November 14, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

Today's Pond Q&A

In this issue:





I have just put water into my pond (4'x8'x3') today with 2 small
fishes. I have a filter/pump and a Tetapond UV filter. I plan to
put 1' of small crush granite at the bottom of the pond after
testing for any water leak. My filter has bead filters inside
the container. My question is will the stone at the bottom of
my pond also act as bead filters since it has a large amount
aggregrated surface area?


- Kam

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Hi Kam,

I'm not sure how much biological conversion you will get from
the rocks on the bottom, but you will be collecting a lot of
debris. I am not in favor of rocks on the bottom for that reason.
If a pond is equipped with rocks on the bottom, it also has to
be power washed annually to remove all the crud that will build
up. If you have not already dumped the rocks in, please rethink
it. It would be much better to increase the size of the filter.
Plus, the sides of the pond will become part of the filtration
in time, so the rocks are not necessary for filtration. They
will not help.

- Carolyn



My name is Tony and I live in Staten Island,New York. When i was
winterizing my pond today I noticed small 1/4 to 1/2 inch
leeches in my filter. My pond is approximately 1,400 gallons.
What can I use to kill the leeches without harming my koi and
goldfish? I caught a few fish and they appear healthy and leech
free. Thank you for your time.

- Tony Fasano



Hi Tony

There are about 4 types of leeches. Helodelalas are light gray
and small, less than 1-2" long. These leeches attack snails.
Erpobdellas are dark brown or even black and up to 4" long. their
primary targets are water bugs, frogs and fish. They are probably
found in most, if not all ponds. The other two types are
Macrobdellas and Haemopsis leeches. The Macros are greenish with
red and black spots and suck the blood of betebrates, are up to
10" long and normally found in the northern US and Canada.

The American medicinal leech is a Macrobdella. The Haemos are
large, up to 18", mottled gray and feed primarily on dead and
live invertebrates, and can travel over land! But more than
likely, what you are dealing with is the Erpobdella leech. They
are seldom a significant problem and most pond owners will find
them in their filters if they use filter matting and care to look
for them.

The simplest cure is non-iodized table salt, kosher salt, rock
salt or snow-melting salt. Make sure it is sodium chloride and
not another salt. Use 2lbs. per 100 gallons and most plants won't
be affected by the salt at that dosage. After 2 weeks, do 50%
water changes until the salt concentration is less than .1% or
1lb/100 gallons. When treating plants, dip them in a salt
solution for an hour or so and then wash them free of eggs and
othe signs of impending trouble (1% or 10lbs/100 gallons.)

You could also use Jungle Labs Parasite Guard which contains
salt, Dimilin and Trichlorfon. This will do the same job but
won't hurt plants. You can also use potassium permanganate, but
be careful to use as directed.

- Carolyn

Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens

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

Posted by bfogle at November 14, 2005 02:03 PM