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Pond FAQs, Ask us a question: Crew@WetWebMedia.com
Updated  5/1/18
To: Pond, Fountains & Water Feature Articles & FAQs Index
 Other Specialized Daily FAQs Blogs: General, Planted Tanks, Freshwater, Brackish, Last Few Days Accrued FAQs, Daily Q&A replies/input from the WWM crew: Darrel Barton, Neale Monks, Bob Fenner, are posted here. Moved about, re-organized daily Current Crew Bios., Not so current Crew Bios ____________________________________________________________
Aquatic Gardens

Ponds, Streams, Waterfalls & Fountains:
Volume 1. Design & Construction
Volume 2. Maintenance, Stocking, Examples

V. 1 Print and eBook on Amazon
V. 2 Print and eBook on Amazon

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Educational Fun Goldfish Event in San Jose CA       5/1/19
Hello Bob and Crew!
<Hey Gage!>
If you would not mind terribly I would appreciate it if you could help get the word out about West Coast Goldfish Palooza III. It is an educational event put on by The Goldfish Council, a non profit dedicated to keeping, sharing, learning, and educating about goldfish (lord knows the humble goldfish needs all the help it can get). Lectures, goldfish show, auction, raffle, the whole nine.
6/22 - 6/23 at Genki Koi in San Jose
Address: 1850 S 10th St, Ste 14, San Jose, CA 95112
$10 admission - proceeds go to putting on the show
Your humble servant and WWM Crew alumni,
<Glad to share. BobF>
Re: Educational Fun Goldfish Event in San Jose CA       5/1/19

<Ah my friend; excelsior! B>

Goldfish pond, GF gasping        4/6/19
I have a garden pond app 6m x2m graded app1.5m to 25cm lightly stocked with marginal plants and only 10 gold fish, they feed well and are generally active but once or twice a day spend 15 to 20 minutes in a group in the turbulent water under the waterfall? WHY?
kind regards Steve M
<Most likely this is evidence of a lack of oxygen. There are tests for such if you're interested; perhaps an O2 meter you can borrow from a shop, or pond/koi club. I'd increase surface agitation; either by re-directing a pump/discharge to the surface, adding a "fountain" feature, or a mechanical airstone and pump (really like Tetra's "Luft" series here). Goldfish can live in pretty low/anoxic conditions but the stress isn't good for them.
Bob Fenner>

Here's a weird question for you! Truck bed liner pond      3/13/19
Hello Crew!
<Hey Renee,>
Haven't been in touch for a while so, of course, I had to
come up with the weirdest question possible to say hello!
The question is, can I safely use a preformed drop-in rigid pick-up truck bed liner as a liner for a fish pond? I mean, do you know if that
would be safe for fish or how I might find out if it is safe for fish?
<Several years ago, I did this to build a customer’s garden pond, and we didn’t have any issues with the truck liner, it appears that the plastic used in it is inert and don’t affect fish since it doesn’t release any toxic substances; I remember though using a pond liner as an extra backup but this was only to keep the water from leaking. I’d say that you can give it a try. Greetings. Wil.>

Can I keep a Pangasius shark with Koi?     3/8/19

<Theoretically, yes. But in practice it will be very difficult. Pangasius Shark get to over 100 cm in length. They are truly massive fish. So you'd need a huge aquarium (thousands of litres) and more likely, a pond. You would also want to keep temperatures moderate, around 22-24 degrees C suiting both the Pangasius and the Koi. In the tropics it would be possible to keep specimens of similar size together in a pond. But big Pangasius would view smaller Koi as food, and you also have to work around their very different diets, Koi being herbivores and Pangasius more omnivores, though both should thrive on good quality floating pellets. Finally, Pangasius are nervous, highly active, even migratory fish that normally live in groups that swim up and down rivers. It's very hard to keep a singleton happy for any length of time, and they usually end up damaging themselves (often their eyes) when they panic. Again, a large, circular pond would be ideal for a group of both species, but it's hard to justify keeping a single Pangasius in an aquarium or small pond.>
Thank you.
<You're welcome. Neale.>

Tropical Water Lily        3/9/19
I have a 200 gallon pond with one flowering tropical water lily. This week I added a filter with a heavy water spout. Is it true lilies cannot have moving water?
<Yes, this is correct. Lilies are adapted to ponds with no water current, or else very sluggish water bodies, such as canals and ditches. If their stems are pulled too hard, the plants are simply snapped or uprooted. If the current is not that strong, but still brisk, then what happens is the stems of the leaves and flowers get twisted up and tangled, resulting in the leaves and flowers dying. Another problem is if water droplets splash on the leaves. These cause some sort of 'burning' that damages the leaves, leading to rot. So by all means have a filter, fountain or waterfall in your pond, but plant the Water Lilies well away from them, in a spot with little current and no risk of splashing. This might be in a shallow edge away from the waterfall for example, protected by rocks that diminish the water current.>
Puerto Rico
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

Sick Shubunkin please help      2/11/19
I have a Shubunkin, Negan, who is about 3 years old that we brought in from our pond this past fall. (Last year he overwintered in the pond and did fine.) Negan did great for about 8 weeks in a tank, though it was a bit small (10g and he’s about 9” long).
<Mmm; this won't work... Poisoned by its own wastes>
Before I could get him in to a larger tank, he started showing signs of what I thought might be swim bladder disease; listing to one side, lethargic, bloated. (Looking back, we probably did overfeed him.) So I stopped feeding him all flakes and pellets, changed out 1/2 his tank water and replaced the filter, and tried to get him to eat peas (no skin). He wouldn’t eat them. And despite doing 1/3 tank changes every other day, the ammonia and nitrates stayed elevated,
<Values please>
and the filter was covered in a reddish slime. This went on for 6 days until I was able to move him in to a bigger (40g), clean tank. I noticed then that his anus was red and very open.
He pooped a big “tube” that had very little waste in it. I thought maybe that was a sign that he was getting past the constipation. But that was 2 days ago. He’s still not eating (not even blood worms) and there are several of these empty tubes in the tank (very long and milky colored, no waste whatsoever in them). He’s staying at the bottom, and when I nudged him to the top today to try hand feeding, he expelled a white discharge, though it looked like it came from a lesion on his right side where he’s also red and swollen (photos attached.) His smaller tank also has smaller aquarium gravel which he would occasionally suck up and spit out. It is possible he swallowed one and now it’s lodged in his intestine??
I just checked the water...it’s where it should be, though the ph is a little high,
<Actual readings... please>
so I’ve added a ph neutralizer. I sure hope you can help. I don’t want to see him suffer and don’t know how to help him at this point. Thank you for any information!
<Really... just good care at this point. Optimized, stable water conditions... NO ammonia, nitrite. I would NOT medicate this fish... likely just more stress. Bob Fenner>

Re: Sick Shubunkin please help      2/11/19
Additional info...I noticed too that now when he does swim he shakes quite a bit, starting with his head, then his whole body. He’s not flashing...he does this in the open water. Here are a few other photos of better quality to show the inflamed areas.
<Trouble... environmental... BobF>

Help to identify worm in pond      2/8/19
Attached are pictures I took of a worm? I found in my pond. I have found these in pond for over a year. They do not bother the fish, stay at the bottom of the pond, and do not damage the fish in any way. I have tried unsuccessfully contacting various sources, but no one can tell me what these are, how they came to be in the pond, and how to get rid of them. . Today, I found about ten small ones in the bottom of the water. I remove them with a net and discard them. The next day I look into the water, and there are several more. The pond is about 2000 gal, with a waterfall with two aerators. The water is crystal clear. I have never had any type of worms like this in the 10 years the pond has been in existence. I have only experienced small blood worms in my filter in the summer. The attached picture of the worm? is about 2 ½ inches long. In the past they have ranged from ½ to 4 inches.. I researched all worms on the website, and they don’t seem to match any of them. The pond is all rocks and no dirt. It does not appear to be an anchor worm, horsehair worm or round worm, just an aquatic worm of some kind. Don’t know where they came from but I want to totally eliminate them from the pond in the future but do not know what to use.
I need your help to let me know what it is and what I can purchase from a company to eliminate any future ones in my pond. I live in Las Vegas and my tel. no is 702-453-XXXX. E-mail address is XXXX@cox.net.
Thank you for any assistance you can give me.
<Mmm; do these objects move? What life is there in the pond that you know of? What plantings in and around the basin? Bob Fenner>

Hi dee ho?

Re: Help to identify worm in pond      2/8/19
Bob -
<Ms. L>
They appear to just stay in one place - I don't see any movement until I move them with the net. They then float upward and I can retrieve with the net for discard. Sometimes when I retrieve them with the net, they become split apart in segments. They are always on the floor of the pond and the Koi swim above them. I have 10 large Koi in the pond, approx 20 lbs each, and these worms? don't appear to bother them in any way. There are no plants surrounding the pond, only flagstone. There are some plants above the pond surrounding the waterfall that goes into the pond. These have been there for approx 10 years.
<I suspect these are not worms; but likely fecal material... from...? Perhaps migrant birds... DO cut one up with a sharp knife and tell me if you can discern any internal structure. BobF>

Re: Help to identify worm in pond      2/9/19
When lifted from the pond on the net they flatten out so cannot cut up and some of them turn mushy.
<... not worms>

Also, if they are in fact fecal matter, which I believe is typically a dark color or green, why do some of them have something that looks like two pinchers on one end and are all a pink color?
<Need a better resolved, close up photo. Fecal material occurs in many colors; mostly dependent on what the animal's been eating. Have encountered this sort of thing many times in doing pond maintenance. BobF>
Pond worms? Or whatever they are      2/9/19

Bob –
You requested close-up pictures of what is in the pond. Attached are pictures of several of them I removed this A.M.

Hope this helps to ID them.
Thank you for your help.

Pond worms? Or whatever they are       2/10/19
Bob –
Just some additional info. Gathered about 7 of the unidentified worms? from the pond this A.M. All were about 5 inches long and about ¼ inch wide. I put Prazi in the pond hoping this might stop them from multiplying.
<.... stop sending nonsense. B>

Re: Pond worms? Or whatever they are      2/11/19
You requested info and I sent it. Sorry you consider factual info "nonsense".
<... how many times does one have to respond, ask for gross dissection input....>
No further e-mails will be sent to you requesting assistance.
<Faeces, feces, heigh dee ho! Thank you, B>

Swim bladder problem       12/11/18
I have a problem with a goldfish in my pond �� See he has a swim bladder problem. He has been floating upside down now for a while. He lives in an outdoor pond with other goldfish he is an Oranda goldfish.
<Will make a statement here that "fancy"; okay fancier goldfish (other than comets, Shubunkins...) do have more problems in outdoor ponds>
There are other Oranda goldfish in the pond too and they are doing fine.
This particular goldfish got attacked by birds during the summer. He was rescued quickly. But I worry that he could have gotten a swim bladder problem from that.
<Could be. You may know that fishes (that have gas bladders; some don't) come in two basic formats, physostomous and physoclistous... with openings to the throat/buccal cavity and not. Goldfish do have such an opening and are able to "burp" out extra air. My point is that what folks label as "swim bladder" issues are often "fatty degeneration"... "Roundish" goldfish varieties do have more trouble w/ three dimensional orientation due to their shapes... and higher protein food/s, esp. flake foods are often a major contributor>
He has not eaten anything for many weeks now as it is winter and too cold for him to digest food now.
<Below about 55F folks should give up on feeding pondfish... as foods become hard to process. Have you read Sabrina's expose on floaty, bloaty GF?: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/gldfshmalnut.htm>
So fasting has obviously not helped. I tried an Epsom salt bath for 3 days. This treatment worked for another Oranda I have that had swim bladder problems too. But this treatment has not worked for David, the fish in question.
Now he has developed septicemia in his fins because of his floating upside down. They say that when goldfish with swim bladder problems that do not respond to treatment get this way it might be kinder to let them go. What do you think I ought to do?
<Well, I am on the side of the scale that hates to give up on life; holding out hope for recovery. I myself would likely wait and hope. The Epsom is a good idea... As might be moving the fish into a steady temp. setting like a garaged aquarium w/ filtration. IF you decide to go the euthanasia route, please do read over Neale's piece here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/euthanasia.htm
Bob Fenner>
Re: Swim bladder problem

Thank you Bob. I put David down. There is no way I can get an aquarium set up in the house for him. But thank you for your help. I was hoping he would get better, but he just didn’t. Thank you so much Bob.
Camron Buxton
<Welcome Cam. BobF>

Peacock guppy question to Bob (copy/paste from fb); pond use       10/25/18
Hey, bob, thanks again for helping like always. I miss San Diego and the reef tank days.
<Come on back... at least visit!>
ok...last time I asked about what I can put in my dad's koi pond and you guys suggested the platies. I asked one of the local fish store here in Taiwan. He doesn't think Platies will cut it.
<Mmm; why? They are tougher than Poecilia spp. for sure. Wider tolerance to cold, water quality range...>
He says Koi will eat them and only reason guppies is ok is that they are meaner. Any truth to that?
<Meaner? Nah>
I am pretty sure I was pointed at the platies when I ask the question.
any thoughts?
<Am a giant fan of Platies... for their hardiness, beauty, utility in ponds... otherwise for mosquito abatement et al. Heterandria formosa (I raise), Gambusia species... will work in many pond settings>
so will platies like the peacock fancy guppies loose their color as they breed among them self?
<Very slowly; several generations... and one can always add a bit more genotype over time>
I can't find at this moment but I know you told me in one of the msg about having more female fishes??
what's the female/male ratio? half half....or as long as more females then males??
<More females are better, unless the pond is VERY large (thousands of gallons)>
thanks again Bob.
<Welcome George. Bob Fenner>
Re: peacock guppy question to Bob( copy/paste from fb)      10/26/18

Thanks again Bob. I have no idea the exact amount of total water amount, including the water in the filter.
But I am pretty sure, the little pond at my parent's place definitely have at least 1,000 gallon....at least 800 gallons for sure.
<I see; would add a dozen or so; rely on reproduction to increase the population>
anyway...one corner have a pile of rocks that they can hide. I guess I can take a picture or two to show you in the morning.
oh...speaking of mosquitoes.....sometime we catch some out and put in containers we use for plants that roots can sit in water to eat mosquitoes eggs or at least before they get out of the water and become blood suckers.
<I used to raise them when much younger... blending in a few teaspoons of milk to attract>
OK.....not sure why that pet store guy says that...maybe he didn't feed the koi? hahaha I will give platies a try and see what happen and I will make sure there are more females then males...and see what happen
thanks again....well things sure gets interesting between USA and China...Taiwan kind stuck in the middle between 2 giants.
take care, Bob.
<Thank you George. Neighbors are from the R.O.C.... and my olde grad. advisor. Interesting times for sure. B>
Re: peacock guppy question to Bob( copy/paste from fb)      10/26/18

Thanks again, Bob. Milk to attract what? Mosquitos?
<Ah yes; sour milk/water attracts them to lay eggs>
for fish to eat?
<Yes the larvae>
I think I heard someone says soapy water works too, because the fragrance or something...don't remember if there are other stuff was added with it...but of course we don't want to feed the fish dish soap.
<Never heard, read re soap use>
But that recipe was more for get rid of the mosquito within the room, so they don't bite you. But for those mosquitoes one can see....I do use the zapper power by rechargeable battery shape like tennis/badminton racquet to go after those in the room, or when they fly near by trying to find a sweet spot to stick their needle in.
well there are plenty mosquitoes want my blood when I go out to the little back yard. Whenever I am in the backyard and kill mosquito when I found them land on me, I always try to drop the corpse in the pond or the tank (because due to its age, water can't fill all the way to the top...will leak) we have on the patio...anyway ..so the guppies can eat the dead mosquito. They seem to enjoy the occasional treat....but hopefully they don't enjoy my blood came with the mosquito too much...hahaha
thanks again...George
<Cheers! B>

Re: Please help... GF hlth, no data     10/3/18
Could you please tell me he still have chance.
His tail suddenly gone bend
Kind regards
<... something/s wrong w/ this fish's world. What re water quality (tests) and nutrition?
Bob Fenner>

Is Flex Seal safe for fish?     10/3/18
I've purchased an 8 ft. round galvanized steel stock tank to use as a fish pond. I want to coat the inside of the tank. Is it safe for fish to use Flex Seal rubberized paint? The product description says for use in ponds and fountains, but doesn't say whether it's safe for fish!
<Mmm; they state so on their site:
But I would make sure it's well-cured and try a few test fish for a couple weeks>
I had originally planned to spray the inside with Rust-Oleum, but it says that it's not for use on galvanized metal. Would another paint be better than Flex Seal? Maybe Krylon?
<Don't think Krylon would hold up... there are other CR paints, applications, but the Flex Seal looks to be the real thing>
Thanks for your help! I really enjoy this website.
Sue Solomon
<Ahh, thank you Sue. Bob Fenner>

Please help. GF trauma     10/2/18
Can you tell me whether this is caused by disease or attacked by a heron?
My finned friend was fine and found him died suddenly.
<Mmm; appears to be a trauma caused by something... Perhaps a predatory bird or mammal. See WWM re guarding against such losses. Bob Fenner>

Peacock guppy question to Bob (copy/paste from fb) for ponds       8/30/18
Hello, Bob, hope things are well. Hopefully the storm doesn't make too much mess in Hawaii. I got question for you. I was hopping to find some colorful little fresh water fish to add to a little koi pond and a fish tank. I was thinking ...forgot the name... peacock guppy fish?? not sure if that's the name, haven't had fresh water fish for so long. The pond is locate in Taiwan.
<Mmm; could be guppies (Poecilia reticulata), maybe Endler's; Poecilia wingei... but not my first choice. I'd go with platies of whatever hybrid; Xiphophorus maculatus. Hardier, more cold-tolerant, and great at picking on hair algae>
anyway...they are about same size as the normal guppy.....but just have fancy color/pattern on their body and bigger tail I think.
anyway...I thought they might be cool addition....not too expensive, but colorful.
But I was told this type fish been kept before in the tank long time ago, but due to inbreeding(assuming because of it) they eventually lost their fancy color and I guess become regular guppies??
<Well; the "regular" guppy strains are a mess due to such inbreeding, and some Endler's strains are heading that way>
So is that what happen when they breed within family/relatives?
<Most all such crosses are sterile>
how can I ensure they stay beautiful?
<Hmmm; good feeding/nutrition, periodic (seasonal, warm months) harvesting, thinning of the herd>
I kept them before long before the salt water days in San Diego....but originally I just thought they just going to get new mix of color/pattern as they breed. But back then they never had any babies when I kept them...and I guess I didn't kept them long enough to know what might happen to their color due to inbreeding.
anyway...we do already have regular guppies in the pond and tank, but do to their not so bright colors, is harder to see them with the sides of pond have a layer of dark green color algae. That's why I am thinking maybe add little bright color fishes that can live outside in group.
they doing just fine with the koi and among them self. so I imagine the peacock guppy should be fine too.
what do you think about keeping them? how should I keep them with the normal guppy, or should I just keep them by them self?
<Not my first choice>
how I can have them reproduce and still keep their color/pattern....better yet have babies with new color/pattern mix
or perhaps do you have any suggestion for me that what I can keep with koi.
<As stated>
Thanks again.
Take care
<And you George. Hope to see you at MACNA! Bob Fenner>
Re: re: peacock guppy question to Bob  (copy/paste from fb)     8/31/18

Hi, Bob, thanks for quick response. I will find a time to check out the platies in the local store see if they have any good color ones.
<Ahh! Or they can/could be ordered on-line. I've recently purchased livestock from/through LiveAquaria.com w/ confidence. Ask your LFS... there are a bunch of colorful and variously finned platy varieties.>
Didn't know platies eat algae.
<Oh yes mate. Are fantastic at tough filamentous control>
Anyway....the koi pond is just a rectangular cement hole in the ground with ...I guess I would call it short hair algae....is nothing like some of those one might find choking up water plants in fish tanks....perhaps maybe koi keep them in check...not sure....but I do know koi do like some fiber from time to time...
Thanks again....
<Cheers, BobF>

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