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Fish Care. General points of care for your pond fish. 

As with many things gardening-related,  the spring season is a busy time for pond owners. In particular with the fish in the pond as they emerge from their relative slow - almost dormant life in the winter. Pond fish become more active as the daylight intensifies and the temperatures get warmer.

 Feeding should start again, or be more regular if you are one of those pond owners who insist on feeding their fish throughout the winter.

 In all but the warmest areas, feeding of fish should be absolute minimum throughout the winter months. Fish rarely eat much during winter, so any surplus food build-up at the bottom of the pond is a starting place for harmful bacteria to set up home.

As the fish become more active in the warmer weather, then feeding can start - slowly at first then becoming more regular as the season progresses.

A selection of very well cared for and happy fish Use good quality fish feeds, to ensure a balanced diet. Together with this, most fish will get much of their nutritional requirements from within the pool, providing it is well stocked with plants, and not over-stocked with fish.

Looking After Your Fish

As with other forms of life, the condition of your fish can be related to their general activity. Active fish rarely have problems.

  • A slow moving solitary fish or one that continually swims near to the surface is a  good indicator that all is not well.

  • Together with this, another tell-tale sign is a fish 'rubbing' itself against the side of the pond or against pond plants. This is usually to try and get rid of unwanted parasitic organisms, or simply to have a 'scratch' at an irritable spot!

If you suspect a problem with your pond fish, then remove it as soon as possible with a soft net, in order to put it in a separate container from where you can better see any visible problems. Most problems can be seen this way, for healthy fish have good regular scales covering. Any obvious areas of damage will show up quite easily - as will fungal diseases.

If a problem is spotted, do not simply return the fish to the pond with the intention of dealing with it later. Either it may die quite quickly, or if carrying a fungal or other disease, then affect other fish in the pond.

Your local aquatics centre will have a remedy for most ailments - especially if you can properly describe the symptoms - or better still - go armed with a picture of the affected fish. This is easy enough to do with most digital cameras, shooting through the side of a glass tank or clear plastic bottle.

Introducing New Fish to the Pond.

On average, new fish can be added at a rate of around ten per square metre of pond surface. The deeper the pond, the more fish that can be added.

A good starting collection can include Goldfish, Rudd, Tench,  Golden Orfe, and of course the showy Shubunkins. Golden Orfe and Rudd are naturally shoal forming, so should not be kept in the pond as single fish. Depending upon pond size, introduce Golden Orfe and Rudd in substantial numbers. They are much happier with their own folk for company, and are quite attractive when sees swimming as a shoal.

Tench are bottom feeders, so don't expects to see too much of them. Nevertheless they should be introduced into your pond for several reasons, not the least being that they tend to scavenge the leftovers of most feeding episodes.

New fish are normally sold in clear plastic/polythene bags - often topped up with oxygen. Do NOT leave them in a sunny position like this, and also make sure that as little time as possible is allowed before you start to0 introduce these fish to the pond. Some - which are bought off the shelf like this - or even won in a fairground (Yuk!). You should start pond life in some form of quarantine for a few days to make sure that all is well. Any doubts, do not introduce any lethargic fish to the pond.

  • Do NOT introduce new fish into a pond which has just been filled with tap or other water. Allow time for the water to release any harmful chemicals into the atmosphere. Chlorine and Fluoride - even in minute quantities - can be harmful or even fatal.
  • Place the container holding the fish on the surface of the pond to allow the water in the pond and the container to reach the same temperature. This will prevent the fish suffering temperature shock when they are released.
  • After 2 to 3 hours you can open the container and tip the fish into their new environment. Tilt it into the pond water. Allowing the fish to adjust and swim slowly in to the pond. After an hour, scatter some food over the surface of the pond.


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