November 28, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

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

In this issue:

- SALT IN POND - HOW DO YOU GET IT OUT?

- PLANTS - HOW CAN I KEEP THE FISH FROM EATING THEM?
-----------------------------

Question>

Hi Carolyn,

I live in Ohio, just across the western PA line. I also have a
savio skimmer in my pond, and we leave water in the skimmer all
Winter. I'm not sure of the dimensions of the pond, but it's
approximately 1100 gallons. I have two de-icers tied together
right in front of the skimmer, and didn't have any problems
last year (thank God!).

Also, I put about 5 lbs. of pond salt in the Spring and left it
because I was told it was a good stress reliever, and that you
should put 5 lbs. per 1000 gallons. How would you go about
taking the salt out?

We removed the pumps, filter media, clarifier and fountain
yesterday, and put the leaf net on. It's a good thing too
because we had our first frost this morning. Also, I learned
from your site to store the pumps in water when they're not in
use. We leave ours in a bucket in the basement. I thought
Barbara might need to know how to store the pumps too.

Thanks,
Denise

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Answer>

Hi, Denise,

Salt does not evaporate, so the only way to remove it is to do
water changes. This is the reason I personally do not recommend
using salt unless one has built some sort of collection drainage
for the salt water. We wouldn't want to water our lawns or
gardens with salt in any concentration. And considering that
these are not salt water fish, or even brackish water fish, the
salt shouldn't stay in the pond more than three weeks. So that
presents a problem for newcomers. In time, it all makes sense.

Salt is a healthy addition to the pond because it relieves
stress on the fish. it also kills 9 out of 12 of the more
common parasites at .3% concentration. Math is not my strong
point, so I am not going to go any further with this. But to
remove salt from the pond, do 50% water changes until it is
gone. You can do 50% daily. The time to add salt to a pond
would be either spring or fall, but remember the 3-week
recommendation, then the water changes will restore the clean
natural balance to your pond.

-Carolyn

==

Question>

My issue is that I cannot keep my Koi from eating my water plants
before they have a chance to grow. How can I ensure that the
plants become mature enough before they are eaten? The floating
leaves are a huge missing link to another wise very nice looking
pond.

Thank you.

==

Answer>

Hi, Wim,

The primary difficulty is the mixture of plants and koi. Many
people want a water garden and then as an afterthought add koi,
because they are lovely fish. But koi are not water garden fish.
Koi are destructive fish and belong in a large pond with no
rocks, no plants, and heavy filtration. That is the basic
difference between a water garden and a koi pond. I think you
need to either decide which you want, or build a second pond.

Many people have been very successful in keeping koi without
giving up the beautiful water plants by using a two-stage pond.
They build one pond overflowing into another. One holds fish
and the other plants. Good luck.

- Carolyn

==
Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

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

Posted by bfogle at 02:15 PM | Comments (0)

November 27, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

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

In this issue:

- ENLARGING THE POND - ADD ON OR BUILD BIGGER?

- HIS & HER PONDS - SHE WANTS TO KNOW ABOUT pH AND OTHER THINGS
-----------------------------

Question>

Hi Carolyn,

Love reading your question and answer e-mails. They are a big
help to a novice pond keeper like myself!

Here's my question. Last year I had a pond installed in my back
yard. Everyone told me "go big, you can never have one too big".
Well I thought at the time that the one I was having installed
was big enough. (approximately 500 gallons).

As it turns out I am not satisfied with the size and want to go
at least double the size.

Is it possible to enlarge an existing pond? I have plenty of
space in my yard.

I'm not sure if you can "fuse" the existing liner to a new one or
not?

Thanks,
Gail
Rochester, NY

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Answer>

Hi, Gail,

There are some problems associated with "fusing" liners, mainly
leaks. It is nearly impossible to seal without leaks. So, why
not do side-by-side ponds or use the present one as a quarantine
pond? And take it from me, 1,000 gallons still isn't enough if
you have any koi. I would check my pocketbook and go as high as
I possibly can, even to borrow for now, because in the end it
will save you putting in yet another pond when you run into the
same situation next year. Ponds really are contagious. Five
hundred gallons was a nice start! My present pond is 15,000, 7'
deep, and still looks too small to me. But I could have saved a
whole lot of money by just putting in this one in the first
place. So could you.

-Carolyn

==

Question>

Hi Carolyn,

I have 2 questions for you and I hope you dont mind.

I'm wondering about the proper size of filter I should use for my
pond?

My husband bought me something that has a fountain thing and a
bottom tray like set-up where there are 2 sheet like things -one
for fine filtering and the other for coarser stuff in the water.I
wash out the gunk that collects on these sheets every 3 or 4
days. It's kind of a pain!

I worked so hard to make the pond all by myself and it is 12 feet
by 5 feet and 26-28inches deep.

How do i compute the gallons? It is oval shaped. The water was
getting cloudy and I thought maybe the filter my husband got for
me is not doing the job. He was putting in some powder stuff
which helped clear up the water.

I have 3 small koi and a bunch of chabunkin babies-they are like
comets but black and orange. There have been a ton of frogs -
where do they all come from anyway?

The leaves on my water hyacinths plants were getting all yellow
and ugly> My husband says that is from all the frogs urine. Is
that true? Should I be checking the ph-?

My husband has his own pond-which is huge (a friend of his helped
to dig it out with a bulldozer like thing) but he has a very
expensive system to clean the pond and his water is always clear.
We actually have a total of three ponds.

Do you think we should put all the fish in the deepest pond for
the winter? The deepest pond is about 3 feet deep.

Sorry-more than 2 questions.

Thanx Carolyn.

- Dummy first time pond creator, Karen Oconnor

==

Answer>

Hi, Karen!

Wow, his and hers ponds! What a concept!! As for the frogs,
they were in the area anyway and just decided to drop in, as a
matter of fact. They apparently liked your pond best. The
hyacinths are not turning yellow from frog urine. So you can
smack your husband for that one. He's pulling your leg. Probably
the fish are eating the roots, causing the plants to suffer.
Bad for the plants, but good for the fish.

If your frost line is not over 24" you can probably just leave
your fish in the pond where they are.

I don't think the filter you have is enough for that pond. When
buying a filter, it's best not to buy according to how many
gallons, but to size according to the amount and size of the
fish. With those fish, especially koi, they will outgrow that
filter quickly. To figure the amount of water in a pond,
multiply the width by the length (of a rectangular or oval pond)
by the depth in feet. Then multiply that by 7.5 to get the
gallons.

If the pond is more of a circle than a rectangle shape, you
would figure out the radius (half the diameter), multiply that
by itself, and multiply that by 3.14 which will give you the
area. Then to get the gallons, multiply the area by the average
depth, times 7.5.

All in all, the only true way to know how many gallons is to
empty it and start again, with a water meter! I know this is
confusing, but when you have to medicate sick fish you have to
know how many gallons are in the pond.... exactly.

Next question, it is more important to test for ammonia, nitrite
and nitrates than pH. You should be testing for these
regularly, if not daily, especially considering this is a new
pond. You can use Microbe-Lift/PL to help get the pond balanced
to start with. I highly recommend it. And this time of year, you
can use the Autumn Winter Prep. And no feeding after the water
temperature goes down to 50F.

Come next spring, you will have as nice water as your other
ponds. But the pond is new and has to go through the adjustment
stages. Start shopping for a new filter though, preferably one
that is easier for you to clean. After all that work, you
deserve it!

- 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 PM | Comments (0)

November 26, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

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

In this issue:

- POND PLANTS - WHICH ONES CAN OVER WINTER?

- ALGAE - HOW DO YOU KILL IT?
-----------------------------

Question>

I am rather new to water gardening and have an over wintering
question regarding some of my plants. I live in Michigan where
we have 6-8 inches of ice on our pond during the worst of
winter, but submerge the plants below the ice level.

I am in hopes you can help me out determining if they will
survive the winter in my pond...or not.

The plants I have are;

Lotus
Variegated 4-Leaf Clover
Papyrus
Canna Plant
Hardy Lilies
Tropical Lilies
Parrots Feather
Forgot Me-Not / Blue

Best Regards,

Cameron Graham

========== @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 quicker attention.
====================================

Answer>

Hi, Cameron,

Some of the plants will overwinter, but not all. The lotus
should make it if the bog is deep enough (at least 2-3'). The
hardy lilies and forget-me-not will do fine. But the parrot
feather, tropical lilies, and papyrus will definitely not
overwinter in northern climates unless they are in a greenhouse.

If the canna is a regular canna, not a hardy water canna
(Thalia), it will have to be brought indoors and can be
overwintered in the basement, dormant, in a paper bag. I am
not sure about the 4-leaf clover. I would ask someone in a
local nursery about that.

-Carolyn

==

Question>

I live in northwest Indiana and have a 125 gallon pond. I have
taken the fish out for the year pulled the pumps and filter out
drained out about half of the water and refilled it put in about
3 cup's of pond salt and covered the pond with a pond
netting,also I put in a blue dye called night shade.

My 3 questions are:

1. What chemical's should I put in for the winter and will they
help with the algae in the spring?

2. I have noticed a green ring starting to form around the sides
of the pond will the winter chemicals eliminate it?

3. I use algae fix and eco fix and accua clear in the spring
thru the summer for water clarity and algea control and have had
some success. I have heard of a product called pond zyme. Will it
take the place of any of the chemicals that I use?

==

Answer>

Okay, question number one: if you are maintaining the natural
balance in the pond, meaning water to fish ratio and the required
plants, you should have a good handle on algae already without
chemicals.

I have to ask a question- why did you add salt to the empty pond
after you brought the fish indoors? My guess is for algae, but
salt isn't going to kill algae and any parasites in the pond will
become immune to salt by spring. So you didn't gain anything
that I can see.

Question #2: what winter chemicals? You need to understand
that algae is a plant. It is ubiquitous. It will be here long
after you and I are gone. It has a purpose in a pond. If you
know the purpose it serves, you can find a substitute that you
like better. For instance, instead of trying to kill it with
chemicals, you could try increasing the amount of plants in your
pond. (Desirable plants.) 125 gallons is quite small and if
you have more than 6 goldfish in the pond, you are overstocked.
Then, if you are feeding those fish and any food settles to the
bottom or goes into the filter, that adds to the bio-load and
feeds the algae. Still with me?

Okay, then if you have less fish, less food, or more water, you
can have less algae without chemicals. Another thing you can do
is increase the filtration and maintain it rigorously. Or build
a bigger pond for the same amount of fish you currently have. I
use natural bacteria in my pond to achieve a healthy balance,
not chemicals. Chemicals will kill the algae, but like any dead
plants, this will again fuel another algae bloom. Dead plants
in a pond (even if they are the tiny algae plants) still have to
be broken down!

Question #3: Like I just said, forget the chemicals to kill the
algae. Add some healthy bacteria to balance the pond and leave
it alone. I use Microbe-Lift/PL. But please keep in mind all
the other things I said here because there is no one thing you
can add to the pond to cure your problems unless you are willing
to make a few lifestyle changes.

- 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 PM | Comments (0)

November 25, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

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

In this issue:

- TURTLES - HOW CAN I BEST FILTER THEIR POND?

- BOTTOM DRAINS - REMOVING ROCKS AND CLEANING THE BOTTOM - HOW?

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

My Name Is Liz:
I live in Austin, Texas.

And my question is: I have a 220 gallon pond (prefab-black
plastic). I don't have fish in my pond I have "turtles." I'm
doing pretty good with it but I would like a filter system to
keep my water clear and clean, so when I go out to feed them I
can look down to the bottom of the pond and see them swimming
around. I have about 23 of them ranging from quarter size to one
a basket ball size. I even have a couple of frog's who reside in
and around my pond. I even have the turtles breeding and laying
eggs. I hope I can have clear and clean water with the proper
filter. I understand turtle are very messy. However I like
sitting in my swing or looking out my patio door and just
watching them. Please help.

Thank you
"Live turtle rescuer"
I pick them up off the sides of the roads from being road kill.
I even have a three legged turtle and one who has a hole in
it's shell.

Liz

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Answer>

Hi, Liz!

One of my dearest friends has an amazing 40,000 gallon turtle
pond and he started the same way! To try answering you
questions, yes, turtles need a lot of filtration. And you have
a lot of turtles in that small pond. So, I recommend you dig a
big hold beside the pond for a filter. Use concrete blocks to
form a filter area about 3-4x the size of your pond, line it
with rubber liner and use (for now) a submersible pump in the
bottom of your pond to bring everything into this new filter.
Line the filter with pads, lots of them, and make it so you can
flush it out often.

You can install an outlet hose from the outside of the filter to
drain the water, or put a pump inside the filter to pump out the
dirty water at least once a week. The more water flow, and
aeration, the better. Cover the filter with boards or plastic
to keep the turtles out of it and keep anyone from falling in.
You can keep an opening in the filter to float some plants. In
the pond, the turtles will eat all the plants, no matter how you
try to protect them. Use Microbe-Lift/PL to help keep the pond
clean naturally and kick-start the filter process. Good luck and
let us know how you make out.

- Carolyn

==

Question>

Hi Carolyn,

I hope you don't mind me emailing you so much. I think I really
goofed yesterday.

Being that I am semi disabled I called the people that built my
pond to help me winterizing it. Well they know less about ponds
than I do.

When I got home they had drained the pond 100% and were digging
out all the gravel and mud that they put in 3 years ago. My 20
koi were in a big cattle tub. I put in aerators right away and
they are not floating yet so this must be OK so far. I will
start filling the pond today when they are done cleaning the
mess they started. Will add chemicals to get rid of the chlorine
and heavy metals. When should I put the koi back in the pond?

Should I wait until it is full 14000 gallons or when there is
about a foot of water or so?The temperature is in the 40's and
is expected to go up today and tomorrow. I told them not to
power wash the sides but they are scrubbing them with a stiff
brush, against what you told me about the koi getting nutrition
from the alge that is present.

Thanks

- Joe

==

Answer>

Yikes! Were you able to stop them?

It is good to get the dirt and rocks out of the bottom of a
14,000 gallon pond, but you should wait until the pond is full
again to put the fish back. I say "yikes" because the scrubbing
they are doing is removing the bacterial layer which is actually
part of your good natural filtration. That is the difference
between a "new pond" and an established one. Ergo, new pond
syndrome...

You should tell them to leave the rocks out of the pond this
time. It will be so much easier to maintain and keep clean. As
long as the temperatures are 50 or below, you don't have to
worry about koi eating. They can do without. In fact, looks
like they will have to....

Don't worry about them, they are more resilient than you think.

- 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 PM | Comments (0)

November 24, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

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

In this issue:

- SHARK-LIKE ALGAE EATERS - CAN THEY INTERBREED WITH GOLDFISH?

- MOVING FISH IN COLD WEATHER - WILL IT HARM THEM?
-----------------------------

Question>

Perhaps you're the one who will be able to answer this question
for me.

I have a small pond, about 6' by 12' by max. 18 inches deep, in
upstate SC, gardening zone 7a.

2 years ago I purchased 2 red comets and 2 shubunkins. Last year
I asked the local dealer for an algae eater fish of some sort,
and got something the guy called a "chinese shark" but he said
it's not really a shark, just called that because it looks like
one. it cost about $20 for a 4 inch fish.

It's mostly brown, with some white near the head. He mostly lurks
near the bottom, and seems to be a bottom feeder (as should be
expected if he's really an algae eater.) He does not come up to
feed like the others do.

Last year I had spawn from my comets and shubunkins, but none
appear to have survived. I'm guessing cannibalism. However, this
year I have about a half dozen fry, about 3-4 inches long, brown
in color, and shaped seemingly more like the "shark" than the
goldfish.

Do you have any idea what this shark is, and whether he/she could
have mated with the goldfish, which is apparently what has
happened?

Oh, and the fry come up to feed with the goldfish. Or did my
goldfish fry from last year turn dark? Some were light last
summer.

- Loey Krause

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Answer>

The only sharks I can find are tropical fish, some are colored as
you described and herviborous, however they also eat smaller fish
and would not interbreed with other species. I can't say for
certain, bur seriously doubt that these two breeds have
interbred.

If the fry should happen to be shark babies, then perhaps the
shark was already mated before you bought it. sometimes a fish
can breed one time and remain pregnant for life, although if that
is true in this instance I can't say. As for the goldfish, they
tend to start their lives as black fish, gradually losing the
black color as they become gold or red adults.

It is also possible that the light colored fish you saw last year
were eaten by the shark and these are not the same fiish this
year. I looked through all the books I have on fresh water fish
and that was the closest I came to finding a shark-like bottom
dwelling fish. If it is a catfish it will eat the other fish in
time. Perhaps you might check again with the shop from which it
came to get more information.

-Carolyn

==

Question>

I plan to build a larger pond and move my three koi. I've
waited late in the season to start, and may not have the new
pond finished until December or even January. I sit dangerous
to the fish to move them in cold weather. The old smaller pond
did not freeze solid last year, we are in Virginia, although it
did freeze over and the fish were inactive. Can I move them
when they are in their inactive, not eating phase of midwinter?

==

Answer>

It is not necessarily dangerous to move them at this time,
however it depends upon where you move them. If they are moved
to a warmer spot, then they will not be able to reacclimate to
the cold weather until next year. They will need to remain in
the warmer place.

It is probably best that they are not eating, as it will keep
the temporary holding tank from becoming ammonia toxic, the fish
will be easier to catch and handle, and will be less stressed in
the long run. You still need to take the precautions of putting
a net over the top of the container and I recommend salting the
tank. Use the same water from the pond, and put that water back
into the new pond to start off. Good luck.

- Carolyn

==
Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

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

Posted by bfogle at 02:12 PM | Comments (0)

November 23, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

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

In this issue:

- MICROBE - LIFT / AUTUMN WINTER PREP USAGE 8 PLANTING
MEDIA - HOW DO I USE IT AND WHERE DO I GET IT?

- POND VACUUMS & SALT - DO THEY REALLY WORK?

- PH - HOW DO I TEST FOR THIS?
-----------------------------

Question>

I would like to use the Microbe-Lift Autumn Lift Pond Additive
but can find no indication of how much to use. I don't want o
order it until I know how much. Also, where on the site can I
find the planting medium?

- Joy
East Fallowfield, PA

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Answer>

Hi, Joy,

MacArthur Water Gardens carries Microbe-Lift/Aquatic Planting
Media if you want to check the website or call the 800 number.

ML/Autumn/Winter Prep is a four month application. The quart
size comes with 1 quart of liquid and 2 water soluble packets.

The directions on the side of the box:

Size of pond 1st Application 2nd App. 3rd App. 4th App
80-200 3oz 4oz 5oz 6oz
201-500 5oz 6oz 7oz 8oz

Note: simply toss into your pond 1 water soluble cellulase enzyme
pack during the 2nd month's application.

Size of Pond 1st Application 2nd App 3rd App 4th App
501-1,000 6oz 7oz 8oz 9oz
1,001-5,000 7oz 8oz 8oz 9oz

Note: simply toss into your pond both water soluble cellulase
enzyme packets during the 2nd month's application.

-Carolyn

==

Question>

Do pond vac really work? Can I expect to draw the bottom grunge
up with any of the choices out there? As to the parasites and
bacterium. I have already changed out the water for the winter.
I have a 4500 gallon pond. So if not salt, is there another way
to treat the pond?

- Mike

==

Answer>

If you have been able to clean the pond to some extent, you can
use potassium permanganate to exterminate existing parasites.
Then you can use LymnoZyme to maintain an Aeromonas &
Pseudomonas-free pond. I believe the regimen is a 6-week
application, but check the label. Potassium Permanganate is a
two-part treatment and what I particularly like is that if the
fish show any signs of stress when using it, all you have to do
is throw in some Hydrogen Peroxide (which practically everyone
has in their medicine closet) to reverse and neutralize the
effects instantly.

- Carolyn

==

Question>

Thanks for your response.

What is the best method to check the PH of the water?

- Mike

==

Answer>

You can get a test kit that measures pH, nitrites, and ammonia,
and will cost around $20-30. It's something everyone should
have in their closet, and test weekly, if not daily. pH isn't a
problem unless the ammonia is high, then it can be deadly. Let
me say that pH is something that has to be "stable" no matter
what the reading. If it is going up and down, it's not too good.
It's not good to try to instantly fix it either. Any rapid
fluctuation of pH can hurt fish.

- Carolyn

==
Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

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

Posted by bfogle at 02:11 PM | Comments (0)

November 22, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

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

In this issue:

- LEAKS - HOW TO REPLACE THE LINER AND NOT LOSE THE FISH

- POND PLANTS - CAN I OVERWINTER THEM?
-----------------------------

Question>

After four years of having a pond with a water fall, I've noticed
the depth of water has decreased over the past couple weeks.
I've added water, only to have it decreased again. Since we are
going into winter I figure I should wait until spring to fix the
problem. I do have Koi and goldfish, and a few snails. How do I
house my fish to empty and replace the liner??

The Koi are as old as our pond. We would love to keep our Koi and
not start over!

I have learned alot with these Q&A emails. Sure hope you can
help.

Thank you

- Linda

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Discover the tips and secrets of the professionals... New eBook
covers all important elements of pond building and water
gardening -'Water Gardens Made Easy' is availabe now. Click here
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Answer>

Hi, Linda,

Many of us have great success in using kids pools for temporary
holding ponds. Pump the pond's water into the pool to fill it,
put the fish in, then cover with a net to prevent any jumping
accidents. Set a filter up on this temporary pond. Then when
all is done, pump that water back into the pond so you will have
some "aged" water to start off with instead of 100% new water.

-Carolyn

==

Question>

Hi Carolyn,

Thank you and your fans for so many interesting and informative
subjects that are offered for the Q&A.

My question is about moving plants inside with fish.

After much deliberation, we decided that we would have more
problems winterizing our pond and bog than moving the fish
inside.

They now live in an 8’ (across) x 2’ stock tank in our garage.
Initially I was going to move our 5 water lilies into buckets,
but when I pulled them out of the pond they had outgrown the pots
I transplanted them to during the summer. I cut them all back,
divided them, in some cases, and discovered that the roots were
covered with black gunk -- which I hosed off – removing the roots
that easily fell away, repotted them in washed pea gravel and
water garden “media,” with one tablet of lily food, and they
are growing back quickly. We had a real problem with string
algae. This is our first year with a bog, lined pond and fish --
it has been an “interesting” summer.

I put the pots along one side of the tank and the fish really
enjoy them. I have seen your reference to plants wintering over
with fish and don’t want to ask for trouble and am now wondering
if the plants should be removed, as I would hate to jeopardize
the fish. We have only goldfish now, but they have controlled
our lives this past summer. They have a bio falls (one that has
a bag of light weight material with two mesh pads below the bag
that we clean weekly), and one aeration brick. We do a 15 minute
water change weekly, but the water is still green (same as it was
in the outdoor pond).

I look forward to reading your thoughts.

Thank you,

- Donna Browne from Colorado

==

Answer>

Hi Donna,

I think the plants will do alright in the pond indoors if there
is adequate sunlight (or simulated sunlight equal to what they
had outdoors). Plants are different than fish when brought
indoors. But if I remember right, we might be talking about
annuals, such as water hyacinths, that I spoke about before.
Those are a different story than potted plants. The hyacinths
tend to die, but potted lilies should make it through. Not sure
if we are talking about lilies, or whether tropical or hardy,
but if they start to look like they are not going to make it,
with leaves turning yellow, then I would suggest removing them.
It would be helpful to suspend fluorscent light fixtures about
6-12" above the water, with grow-lux bulbs, to help both the
fish and the plants survive the winter indoors.

- Carolyn

==
Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

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

Posted by bfogle at 02:10 PM | Comments (0)

November 21, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

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

In this issue:

- PLECOSTOMUS OR COON? WHO'S EATING THE FISH?

- SICK FISH - PARASITES OR KHV?
-----------------------------

Question>

Question concerning your remark about the catfish; does
that include Plecostomus? We have two growing Plecostomus
in our pond and have also had several of our fish go
missing, although we seem to have reproduction going on at
a slow rate (3-4 little fish at a time).

At the time of the disappearance, we thought it might be a
raccoon, and since we installed an 8' gate across the
courtyard with the 8' rock walls we have had only one go
missing. The fish that disappear are always large and
colorful, never the little guys. What do you think? Coon or
Plecostomus?

Tom Ballou
Canyon Lake, TX

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Answer>

Raccoons are very resourceful animals! But about the pleco-
can the larger fish fit in its mouth? If so, I would still
blame the pleco. If the pond is shallow, or has shallow
areas that are good "hunting" areas for a raccoon, or if a
raccoon has ever positively eaten out of your pond, then you
have problems coming from both directions.

To rule out the raccoons, I learned to trap them in a
have-a-heart trap with peanut butter slathered on a bed of
aluminum foil folded up to the size of a slice of white
bread, set in the end of the trap where they will have to
step on the trip. Gets them every time if they are in the
area. So, try the traps. If you don't catch a raccoon,
then take the pleco out of the pond. I venture to say the
fish will stop disappearing.

-Carolyn

==

Question>

Hi Carolyn,

The pond is lovely!! You live in Florida?? As for the
waterfall, unless you get freezing temps where you live, I
wouldn't bother shutting it down at all. But as a general
rule, we shut them down to keep from super cooling the pond
from colder air temperatures. I don't recommend using any
parasite treatment until there is a definitive diagnosis.
Then I would use a treatment for that specific parasite.
Some parasites need strong medicines, some kill easily.
Salt is the generally accepted first-line defense for
parasites and most people use it prophylactically, without
diagnosis. Unless you have somewhere for the salted water
to go after treatment (3-weeks) then I don't even recommend
that.

I like to have my fish "scraped and scoped" (examine the
scrapings under the microscope) to find out what I am
dealing with. It is my personal opinion that we should not
dump any chemicals into the pond that do not normally belong
there, without doing the research. I rely on Microbe-Lift
products and very little else. But in spring, I like to add
LymnoZyme to the pond as an added protection from Aeromonas
infection. The parasites don't kill the fish. The
secondary infections do.

Thanks again

Rick

==

Answer>

The pond is lovely!! You live in Florida?? As for the
waterfall, unless you get freezing temps where you live, I
wouldn't bother shutting it down at all. But as a general
rule, we shut them down to keep from super cooling the pond
from colder air temperatures.

I don't recommend using any parasite treatment until there
is a definitive diagnosis. Then I would use a treatment for
that specific parasite. Some parasites need strong
medicines, some kill easily. Salt is the generally accepted
first-line defense for parasites and most people use it
prophylactically, without diagnosis. Unless you have
somewhere for the salted water to go after treatment
(3-weeks) then I don't even recommend that.

I like to have my fish "scraped and scoped" (examine the
scrapings under the microscope) to find out what I am
dealing with. It is my personal opinion that we should not
dump any chemicals into the pond that do not normally belong
there, without doing the research. I rely on Microbe-Lift
products and very little else. But in spring, I like to add
LymnoZyme to the pond as an added protection from Aeromonas
infection. The parasites don't kill the fish. The
secondary infections do.

- Carolyn

==
Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

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

Posted by bfogle at 02:09 PM | Comments (0)

November 20, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

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

In this issue:

- ALGAE - HOW DO I GET RID OF IT?

- SICK FISH WITH ULCERS - WHAT CAN I DO?
-----------------------------

Question>

Hi, Carolyn,

Could you please tell me how to get rid of that slimmy green
algae in my pond. I have a UV filter but I still get this
algae.

Thank you

- Paula
Andrews, S.C.

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Answer>

Hi, Paula,

I kind of like that green velvet slime. It makes a pond
look natural, doesn't it? There are several different types
of algae, and all are there for a purpose. If you need to
get rid of the algae, you need to find something else to do
the job it is doing now. Namely, it is removing nitrates
from the water. So, if you were to add more plants, this
would help. Also, certain bacteria can keep nutrients to a
minimum.

-Carolyn

==

Question>

Thanks for sending me the questions and answers.....help a
lot to read.

I do have one question ....do they sell food specialy
formulated with antibiotics for the koi when they have some
problems? I do belive this will be a good idea to use it ,as
a profilactic mesure

I did have some dead koi because to my surprise I found some
koi with ulcers in the side ....and some with a kind of
white pimple. I treat them but ...at the end they died.

I have about 150 koi about 30 are big , the rest medium size
and very small. My pond is 12,000 litres I have a uv filter
and tree regular filters I clean every day and two motors to
move the water.

I hope you anderstand my horrible enghish , I do speak
spanish

- Maria

==

Answer>

Hi, Maria,

I think you have too many fish in your pond. Here is the
recommended stocking density. See how it measures up with
your pond: (1 US gallon is 3.8 litres)

One 8” Koi needs 50 gallons

One 16” Koi is equivalent to four 8” Koi and needs 200
gallons

One 24” Koi is equivalent to twelve 8” Koi and needs 600
gallons

And remember the 8” Koi this year will be 12-16” next year,
and so on!

You also asked about the medicated food. Yes, they sell
medicated food under the name of Romex. You should be
quarantining the sick koi, doing water changes in the pond,
and testing to find out what parasites might be opening
up sores in the fish.

The fish that have sores can be treated with iodine,
on the sore itself, and then put into quarantine to watch
how it does for the next few weeks. Salt might help at
this point too.

Make sure it is NON-IODIZED table salt, or kosher salt, or
sea salt. Add salt slowly, dissolved in water, over a
three day period, until you have a .3% solution in the
pond. This will begin to relieve the stress for the fish.

Good luck.

- Carolyn

==
Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

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

Posted by bfogle at 02:09 PM | Comments (0)

November 19, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

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

In this issue:

- STOCKING DENSITY - HOW MANY KOI CAN I PUT IN MY 3400
GALLON POND?

- SALT - NOT CLEAR ABOUT PLANTS AND SALT DOSAGES
-----------------------------

Question>

Hi Carolyn,

I was wondering if you could tell me a basic rule of thumb
as to how many Koi you can put in a pond. Something along
the lines of how many pounds or inches of Koi per gallon of
water.

I have a 3400 Gallon pond with the Ultima II 4000, with
about 9 Koi. I want them to be big and as healthy as
possible.

Steve

P.S. How come Macarthur water gardens no longer carries
the Ultima II? Personally I love it.

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Discover the tips and secrets of the professionals... New eBook
covers all important elements of pond building and water
gardening -'Water Gardens Made Easy' is availabe now. Click here
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Answer>

Hi, Steve,

In figuring the stocking density of koi, this is a good rule
of thumb:

One 8” Koi needs 50 gallons

One 16” Koi is equivalent to four 8” Koi and needs 200
gallons

One 24” Koi is equivalent to twelve 8” Koi and needs 600
gallons

And remember the 8” Koi this year will be 12-16” next year,
and so on!

Steve, I can only say that Brett has a better product if he
has discontinued something. Have you checked the website
lately to see what's new?

-Carolyn

==

Question>

On todays Q&A you stated that you could add 1 lb. of salt to
100 gallons of water in your pond, and you might want to
remove your plants. If not you could add 2 lbs. per 100
gallons. This employs that you can leave plants in pond
and use 2 lbs. per. 100 gallons. Wouldn't this be twice as
bad on your plants? Please clarify.

==

Answer>

Sorry, apparently I wasn't clear on this. I meant if you
don't have plants in the pond you can use more salt (2%).
Some plants are more salt tolerant than others, but most
people have the really sensitive ones (Water Hyacinths,
Water Lettuce, etc.) in their ponds, so rather than have
people find out the hard way, I like to warn them that the
plants may need to be removed when adding salt. Or they
have the choice of using less salt.

- Carolyn

==
Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

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

Posted by bfogle at 02:07 PM | Comments (0)

November 18, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

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

In this issue:

- FROGS - OVERWINTER IN POND OR NOT?

- KOI BLOATING - WHAT IS WRONG?
-----------------------------

Question>

Hi,

I have both an observation and a question regarding frogs as
mentioned in the attached newsletter. The article indicates that
frogs do not overwinter at the bottom of ponds. That has not
been my experience.

I live in cetral Arkansas and have a pond that is near 1000
gallons and approximately 2 1/2 feet deep at its deepest point. I
nearly always find frogs "hibernating" in the bottom of my pond
when I clean it out in the spring. I have to be careful not to
injure them by pulling them through the pump I'm using.

I should mention that I'm referring to bullfrogs. I also have
other smaller frogs and they may well overwinter around the pond
as indicated in the newsletter. I say this only because I've
never observed them during pond cleanout in the spring. I don't
know. Maybe my frogs are just weird or something.

Therefore, my question is this. Is the article referring to only
those frogs that are not bullfrogs or am I mistaken about the
bullfrogs overwintering at the bottom of the pond? I hope I am
mistaken (even though I know what I've seen) because it sure will
make it easier on me when I know I don't have to worry about
killing any bullfrogs during spring clean up.

Please clarify this for me.

Thanks!

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,

It's interesting how many responses I got about the frogs over
wintering in ponds. However, bullfrogs were exactly the frogs I
had in mind. In New York they tend to wake up later, around
June, but they don't over winter in the pond. I have always
found those that do, drown. Although there are many types of
frog out there, and some may stay in the water, if they came to
the pond (and you didn't bring them from a pet shop) then they
will be okay without our help. They should know how to survive
in your area. I believe the original question was about leaving
leaves and muck in the bottom to make them more comfortable. I
believe they can find a more suitable muck pond elsewhere and
come back to your nice clean FISH pond next spring, no?
In this case, the person had purchased the tadpoles that then
grew into frogs. Some make it and some don't. But I think we
have to decide what makes more sense, to leave the dirt in the
pond at the cost of the fish or take it out, at the cost of the
frog. It's an individual choice that I can't make for someone
else. I keep koi, so you can see where I am coming from. The
frog would have to go. Sorry.

-Carolyn

==

Question>

we have a large pond in S. California with a dozen large koi .
.. . One of which is really bloated . . . thought pregnancy at
first, but it has been many weeks with no change . . . worried
that there may be an unwanted malady . . . your advice, please.

Pond has two sand filters, a bio filter and three skimmers with
a thirty foot cascading waterfall . . . all well maintained.

Thanks,

- Dan

==

Answer>

Hi, Dan,

It could be egg bound or a tumor. Until recently I had no idea
how prevalent these things were, but lately I am seeing more of
this. I was told that eggs were automatically reabsorbed if the
fish did not spawn, but now I know this is not always so. I am
not familiar with the California terrain, but here are two
Aquatic veterinarians in California: Rob Hildreth, DVM, Irvine,
CA (714) 838-3433 and Gay Zambrano, DVM, Stanton, CA (714)
254-7974. And there is a koi club in San Diego with a website at
www.koiclubsandiego.org that might be able to offer assistance.

- Carolyn

==
Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

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

Posted by bfogle at 02:06 PM | Comments (0)

November 17, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

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

In this issue:

- WHITE TUFTS ON MY KOI - WHAT IS IT?

- DE-ICERS - HOW DO THEY WORK?
-----------------------------

Question>

I have a question. I did not know if you answer questions from
customers on the Today's Pond Q&A. If so, please consider this
question. I have tried to find information online regarding the
question, but nothing seems to fit my situation.

I have a 800 gallon pond. In the pond I have goldfish and two
koi. This is my second year attending to the pond, and the fish
have all been in the pond for the full two years. They have been
very healthy. I have lost no fish in the two years, water is
clear (treated with barley and chemicals (safe for fish and
plants), and the pond has a good filter system that keeps algae
at bay. We let the pond winter over; however we keep the fall
running to keep a hole and oxygen in the pond. In the spring,
the fish show up healthy and hungry. We just finished their carb
load because the water temp is approaching th 50 degree mark and
we are preparing for another winter.

My question is:

Early this fall we noticed that the two koi have white warty
looking growths on their bodies. One has three on its tail and
the other has them down its back and on its tail. They appear to
be healthy. They eat and swim normally. None of the goldfish
have the warts.

I am very worried that the warts my hinder the koi's health. I
tried to find pictures on the Internet of what these warty things
might be; however nothing looks like what they have. I've looked
at ick pictures, ulcers, and numerous other skin
problems---nothing is like the white warts. I read that you can
put salt in the pond and that this could help---so I did that two
weeks ago, but I notice no changes in the warts. Do you have any
idea what they are and how I could treat them? I want them to be
very health as winter approaches, and I am worried that this
condition might hinder their survival.

Thanks for any information you can give me,

- Kathy Slaven

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Answer>

Hi, Kathy,

What you are seeing is most likely Carp Pox. It is not life
threatening and only appears when the water turns cold. It will
go away again next summer. It is exactly what you described.
There is no cure, but like I said, the fish are not in danger.
It can be spread from fish to fish on contact. It is a virus.

-Carolyn

==

Question>

Explain to me about de-icer and why it would not kill the fish
and what type,etc. I have a 10,000 gallon, 17 X 17 round with a
fountain in the middle. Last winter our fish we used a heater
and kept the filter (biologic) running. The fish survived and
this spring we had at least 5 new ones. Our only problem was
one of the connection from the pond to the outside filter
failed and sprung a minor leak. While Philadelphia area is cold
it is not as cold as Michigan.

Thanks

- Bill and Jackie Wilson

==

Answer>

Hi, Bill and Jackie,

A de-icer is something which floats on the surface for the water
and keeps the water from freezing, but is not meant to actually
raise the temperature of the water. There are several types and
different wattages. I prefer the 1,000 watt variety to the 100
watt, simply because the 100 watt is not strong enough to re-open
a hole in the ice should a power outage occur. It can only
maintain a small opening. The 1,000 watt comes in blue, red or
green and should be installed with a protective ring to keep it
from sitting right on the liner. If used in conjunction with a
circulating pump over the winter months, it is important to place
it above the pump for reasons I do not entirely understand.
MacArthur Water Gardens sells de-icers on the website at
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

- Carolyn

==
Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

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

Posted by bfogle at 02:06 PM | Comments (0)

November 16, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

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

In this issue:

- SNAILS! HOW CAN I GET RID OF THEM?

- FILTERS, PUMPS, VACUUMS - HOW TO KEEP THE POND CLEAN?
-----------------------------

Question>

I have two small preformed ponds linked together via a small
waterfall that I established in the summer of 2004. I have 7
goldfish in the bottom pond. This summer I noticed seven
"miracle" baby fish in the upper pond. Both ponds have only the
fish and Lillies.

The fish are all healthy. My problem is the ponds are being
overrun with snails. The snails cover the bottom of the lilly
pads and eat holes in them. I live in Daytona Beach, Florida.

How can I get rid of the snails?

- Joni

========== @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 quicker attention.
====================================

Answer>

Hi, Joni,

I don't know how scientific this sounds, but I checked with a
few friends about your snail problem. The best way to kill
snails is copper but it will also kill the fish. So, it was
suggested that starting in the spring, you float romaine
lettuce leaves on the pond in the evening. In the morning,
gently remove the leaves, so the snails don't drop off, and
the bottoms will be covered with snails. Drop them right into
the garbage.

It may take a while, but you will get rid of them this way.
The eggs and baby snails should be eaten by the fish. Let us
know how you make out. One of the only successful ways of
controlling snails is hand-picking.

-Carolyn

==

Question>

Dear Carolyn

I have been reading all the letters from other pond owners and
your advice has been incredible! I have my own little pond which
is about 1000 gallons and my husband has a gigantic
pond - actually 2 - with a waterfall inbetween-you know how men
tend to go overboard! But-my pond is manageable for me!

I dont know how he found your website. I just started reading your
emails and have consulted you several times and you have been
really helpful-which i appreciate as a new pond person.

Could you tell me what kind of filter you would recommend for my
1000 gallon pond? Could I buy it from your company? Also a vacuum
would be great - I try to remove the crud and leaves with a net
but it doesn't work too well.

Thanks again

- Karen Oconnor

==

Answer>

Hi Karen,

Good for you! A pond of your own!! Yes, mucking with a net is
cumbersome business. Why not browse the website at
www.macarthurwatergardens.com and see what you like? As for
vacuums, there are all types, but I used the one that uses the
garden hose and pushes leaves into a bag at the end of the pole.

I now have a bottom drain in my big pond and a retrofit bottom
drain in the small one (quarantine tank), so I don't collect any
dirt on the bottom anymore. The best filter will be one that is
easy to maintain from outside the pond. When you have 1,000
gallons, you don't want to wade in to clean the filter,
especially when the water gets cold. Luckily they make bubble
beads and pressurized filters that can fit any size pond. Pick
a filter and pump for the amount of fish you will have, which
is usually more than the amount of water in the pond. So, to
start you off, figuring you have fish, shop for a filter that
will handle 2,000-3,000 gallons rather than the 1,000 gallons
you measured.

If you choose an external filter and pump you can use a
retrofit bottom drain too. Then start using MICROBE-LIFT/PL
and either Autumn/Winter Prep or Spring/Summer Cleaner to get a
jump on cleaning the bottom without a vacuum.

- Carolyn

==
Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

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

Posted by bfogle at 02:05 PM | Comments (0)

November 15, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

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

In this issue:

- BABY WATER SKIPPERS - WHAT IF I DRAIN MY POND?

- PVC - USING PIPES AS PROTECTION FOR FISH
-----------------------------

Question>

I have a question as this is my first year with a larger outside
pond. I have already took my goldfish to my 32gal tank and have
done this for two years with them but my question now is I had a
bunch of baby water skippers which are big now but I'm planning
on draining the pond. What will happen to them? Is there anything
I could do for them as I know nothing about their habits over
winter here in Idaho.

Thanks

- Leola

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Answer>

Hi, Leola,

As long as you have taken in the goldfish, why do you need to
drain the pond? Can you not leave water in there for the
skippers? Is the pond not deep enough? Perhaps they will freeze
anyway, but I wish I could tell you more. I'm not even familiar
with water skippers.

-Carolyn

==

Question>

Hi Carolyn,

I live in Connecticut, but have a pond about the same size and
depth. Every year for the past 5 years that we have had the
pond, we have had completely different winter weather
conditions. Our problem is constant freezing and thawing. So
far so good, we used a heater the first year, and took the pump
but the heater died half way through the season so we were out
there chipping the ice and pouring boiling water to melt a hole.

Since then, we have left the pump in, which is attached to a
waterfall, it has kept just enough water flowing to keep the
water cirrculating. That may not work for your area. The one
hint I do want to pass along is we put 2" diameter/1 foot
lengths of PVC in the bottom of the pond in the winter. It
gives the fish a place to hide, especially when the plants
aren't there to protect them from preditors.

Thank you,

- Liza Feyk

==

Answer>

Thanks, Liza.

I like the idea about putting the PVC in the bottom for
protection. I use floated styrofoam on my quarantine tank, but
I'll bet yours looks better from a distance. I had a similar
situation with a de-icer that went kaput in the middle of an ice
storm. I went from store to store and came up empty-handed. All
the nurseries had put away the de-icers and were bringing out
spring stock. I persisted and eventually found one place that
still had a few. I bought them out! I was not going to let that
happen to me again! Thanks for sharing with us.

- Carolyn

==
Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

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

Posted by bfogle at 02:04 PM | Comments (0)

November 14, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

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

In this issue:

- ROCKS IN POND - WILL THEY HELP FILTER?

- LEECHES IN FILTER - HOW CAN I GET RID OF THEM?

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

Hi

I have just put water into my pond (4'x8'x3') today with 2 small
fishes. I have a filter/pump and a Tetapond UV filter. I plan to
put 1' of small crush granite at the bottom of the pond after
testing for any water leak. My filter has bead filters inside
the container. My question is will the stone at the bottom of
my pond also act as bead filters since it has a large amount
aggregrated surface area?

Thanks

- Kam

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Answer>

Hi Kam,

I'm not sure how much biological conversion you will get from
the rocks on the bottom, but you will be collecting a lot of
debris. I am not in favor of rocks on the bottom for that reason.
If a pond is equipped with rocks on the bottom, it also has to
be power washed annually to remove all the crud that will build
up. If you have not already dumped the rocks in, please rethink
it. It would be much better to increase the size of the filter.
Plus, the sides of the pond will become part of the filtration
in time, so the rocks are not necessary for filtration. They
will not help.

- Carolyn

==

Question>

My name is Tony and I live in Staten Island,New York. When i was
winterizing my pond today I noticed small 1/4 to 1/2 inch
leeches in my filter. My pond is approximately 1,400 gallons.
What can I use to kill the leeches without harming my koi and
goldfish? I caught a few fish and they appear healthy and leech
free. Thank you for your time.

- Tony Fasano

==

Answer>

Hi Tony

There are about 4 types of leeches. Helodelalas are light gray
and small, less than 1-2" long. These leeches attack snails.
Erpobdellas are dark brown or even black and up to 4" long. their
primary targets are water bugs, frogs and fish. They are probably
found in most, if not all ponds. The other two types are
Macrobdellas and Haemopsis leeches. The Macros are greenish with
red and black spots and suck the blood of betebrates, are up to
10" long and normally found in the northern US and Canada.

The American medicinal leech is a Macrobdella. The Haemos are
large, up to 18", mottled gray and feed primarily on dead and
live invertebrates, and can travel over land! But more than
likely, what you are dealing with is the Erpobdella leech. They
are seldom a significant problem and most pond owners will find
them in their filters if they use filter matting and care to look
for them.

The simplest cure is non-iodized table salt, kosher salt, rock
salt or snow-melting salt. Make sure it is sodium chloride and
not another salt. Use 2lbs. per 100 gallons and most plants won't
be affected by the salt at that dosage. After 2 weeks, do 50%
water changes until the salt concentration is less than .1% or
1lb/100 gallons. When treating plants, dip them in a salt
solution for an hour or so and then wash them free of eggs and
othe signs of impending trouble (1% or 10lbs/100 gallons.)

You could also use Jungle Labs Parasite Guard which contains
salt, Dimilin and Trichlorfon. This will do the same job but
won't hurt plants. You can also use potassium permanganate, but
be careful to use as directed.

- Carolyn

==
Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

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

Posted by bfogle at 02:03 PM | Comments (0)

November 13, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

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

In this issue:

- FEEDING KOI - HOW DOES FOOD GO THROUGH THEM?

- HERONS - CAN I USE ELECTRIC FENCING TO KEEP THEM AWAY
FROM THE POND?
-----------------------------

Question>

Hi there. I actually have 2 questions. This is my first year of
having a pond and having Koi. The questions are now that it is
winter what exactly should I do as far a feeding. The water temp
just went down to 40-45. I have heard and read many things. The
fish are still coming up to the top and want to eat. I bought
special medicated food from a koi place, but don't know when to
stop the feeding.

The second question is I was told that the food stays with the
fish for a few days from one person and that is goes right
through from another. If it goes right through, and the fish
have no stomach where does the food lie that causes it
to rot in the winter time?

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Answer>

This is KOI 101, and koi don't have stomachs, they have one long
intestine that extends the length of their bodies, from the
mouth to the anal opening. So, that's where it would be if it
wasn't eliminated before the temperature dropped to a place
(below 50F) that cut off their metabolism. In temperatures above
55F, it takes a koi 4 days to eliminate the food it ingested
today.

You also need to go by the water temperatures, not air
temperature. I believe that it is advisable to stop feeding
altogether when the water temperatures dip below 50F. Fish being
cold blooded (they get their temperature from the atmosphere in
which they live) they cannot increase their metabolism
independently, so the food which stays in the system can become
septic. I always watch the weather forecast for the week ahead
so to know what is coming, colder weather or Indian Summer.

-Carolyn

==

Question>

Dear Carolyn,

Firstly, thank you for your very informative answers to the
readers' queries. It shows that you truly have a good command of
the topic.

Question:
We're situated along a golf course which is surrounded by a bird
sanctuary. My sneak attacks were from a very patient, bold blue
heron during the latter part of the summer & fall of last year. I
guess he was stocking up before his flight down south ! We tried
to deter him with a heron decoy, to no avail. I understand that a
net can be used but in our opinion it ruins the esthetics of the
pond.

The same goes for the use of a fake alligator in the pond,
especially in a northern climate like Montreal.

The other option we heard about was a water sensor but again we
find this impratical as we have indoor cats who go out once &
awhile and we don't want to traumatize them especially that they
are not at all interested in the fish.

My questions are:
1. Would the low-voltage wiring recommended for the racoons work
for these herons who are very long legged ? I gather that this
works on contact & wonder if they simply would step over the
wire ?

2. Is the voltage adjustable ?

3. Would it be harmful to the bird or pets ?

I would love to re-stock my pond next summer. However, I don't
want to re-experience the grief of losing the koi again until
I have found a solution that I can count on.

Your advice is much appreciated,

- Martha

==

Answer>

I'm sorry but raccoons and heron are two different predators with
two different solutions. You wouldn't want to use the fencing
with your cats and the heron would easily step over it. Herons
have a photographic memory. They will always remember where they
ate the year before and fake heron don't deter them. In spring,
mating season, it actually attracts them.

The best defense from heron and others in the crane family is to
make it as difficult as possible, so he will go down the road to
somebody else's pond where he doesn't have to work so hard. Here
in NY, we have two effective defenses: deep, straight sided ponds
and clear monofilament fishing line. The fishing line is
stretched back and forth over the pond from a distance of 2-3'
off shore of the pond, and at varying heights, so the bird has to
step higher at different places. They have about a 3' step, so if
some were placed at 4' high, it would be difficult for the bird
to step over. Make it an obstacle course. This is not beautiful,
but not nearly as obvious or unattractive as netting. Looks sort
of like a spider web. These birds have excellent eyesight, so
they will see it and hopefully move on without further problems.
Once they move on, you can relax. I kept mine "webbed" for two
seasons and then I have not seen it again.

One word of caution, don't put any of the strings in the water
where a fish can catch itself on it.

- Carolyn

==
Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

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

Posted by bfogle at 02:03 PM | Comments (0)

November 12, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

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

In this issue:

- WINTER - CAN SOMEONE PUBLISH THE PROPER WAY TO PREPARE A POND?

- USING AIR CONDITIONER PADS AS FILTER MEDIA - IS IT SAFE?
-----------------------------

Question>

Could someone publish the proper way to prepare a pond for
winter, I live in northern Alabama, and the proper way to
prepare/clean a pond in the spring.

Is it necessary to empty, power wash the lining, etc etc.

Thanks

- Jerry Schoo

========== @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>

There are many publications on these topics already. But for the
fall, here are a few preps for you. Do a thorough cleaning, put
a net over the pond to protect from falling leaves, stop feeding
the fish, remove any dead or dying vegetation and tropical plants
from the pond, clean the filters, bypass and remove the UV lights
to clean and store for next season. Check for any leaks. Shut
off any above-ground water features, such as waterfalls and
streams.

Yes, this is somewhat oversimplified, but it is the gist of what
is expected of you as a pond owner in the fall. I will add to
this by saying you can do a 3-week salt treatment for parasites,
at .3%, then do 50% water changes until you have removed most or
all of the salt. I use Microbe-Lift Autumn Winter Prep on my
pond, so I don't have to do so much work.

As for the power washing, unless you have an Aquascape pond, it
is not necessary. The growth on the sides of the pond are part
of your biological filter and is best to leave undisturbed. If
you have rocks in the bottom, you surely have to take the entire
pond apart and blast it clean in the spring, as an annual chore.

Keep tuned, more to come! Watch for the longer versions in our
monthly journals.

-Carolyn

==

Question>

I have a question.. I have a magna drive pump that requires a
long (24 Inch) filter attached to it with a piece of pvc that
has holes drilled into it. It kind of looks like a long fibrous
cigar. The filter medium is like air conditioner pads, something
that looks like shredded coconut fiber and is a creamy white in
color.

The pond supplier I bought it from no longer carries this product
and when I bought mine, it wasn't cheap, like $30+ for just the
filter medium. She informed me I can buy air conditioner
replacement pads like we use here in the southwest. They are only
$3.00 a bag of one replacement and would fit perfect. They look
identical to the pad that is on there, with one exception, the
air conditioner ones are dyed blue with some kind of vegetable
dye. I contacted the actual pad company and the rep there told
me she knows people do use them for ponds, but she wouldn't
recommend them. Do you have any opinion? Thanks, and I am
looking forward to hearing your response!

==

Answer>

I am really not knowledgeable of the airconditioner pads,
however am skeptical about using materials that are made for
other purposes, especially ones that are dyed. But I am going to
put this on the daily Q&A and I'll bet we get some input from
others who know more.

- Carolyn

==
Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

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

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

November 11, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

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

In this issue:

- CATCHING FISH IN COLD WEATHER - WILL THIS HURT THEM?

- FISH DEATHS - COULDN'T FIND A DE-ICER
-----------------------------

Question>

I plan to build a larger pond and move my three koi. I've waited
late in the season to start, and may not have the new pond
finished until December or even January. I sit dangerous to the
fish to move them in cold weather. The old smaller pond did not
freeze solid last year, we are in Virginia, although it did
freeze over and the fish were inactive. Can I move them when
they are in their inactive, not eating phase of midwinter?

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Answer>

It is not a problem to move the fish when they are inactive and
water is cold, however you have to be careful not to bring them
indoors. If you warm them, you need to keep them warm for the
rest of the winter because they won't acclimate again to winter
temperatures. In fact, koi farmers do their mud harvests in the
late fall so the fish will be sluggish and easier to catch
without any injuries.

-Carolyn

==

Question>

Hi

My pond is not active yet so to speak. I am a new home owner
and the pond came with the house. This is my second year in the
house and sorry to say I lost my 3 boys (my fish). I did not
have a pond de-icer and could not find one anywhere.

I've emptied the pond and a couple of times but have yet to put
back the fish.


==

Answer>

Hi, Erneska

I am sorry to hear about your loss! There are a few things you
can do if you cannot find a commercial de-icer: hot water can
keep a hole open in the pond, if you are able to do it on a
regular basis. Also, a lightbulb, even a 20-watt, suspended above
the water, and protected in a home-made floating box, will keep
the pond from completely freezing.

I also had success keeping the pond from freezing here in NY when
I had my 12" deep preformed pond by leaving a submersible pump to
circulate the water in such a way that it was always moving toward
the top. I also had covered the pond partially with corregated
vinyl sheets that I picked up at Home Depot for a song. I secured
these with two 4x4's on each side of the pond and nailed a small
piece of wood across in two places as a brace so the wind couldn't
pick it up and blow it away. Worked great. We have an 18" freeze
line here, so it did really good.

- Carolyn

==
Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

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

Posted by bfogle at 02:01 PM | Comments (0)

November 10, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

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

In this issue:

- NEWBORN GOLDFISH - WILL THEY SURVIVE WINTER IN TORONTO?

- OXYGENATING PLANTS - TIED IN BUNDLES OR POTTED IN POND?
-----------------------------

Question>

Hi, Carolyn,

I built my pond last summer and for the most part made it
through our Canadian winter (Toronto to be exact). I had a pond
heater which kept a nice hole in the pond until I used it to tap
the ice around it and I believe I broke the element inside. I
bought an air bubbler and it for the most part worked too.

Since then all of my gold fish have died except for 1. His name
is now Lucky. I have no idea how it happened, but there are now
15 babies in the pond. I did not expect babies after the first
year. The problem I have is the water temp is already 55F so
I've stopped
feeding them.

Can the small fish that are still growing survive the winter with
no food? How will they be able to grow? I really don't have a
place to put them if I had to take the out of the pond.

Sorry for such a long e-mail.

- Mark Horgan

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Answer>

Hi, Mark,

As you don't have a place to put them indoors, I suggest you
replace the floating de-icer outside for this winter and leave
them to themselves. They are quite resilient and will find
algae, insects and snails to carry them over.

Plus, their metabolism slows down, being "cold-blooded" their
body temperatures are always the same as the environment in
which they exist, so they won't be using any energy in the cold.
It is a semi-hibernation. The less fuel they use, the less
they need.

Just provide them with the cleanest environment you can, okay?
You don't want parasites feeding ON THEM over the winter while
they sleep.

-Carolyn

==

Question>

I have a 10,000 gallon pond. I have oxyginating plants that do
very well. I have anchored them with a small twisty of lead,
however the ppalnts become so large the buoyancy of the plant
becomes greater than the weight. The plants float to the top. Do
you have any suggestions.

- James

==

Answer>

Yes,James, why not plant them in pots? I wouldn't like to keep
the lead in my pond anyway. As long as the fish aren't eating
them I would think that planting them would be the best solution.
You do realize that oxygenating plants are only giving off
oxygen during the daylight, don't you? The rest of the time,
during the night and sunless days, they will use it up and give
off carbon dioxide.

- Carolyn

==
Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

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

Posted by bfogle at 02:00 PM | Comments (0)

November 09, 2005

Today's Pond Q&A

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

In this issue:

- LESS EXPENSIVE DE-ICERS - ARE THEY OUT THERE?

- ELECTRIC FENCING TO PROTECT MY POND - WHERE CAN I GET IT?
-----------------------------

Question>

Hi Carolyn,

I had a question related to keeping our ponds from
freezing. Last winter we tried using an electric de-icer to keep
the water from freezing. It worked great but our electric bill
was high because it uses a lot of juice.

Was that the type of deicer the guy used in Michigan? Are there
any other ways to keep our ponds from freezing over that wont put
us in the poor house?

Also,this is our first season with some pond plants. We have
water lilies,Siberian iris,cat-tails and hyancinths. Now that
winter is coming what should we do with these plants? They were
not cheap! Should we try to bring them inside?

We need your help!

Thanks

- Karen Oconnor

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Discover the tips and secrets of the professionals... New eBook
covers all important elements of pond building and water
gardening -'Water Gardens Made Easy' is availabe now. Click here
to reserve your copy: www.water-garden-secrets.com
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Answer>

Hi, Karen,

There are quite a few DIY models of de-icer, made out of PVC
forms, styrofoam lining, and one low wattage light bulb that
reportedly have worked equally well. There is also a 100-watt
model which costs around $80-100 but saves a lot of money in
electricity over the 1,000-watt models. I personally stick with
the 1,000 watt model because I had a bad experience with the
100-watt when it sunk and the ice closed over the top of it. It
isn't strong enough to open a hole in the ice, only strong
enough to keep one open. I believe if you go to www.makc.com
you can get some information from the club members on how to
make your own if that is what you choose.

As for the plants, the siberian iris will do just fine without
any special care. I have mine planted beside the pond, in the
dirt rather than the pond. And cattails are extremely hardy.
The only thing that harms them is if they should dry out. That
will not happen. If the water lilies are hardy forms, they will
do fine at the bottom of the pond, but if tropicals, they will
have to be overwintered indoors or in a greenhouse. Some people
have overwintered the tropicals by storing the tubers in moist
sand in their basements. I had no luck with that. You might
want to go to the www.nawgs.com website for more info on
waterlilies.

As for the water hyacinths, consider them an anual expense. Can
they be overwintered indoors? Maybe, but is it worth the effort?

You will need a pool or aquarium with lots of sunlight, warmth,
and circulation to keep the water from stagnating and the plants
from dying. I never buy them anymore. I belong to a club and
we all share them. They are so prolific.

-Carolyn

==

Question>

Hi again,

Carolyn, what does this wire you speak of look like? Is it one
wire or a fence of some type. Would you take a picture of it so I
can buy what you have. All my large koi were eaten last winter.
I, now have about 20 that were born during the winter and are now
about 6 to 8 inches.

Thanks again

- Joe

==

Answer>

Hi Joe,

Joe, I have to come clean with you! I was in the process of
buying it, but didn't have it in yet. Go to the Northern Tools
and Equipment catalog at www.NorthernTool.com or call
1-800-533-5545, in the Fall/Winter 2005 issue, page 92, look at
the Spitfire fencing.

I have seen it at other ponds and it is approximately 2-6 strings
(your choice) of wire strung tightly around the perimeter of the
pond, either battery or AC-powered, and the transformer itself is
$49, while all the extras are there on the same or facing page.
It is manufactured by www.fishock.com and my pond, after writing
that was in fact attacked by raccoons, a pair of them, and they
ate two fish in my stream. Because of the construction and depth
of my pond (straight sides and 6 1/2 ft. deep) they didn't get
any from the pond itself). I had to set out traps and caught the
two. It was quite an experience. I really want to get that fence
in PRONTO before I have to go through that with their extended
family... which, of course, are out there somewhere. I have to
put up the fence because I can't deal with killing them-- again.
It's simply not my nature.

Let me know how you make out.

- Carolyn

==
Happy Pondkeeping!

MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

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

Posted by bfogle at 01:59 PM | Comments (0)