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Inherited goldfish pond…where to start?!


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We moved into a rental house that has an established pond with goldfish.  Maybe 8-10 but I’m not sure bc there is so much algae in the water I can’t really see.  I think there’s a filter but I need to get it up and running.  I prefer not to dump a bunch of chemicals in the pond to fix it.  I know it’s not extra food bc the house sat vacant for a month and the previous tenants said the fish lived off the bugs and such with no feeding.  I do know our water is REALLY hard.  (We live in Belgium so I don’t have the same options as if we were in the states.)  I want to start by getting the filter running and adding more plants to help with water quality.  Don’t have a test kit yet to give any water parameters. The pond is an odd oblong shape.  Half of it is waist deep and the other half is knee deep.  It’s probably 10 feet long and 5 feet wide…ish. 1237E9DC-6A40-41D2-87EE-ECA5F3613205.jpeg.e5d6f1be6a7f1cdf71ba88f34a282b32.jpeg(Picture with reference to my kiddos)

My only fish experience is with a 15 gal tank my daughter had!   Any helpful suggestions are welcome!  (What type of plants, what else I can do to clear up the water, etc)

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First things first...Get the filter running and get some aeration into it.  That will go a very long way in getting the water cleaned up.  You will have to clean the filter a lot in the beginning but will gradually get better.  

For plants...Water hyancinths, water lettuce, lotus all being great pond plants and they will start clearing up the water.

Last but not least....FEED THE FISH!!  If you dont they will eat the plants.  

I wish you luck and happiness on your new hobby/Journey.

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Getting some more plants and getting the filter running will go a long way towards getting it cleared up. The floating plants will block the sunlight that the algae need to live. I’m my experience shade is your best tool for keeping the water clear. Another great tool is a UV attachment for the filter. It’ll clear up the green water and keep it clear. 

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  • 1 month later...

I have made considerable progress.  I found a local fish store and talked to some people there.  My pump, filter, and UV clarifier are large enough for my pond.  Short of emptying all the water and cleaning it out, which I prefer not to do, the water is slowly clearing up.  I’ve been feeding the fish, but I’m not sure how much to feed them.  I’ve got about 20ish 3-4in gold fish.  I just have a generic pond food that’s a mix of pellets, flakes, and freeze dried little critters. How much and how often should I be feeding them?  Thanks!

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First of all, what a pretty pond and beautiful bricks/tiles on that house!

My friend bought a 200-year old house that had been empty for more than two years, in US gardening zone 7a. There was a pond with goldfish and the children of the previous owners said the pond was decades old and the fish lived on bugs.

My friend was not a fishkeeper and did not want to be. She figured "if they've lived here for 2+ years without being fed, they can go on doing it" and fed them for entertainment purposes only, when children visited or she felt like counting them.

As her fishkeeping friend, I wasn't so sure about a lifetime plan of not feeding the fish, but I did recognize the pond had found a balance during the time it was unobserved (if not long before) and suddenly changing the water parameters by daily feeding probably wouldn't do anything helpful.

I am absolutely not a pond expert, but I would advise not making too many big changes at once. If the fish have lived for a long time without being fed, I would try barely feeding them once a week and test the water/observe the algae health as you increase from there. 

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