April 24, 2005

Sand Filters vs. Bead Filters

Here is today's Pond Q&A, with questions about filters and winter feedings..

But first, some more readers reviews of 'The Scarecrow'


It works! So far. I received the scarecrow yesterday and immediately set it up. This morning Mr. Blue Heron came in for a landing in my pond and the little scarecrow creature went crazy and Mr. Heron flew away.

He landed on my neighbor's roof and pondered the situation for awhile. Then tried it again. Little scarecrow went crazy again and Mr. Heron had had enough and flew away.

The only down side is that the scarecrow sprays joggers and cars, too. I may get kicked out of the neighborhood...




Billy Newman


Now on to today's Q&A...


HI THIS IS ANA in Pt. Charlotte Fl

Please Help me, what is the difference between a sand filter and a microbead filter? I am in a rush, cause my dad wants a sand filter and I don" think that is the right kind.

Thank you Ana in Pt charlotte



Well Pat, let's just say that 'Sand' Filters are great for swimming pools, but terrible for ponds. In pools, they work effectively to 'polish' the relatively clean water by filtering it through very small granules of sand. Add some fish waste and other organic waste to the equation, and you've got yourself a mess. In ponds, they clog quickly, require almost daily backwashing, and can also grow anaerobic bacteria (smells like rotton eggs).

Bead filters, on the other hand, were designed specifically for fish hatcheries and ponds. A Bead filter provides excellent biological filtration, due to the large cumulative surface are of the beads for colonizing beneficial bacteria, and they are also excellent for polishing the water without clogging easily. They are also easy to backflush, easy to maintain, and easy to use. In short - we love 'em!

Bead Filter Trivia

Who knows what University invented the first 'Bead Filters' for use in commercial fish hatcheries? Send in your guess to us at info@macarthurwatergardens.com. Winners will receive a complimentary copy of our ebook 'Water Garden Secrets' ($37 value). We'll announce the right answer next week. ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

For more information about our Aquabead biological bead filters, please click here: http://www.macarthurwatergardens.com/Aquabead/Aquabead_Filters.html



Hello First of all i love your Q & A's. I cant tell you how many of my questions/concerns have been answered just by reading these. I live in western Pennsylvania. The change of seasons in this area are so extreme that today could be 75 degrees and sunny and tomorrow is 45 degrees with rain.

I know not to feed the fish (1 koi, 2 comets/shubunkins and 10 new babies) after the water temp drops to 50 degrees. But my water temp changes as often as the air temperature. My question is if the water temp fluctuates should I still resist the urge to feed them until Spring? This is the first winter that I wlll have left the fish outside. Thank you in advance. Kim Ladasky, Pittsburgh PA.



Hi Kim, thanks for your compliments.

Ok, well it really depends. You wont necessarily harm them by feeding them a little here and there, just use your best judgement. But you definately don't want to give them a 'feast' right before a cold spell. Again, fish don't have stomachs and the good enzymes that digest their food are less present in cooler temperatures, so excess food can actually rot in their gut if they are feed too much when it's cold.

So, a 'light' feeding sporadically would be fine untill it cools off, but then again - they will survive just fine without it.

Hope this helps..

-- Happy Pondkeeping!

Brett Fogle

Posted by bfogle at 03:03 AM | Comments (0)

April 12, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

Dear Pond Owner,

Here are some interesting comments and suggestions from some of our readers this week:

First off, this reader has a natural and effective solution for getting rid of aphids. Last week, another pond owner had written in about a problem he was having with aphids on his lilies - so if you ever have a problem, here's what you do...


"Several years ago I came across a homemade remedy for aphids that is the best I have found. The recipe is quite simple and safe.

Put a pinch of Chewing Tobacco in a pint of warm water and let set overnight. Do not cover.

Mix 2 Tablespoons tobacco juice and 1 Tablespoon Listerine in 32 ounce spray bottle and fill with water. Add 2 drops of dishwashing soap. Be sure and add soap last.

Spray on any of your pond plants as needed. This has never hurt any of my fish or plants."

Sharon from Oklahoma


*Scarecrow Solutions*

"Our Scarecrow works wonders keeping opossums, raccoons and squirrels from our fish and pond plants.

We too became frustrated at being doused when we forgot to turn off the sprayer, but we have the solution! The hose from the Scarecrow is attached to an automatic sprinkler solenoid. The output from the solenoid's transformer is connected to an X-10 relay (Smarthome.com or RadioShack) that allows easy on/off control by a push-button remote control transmitter.

The ultimate control is via an X-10 timer which automatically turns the Scarecrow relay on at 6PM and 10PM so that the pond is not left unprotected if we forget to turn it back on after turning it off for feeding, etc. The system has been in place for 6 months, and works like a charm.


Thanks for the comments folks...

You can learn more about the scarecrow here:

If you have any pond-related tips or suggestions to help keep your fellow pond owners, feel free to send them in. Since it's almost winter for many parts of the country, and since many people can't really enjoy their ponds right now - why not spend some time learning more about them?

Happy pondkeeping!

Brett Fogle

Posted by bfogle at 05:23 AM | Comments (0)