December 14, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

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Today's Pond Q&A

In this issue:

- HEATED POND - WHAT IS BEST TEMPERATURE FOR YEAR ROUND?

- WATERFALL - LEAVE IT ON IN WINTER?
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Question>

Hi Carolyn,

Your Q&A's are great. I learn something every time I read them.

I have about a 1800 gallon pond and it is heated, it has both Koi
and Goldfish. My question is: what is the temperature you
should try and maintain the pond year round? Last summer and
winter I kept it between 73 and 70 This summer I kept it between
68 and 65 and plan to do so all winter. I live in Reno NV so the
winters can get cold, also at night I put four large pieces of
cut-out 2" thick insulation on top of the pond and cover the
small openings with pieces of bubble wrap to help keep the heat
In.

Also I feed the fish the same year round is that OK? I haven't
been able to find anything regarding heated ponds.

Thanks

- Rebecca

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Answer>

Hi, Rebecca,

The primary reason you haven't read anything about heated ponds
is that they don't follow the rules of other ponds. All the rest
go by seasonal water temperatures. You will go by water temps
too, but the temperature being constant, so will your fish care.
The rules of feeding, for example nothing under 50F, wheat germ
foods between 51-65F, and high protein between 66-85F water
temperatures. Just remember, consistent is the key word and
that it takes the fish four days to eliminate the food they ate
today, so if the temps are going to drop in the next three days,
it could be a problem, such as a power failure in a real cold
spell. I think that is the reason I never heated my pond.
That and the fact that I am cheap. But it sounds like you have
a nice system there.

Let me say something about heated ponds and year round feeding.
The fish will grow twice as fast but may live half as long. As
they can outlive most of us, that shouldn't be a big problem if
they only live as long as we do instead of twice as long. What
you have there, with the heated pond, is an entirely different
fish hobbyist "culture". There are lots of heated ponds, and
indoor winter ponds and outdoor summer ponds out there that you
haven't heard about, but rest assured, they are there! Just
monitor the water temps and do according to what you learned. I
would think temps around 70-75 should be good for them year
round, if possible. (With the cost of heating today, they could
do with less.)

It's important to keep up the bacterial additives and water
changes, filter maintenance, and all the other summer chores as
long as the fish are active. You do use Microbe-Lift, don't you?

-Carolyn

==

Question>

Hi, Carolyn,

Thank you for your response. So you say the ideal temp for them
is between 70 and 75 year round correct, but can be lower if
needed. The initial cost of installing the heating system was
high, but now it has only increased my heating bill by about $50
to $100 a month, well worth having them to enjoy all year round.

The answer to your question is yes, I use Microbe-Lift every two
weeks, Alge Fix every week, and on the alternate week of don't us
Microbe-lift I use Eco Fix. I do a 10% water change every week
or a 20% every two weeks. I also check the water once a month on
PH, Oxygen, Nitrate-rite etc.... It seems to keep things clear
and healthy. When I first started I had a problem with
parasites.. ick (infected new fish hard lesson on that one) and
the only thing that really helped it was a salt treatment, which
I now do every spring. Question. In the Winter I obviously do
not run my larger water fall (about 3' high), but I have a
smaller one (about 1' high) which I run 24/7. I also have a pump
in the skimmer that runs 24/7 that puts a stream out under the
high water.

Question is, is it better to have the water flow closer to the
surface or closer to the bottom of the pond . I also have a
small oxygen pump that runs 24/7 Hope you don't mind I have
attached three photos that were taken in the spring of my pond.

Thanks for your help... Rebecca

==

Answer>

Hi, Rebecca,

I love photos! Thanks for sharing your beautiful pond with me.
As for the waterfalls in winter, I have friends with Aquascapes
ponds that keep theirs going 24/7,and since yours is heated, I
would suggest keeping the one closest to the water running. Not
sure what you meant about closer to the bottom. Did you mean
you have a return jet at the bottom of the pond? Not sure that
would work because it would just keep stirring up debris. I
have a winter drain and return, mid-water, but I don't use them.

I stopped using them because on warmer winter days when the
fish are up and swimming around, still dopey from the cold, they
tend to swim into my filters and then can't find their way out
again. I lost a couple like that. I would keep the water flow
closer to the surface of the pond. That should work. And the
aerator should not be on the bottom either. Place it just below
the surface.

- Carolyn

==
Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

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

Posted by bfogle at December 14, 2005 02:16 PM
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