September 28, 2006

Pond Winterization / Koi Snacking on Goldfish


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

In this issue:

- Pond Winterization

- Koi Snacking on Goldfish (And We're Not Talking Crackers!)

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

Question #1>

Hello Carolyn,

You said in one of your answers that you keep your pumps running in
your pond all year long. What about in Norheast Ohio were
temperatures can and do get below freezing for periods or time?

If I leave my waterfall going the ice build up gets so bad and the
water level drops to the point where my pump is stopping and I have
to try to get a hose from my house to the pond.

Also I thought mixing up the water was not good for the fish. I
have an approximately 1200 gallon pond with 12 4-inch (now)goldfish
in it. I have a tsurimi pump in a skimmer box which connects to the
waterfall.

==

Answer #1>

Hello,

You need to understand there may be a big difference between my pond
and yours, so what I do may not work for you.

My pond is 6’ deep and the filters and pumps are outside the pond.
I also shut off the stream and waterfall before the first freeze.
I would never suggest leaving on a waterfall in northeast Ohio.

Some ponds don’t have a choice, simply by the construction, but if
there is that option, I recommend shutting off anything above
ground and just leaving something to circulate the water in the
pond.

If your pond is deeper than your frost line [freeze zone] then you
can either shut the pumps off entirely or use a floating de-icer to
keep the water from freezing completely.

Regards,
Carolyn


MacArthur Water Gardens carries deicers. Click the link below for

additional information:

http://www.macarthurwatergardens.com/R/deicers.htm


Check out our archived articles on Pond winterization:

http://www.macarthurwatergardens.com/R/articles.htm

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Enter Your Pond in our 2006 Pond Galleria!
Just send us 4 or 5 good pictures of your backyard pond
paradise, and we'll include you in the galleria. Send
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Question #2>

Hi Carolyn,

Will large Koi eat small goldfish that are alive?

I have a blue heron that likes to eat 4-8" Koi, and it is getting
expensive.

I have one 14" Koi that is too big for the heron to eat. I went
to small "feeder" goldfish, and put 16 of them in the upper pond,
where the large Koi is.

The next morning they were all hiding, or had been consumed. The 8
little goldfish I put in the lower pond seemed to still be there,
although it is hard to tell for sure. No bodies floated to the top
in either pond.

Thanks for any help.

==

Answer #2>

Hi,

A couple of weeks ago I would have stated absolutely not, however I
am still learning. In this business, no one knows everything.

I bought some young goldfish to use as feeder fish for my salt
water tank (Lionfish. I fed two and put the other dozen or so into
the small koi pond for safe keeping. Silly me!

I could not believe the next day when there was not one single
goldfish in the small pond. The dratted koi ate every one. Now, I
cannot blame a heron or anything else. This “pond” is quite small
and is in my office. Everything in there is very visible and there
is nowhere to hide. Yes, the larger koi could and would eat the
baby goldfish.

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 10:11 PM | Comments (0)

September 21, 2006

Silt Problem / Koi Gills Flaring


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

In this issue:

- Silt Problem

- Koi Gills Flaring

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

Question #1>

Hello Carolyn,

I have a SERIOUS silt problem. HELP

==

Answer #1>

Hello,

Silt can be dislodged by a stronger stream of water, basically by
adding more water flow in the pond. However, if it is building up
on the bottom, and you can call it sludge, then you may need to
either vacuum it or you can try using Microbe-Lift Sludge Away,
the bacterial additive that solubilizes hard to break down
particulate matter on the bottom of ponds.

Either way it will be beneficial to increase the aeration to the
pond.

And the third way is to completely empty the pond, wash it all out
and refill using dechlorinator.

Regards,
Carolyn


MacArthur Water Gardens carries Pond Vacs and Microbe-Lift Sludge Away.
Click the links below for additional information:

Pond Vacs

Sludge Away


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Enter Your Pond in our 2006 Pond Galleria!
Just send us 4 or 5 good pictures of your backyard pond
paradise, and we'll include you in the galleria. Send
your pictures and a brief description to us at
pondpics@macarthurwatergardens.com
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Question #2>

Hi Carolyn,

I think " today's pond question" is really great. I get some useful
info from it.

I've recently noticed that the gills on a number of my koi heve
begun to flare at the opening. the go normal and the kind of kicks
up at the end. Other than this they all appear ok. But more seem to
be developing this appearance.

The kois are between 2 & 3 years old, 12 - 14 inches and their gills
only started flaring a few months ago.

Any ideas on what the problem may be?

==

Answer #2>

Hi,

That may have been when you first noticed or you may be feeding high
growth foods that aren't meeting their nutritional needs?

Koi need good sources of stabilized Vitamin C, all protein,
carbohydrates and fats in the correct proportion in their diet, and
this is the very reason I tell people not to keep foods from year
to year.

Always use fresh food, especially during the growth stages, or you
will find nutrition-based defects. I don't know which it is in
your case, but these are just a few things to look at.

Regards,
Carolyn

MacArthur Water Gardens carries a variety of Koi and Fish Foods.
Click the link below for additional information:

http://www.macarthurwatergardens.com/Fish_KOI_Food.shtml

========== @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 07:08 PM | Comments (0)

September 19, 2006

Pump Problems / Pea Soup Algae

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

In this issue:

- Pump Problems

- Pea Soup Algae - Do I Need A UV?

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


Question #1>

Hello Carolyn,

I hope you can help me my pond is only 2 months old and I find your
newsletter VERY helpful. But recently my waterfall have been
slowing down as far as the flow.

The company who installed the pond have replaced the pump because
there was trash in it and I do have a pump sock on it. But I have
been taking the sock off and cleaning it every few days to keep the
water flowing. I did have to make sure the water plants were not
near the new pump to cause any problems.

Do you think I need a bigger pump for my 300 gallon pond or a new sock.

==

Answer #1>

Hello,

I would say you need to clean out the bottom of submerged plants or
whatever is clogging the pump. Not saying this is what you have,
but submerged, or "oxygenating" plants, aren't necessary in a pond.

Also, depending upon the type of fish you keep (not koi?) you may
not be able to keep plants at all with a submerged pump. I would
think you could have the plants in pots which the fish cannot
access and this will keep the pond cleaner.

Also, if the pots contain soil, or peat, and they get tipped over,
it can spill a lot of debris to clog the pump. I recommend using
soil-less mix, such as Microbe-Lift planting media.

Regards,
Carolyn

MacArthur Water Gardens carries Laguna planting baskets.
Click the link below for additional information:

http://www.macarthurwatergardens.com/R/planting-baskets.htm


_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
Enter Your Pond in our 2006 Pond Galleria!
Just send us 4 or 5 good pictures of your backyard pond
paradise, and we'll include you in the galleria. Send
your pictures and a brief description to us at
pondpics@macarthurwatergardens.com
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/


Question #2>

Hi Carolyn,

My husband and I are first time pond owners. We have a 4400 gal
waterfall which flows into a narrow creek and then into a large
pond. Major problem with algae - pea soup type water. The water
area is in major sun.

We tried barley balls - no help. Use Aqa Fix weekly. Also put in
MicroliftPL about 2 weeks ago - doesn't look like anything is
happening.

If we were to invest in a UV clarifier, will this get the water to
a somewhat clear state. Since we have a 4400 gal. pond and are in
between sizes, should we size up or down. We don't want to use too
many chemcials due to the fish and plants. We could use your help.

==

Answer #2>

Hi,

Adding a UV will clean up the planktonic algae you described. I
don't understand the in between sizes, so if it's a choice, size
up. And use the Microbe-Lift/PL, it's not a chemical. Two weeks
is not enough time to see any results. You should be putting
subsequent doses in weekly. You are, aren't you? The PL will
balance the nutrients that started the problems in the first place.

Regards,
Carolyn

MacArthur Water Gardens carries UV sterilizers.
Click the link below for additional information:

http://www.macarthurwatergardens.com/R/UV-sterilizers.htm

========== @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 03:14 PM | Comments (0)

September 14, 2006

Transporting Fish / Water Changes & Running Pumps

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

In this issue:

- Transporting Fish and Plants

- Water Changes and Running Pumps

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

Question #1>

Hello Carolyn,

About a year and a half ago, I constructed my first pond. It is
about 15' long and 8 ' wide and 34" to 36" in depth +-1800 gallons,
with a waterfall being fed by two gargoyle mouths.

After some careful investigation, I installed the Aqua Bead Filter
System with the Stainless Steel Filter and the Zap Pure U/V light,
with the 2 speed 1 h/p pump. The low speed on the pump provides
ample filtration and waterfall + saves $ on the monthly operation.

In my my vast experience as a pond enthusiast, (1 year) this is a
great equipment combination. It provides gin clear water with
minimal maintenance. I need to backflush weekly and power spray the
waterfall to remove growth every other week.

I have 13 Koi and 23 gold fish. The goldfish were the "mine
canaries" to assure a successful pond build, they survided and are
now 4" to 6". The koi are now 10" to 18" and they were wee koi at
the start. I have water lettuce and water hyacinth growing for fish
food and surface sun protection from algae.

Now that I've told you my life story, I proceed to the question at
hand. I'm planning to move, from Southern California to Las Vegas,
Nevada.

How do I transport my now mature live fish and plants from one
state to another? How do I prepare the new environment and the
transport vessel of fish, plants, etc, etc?????

==

Answer #1>

Hello,

No fair. That's a loaded question.

First, you should prepare a temporary holding tank, perhaps in the
garage, at the new home in Las Vegas. Set it up with make-shift
filtration and feed it ammonia (not the sudsy type) initially to
charge it up. Throw in some good bacteria (Microbe-Lift is good)
for the filter. Let that sit for a week or so, while you go back
and catch the rest of the fish.

To catch the fish, lower the pond down until the tops of the fish
are showing out of the water. This is the least stressful way for
you and for them. Pick them up with a sock net and put them in
double-bagged plastic bags in which you will fill with 1/4 water
and the rest, pure oxygen. So, you have to borrow an oxygen tank
from somebody or get one from Home Depot. They sell the welding
kits with small oxygen tanks in them. Take an extra oxygen tank
with you for the ride in case a bag breaks.

Then put each bag (don't overload them with fish, use as many bags
as necessary and give away some fish at this time!) into a carton
or picnic cooler for support. You will want to try keeping them
cool for the trip. Cool fish are calm fish.

Then stack them into your car or truck and keep the A/C on for them
until you get to the new place. If you have to stop overnight, I
suggest you check the fish.

When you get there, don't do any water exchanges. Just make sure
the water in the holding tank is the same, or close, to the
temperature in the bags and then lift each fish out of the bag into
the fresh water.

Don't put any of the old water from the bag into the tank and don't
put any of the tank water into the bag.

See? It's going to be a snap. Let your wife bring the filtration
equipment.

Regards,
Carolyn

MacArthur Water Gardens carries Micobe-Lift products. Click the link
below for additional information:

http://www.macarthurwatergardens.com/R/microbe-lift.htm

_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
Enter Your Pond in our 2006 Pond Galleria!
Just send us 4 or 5 good pictures of your backyard pond
paradise, and we'll include you in the galleria. Send
your pictures and a brief description to us at
pondpics@macarthurwatergardens.com
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/


Question #2>

Hi Carolyn,

I am in my 2nd year with a 4000-gallon rock garden waterscape
hosting approximately 15 goldfish; mostly Reds, 2 Shubumkins, and 1
Koi(?). My waterscape consists of two smaller ponds spilling into a
larger pond with a 35' stream also spilling into the main pond.

There are seven waterfalls throughout the waterscape. A "Tsurumi"
5500 gph bio pump drives the main waterscape. A "TetraPond" 3800
gph bio pump powers the stream. My family and friends have really
enjoyed the water garden ecology since its construction. Hardly
have I ever experienced major problems with water quality, clarity
or bottom debris.

I did have a small problem with spring "string" algae but cleared
that up using chemicals specifically for that purpose. I use a
product called "All-In-One" on a weekly basis and have never
changed the water in the pond since I filled it last year, with the
exception of rainwater and an occasional addition of house water
when pond levels are low due to evaporation.

Why is it necessary to change out 25% of the water on a weekly
basis as you have suggested to many of your clients? Is it really
necessary? Should it be considered normal weekly maintenance, or
were you comments directed and intended to remedy a particular
problem for your client? In my case, 1000 gallons per week is a
lot of $$ water.

Additionally, for conservation purposes, is it necessary to run my
bio filter pumps 24 hour a day, or can I run the pumps on an
alternating timed schedule.

What is the maximum downtime allowed for pumps to maintain good
water quality?

Thank you … your comments are appreciated

==

Answer #2>

Hi,

I recommend doing the 25% water changes weekly for regular
maintenance and not simply to resolve particular problems. I don't
recommend wasting the water however. It can and should be recycled
to the garden.

Providing you do not use salt in the pond, you can find no better
water (and fertilizer) to use in watering grass, flowers, shrubs
and vegetables. As for the cost, I expect you would be watering
the landscape plants anyway to keep them alive in summer heat, no?
It costs no more to irrigate than to do the water change.

Regarding pumps, being overly frugal is not recommended. Bacteria
will die off within 8 hours of shutting down the system. They are
aerobic and anaerobic, but the former will not survive without
oxygen being circulated to them. The nitrifying bacteria in the
pond are stationary, so the food and supplies must be brought to
them. I do not recommend shutting down, ever. I keep my system
running 24/7 365 days a year. As a result, I pay a few more
dollars in the end but I do not have to reestablish my bacteria,
and restabilize the system, daily or even weekly.

I have a 6000-gallon system and I am not rich. I take my
responsibilities seriously. I knew what I was in for when I built
the pond. I have external pumps, two of them, a bottom drain and
skimmer, feeding a stream and a combination vortex/bubble bead
filter. Nothing but the right way for my fish and my bacteria.
This is my 16th year with a pond. You learn as you go and some
lessons are learned the hard way.

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 09:43 PM | Comments (0)

September 12, 2006

Spots on Fish / Getting Crystal Clear Water


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

In this issue:

- Spots on Fish

- Getting Crystal Clear Water

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

Question #1>

Hello Carolyn,

I have a pond about 500 gallons. We irrigate our yard every 3 weeks with
water from the local river, and about a month ago, I made the mistake of
putting in some baby fish that were left in the canal that feeds our yard.

I have 8 koi and about 7 goldfish in there, my koi being the largest. Prior
to my stupid mistake of putting in the 4 baby fish of unknown breed,
(probably carp, but too small to identify, about 4 inches long, and black) I
had a very healthy bunch of fish.

Now, my two biggest koi, (10-12 inches) have what look like grey spots on
their front part of the body, below their eyes, but behind the gills.
Interestingly, both have the same spot in the same area, but one of them
seems to be developing additional spots by his tail.

We have been doing water exchanges weekly and treating the pond with
Melafix, but I am still seeing the spots. I believe we have done 3-4
treatments now.

Does this sound like a life threatening situation, and do you have any
suggestions? I sure would appreciate any help you can give! By the way, I
love your e mails, they are so informative and help a lot, I am a new pond
owner and realize I made a mistake by adding these fish. They are still in
there, should I take them out? I was just trying to save these baby fishes
lives. Please don't slap me for my stupidity! He he!

Oh, one last question, we live in a desert area of the USA, but lately have
been getting a LOT of rain. Is this harmful to my fish? They all seem
healthy and happy, swimming and eating voraciously, just those darn spots
concern me. Please help! Thanks!

==

Answer #1>

Hello,

Sounds like you may have brought in some fish lice. I suggest you
catch on of those fish and take a really close look at the gray
spot, see it if is somehow attached to the koi, like a thread
hanging from its face. If so, you need to treat for parasites and
then secondary bacterial infection. I don't want to alarm you,
but that's what this reminds me of and I am only guessing, given
the information you provided. You can take the fish to a vet or
fish expert for verification.

Regards,
Carolyn


_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
Enter Your Pond in our 2006 Pond Galleria!
Just send us 4 or 5 good pictures of your backyard pond
paradise, and we'll include you in the galleria. Send
your pictures and a brief description to us at
pondpics@macarthurwatergardens.com
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Question #2>

Hi Carolyn,

I have two ponds, one is 750 gal's the other one is 500 gal's. What
I would like to find out is how do you keep all the small junk in
the pond from floating around,

I would love to have crystal clear ponds. They are above ground
ponds, made with 4x4 and a liner. I have a cal filter and a tetra
filter on it and two 9w UV on it, and plant in it for all the babys
that I keep getting in it, stuff still flots in the water.

Can you help me to have a crystal clear pond, I am on a fixed
income now. I built both ponds, The other one has two canster
filters and two UV on it, I use 1250 gph pumps on both ponds, Thank
You

==

Answer #2>

Hi,

I have found that if the pump is in the water (a submersible type)
the dirt that I want the filter to remove will be pureed and less
likely (too small) to be removed by the filter. That's one thing.
The other thing that causes it is too many fish or too much
feeding.

The finer your filter media, the finer the particulate matter which
will be removed. You could add a bog filter to further trap
particulate matter. Even bacteria can't remove or biodegrade
particulate matter.

Sludge Away might help to solubilize the particulate matter so the
bacteria can assist.

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 03:23 PM | Comments (0)

September 10, 2006

Caring for Pond Fish During Winter / Green Sludge

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

In this issue:

- Caring for Pond Fish During Winter

- Green Sludge

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

==================================================
To view today's Q&A online, click here:
http://www.macarthurwatergardens.com/Q%26A/HTML/Sep-01-2006.htm
==================================================

Question #1>

Hello Carolyn,

I just visited to your site to get some outdoor pond ideas. I
really like your great idea. I want to make similar style pond in
my backyard but I have couple Qs. such as;

1. How to take care for pond fish during winter time?

2. Beyond my backyard fence, there are plenty of Ducks flying
sometimes inside my backyard, How do I protect my pond fish?

I will be very appreciated if you will reply my two questions...I
will keep visiting to your site for the best result.

Thanks.

==


Answer #1>

Hi,

If the pond is deep enough, the fish should be okay for the winter
outside. You need to know what the frost line is in your area, how
deep it would freeze, so you can dig your pond at least one foot
deeper. If you are keeping koi, you may want to double that
amount.

Some people choose to bring their fish indoors and others simply
erect a covering to create a greenhouse effect conserving heat
inside for the pond. Then it doesn't actually freeze. Still
others install heating systems for their ponds out of gas or hot
water circulating heating systems. My own pond is nearly 7 ft.
deep and the frost line is 18".

As for the ducks, a good hunting dog might be a deterrent. Are you
in the United States? If so, they are protected by migratory bird
laws so you can't harm them if they come to call on your pond.
They are dirty and will even try to eat your fish. Again. a deep
pond and good filtration is the best defense for the fish. Two
ducks tried to land in my pond but when the two dogs ran out
barking they took off, never to return. Wish I could say the same
for the heron!

Regards,
Carolyn


_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
Enter Your Pond in our 2006 Pond Galleria!
Just send us 4 or 5 good pictures of your backyard pond
paradise, and we'll include you in the galleria. Send
your pictures and a brief description to us at pondpics@macarthurwatergardens.com
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/


Question #2>

Hi Carolyn,

Wonderful site! I solved a very bad algae problem in my 800 gal.
pond, but the resulting green sludge left over has apparently
overwhelmed my filter capacity, and I can't seem to figure out how
to get rid of it. Is there a vacuum for such a problem? thanx., I
have baby Goldfish, and don't necessarily want to suck them up
either.

==


Answer #2>

Hi,

My suggestion is to get a bigger filter to handle the gunk. In
order for your present filter to remove it you will have to do a
lot of maintenance, if you so decide. It isn't going to harm the
fish, but is unsightly.

You may use AlgaeFix and then add beneficial bacteria to restore
the balance to the pond. Shade the pond and do weekly water
changes - 25 % minimum - and you will probably have a nicer pond.

Regards,
Carolyn

You can find AlgaeFix at: http://xrl.us/ri73
(Link to www.macarthurwatergardens.com)


========== @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 11:34 AM | Comments (0)