So you have finished setting up your new pond but now you are wondering; How Long Should You Wait Before Putting Fish in Your Pond?
Here at Aquatix-2u, we have put together a quick guide that will help you take the necessary steps to make sure your pond is in perfect shape, ready to accept your new additions. Before we begin, be aware it can take a number of weeks for your pond to be ready, so it is important to remain patient during this process.
Testing the Pond Water
It is generally a good idea to test the chemical balance in your pond to make sure the levels are stable and healthy. It is recommended to use a water test kit such as the TetraPond 6 in 1 Test Kit before, during and regularly after adding fish to monitor the chemical levels in your pond accurately.
Another factor to consider is where you sourced the water for your pond from. Depending on where you have got it from, your water may well be in need of some TLC. If you fill your pond up with water from a tap, for instance, you will find Chlorine and Chloramines in the water that are unfortunately harmful to fish. Because of this, you will need to look at finding a suitable water conditioner / dechlorinator such as Blagdon Fresh Start.
Steps to Take Before Adding Fish
Before you go off to buy your fish, you need to make sure you have a good quality filter unit installed in your pond. The filtration system is designed to take care of your pond's water and maintain a balanced, healthy ecosystem for your livestock. It is important to have a filter as they are used to introduce helpful bacteria to the pond that breaks down parasites and toxins produced by fish waste.
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If you already have your filter unit installed and running, it is recommended to give your setup some time to establish a bacteria colony. The amount of time this takes can vary but typically you will be looking at waiting from at least 2 to 4 weeks. You can quicken this process by using a filter treatment that will help the bacteria colonise a lot quicker such as Cloverleaf’s Filter Answer Treatment. This treatment helps to add beneficial bacteria which is essential in kick-starting a filter system into operating at its optimum.
Depending on the treatment and the size of your pond, it may take some time to get going so it is important to remain patient during this process and monitor any changes.
Adding the Fish
Once you have given the pond time to settle, now you can look at adding the fish.
Whether you are looking to keep Goldfish, Koi or Sturgeon, It is best to add small numbers in gradually over time so that it allows you to make sure the pond is able to cope. Adding just 1 or 2 fish at a time will allow them to eat and produce waste in amounts that the bacteria can handle without a problem. You may see some fluctuations in certain chemicals after you have added in your fish, so making sure at this stage to keep testing your water is vital. For instance, you may initially see your ponds ammonia levels steadily rise as a result of the waste produced by the fish which is to be expected.
It is still important to monitor your pond at this stage, as things like the ammonia levels and other harmful chemicals can become very dangerous if they get too high. It is best to test the water quality every week during this time as to make sure any spikes can be dealt with, and if necessary you can use pond treatments to help prevent potential problems. For more information on Water Test Kits, what chemicals to look out for and Treatments that can be used, Click Here
Allow the Pond to Settle
Your ponds ecosystem is very delicate, so making sure it has plenty of time to adjust is crucial. It usually takes about a month for the pond to completely cycle so bare this in mind when you go to add more fish.
After about a month you should hopefully be at a stage where the chemical balance in the pond is in good shape, and at this time you can think about adding more fish. Keep the quantities low and gradually add them in over time, repeating this entire cycle as you go.
Keep testing the water for chemical fluctuations and if you get into any problems and would like some assistance, you can get in touch with us here at Aquatix-2u either by phone or email and we will be happy to help.
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