Best time of year to relocate fish

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by Az Gardener, Jan 12, 2006.

  1. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    I have a good sized water feature to drain and clean. It has many fish ranging in size from small to 2' long koi and fancy goldfish. The plan is to lower the water level catch the fish and put them into a holding pool until work is complete. Would I be better waiting until the water temps are warmer or is it better when its cold and they are less active? Water temps now are in the mid to low 40s. I did this once before in the summer 5 years ago, the fish were very active and tough to catch, didn't loose any that we caught. Lost a few sneaky fish that could'nt be caught in a reasonable amount of time.
  2. n2h20

    n2h20 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 503

    I would wait till the water warms up a bit. when fish are cold they dont like to exzert (SP) energy, it stresses them out. wait till late feb or early march.
  3. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,430

    Your biggest concern is how much warmer your tap water is, compared to the water you'll be draining out of your pond. If you did the change now, the difference would be considerable enough to possibly kill your fish. I'd highly recommend that you wait until late Spring.

  4. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    I move my fishin the summer. my biggest problem in the winter is kids throwing rocks at the ice....lost a few that way...
  5. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    that would stink
  6. dcondon

    dcondon LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,246

    That's what I was thinking. Fish can not take much of a water temp change. Best way is to put them in the old water in a garbage bag. Then place bag in new water for 3-4 hrs before opening. JMO
  7. jasonnau

    jasonnau LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 454

    Colder water holds more oxygen. I don't think it would really matter if you did it now or in the early spring. The fish would be easier to catch at this time of year. I would use the water you drain from the pond to fill up trash cans to hold the fish. You do want to make sure the water temperature in the pond and that in the trash cans are very close when you go to put the fish back in the pond. If they are really different, place the fish in bags until the temperatures adjust. You also would be best off using a de-chlorinator to the water you fill the pond with. Although koi and goldfish are very hardy, and probably would fair fine without it. Best to be safe though. If your putting a large amount of fish into the trash can, I'd add an aerator to the can to make sure the oxygen level isn't depleated. If you don't have anything, make sure you rough up the water in the trash cans every now and again to keep the disolved oxygen level high.
  8. dcondon

    dcondon LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,246

    Thats what I said but use a trash bag. That way you can let it float in the new pond they are going to live in!!!! They should be in there for a few hrs. Same thing with buying fish in a store and taking them home.
  9. LawnScenes

    LawnScenes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 177

    Temps are not the only thing that cause fish stress. Putting them in a trash can and letting the water regulate itself to match the water in the pond isn't going to be enough to eliminate the stress. Things like nitrates, nitrites, pH, hardness, alkalinity, and other factors are large causes of stress. The best method is to float the fish in a container with the water from the pond... After 15 minutes add water (it will vary depending on the volume of water the container you have them in holds, a good rule of thumb is if there's 10 gallons of water in the container holding them, add 1 gallon of water from the new pond/tank/aquarium to their container. as it fills up remove the same amount from the container holding them equal to the amount you're putting in.) from the new container/pond to the one the fish are in. Repeat every 10 to 15 minutes until the water in the container holding the fish is exactly or very close to the water in the container/new pond you're placing them in.

    I'd agree with moving them in the spring... When water temps reach the low 60's - mid 70's during the day. Moving Koi or Goldfish during dormant periods in the pond to ponds/tanks/aquariums that have just been set up or filled puts added stress on them and can kill them. The reason being that during the cooler water temps the bacteria that renders the ammonia the fish produce non-toxic aren't as present as during months in which the fish are active.
  10. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    Whats worse is that these are tomorrows leaders....Very destructive in all aspects...

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