When setting up a new pond, the following are the steps you need to take in order to make sure you have a suitable environment for your fish to thrive.
- Chlorine Neutraliser - Also known as Water Conditioner. This product is used for those who are using tap water. THIS IS AN ABSOLUTE MUST! Chlorine or any other chemicals in the tap water will strip the fish of their protective slime coating, which makes them prone to getting diseases. The chlorine will also kill the 'good bacteria' that you want growing in the pond. Without the 'good bacteria' the ammonia and nitrite levels will rise and can cause the death of your fish. The conditioner activates instantly and will need to be added every time you top up the pond.
- Hardness (For Those using Rainwater) - The Hardness is the measure of Calcium and Magnesium in your pond. Those who are using rainwater may have soft water so it is advised to test this with a KH test kit before putting fish in the water. If you have Soft water this will affect the growth of the 'good bacteria' and can cause the pH to swing which can kill the fish.
- Bacteria - Good Bacteria can take months or years to build up properly in a pond. Bacteria can be bought in a powdered form in order to seed the pond with the goodies needed to keep the pond clean naturally and deal with waste. When first starting up a pond this product should be added once a week for the first month.
- WAIT AT LEAST A WEEK!! - This is extremely important. Once all the above steps have been taken care of you will need to wait before putting fish in. Even after a week you need to be cautious of how many fish you are putting in. It's best to gradually add the fish over time. If you are going to be putting bigger fish in, such as Koi, it is recommended to wait two weeks or more to allow the water to age.