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It is starting to get cold here; do I need to do anything special for my pond? | Decorative Ponds & Water Gardens Q & A

It is starting to get cold here; do I need to do anything special for my pond?

Q: It is starting to get cold here; do I need to do anything special for my pond?

William – Great Bend, KS

A: It’s September: The kids are back in school, and you’ve probably noticed a nip in the air, a flush of color in your trees and fewer hours of daylight. Fall is well on its way, which means you have some work to do after a relaxing summer lazing by your pond!

Here, we’ve listed five ways to prepare your pond for colder weather – and get a jump-start on your winter pond or water garden chores, too.

1. Switch to wheat germ food. Wheat germ-based food, like Pond Logic® Spring and Fall Fish Food, is much easier for fish to digest as their metabolisms naturally slow during the cooler months. The food contains a careful balance of nutrients like carbohydrates, vegetable proteins, amino acids and digestive enzymes that will keep your fish healthy and content as fall turns to winter.

2. Switch to cool-weather bacteria. Because different types of bacteria thrive at different temperatures, switch to a beneficial bacteria that’s formulated for colder weather, like Pond Logic® Seasonal Defense®. It works best in water that’s less than 50° Fahrenheit, and it accelerates the decomposition of leaves, scum and sediment that turns into pond muck during the fall and winter months.

3. Keep out the leaves. Blowing leaves and other debris will fall into your pond during the fall, and if you don’t get them out, they’ll decompose over the winter and create a mucky mess in the spring. Plan to put a net over the pond, like The Pond Guy® PondShelter™ Net Kit, to keep them out – or be prepared to empty your skimmer every day until the leaves stop dropping.

4. Start your aerator. Aerating your pond with an aerator, like the Airmax® PondAir™ Aeration Kit, helps to break up the water column in your pond and add essential oxygen to the water. If you skipped using your aerator during the summer, now is the time to get it going again so that it is well established when you shut down your pump and filter in the wintertime.

5. Cut back and remove dead plant vegetation. Just as you want to prevent those pesky leaves from falling into your pond, you should also hack away any dead plant material inside and around your water garden. Use a handy long-reach tool, like the Pond Scissors and Pliers combo, to remove water hyacinths or cut back water lilies and other aquatic plants.

Pond Talk: What other pond and water garden chores do you like to do in the fall?

Pond Logic® Spring & Fall Fish Food - Formulated For Cool Temperatures

When should I switch my fish food? | Decorative Pond & Water Garden Q&A

When should I switch my fish food?

When should I switch my fish food?

Jordyn – Milwaulkee, WI

If you’re eating fish food, you should probably consider switching it right away. I recommend pizza. Unless, of course, you’re a fish – which, for the purposes of this post, we’ll assume you are.

Fish, as you probably know, are extremely susceptible to seasonal cycles, and the environmental changes they bring. When gauging the best time to transition from one type of food to another, it’s vital to monitor water temperature – which, when you use our Pond Logic® Floating Pond Thermometer, is a snap. The second, more subtle indicator is fish behavior. When water temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, fish movement become slower and more sluggish, or they’re eating significantly less, it’s time to switch to a wheat germ-based food like Pond Logic® Spring & Fall Fish Food.

When fish ease toward their dormant months, wheat germ-based food provides easily-digestible nutrition, and ensures that your fish won’t go dormant with undigested food in their bellies. Because undigested food decomposes over time, it poses a serious health risk to fish, and can release toxins into their systems that can result in sickness – and even fish loss. When using our Spring & Fall Fish Food, you can continue to feed your fish safely, without exposing them to unnecessary risk of illness.

When water temperatures drop into the 40s or fish stop eating altogether, it’s time to stop feeding, allowing fish to settle in safely for their long winter’s nap.

Pond Talk: What signs do you fish give you to signal they are ready to relax for the winter?

Pond Logic® Spring & Fall Fish Food

It’s been cold where I live. Should I stop with my bacteria now? | Pond & Lakes Q&A

It’s been cold where I live. Should I stop with my bacteria now?

It’s been cold where I live. Should I stop with my bacteria now?
Kevin – Saugatuck, MI

In bacteria paradise, the temperature in your backyard pond would never fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. When water temperatures drop below 50 for any sustained period of time, the bacteria call it quits for the season.

But just because you’ve been feeling the cold for a few days, remember: it takes water longer to respond to changing temperatures. Thus, when it’s below 50 degrees outside for a lengthy stretch, your pond water may not have fallen as far – and your bacteria may be doing just fine. To get the most accurate reading you can, consider buying our Pond Logic® Floating Pond Thermometer. It’ll give you up-to-the minute readings, making it easy to monitor the health of – and the need for – your favorite bacteria.

When your pond is still in the above-50 degree range, we strongly recommend the continued use of Pond Logic® PondClear™ Beneficial Bacteria, and Pond Logic® MuckAway™ Pond Muck Reducer. These two products help to maintain healthy bacteria levels in your pond, which will help to reduce organics, excess nutrients and noxious odors, while breaking down muck and keeping your pond water clear.

Once your pond water drops below 50 degrees, you can safely suspend bacteria treatments. But when the temperatures start to rise again in the spring, be prepared to start back up – and get your pond water in great shape for another season.

Pond Talk: Do you monitor your pond’s water temperature for optimum bacteria use?

Pond Logic® MuckAway™ Pond Muck Reducer

Are there any plants that are great in the fall? | Decorative Ponds & Water Gardens Q&A

Are there any plants that are great in the fall?

Are there any plants that are great in the fall?

Elija – Norfolk, VA

While we’d hate for our plants to think we’re playing favorites, we have to admit it: when it comes to fall plants, the Chameleon Plant is at the top of our list. Why? It’s a long list – but one well worth sharing. So here goes.

For starters, the Chameleon Plant is simply beautiful to look at. With just one plant, you’ll enjoy enormous color variation in the leaves alone – with touches of bold pink, red, white, green and yellow. As fall comes into full swing, the colors become even more pronounced. Add the contrast of their delicate white flower with its yellow center, and you have an autumnal tour de force – right in your backyard.

The plant also smells good. Really good. In fact, when you crush the leaves, the Chameleon Plant gives off a distinctive citrus aroma that adds a whole new dimension to their appeal.

In appearance, the Chameleon Plant resembles English Ivy. It’s an exceptionally hardy plant, and even those with spotty histories of horticultural success can grow it successfully. As ground cover, it’s extremely easy to grow, and thrives in both sun and light shade – and will spread freely if it’s not maintained. It likes moist soil, and grows to a height of approximately 15”. The Chameleon Plant also does well in our Planting Baskets – which makes them easy to move and maintain. And with the help of our Fertilizer Tabs, they’ll make big impression – all season long.

So add some color to fall this year. Try the Chameleon Plant. We’re positive you’ll like what you see.

Pond Talk: What are your favorite pond plants?

Chameleon Plant

What causes fog to form on the pond during the fall? | Ponds & Lakes Q & A

Are other fish like my plecostomus as hardy over the winter as my koi?What causes fog to form on the pond during the fall?
Bella – Forks, WA

There are few better moments than when you look out at your pond early in the morning to be greeted by a shimmering frost covered landscape accented by that light silvery veil of mist floating just over the surface of your pond. While it may be getting too cold to go out and physically enjoy the water now, your pond has seemingly endless ways to keep you entertained and inspired. So, how is it that this fog comes to rest over your water body and is it a precursor to potential problems or is it all just smoke and mirrors?

As we all know, the air that surrounds us holds moisture in the form of water vapor. While it is not normally visible to the human eye you can definitely feel it on those sticky humid days. If you have ever left a cold drink out on one of those particular days you have seen how this water vapor gathers on the outside of the glass giving the appearance that the beverage is sweating. This gathering, or condensation, of water vapor creates the appearance of fog over your pond in colder temperatures. In the morning, while the ambient air is cold, the evaporated water wicked from the warmer surface your pond condenses in that cool pocket of air to the point that you can see it. As time progresses the sun rises and the ambient air temperatures begin to rise essentially eliminating the cold air above your pond and the fog it creates. Rest assured that the presence of fog above the surface of your pond is not an omen of bad pond health or trouble to come. Enjoy the beautiful scenery created by this mysterious looking mist and take comfort in the fact that even in the cold seasons your pond never fails to perform.

Pond Talk: Have you captured any breathtaking pond pictures involving fog? Share them with other bloggers or on our Facebook page.