Fish pond - went to top it up... but fell asleep!

Yesterday afternoon, Marge and I returned from a lovely but exhausting day out in the Peak District.

I realised that the pond water had receded over the past week or two in this hot weather and decided to top it up, so turned on the hose. This was at about half past five.

I then forgot about it and dropped off to sleep.

About five hours later I just happened to be looking out of the back windows and saw water leaking all over the patio. The pond had risen well above the level of the rubber liner and had been overflowing for God knows how long.


I’m well aware of the dangers of tap water (with chlorine, or even chloramine) to goldfish. We have a dozen (raised from three - the randy buggers!). Obviously, I dashed outside and turned off the tap, then spent all last night worrying about whether the fish would all be dead. I hate the idea of harming animals, even poor little insects and spiders which I rescue whenever I can.

This morning I went outside to look and was so relieved to see (having cleared away some of the bloody duckweed) that they were still swimming about.

I think I was lucky this time. I’d at least left the hosepipe running with a fine spray, which helps to aerate the water, and there is a pond fountain (and filter) running constantly which may have helped.

I have read that chlorine in the pond water burns the fish both outside and internally through their gills. What a horrible death. :cry:

I shall never do that again. If I top up the water again, I’m going to sit there and wait until it’s done.

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Gosh JBR, you were lucky the fish didn’t float away in the overspill, too.

Glad everything was alright in the end, although I wouldn’t want your water bill this quarter. :wink:

To be safe, I would still buy a bottle of chlorine remover and add it to the pond. It takes a while for chlorine to disperse so could still harm the fish. They tend to get ill from secondary infections. I often top my pond up without it but your pond has had quite a lot of fresh water.

I have also done that in the past, we actually went out and an hour later suddenly remembered. Luckily, our neighbours were on holiday so they didn’t notice that their patio was under 6" of water. :!:

You should be ok with goldfish, they’re pretty hardy, koi on the other hand are a bit more sensitive to water changes…as suggested, a de-chlorinator might be the way for you

So how many killer sharks are in your fish pond?

Oh, that’s no problem. We’re not on a water meter!

I thought about that, but by the time I’ve managed to get hold of some the chlorine will have dispersed by then…
I hope.

No, just common-or-garden goldfish, so I’m hoping for the best. They’re still feeding well, anyway.

Glad everything was alright in the end, JB … :slight_smile:

Don;t think we’re too bad for chlorinated water round here JBR.

Have had a small leak for a few years now which drops the level about 2" below my preferred level, and which I have “fixed” several times unsuccessfully.

I have run a micropipe round to a water point so I can top up without having to unravel a hose, and top up fairly regularly (used to be daily but my latest “fix” only once a fortnight) without any problems whatsoever.

Having said that, during dry weather, I tend to fill my watering cans from the pond. Nutrients have been pretty good for plants and veg this year.

Well, I’m hoping so. Thanks.

Are we? I wasn’t sure, but I take your word for it.
Sounds like you have your pond maintenance all sorted out!

If you’re still worried, sticking a solar powered aerator in it will always help for this, and indeed many other things.

Not too dear. Had a cheapo one for around ÂŁ15 from Amazon which ran well until we got a spate of duckweed; at which point I upgraded to a mains fed one which had a higher output and operates a couple of blocks 24/7.

Apparently it helps shifting some of the stuff in the sludge which duckweed likes, up and out into the atmosphere. Seems to be doing it’s stuff this year.

Could also lend you a pond vacuum cleaner, but this would involve direct contact which I can fully understand might not float your boat.

Why not divert one of your house downpipes to the pond then have the overflow from the pond directed to the stormwater system? Shouldn’t be too hard to arrange.

You would never have to worry about topping up the pond then and it will never get chlorinated water.

Did think about this, with an intermediate water butt and a ball valve in the pond so it wouldn’t overflow. . In the end, couldn’t be ar$ed with all that, so went with my cheap and cheerful alternative.

Blimey, water butt, ball valve? What were you building? Snowy Hydro Scheme Mark 2

Anyway my suggestion was for JBR who had the original problem perhaps I should have made that clearer when I replied

Ah. My bad:blush:

In the grand plan of things, my pond is little more than a puddle.

Weirdly enough, rain water isn’t that great for fish either, depending on how acidic it is. Fish can often get sick after heavy downpours. Of course, most survive the rain but I’m not sure I would want to divert it into the pond the whole time. I did actually consider this once but changed my mind.

That’s very kind of you to offer. However, we already have one, electrically powered, which Marge’s auntie gave us some time ago. I’ve only used it once, when we emptied out the pond a few years ago to start afresh, as it’s a bit of a job to set it all up. We had it spewing the stuff out on to Marge’s garden!

Having said that, I didn’t know that duckweed likes the sludge. How does that work then? The sludge is about a foot and a half down and the duckweed is on the surface of course. If this is actually the case, then I’ll try to suck out some of the sludge from the bottom. I don’t mind some duckweed, as it happens, as it gives the fish somewhere to hide especially when herons come calling! On the other hand, it does spread and I need to use a net to pull most of it out from time to time.

As for an aerator, I don’t think we need such a thing as we have a fountain working from a filter which operates 24-7. I’m sure that keeps the water aerated.

Thanks very much for your advice, Dex.

Yep, the pond vac can be messy JBR.

Think it’s the enzymes or something that’s within the sludge layer that feeds the water that feeds the duckweed.

An aerator gives you the chance to move the bubbling stone around at will and no effort and oxygenate deeper into the pool that a pump/fountain. It will also create a bit or turbulence down deep, which is no bad thing in terms of not having a stagnant later of water which rarely moves, other than by convection currents I guess.

Your choice JBR. Don’t shoot the messenger.

Edit: If the plants are happy, fish are happy, and you are happy, then no real need for it.