October 23, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

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Today's Pond Q&A

In this issue:

- AMMONIA - HOW DO YOU BRING IT DOWN?

- FROGS - HOW CAN I HELP THEM OVERWINTER?
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Question>

Hi Carolyn,

I have a 600 gallon pond with about 10 fish. I am having problem
keeping the ammonia level where it should be. The guy at the pet
store told me to add baking soda to bring it down and it does but
it doesn't stay. I have to keep doing this.

Please help.

- Brenda in S.C.

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Answer>

Hi Brenda,

You didn't say how big these 10 fish are, or what type. The fish
are the ammonia producers in any pond, so if they are producing
too much, maybe you need to stop fueling them. The less you feed
them, the less ammonia they will send into the water. Baking
soda isn't a cure for ammonia. It is a buffer for pH. If your pH
is not stable, or is high, and then you have ammonia spikes, you
could lose your fish.

My suggestion is to do up to 50% water change today. You can do
that again tomorrow if needed. Use some dechlorinator before
adding the new water to prevent poisoning the fish with chlorine
or chloramine. Cut back on feeding (or stop for a few days) and
do water changes. Test your water every day and see how it goes.

-Carolyn

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Question>

Hi Carolyn,

I have a question that I hope you can help me with. This past
spring I purchase some tadpols and of course they have changed
to cute little frogs. I would like to know if they will survied
the winter months. My pond is two feet and never have had any
problems with my fish in the winter. I also would like to know
what the frogs eat in the colder weather. they're getting very
big and I would like to know if there is any special care that
they require. I also would like to know how I can clean my pond
in the spring and how to catch the frogs as they move quit fast.
Hope that you can help me! I also want to let you know how much
I enjoy your news letter with questions and answers.

Thank you

- Wilma

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Answer>

Thank you, Wilma!

Frogs will overwinter in the dirt and sand around or near the
pond, not really in the pond. I have had them drown in my pond,
but the majority will live and breed in your pond next spring.
Frogs, like the fish, do not eat over the winter months. They
will also become dormant, safe under the elements. They live on
earthworms, sowbugs, ants, spiders, and any bugs they can find
whenever they wake up. They are rapacious predators and probably
the most desirable additions to a woodland garden in the way of
pest control. They dine during the evening when pesky mosquitos
are most active.

When you clean out the pond in spring, any frogs in there won't
be living, so they won't be a concern. It is very important to
clean the pond bottom, in fall as well as spring, because the
fallen leaves are where the parasites and bacteria (bad guys)
will colonize throughout the winter and will prey on your fish!
So, please don't leave anything in the bottom of the pond for the
tadpoles/frogs. You will be pleasantly surprised at how large
your frogs will be by next year.... you will hardly recognize
them! Leave them alone. They are fine without human assistance.

- Carolyn

==
Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

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

Posted by bfogle at October 23, 2005 12:52 AM
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