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Are other fish like my plecostomus as hardy over the winter as my koi? | Decorative Ponds & Water Gardens Q & A

Are other fish like my plecostomus as hardy over the winter as my koi?

Q: Are other fish like my plecostomus as hardy over the winter as my koi?

Dale – Paoli, PA

A: Last week, we talked about how koi and certain types of goldfish, like Sarassa and Shubunkins, can overwinter in your pond or water garden even when water temperatures dip to near-freezing levels.

But what about other common pond fishes?

Well, it depends on your USDA hardiness zone, which divides the country into zones based on how cold the temperatures get. Just as with plants, some fish species can be “hardy” in some climates and not in others. An Oranda, for instance, might do just fine overwintering in a pond in Orlando, Fla., but up in Fargo, N.D., that same fish would turn into a popsicle—even with an aeration system and de-icer.

When the temperatures begin to fall in colder zones, here’s what you do:

1. Keep a close eye on your pond’s water temperature using a thermometer, like the Pond Logic® Floating Pond Thermometer. When the mercury hits 68 degrees or so, it’s time to bring those less hardy fishes—including Plecostomus, Oranda, Telescope goldfish and Black Moors—inside.

2. Carefully scoop those snowbird fishes out of the pond with a net, like The Pond Guy® 3-in-1 Combo Net, and place them in a bucket pre-filled with some of your pond’s water.

3. Re-home the fishes in a properly sized indoor fish tank or aquarium outfitted with the right mechanical and biological filtration system for the job. Be sure to condition the water and pre-treat it with some beneficial bacteria to kick start the system’s biological filtration, too.

As soon as sun thaws your pond water—or at least heats it back up to room temperature—it’s safe to return those fishes to their “summer” home.

Pond Talk: What kind of overwintering setup do you have for your less hardy fishes?

Pond Logic® Floating Thermometer - Monitor Water Temperature

Is it too cold to treat my algae blooms? | Ponds & Lakes Q&A

Is it too cold to treat my algae blooms?

Q: Is it too cold to treat my algae blooms?

Ashley – Cross Junction, VA

A: The bane of pond keepers, algae—be it planktonic pea soup, filamentous pond scum or bottom-dwelling chara—can be treated any time of year, as long as the water temperature in your pond or lake is above 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

But what’s so special about the magical 60-degree temp?

Though algae will grow at temperatures lower than that, the chemicals in both Pond Logic® Algae Defense & Cide-Kick Combo and Applied Biochemists Cutrine®-Plus Granular Algaecide that are used to control suspended, floating and bottom-of-the-pond algae require warmer water temperatures to work properly.

If you’re unsure of your lake’s water temperature, use a pond thermometer, like the Pond Logic® Floating Pond Thermometer, to get a fast and accurate reading.

Here are three more tips for treating fall algae blooms:

1. Heavier doses may be required: When treating well-established algae or algae that has grown later in the season, you may need to up your dosage rates to get the same effect as when treating fresh algae or algae that has sprung up in the spring. Read the product’s label for safe usage guidelines.

2. Use the right product: Pond Logic® Algae Defense & Cide-Kick Combo will take a serious toll on planktonic, filamentous and chara growth, but Applied Biochemists Cutrine®-Plus Granular Algaecide works especially well on chara. Well-established chara will build up a chalky deposit, which gives it super powers against chemical treatments. But the Cutrine-Plus granules sink to the bottom of the pond and dissipate right where that nuisance algae resides.

3. Watch the weather: The best time to apply Algae Defense and Cutrine-Plus Granular is in the morning on a calm, sunny day. For the Algae Defense, simply mix with water and spray with a pressurized sprayer; for the Cutrine-Plus Granular, broadcast the granules in the area that needs to be treated.

Once the water temperature dips below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, you’re out of luck when it comes to treating algae blooms. But you can revel in the fact that they will slow down when the water reaches 50 degrees or so—only to emerge again come spring!

Pond Talk: What do you do to treat fall algae blooms in your pond or lake?

Pond Logic® Algae Defense® - Quickly Eliminate Pond Algae

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