Posted on May 10, 2014 by thepondguy
Q: Why are water changes important?
Shirley – Warr Acres, OK
A: It’s nice to open a window on a warm spring day and let the fresh air flow through your house, right? Well, a partial or complete water change in your koi pond or water garden is the same thing: It freshens your finned pals’ environment, making them happy and healthy.
Here are five reasons why water changes are so important to your fish, plants and other aquatic life:
- Nutrient Removal: Muck and debris buildup happens in just about every water feature. A water change manually removes any excess nutrients and chemicals like nitrates, phosphates and ammonia that can be harmful to fish and other underwater critters.
- Healthy Fish: Fresh, clean water means improved water quality, which ultimately promotes your fishes’ health. Just as you need oxygen to thrive, your fish need clean water to thrive. Their well being is directly related to the liquid environment in which they live.
- Algae Control: Pea soup and string algae feed on all that decomposing waste, which they use as fertilizer. By removing those excess nutrients in the water column with a water change, you can discourage the growth of algae.
- Fights Foam: Foam forms when excess organic material has accumulated in your water garden. When this nutrient-laden water pours down your waterfall, the air and water collide, causing the proteins and other organics to be trapped inside bubbles rather than turning into ammonia and nitrites. A water change will quickly reduce that foamy buildup.
- Clears Water, Stabilizes pH: A water change will also improve the appearance of cloudy water and maintain pH levels, resulting in a pristine pond filled with healthy fish, lush greenery and clean water.
To keep stress levels down among your fish, we recommend doing partial water changes as soon as water temperatures reach 50° F. In addition, be sure to add some Stress Reducer PLUS and LiquidClear™ to your water. The Stress Reducer PLUS forms a beneficial slime coat on your fish and makes tap water safe for them. The LiquidClear’s™ beneficial bacteria helps to digest dead organics in the water, making it crystal clear.
Pond Talk: How often do you do water changes in your koi pond or water garden?
Filed under: Algae Control, Fish Diseases, Fish Population, Koi & Goldfish, Pea-Green Algae, Pond Cleanouts, Season-Long Control, Seasonal Care, Spring Cleanout, Spring Start-Up, Water Gardens & Features, Water Quality Issues | Tagged: algae, ammonia, clear water, fish stress, foam, nitrates, partial water changes, ph, protect fish, stress, stress reducer plus, water changes | 2 Comments »
Posted on May 3, 2014 by thepondguy
Q: Why does my water garden turn green and can I prevent it?
Laurie- Bardstown, KY
A: Green water in fish ponds and water features are a common conundrum faced by hobbyists. What causes it, and how can it be fixed?
Green water is the result of an imbalance in your pond’s ecosystem. When too many nutrients – also known as decomposing plant material, fish waste and other debris – build up in your water garden, algae flourish because the nutrients act like fertilizer to those tiny plants. That thriving planktonic algae is what causes your water to resemble pea soup.
To achieve balance in your pond, you need to evaluate and correct the underlying problems that are causing your green water. Here’s a guide that can help you identify the problem and work toward a solution:
- Problem: Too many fish.
Solution: If your water garden is brimming with fish, it may be time to relocate some of them. Overcrowding is a common source for green water because your filtration system may not be large enough to handle the amount of waste being produced. A simple rule of thumb to ensure room for your fish is one fish (5 inches long) for every 10 square feet of surface area.
- Problem: debris buildup.
Solution: After a long winter, waste and debris may have built up in your pond. A good spring cleanout will remove those excess nutrients that are feeding the algae. Here’s an easy step-by-step spring cleaning guide to follow that will help you through the process.
- Problem: Inadequate mechanical filtration.
Solution: Mechanical filtration helps to remove the excess nutrients from the water column. As the water passes through the filtration system, debris is removed and collected in the filter box or skimmer. Check to be sure your filtration system is adequate for your pond’s size and fish population. If it’s not, consider giving it a boost.
- Problem: Lack of beneficial bacteria.
Solution: Beneficial bacteria, like those found in DefensePAC®, are microorganisms that eat through detritus and other algae-feeding nutrients. With little or no nutrients to feed the algae, the green stuff will eventually die off. Learn more about DefensePAC’s® components and how to use them here.
- Problem: Inadequate aeration.
Solution: Those beneficial bacteria – as well as your pond’s fish – need life-giving oxygen to thrive, and that’s where aeration comes into play. Air being pumped into the water via a diffuser or air stone will circulate the water column and infuse the water with oxygen. Learn more about the importance of aeration here.
- Problem: Too much sunlight and not enough plants.
Solution: Because algae are plants, sunlight is essential for growth. You can block that sunlight by covering your water’s surface with floating plants. We recommend shading 40 to 60 percent of your pond with water lilies or other floating plants.
Once you’ve cleaned out your pond, checked your filtration and aeration systems, added some beneficial bacteria, adjusted your fish load and added some plants, you should be well on your way to clearing up that pesky algae. A final remedy to try is an ultraviolet clarifier, like The Pond Guy’s® PowerUV™ Clarifier. It’s designed to clear water. As a result, the tiny particles of debris clump together and are removed by your mechanical filtration system.
Good luck keeping that green water at bay!
Pond Talk: What do you do to clear up algae in your koi pond or water garden?
Filed under: Algae Control, Pea-Green Algae, Season-Long Control, UV Filter, Water Gardens & Features, Water Quality Issues | Tagged: algae, green water, pea soup, power uv, too many fish, uv, uv light filtration | 2 Comments »
Posted on April 12, 2014 by thepondguy
Q: I’ve heard a lot about Clipper Herbicide. What does it do?
Eldon – Urbandale, IA
A: Clipper™ Aquatic Herbicide controls a wide variety of algae, floating weeds and submerged weeds, but its claim to fame is its ability to wipe out troublesome watermeal and duckweed—two aquatic weeds that can be difficult to manage in any pond or lake. In fact, when used as directed, up to 80 percent of duckweed and watermeal will be eliminated within the first application of Clipper™. Not too shabby!
Here are some tips for use:
- Check your pH first: High pH levels will reduce Clipper’s™ effectiveness, so test the pH of your pond’s water with a pH Test Kit before using the herbicide. Apply it only when the pH is 8.5 and below.
- Apply on a sunny morning: The herbicide is a reactive treatment that works better in the sunlight, so treat your pond or lake early in the morning on a sunny day. Hold off on adding light-blocking Pond Dye to your water, until after Clipper™ has had a chance to go to work on the weeds.
- Spray and play: Applying Clipper™ to aquatic weeds is easy. Simply mix the amount of Clipper™ and water in a Specialty Pond Sprayer according to label instructions, and spray onto floating weeds and algae or place the tip beneath the water’s surface to treat submerged weeds. Over time, the weeds will begin to brown and die.
- A little goes a long way: You only need to use 1 pound of Clipper™ per surface acre one to two times per year. Because it’s a contact herbicide, complete coverage is essential for effective control. You can reapply Clipper™ after 28 days if you find that you’ve missed some weed patches after the first treatment.
- No temperature restrictions: Clipper™ can be used year-round in any temperature, but it should be applied only when the weeds are actively growing.
- Rake away the debris: Once the aquatic weeds are completely dead, use a rake—like the Pond & Beach Rake – to remove the debris. This will prevent the foliage from accumulation and turning into algae-feeding muck.
Clipper™ Aquatic Herbicide can be used in a range of waterways, including bayous, canals, drainage ditches, lakes, marshes, freshwater ponds and reservoirs. It quickly and effectively controls watermeal, duckweed, water lettuce, giant salvinia, cabomba, Eurasian watermilfoil, hydrilla and curlyleaf pondweed. If you fight aquatic weeds in your lake or pond, consider using Clipper™. It’s good stuff!
Pond Talk: Have you tried Clipper™ in your pond or lake? If so, tell us how it worked for you.
Filed under: Algae Control, Duckweed, Pond & Lake, Pondweeds | Tagged: algae, clipper, duck weed, Duckweed, water meal, Watermeal, weeds | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 29, 2014 by thepondguy
Q: The temperatures are rising, so when do I start using my ClearPAC PLUS?
Sharon – Waynesboro, GA
A: Inside your ClearPAC® PLUS box, you’ll find everything you need to keep your lake clean and clear this spring and summer. The five components, when used as directed, address the root of the most common pond problems by tackling excess nutrients and shielding the water from algae-feeding sunlight.
When should you start using ClearPAC® PLUS? It all depends on your water temperature. Let’s take a closer look at when and how to best use the products in your super-pack.
- Pond Dye: As soon as the ice melts on your pond or lake, add your Nature’s Blue™ Pond Dye. The dye is not temperature-sensitive so it can be used even when water temps are too cold for beneficial bacteria products. Pond Dye does more than color your water and add to your landscape’s aesthetic; it also shades it from sunlight, which can kick-start algae blooms as the mercury rises.
- PondClear™ and MuckAway™: When water temperatures rise to a consistent 50°F, you can start using the beneficial bacteria found in PondClear™ and MuckAway™ to break down nutrients suspended in your water column and muck on the bottom of your pond. These products can be used at the same time as your Pond Dye and EcoBoost™.
- EcoBoost™: This bacteria booster that has no temperature restrictions, so it can be used year-round to bind phosphates that find their way into your pond or lake. You can use EcoBoost™ throughout the spring to give you a head start on pond season.
- Algae Defense® : To be used only as needed, this algae-destroyer treats troublesome floating filamentous algae, bottom growing chara and the planktonic algae when it’s green and growing. Use Algae Defense® when the water temperature in your pond or lake is above 60°F. Don’t use Algae Defense® if you keep koi or trout in your lake.
After treating your pond with ClearPAC® PLUS, don’t forget to remove dead algae and debris with your Pond & Beach Rake. Doing so will remove the decaying vegetation and prevent them from feeding the algae—which will ultimately help your Pond Dye, PondClear™, MuckAway™, EcoBoost™ and Algae Defense® work even better!
Pond Talk: Has spring sprung in your area of the country?
Filed under: Algae Control, Algae Defense, Chara (Algae), Natural Water Treatments, Pond & Lake, Pond Clear, Pond Dye, Season-Long Control, Water Clarity, Water Quality | Tagged: algae, algae defense, ClearPAC Plus, EcoBoost, Long Term Control, muckaway, pond and beach rake, Pond Clear, pond dye, Seasonal Care, spring | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 29, 2014 by thepondguy
Q: How do I know if my filtration system is adequate for my pond?
Roger – Grayson, GA
A: Clean, clear water is a must-have in any water feature. It allows you to see those gorgeous koi and goldfish swimming below the surface. It shows that you have excellent water quality, with plenty of oxygen for your pond’s inhabitants—including the microscopic ones, like beneficial bacteria. And it puts off no offensive odors, which means you can host shindigs by your water garden without scaring off your friends.
When your water quality is suffering, your pond is telling you that your filtration isn’t up to par. Here are four clear signs that say you need to kick it up a notch.
- Algae Blooms, Clarity Concerns: If you have a filtration system in place but you still have water clarity issues and algae blooms, that’s an obvious indicator that you need an upgrade. When selecting a more powerful filtration system, like our AllClear™ PLUS Pressurized Filters with a built-in ultraviolet clarifier, make sure it’s sized appropriately for your pond and its nutrient load.
- Fish Frenzy: If your pond’s resident fish have multiplied and grown over the years, then you’re likely overdue for a more powerful filter system. Most filter systems are marketed for a minimal fish load, so too many fish producing waste will overload the system. Remember: The rule is to allow 1 inch of adult fish per square foot of surface area. If you have too many koi or goldfish in your pond, you should think about finding new homes for some of your finned friends or increasing your filtration.
- Toxic Test Results: Test your pond’s water with one of our Master Test Kits to find out what your ammonia, nitrite and phosphate levels are. If you see high ammonia levels or if your fishes’ health has been suffering, the pond lacks proper filtration.
- Foamy Falls: Have you seen foam build up at the base of your waterfall or stream? All that frothiness, which is caused by excess protein and oil excreted by fish and other pond dwellers, can be a sign of excessive nutrient levels caused by inadequate filtration. A higher-powered filter system can help remove and dissipate that foam.
If you have a waterfall filter box, you can easily boost your filtration system’s water-cleaning power by adding Matala® Filter Pads. With four different densities—low, medium, high and super high—you can mix and match them to suit your pond’s unique needs.
Pond Talk: What telltale sign told you that it was time to increase your filtration system?
Filed under: Algae Control, Fish Population, Pressurized Filtration, Season-Long Control, Seasonal Care, Spring Start-Up, Water Gardens & Features, Water Quality Issues, Waterfall | Tagged: algae, filter media, filters, Filtration, fish, Fish Population, foam, pressurized filters, test, test kit, too many fish, Water Clarity | 2 Comments »
Posted on December 28, 2013 by thepondguy
As 2013 comes to a close, we sit back and look at all the amazing things that happened this year. We thank you, our wonderful customers, for a great year. Below are our Top Blogs for 2013! Your interest in our products and your thirst for pond knowledge truly makes us thankful to have you as a customer. We aim to give you the knowledge and products you need to make your pond great. As always, if you have questions or comments, please feel to send them our way!
We wish you a safe and happy 2014.
From The Pond Guy® Staff
Filed under: Pond & Lake, Water Gardens & Features | Tagged: algae, brown water, feed fish, fish disease, Fish Diseases, Fish Population, ich, Leeches, pollen, raccoons, Spring Cleanout, spring fish feeding, string alge, top blog posts | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 5, 2013 by thepondguy
Q: When should I stop treating algae?
Rich – Bartlesville, OK
A: It’s not so much a matter of when as it is what temperature your water is.
In theory, with the right equipment, algae can be managed all year-long. But if you want to treat it with chemicals, the water temperature in your lake needs to above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The active ingredients in Pond Logic® Algae Defense® that are used to control suspended, floating and bottom-of-the-pond algae require warmer water temperatures to work properly.
So when your water temperature is below 60°F, you’re out of luck for using chemical treatments.
Before cooler temperatures chill your water this fall, give any planktonic algae, filamentous algae or chara growing in your pond a dose of Algae Defense®. The best time to apply the fast-acting formula is in the morning on a calm, sunny day. Simply mix with water and spray directly onto algae with a pressurized sprayer. Once the green stuff is dead, don’t forget to remove it with the Pond & Beach Rake to prevent an accumulation of dead algae and muck.
So what do you do if you’re hosting a Halloween party but the water temperature in your pond—filled with spooky, pea green masses—is lower than 60°F? Try clearing things up with The Pond Guy® PondSkim™. Measuring 5 feet wide and constructed with a super tough screen, the skimmer floats on the water surface and collects floating algae as you pull it along with your boat. Problem solved!
Pond Talk: How do you manage late-season algae blooms in your pond or lake?
Filed under: Algae Control, Pond & Lake, Season-Long Control | Tagged: algae, cold weather algae, late season algae, Pea-Green Algae, treat algae in cold temperatures | Leave a comment »