Last Updated:

How Soon Can You Put Fish In A New Pond

Learn How To Properly Handle Fish As You Put Them In Their New Maryland, DC, Or Northern Virginia Home

Your new pond is amazing, but it’s still missing one thing: fish.

Not many people know how to care for fish.

We know because people ask us about putting fish in their new ponds all the time. Most people don’t want to buy a pet they don’t know how to take care of.

It would be nervewracking, especially for fish.

This is because if you don’t put fish in your new pond correctly, it could end up hurting them.

Bluegill fish smaller than your hand

Nobody wants to hurt their pets, and we don’t want you too either.

So here we are going to go over how you can put fish in a new pond correctly.

Fun fact: it can take 72 hours and 15 minutes before your fish friends can enjoy their new home.

You can read more and watch this video to see the correct process:

Introducing Koi Fish To A New Pond

You should wait at least 72 hours before putting fish in your new pond.

Even if only the water is new.

This way the water temperature and chemistry can level out. Drastic changes in either can have a serious impact on the health of your fish.

You won’t be able to just place them in once the wait is over though.

Putting bag of fish in pond with top out so as to acclimate the koi fish to the new pond

After the minimum 72 hour waiting period, here is how you can best put fish in your new pond:

Put your fish in bags with an open top (like the kind you get from the fair). Take the bag and put it in your new pond with the top sticking out of the water. This way the temperatures of the water equalize, making it easier on your fish to be put in new water. During the next 15 minutes, slowly let some pond water into the bag to get them used to the water. Then let them out.

Now you and your fish can fully enjoy your new pond.

You can make this process even easier for your fish by readying your new pond in these 3 ways:

  1. Adding aeration
  2. Proper pH
  3. Predator protection

Let’s explore these a bit more.

Readying Your New Pond For Adding Fish

Add Aeration

Your fish need to breathe too!

You aerate a pond by adding oxygen to water. This makes sure there is enough air in the water for the fish to breathe.

Aeration happens naturally when something disturbs the water such as rain or a waterfall.

But owning your own pond comes with the benefit of man-made aeration.

Most pond owners use aerators, like below:

Aerators and their proper summer and winter placements

Aerators are an artificial method of adding air to water and is also great for creating a hole in the ice during winter.

Here is how you can aerate your pond >>

But even if your fish can breathe, the water still needs to be right too.

Proper Water pH Balance

Would you find it comfortable if the air was too dry or if there wasn’t enough oxygen?

Well for fish, water is like our air.

You can make sure your fish live healthily and well with proper water pH.

pH measures how basic or acidic something is.

Lifeguards do it for pools, we do it for ponds.

A pH of 7 is perfect for fish ponds as it is a neutral pH, like the water we drink. A fish’s blood pH level is about 7.4, so any water pH between 6.5 – 9 is ok as long as it doesn’t vary too often.

You can learn more about pond pH levels >>

Predator Protection

You, like all fish pond owners, want your fish to stay in your pond.

They can start disappearing though.

Herons, raccoons, and other wildlife can start preying on your fish.

You can put a stop to it.

Some preventative measures include fish caves and tunnels, decoys, and nets. They sure beat sitting outside with a pellet gun all day and night.

You can find out more on fish caves and tunnels >>

Caring For Fish During A Pond Renovation

What about taking care of your fish during a pond renovation?

Here are the 6 easy steps:

  1. Fill a tub with some of the pond water and put it in a shady area
  2. Drain your pond of water to make catching the fish easier
  3. Catch your fish with a net and put them into the tub
  4. Once your pond is renovated, empty half of the water (not back into the pond)
  5. Fill the rest of the tub back up with the new pond water
  6. After anywhere from a few hours to a day, catch your fish and release them into your new pond
Catching pond fish with a net before renovation

Now your fish can enjoy their new home.

They may stay near the bottom for a few days, but this is normal.

New Pond, New Fish, No Problem

You now know how to put fish in your new pond!

But what kind would you get? You can get koi and other types of pond fish such as goldfish or golden orfs.

Bring beauty, life, and extra filtration to your new pond by adding in some fish.

You can learn more about pond fish by reading our guide >>