Posted on March 18, 2010 by thepondguy
Q: What are winter fish kills and how can I prevent them? – Alison in Illinois
Winter Fish Kills, They Don’t Float With Us!
You’ve waited all Winter long for the ice to melt over your water garden so you can run your waterfalls and enjoy your finned friends. Instead, you find your fish floating at the ponds surface, victims of a winter fish kill. What is this phenomenon and how can you prevent it?
Make Some Holes
When a layer of ice forms over the surface of you water garden, it essentially eliminates any transfer of air to or from your pond’s water. What this means to you is that, as debris decompose and your fish consume oxygen, byproducts are produced in the form of gasses that are toxic to your pond’s inhabitants. These gases are trapped under the ice and cannot escape; fresh air from outside the pond cannot reach the water either and so begins the process of the winter fish kill. Keeping a hole in the ice will allow the bad air in the pond to be replenished with good air. Some pond guys and gals use pond De-Icers to maintain an open hole, but many more rely on their aeration systems to do the job.
Pass The Bubbly
We’ve discussed in our past blogs the many benefits of aeration in your water garden. It circulates the water in your pond, infusing it with oxygen which is beneficial to your bacteria and fish. The constant bubbling produced by an aeration system will also keep a hole open in your water garden in the winter months, ensuring the release of those harmful gasses.
Being Supercool is SO Uncool
You have all heard concerns expressed in our past blogs in regards to “supercooling”. While this is a rare occurrence, there are a couple steps you can take to ensure you don’t overdo your winter aeration. When the cold weather comes, move your aeration plates to a shallower part of your pond. This will maintain a warmer layer of water for your fish to retreat to if the water does get a little too chilly. Furthermore, if you have a multiple plate system, you can run your water garden on just one plate for the winter. This will ensure that you have an open hole in your ice and should provide sufficient air supply to your fish as they require less oxygen during these times of decreased activity.
POND TALK: What type of aeration do you use in your pond? How have your fish fared over the past winters?
Filed under: Aeration - WG, Deicer, Spring Start-Up, Water Gardens & Features | Tagged: Aeration, de-icers, fish kill, fish kills, supercooling | 7 Comments »
Posted on March 18, 2010 by thepondguy
Q: How soon should I start treating my pond with bacteria? – Justin in Minnesota
Baby It’s Cold Outside
The ice is melting away from the surface of your pond and Spring is already on its way, should bacteria be a part of your ponds Winter/Spring transition? Depending on your location, bacteria may be too busy singing the blues to work on the organics residing in your pond. Adhering to the general rules of thumb below will keep your bacteria working as efficiently as possible, keeping your pockets green and your pond crystal clear.
Aeration, Aeration, wherefore art thou Aeration
It may be cliché to quote Shakespeare in a blog post, but we’ve stressed the importance of aeration for so many seasons now he just may have heard of it himself. Aeration circulates the water in your pond adding oxygen to the water column. Beneficial bacteria, like those found in our ClearPAC®, thrive on oxygen. While we don’t plan on winning any awards for our astounding math skills in the near future, we have hit the nail on the head with this equation: water + oxygen = productive bacteria. You can still use beneficial bacteria in your pond without aeration, but you will definitely get more bang for your buck running an aeration system.
You know why to use your ClearPAC® but you are still unsure when to start adding it into your pond. This answer will depend on where you live. The bacteria in PondClear™ really flex their muscles when your water temperatures reach 50° and up. This means that areas with warmer climates will start adding their bacteria earlier in the season than those of us pond guys and gals who are still digging their cars out of snow drifts. Check your water temperature regularly and begin your applications accordingly. To really give your bacteria a boost, use EcoBoost™ along with every dose of PondClear™.
The Life of the PRE-Party
While your PondClear™ & EcoBoost™ are patiently waiting in their buckets, your Pond Dye is ready for action all year long. We strongly suggest adding Pond Dye—even if your pond ices over—as algae can grow in cold temperatures and can still utilize sunlight through the ice.
POND TALK: When do you start your bacteria applications in your pond? How do you kick off the opening of your pond for the season?
Filed under: Pond & Lake, Pond Clear, Pond Dye, Uncategorized | Tagged: bacteria, clearpac, EcoBoost, nature's blue, pond dye, PondClear, spring | 12 Comments »