What’s the key to keeping pond fish healthy?
Now that Spring has arrived and water temperatures are increasing your fish should now be quite active after the winters inactivity and looking for food.
This time of year is also when fish pests and diseases wake up so NOW is the right time to be thinking what you need to do to ensure they are healthy and remain for the rest of the season.
Fortunately most fish problems can be avoided with a few simple preventative measures.
Understand Water Quality
Poor water quality causes the majority of issues with fish.
Make sure your fish are not overcrowded and be aware of the need to do partial water changes and not just top ups. Pump some water out of the pond –your garden plants will love it or just let the hose run and overflow. Small amounts of water and often is best.
Make sure when adding tap water to use a good water treatment to remove the chlorines from tap water.
Check that your pump is working properly and clean any filter that may be attached to ensure maximum flow. Aerated water benefits fish, plants and mosquitoes don’t like it.
Buy Your Fish from a Reliable and Responsible Retailer
Never buy obviously sick fish and if possible, quarantine all new fish for a few days before adding them to your pond. Always ask how long the retailer has had the fish. If they have just received them in, ask the retailer how long they rest before being put on sale and if needed ask him to hold the fish for a few days. Fish need time to recover from stress related to transport and new water chemistry.
Keep a Close Eye on Your Fish
If any signs of disease are seen, a good start is to use pond salt while you identify exactly what the problem is. Turn up the pump/aeration if you can and feed appropriately medicated fish food. If things look like they are getting worse, immediately treat the pond with the appropriate fish treatment..
Before treating any potential problem with your fish, it is important to make sure that you are using the correct treatment, dosage, or treatment rate to prevent any recurrence.
The longer you wait to treat the problem, the less chance you have of saving your fish.
Test Your Water
Test kits are easily available and easy to use for home testing of Ammonia, Nitrite, pH and hardness. Test it yourself or have us service your pond for you. It is also important to test the water coming directly from your tap as it is increasingly common to have issues including ammonia coming directly from your source water.
We include water testing as part of a regular maintenance schedule.
Feed Your Fish a High Quality Food
Over feeding is probably the main cause of problems with water quality – don’t feed more than 5 minutes worth of food and remember that you don’t need to feed your fish; there is natural food in the pond so if you go on holiday just don’t feed them and don’t worry about them – especially in an eco-system pond. Too often well meaning inexperienced neighbours = disaster
Feed a high quality food will not affect water quality and will ensure that your fish are getting all the vitamins and nutrients they need to maintain proper health.
Be sure to feed regularly and consistently – fish recognise owners and will come up to be fed; they know when its tea-time and will even take it from your hand.
- Prevention is the best cure for your finned friends!
- The easiest way to avoid disease problems is to maintain optimum water conditions.
- Feeding a quality diet
- Add beneficial bacteria on a regular basis to help maintain a balanced ecosystem.
- Disease problems must be addressed in the early stages to be successful.
By following these simple tips you’ll enjoy seeing your pond fish swim happily about throughout the pond season!