January 03, 2005

Pond Q&A 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

In this Issue:

- Pond pH & Muratic Acid

- Winter fish feeding

- New Announcements



I had problems with my pH when I finished building my pond as I
used Belgian Blocks (man-made tumblers) and the lime was
leaching. That was in September and I corrected it with muratic
acid. I live in northern Indiana and have a 13,000 gallon
pond....6'deep all the way around.

I use external pumps so I shut all systems down and put a pond
heater to keep the ice open. Well, I just tested my water and
the nitrates and ammonia are zero; however the pH is deep
blue...well beyond nine. Because I have no water moving in my
pond and I have 28 Koi that are 6-11" I'm afraid to add the
muratic acid.

My fish are dormant and have been for about a month and a half.
Should I put a sump pump in the bottom to circulate the water and
go ahead and add the acid?

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.

Susan Bush



Hi Susan,

Yes, lime from blocks or cement will leach into the pond water
and cause artificially high pH - that's why we like and recommend
pond liners. Muratic acid will reduce the pH, but it will take
some time for the pH to stabilize unfortunately.. Also, be
careful not to alter the pH too rapidly, as fish are very
sensitive to changes in pH, and changing it from a pH of 8 to a
pH of 7 is actually a 10 fold change because the pH scale is

I don't recommend adding a pump to circulate the water because
your fish will be enjoying a slightly warmer temperature at the
bottom of the pond because your pond has different 'thermal
layers' and by circulating the water, you will be making it
colder for them at the bottom by mixing it with the colder
surface water. But you are doing the right thing by using a
de-icer to keep it from freezing over.

A pH of nine is not dangerouse in itself, and the fish can
usually adapt to a wide range of pH as long as it's a gradual
change. The biggest problem with high pH is that that any
Ammonia (fish waste) in the water is much more toxic to the fish
at higher pH. You may want to consider 'sealing' the pond
sometime in the Spring, if that's an option. But eventually, the
lime will leach out and everything will stabilize.

Hope this helps.


Question 2>

Hi Brett

I wonder if you can help me with a query.

Can you tell me when fish stop feeding in the winter.
I live in the UK and winter is setting in with snow and freezing
i stop the pond from freezing over with various
gadgets but am not sure when to stop feeding.
I have carp and goldfish in stock.

Thanks in advance.
Harry King


Answer 2>

Hi Harry,

You should not be feeding your fish in the winter, or whenever
the water drops below 50-55 degrees as the fish cannot digest
food well in colder tempperatures. For more on this topic, see
our Archive of previous pond articles here:

There are a couple articles about this there. Here is one in
particular: https://www.macarthurwatergardens.com/Newsletters/September2004/Cool-water-feeding-guide.shtml

You (and everyone else) can also read through our past 'Pond Q&A'
archves here: http://www.getresponse.com/archive/macarthurwatergardens

Happy New Year Everyone!

P.S. We're hard at work, adding lots of great new pond products
to our Spring line-up! You'll have hundreds of cool new items
to choose from this coming season -- so stay tuned!

Brett Fogle
MacArthur Water Gardens

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


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Posted by bfogle at January 3, 2005 03:38 AM