Carter's Water Garden

December 3, 2012, 4:07 pm
Filed under: General Blog Entry's | Tags: , ,

I post this every year, it’s very important to be prepared for Winter! I hope this helps…

Remove plant debris and other organic matter. Excess organic matter can contribute to increased algae growth. A large amount of leaves collected in the bottom of your pond will decompose and produce tannin’s  This can be harmful to your fish and reduce water clarity. Leaves can also collect in the stream and cause a plant dam. It is very important to keep your skimmer net cleaned out regularly during the heavy leaf fall, DAILY if needed. Pond netting is inexpensive and can make these things less problematic on you during the winter.
When water temperatures reach 55 degrees F, I recommend that you either – stop feeding your fish or start using Low Temp fish food, (Available at Carter’s Nursery). At these temperatures, their metabolism slows down and eating normal food can make them sick or even cause death. You should always end their feeding cycle with LOW TEMP OR ANTIBIOTIC FISH FOOD.
Leaving your waterfall running all winter will not hurt anything. As matter of fact, it could give you some beautiful photo op’s. The running water will make some breath taking natural ice sculptures. So keep your camera handy. And get some close ups. But be sure to watch out for ice dams. These can cause your pond to lose some excessive amounts of water.
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER break the ice by banging on it. It can cause your fish great harm – it can even KILL them! To allow the escape/exchange of gasses in a frozen over pond, keep a hole open in the ice. This is IMPORTANT!!! It will keep the gases from building up under the ice and allow for oxygen exchange and keep your fish from suffocating. This will also allow the pump to get water if the surface is frozen. If you have a skimmer, this will be MUCH easier on you! The water movement will help keep the ice from forming. You may need to keep the hole open by adding water from a water hose, bucket or pan of water. (If you use your water hose be sure to drain it when finished-to keep it from freezing and bursting? Keep it in your garage or storage area). You can also use a floating heater or a small pump in a shallow area to “flash up’ and break the water surface.
Use Low Temp bacteria treatments when the water reaches 55 degrees F and lower. This will help keep the pond clean, keep the water healthy and make your Spring pond clean out much easier.
I hope this helps! I enjoy the winter, it is really a great season! So many birds visit the Pond during the Winter to drink and eat. I really get into the birding this time of year.  It’s also a wonderful time to do all my garden planning and maybe the best thing about Winter is… I know that Spring is right around the corner! Enjoy the Season!

~ Mark Carter