August 17, 2017

FISH HEALTH 08/01/2017

 

Summer is here, and almost gone. After a long wet spring we have seen quite a few episodes of fish stress due to fluctuating water temperature.  Stress often leads to episodes of bacteria or fungal infection.

Here are some pointers to get us through the rest of the season.

Fish in pond water above the temperature of 86 are subject to stress.  Hot water is more difficult for the fish to take in the oxygen.  Small water changes in the afternoon to cool over heated ponds are recommended. And additional aeration always reduces stress and makes the fish more active.  

Koi will act healthy as a defensive mechanism. They do not want to show they are vulnerable and will hide any wounds or evidence of slowing down.  There are a few ways to determine a stressed fish. When viewing the fish

Look for fish that want to separate off to themselves, fish that stay on the bottom or at the top.

Look for possible wounds around the tail and fins

Look for red streak in the fins or the body

If you find a fish that is ill, the question is to treat the whole pond or just the infected fish. The pond is the least stressful environment for the healing of the fish. If the volume of water is too large to treat with medication or salt, lowering the water level can reduce the amount of medication necessary.  Moving a fish to quarantine, although cheaper for the cost of medication, will require constant monitoring of water quality and probably water changes and protection of the fish from jumping out or predators .   

Treatments can range from adding products to the water, feeding medicated fish food, or injection of antibiotics to the fish.

  • The most cost effective treatment for many parasites is pure rock salt. The dosage varies.

 1lb /100 gallon, if there are plants,

 1lb / 30 gallons effectively treats many parasites. This dose will not take care of flukes or anchor worms or lice and other medications are necessary. Remove plants to prevent burn  

  • Fish treatment products containing tea tree oils will take care of a lot of fungus and some bacterial infections internal and external. They can be added straight to the pond and are safe and do not hurt plants or bacterial filters.
  • Treating bacterial infections –Prepackaged medicated food is unavailable on the market at this time. So we are back to make your own medicated fish food – The medication is purchased separately and added to the food.
  • Injections of antibiotics require prescription from the vet. Instruction to inject fish can be found on line.

August 31, 2013

Clean out your pond

 

Cleaning the pond out is sometimes a necessary task. Usually if there is over an inch of mulm or sludge like substance on the bottom of the pond It is a good idea to clean that out before your fish have to sit in it all winter while they are hibernating.

Steps for the pond clean out with fish

  1. Fish will need a holding container. It should have a cover or netting to keep fish from jumping. Set it up in the shade and use a pump or air stones to keep water oxygenated. Provide adequate space for fish to stay in holding for 4 hours or more. A small kiddy pool or rubber maid tanks work well.
  2. Drain water to from pond to fill the fish holding tanks. When tanks are full finish draining pond and Stop draining 8-10 inches from the bottom to catch and move fish.   Sometimes we scoop fish in a plastic bags which seems the easiest on the scales and the fish  will not flop out as they would in a net. This method also keeps them buoyant to not damage internal organs. Take great care while moving larger fish as they are more susceptible to internal damage.
  3. Take time to inspect your fish’s fins and slime coat.   There should be good slime and no damage to fins or skin. It is also good to determine if you have too many fish . Count the fish and measure body length (nose to before the tail) WE recommend 1 in of fish for every 7.5 gallons of pond water if they are less than 10 in . Or 1 in of fish for every 10 gallons of pond water if they are over 10 inches .
  4. Divide and repot over grown plants.   IF plants do not need dividing and repotting just cut back old yellow foliage. Some foliage of reeds and grasses will still look nice for winter and you can wait to trim them to just before spring growth starts.
  5. Finish completely draining the pond. Get all mud out of the bottom with a wet dry vacuum or scoop and wipe it up with sponges and buckets.
  6. Clean filters, pre filters, and waterfalls . Run clean water through piping to wash out the lines
  7. Refill pond. Add dechlorinater according to directions if you use city water.
  8. Fish should be bagged and returned to the pond. Float the bagged fish 20 minutes   to acclimate the temperature if the new pond water is a different temperature from the temperature in the holding tanks
  9. Restart pump and filters

January 03, 2013

Fall and Winter Care for your pond

 

 

Fall and Winter Care for your pond.

Tips for a healthy pond.

Get the pond ready for fall and winter. It is easy to have a healthy pond through the winter if you follow a few simple guidelines.    

·         Check the amount of debris in the pond. Remove substantial amounts of mulm and sludge from the pond before winter sets in. This will keep fish healthy . Fish hibernate on the bottom of the pond. And sitting in a bed of sludge that can harbor parasites, contribute to poor water quality or lower oxygen levels through winter months is not good for them.

·         Remove sludge manually with a pond cleaning. When fish are healthy and strong for fall or spring pond

·         Add Pond sludge remover or   Pond-Zyme with Barley to clean and clarify pond water. It contains beneficial bacteria and enzymes to consume sludge and clean ponds. Water temperature should be at 50 degrees for beneficial bacteria  to work.

·         Trim old yellow leaves. Repot overgrown waterlilies and marginals.  This can be done fall or spring. Although plants are larger  in the fall and the water is much warmer to work in. Discard or move tropical plants to freeze free environments during winter months.

·         Use pond netting to keep leaves and debris from accumulating in the pond over the winter months. It is also good to keep herons from eating the fish when they are exposed.

·         Winter – the pumps left on the surface of the pond may be kept running while it is only circulating top water. Pumps in the bottom of the pond should be turned off and filter and pipes drained.  Glass from the UVC need to be removed and brought inside.

·         Do not feed fish once the temperature is below 50 degrees and resume feed when the temperature returns to 50 degrees. Fish are dormant during the cold temperature and do not metabolize the food readily. Old food in their system can cause harm and stress. Old food and waste in the pond can stress the water quality when bacteria and plants are not growing to maintain the balance.

·         Maintain a hole in the frozen pond to allow harmful gasses to escape. Fish do not require as much oxygen during cold months since they are dormant . Cold water is easier to absorb oxygen .  Gas from organics can cause harm if trapped under ice for a duration.  Maintaining a hole can be done with an electric deicer or pond light.. A floating Ice Guard. Keeps the hole open with out electricity !

Grassland Aquatics offers Pond cleaning and maintenance service.  The schedule form and policy are on the web site or call the store for scheduling 615-790-0776

 

July 25, 2012

Maintenance and Planting Instructions For Aquatic Plants

Planting Soil- Submersed aquatic plants use a heavy top soil with a mixture of one part sand if needed. Soil from the back yard works well. Do not use light potting soil or humus rich soil. A light soil will not hold a plant secure in the water and a heavy humus will float and add too many nutrients to the pond load.

Waterlilies-

  • Waterlilies are divided between hardy and tropical.
  • Blooms- Hardy waterlilies boom continuously until first frost. Their colors are white yellow pink and red or changeable. Most blooms open early and close mid afternoon Tropical colors are white yellow pink red and blue. Each bloom opens early and will close late afternoon. Some tropical waterlilies are night bloomers and open at dusk and stay open until the next morning.
  • Exposure-Waterlilies need full sun of at least 6 hours a day.
  • Pots- Plant one waterlily in at least an 8 inches diameter container. A pot with no holes will help keep soil from leeching in the pond. A pot with holes will allow root systems to grow in the bottom of the pond .
  • Planting- Plant each rhizome in soil. Anchor the root system but, Do Not Bury The Crown Of The Plant. Add about one inch of sand and gravel to the pot to keep soil from drifting out of the pot as you submerse the pot. ALWAYS BE SURE TO BUBBLE THE POT WITH WATER FIRST BEFORE YOU LOWER THE PLANT INTO THE POND. That is fill the pot with water first to let the air escape before lowering the new planted waterlily in the pond.
  • Growing -You may submerse the plant to a depth of 12-24 inches of water. If the leaves are submersed when you sink the waterlily do not worry the plant will eventually send it’s leaves to the surface in a couple of days. Although a bud or a bloom will not survive if lowered to deep before it blooms.
  • Fertilize- Waterlilies are heavy feeders. We fertilize at least once a month and sometimes twice a month during the height of the season. A 10-26-10 tablet can be inserted in the soil of the pot. Pinch soil closed over the tablet to prevent leaching into the water.
  • Winter- Hardy waterlilies, which behave like perennials come back each year Tropical waterlilies should be treated as annuals. Waterlilies bloom from early spring to the first killing frost.
  • Winter the Tropical waterlilies. When they have experienced the first cold snap the lily is pulled from the water and left to dry. After it is removed from the pot, it is placed in a vegetable bag which is held in an air tight container through the winter. The following spring when water temperature will maintain over 68 degrees we wash the lily with an antibacterial soap, rinse the lily, and let it soak in warm water about a week or so until it sprouts again. Re pot the waterlily for summers growth.Some varieties will be easier to overwinter then others.

Lotus-

  • The Lotus we sell are hardy to zone 3.
  • Exposure-Lotus need at least six hours full sun.
  • Pots- Lotus will bloom in a five gallon pot. The larger the pot the increase of blooms.
  • Planting- Plant lotus tubers shallow. Do Not Break Growth Points Of The Tuber. Use just enough soil to carefully cover the tuber . Use a layer of sand to help anchor the tuber. Fill the pot with a few inches of water over the soil. If you submerse the pot in the pond BE SURE TO BUBBLE THE POT WITH WATER FIRST BEFORE YOU LOWER THE PLANT INTO THE POND
  • Growing - Submerse the pot in shallow water the first year maximum of four inches of water over the soil of the plant. Lotus may be submersed to the bottom of the pond for the winter months.
  • Fertilize- Begin to fertilize the lotus after the first sign of floating leaves. Start with only one tablet on the first month. Continue to increase fertilizer of one more tablet each month through the growing season until the end of the growing season. A 10-26-10 tablet can be inserted into the soil of the pot. Pinch the soil closed over the tablet to prevent leeching into the water.

Marginals Or Bog Plants-

  • Marginals are divided between hardy and tropical. Hardy plants will live in the pond through the winter months. A tropical plant will freeze and die if left during frozen conditions.
  • Exposure- Marginals can take full sun or shade depending on the species of plant.
  • Pots- Plant marginals in 1–3 gallon containers depending on the total plant height at maturity.
  • Planting- Plant bare root plants at a planting depth of one half to one inch above the root system. Water Iris only like to have the roots buried and the crown left above the soil like a waterlily. Use a layer of sand or gravel to keep the soil from drifting out of the pot when you submerse the pot in the pond. BE SURE TO BUBBLE THE POT WITH WATER FIRST BEFORE YOU LOWER THE PLANT INTO THE POND. That is fill the pot with water first to let the air escape before lowering the plant in the pond.
  • Growing- Most marginal plants like the surface of the pond. They should not be sunk any deeper than 2-4 inches below the surface of the pond when first planted. Some lily like marginals will take a growing depth of 6-8 inches depending on the variety( For example: snowflake, water clover, floating heart, mosaic Botswana wonder)
  • Fertilize- Fertilize marginals according the species requirements. Use a tablet to insert into the soil of the pot. Pinch the soil closed over the tablet to prevent leeching into the pond.

July 24, 2012

Creating An Aquaponic System

 

 

 

 

 

 

Establishing the size of the system

  • You will need at least two containments. One for the fish tank and one for the grow bed.  Most people use a poly tank, but bath tubs or half barrels can be used as well. Stay away from anything galvanized or metal which is not conducive to fish growing. 
  • Fish- Grow Beds - Fish Tanks rule of thumb

1 lb( 500 gram ) or  8 in  of fish for every 1 sq ft grow bed. (12 inches deep)

1 lb of fish for every 5-7 gal

 So -100 gal tank  14 fish  growing bed -7 x2

 

Plumbing the Aquaponic System

Aquaponics uses a basic flood and drain design. 

  • Circulate the water from the fish tank through the grow bed. And drain it back into the fish tank.
  • You can use a trickle down method or percolate up through your grow beds. Water can either spill over a spillway back into your fish tank or your can plumb it in line in a closed system. 
  • In a closed system water is drained either through the back flow on the pump or through a smaller drain than the intake on the grow bed. 
  • Flood the grow bed on a a timing cycle of 15 minuets on and 45 minuets off . This will filter the water well and allow for sufficient drying time for the plant roots.
  • Use a pump size with the flow rate of four times the tank and you will eventually circulate the entire tank every hour. 
  • The easiest process to achieve the timing cycle is with a programmed timer on your pump.
  • Some grow beds use an auto siphon or bell siphon to create their drain cycle. Instructions to make your own bell siphon are on the internet. 
  • Most grow beds are 12 inches deep although smaller plants such as lettuces and herbs will grow well in a more shallow depth.  

Growing Media

  • There are different types of growing media that can be used for your grow beds. Media for your grow bed is either gravel or expanded clay.
  • You do not want to use media that will effect the pH of the water or is capable of breaking down.
  • A good size media to use is half to three quarters of an inch in diameter.
  • A more porous media with a lot of surface area is advantageous for bacteria to grow and convert the waste of fish to the beneficial nutrients needed for the plants.
  • Always wash the media off first before adding it to the system..
  • Grow beds that are larger than eight sq ft may use a manifold to circulate the water through your media evenly and keep water from channeling around a clogged up area in the grow bed.  
  • The Aquaponic grow bed is best understood by root zones. The zone 1 or first 2 inches of surface is best left as a dry zone. This will protect plants from algae growth and moisture related disease The zone two or the next 2/3  of growing depth is the root zone. This is where the flood and drain cycle allows the delivery of oxygen rich air to the roots as well as the  beneficial bacteria and even worms for breaking down solids . The bottom zone 3 is where fish waste and solids are collected.

 

Aquaponics and Grow beds and Fish tank

Rule of thumb

1 lb( 500 gram ) 8 in  of fish for every 1 sq ft grow bed. (12 inches deep)

1 lb of fish for every 5-7 gal

100 gal tank  14 fish  growing bed -7 x2

30 gal 4-5 fish  growing bed 2x2

July 24, 2012

What Is Aquaponics?

Aquaponics is the use of hydroponics and aquaculture to grow vegetables through a fish production in containments.

This is a local food source of growing your own vegetables and that also supplies you with a clean source of locally grown fish.

It is used commercially in places such as Australia and Canada. But can be easily set up in a back yard, basement or greenhouse.

Aquaponics appears to be an easy step after learning about water gardening. You have your fish containment circulating through a filter system that just happens to be growing vegetables. Much of the knowledge needed for keeping fish and water quality are already embedded in your brain from keeping a water garden.

We know plants and bacteria keep the water garden balanced. Biological filtration keeps koi ponds healthy. Wetland systems are used extensively for cleaning up grey water (waste water) using plant material in filtration. WE have for a long time advocated the use of vegetable filters or bog filters for easily maintaining water quality in our water gardens. Many water gardens that use the bog filters are already employing them to grow their seasonal vegetables. And with great success!

One difference from the water gardener to the Aquaponic gardener is the type of fish cultivated. Most water gardeners use decorative fish in the gardens. And become quite attached to them. Although you could still use koi and goldfish in your system, most Aquaponics use a food fish. These fish will require planning for their growing season. Some food fish such as tilapia are tropical and will require water temperatures of 68 degrees. Smaller holding facilities can utilize an aquarium heater. Others may prefer to grow fish only during the summer months. Also these fish will have to be cultivated or harvested. Most people might be squeamish to harvest some fish they have been growing since they were fry. Selling the harvested fish to others would require adhering to local and state regulations.

So how easy is this? Setting up a fish tank that circulates water through a growing bed of vegetable plants.

I have used the rule of thumb from Sylvia Bernstein’s “Aquaponic Gardening.”

Bernstein started originally with hydroponics ,and was introduced to Aquaponics by her partner in the production of the hydroponic. AeroGarden. When she saw the logistics of Aquaponics she was hooked. There is no need for added nutrients like the ones used in hydroponics to grow plants. The fish waste from the holding tank is converted to the necessary nutrients for your vegetables by the bacteria growing on the growing media just like in the biological filter for the koi pond. Bernstein originally started to blog about her experience in Aquaponics . The forum lead to creating a book about the knowledge passed back and forth through the on line Aquaponic community. Although by her book it looks like she has made many of the mistakes we water gardeners have already come across. Such as flooding the fish tank with chlorinated water. Killing both fish and bacteria. Like I said this is easy for someone who have owned a water garden before.

For those of us who love to garden and grow our own vegetables but are not into digging holes, weeding, watering or mulching Aquaponics may be the answer.

July 22, 2012

Disappearing Fountains

A disappearing fountain is a great way to add the sound of water to your garden! You can create them using just about anything as your favorite fountain piece, then finish it off with the covering of your choice. Traditional fountain pieces include pots, statues, fountain or waterfalls.

How it Works

Water is pumped from a hidden reservoir buried in the ground. Make a simple connection using flexible hose and you’re done. Water flows through the fountain piece of your choice and back down. Installation is easy using the pre-mold reservoir.

Benefits

Disappearing fountains are safe for children because there is no open water. They’ll also provide water for pets and wildlife. Install one near a patio or along the front entrance of your house to create a cooling effect.

Plumbing Glazed Pottery for Fountains

This inexpensive technique makes for a quick and water tight adaptation of glazed pottery into a fountain. Use of PVC standpipe allows plume of water at top and an easy way to drain pot in cold weather.

  1. With masonry bit, drill hole in center of pot.
  2. Place ¾” thread x 1” barb so thread goes through bottom of pot.
  3. Place PVC female adapter on PVC pipe, thread onto fitting
  4. Thread fittings together until tight
  5. Cut ¾” PVC standpipe to correct length
  6. Mix underwater epoxy together
  7. Use Epoxy to fill any other holes in pot
  8. Epoxy around fitting to make pot watertight
  9. Before running fountain, fill pot & test to ensure it’s watertight

What you’ll need

  • Drill
  • ½” Masonry Drill Bit
  • ¾” PVC female adapter
  • ¾” thread x 1” Barb fitting
  • ¾” PVC Pipe
  • Underwater Epoxy
  • Circular saw
  • Cardboard or carpet to put under pot while working on it

Disappearing fountains reservoirs come in 3-easy-to-install sizes. Larger reservoirs are recommended because they hold more water and allow for larger pumps with higher flow rate. Larger reservoirs also give you room for additional pots, statuary, etc. in your disappearing fountain. The possibilities are endless

Available in 3 sizes

All reservoirs include the reinforced plastic grating and ¼” plastic mesh

Size

2’ x 2’

3’ x 3’

4’ x 4’

July 22, 2012

How To Create A Bog Filter

In Nature bogs or wetlands are low lying areas in the natural terrain where flora and fauna thrive in a moist environment. In addition to providing a habitat for moisture loving organisms a wetland also functions as a filter for Mother Nature. Using Mother Nature’s Model we can install filters in our ornamental water gardens that are highly effective and natural in appearance. The bog filter is actually a garden that functions as a filter!

Directions

  1. Follow the usual directions for building a liner pond. The bog filter portion of the pond should be anywhere from 10-20% of the pond surface. For example if you have a 10’ x 10’ pond equaling 100 sq. ft. the bog filter should take up 10 to 20 sq. ft. of space in that pond. If you plan to stock a lot of fish or Koi err on the larger size.
  2. Using Cinder Block, Stone, Bricks or any other stable building material construct a dry wall to partition off the bog filter from the rest of the pond. We recommend using cinder block (painted black with exterior latex paint) and then “capping off” the blocks with a decorative stone of your choice.
  3. Be sure to run a piece of pipe through the lower portion of the wall that will hook the pump to the pipe work in the bog filter. Put a PVC female adapter fitted with the appropriate sized hose barb fitting to receive the flex hose from your pump.
  4. Install the pump on the opposite side of the pond from where the bog filter is located. This is to facilitate good circulation of water throughout the pond. Select a pump that will turn the volume of the pond over every 1-2 hours. (You can go with a higher flow rate if you wish.)
  5. Next drill the distribution pipe. The outlet of the pump determines the size of the pipes. For example our 5500 gph AquaFlo pump has a 2” outlet therefore 2” pipe is used. The pipe is drilled with 1/4” holes spaced approximately 6” apart. The spacing is an approximate estimate, if there is a long run of pipe; space the holes further apart.
  6. Cap the ends of the pipes.
  7. Next lay the distribution pipe on top of the pond liner in the area partitioned off for the bog filter. Be sure to point the holes at a 45 degree angle toward the bottom. Once you are satisfied with your piping layout, glue all parts together. Gravel bogs that are 2-3 feet in width can be fed by a single course of pipe. Wider areas require additional lines spaced 2-3’ apart. This layout is similar to setting up a septic drain field.
  8. Shovel 3/8” pea gravel into the Bog Filter area but only fill halfway. The construction process is finished, now it’s time to plant your bog! Most gravel is not very clean, wash it as best you can in the wheel barrow but be aware it will muddy up the pond, not to worry it will clear up. After all, that’s what the filter is designed to do!

Planting the Bog Filter

  1. Select your bog plants and arrange them in the bog area that is half filled with gravel. It’s best to plant the tall plants towards the back of the filter, lower growing plants in front. Create interest by contrasting plants with different foliage colors or textures.
  2. After you have arranged the plants to your satisfaction knock the pots off the plants and place the plant with the root ball intact with soil. Do not remove the soil—there is not enough nutrition in a brand new bog to sustain the plants. (Trust us the soil will not wash into your pond.)
  3. After the plants have been placed, gently shovel in the remaining gravel. Your goal is to place the plants at the appropriate level so that when the rest of the gravel is added the gravel level will be above the water level. In other words, no standing water in the gravel filter area.
  4. Turn on your pump and your bog filter is now off and running with years of clear water enjoyment to come.

Common Mistakes

  • Not capping the ends of the PVC distribution pipe, if you don’t do this the water will simply shoot out the ends of the pipe and not through your carefully drilled 1/4” holes.
  • Washing soil off plant roots; if you do this you run the risk of killing your plants, not only will you damage the delicate roots but you will starve the plant as well.

Suggested Plants

Arrowhead

Dwarf Horsetail

Assorted Taros

Dwarf Papyrus

Ruby Eye Arrowhead

Blue Carex

Dwarf Variegated Sweetflag

Sensitive Plant

Blue Rush

Japanese Iris

Siberian Iris

Bog Lily

Lizard’s Tail

Spider Lily

Canna

Louisiana Iris

Star Grass

Chinese Water Chestnut

Melon Sword

Variegated Spider Lily

Corkscrew Rush

Creeping Jenny

Ribbon Grass

Plants that are Invasive in the Bog (Think twice before planting)

All Cattails

Gold Rush Reed

Pennywort

Aquatic Mint

Horsetail

Red Stemmed Thalia

Chameleon Plant

Mediterranean Reed

Umbrella Palm

Variegated Water Celery

Parrot’s Feather

Yellow Iris

Other Plants (experiment!)

Astilbe

Leopard Plant

Bergenia

Day Lilies

Meadow Rue

Bishops Weed

Forget Me Not

Obedient Plant

Butterfly Gingers

Fox Glove

Polygonums

Butterfly Weed

Ground Orchids

Society Garlic

Caladiums

Hibiscus (not Chinese)

Tomatoes

Calla Lily

Hosta

Trilliums

July 22, 2012

Helpful Tips And Hints For Ponds

 

Helpful Tips and Hints

  • Decide if your pond is a water feature fish pond or water garden.
  • Water Feature has no plants or fish most have fountains or waterfalls with moving water.
  • Fish ponds have no plants just fish and use extensive filtration to keep water clear and fish healthy.
  • Water gardens have fish and plants with or with out moving water . Water gardens with out moving water are called static ponds and use plants to keep water clear and fish healthy.

Liner — We sell 45 epdm rubber liner with a 20 yr manufacturer guarantee

  • To decide on the proper liner size, measure the surface dimensions of your hole (length and width) and add two time the depth plus two feet (for overlay) to the width and length. Thus 2d+ 2ft should be added to each dimension. If a pond is 4 ft. long x 4ft. wide and 2ft. deep add 2(2) +2ft. =6ft. Add 6 ft to the width and 6ft. to the length and your liner size will be a 10ftx 10 or 100 sq. ft.
  • We sell liner from 100 ft roll. The sizes are 10, 15ft, 20ft, 25ft, on up to 50ft wide.

Pond Volume=(Length x width x depth) x7.5

Pumps and filtration.

    • Filter water one half the volume every hour.
    • Pumps measured in GPH gallons per hour or GPM gallons per minuet
    • Filtration is biological or mechanical.
      • Mechanical filtration removes debris and helps attain water clarity. It is available submersible or external to the pond.
      • Biological filtration grows bacteria on filter media to keep water clear and healthy for fish.

Fish

Koi Shibunkin Fantail goldfish Sarasa comet
      • Stock 1 inch of fish per 7-10 gallons of water. Do not exceed without additional biological filtration.
      • Fish are available in a number of sizes and varieties suitable for any pond.
      • Koi fish will grow 12-24 in for large ponds. Shibunkins and comets grow 8-10 in. Fantails and goldfish grow 6-8 in.
      • Pond fish will tolerate the cold water in winter in a depth of 18 inches to 24 inches or more.
      • Feed as much as they can eat in 10 minutes twice daily. Remove uneaten food.
      • Do not feed in winter, or when the temperature of the water drops below 50 degrees.

ALGAE — Algae is not harmful to plants or fish. It is disconcerting to pond owners

      • To encourage clear water, cover 60-70% of the pond surface with waterlilies or floating leaf plants. This blocks the action of sunlight on the water itself and limits algae growth.
      • Natural products such as submerged plants, bacteria and barley will help compete against algae growth.
      • Make sure Chemicals to control the algae are safe for plants if there are other plants in the pond. Anything that will slow down algae will also slow down the other plant growth
      • Floculant will clear green pond water but also take oxygen from the water and should be applied with caution if fish are in the pond.
      • UV filtration will provide water clarity for a pond regardless of the number of plants or fish.

Sunlight

      • Ponds are built in the sun or shade. Ponds in shade have less algae blooms.
      • Waterlilies and lotus should have a minimum of four to five hours of direct sunlight in order to bloom well.

        Waterlilies

Pond Maintenance

  1. Check the level of debris on the bottom of your pond. Net out leaf material and clean the bottom of your pond if there is more than and inch of mulm. Some bacteria are available for cleaning muck and sludge from the bottom of the pond.   
  2. Check your aquatic plants. Trim off dead leaf material. Re pot over crowded pots when your foliage has started to emerge and division is easily seen. Fertilize your waterlilies, marginals, and lotus.
  3. Check your fish. Fish resume normal eating habits from winter hibernation  when your water temperature maintains 55 degrees. Test ammonia, nitrites, and pH. Inspect your fish closely for fungus, parasites or bacterial infection. Remove infected fish for treatment. Measure the growth of your fish and decide if your pond is over crowded. Take the time to do some needed culling. Pond stocking guide lines are 1 in of fish for 10 gallons of water.  Measure from the nose to before the tail.
  4. Check the filter and pumps. Clean filter material weekly. Clean bio filtration and replace nylon mats annually
  5. Check your U. V. Light bulb. Caution do not look directly at the light. Replace your bulb if it is over a year old.