The Eventful Life Of Fishponds

We recently moved into our new house. As happy as we were to know that there was a fishpond in the backgarden, we were extremely surprised to discover a second one right by the front door on the day we moved in. How we managed to visit the house and not see it is a mystery but hey, since we’re already going to have to manage one pond, a second – much smaller – one doesn’t scare us.

A little bit of teething with the whole feeding thing, the whole freezing thing but finally, as we gear up towards Spring we’re starting to feel we’re getting the hang of it. Until last week-end that is…

After the big freeze, we noticed the water in the main pond was a bit murky so we decided to find out if we could switch the filter on. After 15 minutes of lifting vegetation and following pipes and cables, we finally get to the garage. As we’re using it as a shed, it’s pretty packed at the moment so there was a little bit of guesswork followed by a bit of “probability-switching”: the more switches we turn on, the more likely we are to turn the right one on. Well… Nothing seemed to start but we left it at that. The next morning though, as I go and feed the fish I notice that the water level has gone down. Hmmm… Time to go to work, we’ll have a look later. That evening the water seems to have gone down even more but it’s dark and I can’t find a torch. A couple of days pass and the water level seems stable, although lower than it used to be. Then on Wednesday evening as we come back from work, we head to the garden and hear water running in the pond. What The Hell? So here we go with a torch and indeed, the filter has kicked off and water is coming around the structure. Why the water tube was not made to go up the rockery and into the waterfall is another mystery, we’ll try and sort that out when temperatures get warmer. And as we explore the pond we’re in for another surprise: two rather big frogs are sitting in the pond, which now offers great resting places for them as the lower water level has uncovered a couple of underwater steps. Not sure how they even got in and out as there is a net over the pond to protect from herons! Anyway, they’re just resting there with their butt in the water. The fish don’t seem to be bothered, so we’re not bothered either. Welcome frogs! Over the next few days, there are evenings where they’re there and evenings where they’re not. I guess they’re just doing their own thing! Oh and this week-end, which was bright and sunny and we could almost see the bottom of the pond, I discovered 3 more fish! Our fish are all (or so we thought) orange or red goldfish – a couple of them have got a back mark on the head. It turns out there are also 3 black ones which we hadn’t seen before as the lining is black too! So it’s 10 fish, not 7 in there. I guess we’ll make sure we feed them a bit more!

This has definitely put the spotlight on our next steps for the pond:
– Get a pH testing kit (ordered) as we have started adding water to the pond again – just want to make sure we keep it in check.
– Find if there is a leak in the filter system. Probably need to give the thing an MOT anyway!
– Clean the pond.

As for the smaller pond, fewer adventures but still. Here again, the water is quite muddy but there is no filter so I’ve had to order one. Yesterday I decided to partially change the water as well to help. I removed all the floating debris and what I thought was excess vegetation. It turns out most of the vegetation was dead and decomposing, hence the water being so unclear. I’ve picked everything up, and ordered a filter and new vegetation. Darling-Chéri and I are still unsure about the number of fish in this pond – there seems to be a small red one and a slightly bigger black one but yesterday I couldn’t see the black one again!
So lots of technical and mechanical things to sort out at the week-end (not my forte!) but hopefully it will make things easier going forward.

Is there anything else we should be watching out for? What do you enjoy in having a pond?