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Is fall a good time to add new fish to the pond?| Decorative Ponds & Water Gardens Q & A


Q: Is fall a good time to add new fish to the pond?

Q: Is fall a good time to add new fish to the pond?

Janice – Woonsocket, RI

A: Fish prefer moving to a new pond during the summertime when temperatures are steady, and they have time to get used to their new digs and mature a bit before the cooler months take hold.

So, in general, we don’t recommend that hobbyists add new fish to their pond right now – unless their water does not dip below 50°Fahrenheit in the fall and winter. That’s the point at which the fish lower their metabolisms and become dormant, and that’s not a very hospitable environment for getting settled in their new home.

If you are one of those lucky warmer-than-50° folks (or if you want to start thinking about next spring already!), follow these recommendations when introducing new fish to your pond.

Test the Water: Have uneven ground around your pond? Before adding your new finned pals, test the water in your pond to make sure it has acceptable pH, ammonia, nitrate, nitrite and phosphate levels with an easy-to-use Pond Master Test Kit.

Remove Dangerous Chemicals: To ensure the water in your pond is free from dangerous heavy metals, chlorine and chloramines, use a water conditioner, like Pond Logic® Stress Reducer PLUS. A conditioner will also replenish your fishes’ protective slime coating and heal any tissue damaged during the move.

Temper the Temperature: Water temperature changes can stress out the fish, and so it’s not a good idea to toss them in the pond as soon as you bring them home. Instead, you’ll need to help them gradually get used to conditions in the pond. When you’re ready to introduce them to the water, float them in a bag on the surface for 20 minutes and periodically mix some pond water with the water in the bag. The environment inside will start to even out with the pond, and that will make the move easy on the fish.

Introduce the Fish: Just in case there is a problem with your water chemistry, or some of your new arrivals carried a disease or parasite with them, introduce inexpensive fish to the pond first while quarantining your more expensive ones. After waiting a few weeks to verify that everyone is healthy and happy, then add them to the mix.

Once the fish are in the pond, take a few minutes several times throughout the day to check in on them. Active and curious fish are healthy fish, and so keep a close eye on any odd or erratic behavior. In most cases, it’ll be a smooth transition and easy addition to your finned family.

Pond Talk: How many fish did you add to your pond this year? How are they faring?

Reduce Stress & Build A Protective Coat- Pond Logic(r) Stress Reducer PLUS

6 Responses

  1. I have 2 Beautiful koi that would measure 36 inches each at least…I have babies that came in the spring and summer… They are mixed with koi and Shubunkin…about 30 in all… will they possibly survives the winter without being fed? I don’t feed after the water gets below 50 degrees.My pond is 14 years old.The Koi are too!

    • Hi Martha – Depending on how deep your pond is and how cold it gets where you live will determine how the fish will survive the winter. Because you’ve had the pond for 14 years with the large koi, it leads me to believe your baby fish will be just fine. Koi and goldfish do not need eat during the colder months. Feeding them when temperatures are below 40°F can actually cause more harm than good.

  2. We were blessed this year with a whopping 11 beautiful various colored goldfish hatched in our 4,000 gallon pond, more than doubling our original 8 fish. They hatched around late April, but it took the entire summer to zero in on all of them. They are energetic & thriving, & they started eating with the “big boys” about August 1st, which is a real treat & sporting event for us! We are very hands-on, involved parents!

  3. I added one koi he’s doing fine It’s been 2 mo. He seems very happy and getting along well with the other 4. He’s about 1 foot and the others are 3 times the size . He hid for about 2 weeks now he’s all over the place. The others are older say 12 years old. They are survivors, I lost 8 beautiful koi. All over 3 ft. A virus ran through the pond. Terrible experience. All is well now.

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