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We just constructed out pond, how long should we wait to add fish? | Decorative Ponds & Water Gardens Q&A

We just constructed out pond, how long should we wait to add fish?

We just constructed out pond, how long should we wait to add fish?

Jay – Phoenix, AZ

When you create a new pond, you’re effectively building a new ecosystem from scratch. At the beginning, your pond’s waters might look clean, clear and inviting, but nature’s just getting started. Until the initial nitrogen cycle is complete, there’s still work to be done before fish can safely take up residence.

At its early stages, any new body of water – whether an indoor aquarium or a backyard pond – goes through the nitrogen cycle. This cycle begins when living organisms break down nitrogen through their natural digestive processes. Until that cycle is complete, concentrations of ammonia naturally build up in the water – and too much ammonia is extremely harmful to fish. Fortunately, with the introduction of natural bacteria in products like ourPond Logic® DefensePAC® to your pond, you can speed up the nitrogen cycle, making the pond safe for new fish in four to six weeks or less.

In addition to DefensePAC®, other products like Pond Logic® Stress Reducer PLUS and Pond Logic® Water Conditioner go a long way toward making new pond water inhabitable. Stress Reducer Plus helps fish to restore their natural protective slime coats, making them less vulnerable to illness. Water Conditioner helps to neutralize chlorine and other chemicals in the water that can lead to stress.

But simply adding DefensePAC®, Stress Reducer and Water Conditioner won’t tell you when your water is ready to support piscine life. For that, you’ll want to use our PondCare Master Pond Master Test Kit, which tests water for pH, ammonia, and nitrite. When readings are consistently within healthy ranges – as clearly explained in the Master Test Kit’s documentation – you’re ready to welcome your new fish to their new home.

Pond Talk: Have you recently built a pond and are waiting to add fish?


8 Responses

  1. My pond test strip seemed to be in the correct range when I read it after the 30 seconds it said in directions but 15 min later it got darker. So when is the correct time to read it?

    • Hi Nanci – You need to read results at the time indicated in the instructions. Reading at a prolonged time will give you false results.

  2. I have built a new pond about 1000 gallons with a waterfall built out of the dirt pile about 3 feet tall max depth is 3feet it’s been running for about 2 weeks cycling threw my 3000 gallon bio filter I used water from my current koi pond about 100 gallons to help start the bacteria colony pluse I had some from a bottle. My question is about how long should I still wait before I put my fish in. there all pretty special to me and don’t wanna put any of them in to test it without knowing there not gonna die

    • Hi Ryan – Ammonia will first spike and fall, then nitrites, only then will you begin to accumulate nitrates. When you can test the water and find no ammonia, no nitrites and minimal amounts of Nitrates then the pond is cycled. This process generally takes about 4-6 weeks but you can help speed it up by adding just a few fish at a time.

  3. hi, my pond emptied aboUT 95% of its water by accident. I have many fish that still look great. can I fill it right back up?

  4. You’re forgetting the obvious. A pond won’t cycle without animal waste. So, you have to add fish, tadpoles, snails, etc. to get things going. The key is not to add too many at once. I put fish in my 1800 gallon pond when it was new after two weeks (to allow algae and mosquito larvae to grow to feed the fish, etc.) but the next day in smaller ponds (just needed aeration). There’s no need to wait.

    • Thanks for the comments Robyn, you are correct you can add some life to the pond to help get it cycled but can not add everything all at once.

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