December 21, 2005

Muck and parasites in winter pond

Q.>
I have two ponds, one about 2000+ gallons and the other 3000 gallons, live on Long Island NY. Stopped feeding my fish, since the temperature went below 55 degrees. Within the next few days will stop my waterfalls and only keep my air bubblers on, first, it will supply oxygen and will stop it from freezing. Last winter I had the smaller pond going with an air bubbler, it never froze, air always had come out, to make sure, I poured some hot water over the area and when the snow melted, noticed it was all OK. To mention I used the PONDMASTER AP-20 it only uses 20 Watt my cost for it was $69.00. Laguna has one for halve the price, uses about 18 Watts, but does not look any thing as PONDMASTER as per housing and overall appearance. I like to pass this on to fellow pond friends, stay away from the expensive heater ring, with this years energy cost, will cost you a good penny. I have a question, my ponds are in depth over 40 inches, I know some debris settled at the bottom, but my catfish, which I have in it, besides koi and gold fish, love to winter in it. What I like to ask is, doe parasites survive cold waters, in this muck? by adding salt from time to time, which would kill parasites, do I need to do a water change after? Since my plumbing is disconnected. Thanks for listening to me and by the way, it is great, what you send us this Q and A, I print most of them and keep a folder good stuff, keep it up. PS, with an air pump going all year throughout, you can keep a few extra fish in your pond and don't worry about over populating, a good filtering system and a lot of oxygen, will remove most of the ammonia.

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A.>
I too live on LI, so I am familiar with the winters here. First, thank you for the info on the bubblers. We all need to be energy conscious right now. I also found a 200-watt de-icer that I am going to try this winter instead of the 1,000 watt I have been using.

Your question about the muck and parasites: Yes, parasites are still alive and active in cold temperatures and do thrive in the muck layers of the pond. So it is not advisable for fish in a dormant state to share the same quarters with them over the winter months. As for salt, it is effective in parasite control for 9 out of 12 of the most common troublemakers, but salt will not dissipate. Therefore the only way to remove it is by doing water changes. If you continued to add salt you would eventually have too much in there without removing some. I personally don't advise leaving fish in salt all winter. It's just my personal opinion. There are others who do. I believe if you keep salt in the pond you will wind up with salt-resistant parasites too. My advice is to clean the bottom of the pond before the really bad weather sets in. It does not benefit the fish in any way. You can use another type hide-out for the fish, such as flower pot on its side or 4" diameter PVC pipe. They have KoiKastles that you can buy and fish love, that give them a sense of privacy and security in winter.

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Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

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

Posted by bfogle at December 21, 2005 02:20 PM
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