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     Water Gardening - Articles
  Water gardening articles for your pond

Article 2 - Water Gardening

Water Gardening - An Overview

Clear water is usually the primary goal of any water gardener. In a new fish pond or Koi pond, however, the water is seldom clear for very long. This can be rectified easily if the fish pond or Koi pond is of the correct depth, has a good filtration system, and correctly chosen plants and wildlife are stocked in sufficient numbers. The only ingredient left to clear the new fish / Koi pond water is patience.

The worst thing to do is change the water. Replacing the water will only delay the developing balance of the new pond's ecosystem. There are algaecides on the market and even dyes to artificially color the water, but these are only temporary solutions to a problem only nature can correct. When fertilizing the lawn, take care not to contaminate the fish pond.

Any new nutrients introduced to the system will only prolong the life of the algae or even start an algae bloom. Algaecides are of dubious value as they kill the algae all at once instead of the slow natural death rate that the fish pond or Koi pond ecosystem can handle. When this happens, the microbial population of the fish pond or Koi pond begins a massive degradation of the algae and in so doing uses all of the oxygen in the fish pond. This will weaken the animal life in the fish pond or Koi pond and possibly result in a fish kill.

What is turning the fish pond or Koi pond green are innumerable single celled algae. These are present in all water and will create a bloom in any water left in the sun undisturbed. The long filamentous algae that grow on the bottom and sides of the fish pond or Koi pond are not responsible for the discoloration of the pond. These filamentous algae are actually good for the fish pond and aid in concealing the liners, shelves, pots, and bricks used to prop up some pots.

In time the balance of the fish pond or Koi pond will shift away from the green algae, and the plants will cover most of the fish pond's surface denying light to the algae. The oxygenators and other plants will eventually outcompete the algae for the available CO 2 and soluble nutrients. Sometimes the fish pond or Koi pond will suddenly clear overnight as the algae succumb and sink to the bottom.

Occasionally throughout the pond's life, this algal bloom may reoccur for a short time. It may happen in the spring when the water in the fish pond or Koi pond has turned over (undergone a temperature inversion), the temperature of the water is increasing, the nutrient levels are up, and the plants are still dormant. Algal blooms of short duration are to be expected.

Pond pumps should be pulled from the fish pond and cleaned regularly. The pond filters may need weekly cleaning. The interval will depend on your particular fish pond's ecology. The pond filter should be checked weekly, and the pond pump inspected at these times and records kept to build a history of your fish pond or Koi pond. This is the best way to know what your fish pond needs and when.

Liners should last without problem for the time specified by the manufacturer if they are properly installed and care is taken not to puncture them while walking in the fish pond or Koi pond to service the plants, fish, and circulation system.

Fish should be watched for infections of fungi and other parasites. If any die, remove them as soon as they are found. If any seem particularly intent on eating your plants, decide which you are most fond of and take appropriate action.

 

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