October 27, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

Today's Pond Q&A

In this issue:




Dear Carolyn,

I enjoyed reading your article in the Water Gardening Magazine
for April-May-June. I am looking to buy a bubble bead filter for
my fish pond. It is a 1,000 gallon pond with 30 goldfish and 10
koi fish. I would like to know your opinion about which of these
filters would be the best for the money.

One company has a Bubble Bead - model BBF-XS2000 and another has
the Aqua Ultraviolet filter (Ultima II Filters). I have heard the
pros and cons of both. Most dealers want to sell me the Aqua Dyne
or Aquabead Filter, which can be very expensive. I was just
wondering which one you use and if you could tell me which would
be the best one to purchase. If you know of a specific dealer
and their phone number, that would also be helpful. Thank you
for your help and expertise.


- Richard Everhart

========== @SK Carolyn =============
Have a pond question? Just send it
in to: Carolyn@macarthurwatergardens.com
and our own in-house pond expert will
try and answer it for you!


The Bubblebead filter I have is a basic "no name" that I bought
from Suburban Water Gardens about 6-7 years ago. Works great. You
should buy a filter for the fish load, not the gallons in the
pond. You also have to have the right sized pump to go with the
filter. I am not keen on either of the low-grade BBF filters you
mentioned. The Aquadyne and Aquabead are excellent middle-priced
filters. Believe me, they can cost much, much more when you get
right down to it. Never scrimp on a filter. Cut costs somewhere

As for the fish load, to have 30 goldfish and 10 koi in a 1,000
gallon pond is asking for trouble right off the bat. I hope you
aren't too attached to the goldfish because you can probably make
it if you only have the koi in that amount of water. At least for

What most people don't realize is that as koi grow they actually
need much more room than you'd expect. Think about one 8" koi
needing 50 gallons of water, but when that same koi reaches 16"
it will need 200 gallons. And when it is 24", it needs 600

So, you can kind of figure where your fish stand in the way of
having enough room. To overcrowd a pond is a ticket to disaster,
if not this year, then surely next. Definitely go for the bigger
filter. Ultima is okay, but don't cheat your pond. You can go to
the MacArthur website at www.macarthurwatergardens.com and get a
bubble bead filter that is right for your pond.

Hope this helps.




We have a 90 gallon solid pond. We have several fish and a
bullfrog .With winter coming ,Is there anything special we
should do with the frog. We have a round pond heater. This is
our 2nd year for the pond but it's only the 1st to have the
frog.I thought that they hibernated in cold weather but with the
pond being a solid liner they only have a small layer of muck
to dig into.We have several plants in pots, would they
hibernate in them? Any info would be appreciated.


- Camille, Mark & Tom



Hi, Camille, Mark & Tom,

Bullfrogs will hibernate in winter, however they do not
hibernate under the water. In nature, they dig into bogs or
sandy areas, deep enough to escape the frozen ground. They can
do the same anywhere in your yard. Perhaps it will dig in next
to your pond considering the pond might be warmer than the
surrounding area, with the heater in it.

As for the muck in the pond, if you care about the fish in
there, you will clean all that out before the winter really sets
in. Bottom grunge is the ideal place for parasites and bacterium
to proliferate, and will feed on your poor unsuspecting fish
through the winter. Not a good thing for the fish. A clean pond
in winter, with two weeks of salt treatment to eliminate most
common parasites, will be the most loving thing you can do for
the fish.

After a thorough cleaning or vacuuming, start adding NON-IODIZED
salt at 1 lb per 100 gallons. If you have plants in the pond,
you may want to remove them. Otherwise, do not add any more than
2lb/100 gallons of NON-IODIZED pond or kosher salt. Add the salt
over a two-three day period and leave in for two weeks. Then do
water changes until all the salt is out. This will give the fish
a great start for the winter.

Certain plants are hardy in up to 3 lbs/100 gallons of salt,
such as lilies and cattails. But others will be burned by the
salt. Check with the local nursery to see how to handle this
with your pond plants. Remember, your plants can carry parasites
too. So putting them back into a cleaned pond might just undo
what good you just did, unless you clean the plants well too. In
fact, frogs are common carriers of parasites. He is the least of
your problems.

- Carolyn

Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens

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

Posted by bfogle at October 27, 2005 12:56 AM