In this article, we'll highlight some of the important steps to
take immediately after and during a storm to preserve the health
of the pond.
The first thing we'd recommend is to net out and remove all of
the leaves, tree limbs, and other debris that have fallen in the
pond during the storm.
The reason is that these will quickly start to decay and add to
the organic load that pond has to carry. If the power is out and
the filter is off - this can cause problems with water quality
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One of our readers also sent in this tip about shingles: "After
a storm it's important to look for any roofing tiles that may
have blown into the pond and remove them immediately because
often times roof tiles contain harmful chemicals that may be
harmful to fish."
During a storm, or any other situation when your pond loses power
for more than several hours to several days, it's also vital that
your bio-filter gets fresh oxygenated water every 12 hours or so
(more often if the filter is exposed to direct sunlight or high
If not, the beneficial bacteria will start to die off and you
could lose your entire bio-filter. Worse yet, if the good
bacteria population goes bad and then you start up your pump and
filter, all the toxic waste from the dead bacteria goes right
back into your pond. This can create a huge Ammonia spike, which
be very detrimental to your fish.
so, here are a couple steps you can take to preserve your
bio-filter (good bacteria) when your power is out.
In our case, we covered the filter by a large tarp to prevent any
damage caused by falling tree limbs, or by wind and rain - also
to keep it cool and out of direct sun. As we uncover the filter
after the storm, it's dry underneath the tarp with no apparent
Then we opened out drain plug and drained the filter, while at
the same time we opened up the top of the filter to inspect the
beads and filter media while it's still at the top. Now if you
have a different type of filter, that's ok - what we want to do
here is just give it the 'smell' test. Open up your filter and
give it a quick whiff to see if you notice any 'rotten egg'
smell. If not, you're in good shape. If yes, that smell is
hydrogen sulfide and means that your good bacteria have started
to go bad...
In our case, it smelled nice and fresh with no odor at all. So,
after we drained out all the old water that had been sitting for
12 hours or so, we then replaced the drain plug and re-filled the
filter ** using water from the pond **. It's important not to
use hose or tap water, as the chlorine/chloramine in the water
will surely kill the good bacteria we're trying to preserve. So
it's important to use 'seasoned' water from the pond.
It's best to pour the new water in from high up enough to
oxygenate the pond water going back into the filter. This will
help the good bacteria survive until the next water change, which
should be done in another 12-24 hours by repeating this sequence.
Here's another quick tip:
An experienced KOI keeper I know recently sent out this tip for
oxygenating the pond water during a power outage. Take a spray
bottle and fill it with hydrogen peroxide, then squirt one to two
sprays per 10 gallons of water into the pond every day. This can
also be used for indoor aquarium fish, or for koi brought
indoors. Be careful not to add too much however, as it can be
toxic in high doses.
And just to show how dedicated I am to sharing my pond knowledge
with all my readers, as I was getting water from the pond to pour
into my filter for this sequence, I was standing right smack dab
on top of the biggest fire-ant hill you've ever seen! It was
more like a mini-city, with hundreds of tiny fire-and workers
running all about. Needless to say they weren't too happy about
me planting my big ugly foot right on top of them, so they got me
pretty good.. The next day, this same foot swelled up like an
eggplant for a few days ;-)
Bit it was well worth it if everybody learned something from this
In tomorrows article, I'll be sending out pictures of the
Tropical KOI Club's Meeting that I attended today at my good
friend Charles Lewis' house in Miami. He's the president of the
Tropical KOI Club down here, and he's got a beautiful pond the
size of a swimming pool, with some of the nicest KOI you've ever
We'll have lots of nice pictures from that, and maybe a few from
last month's meeting...