I placed around 25 baby goldfish in this pond in March along with their parents who had grown too big for their tank, most seem to have grown into healthy young goldfish now around 3" in length but I could not find the parents last night.
However someone found three baby fish dead yesterday and my dad has been on holiday in the past week and has been told that a few more have died while he was away. I didn't like the sound of so many fish dying at once so I went to the pond last night to check.
Here is some information regarding the pond...
It is around 1.5-2' deep and must be close to 10x10'. There are plants at one side and the roots have become overgrown. The pond is located inside the reception of the council buildings.
The water readings seem to be fine. Ammonia and nitrites at 0 while the pH is at 7.2.
There is a large filter but I could not identify the type.
The pond has been set up for at least 3 years with the baby fish and their parents added in March.
The pond was apparently cleaned by a company paid to maintain it last week. The workers in the buildings were told not to feed the fish as they should be hibernating but I fail to see how fish can hibernate in a pond with no mud which is indoors though the water temp has dropped I can't be sure by how much. The fish were rather chubby and the ones I managed to catch last night did not look unhealthy.
However many of the fish are sluggish and at least 6 have died out of around 30 remaining fish. My dad has been told that the ones which died were babies but like I say I couldn't see the babies parents and they were all adult fish with the smallest being 7".
The dead fish have a little redness around their gills but other than this they don't seem to have a mark on them. I took two of the babies home which seemed to be struggling and they are now in a 2' tank with a cloned filter.
Is it likely to be the cold that's killing them or may it be something like the oxygen levels? I did worry that we found most of the fish tangled in the roots of plants. Surely the plants will be giving out CO2 most of the time now?
Here are some pictures of the dead fish... [IMG]http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o263/CrunchieMac/Pets/fish002.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o263/CrunchieMac/Pets/fish003.jpg[/IMG]
Here is one of the two I removed which were very sluggish but have perked up over night. [IMG]http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o263/CrunchieMac/Pets/fish001.jpg[/IMG]
We have not added any medication to the water nor have any new ornaments or plants been added.
I've asked my dad to get in touch with the company who maintains the pond today to see what they have to say.
Red gills points towards it maybe being ammonia poisening. Have you got a test kit as you need to test for Ammonia, NitrIte and NitrAte levels. Also test for the pH and hardness as these could be causing part of the problem.
Find out if the Cleaning company cleaned out the filter and if so how did they do it. I am suspecting they cleaned it out using tap water and may have killed off any good bacteria that existed in the filter and now it basically has nothing to clear the ammonia and Nitrites etc. This in turn with all of the fish you have in the pond a massive ammonia spike would have resulted and the fish are now suffering as a consequence. The other problem is the reduction in oxygen levels due to these increases in toxin levels.
You need to do the tests and also do a 50% water change ASAP in order to reduce the amount of toxins in the water and then do 10-20% daily until the filter has caught back up. Do you have access to another mature pond filter, if so you could move things a long a bit by putting some filter foam from it into the councils filter to help it re-cycle again. If not you are going to have to do a fish in cycle until the filter has built up the bacteria again, or remove all the fish and recycle the filter again from scratch.
I think I mentioned in my first post that ammonia and nitrites were 0 and ph was 7.2. on my phone so can't make a great reply. I doubt if the company cleaned the filter with tap water as they are specialist loyalists and know what they're doing.
the fresh water master kit. can't remember the brand off the top of my head. the two fish I took home are now swimming around like nothing is wrong. ill speak to dad when I get in later and ask him what he found out today.
The cold shouldn't be a problem as they would have acclimitised gradually to it as the temps have dropped over all And colder water holds more oxygen so I'm not sure about dropping oxygen levels either.
Do you know when the pond maintenance chaps last visited before this time? I think if your dad can find out what exactly they did we might get a bit nearer, maybe there are some clues there.
Would be worth asking if any other cleaning has taken place around the pond, if it's indoors has anything bee sprayed around, any plants nearby that might have been sprayed? Does anyone one know exactly when the problems started? Does it coincide with anything other than the cleaning? Could someone visting have dropped something in the pond by accident?
If the pond has a filter is it possible to get some carbon in there as a precaution?
If the company did a water change has there been some problem with the water supply? Does it come from the mains or from a storage tank somewhere?