koi are fairly hardy fish. You can add fish as quickly as 48 hours after install. The key is to make sure the water is flowing constantly for 48 hours. This will allow the chlorines to disipate. THAT and not slowly acclimating the fish to water temp changes is what hurts fish. When adding your fish, feel free to add some rock salt to the water. The salt restores the fishes natural slime coating, which is compromised at stressful times (like being transported). This should help the likelihood of survival. I would not recommend waiting 2 weeks to add fish simply because algae blooms can takeover VERY quickly. Your fish will feed on the algae and keep it under control, so try not to wait more than a week. Adding more plants sooner than later will also help you add fish sooner.

Finally: Koi LOVE vegetation. No problem. You can still have plants and Koi without preventative measures and still have a nice, wholesome pond without eaten plant life. The key (again) is NOT to overstock. The more fish, the more competition for food, and naturally Mr. Lillypad looks tastier and tastier! Start with fewer fish and slowly add more year after year. I wouldn't worry if the occassional fish nibbles a plant or 2. Its bound to happen, but following my stocking advice will keep this to a minimum.

BEST OF LUCK!
Sean


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