How soon can I put fish in my pond?

| April 25, 2014 | 5 Comments

Question by Debbie C: How soon can I put fish in my pond?
I have just got a pond to put in my garden, I have now filled it with water but was wondering when I could start putting fish in it.

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Answer by Spectre
if pond is plastic or liner immediately, but if its concrete leave it for about a month the flush pond out , fill with fresh water and should be ok then. Concrete has lime in it and this is toxic to fish

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  1. harleycharley says:

    Today unless your pond is made from concrete. You can buy a sealer to paint a concrete pond, but this is incredibly expensive, or you must let it stand full of water from a few weeks, then drain and refill. Best to start with a few small goldfish and see what happens with them before you introduce more expensive fish.

  2. markjmp0856 says:

    If this is the first time you are keeping fish, there are some things you need to know before putting fish in the pond. I would suggest looking on-line for some general guides, or find a good guide book at the library.
    If the pond you purchased came without a filter set-up you will need to purchase one. Go to your local Home and Garden store (preferably a non-chain type) that carries ponds and accessories. Ask them to point you in the right direction as to the type of filtering you will need for the size of pond you have. You will also need a test kit to test the water quality. Make sure you add a chlorine remover if you are using city water. Then go on-line to Drs. Foster and Smith to order what you need. The prices are generally the best you will find.
    They carry a complete line of products for all animals. I would suggest going with some species of Goldfish to start with as they are the most hearty and resilient. If you have any other questions, just e-mail me and I will try and point you in the right direction.

  3. theseeker4 says:

    Wait at least a week for the water chemistry to stabilize. Any brand new “body” of water, be it an aquarium or a large pond needs to have the water age for at least a week before you introduce fish to is, as during the first week the water chemistry is likely to drift, sometimes significatnly.

  4. x_siddywiddy_x says:

    first make sure the pond isnt dirty or contaminated. then put fresh water in. then you should be able to put fish in.

  5. Poopy says:

    You need to understand the idea of “cycling.” Fish waste and decomposing plant material combines to form ammonia in the water. This is incredibly toxic to fish and will kill them. Eventually, however, enough of a certain bacteria builds ups to “eat” the ammonia and convert it to nitrites. Nitrites are also toxic! However, eventually enough of yet another kind of bacteria builds up to eat the nitrites and convert them to nitrATES. Nitrates are also toxic in large quantities, but fish can tolerate them under 20 ppm or so.

    It can sometimes take weeks to go through this cycle of ammonia to nitrites to nitrates. Some of the starter chemicals like Pond-zyme can help it move along faster, but it will do it by itself if you just add an initial source of ammonia (a bit of food left to decompose in your pond should do it). It can take 4 to 6 weeks to stabilize, but you can speed this up if you get filter media from an established pond to “seed” the start of your colony of beneficial bacteria.

    Also, plenty of plants will help keep your nitrate levels at a point where fish can tolerate it. If you don’t add your own desireable plants to consume the nitrates (they are just like fertilizer for plants!), Mother Nature will add her own plants to do it – in the form of undesireable algae. This is how you get water that looks like pea soup. Aim for plants equivalent to approximately 60% of your pond’s surface, though not all of the plants have to be surface plants. You can use things like anacharis or cabomba for submersible plants, water hyacinths and/or azolla for floaters, and water iris and water lillies for bog or marginal plants. Put them in the pond, or dedicate a veggie filter solely for plant life. Just make sure you have plenty of plants!

    If I were you, I would get a couple of feeder goldfish and put in the pond to help it “cycle.” You can do that at any time. They can add ammonia to keep the cycle going and keep your levels of benneficial bacteria up, but if your levels swing way out of control and end up killing the fish, you are only out 29 cents or so. Leave them in there for about 6 weeks or so without adding any more.

    Then, test your water. Ammonia and nitrites should be at zero, and your nitrates should be below 20 ppm (many pet stores will test your water for free – or invest in a good test kit). When you consistently test at these levels, your pond is safe to add whatever fish you want to it and you can invest a little more in stocking. If you want to remove your feeder goldfish to an indoor tank or something and run koi or fancy goldfish only in your pond, you can do so at that time. If you prefer to just add more feeders to your pond, that is fine, too. Whatever you like.

    Just remember: if you take care of the water, the fish will take care of themselves. (Of course, you have to feed the little dears, too, but most all of your illness and behaviorial problems can all be addressed simply by maintaining water quality….).

    Hope this helps!

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