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The Pond Guy Wants To Ask You A Question Regarding thepondguy.com. – Q & A

I thank you all for the incredible feedback to my last post regarding the Q & A’s. You can be assured that we will continue this program into 2009.

The Pond Guy Needs Your Help!
We strive to provide you the best tools, information and products to help you create or maintain your pond, lake or decorative water garden and we know we can be better with your help. So, with that said, I have another couple questions to ask you in regards to our website: www.thepondguy.com. We are in the process of redesigning and I would like your input. Please don’t be afraid to critique our website. I want to make this the best pond site I can for pond owners.

1.) What features can we place on our website that would allow it to be more pond owner friendly?

2.) When coming to our website, does it contain all of the information you are looking for? If not, what can we do better?

I am looking forward to hearing your comments. Please post any of your thoughts on the blog post here. Thanks again!

The Pond Guy Wants To Ask You A Question – Q & A

First off, I just wanted to say thank you for reading the Q & A’s over this past year. I’ve received an incredible amount of responses since this blog started in June. We have had quite a lot of you post comments as well as ask more great questions. For the remainder of the year, I would like to ask all of you just a few questions so we as a company can help better serve you.

The Pond Guy wants to ask you a question!
As the season comes to a close and our ponds go into “winter mode”, I wanted to ask you your thoughts on our Q & A’s over this past year:

1.) Have the Q & A’s been helpful to you?

2.) Should we continue them for next year?

3.) What do you like or dislike about the Q & A?

I am looking forward to hearing your comments. Please post any of your thoughts on this blog post. Thanks again!

Algae Growth During the Winter – Water Garden Q & A

Algae Growing in a Water Garden During Winter.

Q: I shut my water garden down for the winter, but I still see some algae growth. Can algae grow in cooler temperatures?

A: In some cases, a pond that stays clean and clear through the summer can blow up into an algal nightmare in the fall. Shutting down your watergarden ceases the flow-through characteristics of the pond. This reduces the amount of filtration that occurs both mechanically (i.e. skimmers) and biologically (i.e. filterfalls). Since there is less flow, it is a good idea to bump up the amount of bacteria in the pond by adding Seasonal Defense® Bacteria with Barley. These bacteria operate in cooler conditions and will greatly reduce the amount of nutrients in the water, and also contains barley straw to naturally help with the algae. Using Oxy-Lift™ Defense® to scrub down your rocks will also help to remove any debris build up.

Algae Growth During the Winter – Pond & Lake Q & A

Picture of Algae in Ice.

Q: That isn’t algae growing under the ice, is it?

A: A common question that we receive in the winter pertains to winter algae and what to do with it. In the northern climates, there are strains of algae that do thrive in temperatures down to freezing. The good news is that typically these strains do not reach nuisance levels in ponds or lakes. They tend to hang out in warmer locations, usually around an inflow of water, where it is nice and sunny. In optimal growing conditions, these algae can generate enough biomass to put your fish at risk. A sudden die-off caused by a sudden swing in temperature, overcast weather, etc. can deplete the dissolved oxygen levels under the ice which leads to unnecessary fish stress.

Solutions: Nutrient management in your watershed as well as your pond will slow down the growth of any algae or plant all season. Typically phosphorus is the key nutrient for algal growth, so try switching to phosphorus free fertilizers if you fertilize your lawn. Our PondClear™ Packets and MuckAway™ Pellets eat away at the muck/nutrients found in the pond. Our EcoBoost™ bind up any excess nutrients flowing in from the watershed. These are things to do in the summer, but what about winter? With the pond frozen over, your options are limited. Dying the pond a deep blue with Pond Dye will reduce the amount of sunlight that passes through the water column. If you can safely do it, I would suggest adding an extra dose through the ice to slow down growth.

Apologizing for the Confusion between my last two posts.

I realize with these last two posts I have created some confusion. Let me try and explain:

Water Garden Post Do I Have to Take My Koi Out of My Water Garden for Winter? – Water Garden Q & A – Week Ending November 1st

Pond & Lake Post Be Aware of “Super-Cooling” Your Pond with Winter Aeration? – Pond & Lake Q & A – Week Ending November 1st

When our posts are written, one is written for farm ponds, which pertain to a much bigger pond than your average decorative koi pond, and also much deeper. Ponds ¼ acre or above with at least 5 or 6 feet of depth are what we consider farm ponds, while a decorative water garden, we tend to think in gallons instead of acres. An example of our classification would be a 3,000 gallon watergarden as opposed to a ½ acre farm pond. Also, farm ponds are almost always earth-bottomed whereas watergardens are almost always lined. Of course, every rule has its exception, but these classifications are the clearest way to categorize the two types of ponds.

During the winter, koi in decorative water gardens, as well as bass, bluegill, perch, and other game fish in farm ponds will travel to the warmest place in the pond, usually the bottom. In farm ponds, the water will stratify in the reverse of the summer keeping a warmer layer for fish to live in on the bottom of the pond. When temperatures dip well below freezing (down to 0 degrees F), farm pond aerators can circulate too much of the cold top water to the warm layer below and stress out fish, possibly leading to death. This is why it is a good idea to keep farm pond diffuser plates just a little shallower than the deepest point, leaving a refuge from these rare extreme cold events. Again, these events occur in the much Northern climates and also is rare.

Watergardens are typically not large enough to stratify, and will track ambient temperatures down to the 32 degree mark. Watergarden fish in this situation are gradually introduced to the cooler temperatures and do not stress as much in prolonged cold situations. A properly sized water garden aerator is very beneficial to run all winter long, as it will keep oxygen levels up and toxic gasses out.

In either case, super-cooling of water to the point where fish are lost is relatively rare. It is much more likely that fish would suffocate from lack of oxygen or toxic gas build-up underneath the ice because of the shut-down aerators than to die from super-cooled water. The benefits of running either a farm pond or watergarden aerator greatly outweigh the slight risk of super cooling.