>> I wonder if that lovely lady with the incredibly humourous sig file (I
>> ain't falling into any traps), or anyone else, can help me on this one:
>What a brilliant way to start a thread!! :-)
>Tell us more about your pond. How big? How was it set up? What kind
>of filter? How big is the pump? Did you condition the water before
>adding the fish? How many fish did you add? Were they added all
>at once, and how big are they? How many and what kind of plants
>do you have? Tell us about the koi's behaviour before they died.
>Any gasping at the surface, refusal to eat, etc.?
>This will help us answer your questions better.
Okay, thanks Kellie (Gosh, this lady must be building up some positive
Karma). I have already had some feedback on a couple of points from
this group, so I won't labour them again overmuch.
The pond is around two months old. It's around 1600 gals, and shelves
from 2 foot six to around 4 foot deep. The water-containing part is
lined with 1 eighth of an inch of fibre glass that was scrubbed with
Caustic soda, then thoroughly washed before filling. Two water falls
feed it, and they both run over limestone (I posted a query about this).
One waterfall has a biological filter (a black, rectangular box with
foam and bits of pipe in it). It cost me 200 UK pounds (around 350 US
Dollars), and was said to be adequate by the local water Garden centre,
whom I now treat with extreme suspicion. I have seeded the filter with
gunge I took from a very well-established pond I have elsewhere in the
garden, in which goldfish thrive and breed. The pump is a Blagdon P7500
rated at a max of 1760 gallons/hour. The output of it is fed half to
the filter, and half to the other fall. In addition, there is an
ornament fed by a much lesser pump that directs a jet back into the
Because I could not get any consistent advice about pond construction
(and not knowing of this group's existence, although I should have
realised, being far from a newbie), I asked around for the most delicate
fish. I was told that young Koi were extremely delicate, so I bought
two real tiddlers at a couple of inches each, and put them into the
water *as I filled the pond for the first time* (Lord, that'll hammer
my Karma, for sure). We called these fish *Test* and *Run* for fairly
obvious reasons. This was around two months ago.
Then we introduced the plants a couple of days later. There are a whole
load of marginals, that are thriving, but the standard waterweed we put
in (which I think is Canadian Pondweed)failed to thrive, we bought more,
and that too has failed to thrive, although the Koi are clearly eating
it (I'll go into further fish introduction later). We are fortunate in
owning several forests, and have quite a few natural ponds, one of which
I raided. It was inhabited with newts, and I pulled out a load of
starwort (Callitrich) and introduced that into the pond - it is thriving
fine, and so is a load of Parrot's Feather I got from yet another pond.
We also put some water lilies in which are doing extremely badly, but I
now know, from lurking the wisdom of this group, that this is due to the
presence of much moving water.
On to fish history, and taking up the tale after the introduction of
Test and Run (before plant introduction). My builder accidentally
dropped a bucket of cement into the pool, and he likened the effect to a
piscine Hiroshima. Test and Run became invisible for a while. As an
emergency measure, we syphoned the pond empty, rescued the two (living)
fish, and refilled with Tap Water, again these two stalwarts survived.
Once the plants were in, we started buying more fish. We got a pair at
(I'll talk US Dollars) around $60 each, perhaps 9 inches or so, and half
a dozen smaller ones varying down to a little larger than Test and Run.
Then we got hit with a white fungus. Both the large, expensive fish got
hit, and both died. One of our ghost Koi, had what looked like a black
ulcer on its side, but this has stabilised and as of now the fish is
okay. We treated the fungus with a proprietory chemical introduced into
the entire pond, over a period of five days. This was a couple of weeks
ago, During this period, Test died of the same fungus.
A little later, a five inch fish apparently went loopy. It charged
around the pond, bumped into things, swam backwards a bit, and then
expired (over a period of 24 hours). I looked for lifted scales, but
couldn't see any. There was no obvious cause of death
Then everything seemed stable. So we bought a dozen more Koi tiddlers
and introduced them into the pond about two weeks ago. All of these
seem in good health, save my friend has remarked on flat dorsals.
The cause of the present panic is that Run has just floated up sideways,
with no obvious sign of disease. I have transported it to the vet for a
post mortem. I will let you know the outcome when I have it. Also, one
of the original fish now has almost its entire rear end covered in a
*green* fungus unlike the original. The greenness is probably due to
the fact that there is now a lot of algae in the pond.
I need to tell you just a couple of other things that may be relevant.
My filter has a built-in UV, but I have it turned off. My reason for
this was that since my biological filter was new(ish), and the plants
were not thriving, I needed algae to keep the Nitrogen cycle moving.
So, right now, we have greenish water.
Also, the waterfalls have proved very problematical. To make sure they
were waterproof, and to avoid the cement we used to 'point' the
limestones contaminating the water, we painted it with a clear pond
paint designed for cement pools. We were assured it was perfect for the
job we intended. In fact, it dried completely clear, and the stone
looked natural. However, as soon as the water flows over it, it goes a
hideous white colour. I have played hell with the manufacturers, but
they assure me that:
1 The whiteness will wear off in a few months
2 I can hasten this by applying natural, live yoghurt!!!!
3 Since the paint is a polymer, it is completely harmless to fish.
Now on to water Chemistry. I posted to this group a few weeks ago
because I had been told my limestone would reek havoc with the pH. You
put my mind at rest on that. But since then we have been monitoring
things carefully. I should also tell you that we have a large shed
close to the pond, and on advice given (possibly wrong), I have led the
guttering downspot to the pond as a means of topping up with pure(ish)
water of low(ish) pH.
While I have been composing this essay, my wife has been testing our
water. The results are these:
pH 8.5 Was 7.0 14 days ago.
Nitrite Less than 0.1 No change.