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General fish & health

When can I introduce fish?

For a new pond, set up your pond and filter, adding a measure of Wildlife Pond Tap Safe or Fresh Start when you fill. With the filter running (you can run your fountain or waterfall at this stage), leave it all to settle for a minimum of 24-48 hours to ensure everything is working correctly and allow the water temperature to stabilise.
Adding some Bio Start will help to kick-start the filter by adding the ‘friendly bacteria’ required to break down fish waste.
Spring and early summer are a good time of year to add new fish as they will have plenty of time to settle in and grow to a healthy size to face the cold of winter. Only add a couple of fish at a time to prevent overloading the filtration system. Do not overfeed your fish.

How many fish can I keep?

For every square metre of pond surface area, you can have 60cm length of adult fish (don’t include the tail in this measurement). See our fish article for more information.

How often should I feed my fish?

It is very important to feed your fish the correct amount so as not to ‘over feed’ and pollute the water. Feed as much as the fish will eat in five to ten minutes or so. They sometimes come back for second helpings – so give them a chance – but remove any food left when they appear to have had their fill. If you leave uneaten food in the water it will breakdown and create water quality problems. For more information see our feeding article.

I am told not to ‘over feed’ my fish, what does this actually mean?

Feeding your fish is part of the pleasure of keeping them. However, overfeeding can cause harm to the balance of the pond water. ‘Overfeeding’ equates to too much food being leftover at mealtimes which turns into harmful compounds in the pond. Any food you put in the pond should be consumed within a few minutes. Anything left after this time should be scooped out with a fine fish net.

My fish look ill – what might be wrong?

If your fish are showing signs of being unwell, or have abvious disease on them, you can use or diagnostic page to ascertain what is wrong and how to treat it.

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