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     New Pond
 New Pond Owner Syndrome... Overcoming it!

New Pond Owner Syndrome

 

We have a problem folks. It’s called “a little bit of knowledge” and it’s running rampant across the US. One difference between new pond owners and seasoned veterans is the high anxiety level.

Sure, you seasoned vets have to remember standing over your pond, fretting over the first glimpse of algae and panicking when the inevitable algae bloom erupted. “My fish are going to die! I can’t see them! What in the world is happening in there??? OMG!! Somebody help me..”

 

And when it came time to feed the fish, more became better so you went out to buy one of every type of food available, thinking the fish need variety, or they might not get all the vitamins from just one food… That was because somebody told you the fish need to have certain nutrients in order to have bright reds and clean whites, right? They didn’t tell you the red-enhancing food additives would make your white colors pink or yellow, did they?

Did you know that people suffering new-pond-owner-syndrome don’t sleep at night and may be spending their mortgage money on their fish? Every pond they see tells them theirs is inadequate for their fish. Every advertisement for a new filter is cause for great anxiety. They are gnawing their way through life… They throw chemicals into the pond to solve one problem and create several new ones. They live in a constant state of unfulfillment.

But that’s not what a pond is supposed to be. Pond ownership is not exactly the same as raising a child. It is something to bring down your blood pressure, calm your nerves after a hard day at the office, and entertain friends on the weekend. A pond is something that evolves naturally over time into something quite healthy… as long as a few basic principles are followed.

First, don’t overstock with fish. If it looks at all crowded, it’s overstocked. Give some away and don’t buy any more.

Second, have a good filter, keep it clean, and don’t worry about washing out the bacteria. The bacteria are not just in the filter; they are on the sides of the pond as well. And you can replace them easily enough.

Third, do weekly water changes. The amount isn’t a life or death matter, just do the water changes.

Fourth, the fish do not need to be fed every time you walk by the pond. Just because they swim to the surface and “look” hungry doesn’t mean they need to be fed. These are FISH, with fish brains, not scientists that know which end is up. Please don’t listen to them.

Actually, new-pond-owner-syndrome sounds a lot like new parent syndrome to me. We want to do everything perfect. We want our kids to have the best of everything, to excel in school, to stay in the womb until they graduate college…

These fish are most likely our “practice” fish, not the last fish we will ever have, unlike our own children. We don’t go to jail and nobody thinks ill of us if our fish are eaten by a heron. Perhaps in the future we will require a college education and license to own a goldfish or koi, but not today. So, sit back and relax. It’s all going to be fine if you can just live through the first fifty years of new pond ownership.

By Carolyn Weise

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