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Spring Into Spring

Great Info For Your Pond! 
February 2015

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February 2015 Q & A
Answers to help you get Clean water, Healthy Fish, Beautiful Ponds!

In this issue

  When to start up the pond after winter
  Using DeIcers
  Frozen Fish?
  10% Off Coupon - see below

Question:

Is it OK to run my large waterfall during the winter? I read an article where it is nice to have the waterfall run all winter because it looks so good. I also read an article from you saying to leave everything off and only run a heater to keep a hole open through the ice so the fish are not bothered by the running water as they are almost dormant.

Also, when do you think I should start up my 12,000 gallon pond and turn on all the underwater pumps? I know not to feed my fish until the water temperature is over 50 degrees. So should I wait to do everything at the same time?

 

Answer


Yes, you can run your waterfall during winter, but your fish would prefer it to be nice and quiet while they're hibernating. We have a general rule that anything that causes *less* stress on the fish is the better way to go. The other reason it's best to leave the waterfall off is because during winter, you will still have 'thermal layers' in the pond water, where the water closer to the surface will be coldest, and the water toward the bottom will be several degrees warmer.

By running your waterfall pumps, you are re-circulating all this water and actually making the water *colder* where the fish are sleeping at the bottom. Again, less cold equals less stress equals happier fish..

BUT, if you really want to see the waterfall running in winter, and that is a primary reason for having the pond in the first place - it's your call. As far as when to turn everything back on, we usually recommend waiting until the weather is back into the 50's consistently, and you're ready to start feeding the fish again. A partial water change is also a good idea at this time, and will really 'refresh' your fish and help get the pond ready for spring. Remember to de-chlorinate your water with a good product like Ammo-Lock.

Question:

Last week we purchased a 1500 watt pond deicer for rubber lined ponds and floated it over the weekend.  Since the pond water temp is still in the 40s, the unit probably has not even turned itself on yet…..but my fish are VERY interested in the unit. They are constantly milling around and bumping, or "kissing", all areas of the unit.

It seems to me that my babies could easily fry (pun intended) themselves on the heater element. Is there any sort of safeguard we can put in place to protect our fry from frying?

Answer:

We wouldn't worry too much about that, fish are a little smarter then we give them credit for (at least sometimes.)  Once the heating element kicks in (water temp below 35 degrees) the fish's instincts should kick in once the fish approaches the hot part.

But in the worst case, we can pretty much guarantee each fish will only kiss the heating element ONCE then never again!

Alternatively, we do sell an underwater sign that reads 'Danger - Dangerous When Hot' that you can hang over the side to alert your fish of any potential danger. Only joking of course, just a little fish humor.

Question:

Last week
it was bitterly cold here in the nations middle section!  We are afraid of our fish which we left outside to weather the typically mild winter.  Now with much regret, we are worried about how they will make it through the rest of the season.  Should we be concerned about having frozen fish?

 

Answer:

We wouldn't worry too much about
"frozen fish" if a section of the pond is at least 18 inches deep.  Pond fish will seek the deepest part of the pond and over-winter there until the water warms in the spring.  If your pond is less than 18 inches deep, the fish may freeze during a harsh winter.  Some pond keepers attempt to keep their koi and goldfish in a cool basement or garage.  This is not recommended because of the extra stress involved in netting, transporting, and re-acclimating the fish to the new environment.  However, if you do not have a choice, and need to bring your fish inside for the remainder of the winter, be sure to have an aquarium air pump, aerator or small fountain to provide oxygenation.  The fish should be fed infrequently, if at all, depending on water temperature, ammonia, pH and nitrite levels, which should be monitored weekly especially if the fish are being fed.  Small water changes (20%) each month will keep the water in good shape until spring.  Koi are "jumpers", so be sure to cover the pool with bird netting or similar!

Use coupon code SPRING09 at checkout for 10% off purchases.  Offer excludes Aquabead filtration systems, and any other items with free shipping.  Offer not good on previous purchases.  Offer expires 2/16/09.

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MacArthur Water Gardens  PO Box 3628 Weston FL 33331