Carter’s Garden Blog


FALL CHECKLIST FOR POND & WATER FEATURE OWNERS

PLANTS AND DEBRIS:
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 tannins. 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. DAILY if needed. Pond netting which can be purchased at Carter’s Nursery can make these things less problematic and will make it easier on you during the winter. This will help make Spring Clean-Outs easier and faster too. Also a dipper net is a handy tool to have by your pond.

HEALTHY FISH: When water temperatures reach 55 degrees 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 Medicated or Low Temp Fish Food. Medicated and “regular” Fish Food should be finished by the time water temps reach 55 degrees. For an extended feeding time Low Temp can be fed as low as 45 degrees (check bag or ask a sales associate about feeding temps.)

LOW-TEMPERATURE BACTERIA: By using LOW TEMP BACTERIA your bacteria treatments CAN still be done until the water reaches 32 degrees. This will keep the bacteria active in your pond and promote healthier water for your fish during a longer period of time. In Spring, as water temps return to 40 degrees you may start the bacteria again. However this will not mean you no-longer need to clean your pond in the Spring because you will still have fish waste and plant debris in your pond that needs to be removed.

HERE ARE A FEW TIPS TO ADD TO THIS LIST FOR WINTER:

WINTER BEAUTY: Leaving your waterfall running all season will not hurt anything. As matter of fact, it could give you some beautiful photo ops. During the fall & winter birds love to come to your pond to drink fresh water, and in winter months; 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. If this happens add water back in to your pond with a hose to bring your water levels back up.

ICE SAFETY: NEVER, NEVER, NEVER break the ice by banging on it. It can cause your fish to go into shock! To allow the escape of poisonous gas, keep a hole open in front of the skimmer. This is IMPORTANT!!! It will keep the gases from building up under the ice and suffocating your fish. This will also allow the pump to get water if surface is frozen. Keep the hole open by use of a floating De-Icer or by adding warm 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, or keep it in your garage).

Thanks,

Mark Carter


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