October 05, 2004

Fire Ants, Napalm, and Frozen Fish?

In today's 'Pond Q&A,' we have two equally important questions
(smile), and at least one really good answer...


I enjoy reading your articles.

I have two 6500 gallon ponds with a large waterfall and a bog
that empties into a stream that flows to the lower pond. My
problem is FIRE ANTS! Those pesky little *&^%$*&)(&^ have taken
up residence in the bog and along the stream. I live in central
Texas and I have been able to control the fire ants in my yard
with various chemicals, unfortunately, I cannot use them in the

Is there anything I can do to eliminate them in the bog without
harming my fish and plants?? Any assistance would be greatly

Harv Peterson


Yes Harv,


That's how I feel about those suckers. Just nuke them out of
your yard once and for all. Other than that - I really don't
have a good alternative. (Let me know if you find one, so I can
rid my self of them also...) Or maybe one of our readers has
some good advice...

To discover more little known tips and tricks for better pond-
keeping, pick up a copy of our new water gardening ebook called
'Water Gardens Made Easy' by clicking on the link below now:





I have a small pond and I live in Pennsylvania (southeast) so we
get cold weather.
The pond is 16" deep in most of the area with a slightly deeper
center (not 2').
I purchased a submersible pond heater for small ponds and also
have an air pump.
Between the two I am hoping that the water will not freeze solid
(as it did last year).

Do you think my fish and frogs will be safe with through the
winter this set up?
The pond is about 6' x 3'.




Hi Joe,

Well the normal minimum for keeping ponds from freezing solid,
and wintering over fish and koi is around 18" - 24", depending on
how far North you live. So, either way - your pond is a bit
shallow.. But as long as you have a winter de-icer, that should
do the trick. Just make sure you bought one with a metal 'guard'
that keeps the hot heating element away from the plastic or liner
edge, unless it's a concrete pond - then you're all set.

For the aerator, I'd recommend lowering it to just below the
surface of the pond, so as not to necessarily circulate the pond
water. In winter, the pond will have 'thermal layers' of
different water temperatures, with the slightly warmer water at
the bottom, and the colder water near the top.

By having your airstone all the way at the bottom of the pond,
the rising air bubbles will create water circulation, and will
actually cool the warmer pond water at the bottom of the pond.
This is also why we don't recommend running your pump in winter.

Hope this helps...

Brett Fogle
MacArthur Water Gardens

MacArthur Water Gardens
PO Box 3628
Alpharetta, GA 30023-3628


Posted by bfogle at October 5, 2004 12:51 AM

I have a few fallow up questions. I too have a small 40 gal. pond that is about 14-18 deep and in Idaho we get a lot of weather below Freezing. I was going to try to winter my fish in the pond but decided to bring them in instead. First I have well water and right out the tap it tests 7.0 ph and everything else is perfect. I have had really good luck with keeping all my levels where they should be and even clear water. I have a external bio filter pump.

I have gotten a 30 gal Aquarium and the pump will go on it. I can make sure the water is the same temperature as the pond when I move them and of course I will float them for 10 or 15 minuets. I can make sure that the water is prepared to be as close to their pond as can be and even will use some of the pond water as a starter.

My big question is what do I feed then if I have them indoors all winter and the water temp stays between 60 and 75 degrees? Will I treat my aquarium just like my pond as I am getting plants for it. Should I use something like Microbe-Lift for it? Any advise would be helpful. I will also have an air pump for the indoor tank.

Any suggestions will be applicate.

Posted by: Kelly at October 11, 2004 07:26 PM