pond ammonia spike
So I'm cleaning out this foul pond in the parent's yard. Although it hasn't been maintained in decades it was somehow supporting two 3" comets. Then I started digging out the 12+ inches of rotting debris at the bottom, and the pond was suddenly flooded with ammonia - so I had to remove the fish - I've got them in an uncycled tub, and I'm changing the water frequently.
I've got most of the gunk out of the bottom and the ammonia is hovering around 1 ppm. I'm only going to be here for another week, I'm not sure how to make it habitable again in that time - it'll take a while for the lilies and bacteria populations to deal with all that ammonia, right?
What can I do to get back to water healthy enough for at least these two small fish in the 6 days I have left? Do I have to drain the pond completely?
Update to my question: Even if I don't drain, I'll be adding well over 100 gallons of water, which I'm going to have to de-chlorinate anyway - what if I used a product like kordon amquel plus which also neutralizes ammonia, nitrite & nitrate?
If time weren't running out I'd prefer to do it without the extra chemicals, but time is running out to get the pond habitable. Does this sound like an okay idea?
Hi Jonathan, you've got the right idea by cleaning out the pond. I would remove the fish to a small kiddie pool if available or any other container you may have. Take water from the top of the pond to fill the container because the water at the bottom of the pond is toxic. I usually have a pump that has a hose attached to it so that while I'm removing water from the pond, I can water my gardens.
Get yourself a wet vacuum and after you've drained as much water out as possible, suck out the rest of the muck with the vacuum. Make sure that you hose the sides of the pond down so that the algae along the sides doesn't have any sludge on it.
Then, replace the water, making sure that you use a conditioner which removes chlorine and chloramines from the water.
Then, place the fish into a bag where the water is just covering their dorsal fins, you could also use a smaller container. Add water from the pond to the container, wait five minutes or so, and continue to do this until the container or bag is full and then you can put your fish into the pond.
This way your fish won't go into temperature or pH shock.
Yours Koily, Lorraine
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