Sunday, November 04, 2007

Getting the Koi Pond ready for winter

Fall Ponding information

The pond is at its healthiest in the fall. The water is the most clear at this time. Give the pond a good vacuuming or cleaning in early fall. Start bringing in ornaments, tropical plants and animals, and filters and pumps for the winter. See winterizing above for more information.

Leaf Nets and Skimmers:
Put a net over the pond if leaves will fall in it. An alternative is a leaf skimmer which are usually only installed on koi ponds (they also suck in small fish and floating plants that non-koi ponds want to have). Leave the net on until all the leaves are off the tree and collected off the ground from the immediate pond area. While some leaves provide cover and food for pond animals, excessive leaves will cause the pond to have an overload of organic material. In the fall, leaves may tint the water brown or yellow from the tannins which also may decrease the pH. In the spring, the leaf litter translates into a massive algal bloom and perhaps dead fish as well as a dirty looking pond. So, if you are not striving for the all natural pond and have deciduous trees, then a leaf net or a skimmer is a must.

Leaf Removal Hint:
We found a great way to get leaves off the huge leaf net on our 1800 gallon pond. Instead of grabbing for them and risking falling in or trying to use a grabber or net to get one or two leaves at a time, we use a wet/dry shop vacuum to suck up leaves off the net and rocks. It saves a lot of time and makes it easy to remove leaves far out on the net.

Fall Tasks:

* Repot overgrown plants
* Stop fertilizing plants.
* Bring in any tropical plants, sensitive fish, etc. that will not survive the winter.
* Remove all tropical plants, dead foliage, and leaves. Clean out the pond. Vacuum clean the bottom.
* Do a good water change and top off the pond as needed.
* Clean out filters as needed. Check them at least weekly.
* Slowly stop feeding fish. Do not feed when the water temperature is under 50 degrees F.
* Put up filter systems, pumps, equipment, ornaments, etc. that are not to be used over winter (remove filters after fish have stopped eating).
* If you use them, put on the leaf net (early fall) and put out the de-icers (late fall).
* Check pond daily for dead fish, leaks, overturned pots, or other problems.

Above information came from this site

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