Opening my pond

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Opening my pond

Postby Sam » Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:42 pm

The weather was just too good, and with no deep freezes expected in the next ten days, I "opened" my mothers koi pond for the season. This is an earlier date than I normally choose, but the warm winter allowed more off season decomp to take place, so the pond was in definite need.

My first act is to isolate and clean the filter and filter media very well. All the good stuff that kept the pond healthy last season (the dirt and muck and bacteria) will have mostly stagnated, frozen, and died, so I blast all my filter media until there is barely a speck of grime left. No doubt the dirt will be back soon.

I work hard to isolate my filter cleaning activities so the pond doesn't receive an influx of filth. Dumping a bunch of decomposing muck into a quite early season pond with cold fish is a recipy for disaster. This means closing off and then flushing out all my plumbing.

Ok, onto the easy part. For the pond I exchanged only a third or so of the water, removed some of the sunken leaves, and trimmed off dead pond plant vegetation. All filled up again, I plug in the pump and clean water starts rushing down the waterfall for the first time this season.

I don't recommend a 50-100% super clean that some people do in the early spring. It can be very stressful for the fish and in cooler temperatures, they just can't deal with it. Remember, if they get sick, it's very hard to treat in cold water. I'll follow up this pond "opening" with another partial change soon. Might even do a 50-75% exchange next, but by then the fish will be ready for it.

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Re: Opening my pond

Postby Admin » Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:10 pm

please note
when doing very large percent water changes
you need to be careful about pH, temperature, and Chlorine/Chloramine

we are very lucky in Millis
fish tanks and fish ponds are usually about the same pH as the tap water

I always suggest measuring tap water pH
tank or pond pH
...before proceeding
so if you pond is pH 7.0 and your tap water is pH 8.0
that is okay
by all means give the system a big cleaning

if your pond pH is 6.0 and your tap water pH is 9.0
maybe do several 20% water changes rather than a single 90% water change

same with temperature
(particularly is the summer)
if your pond water is 80 degrees F and your tap water is 50 degrees F
THAT is a huge drop
so same as above: maybe do several 20% water changes rather than a single 90% water change

if the tap water temp is about 60 degrees F, and the pond water is also about 60 degrees F
by all means
flush the system particularly if everything dirty

also watch out for Chlorine and/or Chloramine
particularly with MWRA water and some other water sources also
...always use a water conditioner
the one I like best for ponds (because it's economical for large volumes of water)
is Pondcare Chlorine & Heavy Metal Neutrilizer (by Mars Fishcare)
a $15 bottle treats 4800 gallons
Prime, Aquatan, or any other brand is fine also

if you have your own well chlorine is not a problem
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