Pond Q&A and My Funny Story...
Today's Pond Q&A
- Symptoms of Chlorine Poisoning
- My Funny Story
Here is an important question sent in over the weekend by John:
What are the symptoms of chlorine poisoning? I recently
backwashed my pressure filtered pond and added water without the
"dechlorinator". I've lost three fish since then a couple of the
remaining fish are getting white film covering their eyes.
I've backwashed the pond several times without adding the
chlorinator and this is the first time I've experienced a
Thanks for your reply.
First off, I've been called a lot of things in my life, but
'Greg' has never been one of them, but at least it's better than
what my ex-girlfriend used to call me..
At any rate, to answer your questions--
Yes, you always have to be very careful when adding new water and
you should ALWAYS use a good commercial dechlorinator, and
preferably one that also neutralizes Chloramine also.
In the old days, the small amounts of Chlorine in the municipal
water supply would evaporate out of the water rather quickly.
However, due to higher levels of contaminants in the water table,
city water suppliers have been adding increasing levels of
Chlorine to the water -- and in some parts of the country, as
much as an average swimming pool! Washington DC, for example..
But the far greater risk to your fish is from Chloramine!!
In recent years, city water treatment facilities have been
switching over to Chloramine - which is a chemical combination of
Chlorine and Ammonia. While it's safer for humans, it's MUCH
MORE TOXIC TO FISH.
Cloramine WILL NOT EVAPORATE, and is very toxic to fish and must
be treated for when adding new water. If you're unsure whether
your water has Chloramine, check with your city water treatment
Yes, it's that important!
Symptoms of Chlorine and Chloramine poisoning include: Fish not
eating, white 'slime' on their body, white film or 'cloudy' eyes,
general listlessness and inactivity, red or inflamed gills, and
finally fish flotation or death.
Once the gills are burned by the Chloramine, the fish essentially
suffocate by not being able to absorb oxygen from the water, and
often - the damage is permanent.
The only thing you can do is to RUSH out and get some safe
de-chlorinator like Ammo-Lock II or Amquel. These are the only
two we recommend.
The other thing I would recommend is adding some Pond Salt, which
is a good thing to have on hand anyway. This will reduce the
stress on the fish, and aid in recovery as well as electrolyte
absorption by the fish.
So, good luck with that - and hopefully you learned your lesson.
And hopefully this (rather long) answer will prevent someone else
from making the same mistake.
MY FUNNY STORY
As I promised yesterday -- here is the very funny story about how
I muttered my very first words on this planet (according to my
I was playing in my family's living room as a child, probably
around the age of 2 or 3 - and carrying around my little wooden
hammer. You know, the one that every little kid has, and is
supposed to be used to bang the little round pegs through the
little round holes in the play set.
Well apparently I had a different idea..
As you may have surmised by now, at one point I jumped up onto
the couch with my little wooden hammer and started banging on the
side of my parents 30 gallon aquarium that overlooked the living
room, and just above the couch.
And then I muttered my first word - FISH! And my parents were so
And then I smashed the glass on the aquarium, and water and fish
went everywhere - all over the couch, all over the carpet, and
all over me!
But I didn't care - I was a little surprised by all the
commotion, but there I was running around the room, pointing at
all the fish flopping around on the floor with my little wooden
hammer, and saying 'Fish, Fish, Fish...'
Not one of my finest moments in my life, and my parents had mixed
feelings about my first word - but hey, we can all laugh about it
It probably explains why I eventually became a 'pond nut' and why
I've loved fish, aquariums, and ponds my whole life and why I'm
writing to you now..
So there you have it. The funny story behind my first word.
If you have any funny pond or fish stories, please send them in
to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll publish them in
a future issue.