August 18, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

Funniest Pond Stories - Part II

Hi Folks,

Brett Fogle here, and I want to know your story!

Last year we ran a contest to see who could send in the funniest
pond story to share with our readers, and it was such a big
hit... We're going to do it again!

To read last year's article, click the link below.
http://www.macarthurwatergardens.com/Newsletters/funniest-pond-stories.shtml

So this year we're looking for some even funnier stories, which
will be published in an upcoming issue of PondStuff! our
(sometimes) monthly pond and water gardening newsletter.

The winner of this year's 'Funniest Pond Story' as judged by our
9,000+ readers will win a $50 gift certificate to use when
ordering on our website!

$50 goes a long way towards fish food, a replacement UV bulb,
some Algae Fix -- or whatever you need for your pond... So go
ahead and send in your funniest pond story to me directly at
brett@macarthurwatergardens.com.

If you have pictures, great! Send those also. Please also put the
words 'Funniest Pond Story' in the subject line. (Please send
these to us by this Sunday, August 21st!)

For everybody else, look for these to be published in this
month's issue of PondStuff!

Happy Pondkeeping

Brett Fogle
MacArthur Water Gardens
800-695-4913

-------------------------------
Today's Pond Q&A

In this issue:

- OVERWINTERING (FROG)

- FILTER CLEANING
-----------------------------

Question>

Carolyn,

I live in Massachusetts (zone 5) and I will be winter over my
fish (goldfish & koi) and hardy lilies, marginals this year for
the first time. I plan to have a Thermo Pond heater in the pond.

I recently found I have frog living in the pond, will he survive
since I plan to clean the bottom of the pond he will have no
place to "bury" himself?

Can you recommend any articles/web sites about prepping for
winter.

Thanks!

Bill Ross

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Answer>

Hi Bill,

The Thermo Pond heater is good for winter and I have heard of
frogs overwintering in protected ponds before, but no, he
wouldn't have anyplace in ANY pond with a liner to dig in for
winter. In fact, I hope there aren't any ponds with that much
debris on the bottom. That would be a case of mistaken
priorities because in order for the frog to make it, perhaps the
fish wouldn't.

Frogs don't necessarily stay in the water in winter. They tend
to find soft ground near or under the pond. Many will travel to
find suitable winter digs. If they were born in the pond, they
sometimes come back.

As for preparing for winter, you are already half-way there with
the heater. Clean the pond and stop feeding before the water
temperature hits 50F. As the temperatures hit 60F, cut out the
high protein foods and drop it down to one feeding daily. Then
when it is 55F, feed every other day. If you have any way to
block the wind and weather for winter, that would be a plus.

In case of power outage, keep an opening in the ice by using hot
water instead of trying to forcefully break the ice. Otherwise,
cut off any waterfall or above-ground water supply to the pond.
I would keep the filter circulating. Moving water doesn't freeze
as easily.

And don't forget, we do water changes during the winter also,
whenever weather permits. Literature can be obtained from many
of the pond supply dealers and koi clubs.

- Carolyn

==

Question>

Hi Carolyn,

In the waterfall I have 3 sheet of filter material weight down
by 2 backs of Bio Balls. In the skimmer I have a submergeball
pump connected to the same 2" pipe as the Dragon pump so the one
pump pushes the water toward the Dragon pump and the Dragon pump
pulls the water the reason I did these is because the distance
from the skimmer to the pump is about 20'.

The Dragon pump pumps the water through the aqua beads filter
back to the waterfall. I find that in 2 weeks time the filter
mats in the waterfall are very dirty and I thought that all the
mess would stay in the aquabead filter, witch is cleaned every
week and it looks like it does not have a lot of poop in it.

I have about 30 12" koi in the pond and feed them about 3 times
daily their is never any food left they eat it all. The water in
the pond is very clean that is no problem just that I bought the
aquabead filter so I didn't have to clean the waterfall every
time.

I don't have a prefilter vortex settling chamber only a leaf
trap on the pump. I do have an airblower on the aquabead filter
and I run it for about 3 minutes before I backwash. After
cleaning the filter etc. the water runs good over the waterfall
but in about a week it get less and less than I have to clean
again.

Hope this information will help solve the problem.

Thank you,

Bim

==

Answer>

Okay,Bim, I think I see the problem.

You are filtering the pond to perfection! However, the food is
going in one end (of the fish) and out the other. The mats are
excellent in picking up any debris and so is the filter.

When you think about all that filtration, you may want to think
about what you are filtering exactly-- fish poop. So, the more
you feed, the more you will collect. The mats have to be
"backwashed" by hand versus the filter which is easier.

Would you say your pond is overstocked? These are the things that
contribute to a drain on the filter system, not to say that an
outdoor pond won't collect debris naturally that can in itself
fill up those mats in a week's time. But if you cut back on the
amount of food, maybe in half, you should start to notice a
difference. When koi eat, not having a stomach to digest food,
it is literally pushed in one end and out the other. Sometimes
less really is more, as in this case.

Another thing, you will probably be able to get away with one
filter mat after the pond ecosystem is established. Do you use
Microbe Lift to help break down debris?

- Carolyn

==

Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

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

Posted by bfogle at August 18, 2005 12:02 PM
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