Fish Dying, Someone Please Help!

CalleyJuly 17, 2014

SOS. I need some help!! I have a lot of goldfish in my pond and am not new to ponds, this one has been established for 5 years, but there has been a pond in that location since '93. Last night someone left the hose on in the pond filling it up.. They must have forgot it and never turned it off. It was running for at least 6 hours and it was overflowing... My mom and I just caught it early this morning and turned it off. This wouldn't be a problem normally except almost all of my fish died! Before this I had 19 goldfish, 2 koi, and 2 creek chubs. I now have 4 healthy goldfish left living and one goldfish still struggling to hang on. After turning off the hose, we noticed almost all of the fish floating on top, still trying to swim. My water is well water, and every other time we've used it to fill up the pond the fish have been fine..... We've never kept the hose on in there for 6 hours before. The only thing I can think of is maybe a rapid temperature change with the hose filling it up, but I've never had trouble before!
Here's my pond readings
0 Chlorine/Bromine
7 pH
240 Total Alkalinity
100 Total Hardness

Help someone who might know what's going on and/or who knows how to save my fishies!

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So sorry for your lose.
How larger (gallons) is your pond? did the pond over flow?
I think you might be correct on water temp.

This post was edited by LJS8510 on Thu, Jul 17, 14 at 11:43

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 11:42AM
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Ground water here, is quite cold...I think in the yeah, it could be massive shock.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 11:48AM
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I'm not exactly sure of the gallons... probably 90-100? And yes the pond did overflow all night. My pond is above ground, a big plastic tub with bricks and rocks around the outside of it. All of the overflowing water just spills over into the yard.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 12:08PM
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It's got to be the water temp change. I'm not sure there is anything you can do at this point as the water in your tub is warming. I'm thinking it would be further shock to move them quickly into warmer water.
Some one else may know better?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 1:07PM
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waterbug_guy(Phoenix AZ (Melrose))

Impossible to say other than the obvious. Temp may have played a role but likely a combination of things. Would need to know the temp of the pond and the temp of the source water to even make a guess. My gut is temp wasn't a big factor unless the source water is really something like 40F which is wow cold.

Well water can have all kinds of stuff harmful to fish. For example high CO2 which can crash the pH. Different metals, hydrogen sulfide, all kinds of things.

I'd be interest to know when the posted test results were taken. Before or after the water change and if after, how long? They don't really make sense. I assume 240 Total Alkalinity means 240 ppm? But pH is only 7? That doesn't fit. For that alkalinity the pH has to be higher, like at least 8.5. I don't generally trust pH tests posted in forums because it's a difficult test to get right.

If these test numbers are after the water change it means the well has good KH & GH. If that's true I'd assume the pond had good KH & GH before the change and that rules out pH crash.

You could have the well tested for metals, hydrogen sulfide, etc. I wouldn't bother. I assume you've been using this water for the pond before without a problem so even if the water isn't great it's good enough when done slowly.

For the record the total number of times I've remembered to turn off a hose in a pond is zero. After maybe a dozen times of my wife saying "do you mean to be overflowing the pond" I finally figured something out...I'll never remember. So I stopped using the hose in this way. Consider using a drip emitter instead sized to whatever pond size you have so you can't add more than 10% of the volume per day. Or turn down the hose to a drip. Let the water change take a week...what's the hurry? 24/7 drip water change is a really old concept in pond keeping that's recently starting to be reconsidered by a few people. It looks very promising and all reports I've read have be very good. Plus we always knew is was good from fish farms that use a flow thru system. So drip is good even if run 24/7.

It's way too late now but... moving fish to warm water from cold is OK. From warm to cold isn't good. Just like with people.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 10:43AM
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I'm starting to doubt that temperature was a factor too... I'm thinking that the groundwater was probably 40 degrees? But the water had to come from the well, into my house, through the pipes in the basement, then through the hose into the pond. It was a cold night... the pond was most likely about 50-55 degrees.
I took that test with just a testing strip at 9:00 AM after the incident. Apparently I was told that I shouldn't use testing strips and should get an API pond test kit of some sort.
Yes every single other time I have filled up the pond it has been fine. I've just never left the hose on for 6 hours.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 2:22PM
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waterbug_guy(Phoenix AZ (Melrose))

Strips are fine for ballpark tests. Generally if the strip shows a possible problem a better test like drops is used to start figuring out if there really is a problem. Even then test results should always be questioned if they don't make sense. Test results can create more problems than useful info unless one is careful.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 7:21PM
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I'm not sure what the strip tests should even be in the ball park in... so you got me there! I haven't done anything to my pond since I took the strip test.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 10:26PM
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