December 21, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

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Today's Pond Q&A

In this issue:

- WATER REFILLS IN WINTER - CAN I USE THE WELL WATER?

- FEEDING IN WINTER - I LIVE IN LAS VEGAS, IS IT SAFE TO FEED
HERE?
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Question>

I live in a suburb of Chicago so we are in Zone 5 and I live in
an unicoroporated area so we have well water. I have an
Aquascape pond which we dug ourselves and we keep the pond and
waterfall running all year long which was suggested by the
Aquascape people. Also have a unit in the pond to keep an air
hole so the gases can escape.

My husband has made it so when the water level is low in the
summer due to evaporation the water automatically comes on in
the skimmer and fills it to the proper level and then shuts off.

My problem is in the winter time all the outside water is shut
off (forgot to mention that the water that goes into the pond is
directly from the well) so in the winter we have to carry out
buckets of water from the house to replace the water that has
frozen so the pump can keep on running and not burn out. There
is no problem when the ice melts as my husband has built an
overflow valve so I won't lose any fish that way. I have 4 koi
and 1 goldfish and a baby that was born this summer and
survived. I have one faucet that is directly hooked up to the
well so I can water my inside plants as we have a water softner.

My dilema is can I use the water that is processed through the
water softner which has salt added to fill the pond when it gets
low. I can use the direct faucet but it takes so long to fill
the buckets because it does not have the pressure like the
regular faucets.

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Answer>

I believe water softening salt is non-iodized, so it is safe for
the fish. I don't think it should be at any dangerous level
that would build up in the pond, so why not use it? Did you say
you water your plants with this water? If so, it cannot be
enough salt to be of any consequence at all. Salt and plants
don't mix. In fact, the salt can be beneficial for the pond and
fish by increasing their resistance to the cold and maybe even
kill off any parasites, if the salt level ever reaches
noticeable ranges.

==

Question>

HI there, I live In Las Vegas, so do not have to worry about
freezing. I quit feeding when my water temp hit 50, and it's
stayed pretty consistently at 50 (49 - 51 ) since. Was I right
to stop the feeding, even though the fall and spring food
package I have says it's OK to feed down to 42?
I love reading all the questions and advice you give - please
keep up the good work.

========== @SK Carolyn =============
Have a pond question? Just send it
in to: Carolyn@macarthurwatergardens.com
and our own in-house pond expert will
try and answer it for you! Write POND in the
subject line for quick response!
====================================

Answer>

You were right. However, if the fish look for food, I don't
think it is as harmful to feed once or twice weekly, small
amounts, if the temperatures in your area don't go below that.
But I would only consider feeding at all if they are actively
searching for food. This is why it's difficult to have "one
rule for all" because we all live in different environments and
have to be able to adapt to our own pond needs. The scary thing
is that if I were to tell you to go ahead and feed, and somebody
in Wisconsin read that they would think I said to feed in
winter. Go figure. I presume in your area the winters are
brief, so fasting will not harm the fish at all. Let the fish
be your guide in warmer climates.

==
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 02:17 PM
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