Winter Pond Operation Tips from Aquatic Edge
Pond Cleanout Tips from Aquatic Edge's youngest "employees"
Fall & Winter Maintenance Tips from Aquascape, Inc.
There's no definitive answer to this question, but we generally recommend waiting for a week after your pond has been built before adding any fish. In the first week of operation you should check to be sure there are no leaks or any other issues.
When you add fish, add them only a few at a time to avoid overloading the newly developing filter system. Wait a week or more after adding a few fish before you add any more.
It's easy to overload a pond with too many fish - remember they grow and reproduce!
Don't think in numbers of fish, but more specifically in "inches" of fish. In a typical backyard koi pond you will likely want to keep the ratio of 1" of fish per 10 gallons of water. Or 10" per 100 gallons.
Goldfish species will typically only reach lengths of six inches or so, whereas koi carp can reach twenty to thirty inches if they live long enough. Plan for the future sizes of fish when you stock your pond.
A properly built ecosystem koi pond should have a depth of at least 20" to ensure fish survival over the winter. When the water temperature gets below 50 degrees you will notice a sharp drop in your fish' activity. They will begin to settle down toward the bottom of the pond where the water is warmest, and will stay there for the majority of winter. It is important not to disturb your fish during this time, as they are conserving their energy for the long winter season.
In a new pond you should feed your fish once or twice a day, but only feed the amount that your fish can consume within a few minutes. Overfeeding is one of the main causes of poor water quality and fish health problems.
When the ecosystem becomes established with plants and some algae you can reduce feeding to every other day if you wish, as the fish will enjoy exploring their habitat for natural food sources.
**Only feed your fish when the water temperature is above 50 degrees. Below this temperature your fish' digestive system does not work quickly enough to digest food properly, which can cause serious health conditions due to accumulated food that may rot in their stomach.
You should. Water circulation is key to the filtration system functioning properly and maintaining adequate oxygen levels for your fish.
Depending on how your pond was constructed and the number of/ function of your pumps, you may have the option of running certain pumps individually (such as a dedicated filter pump or underwater jet pump). Check with your installer for additional guidance.
Water is the most basic necessity for all living creatures. You should expect a wide range of amazing visitors to your pond. A properly circulated pond will NOT become a breeding ground for mosquitos.
You can expect to enjoy the company of songbirds on a daily basis, and you will likely see beautiful butterflies and other pollinators during the spring and summer. Your pets will enjoy drinking the fresh pond water, especially the flowing water in the stream!
A well-built pond will not require an enormous amount of maintenance, but like any living part of your landscape there will be some periodic tasks such as removing fallen leaves and rinsing the skimmer filter. If you would like assistance, we offer monthly service visits as well as other pond service calls and repairs in the Pittsburgh Area.
Ponds will lose some water due to evaporation or splash from a waterfall. Small ponds lose water more noticeably due to the limited volume of water they have to begin with. Depending on the construction style of your pond, it may be able to function properly with a varying water level due to evaporation and rainfall.
If you suspect your pond may be leaking, consider that a standard pond will lose approximately 1% of the GPH volume due to evaporation every day. Example:
If your pump size is 5,000 GPH you can expect that 50 gallons of water every day will be lost to evaporation.
50 Gallons of water loss will not be very noticeable in a large 16' x 20' pond that contains a few thousand gallons of water. But 50 Gallons of water lost from a small 5' x 8' pond could be enough to drop the pond level by an inch or more.
Rainfall, humidity, aquatic plants, and air temperature all play a role in affecting the amount of water that may or may not be lost due to evaporation.
First read the question and answer above this one. If you then feel like you have a leak, the first step is to determine whether the water loss occurs as it flows through the stream/waterfall or if the water is lost due to a hole in the pond liner. Here's how you do it:
Fill the pond to its normal, full water level and turn off all of your pumps for 24 - 48 hours. (Turn on an aerator to keep your fish happy and well-oxygenated). IF the water level remains the SAME during this time then you can be sure there is no hole in your pond liner and that the water is being lost somewhere in motion. IF however the water level drops while the pumps are turned OFF, then you have a hole or low edge in your pond liner. Either way you have just eliminated half of your work in searching for the leak!
For further assistance in finding and fixing a leak in the waterfall section of your pond (or in a pondless waterfall) check out this informative video by our friends at Atlantis Watergardens in New Jersey.
Of course you can always call us if you would like one of our water feature professionals to take care of this issue for you.
YES. Aquatic plants are an important part of the balanced ecosystem of a pond. A good variety of aquatic plants will provide many benefits such as habitat for small fish, shade and cover for larger fish, and nutrient reduction for clearer water.
If you have large koi in your pond you may need to get creative to protect the plants from being eaten or damaged by the fish.
You can have many different species of fish in your pond. It's important to consider the climate of your area to make sure the species you stock in your pond will survive the colder weather of your region.
In our local Pennsylvania area, the best types of fish to stock are koi and goldfish, along with albino catfish. These fish are brightly colored and easy to see and enjoy. You can also stock your pond with fish that live in our local bodies of water such as bass, bluegill and crappie...but keep in mind that these fish will be difficult to see underwater due to their natural camouflage coloration.
Also keep in mind the predator vs prey relationship in your pond. Catfish, bass, and crappie enjoy a snack of smaller brightly colored fish!
Koi can live longer than 10 years in a well-maintained backyard pond. They can grow quickly in the first few years to over a foot in length. If they have ample water space and water quality, along with enough food, koi may live for 20 + years and grow to close to 30" in length.
Still have a question that wasn't answered above? Check out this page from Aquascape Inc. for answers to questions of all sorts, from water treatments and filters to pumps, fish food and pond maintenance.
Click Here --> for Aquascape's Knowledge Base / FAQ's
YouTube channels for Greg Wittstock the Pond Guy, Ed the Pond Professor, and Team Aquascape