Tag Archives: fish pond

Should I Keep Aquatic Plants?

There is a split between pond owners as to whether to have plants or not. Aquatic plants can be a great aesthetic addition to your pond, as well as providing several health benefits to the water and fish. They offer shade, compete with algae, remove harmful nitrogen and give back useful oxygen into the pond.

How To Stop Koi Eating Plants

One reservation some pond keepers have when deciding whether to keep aquatic plants is that some fish, Koi especially, like to eat the plants, upset pots or disturb the soil, resulting in a dirty pond. This can easily be resolved by either planting in aquatic cloth liners or aquatic gravel.

Alternatively, there are some plants that would benefit from being planted in waterfalls or streams, keeping them out of reach for fish, whilst still purifying the water.

 

Different Varieties Of Aquatic Plants

Water lilies and lotus’ are common floating plants that provide much needed shade for fish. This shade also slows down the growth of any pond algae and sludge as it restricts the amount of sunlight that can reach the algae. As well as providing shade, these plants also compete for nutrients with existing algae. The combination of shade and nutrient competition results in very little algae growth.

Submerged plants such as hornwort and water moss are essential to a well-structured pond or water garden. They provide small fish with cover from predators such as herons and cats. They also provide the water with copious amounts of oxygen whilst absorbing some of the more harmful chemicals in your pond such as ammonia and nitrogen. Be sure to plant these plants in aquatic gravel or cloth liners to avoid fish digging them up.

Shallow water or marginal plants can sit on the shelves of ponds and provide all the health benefits of submerged plants whilst providing shelter and protection for other aquatic wildlife such as frogs, newts and dragonflies. Some varieties such as water iris produce vibrant flowers that add another dimension to your pond throughout the year.

What Are The Ideal Water Parameters For Ponds?

They are often overlooked, but having the correct water parameters is one of the most important factors to a successful, healthy pond. Providing your parameters are correct, your fish will be healthy, aerobic bacteria will be able to thrive and do its job properly and any pond plants that you may have will be able to contribute to the condition of your pond.

Correct Oxygen Levels in Ponds

The maximum amount of dissolved oxygen that can physically be held in water is 18.0mg/L. The minimum that you should let that figure get to is 6.0mg/L, anything lower than this and your fish will start to suffer. Some fish will be able to tolerate lower oxygen levels than this but it is advisable to try and keep the minimum at 6.0mg/L. Cold water can hold almost twice as much oxygen than warm water so keep a close eye on your oxygen levels throughout the summer months.

There are a couple of things you can do to maximise oxygen levels in your pond. Keep plenty of oxygenating plants, install a waterfall as this will bring in oxygen with the water and if needed, install an air stone or fountain to inject further oxygen.

If you need to make a partial water change for something, it is important to test your oxygen levels as tap water naturally has very low levels of oxygen in it.

What Should Pond pH Be?

Ph levels in ponds are very important but first we are going to have a quick chemistry re-cap on what pH is. Ph is a numeric scale that is used to determine the acidity or alkalinity of a substance, in this case pond water. The scale ranges from 1-14 with 7 being neutral, 1 being the most acidic and 14 being the most basic, or highest alkaline level. Battery acid has a pH of 1.0 whilst Lye (used in household drain cleaners) has a pH of 13.5, both can be just as dangerous as the other and give you a good indication as to why keeping a balanced pH level I so important.

Now that we have gone over what pH is, lets cover why it affects your pond, what it should be and how to change your pH level. A fish’s natural pH level is 7.4 so it is best practice to keep your pond as close to this level as possible. Fish can tolerate slight fluctuations in the acidity or alkalinity of the water but only down to about 6.8 and up to 8.2. When testing your pond’s pH level, be sure to test it twice in the same day, once first thing in the morning and once late in the day, preferably evening and preferably during similar weather conditions. The reason for testing twice is the algae that will be lurking in your pond. Algae is only active during daylight hours and when it is active it absorbs large amounts of carbon dioxide found in your pond causing your pH to read high. If your pH level looks a bit too high or low, you need to gradually bring it back down, you can do this by using Pond Equaliser.

It is crucial to keep your pH as neutral as possible. High alkaline levels in the water will increase the toxicity of any ammonia that exists in your pond, leading to possible Ammonia poisoning.

What are KH Levels?

KH is the measure of carbonate hardness in your pond and carbonate hardness is the amount of calcium carbonate in your pond. Calcium carbonates are very important as they feed the nitrifying bacteria that remove harmful ammonia and nitrates from your pond water. These bacteria are part of your ponds bio-filter, without this, your pond would be under great threat and would rely heavily on your mechanical filtration system. KH levels should be around 125ppm but they can fluctuate safely by about 20ppm either way.

Unfortunately, as with low pH levels and low oxygen levels, the effects of low KH levels can’t be seen by eye. You may notice that your ponds condition will deteriorate, Ammonia and Nitrate levels will rise and your pond will become more susceptible to pH swings which will ultimately lead to a pH crash!

Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates

Ammonia is released into your pond when your fish excrete waste. The nitrifying bacteria that are fed by calcium carbonate then break down the ammonia and turn it into Nitrite. Nitrite is then broken down further, to its final state, Nitrate. Nitrate is the final by-product of Ammonia. All three of these can be dangerous to your fish and should be monitored carefully. Ideally you should be removing any Ammonia in your pond to avoid it damaging your fish or breaking down further. Ammonia can cause Ammonia poisoning that can lead to death, Nitrites and Nitrates are not as dangerous but if your fish already have Ammonia poisoning they will be weak and susceptible to the irreversible effects of Nitrates.

Ammonia levels should be kept as low as possible, ideally at 0ppm but they can be okay at 0.5ppm if your pH level is neutral. Remember, the higher your pH, the more toxic Ammonia becomes so it is best practice to keep the level low. Likewise, Nitrites should be kept as low as possible around 0.25ppm but ideally at zero. Finally, Nitrate levels should be around 20-60ppm.

To summarise, water parameters are one of the most important things to monitor in your pond and they should be as follows;

Oxygen – Minimum of 6.0mg/Litre

pH – Keep your pH level as neutral as possible, around 7/7.5

KH – Keep your level between 95ppm and 150ppm

Ammonia – Should be at zero but can go up to 0.5ppm depending on the pH level

Nitrite – Like Ammonia, it should be as low as possible

Nitrate – Can be in-between 20 and 60ppm

You can stabilise pH, KH and ammonia levels with Pond Equaliser and stabilise Nitrate levels with Nitrate Klear.

Why Do Your Fish Jump Out Of The Water?

Why do my fish jump?

Fish jumping out of water is not very common but when somebody sees it, it can initially look quite impressive. Fish can just be jumping out of the water for fun or to escape a mate but there could also be more concerning reasons.

There are many reasons and theories as to why fish jump, so we are going to go through some of the more concerning reasons.

High Ammonia Levels

One reason fish jump out of water is because of high Ammonia levels in the pond. If Ammonia levels are not monitored they can quickly rise and become very dangerous.

As fish excrete waste into the pond, it creates Ammonia. These high Ammonia levels can result in burns to the fish’s gills which could explain why they are jumping. When fish experience pain, they will either swim into the pond walls, to “itch” the pain, or they will jump out of the water to try and escape the pain.

Fortunately, this is very easy to treat with Envii Pond Equaliser. Equaliser instantly stabilises the chemical balance in your pond and creates perfect water conditions. Equaliser will adjust pH, KH and GH levels in your pond, as well as reducing levels of Ammonia and heavy metals.

We recommend using this product to all our customers as it provides the perfect conditions for fish, plants and beneficial, aerobic bacteria as well as allowing you to get the most out of any of your bacterial pond treatment products.

High Nitrate Levels

Nitrates are a by-product of the bacterial reduction of Ammonia. If the Ammonia levels in your pond have been high for a while, the chances are that they have reduced to their final product, Nitrate. As with Ammonia, Nitrates can cause irreversible damage to your fish, including their liver, spleen, nervous system and kidneys.

Nitrate levels are easy to neutralise and can be done so within hours, using Envii Nitrate Klear.

Parasites and Diseases

Parasites and diseases can cause damage to your fish and this damage may not always be visible without taking your fish out of the pond. Unfortunately, there are many diseases that can affect fish, however, most of these diseases can be diagnosed via visual symptoms. Use our Common Fish Diseases post to help determine what may be wrong with your fish.

As with High Nitrate Levels and High Ammonia Levels, the common denominator that is causing your fish to jump is damage/pain so take action as soon as you see you fish jumping.

To conclude, the first thing you should do is to check your pH, KH, GH, Ammonia and Nitrate levels in your pond using a test kit. If these are all okay, isolate the jumping fish and inspect it for any visible damage, parasites or diseases.

Why Do Ponds Go Green In The Spring?

Ponds turn green in early spring. That’s pretty much gospel among pond keepers; it’s just the way things are.

Why does it happen?

Basically, there are two types of bacteria in a pond – aerobic (good) and anaerobic (bad).  These two types of bacteria are in a constant battle to digest the organic debris that ends up in the pond (twigs, leaves, fish food etc). When the anaerobic (bad) bacteria digests it, it takes a lot longer and produces gases like nitrogen and phosphorus which, in turn, act as a food source for algae. When we add aerobic (good) bacteria to the pond, they overcome to the anaerobic (bad) bacteria and digest the organic debris a lot quicker and don’t create any harmful gases. This is why, when you use bacterial pond treatments you are getting to the source of the problem; rather than just eating the algae, you are starving it of its food source.

The problem is that anaerobic (bad) bacteria can digest organic matter as low as 6°C, whereas aerobic (good) bacteria treatments traditionally work around 10-12°C. This means that all winter your pond is losing the battle against algae and when spring comes, the algae starts to feed.

It’s all about to change

Envii Winter Pond Treatment is a new type of aerobic bacteria treatment.  It works as low as 4°C which means that you can win the battle of the bacteria all year round.  Its task-specific bacteria digest the organic debris meaning that when you come back to pond in spring, it will stay clear. Then continue to treat with Envii Pond Klear and your pond will never go green again!

This is the first pond treatment designed to work all through the winter!

For more information on Envii Winter Pond Treatment, click here. 

How To Prepare Your Pond For Winter

When should I stop feeding my fish?

When the pond water temperature drops below 13°C for over 10 days you can stop feeding the fish. Change to a wheat-germ based food for a few weeks before this as it’s easier to digest and won’t get stuck in their stomach.

Once you have stopped feeding the fish DO NOT start again. Even if the temperature rises above 13°C don’t be tempted to start again as it could quickly drop again and food could get stuck in the fish’s intestinal tract.

Clean out the pond.

  • Scoop any debris out of the top of the pond with a fine net.
  • Use a pond vacuum to remove sludge from the bottom of the pond.
  • If possible, physically clean anything else from the pond without harming the fish. You could do a partial water change to allow easier access to the bottom of the pond.
  • Use Envii Pond Equaliser to restore the biological balance to the pond.
  • Attach a pond net around 18″ above the pond surface (leave a few small holes if your pond has frogs or other wildlife that needs to get in and out).

Should I turn my pond pump and filter off?

This depends on where you are in the world. If you live in a really cold climate where the pond is likely to freeze over, then it is best to turn all the equipment off. This is because the fish will hibernate in the warmer water at the bottom of the pond and a pond pump will move the colder surface water around the pond and disturb the warm water.

Generally in the UK you should be fine to leave the pump and filter running as normal.

Treat with Envii Winter Pond Treatment 

Envii Winter Pond Treatment is a revolutionary pond treatment that works all winter. It’s the first of its kind because it works as low as 4°C to break down the organic material that builds up in ponds over winter.

This organic material (twigs, leaves, fish food, acidic rain, excrement etc.) acts as a food source for algae which means that in the spring you will find a pond full of algae.

By using Envii Winter Pond Treatment, you can now keep your pond topped up with beneficial bacteria all year round.

To buy Envii Winter Pond Treatment, click here. 

Photo by Liz West

Customer Stories – Adrian Rodgers

Here’s a great review we recieved about Pond Klear from Amazon Customer, Adrian Rodgers –

“For as many years as I can recall our well stocked fish pond has turned green in spring and we haven’t seen a fish until almost autumn. We’ve tried plants (much to the delight of our grass carp), as many chemical remedies to reduce the algae bloom as there are on the market and traditional barley hay. It’s safe to say that we have never known what eventually gets on top of the problem, it just clears one day.

This year however is different. We introduced your product in early April during which, luckily for us, there was a really cold spell which, presumably delayed the onset of our annual algal bloom problem. Your product states that it works at cold temperatures but nevertheless given our 10 year experience of green water and the multiple products used I must say not much success was anticipated. I’m delighted to state that I was completely wrong. I followed up with a second dose a week later and at about 1 month from dose 1 I’ve added a third. We’re now mid May and the pond is delightfully clear despite the warmer weather and long daylight hours. We no longer have to wait until feeding time for a glimpse of a fish mouth!

Further, the slurry I remove from the filter box no longer sends a whiffy bad eggs aroma up my nose when I lift the lid and I suppose this is a further effect of your product.

An excellent product which I will buy again.

Regards

Adrian Rodgers, delighted customer.”

Click here to buy Envii Pond Klear 

How To Clean A Pond Without A Filter

We’re constantly being asked –  Will Envii Pond Klear work on a pond without a filter?

The short answer is that it does work on ponds without filters.

Here’s the longer answer…

The bacteria in Pond Klear eat the organic matter (i.e. twigs, bird poo, fish food etc) that decays causing algae and sludge. However, it would be a tall order for them to eat all of the algae and sludge created so they also detach it from any surfaces and clump it together allowing it to be caught in the filter.

So Pond Klear WILL work in a pond without a filter but it won’t work anywhere near as quickly.

Because of this we generally recommend that people use Pond Klear Xtra and Sludge Klear in a pond without a filter. These products together have a far higher concentration of bacteria and work in tandem to eat the organic matter. While it is more expensive, you are guaranteed results.

It’s also worth physically cleaning your pond as best you can by removing anything from the surface. This will give the bacteria less to do and make it work quicker.

For more information on the Envii Pond Range, click here.

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