July 29, 2006

Identifying and Getting Rid of Snails / Koi Under Stress

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

In this issue:

- Identifying and Getting Rid of Snails

- Treating Koi Under Stress

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

Question #1 Part A>


Hi Carolyn,

First of all, I live in Eastern Idaho. When we moved into our new
house, it had already had a pond with gold fish. However, I took on
the role of taking care of the pond.

First I bought it an "Attraction" Water lily, which came all the
way from Tennessee. Then I bought other various plants. This year,
the attraction lily came back (surprisingly after a very harsh
winter) and is doing extremely well.

There's only one problem (If it is a problem) this year I started
to notice these creatures in the pond. They appear to be long clear
slimy worms that attach themselves to the rocks and the underside
of the lily leaves. I have never seen them swim. The clear little
worms (if they are worms) have white specks inside of them. I have
never seen them move. Even when I take them off the lilies, they
don't move. I have even cut them in half and set them out in the
sun. They don't move. And yet they seem to be appearing all over
the undersides of the lily pads. How they get there if they don't
move, I have no idea.

I would like to know what these are and if they are harmful to the
fish or the plants. I have sent an attachment of what they look
like. I have no idea what they are. I'm pretty sure they aren't
leeches since I'm familiar with what leeches look like and how they
act. If you could provide me with some information, it would be
greatly appreciated!

==


Answer #1 Part A>

Hi,

Those aren't worms. Those are egg cases, but I'm not sure whose.
In reading, I thought perhaps snails, but these don't really look
like snails.

I would bring one inside, put in a jar, heat it up on a windowsill
for a couple of days and see what hatches.

The place to find more information is The Water Garden
Encyclopedia, by Greg & Sue Speichert. If you like, I will forward
your photos to Greg for identification. Right now, I am going to
forward it to my work email to see if I can find out more
information. But it is definitely an egg case. And the white
spots are eggs.

Regards,
Carolyn


Question #1 Part B>

Carolyn,

Thanks for the info! You know, the idea that they were eggs did
cross my mind at some point, but I had no idea, I just thought that
they were some strange pond animals. There's not a single lily that
doesn't have at least two attached to their undersides. So I
started to wonder.

This happened relatively fast I might note as well. A week ago, the
eggs were definitely not there. Every so often they would pop up
here and there attached to rocks and I just ignored them (this is
when I still thought they were some weird pond animal) it wasn't
until today that I noticed that my lily is infested with them.

Now that I think about it, snails do seem like a likely culprit.
Lately it seems as if the snail population has been growing. That's
not a good thing though. They clog the waterfall pump. The annoying
things keep getting caught in the pump and causing the waterfall to
slow down.

Anyway that would be awesome if you could forward those pictures and
have it identified. I just wanted to say now that you mention snails;
it suddenly makes sense that they could be the culprits. I will
definitely try the experiment you suggested. It will be an interesting

project undertake and see what they are!

I have one more question though: If they are snails, are snails
harmful to the lilies? I've always been under the impression that
snails are beneficial to a pond. However, maybe there are some
kinds that are harmful?

And if their population gets out of control, is that a bad thing?
Just a thought, I'm not the expert!

Thanks for your help!

==


Answer #1 Part B>

Hi,

I only wish snails were the nice, helpful pond additives they are
supposed to be. Of course, in low numbers they would be, but they
are like algae, they proliferate rapidly and before you know it you
have millions and they are eating the healthy plants instead of
just the dead and dying vegetation.

The way to kill them is with copper (copper sulfate) but that would
kill fish too, so a better way of controlling, although definitely
more laborious (and slower) is to use cabbage leaves.

Spread the cabbage leaves on the pond before you go to bed and
gently collect them in the morning. They will be filled with
snails. If you have fish that like snails, then hopefully they
will be eaten to some degree, but once they are in the pond, you
will never entirely get rid of them.

Regards,
Carolyn


_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
Would you like to comment on these Pond Q&A's?
Visit our BLOG at www.macarthurwatergardens.com/BLOG
and post your feedback, stories, comments, etc... We've
also posted all previous Pond Q&A's there for your review!
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/


Question #2>

Hi Carolyn,

I just read in your Q & A about a problem one of your readers has
and I have the same. So I have my Koi and Gold fish in a separate
container with a solution called Copper Safe that a local store
suggested I do, now I'm just wondering how long I have to keep them
in this tub.

The Koi has already jumped out but survived the ordeal. I feel
sorry for them being in such a small enclosure, is this OK?

The Koi has white spots on his head and I was afraid the Goldfish
would develop the same problem.

Does this mean my pond is contaminated now?

Thanks

==


Answer #2>

Hi,

I am not sure what white spots you are talking about. I guess it's
short term memory or something. But if the koi jumped out, it
isn't comfortable in there. And once a koi jumps out and lands on
the ground, if it didn't have parasites before, it definitely has
now.

Parasites and disease do not kill our fish. Stress, rather extreme
stress, at strategic times is what opens them up to parasites and
disease. So, I have to ask what is going on in your pond that
might be creating stress to the fish?

The number one stress inducer is overcrowding followed by improper
feeding. An old friend of mine once said, "The solution to
pollution is dilution." So, if you can't reduce the bioload you
can think about enlarging the water supply. This can be done
through outside means, such as the filter areas, bogs, or the
addition of an upper pond.

If that isn't what is stressing the fish, perhaps you have
marauding raccoons during the night? Or the filter not performing
as needed? Improper diet is a big factor not to be overlooked.

By keeping goldfish with koi you are not doing either fish any
favors. They have different needs and one or the other is not
having their needs met.

During breeding time, male koi will also develop these white nubs
on their face. I hope you aren't treating these as a disease . . .

Regards,
Carolyn


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


Happy Pondkeeping!

Brett Fogle
MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

MacArthur Water Gardens
1698 SW 16th ST
Boca Raton, FL 33486


Posted by bfogle at 05:48 PM | Comments (0)

July 26, 2006

Reclaiming a "Dead" Pond / Dealing with Ducks

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

In this issue:

- Reclaiming a "Dead" Pond

- Dealing with Ducks

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

Question #1>


Hi Carolyn,

I am a subscriber to your newsletter and I appreciate your
common-sense approach to water gardening and the fish hobby. I was
wondering if I could get some advice from your many years of
expertise.

I have a horrible eyesore of a pond. It's approximately 15ft wide,
30ft long and 4.5ft deep. It was built 30+ years ago to capture a
natural spring that flows out of the hillside and today it still
flows at about 20GPM.

In the first 28 years of its life it filled up with silt, algae,
and putrid black stinky gunk (a technical term no doubt). Then,
two years ago, I made it worse, I had all the gunk removed and it
seemed to make the problem worse! Not only did it start filling
back up with the putrid jet black gunk but it also has spongy white
rotting stuff that floats on the surface. My guess is that it is
rotting algae that came to the surface and is white because the
mineral content of the water is fairly high and it dries white
(like alkali on a field).

There is little life in the pond but I would like to reclaim it and
put fish in it eventually. To make matters worse, I have no power
near this pond so any solutions will have to be made either
manually, chemically, or with an alternative power source (wind or
solar).

Do you have any suggestions as to how to fix my eyesore of a pond?

I am also willing to send you pictures as well. Hopefully I can
get this pond the help it needs and we can do before and after
photos with your help.

Thank you for any advice or products you can provide.

==

Answer #1>

Well, Microbe-Lift has done some amazing reclamation work on
polluted rivers in China and other parts of the world. I don't see
why PL wouldn't work in your pond. You should check the work they
did on the River Xiba which was able to have life return to it
after years of industrial dumping made it completely uninhabitable
for a very long time. Your pond certainly can't be worse than the
River Xiba.
http://www.macarthurwatergardens.com/microbe-lift/microbe-lift-products.shtml

I have also recently talked to someone in Hawaii who had no power
source and recommended them to a company in Florida (Aquatic
Eco-Systems, Inc.) that specializes in this type of situation.

One thing I might add to this, from what you mentioned, is that the
pond may need some sort of filtering device on incoming water to
prevent the immediate buildup of silt. You have a veritable delta
there. But if it runs IN at 20GPM, where does it run OUT? And is
it possible to erect a bog filter in the path of the water flow
to catch the silt? You may want to look into that.

Regards,
Carolyn


_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/


Question #2>

Hi Carolyn,

What is the best way to keep a small backyard pond clean with ducks.

It is 17 x 11 and we have a bio-filter and the uv light set up but
the ducks are ruining it. I can not find plants that they will not
eat on me to help and to top it off I have almost direct sun.

Thanks for any help

==

Answer #2>

Yuck,

Ducks are such sweet things but such a dirty mess! And no,
there isn't any plant that I know of that they won't make a mess
out of. Like the name implies, duckweed can compete with them if
you care to introduce it into your pond. Otherwise, I would
consider the taller plants, such as Iris Pseudocorus, a more
suitable plant with ducks.

Are these pet ducks or wild ducks stopping by on the migratory
path? If pets, you will have to invest in a larger filter system.

Our Microbe-Lift products can clean a pond without chemicals.
www.macarthurwatergardens.com/microbe-lift/microbe-lift-products.shtml

You need to do 25% water changes weekly and consider heavier
filtration, and a skimmer to remove the feathers.

Regards,
Carolyn


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


Happy Pondkeeping!

Brett Fogle
MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

MacArthur Water Gardens
1698 SW 16th ST
Boca Raton, FL 33486


Posted by bfogle at 02:41 PM | Comments (1)

July 20, 2006

Battling Heron / Water Quality Issues

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

In this issue:

- Battling Heron

- Water Quality Issues

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

Question #1>


Hi Carolyn,

We live in the Pacific Northwest where heron abound, along with
bald eagles. Anyway, the heron are wiping out our fish
populations, I've put in hiding places for the fish (black 8"
diameter PVC tubes & large rocks with room underneath) to no avail.

I used to use koi, now I only try goldfish and other less
expensive fish. Doesn't seem to matter, the heron eat them all.

Any suggestions (legal ones) for keeping heron away?

Michael
Poulsbo, WA

==


Answer #1>

Gee, Michael, That's awful!

The best way to deal with heron is to make the pond as difficult
for them to navigate as possible, so hopefully they will go
elsewhere to dine.

It's like the story of the two boys in Africa as they come upon a
lion. One takes off running and the other stops and puts on his
sneakers. The one says, what good is that? You can't outrun the
lion! He replied, I don't have to... I just have to outrun you.
Moral? Make your pond less friendly than the one next door.

That would be done by building it with straight vertical sides,
nowhere for them to get a good place to stand to fish, and
remembering how their legs are formed. The legs bend forward from
the knee, opposite what ours do. So, if you string clear
monofilament fishing line tightly back and forth across the pond,
around the edges, and back from the pond to about 3' from the edge,
at DIFFERENT HEIGHTS so they have difficulty bending and stepping
over the line, then you will have achieved your goal. Even fish
farms string line across their mud ponds to deflect the wings of
predatory birds in flight.

But nothing takes the place of good construction. Your pond has to
be at least 3-4' deep, straight sided, and like I said, nowhere for
the darned things to stand at the edge.

Then you can keep koi again.

Regards,
Carolyn


_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
Would you like to comment on these Pond Q&A's?
Visit our BLOG at www.macarthurwatergardens.com/BLOG
and post your feedback, stories, comments, etc... We've
also posted all previous Pond Q&A's there for your review!
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/


Question #2>

Hi Carolyn,

We have five koi in a pond about 7 ft x 9 ft and 2 ft deep.
Recently the water gets very cloudy very quickly; I have to change
it weekly despite 2 x daily filter cleaning and UV also.

I think the koi are larger now and are munching on the water lily
stems, resulting in them rotting and causing the problem.

Should I feed them more (2 x per day now) or is there something
else I can do?

Russ

==

Answer #2>

Hi, Russ,

It sounds like you have

1) not enough water for these 5 koi and

2) inadequate filtration on the pond.

The first thing I would do is to shop for a better filter. You
can't blame the lilies. And by feeding the koi more, you will
still be fouling the water with waste. The water changes are a
good thing and you should be doing 25% weekly anyway.

Is it time for a bigger pond?

Regards,
Carolyn


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


Happy Pondkeeping!

Brett Fogle
MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

MacArthur Water Gardens
1698 SW 16th ST
Boca Raton, FL 33486

Posted by bfogle at 02:55 PM | Comments (0)

July 18, 2006

Foam Problems / Fighting the Algae Battle

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

In this issue:

- Foam Problems

- Fighting the Algae Battle

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

Question #1>


Hi Carolyn,

We have a very large pond with three very large rock filters, with
a four inch return pipe back to the water while we are working on
our waterfall.

Our problem is when the water returns back to the pond and falls
in, it creates foam on the top of the water! What can we do for
the foam? It is very difficult to see the fish!

Thanks,
Pat

==


Answer #1>

Hi Pat,

A skimmer should solve the foam problem. If not, there are products
out there to remove foam from the water.

Now, I would ask what color the foam is. If it looks "clean" then
it isn't anything to necessarily worry about. If it looks brownish
and dirty, then you need to do a lot of water changes.

The presence of foam on the water generally indicates excess
dissolved organic carbons in the pond. Sometimes it comes from
fish spawning. Other times the water needs changing. Perhaps the
water is simply turbulent and not allowing the carbons to settle
out. This time of year my guess is spawn.

Regards,
Carolyn


_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/


Question #2>

Hi Carolyn,

I have two ponds, an 800 gallon formal pond and a 1,500 gallon
circular pond and I can't seem to get rid of the floating algae. I
had string algae in both ponds and seem to have gotten that under
control with cutric plus but the floating algae and the algae
growing on the sides seems to be coming back despite my use of
cutric plus on it.

The big circular pond isn't as bad, since it largely on the shade
and I have used cutric plus on it, having moved all my fish to the
front pond, the formal pond (after losing my one koi to even a
small dose of cutric plus even after I rinsed out the pond
entirely.

I finally gave up on the big circular pond and put blue dye in it
since I have no fish in it to see anyway and have focused all of
my attention on the small formal pond which gets a lot of sunlight.


I have planted several water lilies - a few years old now, but they
don't seem to grow very fast. I put in water lettuce and those
apple like things, but the fish eat the roots off so fast that I
can't seem to get them to grow very fast. I put in anachris, but
the algae seems to cover it with a dusty powder or something and it
won't hardly grow either.

I have installed a small fishmate unit for a 1,000 gallon pond
(and this one is only 800 gallons!) and have also added a Turbo
Twist Pond UV Clarifier also intended for a 1,000 gallon pond, and
I have added Algaefix every few days, and have pumped oxygen into
the pond with a wet dry vac when the fish started gulping for air
and I get a lot of sludge, but nothing seems to be affecting the
algae for long. I didn't add any enzymes or sludge remover, if
that would have any impact.

I am so desperate that I am thinking of draining the pond and
scrubbing everything down with bleach if that would do any good.

What are the potential dangers of that to my plants and goldfish if
I rinse the pond out thoroughly?

I've been thinking of setting up a canopy over the pond to cut down
on the sunlight, but what effect would that have on my water
lilies? Do you have any other suggestions.

My ponds were completely clear of algae until I got that string
algae.

Please help.
Going Crazy in Montana

==

Answer #2>

Hi, you aren't alone!

This has been a bumper crop year for algae across the US and
Canada. Those algaecides you've been using have probably killed
80% of the culprit each time but with a terrific proliferation rate
it will always bounce back.

The only way to really control algae growth (and there are over 600
varieties out there!) is to deprive it of sunlight (yes, very
good), nutrients (could be fish poop?) and/or lower the temperature
of the water.

With water lilies, you will be shading the pond and lowering the
temperatures a bit. You need to cover about 2/3 of the pond
surface to make a difference. Oh, and do not feed the lilies. Let
the plants "eat" the nutrients (nitrates and phosphates) from the
water.

Water changes are a must and should be done weekly, 25%. This will
reduce the levels of nitrates and phosphates also. You can use
Barley Straw Pellets (or Barley straw Extract if you prefer) to tie
up these nutrients between water changes.

And then, let the microbes in the water do the nutrient balance for
you. You just need to keep the system clean in the meanwhile. Get
a bigger filter.

Regards,
Carolyn


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


Happy Pondkeeping!

Brett Fogle
MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

MacArthur Water Gardens
1698 SW 16th ST
Boca Raton, FL 33486


Posted by bfogle at 02:20 PM | Comments (0)

July 14, 2006

Water Lilies / Fish Food

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

In this issue:

- Feeding Water Lilies

- Feeding Fish and Water Temp

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

Question #1>


Hi Carolyn,

I have a question for you. I have about a 2000 gallon pond with
about a dozen water plants in it. My question is why are my plants
so small and don't seem to want to grow?

The water lilies bloom but the leaves are not big. What do you
recommend for plant food, liquid or pellets?

Appreciate your help.
Lynda

==


Answer #1>

Hi Lynda,

Lilies are heavy feeders. If you do not keep fish in the pond, then
I would suggest using Plant Tabs. If there are fish in the pond
then the additional plant food, either liquid or tablets, would
probably be more likely to produce algae than blooms.

In ponds with fish, I recommend using Microbe-Lift Ensure or Bloom
& Grow, both of which contain no nitrates or phosphates but contain
enzymes and micro- and macro-nutrients to stimulate uptake of
nitrates and phosphates by plants.

Without fish to provide the necessary "fertilizer" to the water,
you have to feed these plants yourself.


Regards,
Carolyn


_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/


Question #2>

Hi Carolyn,

I just stumbled into your great website while surfing the web for
some fish info. I got sidetracked by your Archives site for fish &
pond Q&A. Great stuff by the way.

My question pertains to feeding and temperatures. You say the water
temp is what to measure, not the air temp.

I have a 120 gal above ground patio tank/"pond" with a few sarassa
comet goldfish. I live on the west coast and we have fairly mild
weather but the day / night ambient air temps can fluctuate from
say, 75 deg F daytime to mid 40's at night on occasion.

How would you calculate your water temps or the average temp based
on that?

Also be aware that because the pond is made of recycled black
material it draws heat from the sun and the concrete patio and also
loses temp fairly quickly if the weather snaps.

Thanks
Michael


==

Answer #2>

Hi, Michael,

Actually I would expect the concrete to hold the warmth for a good
while at night, which is a blessing, not allowing any sudden
temperature changes.

To gauge the temperature, I would go with the daytime temperatures,
provided there is sufficient daytime for the fish to metabolize
food. When the air temps drop to the mid 40's, if the water temp
drops that low the fish metabolism will practically cease and food
will not be processed. It just may take a day longer for the food
to exit the fish.

The median temperature is certainly in line with a good wheat germ
food, which is easy to digest, but considering the temperatures go
up into the 70's during the day, you can pretty well feed them
anything. Just keep in mind, you have a small tub of water so
don't overfeed or you'll compromise the water quality quickly.

Regards,
Carolyn


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


Happy Pondkeeping!

Brett Fogle
MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

MacArthur Water Gardens
1698 SW 16th ST
Boca Raton, FL 33486

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

July 13, 2006

Green Water / pH Crash?

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

In this issue:

- Green Water

- pH Crash?

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

Question #1>


Hi Carolyn,

Help!! I have a Fish pond made of cement blocks, about 3-4 feet
deep and about 6-7 feet long a good size. I have had it several
years.

The problem -- GREEN WATER. I fight this every year, I have lots of
fish and they thrive having babies now, but GREEN . . .

Is there anything that I can do to clear some of this yuk up other
than purchase a UV light system??

I love sitting and watching the fish when they come right to the
top. I'd like to be able to look down and see them.

I clean my filter every other day again yuk slimy pea soup. I hope
you can help.

Thanks
Margaret


==


Answer #1>

Hi Margaret,

If this were the type of algae we call "pea soup" it wouldn't be
clogging the filter, nor is it slimy. So, I suspect you have one
of the filamentous forms, or a combination of algae types.

Algae loves hard water and high pH. It also thrives on fish waste,
sun, phosphates. I'm not sure if a UV is the answer. You might
try it, but if it is filamentous algae, it won't help.

The more fish in there, the more algae you will have. Are you
doing weekly 25% water changes to remove phosphates? That would
really help. What else would be a big help would be to thin the
herd. You didn't say how many fish you have, or how much/how often
you feed them, but too many fish can be as little as one too many
and the entire system goes haywire.

You can use Barley Straw Pellets or Barley Straw Concentrated
Extract to help bind the nutrients that algae feed upon.
http://www.macarthurwatergardens.com/microbe-lift/microbe-lift-products.shtml

So, if you want less algae and better view of the fish, you
should monitor the fish load, feed sparingly, use Barley straw and
do the 25% weekly water changes. If that doesn't clear it up, you
still can get a UV light.
http://www.macarthurwatergardens.com/Aqua-Ultraviolet/Aqua-uv-menu.shtml

Regards,
Carolyn


_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/


Question #2>

Hi Carolyn,

All my fish died overnight. Yesterday they weren't eating and
seemed very lethargic ... (5 fish in my little-bitty small 60 gal.
pond) ... two were 6" koi, 2 4" fan tail goldfish and 1 2" koi
that I got 3 months ago. The 4 big guys survived the winter.

I tested the water as I was pulling out the carnage ... and it
looks like the pH crashed - plants cover only about 40% of the
surface and they are doing well. There are several snails in
there too - but I noticed yesterday morning that the pond seemed be
getting 'dirtier' than usual.

My question is, are the snails probably dead too? I don't see any
of them and they were seldom active enough to see if they are
alive or not. I thought I read somewhere that snails would die
off first if the ph started to crash as a warning. (I wouldn't be
heart broken if they were just gone) They never got my water quite
clean enough to see them often enough. I have a UV filter that
did great a first but I never really got that crystal clear water
that I was hoping for. I put in an airstone just yesterday (after
they looked kind of weak).

Would it be a bad move to put new fish in right away? How long
should I wait?

I know I was negligent in not testing my water enough ... last
summer I was testing religiously ... this summer the fish seemed so
happy and healthy that it didn't seem necessary.

I know my pond is small ... but it's been pretty stable for 3 of
the 5 years that I've had it. This is the first time all the fish
have died overnight in 2 years.

Any advice for the 'really really' small pond owners out there -
there might be a couple of us still.

Thank you
Kathi


==

Answer #2>

Hi, Kathi,

I think the same advice that is given to large pond owners would be
good for small owners- do lots of water changes, do not overstock
and do not overfeed.

In your case, you were terribly overstocked, especially considering
you had koi in there. Every year, in fact each month, koi are
growing larger, even in confined quarters. It is a fallacy that
all fish grow to the size of the container.

Last fall I "adopted" five huge koi and six or seven overgrown
goldfish from a very small preformed pond in someone's backyard.
The water was amazingly clear and the fish were, as stated, nothing
less than huge. I can't see how they were able to turn around in
there. The largest fish was 37".

I never saw the previous owner do it, but I can tell you he was
doing a lot of water changes and very careful feeding for the fish
to all survive and thrive for 14 years in that small environment.
He said the pond contained 400 gallons.

In your case, it is quite likely your fish died of ammonia
poisoning. Yes, it could have been a pH crash, but was the pond
really that dirty? Every year you should have taken the pond apart
and given it a thorough cleaning. It seems odd that you had the
fish and pond for 5 years and suddenly the pH crashed if you were
maintaining it properly. The signs of pH crash are that the fish
turn white and die quite rapidly.

As for waiting to put new fish in? I would say a good thorough
cleaning and consider it a lesson learned. No koi in 60 gallons of
water, a good filter, weekly water changes and careful feeding
regimen will have a nice pond up and running for you.

Regards,
Carolyn


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


Happy Pondkeeping!

Brett Fogle
MacArthur Water Gardens
www.macarthurwatergardens.com

MacArthur Water Gardens
1698 SW 16th ST
Boca Raton, FL 33486

Posted by bfogle at 11:07 PM | Comments (1)