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New Pond Syndrome

What Is New Pond Syndrome

New Pond Syndrome is just the title used for when a pond is first put in place and goes through the maturing cycle or more exactly the Nitrogen Cycle.  Like anything new that is to support life it needs seeding and kick starting to help it mature.

So what is New Pond Syndrome?

The Nitrogen cycle starts off with Ammonia (NH3) which in turn through the nitrification cycle is Nitrite (No2) this then turns in to Nitrate (No3) which plants love and also single cell algae or greenwater. This process if not completed quickly creates the saying – New Pond Syndrome. It usually takes between 4 to 8 weeks to complete but depends on many factors explained here.

Always make sure you are filtering the pond every two hours through a pond filter that can support the water volume and fish load or you will be forever fighting a losing battle.

How Does New Pond Syndrome effect the Fish

Initially if fish are put in the pond quickly after installed you will see little difference if dechlorinator was used or 24 hours passed from filling the pond. But over days or even weeks ammonia and nitrites will build from fish food, fish waste and start to stress the fish, making them rise to the surface for more oxygen. The reason why this is happening is the good bacteria is not colonizing quickly enough in the filter or gravel to push the pond through the nitrogen cycle.

Five easy steps of helping the cycle along enjoying your pond creation:

  1. While ammonia can be used by some plants, most of the nitrogen taken up by plants is converted by bacteria from ammonia – which is highly toxic to many organisms – into nitrite (NO2-), and then into nitrate (NO3-). This process is called nitrification, and these bacteria are known as nitrifying bacteria. Use a Beneficial Bacteria that will jump start this nitrification process when the pond was first installed.
  2. Make regular water changes of up to 25% to help keep the water conditions good for the fish.
  3. Do not add pond fish quickly, just start with one or two and then add a few more every 14 days or so till the fish load is correct for the filter and pond water volume.
  4. Keep the oxygen levels high in the pond, helps turbocharge the good bacteria. Proper pond aeration products is the key
  5. Buy a good water test kit to test the levels.

Completing proper water testing on your water garden pond will help prevent new pond syndrome.  Read more articles in our information center.




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