Pond Fish Care

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Interactive and friendly, fish add color and interest to any pond. Feel the stress of the day melt away as you watch them gracefully swim through the water.

When you purchase your fish, they’ll leave the store healthy and active. To maintain healthy fish you must follow a few ground rules:

  • When you get the fish home, float the unopened bag in the pond that will be their new home for approximately 10 minutes.
  • Next, open the fish bag and add about 1 cup of pond water to the bag. Be careful not to let any water from the bag fall into the pond. Let the bag continue to float in the pond for another 10 minutes. Watch to make sure the sides of the bag don’t collapse and trap your fish. PRO TIP: Try clipping one side of the bag to the edge of the pond or securing it with rocks.
  • Add 1 more cup of pond water to the bag and let it sit 10 additional minutes. This process helps to acclimate your new fish to the water in their new home. Transitioning the fish too quickly can cause a shock to their system and harm their health.
  • Release your fish into the pond one at a time, careful to not dump any of the water from the bag into the pond. Once all the fish have been transferred, dispose of the remaining bag water. Use it to water a plant or the grass, but don’t let it contaminate the fish pond.

As stated above, this process is all about acclimating your fish to their new habitat. Although it’s impossible to see with the naked eye, the difference between the water in your pond and the water in the bag your fish come home in are worlds apart. Be sure you have set up and will maintain your fish’s new home correctly and follow the care instructions for your particular variety of fish, such as Koi or goldfish (which are the two most popular pond species). Doing a bit of research beforehand can help prepare you. Consider reviewing this beginner’s guide to caring for goldfish as a first step.

Your fish may need some time to settle and may try to hide—this is normal. For varieties such as the goldfish, only feed your fish what they can eat in 5 minutes. Filling your hand’s palm with food is a great place to start, and you can work up/down from there. In a pond that has plants, fish only need to be fed once or twice a week. The more you feed your fish, the more waste they produce. An overabundance of waste could cause problems in the pond environment. Additionally, it is recommended to stop feeding your fish in the fall, when the water temperature falls below 50 degrees, and resume feeding them again in the spring, when the water is above 55 degrees. They may “beg” for food before this happens, but feeding them will cause them more harm than good. Follow these simple steps and you will have healthy, happy fish for years to come!

Paradise Outdoor Design and Landscaping provides a wide range of services from a team of local experts who can help you create a beautiful pond in the arid Colorado climate. Give us a call to start designing yours!

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