While this call doesn’t come often, even once a year is too much for me! When I get that call from the guy who feels he has tried EVERYTHING on his pond, and just can’t get it cleared up, and he’s so frustrated, he is ready to just fill it in with dirt, it is so disheartening.
If you are that person, and you’re just about ready to throw in the towel, and the dirt, on your pond, try these things first. You may just turn over a new lily pad, and start enjoying your pond.
A WHALE OF A TALE, A FISH STORY
Fish population is really the easiest thing to overlook. When your pond is new and the fish are small, the filtration has no problem keeping up with their waste production. As the years roll by, the fish grow, but the filter doesn’t.
When koi double in size, they produce 10 times as much waste, not just double the amount of waste. Is that unbelievable??? It is true though, TEN TIMES THE POOP.
So those six, cute, little 4″ koi you started with, are now 16″ behemoths, cruising around your pond like Russian Typhoon class submarines, producing chihuahua size poops, making your filter cry “UNCLE”!!!!
Was that too graphic? Sorry, but it is accurate, so bear with me here. The filter that was fine before, for your young fish, is now simply too small. Imagine if when you got married, there’s just you and your spouse in a sporty little two-door coupe. As the years go by, you start having kids, and suddenly, there are just not enough seats in the car. You go bigger, right?
So, upgrade your filter, or even better, put a secondary filter on. That way you will retain the established beneficial bacteria colony that the original filter has in spades.
It is sooooo simple, yet often overlooked.
PS, too small of a filter also will be unforgiving as you add that one, cool, new fish each year. One fish a year, becomes 10 whales, ten short years later.
REGULAR MAINTENANCE, WHY YOU CAN’T SKIP IT (Even when your pond LOOKS clean)
Maintenance is the key to keeping your pond clean and clear. Cleaning the filters frequently, and regular water changes, can overcome a plethora of pond challenges. It is not unusual to find that someone that is just fed up with their pond, has not performed the annual spring drain and clean for several years, or only backwashes their pressure filter once a month in the summer, or even, only cleans their filters when the waterfall slows down. Ouch!
Well, pardon me but, DUH!?!?!! You have to keep cleaning stuff on your pond. Your fish keep pooping, even if it is the dead of winter. And here’s the real kicker, 75% of fish waste is ammonia expelled by their GILLS! Yes, you read that right. From BREATHING. So, don’t try to tell me, “It’s winter, my fish aren’t eating, so I shouldn’t have to clean the filter.” Because that’s simply not cutting it. Those fish are still breathing, right?!!?! Then they are producing waste.
Fish waste, whether in the form of poop or ammonia, causes water quality to deteriorate. Poor water quality causes undesirable algae, the number one reason people want to fill their pond in with dirt. But, it also causes poor water clarity, reduces your fish’s immunity so they get sick easily, and eventually, the solids can build up on the bottom of the pond, making a mucky, gross, build up that smells like rotten eggs.
So, clean that pond. Clean the filters, clean the skimmers, add your beneficial bacteria, do water changes, and please, please, please, if your pond type needs that annual spring drain and clean, do it. EVERY SPRING. Even if the pond looks great, because pretty soon, it won’t look great, and then you’ll be looking for that shovel!
PROPER FILTRATION, OUR MANTRA
Proper filtration, obviously, goes hand in hand with the first topic, fish load, but sometimes, people don’t even start out with the right filter for the original six, 4″ koi. I see this most frequently with those little pond kits that come from DIY, Big Box, hardware stores.
The ponds are typically too small to house koi in the first place, as most of those pre-formed ponds are less than 150 gallons, and an adult koi needs at least 250 gallons of water but is much better in 500 gallons of water. In addition, the “filters” they typically come with, are really a pre-filter, that sit in line before the pump. They are designed to keep the pumps from clogging with debris, rather than keeping the water clean.
Make sure the filter you have is designed to keep the water clean, not just keep the pump from clogging. It should sit outside the pond somewhere, potentially in the waterfall, or beside the pond, where it can be cleaned easily of captured fish waste, plant debris, and excess food, on a regular basis. Most need cleaning as frequently as once a week.
LET US HELP YOU!
Before you grab that shovel or backhoe, take a close look at what you can really to do help your pond look great. Give us a call if you’re not sure if your filter is too small, your fish are too big, or you’re not sure if your maintenance schedule is up to par. We will help you figure it out
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This DIY Pond Build Clinic is Open To The Public! Weekend Warriors are Needed and Contractors are Welcomed!
Saturday, November 3rd, 2018
8 am to 4 pm
American Builders Supply
7375 Tule Springs Rd
Las Vegas, NV 89131
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