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Relocating the Pond – Sad News

This morning I was all ready to move the stock tank to it permanent location in the new garden. I drained the tank, moved the water lilies and fish into two temporary makeshift ponds for the morning.

make-shift ponds

All was going well. I cleaned the stock tank and lifted it up on its side and rolled it into my new garden. I leveled it using one of the 2 x 3 boards (I bought these to make a vertical trellis in Project 802) and a level.

leveling the stock tank

After a few minor adjustments, it was ready to fill. I filled the tank with water from the city supply and treated it with Aquasafe.

setting up the stock tank

After I few hours I move the fish into the pond. Now I know I should have waited a few days for the pond the settle in and dissipate the Chlorine and Chloramine . I thought the Aquasafe would do the trick. It didn’t and within 10 mintues all of the fish with the exception of one larger goldfish, immediately died. It was so sad to witness and I tried as fast as I could to remove the fish and put them back in the temporary pond. There was nothing that could be done except to watch them one by one turn on their sides and float to the top.

goldfish died

Lesson learned. Be patient and wait for the water to dissipate the Chlorine and Chloramine. The big goldfish is back in the temporary pond, with an aerator for the next day or two. Hopefully this one goldfish will survive. Incidentially, this is the same fish that I found at the bottom of the abandoned pond after two years. It was the only fish I found in there.

water lilies potted

I repotted the water lilies and the pond looks perfect in its new home, minus the fish. I’ll pick up a few more little goldfish in the next few weeks. Hopefully things will go better.

9 thoughts on “Relocating the Pond – Sad News”

  1. I’m sorry. how horrible for you (not to mention the fish) It reminds me of when my oldest son was about 5 and so excited to catch these tiny frogs in a stream at our friend’s house. He had caught several and needed a container to put them in to watch for a while and then release back to the stones. My friend gave him a pail and my son quickly put about 5 of them into it. Withing minutes they all died~ there had been gasoline at one time in the pail and my friend didn’t know. My son was so upset. It’s horrible to feel responsible for any creature’s demise. At least a new bunch of goldfish will get a new home! There has to be a bright side for you! Good luck and I hope your survivor keeps on swimming.

  2. I’m so sorry, Jackie. It was brave of you to confess your impatience. I have accidentally killed a few fish over the years too. You’re right that waiting a few days for the pond water and plants to settle in is the key for keeping the fish healthy in a new pond. Also, when I had a smaller pond (3 feet dia.), I never topped it off with water from the tap. I used rain water or let a bucket of tap water sit out overnight so the chlorine had time to dissipate. With my big pond (8 feet dia.) I can top it off out of the hose, and the volume of water keeps the chlorine from harming the fish. I’m not sure how big yours is, but that’s something you might want to keep in mind.

  3. Thanks Pam. This stock tank is 6ft x 2ft (approximately 760 gallons). I do not believe that topping off will be a problem once this pond is stable. I’ve had fish for 15 years now in one pond or another. I wanted to share this experience so folks will know that Aquasafe will not immediately FIX the water. I did some reading on this last night and found that Chloramine gets converted to ammonia when Chlorine is removed from Chloramine. I believe that is what killed the fish.

  4. Meredith/Great Stems

    Oh, Jacqueline. I’m sorry about your little fishies. Fishy hugs to the survivor. At least you know what caused their demise, and it’s a lesson we can all learn from.

    1. Jacqueline D'Elia

      Thank you Meredith. I can report that as of this morning. the little guy was still alive in the temporary holding pond. If he makes it to the weekend, I’ll try to move him into the stock tank pond.

  5. As of Sunday September 13, the lone survivor is now living in the new stock tank, along with six new goldfish I bought at Petsmart. They’re orange and white and we just .27 cents each. They’ve been in the stock tank since Saturday evening, and as of Sunday evening, all is well.

  6. Hello from Barbados,
    I love your blog! I have had that same thing happen to me when I had cleaned a client’s pond. I did leave the water for several hours but the client wanted the job done asap. Against my better judgement I tried to please her and that was the results. Luckily my hubby breeds fish so we replaced them without any cost to the client. I now keep household water filter(the blue ones) filled with activated carbon cartridge (or put in a filter bag) that can be connected onto the garden hose to refill ponds. Activated carbon removes chlorine and I have never had a repeat of this problem. If using the raw carbon place in a fine mesh bag and flush the filter thoroughly before filling the pond. This is to get rid of the black sooty water at first. The water will soon run clear. I also use a stock tank like yours to house some lilies but after a several years it had rusted and sprung a few leaks. So I cleaned it out brushed the loose rust out , treated the the rusty areas with some phospho , filled the holes with an epoxy and then painted it with a liquid rubber. I gave it several coats and voila it I have added some more years to an old tank. I also filled the outside holes with the epoxy and a daub of liquid rubber for extra protection. I wished that I had done that at the beginning when the tank was new. Good luck and happy gardening!

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