September 29, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

-------------------------------
Today's Pond Q&A

In this issue:

- WHAT SIZE PUMP DO I NEED AND WHAT ABOUT UNDERLAYMENT
FOR A LINER?

- OVERWINTERING GOLDFISH IN CANADA - WILL THE BABIES MAKE IT?
-----------------------------

Question>

Hello Carolyn,

I am getting ready to install a new pond and I am trying to
figure out what size pump I need. I am going to have two
different pools, a lower one and higher one. The lower one is
going to be about 3,000 gallons and the top one (approx. 600 gal)
will have a waterfall 2' wide, that flows derictly into the
bottom one. What size pump do I need?

Another question, I have heard that an old piece of carpet works
fine for a underlayment for the liner. Is this true or will
it eventually start molding and smelling?

Thanks

- John

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Answer>

Hi, Gail,

The old belief was that you should use old carpet or newspaper
for underlayment before putting down the liner, but since then we
found it has attracted rodents and other pests. That led to
holes bitten or dug into the liner! So, my advice on that is to
rake and clear the ground well and forget about the old carpet.
There are companies that make underlayment for liners which are
not rodent-attractors.

As for the pump, you didn't say how much higher the head pond
will be so I can't give you anything like exact sizing for pumps,
but look for one that will turn over 2,000-3,000 gallons an hour.
You will want to find a pump that runs on the least amount of
electricity for the most power so check the amperage. Did you
look at MacArthur Water Gardens website? Plenty of pumps to
choose from there. The secret is to combine the two ponds and
figure on turning over the entire water once an hour. If you are
planning on stocking with koi, think about getting the next size
(bigger) pump and filter. Better safe than sorry!

Did I mention that the water from the bottom pond should feed the
top pond?

- Carolyn

==

Question>

I also live in Canada and have found that we need a depth of 24
inches in order for the fish to survive. My question is will this
years' baby goldfish survive. It seems my mature ones were very
prolific and I now have at least 40 little fry swimming around
right now.

- Susan

==

Answer>

As if in answer to Susan, this just came in from Brian:

I can help you out on this one. Yes they will over winter just
fine if she does the correct preparation. I take 2" Styrofoam SM
and cut the edges to the shape of the shore of my pond. Then I
lay it on top of the water leaving an opening in it for the pond
heater of about 20" across. The hole is larger than the heater. I
then install an aquarium bubbler into the water, fairly high up,
to help gas off any ammonia. By laying the Styrofoam SM on top of
the water, it helps keep the power bill down, as I am not trying
to heat the world, only the pond.

I have done this for 5 or more years now and it works absolutely
fantastic and I have as many as 15 to 20 goldfish in my pond of
all ages.. Don't feed the fish, keep the heater and bubbler
going and your little friends will be just fine in the spring. In
NB they get a lot more snow than we do, so the frost line won't
be near as deep as ours in Alberta. I even heat the smaller
shallow side of the pond with only a trouble light placed in a
small Rubbermaid tub with pea gravel in the bottom to help it
sink into the water, the pea gravel also absorbs heat from the
light bulb and makes a more consistent heat transfer.. There you
have it, some more ideas. Tell Phyllis to make absolute sure
that the opening at the top stays open, they can get huge amounts
of snow there. The snow will help insulate, but may also cause
the hole in the top of the pond to close over.

Happy winterizing.
Brian Champion,
Alberta

Note: Thank you, Brian, and all who responded to the Overwintering
in Canada article!

- Carolyn

==

Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

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

Posted by bfogle at 06:31 PM | Comments (0)

September 27, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

-------------------------------
Today's Pond Q&A

In this issue:

- WATER LILY PROBLEM - SICKLY WITH HOLES IN THEM

- WATER LOSS - AN IN A DAY, SICK FISH, AM I A FAILURE?
-----------------------------

Question>

Live in Idaho lower SW part near Boise, our climate for summer
can get rather hot for just a few days, average temp is 85 in
the summer. Question my pond lilyís look rather sick. I have a
6,000 gal pond, have cat tails, umbrella plants, creeping
jennyís, and various iris all of which are doing great but my
poor lilyís are to be desired.

This spring I did separate from 5 nice large plants to 10 new
plants which all are very sickly looking, holes in the leaves,
and very small. I did add fertilizer in the beginning, is it
too late in the year to add some more?

Our temp this past weekend dropped to 40 at night, so fall is in
the air and winter around the corner. I might add I have gold
fish and blue gill which are doing fine in the pond. Any help
would be appreciated.

Thanks

- Gail McCormack

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Answer>

Hi, Gail,

What I would suggest is to use Microbe-Lift/Ensure to help them
develop the root system. It can be used all year. It is too late
for fertilizer if the lilies are not going to be put in a
greenhouse. It seems there may have been some root damage in the
transplanting. At first I am sure it was shock which would
account for the small leaves. In the spring be sure to
fertilize early. Plants should be fertilized every two weeks
within the growing season, especially lilies as they are heavy
feeders. With the Ensure you won't have to do as much
fertilization. The Ensure works with enzymes to increase the
plants natural ability to utilize the nutrients that are
available in the water to develop the roots and build a stronger
plant. You will also get more consistent blooms.

I don't know what type of media you used to repot them, but I
use either clay or a soilless mix specifically made for water
plants. I can't say whether the holes in the leaves are from
insects or disease at this point. Hopefully it isn't anything
that has infected the crowns.

Clean up the plants and discard any yellow or infected-looking
leaves now. Use the Ensure, and see how it goes.

- Carolyn

==

Question>

Carolyn,

I wonder how many notes like this you must have received over the
yrs...

Iím near the point of giving up on koi, and pond keeping! Iíve
upgraded my pump, my filter system, and removed plants from the
pond. My water is crystal clear, with perfect readings. One fish
committed suicide by jumping out of the pond... This was a
youngish fish, less than one yr old, and it was only a few days
after adding him/her to the pond, so Iím not all that surprised.
I had another ulcer outbreak, with a death toll of one. This is
after cleaning up the water, improved, and using koi-zyme and
medicated food! Now, wks later I see another fish showing signs
of an ulcer forming! trying Proform C, and hoping for the best.

Over the week end I saw a heron flying VERY low across the back
yard. I donít know if it had actually been in the yard or not...
I had just returned home. GREAT!

Now Iím afraid I have a leak in the pond. Where? I HAVE NO IDEA!
I was hoping it was only evaporation causing the water loss, but
the temps have been much milder, even down to the 50s at night,
with highs around 70-75. We even had highs of only 65 over the
week end!! I estimate itís losing about 1/2, to one inch a day...
Give or take.

Granted, I had planned on removing the plant shelf from the pond,
either this autumn, or early spring... But now it looks as though
I may be replacing the whole liner! That of course means a lot
more work than just removing a shelf.

I realize I could be seeing my glass, or pond, as half full
rather than half empty... If Iím going to replace the liner, why
not dig the whole thing deeper... Remove shelf... Add bottom
drain... Upgrade to inline pump... Settle tank... Etc...

I may. At the moment though, Iím feeling this pond, and the
critters in it, are getting the better of me. Iím feeling a bit
defeated. I love my little pond. I love my koi mutts. Iím not
trying to raise show fish, just some pretty things to look at and
feed. I donít like the idea of filling in the hole. I could
always have a waterfall, and lily pond I guess. Then I wouldnít
have to worry about the fish??

Ok, so I know Iím whining. Iím sorry. I just needed to vent a
little. If you have any encouraging words, Iíd love to hear/read
them!

I hope this finds you well, and again Iím sorry for whining.

- George St. Onge

==

Answer>

Hi, George! Great to hear from you again. Whine away. Is that red
whine or white whine, .... maybe a nice cabernet??

Anyway, if you have a visiting heron, that would explain the
ulcers-- they are sores, not real ulcers. Sounds like you are
treating them exactly right.

As for the suicide koi, some fish just seem to want to be
somewhere else. I lost a lovely butterfly bekko in the 90's, very
sad. He jumped out several times and each time I found him before
too late, but alas, eventually if one is trying to end it all one
is bound to succeed in time. Once they are all dried out there is
no return.

The bigger the pond, and the deeper, the more stable the water
temps and the safer the fish will be. this is the answer. I too
have been at the threshold of filling in the pond and growing
grass, but so glad I never actually had to do it. That was the
time I made the decision that I was in this thing so far already,
why back out now? I took out a home equity loan and went for it!
Got the pond I have now. Never looked back.

This past weekend I was swearing up a blue streak when the
dratted skimmer wouldn't catch again. It always loses prime when
I clean out the prefilter basket. Takes me hours to get it going
again. One of these days I will get someone to put a stopcheck
valve on the line so maybe, just maybe, it won't happen again. My
hedges are overgrown because nobody has been available all summer
to help me trim them and they are about 10' tall. Way over my
head. I am learning patience and tolerance, and to be grateful
for what I do have.

The fish are healthy. I got rid of so many of the magoi (basic
black fish) and then they rewarded me by spawning! So there are
just as many as before, nothing gained.

I think rather than bore you further, just stop blaming yourself
for what is happening to your fish. Look at that heron-- string
some monofilament (clear) line back and forth across the pond at
different heights to baffle the bird a bit, maybe enough to make
him want to fish elsewhere. Provide some cover for the fish, and
give yourself a breather. Gotta stop beating yourself up. Dig the
new pond. Whatever you do, just start something, you will start
to feel better.

You are doing great. The water is clear and there is no ammonia,
nitrates or nitrites, right? WHAT AN ACCOMPLISHMENT!

Love you!

- Carolyn

==

Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

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

Posted by bfogle at 06:29 PM | Comments (0)

September 24, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

-------------------------------
Today's Pond Q&A

In this issue:

- HARDY WATER LILIES - DO I TRANSPLANT NOW OR IN THE SPRING?
-----------------------------

Question>

Hello

I have a water lily that I kept from last year by cutting back
the growth in the fall and leaving it submerged in my pond with
the fish and a pond heater. It came out strong this year and
has almost outgrown its container. My question is: Should I
repot the water lily? If yes, should I wait to repot in the
spring or do it in the fall?

Thanks for your help. I really enjoy the pond Q & A.

- Larry

========== @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!
====================================

Answer>

Hi, Larry,

I repot mine in the fall to give them time over the winter to
restore the root system. I use a good planting media (such as
Microbe-Lift rather than soil) and the spring takes care of
itself. I do not add any fertilizer to pots in the fall. Discard
any weak or damaged sections and repot only healthy parts.

Besides, I don't want rotting plant material in my pond over the
winter for parasites or bacteria to start trouble. So, as part
of the normal clean-up program for me, the plants get their
attention too.

- Carolyn

==

Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

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

Posted by bfogle at 06:28 PM | Comments (0)

September 22, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

-------------------------------
Today's Pond Q&A

In this issue:

- WATER CANNAS - CAN THEY LIVE WITHOUT SOIL?

- OVERWINTERING GOLDFISH - LAST YEAR THEY WEREN'T SO LUCKY
-----------------------------

Question>

Do they have to be planted in soil or can they live in just
water? My plants are so large that they have busted out their
container and need a new one, I just wondered if they would grow
in my pond in a container with no dirt.

Thanks,

- Mary

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Answer>

They will do well in either a soilless mixture or pebbles, but
not with nothing to anchor them. They don't need soil. My bog
consists of sand with an overlay of medium sized smooth stones.
They loved it. I had a very difficult time removing them. They
were crowding out the lotus. But they need something to anchor
them or they will blow over, no?

- Carolyn

==

Question>

Last year I left my goldfish in my pond which is 36" deep thru
the winter. The water never froze completely - they made it
through the winter fine, but when it started to get warm the
fish got a milky white cover over their bodies and then died. I
have no place to put them if I take them from the pond because
of their size - any ideas on what happened to the ones last year
so I may make every effort to keep it from happening to my fish
this year?

Thanks,

- Mary

==

Answer>

Sounds like the parasites woke up first. It is impossible to tell
for sure without doing a scraping of a live fish, before it dies,
but my guess is Ick. It can wreak havoc in a spring pond. Or, you
fed your fish on a sunny day not realizing it takes 4 days for
the fish to digest the food. Any undigested food will putrefy in
their system and kill them when they wake up.

In the case of parasites or disease, the fish will respond with
an increased slime coat to protect themselves. This too can
appear as a "film" on the fish. You already said you had plants
in the water and they were in dirt. This is fertile ground (no
pun intended) for overwintering parasites and bacteria. As I
mentioned in my response to your question about the water cannas,
removing any soil will help your fish. Soil borne pathogens are
difficult to deal with in a man-made pond.

This year, by having the pond very clean before the winter and
maintaining cleanliness throughout the winter will be the most
important thing you can do for the fish. Cover the pond to keep
out leaves. Remove any dead vegetation in and around the water.

Overwinter any potted plants elsewhere. (I.e.- Dig a 2' deep hole
next to the pond and drop them in there, pots and all, cover them
with leaves or mulch and repot them in the spring in a soilless
mixture before putting them back into the water.)

Try to put some kind of wind protection over the pond. [I
installed a partial cover, consisting of corrugated plastic
supported by 2x4's stretched across the pond. The plastic was
heavy duty and clear so it made a greenhouse environment in the
north side of the pond, keeping not only the wind off the pond
but increasing the heat from the sun. Worked great. The pond I
have now is almost 7' deep and this is no longer necessary.]
Sometimes all it takes is a wooden wind barrier beside the pond.
You want the sun on and the wind off the pond.

If you are able, use a de-icer on top of the pond for assurance
the water doesn't freeze entirely. We never know what kind of
winter we are in for. And don't feed at all after the water
temperature reaches 50F. No feeding again until the water
temperature is stable above 50F in the spring (probably April or
May.)

- Carolyn

==
Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

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

Posted by bfogle at 06:27 PM | Comments (0)

September 20, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

-------------------------------
Today's Pond Q&A

In this issue:

- CANADIAN WINTERS - HOW TO WINTERIZE THE POND
-----------------------------

Question>

Hi Carolyn

For your information concerning a fish pond in Canada, where it
is really winter.

I live in Gatineau, Quebec and I have a pond which is 4 feet
deep at one end and 5 feet at the other. It is 28 foot long. I
keep my gold fish and my koi there all winter. A friend has a
similar pond and does the same. Keep the pump working, shooting
the water up, but cut the pipe one foot below the surface of the
water. It is going to freeze only if it goes below -30
Centigrade and it will clear when it gets a little warmer. You
can always melt it with hot water as soon as the temperature
climbs higher than -20 C. The pond is ready to be reactivated in
the first days of April. The ice is completely melted on the
first of April due to the current produced by the pump.

I winterize the pond at the end of October. I remove the UV and
the filter and set the pipe for the winter. I have a quick
disconect one foot deep in the water. Always use the swimming
pool type disconnect. They are white, you see them well in the
water and they are easy to operate by hand.

Thank you for your time.

- Normand Allard

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Answer>

Thank you, Normand! I know that goldfish have been known to
freeze and come back to life although I don't know if this is the
exception or the rule with them, but I see you have taken the
precautions to safeguard the koi from that. I also see you have
plenty of wind protection (?) if the pond is not facing the
north, that is.

The idea of running the pump through the winter and cutting the
pipe one foot from the top is a great innovation to keep
circulation and gas exchange viable.

And thank you for the wonderful pictures! There is a lot for me
to learn about Canada! I am going to print this tip so others in
the north can use it to their advantage.

- Carolyn

==

Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

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

Posted by bfogle at 06:20 PM | Comments (0)

September 17, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

-------------------------------
Today's Pond Q&A

In this issue:

- COVERING THE POND - FISH COMMITTING SUICIDE

- PLANTS IN THE KOI POND? - HOW DO YOU KEEP THE KOI FROM
KNOCKING THEM OVER?
-----------------------------

Question>

I live in New Hampshire and have an 1100 gal 8' x 10' oval KOI
pond varing in depth from 16" to 30". Over the winter, I bring
my fish in. We have a walk-out basement, and I set up a 300 gal
rubbermaid stock tank in one corner with windows.

I keep a filter w/UV lite on full time. The water temp drops to
45 F and the fish do fine. I did have a few fingerlings that I
missed in clearing the pond late last Fall, and they survived
the winter outside. the inside tank will need to be covered with
a net or lattice work to keep the fish from jumping out (lesson
learned the hard way).

- Dave Skidmore

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Answer>

Thanks for sharing that with us, David. Yes, the choice to
bring fish in or leave them out is an individual choice, but
there is no choice as to covering the tank. Koi will jump.
Sorry you had to learn the hard way.

There are other variables that determine a fish's capacity to
remain outside- depth of the pond is just one. The surrounding
area and some sort of buffer from the wind is a great help to
many ponds. Those in open spaces do not do as well as those
enclosed in some way by either buildings, rocks or close
trees/woods on the north side.

When your fish become too large to transport to the basement,
you may wish to think about constructing either a larger, deeper
pond, a protective shelter, or heating the pond.

PS- the smaller fish seem to jump farther and quicker than the
big, fat old ladies and gents of around 30-35".

- Carolyn

==

Question>

Dear Carolyn:

Your answer was music to my ears, and something I have been
considering for several years, but since my pond was an
aquascape designer I was very reluctant to do what you have
advised. Your entire explanation makes an enormous amount of
sense. I spend hours just keeping the pond clean.

One additional question if you got time. I have numerous water
plants in my pond. How do I anchor these plants so the Koi
don't knock them over, or the pond soil in the pots don't come
out of the pots? I now have them anchored with rocks, but of
course dirt and algae grow on these rocks. but not real bad.
I try to keep at least 60% of my pond in plants, and that appears
to keep the pond pretty clean and clear.

Thank you for your advice and your time. I will continue to buy
my products from Macarthur supplies.

- Ed. Williams

==

Answer>

Thanks for the feedback. In an Aquascape system, there is place
for floating plants in the waterfall which can take care of the
nitrate load. But these ponds were made to look natural and
that can't happen without plants.

My suggestion is to put your plants in the floating island
planters and Pond'Toons that use hydroponics rather than dirt to
support the root systems. MicrobeLift makes a planting medium
that is soil less also and would not contribute to the dirt in
the pond.

Koi will be koi and they will upturn plants that are not
protected either by a fence or securely fastened. They will
reach up out of the water to eat the plants and this will topple
over the best prepared pots. My suggestion is not to use soil
in any pots that go into a koi pond.

Any of the soil less mixture that lands on the bottom can be
vacuumed up without polluting the water.

- Carolyn

==

Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

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

Posted by bfogle at 02:41 PM | Comments (0)

September 15, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

-------------------------------
Today's Pond Q&A

In this issue:

- ROCKS IN THE POND - SHOULD I LEAVE THEM OR TAKE THEM OUT?

-----------------------------

Question>

I have a 1,000 gallon pond. I have several Koi in my pond and
they are doing fine. My question is next spring when I will be
cleaning the pond and was informed that all the small rocks in
the bottom of the pond should be removed since all they do is
gather muck. I was told this is a Aquascape system, and that
most pond builders recommend that small rocks not be placed in
the bottom of the pond.

I have a thick rubber lining, and I have large stones that would
fit nicely in the bottom of the pond forming some type of
decoration, and it would make it easier to vacuum out any muck
and sludge.

What is your advice as far as removing these small stones next
year?

Thank You,

- Ed. Williams

========== @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 immediate attention!
====================================

Answer>

Hi, Ed,

I wish all my questions were this easy!

I say remove the stones, by all means. But don't replace them
with large ones. Leave the bottom uncluttered. That will make
cleaning even easier and you will be able to see dirt as it
collects. Even large rocks will collect some dirt around its
base. And no dirt is good dirt in a pond.

The Aquascape system works beautifully, but it relies on a
service person coming once a year to do the thorough cleaning.
I mean, to really blast the crud out of it, which is something
most homeowners are really not prepared to do on their own. In
about 18 months, if not done, the system would crash and there
would be a fish kill.

I know people who have this type of system and have invested in
heavy-duty power washers and holding tanks for their fish so
they can do the work themselves every spring. I guess you just
have to know which type of person you are. Are you the type
that wants to be up to their eyeballs in the pond or the type
that wants to come home from a days work and enjoy their pond?
Do you have the time and desire (and strength, which I have not)
to do all that work? Do you have the resources to hire someone
to do the work every spring?

If so, by all means leave the stones in the bottom of the pond.

- Carolyn

==

Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

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

Posted by bfogle at 02:40 PM | Comments (0)

September 13, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

-------------------------------
Today's Pond Q&A

In this issue:

- ROCKS IN THE POND - SHOULD I LEAVE THEM OR TAKE THEM OUT?

-----------------------------

Question>

I have a 1,000 gallon pond. I have several Koi in my pond and
they are doing fine. My question is next spring when I will be
cleaning the pond and was informed that all the small rocks in
the bottom of the pond should be removed since all they do is
gather muck. I was told this is a Aquascape system, and that
most pond builders recommend that small rocks not be placed in
the bottom of the pond.

I have a thick rubber lining, and I have large stones that would
fit nicely in the bottom of the pond forming some type of
decoration, and it would make it easier to vacuum out any muck
and sludge.

What is your advice as far as removing these small stones next
year?

Thank You,

- Ed. Williams

========== @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 immediate attention!
====================================

Answer>

Hi, Ed,

I wish all my questions were this easy!

I say remove the stones, by all means. But don't replace them
with large ones. Leave the bottom uncluttered. That will make
cleaning even easier and you will be able to see dirt as it
collects. Even large rocks will collect some dirt around its
base. And no dirt is good dirt in a pond.

The Aquascape system works beautifully, but it relies on a
service person coming once a year to do the thorough cleaning.
I mean, to really blast the crud out of it, which is something
most homeowners are really not prepared to do on their own. In
about 18 months, if not done, the system would crash and there
would be a fish kill.

I know people who have this type of system and have invested in
heavy-duty power washers and holding tanks for their fish so
they can do the work themselves every spring. I guess you just
have to know which type of person you are. Are you the type
that wants to be up to their eyeballs in the pond or the type
that wants to come home from a days work and enjoy their pond?
Do you have the time and desire (and strength, which I have not)
to do all that work? Do you have the resources to hire someone
to do the work every spring?

If so, by all means leave the stones in the bottom of the pond.

- Carolyn

==

Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

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

Posted by bfogle at 08:00 PM | Comments (0)

September 10, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

Funniest Pond Stories - Part II

Hi Folks,

Brett Fogle here. Thanks to our 4 finalists who submitted their
stories.

The votes have all been tabulated and the winner announced.
In case you missed it, just surf on over to

http://www.macarthurwatergardens.com/FunnyPondWinner2005.html

to read the winning entry.

Thanks to everyone who submitted their stories... my muscles are
still recovering from the laugh fest.

So hurry on over to

http://www.macarthurwatergardens.com/FunnyPondWinner2005.html

and exercise your funny bone!

- Brett

-------------------------------
Today's Pond Q&A

In this issue:

- OVERWINTERING IN CANADA - WILL MY GOLDFISH LIVE?
-----------------------------

Question>

You have really helped me out through my first summer with a
pond.

Now my question is I live in New Brunswick, Canada and my pond
is 6 x 10 x 18 in. deep fiberglass with a black liner inside,
should I drain it after I take my gold fish out or leave some
of the water inside?

Could gold fish survive with a heater?

Thanks you very much for all your help.

- Phyllis

========== @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!
====================================

Answer>

Hi, Phyllis,

Actually goldfish could survive if the heater keeps the water
from freezing, but if you have a blackout and lose power for a
few hours, that could cost you the fish. Suggestion? Take them
inside and don't worry about the pond.

If the sides are tapered (slanted out) the freezing water won't
break the fiberglass form, but if they are straight
(perpendicular), you should put tires or balls in it to absorb
the swell of the ice, should you leave any water in it.

Even if you empty it, can you be sure it will stay empty? With
normal precipitation it should fill to some extent. In New
York, where I live, I have an 18" frost line, therefore if my
pond is deeper than that fish can overwinter without worry of
freezing.

I would bet your frost line is deeper than mine.

- Carolyn

==

Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

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

Posted by bfogle at 07:59 PM | Comments (0)

September 08, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

-------------------------------
Today's Pond Q&A

In this issue:

- CALCIUM MONTMORILLONITE CLAY - IS IT ANY GOOD?

-----------------------------

Question>

Dear MWG, I've been told by koi breeders that MicrobeLift
calcium Montmorillonite clay is derived from sewage sludge
and is ineffective (termed "monkey dust").

Is this true?

Regards, Steve Hayden

_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
Pond Filters, Pumps, UV's and More...
Discount Prices at Our Online Store!
http://www.macarthurwatergardens.com
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

Answer>

Hi, Steve-

Not true, Steve.

Healing clays have traditionally been used for internal
detoxification ( digestive system and liver ), trauma injuries,
skin conditions, organ and elimination system stimulation, and
localized immune system stimulation and support.

The name Montmorillonite comes from the valley in France where
this particular clay originated.

The value to the Koi has been proved in its healing powers to
the internal organ functioning and the white colors, texture and
overall health of the fish. It has a secondary benefit of being
a flocculent, and eliminating suspended matter from the water.
Thus you have healthier fish and cleaner water.

Healing clays are not just important to Koi, however, and are
used by humans in a vast array of homeopathic remedies,
cleansing masks, salves, even taken internally for good health.
The Montmorillonite Clay used in Microbe-Lift products provides
added minerals which help stimulate immunity against viruses
commonly found in pond environments and acts as a toxin binder
by neutralizing metabolic toxins.

I can assure you that it is not derived from sewage sludge and
can't imagine why a koi breeder would say such a thing. Most
breeders advocate for use of these clays under a variety of
names, such as Refresh, but they are made of the same basic
clay to do the same job.

In Japan, Koi are raised in clay ponds and are have the best
color and health you can get. We can only hope to imitate
it. You can obtain the research data from Ecological
Laboratories, Inc. in Cape Coral, Florida on the Microbe-Lift
products, and I assure you it is well prepared and very
beneficial for your koi.

Note: I have used this product in my own pond for many years
with great results. I make sure to throw a dose into the pond
a day before I am having guests to polish the water. The fish
are fed clay-dusted food at all times. My fish are never sick.
It speaks for itself. Seeing is believing.

Perhaps the breeder wanted you to buy his brand? Or someone's
pulling your leg.

- Carolyn

==

Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

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

Posted by bfogle at 02:16 AM | Comments (0)

September 03, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

-------------------------------
Today's Pond Q&A

In this issue:

- BATHING BIRDS - WILL THIS HARM THE FISH?

- ALBINO CATFISH - CAN THEY WITHSTAND WINTER
TEMPERATURES IN ONTARIO?
-----------------------------

Question>

Hello Carolyn,

My question is this, I have a small pond with a waterfall, all
very nice, The Blackbirds and Sparrows keep bathing on the
waterfall, Is this OK or will any problems arise from them
bathing, i.e. any bugs from the birds falling into the pond.

If this is a problem, how do you suggest I keep them away?

Regards,
Malcolm Hills

_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
Pond Filters, Pumps, UV's and More...
Discount Prices at Our Online Store!
http://www.macarthurwatergardens.com
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

Answer>

Hi, Malcolm.

I do not see the birds as a problem to the health of your fish.
At least as far as their bathing, that is. The only problem
comes from their droppings and there is, unfortunately, no way
to prevent bird droppings from entering an outdoor pond.

There are some precautions you can take, such as bird netting
over the pond, but it may take away from the appearance. If your
filter is working and is charged with the nitrifying bacteria,
you should not have anything to worry about. The bird poop will
be handled by the filter in the same manner as the fish poop.

The birds to worry about are the predatory ones, like heron and
egrets. But a blackbird should pose no problem.

- Carolyn

==

Question>

Hi Carolyn:

Just wondering if you know anything about Albino
Catfish? We have 2 of them in our pond - doing great.

What I need to know is if they can take the winter or do they
have to be moved to a tank indoors over the cold spell?

We live in Southern Ontario.

Thanks,
Connie

==

Answer>

Hi, Connie-

I have had albino catfish myself and they did not do that well in
New York winters. Mine lasted about two years, but the second
year the winter was terrible. The fish didn't make it.

I believe if you have enough depth to the pond to create the
thermal inversion, with the warmth at the bottom, or use a
floating heating element in the pond if it is a smaller pond, the
fish might be alright. Mine was a small pond and I probably was
not able to offer proper protection at the time.

You need to decide whether you have the depth to prevent
fluctuations in temperatures, if the fish is large enough to
sustain lower temperatures, if the pond is large enough to offer
frost-free areas, and if the fish is in good health before going
into the winter.

These are the criteria that will determine whether the fish
should remain outside or be brought in.

- Carolyn

==

Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

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

Posted by bfogle at 02:14 AM | Comments (0)

September 01, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

-------------------------------
Today's Pond Q&A

In this issue:

- MOOR GOLDFISH

- WINTER IN OR OUT? OVERWINTERING FISH THE FIRST YEAR
-----------------------------

Question>

I have a very small pond and in it, in addition to a few other
fish, I have a black Moor (the kind with the very bulging eyes).

This morning when I went to feed the fish, I could see that one
of his eyes is missing! He has the normal bulge and eye on one
side of his head, and no bulge whatsoever on the other.

He obviously got hurt somehow, but I can't imagine how he lost an
eye. Could one of the other fish have done something to him
(comet, shubunkin)? I guess I should note that he may not be a
he, because I have babies, but I'm not sure who the mother is.
Although I don't think it is the Moor, because the babies don't
have the Moor body shape (although a few are completely black).

So I guess I have a couple of questions:

1) If the Moor is the mother, could it have gotten hurt so badly
during the spawning process that it lost an eye?

2) Did the eye likely get knocked all the way out, or might it
have been absorbed into the body if it was merely damaged? He
llooks so strange with only a huge bulge on one side!

3) Do I need to worry about the Moor not surviving without an
eye? It seems to be eating and swimming around okay.

4) When fish of different varieties mate, how does the coloring
and body shape get determined? Some must be dominant over others,
I guess. For example, if the Moor isn't the mother or father, is
it usual for the other fish, who are completely patchworked
white/orange/black, to have some offspring that are totally
black?

Any help you could give would be appreciated!

Thanks
Diana Rochester, MI

========== @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!
====================================

Answer>

Dear Diana,

I am not an expert on fancy goldfish but did have some Black
Moors at one time. I will try to answer these questions, but
again, they are just my best guesses.

1) It could have happened during spawning, yes. Sometimes
spawning is so rough that the fish are killed and that I can say
from experience. I would imagine the protruding eyes would be a
jeopardy for a Moor in a community pond.

2) I donít believe the eye could contract so my guess is the eye
was knocked out completely. And eyes donít grow back. Can you
live with it as it is?

3) Fish have lived with serious damage for many years. Look at
our own amputees. We do fine.

4) A little history of goldfish breeding: they are born black and
lose the black later on. It was through selective breeding that
those fish were developed as they are now and who knows what you
might get by letting them breed on their own. Some might revert
back to the native carp and some might be really special. But
they donít always follow the colors of the parent fish unless you
bred two of the same type together.

But you might want to forward this to my friends in the Mid-West
Koi and Goldfish Club for more insight. I was attending a show
last week and spent time visiting the fancy goldfish tanks. This
guy knows what he is talking about. The fish were amazing. You
can go to the website for yourself www.goldfishpages.com

- Carolyn

==

Question>

Hi Carolyn!

I really enjoy you pond q and a's. There's alot of good
information there.

My question is this. My pond is a small one, appr. 250 gallons
and is on average about 6 feet in diameter with the deepest part
appr. 3 feet in diameter and about 16 inches deep, the rest
being a shelf appr. 6 inches deep. Do you think my fish would
survive the winter outdoors or should I bring them inside for
the winter? I live in northeastern Ohio. I've heard they would
and wouldn't survive so as you can guess, I'm pretty confused.

By the way, this is my first year with my first pond, so I need
expert advice. Thank you very much for your help.


- Mike Malcuit

==

Answer>

Hi, Mike.

I lean toward bringing them in. I say that because you are a
novice and you would have to use some sort of heating element or
de-icer to keep the pond from freezing solid. It is too shallow
for your area. It would have to have something to keep an area
open even if it were deeper for the exchange of gases, but in
this case, the ice would encase the fish and that would be that.
If you were to have even a couple of hours power outage, and a
winter like we had last year, the pond would be frozen and the
fish would be dead. Hopefully you will have sufficient housing
for them indoors this year. Better safe than sorry. By next year
you will have much more knowledge.

Have you joined a club in your area yet? It is always a good
idea to get the knowledge of a good club to get you started.

- Carolyn

==

Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

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

Posted by bfogle at 02:13 AM | Comments (0)