Having a sick fish is no fun and it can be heartbreaking if the fish is unable to recover even after treatment. Here we will discuss the best ways to prevent the fish from becoming ill in the first place.
The first line of defense is keeping pond water clean and clear of debris, fish waste, and other organic material. If you are considering adding fish to your pond, think about how many fish your pond can handle and what type of filtration system will be adequate for your pond.
- Determine the number of gallons and how many inches of fish your pond can hold. Write down the length, width and average depth of your pond and enter it into our online calculator
- Keep in mind most pond filtration systems are rated for ponds with a minimal fish load. If the fish population is on the heavy side, consider going up a size when purchasing a filtration system.
Once you have proper filtration, be sure you have adequate circulation in your pond to boost oxygen levels which is good for fish. Traditional waterfalls are a great start, but may not be enough for the size of your pond. Consider placing an aeration kit at the opposite end of a waterfall.
Before adding new fish into the pond, quarantine them in a separate tank and look for any signs of disease for two to four weeks. You can also apply a preventative treatment in the tank like KnockOut Plus for seven days just to make sure they have no contagious diseases.
Keep It Balanced
Keep your water balanced all season long with a seasonal package, like the DefensePAC, that includes important bacteria products to reduce fish waste and maintain proper water levels. Pond Vacuums can also be handy to keep sludge and debris to a minimum.
Partial water changes especially after an algaecide treatment or on hot summer days are important, but when adding new water back into the pond be sure to add
Stress Reducer Plus to remove any contaminates in the water.
TIP: Water Test Kits are an easy way to determine if your pond is balanced, so test often to keep fish safe.
Give your fish a boost with quality nutrition like
Spring & Fall Fish Food in cooler months or Growth & Vibrance Fish Food in the summer. Fish feeding is also a great way to get to know them and what is normal or abnormal behavior. When visiting the pond look for both physical and behavioral changes. If the fish appear to have white spots, lesions or abrasions, identify the problem using our Common Fish Diseases article and treat accordingly.
After you have identified any disease and begun treatment, take some time to reevaluate your pond routine. Did something change that caused (or led to) the illness? Sick fish are no fun. Do what you can to keep them well—but know what to do when they are under the weather.