Pond Problems

Pond Problems

Pond problems happen to everyone at some time or another, however, there a few things we could do differently to eliminate most of these issues. Listed below are the five most common mistakes fish keepers make

  • Overcrowded ponds

Most ponds are grossly overstocked, the fish keeper unaware of the consequences. The stocking standard was created as a guide to help us determine how many fish can be housed in a specific amount of water, and still remain healthy without additional labor. Few people want to perform daily water changes in their fish houses, especially a large pond, but this is necessary when ponds are overcrowded. Oxygen levels are in short supply, and nitrates sky rocket

2.5 gallons of water per inch of fish body

You may have heard it said that every goldfish requires a minimum of 10 gallons of water, but that’s absurd, because every goldfish is not the same size. This amount of water would not be necessary for a one inch goldfish, however, it wouldn’t be enough for one that’s a foot long. How much water a fish needs is determined solely by its size. Goldfish average an inch per year, with Koi averaging a whopping 3″ in that same amount of time. Both fish continue growing throughout their entire lives, and they can easily outlive our cats and dogs

  • Shallow ponds

Most people simply dig a hole, and drop a preformed pond in the ground. They’re affordable and ready for action. The depth of this pond is 20 inches, which is unsuitable for most parts of the world. The bottom of a pond should be placed well below your local freeze line by at least 6″ to 8″ This is the depth that doesn’t freeze even in the coldest part of winter. This same depth keeps fish cool in the hottest part of summer. In order for the freeze line theory to work, the height of the water table should match the grade elevation surrounding the pond, giving it the insulation it needs

Freeze lines have a broad range across the US and Canada. In some parts of the world, there is no freeze line; meaning either the ground is frozen to the core or never freezes

The water table needs to be several inches below the top of the pond, or rain water will wash debris in the pond water. With all of these factors to consider, a pond’s depth should really be 3′ deep for goldfish, and if you keep Koi, add another 2′ or 3 feet. This means using a pond liner, instead of the preformed, however, these liners offer no support in the event of a cave in. As the earth surrounding the pond gets wet, there could be a shift, causing the pond wall to collapse. When using a liner, you’ve got to start with a foundation that supports the earth and the weight of the water

Pond problems

pond problems

220-gallon pond

300 GPH pump

Measures 90in.L x 51in.W x 20in.Deep

  • Lacking water movement

The model in the photo above is one of the more popular of the preformed ponds. It comes complete with a pond pump, however, 300 GPH is more suitable for a 30 gallon aquarium.  This pond needs a pump that pushes a minimum of 1000 GPH. Our fish create waste, and from waste Co2 forms. Carbon dioxide can fill an entire body of water, keeping oxygen from entering. Only a real pond pump has the power to eliminate it

Pond pumps also keep green water algae from forming, turning it to substrate algae. Green water algae also takes up space, pushing oxygen out of the water. Algae is the end result of the nitrogen cycle. It feeds on nitrates, keeping levels at bay, but more than that, it provides a healthy food source for fish, rich in fiber

Pond problems

Combine water movement with healthy KH levels, and you have oxygenated water. Oxygenated water is the key to good fish health. Bad bacteria, fungus and parasites cannot tolerate oxygen, however, our fish and the friendly bugs that create the cycle thrive in it

  • Easy access for predators

Unless your pond is deep enough to leave a healthy gap between the water line and top, you’ll need to build up around the edge. This keeps fish from jumping out of the water during a spawning session, and also keeps predators from making an easy catch. Build the ledge up a minimum of 12″ and while you’re at it, build it out so it hangs over the edge of the pond a good 6″, giving the fish a place to hide in times of stress

Shallow ponds make it easy for predators to spot fish. Goldfish and Koi use more oxygen in warm water, and when they feel deprived of it they spend time at the surface where they’re vulnerable. Shallow water warms up easily. Our fish are bottom dwellers. This is where they feel safe from predators

  • Complicated set up

Most pond keepers over complicate their set ups by installing high dollar filtering systems, UV rated lights and skimmers to boot. The filtering systems become infected with bad bacteria because the internal parts and the tubing are hard to get to and difficult to clean

Designed to destroy micro-organisms, UV lights make for a sterile environment

Pond problems

Every pond has the potential to become a healthy and natural body of water with a healthy ecosystem. Micro-organisms are a part of this environment. These lights are used to keep the water free of bad bacteria and green water algae, but increasing water movement does the same thing, without destroying healthy organics. There are no UV lights in our rivers and lakes. This is because Mother Nature knows her stuff

Skimmers are used to collect free floating debris and also removes foam from the surface, but a simple fish net will get the job done without spoiling the view of the pond with equipment

Goldfish Koi Ponds

All rights reserved
Author: Brenda Rand


By Venus

Master goldfish keeper