I ordered everything I need for my system today. I should have everything on Saturday. That said I have a question about cycling the system. If I fill my system with pond water will I still need to cycle it? I would think the bacteria would already be present in the pond water. Fish have been living in it for close to 15 years now.

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I'm not sure if it did or not.  I know the sump tank was completely full days ago and then it just kept raining.  I'm sure it would have screwed up all my readings, so I didn't bother.  I think the rain has slacked off now, so I can get back to it.

Test the water and see what it says. If the bacteria was culturing in your grow media then it may have slowed down your cycling but it shouldn't have hurt it much.

When a similar thing happened to me during cycling, the (acid) rain lowered the PH so I had to buffer it with Bicarb Soda to get it back up above 7. 

Nothing much changed apart from that.

Ammonia levels are higher than they were.  pH is a little lower (which is actually good).  Nitrite levels are still high and nitrate levels are high.  Meh... 

No, the bacteria grows on the surface area of the media, tanks, pipes, etc...  Some lives in the water but simply adding rain water or fresh water to top up doesn't negate the cycling process.  The only thing that would do that would be if you put something into the system that actually killed the bacteria.  The don't just "wash" off with rain, the numbers might drop a little since the waste in the system would be diluted, but they will rebound quickly.

Ok... I am really starting to get frustrated... I can't seem to catch any sunfish. I have caught several bass and a crappie but I can't even get sunny's to bite when I hit them with the worm. Yesterday was especially frustrated because I caught a bass and as I went to grab it to unhook it it snapped my line, flopped back into the pond and swam away with my hook. The dead fish have almost completely decayed. On a positive note however the ph is starting to come down now. It was 7.2 and I haven't added any vinegar in a week.

Well, at least the pH is dropping.  The sunny's must have heard about your serial fish killing tendencies.  Hang in there and hopefully you'll start getting a few of them again.


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