I have a 700 gallon pond with goldfish and koy. The last few days, they are all huddled together in the shallow portion and not eating or swimming around. I had the water tested and it was ok, I am in the process of a water change and was told to add salt. Any suggestions?
Type of Animal: goldfish/koy
water tested fine, with the exeption of high level of nitrates, so I'm doing a 25% water change and was advised to add salt
Hello,I apologize that no one has responded to your question sooner. Different experts come online at various times. I just came online and saw your question. I'm sorry to hear you're having problems with your pond. Some additional information will be useful.Is this a fairly new pond?What types of filtration, fountains, waterfalls, etc. do you have?How many fish are in the pond, and about how long are they - from mouth to tail tip?Was the ammonia level at 0? What was the number for the nitrates?Thank you.Anna
It is an established pond, over 10 years. Some of the fish are the originals. We have one very large Koy, about 12 inches and 6 goldfish , about 4 inches.
There is a waterfall that is powered by the pump. I don't know the exact levels, but the man in the fish store said they were high, but not dangerous. he didnt recommend that I buy any chemicals to adjust it, he just suggested a water change and addition of salt (1 cup per 500 gallons)
Thank you for getting back to me. I’m working on your answer and will post it as soon as I have it typed up. I'm not an extremely fast typist, so your patience is appreciated. Please don’t respond to this post as that can lock me out of the question. I’ll be back shortly. Anna
Thank you for waiting. The nitrates alone are enough to cause the problem you're seeing if the levels are high enough. Amounts over 200 parts per million can be dangerous. I recommend that you get your own test kit because you're going to need to monitor the water. Don't buy the kind where you dip a paper strip in the water and it changes colors. That kind is not accurate. get one where you put the water in a test tube and add chemicals.Be sure that it gives you a number in parts per million (ppm), so just safe or unsafe. No matter what the staff in a store may tell you, or what the information on the test kits says, there simply are no safe levels of ammonia or nitrites. For goldfish and koi, they are best kept at zero. Ammonia toxicity varies with the water temperature and pH. Nitrates (not the same as nitrites) are not harmful unless the level goes over 40 ppm. Serious problems with nitrates occur when it is over 200 ppm. That's why it's so important to get actual numbers.Water changes are the best way to deal with water quality problems. Start with a 50% change today. Test the water again tomorrow. If all levels are not acceptable do another 10% water change. Repeat this each day until the chemicals are all where they should be. I agree with the man in the store that you don't want to use chemicals to improve water quality . The chemicals are a temporary fix only.Salt helps fish deal with the stress of poor water quality, so it is a good idea. Be sure to use pond/aquarium salt because table salt often contains additives. It would be best to use a tablespoon of salt per 5 gallons of water. There are 16 tablespoons in a cup of salt, or 41 tablespoons in a pound. The salt will not improve the water quality, but only helps the fish cope with stress. In addition, increase aeration to the pond if you can. This is especially important if the weather has been warm. Water that is too warm also stresses cold water fish and leads to the kind of symptoms you're seeing. When the water is warm, the fish need more oxygen. Stop feeding them for a few days. The extra food can lead to more water quality problems. Because you are having this problem, I recommend that you read the information on the following website. It is technical and detailed, but accurate and important. Especially check out the section on nitrates.http://users.vcnet.com/rrenshaw/H2Oquality.htmlIf you get your own test kit and find that ammonia and nitrites are at zero, and the nitrates are at the safe level, water temperature or some toxin may be to blame. a common source of toxins in a pond is run-off of lawn chemicals or fertilizers. Do check your fish to see if any have red streaks on their fins or tails. If you find any, let me know because that indicates a serious problem.If you have more questions, let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope you'll be able to quickly solve the problem.AnnaPlease be sure to rate only SMILEY FACES to complete the transaction, or if you need more help, click on REPLY and let me know what else you need. Thank you.