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About Me

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  1. Hello! I have been building a glorified bird bath and/or oversized tub pond for the last year, and last week I made my first attempt at adding fish. Half of them are definitely still alive and 30% are definitely dead, so I'm open to any suggestions. The biggest issue seems to be the wild temperature swings we have had this weekenx - my pond seems to be shallow enough that the water temp has also swung wildly, from a high of 80dF the day I added the fish to a low of 63dF that same night, to a further low of 58dF last night (all water temps, not air). I know that would be tough on any fish, but maybe there's a better choice of species? I also expect, given the pattern so far, that water temps will get pretty warm this summer, maybe even over 90dF. Here's the pond setup: Southern New Hampshire USA Full sun (currently 7:30am to 3pm) Six interconnected preformed pond molds, total of maybe 150gal. Lowest point has a solar pump up to the highest point, runs continuously in full sun and on a timer (10mins/hour) when overcast or overnight. - Fountainhead into ~20-25gal (8 inches deep) pool - spillway into 9gal shallow pool - waterfall down to ~70gal Central pool with plant shelf, 15+ inches deep, partially buried - spills directly into two successive shallow 2.5gal pools - then spills into 2ft deep 20gal buried pool containing the pump back up to the top Water conditions: Well water - 8.1pH and minimal mineral content when tested at purchase (granite/metamorphic ground water) Ammonia and nitrates both tested close to zero in the pond prior to adding fish Flora and fauna: Aquatic plants first added five weeks ago, additional plants added two weeks ago - some in aquatic media with fertilizer tabs, some free floating. Aquatic plants include hornwort, American frogbit, hardy lily, Joseph's coat, pennywort, moneywort, spiral rush, chameleon plant, and a few others. Some algae present, but not excessive Dragonfly and mosquito larvae present Wild leopard frogs have moved right in, all sizes. Structure: Each section of pond has some large 2-3 inch pebbles (box store variety bag, rinsed) at the bottom, plus some native trap rock (granite/metamorphic) and sections of oak limbs for underwater, surface, and bird perch structure. Fish attempted: - I added 8 tiger barbs to the uppermost section with the fountainhead (20gal). Some of them made it into the adjacent 9gal pool. As of yesterday morning, there are definitely 5 dead and 1 confirmed survivor, 2 unaccounted for. I think the cold temps did the worst damage - I thought I would restock in a few weeks once the overnight lows stay above 60dF. Seems like a good idea? The fish shop I went to insisted the barbs would be a hardy choice, though they admitted they didn't have any pond experience. - I added 2 blue dwarf gourami and 10 danios (5 leopard, 5... other kind) to the largest central pool. The danios seem to like the current from the waterfall to the outlet. It's hard to count those quick little buggers and there's lots of space to hide, but I have 1 confirmed dead danio, and I've definitely seen at least 1 gourami and 5-6 danios alive at the same time. It's only been four days, so I haven't retested the water yet, but I'm pretty sure temperature has been the biggest issue. There's plenty of food in there - algae, plants, mosquito larvae, plus some pellets I've offered a couple times. I didn't add any fish to the 20gal section at the bottom with the pump, because that section has a lot of level variation - there are a couple of small leaks and trickles off the waterfall I need to fix, which accumulates into a few inches lost from that pool over the day. Any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks in advance. ~ Lynn
  2. Check out my mini pond filtration. I feed 3 times a day and can't get nitrates above 20mg/L.
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