Putting new fish straight into a pond is not advisable. Fish do not adjust well to vast temperature changes, so they can be easily shocked by the difference between the transport water and the pond water. In fact, it could kill them. In addition, putting new fish straight into an established pond without quarantining them may introduce diseases. Fortunately, introducing fish in a manner that gives them the best possible start is not complicated.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Insulated picnic box
- Quarantine tank
Calculate the surface area of your pond. For a square or rectangular pond multiply the length by the breadth. For a circular or roughly circular pond, measure the diameter. Half this measurement, square it, and then multiply the result by three. You can have 1 inch of fish for each square foot of surface area. Base your calculations on the adult size of the fish; for example, goldfish can grow at least 8 inches long. For five goldfish, which have a potential total length of 40 inches, you would need a pond with a surface area of at least 40 square feet.
Purchase the fish from a reliable supplier, preferably a specialist aquarium or pond store. Do not buy fish from a tank where any individual appears ill or listless. Inactive fish, fish with white dots, abnormal growths or droopy fins may be unwell. Fish are sold in plastic bags of water. Ask for them to be put in the largest bags available with no more than two or three fish in each bag. If you have a long way to travel, place the bags into an insulated picnic box.
Place the unopened bags in your pond and let them float for at least an hour to allow the inside and outside temperatures to equalise.
Open the bag to let the fish swim out once the hour has passed.
Tips and warnings
- Quarantine new fish if your pond already contains fish. Keep them in a large freshwater tank for 3 weeks to ensure disease does not develop before introducing them to your pond.
- It is better to understock than fully stock your pond because your fish may breed.
- Don't net fish unnecessarily as this is stressful for the animals.
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