View Full Version : Is it safe for my farm cats to drink my temporarily treated ponds water?
04-07-2012, 05:44 AM
Well, my pond survived the winter. I just gave up with my previous brainstorming about heating my pond and just bought a pond de-icer. It kept my stream and fountain running during the winter quite fine. I had some very interesting, fun ice formations but the 50 foot long stream never even got close to forming an ice damn. Best I can recall, we only had a few really cold days with hi-temps in the teens and the rest of the winter was lo-20s to mid 30s.
I chose the route of cutting flat Styrofoam that floated on the water with a nice 3 foot circle where my de-icer floated. My area here in Dalhart Texas only got about an inch of snow, dang drought.
Now, onto my next project.
I am in the process of preparing my pond for some goldfish. Going to do a .03% salinity salt bath to sit for a couple weeks to kill any bad bacteria and fungal invaders then will do two seperate 50% water changes a few days apart to bring the salinity back down to a proper level. After that, going to do pond treatment of Prazi plus Express IDI to eradicate any potential parasitic invaders that are hiding. Then, will do a KoiZyme to hopefully reduce the harmful Aeromonas and Pseudomonas population hiding in the rock bottom and walls, and then going to seed my filters with all the proper good bacteria stuff again. I do my best to thoroughly spray down my ponds rock bottom and flush it out good, but I know I am not getting it 100% of the debris due to the rock. This year I am going try about 4 or so goldfish that I hope to keep alive for a while, a few years if possible, if the cats allow them to live. heh ;) Going to take them inside for the winter.
I have some farm cats that use this pond's 50 foot stream as their main drinking water.
Is it safe for the cats to drink the water while I am in the process of treating the pond? If so, will they know not to drink it if I put some big pans of fresh water out for them?
Quick refresher. I utilize a pressurized filter, water turns over at least 2 times a day, and got a couple of water features and a stream to help oxygenate the pond. In the process of cleaning, I was able to measure the pond to be exactly 430 gallons.
04-07-2012, 07:05 AM
Read the labels of the products. The best place to see warnings. The cats most likely will still drink out of the stream even with bowls of water out.
04-07-2012, 09:17 AM
No, do not let them drink the water with all those chemicals.
Why do you need to use them? Have you had problems? It seems you already know the problems associated with the rocks in the bottom so why not take them out before putting fish back in the pond?
.03% salt is not going to kill anything. It won't even kill lilies. About the only parasite salt will kill is Ich and it has to be much stronger than .03%.
Tell me more about what you're trying to do before wasting all the time and money on chemicals.
Why all that salt and medication? It would be cheaper, if not easier, to take the rocks out of the pond. You filter before the stream, so no real worries about that, but you could significantly reduce any need for medication (especially with goldfish) by eliminating the bad bacteria hiding place. This would, as a side effect, significantly increase your water volume.
Really, though, why the salt and medication? .03% salt will not be enough to kill anything anyway, 20% water changes every week would be more effective at improving water quality than a weak salt bath and then 2 big water changes. Have you seen bad bacteria? I mean, with a microscope? If not, why treat for something that is only in rock crevices? Just take out the rocks, everything will be okay.
I have koi and goldfish, in different ponds. The goldfish never require any medication, at least not yet, and I'm totally against treating for something unless it's confirmed to be there. A lot of money, hassle, and unnecessary stress for any fish in there.
04-07-2012, 05:45 PM
Well, from what I can find on the internet about the products, the labels just state "safe for ornamental plants and ornamental fish". IF I go through with it, I think I am not going to risk it and just put my makeshift pvc-netting pond structure that I use periodically to keep a majority of debris out during certain times in Fall.
Yeah, I read that serious fish hobbyists do not have a Rock bottom for this exact reason but I did not build a pond for just the fish to enjoy. The rock lined stream actually collects just as much debris as my pond's rock bottom. I think I might just go through the process of taking the rock out while I clean the pond.
The natural aesthetics of the Rock bottom pond is quite enjoyable and I do not care for seeing any of the black pond rubber in my landscaping, even though I understand both sides of having a rock bottom in a pond. Lets try to work with it.
From what I have read, a .03~.05% salt salinity bath is often used in koi, goldfish quarantine tanks and the one-time spring cleaning for rock bottom ponds to knock back any bacteria on the rocks and to help fish in transition or healing for a short duration, but the salinity must soon be adjusted a few days later otherwise the salinity will mess up the fish's Osmosis process. Been reading various forums for quite a while last night and multiple sources suggest this procedure to help give the fish a boost to better survive the "Aeromonas Alley" period in Spring. I just wrote .03% since I have read that is the minimum used in quarantine tanks for a short duration. Salinity might actually be higher.
From what I have read, a good spring pond salt bath involves introducing 1 pound of non-iodized, no mineral, anti-caking salt per 100 gallons of water each day for only 3 days and let this circulate in the pond for a couple weeks until do two separate 50% water changes to reduce the salinity; I am told the expensive pond salts are unnecessary as long as the salt is non-iodize and contains no extra minerals nor caking abilities.
It just seems to be a common practice in a Feb~March spring cleaning a rock bottom pond. I am guessing it is actually not as common??
Does anyone know what I am talking about? I really would like to be convinced to not do it if I must not do it.
Cost is not that noticeable. For 99% pure salt that is non-iodize, no extra minerals (no additives), no caking abilities (not pellet formed), such as Morton Solar Salt runs about $6 for 80lbs bag. $20 Koizyme. $60 for Prazi that kills fluke worm type parasites. $50 Express IDI, that is a chitin synthesis inhibitors to kill any lingering other parasites and anchor worms. These products are highly concentrated and I am told the shelf life is around 5 years so this will only cost me around $35 annually, that is about $3 a month for a little preventative care.
I have read about Potassium Permanganate and how cheap it is to use to clean a pond but all the reading material was scary. A fella has to be very precise with PP to kill any lingering bigger parasites otherwise it will likely kill the fish and everything else in the pond.
On the other hand, I am told that all I should do is get the proper test kits to make sure there are no Stress Inducers introduced that allow the fish to become susceptible to disease and parasites.
I have asked a friend at a pond store but every year he is always scooping out dead fish in the Spring or sometimes in the Summer. I honestly think his fish don't live more than a couple years. There is actually one koi he has that seems to be alive for a while. Heh, it is the one fish I look forward to see if he is still alive by Summer in his pond; a bit interesting how that fish has survived since my buddy only just adds the beneficial bacteria, clean his filters, clean his pond on a occasion, and scoop up dead fish in the Spring or Summer when they appear. We get cold here in the winter, water dropping below 50 degrees by November and not above this until middle of April.
I am just a newbie and want to show off to my buddy a little. ;)
Appreciate the advice!! :))
I don't add bacteria ever, it is naturally produced just as fast in the right environment. I never drain and clean a pond, ever. I spray off my sieve screen every couple weeks and clean my sand and gravel filters with a 2HP shop vac 2-3X a week. I never have to scoop out dead fish, or use medications. Or salt.
Don't take the rocks out of your stream, just the pond. The fish rub and scratch themselves on the rocks, and with the crap the rocks collect, ulcers get started. You can look in the DIY section, bottom drains are very easy to install. They collect all the crap, so you can get it out of the pond.
But we're talking goldfish, right? They live at my house, over winter, in an unfiltered bucket. With 3-6" of ice on top. Goldfish can live anywhere. Don't dump all that stuff into your water if you don't even need it. Just adds more chemicals to the environment, unnecessarily.
Also, if you take the rocks out, you're not going to be seeing black liner for long. That black plastic gets covered pretty rapidly with immature biofilm, which will develop over the summer until you are looking at dark green fuzzy looking stuff, carpet algae, that looks pretty good. Rocks will get covered with it, too. Not much difference, except that the rocks trap debris and reduce the amount of water in the pond.
04-07-2012, 09:50 PM
You don't sound convinced by the advice we're giving you. Take your fish out of the pond, drain it down and move a small section of rocks. The smell is disgusting and one you will never forget. Be sure to wear boots and gloves because the muck can cause serious infections and possible death. Yes, someone years ago got a small cut while cleaning his pond and ignored it. He was dead within 2 weeks due to infection.
.03% salt is used for stress. Nothing else. If you want to kill something with salt, it will have to be in the .5-.6% range. 5-6 lbs. of salt per 100 lbs. This is dip strength and the fish cannot survive in it for more than a few minutes.
You will not see the liner after a few months. The algae will grow on the liner, becoming part of your filtration system. The fish will graze on it during the winter months with no food. If you don't take your pond down every year and it's over a year old, you'll see algae growing on the walls of the pond but there will be nothing under the rocks because there is no oxygen there.
04-08-2012, 01:49 AM
Kntry, I do not care to be that easy. ;)
I currently do not have fish. The pond has never had any fish nor plants ever. This is my stage 2. I just built the pond last year. It is not really a "pond" nor water garden; it is more of a very fancy rock water feature with a long stream with a waterfall and a rock sculpture fountain in the center. I think the main purpose of the salt was to ease the fish's stress when introduced to a clean pond and I have read that the dosage I mentioned above does kill certain organisms as well. I am not sure on the actual salinity percent, but I am told freshwater fish can not live in the above dosage except for a few days due to osmosis issues.
Heh, I call it a "pond" but it is more like a fancy water feature with a stream. My "Pond" is, thinking off hand, is an oval that is about 14 foot long, around 7 foot wide, 12" deep. In the center is a big boulder where a huge piece of flag stone sits, that creates a table sitting about 6" above the bottom, and there are 3 different rock column sculptures in the center of the "table". The flagstone "table" gives the sculptures a floating appearance. So, all and all, I have about 10~14" in a couple spots, only a couple inches in other spots, where I can put plants unless I put them in the rock walls on the side or on the flagstone table wihere the sculptures are sitting.
From what I have read, the reason fish get ulcers is due to the Aeromonas or Pseudomonas or other anaerobic bad bacteria that can potentially live on and between the objects where fish scratch and the fish's immunity or slime coat is unable to provide sufficient healing. I read the act of fish scratching is called Flashing and that a fish is only suppose to rarely do this in response to an "itch" but it could be a warning sign if too many fish are doing it too often. Is this wrong?
I was told that since I do not have any plants nor fish then i'll need the bacteria to eat all the nutrients otherwise the nutrients feed algae that starts to grow, which I have seen when I miss a schedule bacteria dosage or when debris is deposited into the pond. I really do not have too much space for plants.
Yeah, one benefit with my current rock bottom pond, the beneficial bacteria appear to be eating most of the nutrients from the debris sitting on my rocks so I only clean my filters once a month, sometimes not even that much. The only time I really have to vacuum the bottom is when the windy days here literally deposit a 1/4 inch or more of fine dirt along with other debris and I do not want to wait for muck and debris to get cleaned up naturally.
Yeah, I was wondering about the green carpet. It comes and goes on my rocks in my pond so something, guess my bacteria, is feeding on it to remove it. I think this is the purpose of the bacteria to feed on those nutrients and algae. Especially when it is a very windy day, dumps about 1/8 of an inch of soil, then the green carpet stuff really grows on my flagstone table. It doesn't really look that good, maybe since my "pond" is so shallow, until the beneficial bacteria starts to feed on it that seems to remove it. If I have several high windy days, then the fine dirt really starts to add up, doesn't look good at all, so I vacuum the flagstone table. Ya got me interested here. If I do remove the rock, then I gain about 2" depth, a total of 14", and that's about an extra hundred gallons due to my "pond's" small dimensions. I wonder how that would look in a very shallow 12~14" "pond". I think I am going to try that approach out on a spot.
My father and I run cattle. In a few of his cattle stock tanks he has put at least one pretty good size goldfish, not for sure if it is koi. He swears to me he never puts fish food and all the fish eats is the algae, which is true, his stock tanks do remain quite clean. He doesn't have any objects in the tanks tho that can allow any type of debris to "camp out".
Since I do have rocks along the sides of my pond, there will still be places where debris can camp out to give home to any of the bad anaerobic bacteria can grow.
Been doing more reading. Turns out that all these businesses that use the various salt and pond treatments are businesses where their fish have a higher stress potential where they are constantly changing out plants or have very nice public ponds that utilize concrete, tile, or various rocks like granite and they always want to have the pond look pristine with their fish and no visible algae.
I think I have been doing too much reading, getting my self all worked up. :)
Yeah, I am not going to do any treatments. I don't know if I will care for that carpet algae look. Hopefully, once I introduce a fish and find a spot for a plant or two and see what happens.
Thanks. I appreciate the responses. Keep'm coming. Fun learning about this stuff.
04-08-2012, 09:12 AM
Take your fish out of the pond, drain it down and move a small section of rocks. The smell is disgusting and one you will never forget. Be sure to wear boots and gloves because the muck can cause serious infections and possible death. Yes, someone years ago got a small cut while cleaning his pond and ignored it. He was dead within 2 weeks due to infection.
I thought that sounded familiar. I've heard that before. I was talking to my fishing buddies this morning that go fishing down at south Texas around the South Padre Bay for red fish'n. That disease that you are talking about, they say it is some type of "wasting" disease that occurs where water does not have good circulation, remains stagnant for the most part, allowing all sorts of anaerobic bacteria and other bad bacteria to grow. Yeah, you're right. They told me about professional fish waders that risk going to these stagnant parts of the bay, they get cut from their hook or something, get an infection that puts them in the hospital for a few weeks in critical care and eventually die. Scary stuff.
I've watched quite a few clips on YouTube about pond cleaners and stuff like this. Heard that the bad smell is caused by the various anaerobic bacterias that grow where there is no oxygen.
04-08-2012, 09:31 AM
Heard that the bad smell is caused by the various anaerobic bacterias that grow where there is no oxygen.
Now you're getting the idea!
Yup, hydrogen sulfide gas produced by anaerobic bacteria stinks somethin' awful. Sounds like you have a nice setup there. Goldfish will live anywhere, and thrive in most places, I don't forsee any real problem. If you put 4 in there soon, you'll have 400 to store over winter, :lol: so it might be best to give them 1 area at least where it is deeper if you can. Any way you can put up pictures? It sounds nice...
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