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 PondStuff!- MacArthur Water Gardens Monthly Newsletter . Good News For Your Pond! 
September 2003 
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Dear Brett,

Welcome to the introductory issue of our monthly water gardening newsletter.

In these newsletters, you'll get great tips and tricks, how-to's and interesting articles that are all about pond ownership!

We'll leave no stone unturned in our quest to bring you up-to-the-minute, valuable information. Plus, we'll have a surprise contest, now and then, where you can win some pretty cool prizes right from the pages of our catalogs and web site.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy our new pond and water gardening newsletter!

in this issue
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  • To Salt or Not to Salt...
  • Fish Health in Post Summer Heat
  • Medicating Your Pond
  • Biological Filtration
  • UV Sterilizers: Fact or Fiction

  • Fish Health in Post Summer Heat
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    Summer is over, but for many of us - the heat remains. Here a couple of things to do to keep your fish healthy and your pond clear going into winter.

    First, remember to keep your pond well aerated. This is very important to your fish because the pond water actually holds less oxygen at higher pond temperatures. So if it's still hot in your part of the country, keep those waterfalls and fountains running! This will keep your pond water full of oxygen, and reduce stress on your fish.

    If you see your goldfish or KOI gasping at the surface, it's a good sign that you don't have enough dissolved oxygen in the water, and this can be dangerous. Especially if you have a lot of green water algae in the pond. This algae can absorb much of the oxygen in the pond water at night and cause very low dissolved oxygen levels during the day - which can be deadly to fish!

    One thing we recommend this time of year, is to do a partial water change. Drain off 10 - 25% of your total pond volume, and replace it with fresh, new dechlorinated water. If possible, vacuum or drain decaying organic matter and debris off the bottom to reduce the ponds bio-load.

    Read on... »

    Medicating Your Pond
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    Every pond owner with fish, at some time or another, will probably have to medicate their pond. Fish are like people, in the sense that they always carry some level of bacteria or parasites in their body much like we carry the common cold. Whether or not they develop a problem is more a function of their immune system becoming compromised. The best preventative for fish health problems is maintaining excellent water quality.

    The biggest factors in determining water quality are an unclouded pond environment, adequate biological filtration, minimal debris / sediment accumulation, and sufficient water circulation / aeration.

    If you notice that one or all of your fish appear to be sick, the first step is to correctly diagnose the problem. There are a wide variety of potential life threatening fish illnesses, but they can be broken down into two primary categories: bacterial infections and parasitic infections. The medications used to treat the different illnesses are usually very different, so properly identifying between these two types of problems is paramount.

    There are several excellent books that outline the different kinds of fish / KOI diseases, so we will not go into it in detail here. However, we can outline several of the most obvious and common symptoms and remedies. For bacterial infections

    Full Story »

    Biological Filtration
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    Recent advances in biological bead filtration have made it possible for the average pond owner to maintain clear, healthy water year round. These low maintenance systems have brought the fun back into owning a pond by eliminating the need for awkward sponge and other submersible filters that are difficult to clean. Many pond owners are now installing and recommending bead filters for their backyard ponds.

    Bead filters are filled with thousand of small poly-beads which provide a much greater surface area for beneficial bacteria to grow than traditional filters. These beneficial bacteria are essential for breaking down the toxins that are created by fish waste and decaying organic matter in the pond.

    A healthy pond environment, and the health of its inhabitants, are directly related to water quality and making sure that these toxic compounds are not allowed to build up.

    The other great advantage of bead filters are their ability to clear the water much more efficiently that traditional pond filters. By design, they trap particulate matter that would ordinarily pass through a filter, and then expel this waste during regular backwashing cycles. Backwashing cycles vary, depending on filter model, but generally are very easy and efficient.

    Full Story »

    UV Sterilizers: Fact or Fiction
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    Algae control in a pond can be a real nuisance, but suspended green algae or 'pea soup' is easily prevented and eradicated from the pond with the use of a UV sterilizer.

    Some people like to go the 'natural' route - and this is great for smaller to medium sized ponds. Just add lots of plants like Anachris, Water Hyacinths, and Water Lily's - and you should have crystal clear water for most of the season. The only downside to this is that these plants don't over winter well in most parts of the country (except hardy water lily's).

    For medium to larger ponds (500 gallons and over), it's usually not cost effective to replace all these plants every season. For an easy and effective solution - we recommend using a UV Sterilizer. A properly sized UV will clear a pond in 3-4 days, and keep it clear year round!

    Here's how it works: Your pond water is pumped through the UV unit, where it passes by a high intensity UV bulb. The UV bulb actually damages the cell structure of the suspended algae cells and alters its DNA which prevents it from replicating. The result - no more green water algae in your pond!

    More on this topic »

    To Salt or Not to Salt...
    The important question of whether or not to add salt to your pond is often confusing for beginners and forgotten by experienced pond-keepers. To newbies and pro's alike we have this to say:

    "Add Salt Today to Keep the Fish Doctor Away"

    True, there are some negative effects of higher salt levels on plants in the pond, but overall we think it is absolutely the very best thing you can add to your pond in terms of keeping your fish happy and healthy. Salt acts as a natural 'stress coat' and essentially thickens the slime coat on the fish's body - which is it's own natural defense system against bacteria and parasites.

    Salt is also very effective in killing bacteria and parasites in the pond. When added in proper doses, salting your pond can dramatically reduce the threat of disease affecting your fish.

    It's just like with humans - we are always exposed to the common cold cells in their body, but can usually resist if their immune system is strong. Similarly, pond fish and KOI are always exposed to some degree of parasite and bacteria presence in the pond, but by keeping their immune system strong and their slime coat thick, you shouldn't have any problems.

    Learn more....

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