Pond Supplies, Waterfalls, & Koi Pond Construction

Posts Tagged Koi Food

I Have A New Fish

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I Have A New Fish

Picture this: A frantic man rushes through the front door of my shop. He harried, frazzled, and obviously upset. He sees me, gets a small, nervous smile, and says, “My fish need help!” The next sentence is one of these: My fish are laying at the bottom of the pond, gasping for air by the waterfall, jumping like Shamu at Sea World, or not eating, and they ALWAYS eat!

I ask, “Did you add new fish three weeks ago?” He looks at me like live blackjack online I’m the palm reader at the state fair, and says, “Yes! How did you KNOW that!?!!?!??!”

Here’s the skinny on adding new fish: Quarantine, quarantine, quarantine, quarantine.

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Did I say it enough? Do it. It is as simple as that.

Nike said it, and it’s more true with quarantining your koi than with exercise. Just do it.

When you get a new koi, whether you purchased it at a shop, a show, or it came as a gift from a friend, or your spouse, or your mom’s neighbor’s daughter’s hairdresser’s boyfriend, and you KNOW, beyond a shadow of a doubt, these koi are SAFE, QUARANTINE.

A few simple steps can save your koi, and you from a world of heartache. Believe me, I speak from experience. Please do it even if the dealer, friend, or neighbor says that the fish have been quarantined.

Set up a simple tub, wading pool, aquarium, whatever works for you, with a filter on it, and a couple of permanent residents to keep the filter active.

Make sure it is large enough to house the biggest koi you are likely to purchase.

My system is one of simple prevention. Once you have your new bouncing baby koi in hand, get him set up in the quarantine tank. The most common parasites are easily treatable in a small environment like this.

My typical routine is to treat for flukes, anchor worm, fish lice, costia, trichodina, chilodnella, epistylis, and ich.

Medicines vary from state to state, so get what is available in your area to treat these parasites.

Keep in mind that in the early stages, several of these parasites are easily treatable using salt, so make sure a good quality salt is part of your quarantine process.

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Follow all procedures listed in the medications you use, and be sure not to mix medications that should not be used with others. This is the easiest way to kill your koi quickly.

The other part of quarantining is to help prevent bacteria from getting in your pond. We feed anti-bacterial food during quarantine, and treat for bacteria topically also to help insure the safety of our previous residents.

We are typically treating for flexibacters, aeromonas, and streptococcus, so see what is in your neck of the woods, and treat accordingly.

Again, salt is a safe and simple ally for many of these guys in the early stages, without the dangerous side affects of some of the stronger medications.

After the treatment period is complete, (according to procedures on your medications) your fish can now be added to your pond. The old adage, “An ounce of treatment is worth a pound of cure” is never more true than when it comes to quarantining your fish. Learn from my mistakes and set up a quarantine tank. Your fish will thank you.

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Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

Eric Triplett
The Pond Digger

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4 Simple Tricks To A Beautiful Pond

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4 Simple Tricks To A Beautiful Pond

Too much food, too many fish, no water changes, and poor filtration are the main reasons ponds get a bad reputation. Ugly, smelly, green, or with a ton of algae, these problems are easily solved with a few simple changes.

Getting clean, clear water is easy if you have a few important pieces of equipment, and some simple, routine maintenance tricks in place.

FILTRATION

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Make sure you have enough filtration for the size pond you have. When I say enough, I really mean, add more…..more is better….basically, you can never get enough filtration.

Keep in mind that pond filters are designed to support the amount of fish life your pond is SUPPOSED to have. You and I both know, your pond, my pond, her pond, his pond, has waaaaay too many fish.

First, when it comes to filtration, you must understand this, if a filter says it is for a 3000 gallon pond, the manufacturer is expecting you to have about 6 koi in that 3000 gallon pond, so that filter is for a 3000 gallon pond with SIX koi. See what I mean?

Put filters on there like to support the quantity of koi you KNOW you will put in your pond, and then CLEAN them.

Don’t wait for the little light to tell you it’s time to clean.

Don’t do it once a month because someone told you.

Don’t wait until the pump slows down because the filter is clogged.

Clean it often. Test your routine by occasionally cleaning the filter between the normal cleaning times that you’ve set up, and see if the water comes out dirty. If it does, step up your routine.skimmer-dog

USE A SKIMMER

Plus, put a skimmer on your pond. If you have a pump in the bottom of the pond, it pulls every bit of debris that hits your pond’s surface directly to the bottom of the pond. Then all that debris sits there and decays. Does that make sense?

A pump in the bottom of the pond means your pond is designed to collect debris at the bottom.

A pump in a skimmer pulls the debris in to the skimmer into some kind of handy little device that allows you to take it out of the pond, and put it in the mulch pile.

AVOID OVERCROWDING and OVERFEEDING

You and I both know that we have too many fish in our pond, and we feed them more than we should. I mean, they’re so cute when they’re begging and sucking on your fingers or toes, you just can’t help it.

So, the first step is when your pond is full, and you know you shouldn’t put any more fish in there, stop putting fish in there. Just say no.

Don’t put yourself in the path of temptation!

Stay away from the fish that are for sale when you buy your koi food. Get your food, and go home.

The next step is to try to feed only what your fish need to thrive, and not what your heart wants to feed them.

The general rule of thumb is, the amount of food that they can consume in just a minute or two, or the equivalent amount of food to the size of their eyeball. I know that just freaked you out. I like feeding my fish too.

These are the toughest things to overcome, but if you succeed, your water quality will show it, in a good way.

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WATER CHANGES

The last tip is to do frequent water changes. Not the whole pond, not even half, but the equivalent of 10-20% on a monthly basis divided into small weekly portions will have a startling affect on your water clarity and cleanliness.

If your pond is 1000 gallons, try doing a 50 gallon water change every week.

See, that’s not much, you very likely can do this much simply when cleaning the filters correctly, and in the right time frame.

I’ve seen some grossly under filtered, crazily overcrowded, insanely overfed ponds in amazing shape due to regular water changes. It’s almost shocking.

These simple little changes will create a huge difference in your pond, and you will be back to loving it before you know it.

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Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

Eric Triplett
The Pond Digger

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The Carnivorous Koi

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The Carnivorous Koi

Did you know Koi eat fish? Well, okay, maybe they don’t outright run around hunting down small koi or mosquito fish like a coyote eats rabbits….or do they?

“DUDE!!!! I just watched *Skeletor EAT Happy!” This was the panicked phone call I got from Joey Moss the other day after he watched his big Koi, Skeletor, eat his baby Koi, Happy, who was born in the pond.

Apparently, Skeletor was overly excited at feeding time, and sucked in Happy along with some pellets of Koi food.

This nearly tragic tale, had a happy ending since Skeletor spit Happy back out after deciding he wasn’t the right flavor, but it doesn’t always end this way.

Koi WILL eat fish. I have had clients watch their koi eat mosquito fish, small goldfish, small koi, frogs, and more.

NOTE: Koi are NOT carnivorous but they an are opportunistic feeders better know as omnivores. If you watch them for a few hours, you may see that they pick nearly everything up in the pond with their mouth, to test and see if it is edible.

If they like the flavor or consistency, they swallow it. Much like a troublesome 2 year old, they are always looking to see what they can put in there mouth.

People may be slightly at fault here, as one of the most abundant protein sources is fish, and any quality koi food you look at will have fish as the number one or two ingredient.

We’ve trained them to like the flavor. Weird, right? Not really. We just learned what to feed fish by watching what fish eat in the wild. Fish eat fish.

IMPORTANT DIETARY INFORMATION:

When koi are young and growing, they need more protein for making new cells.

A growth formula is the way to go. It provides a higher protein level to promote correct growth.

As they mature, they will need less protein, so they can be switched to an all season diet.

If you are trying to brighten color on your koi, there are color enhancing foods that can help. COLOR ENHANCING FOODS are often a higher protein level even than GROWTH FORMULAS, so please don’t feed this diet straight up. Mix it with an ALL SEASON or Growth Formula.

Too much protein for too long can cause kidney damage in your koi and shorten their life. ):

When the seasons change, the temperature fluctuations between night and day dropping the pond’s water temperature can cause problems with a koi’s digestive tract.

A quality COLD TEMPERATURE FORMULA fish food has wheat germ as the first ingredient because it digests easily. It is designed to be digested quickly, so by the time the cooler night time temps come, the morning meal is already digested, and not sitting heavy in their belly like Thanksgiving dinner.

A fun treat to try with your koi is watermelon. Cut the melon into discs like wagon wheels and then take a small 2″ diameter ring out of the center. Float the wheel in the pond, and put some pellets of food in that small open space at the center.

We do this because the koi sometimes don’t recognize watermelon as food. As the koi are eating the pellets they will end up tasting the watermelon, and then the fun begins!

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent, except for Joey Moss. Joey’s name is real!

For daily pond pro tips follow us on SnapChat, FaceBook, Instagram, and Twitter

Leslie Triplett, The Pond Gal

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

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4 ESSENTIAL ANNUAL SPRING POND CARE NEEDS!

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Click Here to see our Spring Pond Seminar date!

1. Livestock Evaluation – It’s important to take a serious look at your fish population each and every year. It only takes about three years for a new pond owner to begin putting a strain on a pond’s life support system without even realizing it.

In the third year of pond ownership your Koi should start to put on some size (and mass) if you’re doing things right. A 26” Koi can have 8 times the body mass of a 13” Koi. Yes believe it or not, a Koi that doubles in length can put on 8 times the mass!

Imagine the food consumption and waste byproduct produced if all the Koi in your pond were suddenly 26”? How would that affect your water quality, pond maintenance and water treatment routines?
Much to often a pond owner will continue to do the same routine from day one of their pond, in the 3rd, 4th and 5th year. This is when things can start to go really wrong. Evaluation your livestock population each spring so you can make minor or major adjustments each year and enjoy your Koi as they mature in to majestic beauties.

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2. Water Treatment Evaluation – Beneficial Bacteria, Barley Straw Extract, Algae Fix, Koi Clay, Flocculant, Pond Salt, and the list goes on. What treatments are you doing and how often?

I’ve evaluated ponds for clients and have found entire cabinets full of different water treatment products all being used at the same time! Find clarity in your water treatment selection and in turn find clarity in your pond.

If your pond is heavily populated you might find that increasing your beneficial bacteria doses will help manage your water quality. You might find that when your Koi attain 18” you can reduce algae care products because an 18” Koi can eat a serious amount of string algae!
Did you know the use a Flocculant or Koi Clay could improve your pond’s water clarity in a big way! Reviewing your water treatment usage each spring is a great way to make improvements in your water quality.

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3. Review Feeding Schedule Routines, Serving Sizes and Total Annual Poundage – Give this one some thought; think back to when you pond was brand new when you first populated your pond with Koi. Do you remember how much fish food you went through in your first pond season? Your Koi where still a bit shy and they we only a few inches long.

Chances are, you went through a pound or two of food in that first season. As your pond matures, so do the Koi and in the second season you certainly doubled or tripled that amount of food offerings. Before you know it you are into your third season, your Koi are even bigger, eat much more than last year and to top it off have become sexually active!

By the fourth season your Koi are pushing 2’ long and have 50 or 60 offspring swimming around the pond and they’re eating you out of house and home. I actually have a client with a 6000-gallon pond that purchases 250 pounds of fish food each year!

That’s crazy when you think about it! It’s important to realize massive jumps that can creep up on you and understand the demand this can have on your maintenance and water treatment routines.

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4. Life Support System Evaluation – Biological filters, UV filters, aeration systems, ion generators, sieve filters, settlement tanks, bottom drains, check valves, knife valves, 3-way valves, filter pads, skimmer nets & pads… Now take a deep breathe! Go about it one step at a time and evaluate each component of your life support system.

Ponds are exposed to a great deal each year with the seasonal changes, population explosions and such. I’ve seen bio-mechanical filters so overloaded with pond muck that they barely even worked, and the homeowner didn’t even realize it.

Replace UV lamps, repair diaphragms on air pumps, replace old filter pads on your mechanical filters, replace ripped skimmer nets and lava rock media bags. You get the picture now, right? Do a physical inspection of your life support each spring and rest easy while enjoying your pond the rest of the year.

If you don’t want to get your hands dirty then have no fear, The Pond Digger has started scheduling work orders for Spring Pond Care and we’ll be flooding into your neighborhood soon! That will leave more time for you to plant your annual spring flowers and prepare for the barbecue Pond Party planning for family and friends; don’t forget to send us an invitation, too!

To secure a spot on our clean out calendar contact our office at (800)-522-5043 to be placed on our waiting list. Be sure to leave a daytime number so that one of our maintenance techs can contact you to review your spring POND CARE work order if necessary.

We’ve worked hard to gain your business and we’re working even harder, to maintain it. The finest compliment we could ever receive is a referral from you! If your have neighbors, friends and family that are constantly at your place marveling over your pond, PLEASE give me their names so we can build one for them too and get them out of your hair!


Spring Pond Care Seminar

SPRING POND CARE SEMINAR APRIL 6, 2013 – EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNTS

Show up at 9:30am on April 6th, 2013 and we’ll walk you through all the ins and outs of what you need to do for your 2012 SPRING POND CARE!!! We’re gonna cover FOUR Spring Pond Care Essentials Every Pond Needs Annually in great detail!!

When – Saturday April 6th, 2013 – 9:30am to 12pm

Where – 31710 Dunlap Blvd. Yucaipa, Ca 92399

800-522-5043

Touching People’s Lives With Water™,
Eric Triplett
The Pond Digger