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     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:

Question>

"Dear Greg,

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 problem.

Thanks for your reply.

John"

==

Answer> Hi John,

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 center.

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 parents).

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 proud...

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 now ;-)

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 info@macarthurwatergardens.com and we'll publish them in a future issue.

Happy Pondkeeping!

Brett Fogle

 
 
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