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    Its officially fall now and we need to begin preparing our pond for the winter and hopefully a cleaner pond for spring.  I've listed a few maintenance tips to guide you through preparing your pond for the winter.  I still have a few flowers appearing in my pond but I think they are almost through blooming for the season 🙁

     

    FALL/WINTER POND MAINTENANCE TIPS

     1. Before winter arrives, you will want to make sure your pond and filtering system are clean to ensure good water quality throughout the winter months. With the arrival of fall it is wise to do a partial water change to remove any built up contaminants to improve water quality. Partial water changes need to be made before water temperatures fall below 60 degrees to minimize fish stress. Adding pond salt at this time will improve the slime coating of fish, to help them ward off disease and parasites.

    2. Before the leaves begin to fall, cover your pond with one of ourpond nets. The goal is to try and keep the pond as clean as possible for the winter months. Leaves will sink to the bottom of the pond and rot, causing excess carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide. After the first frost, take out any floating plants, as these will begin to decay. Trim back hardy lilies and bog plants and place below the freeze line.

    3. Switch to Microbe-Lift Autumn/Winter Prep. This will help break down organic material in the pond before winter sets in. Microbe-Lift Autumn/Winter Prep helps accelerate the decomposition of leaves, scum, sediment and other organic matter during the fall and throughout the winter months. Also, Microbe-Lift Autumn/Winter Prep helps to maintain a healthy immune system for your fish during the winter months. Microbe-Lift Autumn/Winter Prep will help jump-start your pond to a healthier environment in the spring.

    4.Reduce your fish feeding as the water temperatures drop below 60 degrees. Start feeding your fish a couple of times a week. We recommend switching to a wheat germ based fish food formulated for fall and spring feeding. When water temperatures drop below 60 degrees, the metabolism of your fish slow down. Both Tetra-Pond Spring/Fall and Microbe-Lift Cold Weather fish food are highly digestible cool weather diets that are made with less protein, but contain wheat germ, which is easily digested. They also contain higher levels of fat, which help your fish survive their winter hibernation. When water temperatures reach 50 degrees, stop feeding your fish completely. Feeding at water temperatures below 50 degrees can possibly kill your fish. A pond thermometeris a must have.  This will help you in determining when to stop feeding your fish and will also help to know when to begin feeding your fish in the spring.  Its also a good idea to know your water temperature for those adding tropical pond plants to your pond in the spring.

    5.Adding Microbe-Lift Barley Straw Extract will help control string algae throughout the fall and winter months. Barley Straw Extract is an effective and eco-friendly way to reduce algae. Unlike algaecides, which are ineffective in water temperatures below 50 degrees, Microbe-Lift Barley Straw Extract will continue to control algae throughout the winter months.

    6.Before freezing temperatures begin, install a pond de-icer. Ponds covered with ice do not allow toxic gases to escape causing fish loss. A pond de-icer will keep a section of your pond open to allow oxygen and gas exchange.

    7.During the winter removing snow from the surface of the pond will help submerged plants and microscopic aquatic plants to continue to produce oxygen as long as light penetrates through the ice. Insufficient light, along with the decomposition of plant and leaf debris may result in insufficient oxygen for the fish, causing them to suffocate. Removing the snow from a portion of your surface area will reduce the likelihood of this occurring.

    Remember to add a tray of sand in your pond for the frogs to have a place to winter over.

     

     

     Official its Fall now.....the other day it was 88 degrees out....today its 52 degrees and looks like fall.  Chill in the air, cloudy skies and rain off and on.  I still need a few more nice warm days before settling in for the dreaded winter months.    I still have to prepare my pond for winter....I always seem to let it go until the last minute.  Hopefully I get those few more warm days or I'll be sorry.

    I decided to share some preparation tasks for your pond before the weather changes and we all settle in for the winter.  This will help improve your pond water and hopefully help make the spring clean up less work. 

    FALL/WINTER POND MAINTENANCE TIPS

     1. Before winter arrives, you will want to make sure your pond and filtering system are clean to ensure good water quality throughout the winter months. With the arrival of fall it is wise to do a partial water change to remove any built up contaminants to improve water quality. Partial water changes need to be made before water temperatures fall below 60 degrees to minimize fish stress. Adding pond salt at this time will improve the slime coating of fish, to help them ward off disease and parasites.

     2. Before the leaves begin to fall, cover your pond with one of our pond nets. The goal is to try and keep the pond as clean as possible for the winter months. Leaves will sink to the bottom of the pond and rot, causing excess carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide. After the first frost, take out any floating plants, as these will begin to decay. Trim back hardy lilies and bog plants and place below the freeze line.

    3. Switch to Microbe-Lift Autumn/Winter Prep. This will help break down organic material in the pond before winter sets in. Microbe-Lift Autumn/Winter Prep helps accelerate the decomposition of leaves, scum, sediment and other organic matter during the fall and throughout the winter months. Also, Microbe-Lift Autumn/Winter Prep helps to maintain a healthy immune system for your fish during the winter months. Microbe-Lift Autumn/Winter Prep will help jump-start your pond to a healthier environment in the spring.

     4.Reduce your fish feeding as the water temperatures drop below 60 degrees. Start feeding your fish a couple of times a week. We recommend switching to a wheat germ based fish food formulated for fall and spring feeding. When water temperatures drop below 60 degrees, the metabolism of your fish slow down. Both Tetra-Pond Spring/Fall and Microbe-Lift Cold Weather fish food are highly digestible cool weather diets that are made with less protein, but contain wheat germ, which is easily digested. They also contain higher levels of fat, which help your fish survive their winter hibernation. When water temperatures reach 50 degrees, stop feeding your fish completely. Feeding at water temperatures below 50 degrees can possibly kill your fish. A pond thermometer is a must have.  This will help you in determining when to stop feeding your fish and will also help to know when to begin feeding your fish in the spring.  Its also a good idea to know your water temperature for those adding tropical pond plants to your pond in the spring.

     5.Adding Microbe-Lift Barley Straw Extract will help control string algae throughout the fall and winter months. Barley Straw Extract is an effective and eco-friendly way to reduce algae. Unlike algaecides, which are ineffective in water temperatures below 50 degrees, Microbe-Lift Barley Straw Extract will continue to control algae throughout the winter months.

     6.Before freezing temperatures begin, install a pond de-icer. Ponds covered with ice do not allow toxic gases to escape causing fish loss. A pond de-icer will keep a section of your pond open to allow oxygen and gas exchange.

     7.During the winter removing snow from the surface of the pond will help submerged plants and microscopic aquatic plants to continue to produce oxygen as long as light penetrates through the ice. Insufficient light, along with the decomposition of plant and leaf debris may result in insufficient oxygen for the fish, causing them to suffocate. Removing the snow from a portion of your surface area will reduce the likelihood of this occurring.

    We have been taking advantage of the warm days we have been experiencing, getting the fish holding tanks clean, disinfected and ready for the first spring shipment of fish in a couple of weeks.  As soon as they arrive, I will post what we will have available. Expecting, premium koi, butterfly koi, fantails, yellow comets, sarasa comets and shubunkins. We expect our first shipment April 11th from Israel. We then hold fish for a week before we will begin shipping them to our customers. This gives them a chance to recuperate from their long flight. Our fish are of the highest quality, guaranteed to be healthy upon arrival to your pond.

    We've checked everything out in our ponds but what about our fish?  The fish are swimming and coming to the top of the pond.  Don't be in a hurry to feed them.   The proper time to begin feeding the fish is when the water temperatures consistently reach at least 50 degrees and above. 

    On the few warmer days of spring they will come to the surface acting as if they want fed.  The water should be stabilized around 50 degrees before you resume feeding.  You will want to feed them an easily digestible food, such as a wheat-germ-based floating pellet to start with, since their digestive systems are still slow. Microbe-Lift makes a Fall/Spring Fish food that is wheat germ and easily digested. Feed the fish in the morning, feeding them lightly at first so that they will digest their food before the temperature lowers at night for a couple weeks.  Once the water temperatures rise above 55 degrees, resume feeding them their normal high-protein food.  Any good quality fish food with vitamins will work.  Another good choice food for fish is duckweed or azolla.  I always put some duckweed  in a container in the shade so it grows and multiplies. That way I have it for a treat all summer long.   I have heard also that frozen peas are good for fish.  I haven't tried that but thinking about it now I will.  Just to see if my fish like it. 

    You may want to add some flake food or balls of cooked oatmeal to your feeding regiment for the baby fish, once they start to appear in early spring. 

    You will want to make sure your pond water isn't high in ammonia or nitrites for your fish.  You can buy test kits to check for this.   I always check all the fish for any signs of infection or disease in the early spring so I can treat them before it gets worse.  We sell a medicated floating fishfood that works well in treating fish.  It is always easier to see the fish in the early spring, before the plants are in the pond.

    Reduce your fish feeding as the water temperatures drop below 60 degrees. Start feeding your fish a couple of times a week. We recommend switching to a wheat germ based fish food formulated for fall and spring feeding. When water temperatures drop below 60 degrees, the metabolism of your fish slows down. Both Tetra-Pond Spring/Fall and Microbe-Lift Cold Weather fish food are highly digestible cool weather diets that are made with less protein, but contain wheat germ, which is easily digested. They also contain higher levels of fat, which help your fish survive their winter hibernation. When water temperatures reach 50 degrees, stop feeding your fish completely. Feeding at water temperatures below 50 degrees can possibly kill your fish. A pond thermometer is a must have.

    It is only natural to put fish in your pond for the enjoyment of watching them but the way we feed them depends on the weather.  During the cold winter months fish live off their stored body fat and will go into a rest period.  What you feed your fish is dependent on your water temperatures.  Give them high protein food during the warm months and high carbohydrate foods during the early spring and autumn.  You may want to purchase a pond thermometer to monitor the temperature and place it 10-12 inches below the surface of your water. 

    As winter passes and spring arrives with water temperatures being below the 50s,  the fish have been experiencing a form of hibernation.  Their metabolisms are too slow during the cold period to be able to digest food so you  don't want to feed them.  Their activity is minimal as they survive the winter months by burning the stored body fat they accumulated prior to winter. 

    On the few warmer days of spring they will come to the surface acting as though they want fed.  The water should be stabilized around 50 degrees before you resume feeding your finned pets.  You will want to feed them easily  digestible food, such as a wheat-germ-based floating pellet to start with since their digestive systems are still slow. Microbe-Lift makes a Fall/Spring Fish food that is wheat germ and easily digested. Feed the fish in the morning, feeding them lightly at first so that they will digest their food before the temperature lowers at night for a couple weeks.  Once the water temperatures rise above 55 degrees resume feeding them their normal high-protein food. 

    Once autumn starts approaching and the water temperatures begin to cool, switch back to the wheat-germ-based food.  Begin to taper off the amount of food as the appetite of your fish starts to decrease. 

    A good rule of thumb is to only feed your fish what they can consume in a 5 to 10 minute period.  You can then net out any left over food so that is doesn't sink and rot in your pond causing more sludge.  When your water temperature falls to below 50 degrees you want to stop feeding them completely. 

    You may want to add some flake food or balls of cooked oatmeal to your feeding regiment for the baby fish once they start to appear in early spring. 

    Adding fish to your pond can be a rewarding experience and you'll have yet another thing to enjoy while relaxing by your pond.

    Buy pond thermometer and pond fish here.

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