November 26, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

Today's Pond Q&A

In this issue:




I am rather new to water gardening and have an over wintering
question regarding some of my plants. I live in Michigan where
we have 6-8 inches of ice on our pond during the worst of
winter, but submerge the plants below the ice level.

I am in hopes you can help me out determining if they will
survive the winter in my pond...or not.

The plants I have are;

Variegated 4-Leaf Clover
Canna Plant
Hardy Lilies
Tropical Lilies
Parrots Feather
Forgot Me-Not / Blue

Best Regards,

Cameron Graham

========== @SK Carolyn =============
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Hi, Cameron,

Some of the plants will overwinter, but not all. The lotus
should make it if the bog is deep enough (at least 2-3'). The
hardy lilies and forget-me-not will do fine. But the parrot
feather, tropical lilies, and papyrus will definitely not
overwinter in northern climates unless they are in a greenhouse.

If the canna is a regular canna, not a hardy water canna
(Thalia), it will have to be brought indoors and can be
overwintered in the basement, dormant, in a paper bag. I am
not sure about the 4-leaf clover. I would ask someone in a
local nursery about that.




I live in northwest Indiana and have a 125 gallon pond. I have
taken the fish out for the year pulled the pumps and filter out
drained out about half of the water and refilled it put in about
3 cup's of pond salt and covered the pond with a pond
netting,also I put in a blue dye called night shade.

My 3 questions are:

1. What chemical's should I put in for the winter and will they
help with the algae in the spring?

2. I have noticed a green ring starting to form around the sides
of the pond will the winter chemicals eliminate it?

3. I use algae fix and eco fix and accua clear in the spring
thru the summer for water clarity and algea control and have had
some success. I have heard of a product called pond zyme. Will it
take the place of any of the chemicals that I use?



Okay, question number one: if you are maintaining the natural
balance in the pond, meaning water to fish ratio and the required
plants, you should have a good handle on algae already without

I have to ask a question- why did you add salt to the empty pond
after you brought the fish indoors? My guess is for algae, but
salt isn't going to kill algae and any parasites in the pond will
become immune to salt by spring. So you didn't gain anything
that I can see.

Question #2: what winter chemicals? You need to understand
that algae is a plant. It is ubiquitous. It will be here long
after you and I are gone. It has a purpose in a pond. If you
know the purpose it serves, you can find a substitute that you
like better. For instance, instead of trying to kill it with
chemicals, you could try increasing the amount of plants in your
pond. (Desirable plants.) 125 gallons is quite small and if
you have more than 6 goldfish in the pond, you are overstocked.
Then, if you are feeding those fish and any food settles to the
bottom or goes into the filter, that adds to the bio-load and
feeds the algae. Still with me?

Okay, then if you have less fish, less food, or more water, you
can have less algae without chemicals. Another thing you can do
is increase the filtration and maintain it rigorously. Or build
a bigger pond for the same amount of fish you currently have. I
use natural bacteria in my pond to achieve a healthy balance,
not chemicals. Chemicals will kill the algae, but like any dead
plants, this will again fuel another algae bloom. Dead plants
in a pond (even if they are the tiny algae plants) still have to
be broken down!

Question #3: Like I just said, forget the chemicals to kill the
algae. Add some healthy bacteria to balance the pond and leave
it alone. I use Microbe-Lift/PL. But please keep in mind all
the other things I said here because there is no one thing you
can add to the pond to cure your problems unless you are willing
to make a few lifestyle changes.

- Carolyn

Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens

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

Posted by bfogle at November 26, 2005 02:13 PM