• It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for! Now that your pond is done, here’s how you should add your fish.

    Like most other animals, fish need the right habitat to survive. So when you’re about to introduce fish to your new pond for the first time, it’s important to your fish’s health that you do it right. There are a lot of factors that determine how safe an environment is for your fish, and each of these needs to be monitored to make sure your new pond is ideal. Additionally, your fish must be added to the pond in a way that’s safe and comfortable for them.

    Before Adding Your Fish

    Before you take the plunge and introduce new fish to your pond, you should check a few things to make sure it’s safe.

    Is your pond large enough?
    • Depending on the type of fish you have, your pond will need to be a certain size. Goldfish don’t need much water, but if you live in a colder climate, your pond will need to have a section that’s at least two feet deep to account for winter freezes. If you plan on keeping larger fish like koi, you will need more water. Koi ponds typically need at least 1000 gallons of water.
    Is your water healthy?
    • Chlorine is unhealthy for fish, so try not to fill up your pond with chlorinated water. If it is chlorinated, like most tap water; be sure to use a dechlorinator. Also, make sure to check the pH, which should be between 7.2 and 7.8 and for ammonia and nitrites, which are dangerous for fish. Finally, you should wait until the water is at least sixty degrees Fahrenheit to add your fish.
    When You Add Your Fish

    When you determine that your water is ready for fish, follow these steps to add them in:

    • Check the temperature of the water. If it is 15 degrees or more different from the water the fish are coming from, don’t add them.

    • If the temperature is right, float your fish in a bag of its previous water for 20-30 minutes before releasing them into the pond. This helps the fish adjust to the new water temperature. A sudden change is dangerous for your fish.

    • When you add fish, don’t add too many at a time. The pond environment needs to adjust to the fish just as they need to adjust to it. Try to add a couple at first, and then wait a week or two before adding a few more. Keep doing this until you’ve put all the fish you want in.

    • Keep a close watch on your new fish. In new environments, fish get nervous and sometimes jump out of the water. You may want to place netting above the pond for the first few days that your fish are in the pond so they can’t get out.

    Now that your new pond finally has some fish to liven it up, enjoy their presence. Though the first few weeks are the most dangerous to the fish’s health, they will still need plenty of care. Make sure to keep them fed, but not overfed, and healthy. Continue to test your water for pH, nitrites and ammonia. This will help ensure a long relationship between your new fish and your new pond.

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    Many fish are shy and will hide when first added to a new pond. Some food may help draw them out.