September 14, 2015

Transporting Fish / Water Changes & Running Pumps

Today's Pond Q&A

In this issue:

- Transporting Fish and Plants

- Water Changes and Running Pumps


Question #1>

Hello Carolyn,

About a year and a half ago, I constructed my first pond. It is
about 15' long and 8 ' wide and 34" to 36" in depth +-1800 gallons,
with a waterfall being fed by two gargoyle mouths.

After some careful investigation, I installed the Aqua Bead Filter
System with the Stainless Steel Filter and the Zap Pure U/V light,
with the 2 speed 1 h/p pump. The low speed on the pump provides
ample filtration and waterfall + saves $ on the monthly operation.

In my my vast experience as a pond enthusiast, (1 year) this is a
great equipment combination. It provides gin clear water with
minimal maintenance. I need to backflush weekly and power spray the
waterfall to remove growth every other week.

I have 13 Koi and 23 gold fish. The goldfish were the "mine
canaries" to assure a successful pond build, they survided and are
now 4" to 6". The koi are now 10" to 18" and they were wee koi at
the start. I have water lettuce and water hyacinth growing for fish
food and surface sun protection from algae.

Now that I've told you my life story, I proceed to the question at
hand. I'm planning to move, from Southern California to Las Vegas,

How do I transport my now mature live fish and plants from one
state to another? How do I prepare the new environment and the
transport vessel of fish, plants, etc, etc?????


Answer #1>


No fair. That's a loaded question.

First, you should prepare a temporary holding tank, perhaps in the
garage, at the new home in Las Vegas. Set it up with make-shift
filtration and feed it ammonia (not the sudsy type) initially to
charge it up. Throw in some good bacteria (Microbe-Lift is good)
for the filter. Let that sit for a week or so, while you go back
and catch the rest of the fish.

To catch the fish, lower the pond down until the tops of the fish
are showing out of the water. This is the least stressful way for
you and for them. Pick them up with a sock net and put them in
double-bagged plastic bags in which you will fill with 1/4 water
and the rest, pure oxygen. So, you have to borrow an oxygen tank
from somebody or get one from Home Depot. They sell the welding
kits with small oxygen tanks in them. Take an extra oxygen tank
with you for the ride in case a bag breaks.

Then put each bag (don't overload them with fish, use as many bags
as necessary and give away some fish at this time!) into a carton
or picnic cooler for support. You will want to try keeping them
cool for the trip. Cool fish are calm fish.

Then stack them into your car or truck and keep the A/C on for them
until you get to the new place. If you have to stop overnight, I
suggest you check the fish.

When you get there, don't do any water exchanges. Just make sure
the water in the holding tank is the same, or close, to the
temperature in the bags and then lift each fish out of the bag into
the fresh water.

Don't put any of the old water from the bag into the tank and don't
put any of the tank water into the bag.

See? It's going to be a snap. Let your wife bring the filtration


MacArthur Water Gardens carries Micobe-Lift products. Click the link
below for additional information:

Enter Your Pond in our 2015 Pond Galleria!
Just send us 4 or 5 good pictures of your backyard pond
paradise, and we'll include you in the galleria. Send
your pictures and a brief description to us at

Question #2>

Hi Carolyn,

I am in my 2nd year with a 4000-gallon rock garden waterscape
hosting approximately 15 goldfish; mostly Reds, 2 Shubumkins, and 1
Koi(?). My waterscape consists of two smaller ponds spilling into a
larger pond with a 35' stream also spilling into the main pond.

There are seven waterfalls throughout the waterscape. A "Tsurumi"
5500 gph bio pump drives the main waterscape. A "TetraPond" 3800
gph bio pump powers the stream. My family and friends have really
enjoyed the water garden ecology since its construction. Hardly
have I ever experienced major problems with water quality, clarity
or bottom debris.

I did have a small problem with spring "string" algae but cleared
that up using chemicals specifically for that purpose. I use a
product called "All-In-One" on a weekly basis and have never
changed the water in the pond since I filled it last year, with the
exception of rainwater and an occasional addition of house water
when pond levels are low due to evaporation.

Why is it necessary to change out 25% of the water on a weekly
basis as you have suggested to many of your clients? Is it really
necessary? Should it be considered normal weekly maintenance, or
were you comments directed and intended to remedy a particular
problem for your client? In my case, 1000 gallons per week is a
lot of $$ water.

Additionally, for conservation purposes, is it necessary to run my
bio filter pumps 24 hour a day, or can I run the pumps on an
alternating timed schedule.

What is the maximum downtime allowed for pumps to maintain good
water quality?

Thank you your comments are appreciated


Answer #2>


I recommend doing the 25% water changes weekly for regular
maintenance and not simply to resolve particular problems. I don't
recommend wasting the water however. It can and should be recycled
to the garden.

Providing you do not use salt in the pond, you can find no better
water (and fertilizer) to use in watering grass, flowers, shrubs
and vegetables. As for the cost, I expect you would be watering
the landscape plants anyway to keep them alive in summer heat, no?
It costs no more to irrigate than to do the water change.

Regarding pumps, being overly frugal is not recommended. Bacteria
will die off within 8 hours of shutting down the system. They are
aerobic and anaerobic, but the former will not survive without
oxygen being circulated to them. The nitrifying bacteria in the
pond are stationary, so the food and supplies must be brought to
them. I do not recommend shutting down, ever. I keep my system
running 24/7 365 days a year. As a result, I pay a few more
dollars in the end but I do not have to reestablish my bacteria,
and restabilize the system, daily or even weekly.

I have a 6000-gallon system and I am not rich. I take my
responsibilities seriously. I knew what I was in for when I built
the pond. I have external pumps, two of them, a bottom drain and
skimmer, feeding a stream and a combination vortex/bubble bead
filter. Nothing but the right way for my fish and my bacteria.
This is my 16th year with a pond. You learn as you go and some
lessons are learned the hard way.


========== @SK Carolyn =================
Have a pond question? Just send it in
and our own in-house pond expert will
try and answer it for you! Write POND
in the subject line for quick response!

Happy Pondkeeping!

Brett Fogle
MacArthur Water Gardens

MacArthur Water Gardens
PO Box 3628
Alpharetta, GA 30023-3628

Posted by bfogle at September 14, 2015 09:43 PM