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Keeping your fish healthy requires that you regularly maintain their pond’s environment.  The basics of upkeep for a fish pond are similar to the routines of maintaining a swimming pool and an aquarium, just with different variables.

Filtering and Pumping

Just like with a fish tank inside, you need to filter the water.  This means you’ll need a pump of course, and you can probably make the pump pull “triple duty” by also taking care of the aeration and running a waterfall or fountain.  This may require a slightly larger pump, but since you need aeration anyways, there’s no loss.  Depending on the types of filtration you opt for, mechanical or chemical or both, you’ll need to keep it clean and ensure the chemical filter doesn’t get used up.

To avoid possible disasters, you should have your pump or pumps connected to a high quality outdoor surge protector.  The last thing your fish need is their oxygen supply to cease due to a thunderstorm or other electrical problem.

Feeding

Make sure your fish get enough food, of course.  But you also don’t want to overfeed for several reasons.  An obvious reason is that many fish don’t stop eating until the food is gone, and can die from overeating.  Another, though, is that excess uneaten food can basically rot in the water, turning it into a waste dump instead of a fish pond.

Breathing room

As your fish grow, you’ll need to ensure they don’t run out of room.  Just as it’s important when first introducing the fish, you’ll need to keep an eye on how much physical space they have.  As they grow, your filtration needs may also increase as a direct function of the fish growth.  They end up eating more, so you end up with more waste to filter out.

You also need to ensure that your growing fish have enough oxygen.  This means your aeration techniques need to be up to the job for your larger fish.

Fish Wrangling

When handling your fish, you need to be aware of possible problems you can cause.  Fish have an outer coating of a slimy substance which is actually vital to their health.  It protects them from diseases and pathogens present in the water.  Holding a fish with dry hands can remove part of this barrier and increase the risk of infection.  It’s also important to not damage their scales, as they can lose nutrients which can lead to heart failure.

Wet your hands or use a wet cloth to handle the fish.  Also cover their eyes with the cloth to calm them down, preventing self-injury.  It’s probably best to wet the cloth with the same water they live in, as well.

pH and Temperature

The pH level of the water is very important to fish health.  Just like with a fish tank, you need to monitor and control the pH level to keep it at the right levels for your kind of fish.  Temperature is important as well, especially for fish who require a narrow range of water temperatures.  If it gets too cold, and is impractical to heat the pond, you may need to have a backup plan for bringing the fish indoors.  Cooling the water can be done with waterfalls and fountains.  But again, if the water gets too hot, you may need to bring them inside.

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