November 28, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

Today's Pond Q&A

In this issue:




Hi Carolyn,

I live in Ohio, just across the western PA line. I also have a
savio skimmer in my pond, and we leave water in the skimmer all
Winter. I'm not sure of the dimensions of the pond, but it's
approximately 1100 gallons. I have two de-icers tied together
right in front of the skimmer, and didn't have any problems
last year (thank God!).

Also, I put about 5 lbs. of pond salt in the Spring and left it
because I was told it was a good stress reliever, and that you
should put 5 lbs. per 1000 gallons. How would you go about
taking the salt out?

We removed the pumps, filter media, clarifier and fountain
yesterday, and put the leaf net on. It's a good thing too
because we had our first frost this morning. Also, I learned
from your site to store the pumps in water when they're not in
use. We leave ours in a bucket in the basement. I thought
Barbara might need to know how to store the pumps too.


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Hi, Denise,

Salt does not evaporate, so the only way to remove it is to do
water changes. This is the reason I personally do not recommend
using salt unless one has built some sort of collection drainage
for the salt water. We wouldn't want to water our lawns or
gardens with salt in any concentration. And considering that
these are not salt water fish, or even brackish water fish, the
salt shouldn't stay in the pond more than three weeks. So that
presents a problem for newcomers. In time, it all makes sense.

Salt is a healthy addition to the pond because it relieves
stress on the fish. it also kills 9 out of 12 of the more
common parasites at .3% concentration. Math is not my strong
point, so I am not going to go any further with this. But to
remove salt from the pond, do 50% water changes until it is
gone. You can do 50% daily. The time to add salt to a pond
would be either spring or fall, but remember the 3-week
recommendation, then the water changes will restore the clean
natural balance to your pond.




My issue is that I cannot keep my Koi from eating my water plants
before they have a chance to grow. How can I ensure that the
plants become mature enough before they are eaten? The floating
leaves are a huge missing link to another wise very nice looking

Thank you.



Hi, Wim,

The primary difficulty is the mixture of plants and koi. Many
people want a water garden and then as an afterthought add koi,
because they are lovely fish. But koi are not water garden fish.
Koi are destructive fish and belong in a large pond with no
rocks, no plants, and heavy filtration. That is the basic
difference between a water garden and a koi pond. I think you
need to either decide which you want, or build a second pond.

Many people have been very successful in keeping koi without
giving up the beautiful water plants by using a two-stage pond.
They build one pond overflowing into another. One holds fish
and the other plants. Good luck.

- Carolyn

Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens

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

Posted by bfogle at November 28, 2005 02:15 PM