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     Today's Pond Q&A - Now Archived For You!


Hi Friend,

We're a little behind in the Q&A emails, so we're going to look at three questions today...

But first, here's an important update:

*************************************************************
For those of you who have missed previous Q&A articles, we've decided to archive each days Pond Q&A on our weblog. Many of your questions can be found and answered here, so before sending us your questions, please review this page first:
http://www.macarthurwatergardens.com/BLOG
*************************************************************

Question #1>

Hi Brett,

I would like your advice, I brought a Fish Mate UV+BIO Pressurised Pond Filter to control the algae, It appears to work fine, the pond is 8ft * 6ft * 2feet deep with a waterfall. We have 6 goldfish in the pond.

My question is in two parts.

1: We live in England in the North East of Yorkshire and over winter the water will freeze, a friend has told me I can leave the pump running as 'running water' won't freeze, is this true or should I turn the pump off.

2: If I turn the pump off over winter, what happens to the biologically active critters?

Any help will be gratefully received. I've enclosed a photo of the pond and waterfall,

http://www.macarthurwatergardens.com/PondQA/images/MyPond.jpg

Regards

Malcolm Hills

==

Answer>

HI Malcolm,

You can leave your pump running, and the water may not freeze, but this is really not the best way to do this. As we've covered in recent Pond Q&A's, it's much better to turn the pump off and not circulate the water, as the water at the bottom of the pond in winter will remain slightly warmer than at the surface. If you circulate it, it is then colder all over and for your fish. So, we recommend a de-icer..

If you're not able to find one near you, one of our readers send in an inexpensive alternative, which we haven't tested - but sounds interesting. She suggested floating a common 'beach ball' in the pond, and as the wind moves it around - the ice will not form in the pond. You could try that also...

To answer your second question, your good bacteria, or 'biologically active critters' as you called them, will die off during winter anyway. Some will remain dormant, and start the process all over again in Springtime, but leaving your pump running will do little to keep them alive once the temperatures drop.

Hope this helps,

Brett

==

Question #2>

Hi Brett

I really get lots of info. from your Q&A time.

I have a question for you, i know we are supposed to clean and take pumps out in cold weather. I need to know how cold before we take the pumps out. When the water is freezing or before it gets that cold.

About what temp should this be done? I live in wyoming and it 's getting pretty cold. And i have fish in the pond.

Thanks for all of the info.

jeannette in cold wyoming.

==

Answer>

Hi Jeanette,

Well it sounds like it must be getting cold in many parts of the country!

Down here in Florida, it must have dropped down to under 70 today ;-) Hey, I have to at least take a friendly cheap shot at all your Northerners every once in awhile (I used to be one, so it's ok). I paid my dues, living up in 'the land of ice and snow.' for ten years was enough.

Anyway, on to your questions...

The best time to remove your pumps is when the water is getting cold enough that your fish aren't eating and their metabolism is slowing down going into hibernation. It's really a subjective decision, but I'd recommend when the water drops below 40 degrees.

This way, it's still above freezing, but cold enough that the fish don't really need as much oxygen. And if they haven't been eating for awhile - they also not producing much waste to pollute the water. Your beneficial bacteria are largely inactive at this point anyway, so there's no use in circulating the water...

==

Question #3>

I have a 1000 gallon water tank set it my basement for my koi fish, I have a bioloigical filter system for ponds up to 4000 gallons with a 25 watt uv sterilizer hooked to a 1200gph pump.

I check my ammonia levels twice aweek, at the beginning of the week everything is fine, but by the end of the week I have to do a 50% water change. Is this normal? Is there something I am doing wrong, is there something that I can do so I don't have to change so much so often?

Thanks,

Mary

==

Answer>

Well Mary,

It depends on how many fish you have in the 1000 tank, and how old your filter is. The correct way to size any filter, is really based on how many pounds of fish you have. However, most koi keepers and pond owners have no idea - so filter mfg's make it easy by giving a '# of gallons' rating.

The problem with this is, if you have 50lbs of fish in a 1000 gallong pond, it's going to be difficult to keep your Ammonia levels down with ANY filter.

Also, many pond filters are very aggressive in their ratings of what their filters will handle, in terms of pond size. Especially, some of the less expensive and even mid-range filters..

Why? Because they want to sell filters, and b/c everyone seems to over-rate their filters capacity. The bottom line is, that if you're still getting Ammonia readings, then your filter is not big enough.

Some things you can do to help are: Adding a biological additive like Microbe Lift-PL to help keep your good bacteria levels high and to help digest any decaying organic waste in the pond - another potential source for Ammonia.

Also, cut back on your feedings (or discontinue) until you can get you Ammonia levels under control. High Ammonia levels can cause undue stress on fish, which over time will result in a weakened immuse system and possibly sick (or dead) fish.

You can also use a product called 'Ammo-Lock II' which basicaly neutralizes the Ammonia, and makes it relatively non-toxic. It's also great for de-chlorinating new pond water...

Hope this helps.

Here are links to the two products I mentioned above:

Microbe Lift:
http://www.macarthurwatergardens.com/microbe-lift/microbe-lift-products.shtml

Ammo Lock II:
http://www.macarthurwatergardens.com/Additives/pondcare_ammolock2.html

====

Happy Ponkeeping!

Brett Fogle

==

 
 
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