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Author Topic: Sinking Goldfish  (Read 626 times)
LA Fish
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Sinking Goldfish
« on: May 21, 2012, 05:01:18 PM »

Help!   I have a fish pond with 4 small and 3 medium size fish.  The tank is I believe about 100 gallon pond outside and I have made some changes recently to my pond and feeding method.  I am new to this and last year was my first year.  The former owner indicated that I did not need to feed the fish as they ate the algae in the pond and to clean the filter of the pump once a month.  The fish did fine last summer with this method but the pond was very full of algae.   I purchased a new fish about a month ago and the store where I purchased it this Spring said I should clean the pond in the Spring and then put treatment in the water which I did.  The water tests at 7.5 so I believe I am ok there.  My fish have become lethargic and sink and stay at the bottom and seem to be getting worse.  I may be feeding them too much or maybe the food is old?  I was feeding them three times a day according to the directions on the food but have cut back to once a day.  But they are getting worse.  I feed them now because I cleaned out the algae so thought I should be feeding them. But they don't eat now hardly at all and stay grouped together on the bottom of the pond.   Please help.  Thank you.
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scrivens345
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Re: Sinking Goldfish
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2012, 11:00:41 PM »

Is your pond in direct sunlight at this time of year? What are the Ammonia,  and Nitrate levels in your pond? How are you avoiding large Night/day temperature variations?


* you are at the limit of your pond's stocking level

* Algae, albeit unsightly is a superb fish food....

* large leaved plants  are needed to provide shelter from direct sun

* feeding once a week serving of a protein-based food should be enough: these are NOT tank fish and feeding 2-3 times a day will poison them, and their environment.

A friend of mine has  a similar (slightly larger pond), she does minimal maintenance (knowing her ,none at all), feeds once a week if that; Each year she has a bumper crop of fry

A good pond set up should be as near to being a self-sustaining ecosystem as possible.

 Fresh water in the form of rain ( no chemical water conditioner required).

 Algae formed by action of sunlight to provide nutrition, alongside vegetable debris and insects.

 Shelter  provided against direct summer sunlight by pond plants (and if you are lucky nearby trees).
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Skwishee
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Re: Sinking Goldfish
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2012, 03:05:00 AM »

Hiya and welcome to the forum,

Sorry to hear you've been having issues with your pond. Scrivens asked some excellent questions.
I'd also like to ask; what filter does this pond have?
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LA Fish
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Re: Sinking Goldfish
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2012, 06:04:43 PM »

So it appears that cleaning out all the algae and then over feeding my fish has poisoned them.  Is there anything I can do for them now?  I would like to save them but it may be too late.  I have good shade, have tested the water chemicals and the pond appears ok there.  Last year as I said, when I didn't clean it out and didn't feed the fish, they did very well.  Also, the pond has good filtration.  Runs steady and strong.  Again, is there anything I can do to save them now? 
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Nossie
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Re: Sinking Goldfish
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2012, 02:50:17 AM »

Siphon out some of the polluted water and add some fresh, treated water (treated means with water conditioner added to get rid of chlorine, in this case, not medicine.) Take out about half and it should be alright, then let the pond take care of itself Smiley
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Skwishee
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Re: Sinking Goldfish
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2012, 02:48:18 PM »

I agree with Nossie, perhaps clean the bottom of the pond a little if there's lot's of un-eaten food hanging around?

When you test the water chemicals, may I ask which ones your testing and their results?
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LA Fish
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Re: Sinking Goldfish
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2012, 06:30:41 PM »

Thank you all for the great advice.  We emptied out more than half of the "poluted" pond water tonight and cleaned out the bottom as best we could and refilled the pond with fresh water.  Almost right away, our fish livened up and started swimming and eating mosquito larvea and algae.  They are swimming around now and seem to be doing so much better.  I tested the water for clorine again after we refilled with fresh water and it is at level  7.0.  Thank you so much. 
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Skwishee
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Re: Sinking Goldfish
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2012, 02:59:39 AM »

There shouldn't be any chlorine in that water. You need to add water conditioner or use a water purifier (one that fits to your hose) when filling a pond, so that it get's rid of Chlorine and other harmful substances.
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Nossie
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Re: Sinking Goldfish
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2012, 05:52:36 AM »

You also need to test the pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, everything else is more or less unnecessary to test because it doesn't matter to goldfish.
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scrivens345
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Re: Sinking Goldfish
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2012, 07:02:21 AM »

Just a thought..When you cleaned your filter, you just rinsed it in old pond-water, right?
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LA Fish
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Re: Sinking Goldfish
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2012, 02:21:10 PM »

Well maybe I don't understand what you mean by filter.  The filter that I put on top of the pump gets gunked up and I have to pull the pump out about once a month and clean the filter.  I use the garden hose and have been doing that for a year and a half with no problem.  I really am starting to think that I was overfeeding them and I have stopped feeding them the fish flakes and they are doing better.  Last night after we drained off most of the water in the pond and filed with fresh water, they started swimming around and moving again right away and I was really encouraged.  However, I had to leave town early this morning but I called my husband at home this afternoon and he said the fish are laying on the bottom again and only moving a little.  They are not as lethargic as a couple of days ago, but still not swimming around like they used to.  I know it sounds strange but a couple of them are actually swimming backwards.  I think the water treatment is fine but I am a novice as you can tell and I cannot figure what to do next.  I will have to wait until I get home to test the water chemicals again to see  if there is a problem.  I have been testing the water for chlorine as the store where I bought the fish said that Virginia water has a high level of chlorine so I have been putting treatment in it to remove the chlorine.  After I filled up the pond I tested it and it read 7.0 which is what the directions say it should be.  There is algae building up again on the sides of the pond and a few insect larvae from what I can tell and last night it looked like they were eating insect larvae.  Should I be feeding them anything at all?  As I said, when I moved here a year and a half ago I never fed them or cleaned out the pond until 2 weeks ago and that is when everything went wrong.  Wish I would have not listened and left things alone. 
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scrivens345
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Re: Sinking Goldfish
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2012, 02:46:13 PM »

No probs, Goldfish can survive 2 weeks without any food. It seems like yours prefer "natural" food. I should keep withholding food for the time being.

I should say that the pond-clean was the culprit, and the fish got stressed out
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