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My fish are looking for food. Can I feed them now? If so, what kind of food do I give them? | Decorative Ponds & Water Gardens Q & A

My fish are looking for food. Can I feed them now? If so, what kind of food do I give them?

Q: My fish are looking for food. Can I feed them now? If so, what kind of food do I give them?

Rick – Great Falls, MT

A: Fish sure seem know when spring is coming. This time of year, your koi and goldfish that have been hibernating over the winter are waking up—and they’re hungry.

Slow Eaters

When water temperatures dip below 45 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter months, your fishes’ metabolisms slows down. They enter into a hibernation-type state, during which time they require little or no food. They literally live off the fat stores in their body.

As the water temperature rises above 45 degrees in the spring, the fish start moving. Their metabolisms turn back on, and they need food to fuel their increased activity. To transition the fish from no food to daily food, fish experts recommend feeding a wheat germ-based diet when water temperatures are consistently between 45 and 55 degrees. A diet like Pond Logic® Spring & Fall Fish Food is quickly and easily digested by the fish.

Summertime Bounty

In the warmer months when your water temperature tops 55 degrees, you can continue to feed the wheat germ-based diets, or you can choose to gradually re-introduce protein-based diets that help the fish grow quickly and show off their colors. Here’s what we recommend:

Choose the diet that best fits in with your goals for the fish. If you’re not interested in growing your Kohaku into show-quality specimens, for instance, stick to the everyday or color enhancement diet.

Word of Warning

The weather may be warming up, but make sure the water temperatures are at a consistent 45 degrees before you start feeding your fish. Feeding them before they’re able to properly digest the food can lead to health issues.

Pond Talk: What’s your pond’s water temperature where you live?

Specialized Cool Weather Diet - Pond Logic® Spring & Fall Fish Food

When should I take the aerator out of my water garden? | Decorative Ponds & Water Gardens Q & A

When should I take the aerator out of my water garden?

Q: When should I take the aerator out of my water garden?

Peter – Townsend, DE

A: You gotta love your aerator. This valuable wintertime tool not only keeps a hole in the ice for gas exchange, but it also circulates the water beneath the ice. Your Airmax® PondAir™ Aeration System keeps your fish happy and healthy through the icy winter months.

As springtime approaches and you notice that the ice covering your pond starts to recede, your fish may become more active. This indicates that your finned friends are no longer under threat from trapped gas—so it’s logical to assume you can remove the aerator, right?

Not so fast.

Mother Nature has a way of teasing us with spring sunshine, so don’t get too excited. In most places across the continent, it’s still cold and your pond’s ecosystem will remain dormant until water temperatures start hitting the 50-degree mark.

Your best bet is to keep the aerator running.

Chances are that you’re not quite ready to get the filtration system up and running in your pond, so your aerator will continue to circulate the water and saturate it with oxygen.

Even when the water warms up, your aerator’s added circulation is great for the pond and fish during the hot summer months. Plus, it helps stimulate filtration and beneficial bacteria. If you leave it running, you’ll see that the benefits outweigh the nominal amount it costs to run it.

Pond Talk: Has spring sprung in your part of the country?

Breathe Life Into Your Pond - Airmax® PondAir™ & TrueRock™ Combo

What can I do to maintain my lakefront property? | Ponds & Lakes Q&A

What can I do to maintain my lakefront property?

Q: What can I do to maintain my lakefront property?

John – Beltsville, MD

A: Ahhh … waking up to the sun rising over your slice of a tranquil lake sounds divine—and it makes sense that you’d want to keep that piece of heaven pristine.

So what can you do to maintain it?

If you live by a large lake, pond dye may not be a feasible way to beautify your shoreline. But here are a few things you can do to help promote a healthy lakefront.

  • Use Natural Bacteria: You can apply beneficial bacteria, like those found in Pond Logic® MuckAway™, to shoreline areas to promote muck removal around your dock or beach. The bacteria consume the accumulated organic debris, improving water clarity and eliminating smell.
  • Install Circulators: Dock-mounted or float-mounted circulators , like the Kasco Circulator with Horizontal Float, can help speed up muck decomposition and guide muck away from a boat well or shorefront by moving the water and adding oxygen to it.
  • Control Weeds: If pesky phragmites grow on your lakefront, you can spray them with aquatic herbicides and cut them back with a weed cutter, like the Weed Cutter. Weed control will discourage critters and mosquito populations from moving in.

What’s the Catch?

Well, the catch is that treating a lakefront property is trickier than treating your private backyard pond or lake. Because you’re affecting water that you share with wildlife and other homeowners, you will need to contact your local environmental quality department for permission to treat the area with bacteria or chemicals. Once you get the OK, you can treat away!

Another option is to hire a licensed herbicide applicator in your area. These businesses can assist you with the permit process—and some can even be hired to maintain the area for you so you can spend more time lounging by the lake.

Pond Talk: If you live lakefront, what have you done to improve your beach or shoreline area?

Naturally Eliminate Pond Muck - Pond Logic® MuckAway™

Prepare Your Pond For Winter | Learning Center

As the days and nights stay to get chilly, you may want to start thinking about getting your pond in shape for the winter months. The longer you wait, the colder it will be to remove pumps, UV lights and pressure filters. Here are some simple steps to follow for shutting down your pond:

    1. Start with a basic cleanup. Vacuum out debris from the bottom of your pond and skim out any leaves or twigs. We recommend refraining from a full cleanout because it can cause too much stress on your fish before the winter months.
    2. Remove the following products from the pond and do not forget to blow out and cap your tubing:
    • All-In-One Filtration Units
    • UV Clarifiers (Remove the entire unit, not just the bulb.)
    • Pressurized Filters
    • Pumps (Keep in a bucket of water to keep seals lubricated. Store in an area that will not freeze.)
    • Ion Clarifiers
    3. Raise your aeration stones or plates. This keeps the water moving at the top of the pond but calm at the bottom for your fish’s winter hibernation. Bring your deicer out to the pond. Don’t turn it on yet but you will be ready for the first cold spell.
    4. Put a net over your pond when the leaves begin to fall. Remember to net out any leaves that may have fallen in.
    5. After the first frost, remove all tropical plants from your pond and cut dead vegetation off from any hardy plants.
    6. If your pump usually resides in your skimmer box, pump the water down just below the skimmer door or weir. This ensures water stays in your pond and not filling the skimmer box.
    7. As your water temperatures dip below 50°, begin to use Seasonal Defense®. Begin to feed your fish Spring & Fall Fish food at this time. When water temperatures drop below 40°, stop feeding your fish and discontinue using Seasonal Defense®.

Creating The Perfect Pond With UV | Learning Center

UV Clarifiers are designed to destroy the ultra fine planktonic algae that cause green water. When algae cells are exposed to the bulb’s ultraviolet rays, the radiation destroys the cellular wall of the planktonic algae. As a result, the tiny particles of dead algae clump together and are removed by your mechanical filtration system.

UV clarifiers are a great addition to a pond suffering from green water caused by full sun exposure or too many fish. Please note, UV Clarifiers do not affect string algae.

Be sure to pay attention to the flow rates listed on each particular UV filter. If your pump’s flow rate is higher than recommended, algae will not be exposed to the UV radiation long enough to damage the cell. Thus, rendering the UV filter virtually useless. By using a pump that is too large, you also run the risk of damaging the UV unit by creating too much pressure. If your pump is too small, you run the risk of the UV clarifier acting like a sterilizer. With slowly moving water, the UV bulb will kill both the algae and any beneficial bacteria that floats by.

While a UV clarifier can work wonders on your water garden it is only a patch to the real issue. Make sure you are properly maintaining your pond, using an adequate amount of filtration, keeping a low fish population, and utilizing your bacteria products.

Fish Health – The Basics On Preventing & Treating Illness | Learning Center


Keep your pond clean and healthy by providing adequate filtration, aeration, and regularly cleaning and adding beneficial bacteria to the pond. A DefensePAC® is a great tool to help maintain water quality and a ClearVac™ Pond Vacuum cleaning your pond easier and more enjoyable. When performing water changes use Pond and Fish Conditioner to detoxify any chemical or heavy metal contaminates in the water as well as reduce fish stress and improve their slime coat which makes them less susceptible to disease. Dosing your pond with Pond Logic® Pond Salt will also help improve their slime coat and gill functions further ensuring healthy and happy fish.
If your fish still manage to fall under the weather the will almost always show some inconsistency in their behavior that will give you a clue as to what is going on. When fish are stressed or ill they will tend to be lethargic and less social, often just floating in one area away from your other fish. If they have anchor worm you will see them rubbing on rocks or the wall of the pond which is known as flashing. You can also visually inspect your fish for signs of illness. Deterioration of their fins, mouth or gills can indicate poor water quality or parasites. Look for loose or odd looking scale formations and sores on the body of the fish.
There are three steps to follow to nurture your sick fish back to health:

  1. Since most illness is due to stress or water quality in their environment you will want to provide some temporary relief from the source. Start by performing a 25% water change in the pond to get some fresh water into the system. If only a few fish seem to be affected you may also choose to set up an isolation tank and treat just the affected fish. Next add salt and be sure both the pond or isolation tank has adequate aeration.
  2. Identify the fish sickness based on their symptoms. Take pictures, examine the fish for and cuts, redness or inflammation in the gills and record their habits. Once you’ve identified the symptoms you can choose the next course of action which may involve additional medications or treatments.
  3. Reevaluate your normal pond routines. Go back to see if there is anything you should change to prevent illness in the future. When dealing with sick fish it is always important to focus on preventing issues before they have a chance to ruin your ponding season so you can spend the majority of your season playing with your pets instead of playing doctor.

The Life Cycle Explained – Understanding The Changes In Your Pond | Learning Center

From small ponds to large lakes, all water bodies encompass an ever changing ecosystem struggling to find balance. To help you better understand the life cycle of your pond, we’ll break down the process into two basic stages:
Stage 1 – A freshly dug pond is free from weed and debris caused by wildlife, waste, plant decay and other organic material. The water is generally clean and clear and there is minimal algae and weed growth. New ponds typically remain in Stage 1 for 3 – 5 years.
Stage 2 – Over time organic debris begins to accumulate and the pond becomes overabundant with nutrients. These excess nutrients become an effective plant fertilizer, causing weeds and algae to grow prolifically. You may begin to notice emergent weeds, like cattails and shoreline grasses, growing along the shoreline and a foul smell emanating from the water. Pond owners tend to use reactive treatments like aquatic herbicides and algaecides during this stage to kill existing growth. These reactive treatments provide a temporary fix to weed and algae control. If left in the pond, the decaying plant material turns into nutrient-rich pond muck that continues to fuel weed and algae growth. The pond then enters a continuous cycle of reactive treatments, leaving you, the pond owner, to use chemicals to control growth.
Be Proactive – For long-term treatment, treat the source of weed and algae growth. Using beneficial bacteria, pond dye, and aeration can keep your pond clean and free of the organic debris that shifts your pond into Stage 2. Using the proactive approach to pond management can save you time, frustration and money by treating the source of pond weeds and algae.

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