Pond Maintenance

Submitted by Don Harrawood on Fri, 09/09/2016 - 12:32

One of the major causes of fish diseases is lack of pond maintenance.  Organic buildup in the bottom of the pond decays and produces hydrogen sulfide, which is very toxic to fish.

• A mechanical pond filter should be cleaned as often as necessary to maintain good water quality.
• Many ponds do not have a mechanical filter.  Absence of a mechanical filter results in high pond maintenance and distress to fish.  A mechanical filter drawing water from a bottom drain is essential to fish health and to pond bottom cleanliness.
• Pond pumps and filters should operate continually except for short down periods for maintenance.  Running continually is necessary to keep a good supply of oxygen to the bio-converter bacteria, and to continue removing solids and chemicals from pond water faster than they develop.
• An Ultra Violet (UV) light emits a specific band of wavelength primarily used to control the formation of single cell algae.  The UV, if used at the proper size, will kill (green water) algae, which will then clump together and can be filtered out.  Your pond should not have green water problems as long as the UV is properly sized and maintained.  UV light tubes should be replaced yearly.
• Pond owners hate to see green water because it is unsightly and we cannot see the fish, but Koi thrive in green water.
• Ideally, the higher the stocking density of Koi, the faster the water turnover rate should be. The faster the turnover rate, the faster the impurities will be removed and the more oxygen will be dissolved into the water.
• In general, a large pond should have a minimum of a 10% water change weekly.  The smaller the pond, the more water needs to changed, up to 50% per week.  Koi are much healthier in stable water parameters, and large water changes can be very stressful to the Koi - thus water changes are better done frequently in small amounts rather than one large water change.  As water evaporates, solids build up in the water and can only be removed through water changes.  Don’t forget to use dechlorinator when making water changes.
• When cleaning the bio-converter media, flush it off with pond water.  Do not use city tap water since it contains chlorine, which will kill your beneficial bacteria.

Thanks to Don Harrawood, SKAPA, for this article!


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