Accidental poisoning

If your pond seems to be out of balance or if your animals show worrying behaviour or die, this could be a result of poisoning, even if the water tests aren’t indicating the wrong water levels.

Untersuchung der Kiemen wegen Ammoniakvergiftung

Here is an outline of possible poisonings and remedial measures. It is essential that you react as quickly as possible!

Metal poisoning

As a general rule metals do not belong in the pond water! A lot of metals have the property to release free metal ions (charged particles) to the water, which have toxic effects on invertebrates, fish and microorganisms. The more acidic the water (pH value below 7), the higher the percentage of dissolved metal ions in the water. An extreme situation occurs with (acid) rain, when the rainwater collects in roof gutters and is reused: The low pH value of the rain water dissolves large quantities of copper ions out of the mostly copper-bearing gutters, which then lead to symptoms of poisoning. Titanium zinc is mostly used for rain gutters. This material has a service life of several decades and yet has the merit of being relatively cheap. Roof gutters made of copper are relatively expensive when compared to other materials, but they do provide a very long service life.

Problematische Kupfer-Dachrinne

Care needs to be taken when multiple materials are used on the same building. Aluminium gutters are long-lasting but expensive. To be brief: A rainwater drainage system using metal gutters can lead to problems. Either you avoid this kind of water supply or you use a very effective water conditioner! The water conditioner JBL BiotoPond results in the binding (chelation) of heavy metals. A water change is still necessary if you discern any poisoning symptoms. Be careful when using tap water. Metal pipes mean that lead, copper or zinc may be present in tap water ( JBL Copper Test Cu ). It is, therefore, absolutely necessary to use a good water conditioner ( JBL BiotoPond ) when carrying out a water change!

Ammonia poisoning

Beneficial bacteria degrade the dirt accumulating in your pond water and at the bottom of the pond. Ammonium NH4) and ammonia (NH3) are created from protein. Both are further processed to nitrite (NO2) and then to nitrate (NO3). Ammonium is also breathed out through the gills of your fish. These degrading bacteria can be damaged by new ponds, after bigger clean-up operations or after the use of antibacterial remedies, causing the ammonium content in the water to rise. In healthy, well established and efficient ponds you will almost never measure ammonium values above 0.1 mg/l. Ammonium itself is non-poisonous but a chemical equilibrium reaction causes it to transform itself to poisonous ammonia. The percentage of this newly created ammonia increases at pH values from 7.0 onwards. As soon as your fish show symptoms of poisoning (gasping at the water surface, darting backwards and forwards, reeling etc.), measure the ammonium content! The remedy is (firstly) an extensive water change to dilute the ammonia concentration and to slightly decrease the pH value to transform the poisonous ammonia back into non-poisonous ammonium. And (secondly) add beneficial bacteria with JBL BactoPond so that they can process ammonium/ammonia.

Fäulnisprozesse am Teichboden
Nitrite poisoning

Nitrite (NO2) occurs in the normal biological degradation process from ammonium and is processed to nitrate (NO3). During this nitrogen decomposition (nitrification) the pond water consumes a lot of oxygen. That’s why a good oxygen enrichment for the pond water is not only important for the fish. Without the required oxygen your pond bacteria are not able to do their work properly.

From 0.3 mg/l nitrite is toxic for fish and from about 0.5 mg/l it is mostly deadly. This is because nitrite prevents the transport of oxygen by haemoglobin. It has the same shape as oxygen and blocks the docking of the oxygen to the red blood cells (similar to the lock-and-key principle). An increased nitrite value ( JBL Nitrite Test NO2 in your pond water is an extreme alarm signal that there is something wrong in your pond! The nitrite value should ALWAYS be below the detection limit! You then immediately have to find out why your bacteria didn’t process the nitrite to harmless nitrate. Remedy: Possible causes: If your pond is still quite new (max. 3 weeks old), nitrite still can accumulate because your beneficial bacteria have yet to develop. Remedy: With JBL FilterStart Pond and JBL BactoPond you can help your pond and accelerate the running-in process enormously.

Neu angelegte Teiche brauchen bakterielle Hilfe für den Start

Further ways to destroy the beneficial bacteria in the pond

If you have added salt to your pond (why? This does more harm than good), your bacteria won’t like that at all. Bacteria can’t get used to fluctuating salinity. If you insist on adding salt, you will have to restart the bacterial fauna AFTER the adding of salt with JBL FilterStart Pond and JBL BactoPond .

Neither do your bacteria like you adding antibacterial medicines to your pond because the medicines can’t differentiate between beneficial cleansing bacteria and pathogenic bacteria. Also in this case a bacterial reactivation with JBL FilterStart Pond and JBL BactoPond is urgently advised.

Zugabe von nützlichen Bakterien nach Krankheitsbehandlung