PREPARING YOUR POND
Wait! If your pond is newly developed give it 4 to 7 weeks before you attempt to add any fish. Adding them before your pond has had the time to become established will likely end up in a pond full of smelly floaters. Freshly added water in a pond, or even ponds newly set up in winter months, will not contain nor promote growth of what is considered healthy and necessary bacteria. Allowing the pond to set will allow natures process to start and get you closer to being ready to add your goldfish, Koi or whatever fish you may choose.
Add oxygenating plants - the type that live underwater preferably - to your pond. This will put oxygen into the water that is crucial to both pond and fish health. These will also provide a source of minerals and nutrition for your fish. Be sure to ask when purchasing your pond fish which plants will provide the best match for the chosen aquatic life and location.
You will want to give your plants a chance to become established, just like your pond, before
Install an appropriately sized filter and pump system in your pond. This will also help keep the water moving which will add oxygen to the water and also help prevent frequent and excessive sludge and bacteria build up.
A home and garden specialist should be able to make a recommendation based on the size of your pond.
INTRODUCING YOUR NEW FISH INTO THE POND
Place the bag that you were sent home with that contain your swimmers into your pond and leave them for 10 minutes. This will slowly allow the water temperatures to balance out.
Open your bag and add a small amount of water from your pond into the bag containing your fish. Let them sit for an additional 10 minutes - make sure your bag stays open and upright. This step will help them to adjust to the different properties of the ponds water.
Repeat the above step in its entirety.
Lay the bag on its side, which should allow the pond water to flow in freely and allow access for the fish to exit the bag and enter the pond at its own will.
You have now properly prepared your pond and introduced your fish.