Tag Archives: 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.

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Spring Jobs For Your Pond

It’s March 20th and spring is officially here so it’s time to start working on your pond, clearing up after the winter and preparing for the rest of the year.

Most of the UK had a mild winter and despite the Met Office’s warning of Thundersnow back in January, we haven’t had much snow or ice this year. Because of the milder temperatures, there is a possibility that pond sludge and algae have been active in your pond for a good proportion of the winter months as they can grow down to temperatures as low as 8°C.

Preparation Is Key

First things first, if you have any plans for your pond this year, now is the time to start putting them into action. Make sure you have all your pond maintenance supplies and feed stocked up, there is nothing worse than running out of something when you need it most! Go over your filters and pump and make sure everything is clean and working as it should be.

Remove Debris

Remove any obvious debris that could have made its way into the pond over winter. Small pebbles, rocks, leaves & twigs can all be blown or washed into your pond and if they degrade, they will eventually turn into pond sludge. Be sure to clear any loose debris from around the edges of your pond as well as these will make their way in.

Inspect all your aquatic plants and remove any that have not survived the winter. Remove any dead leaves and trim back accordingly.

Pond Sludge & Algae

As we mentioned above, the winter has been mild and pond sludge may have been active in your pond for a few months now. Be sure to use your Pond Klear and Sludge Klear early as it can work down to temperatures as low as 4°C. If you have been using Winter Pond throughout the winter months you may not have much sludge so have a look before dosing up.

pH Levels

Your pond hasn’t had much attention for a few months and although chemical and bacterial levels don’t change much in the cold, it is always good practice to use a test kit to ensure your water conditions are perfect.

Poor water quality and the fast transition in a ponds conditions coming out of winter and into spring can lead to “spring kill” which refers to the loss of fish at the start of spring due to series of related water quality issues

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.

Common Fish Diseases

In our last blog, we spoke about some of the reasons fish jump out of water. One of the issues is due to diseases, which can cause the fish to jump out of the water to escape the pain.

Below we have listed some of the most common fish diseases along with their symptoms and how to treat them.

Common Diseases Symptoms How to Treat
Ammonia Poisoning Red or inflamed gills
Fish could be jumping out of water to escape pain or inhale more oxygen
As mentioned in the previous post, high ammonia levels are easy to avoid by keeping your water levels right with Pond Equaliser. There is no treatment for fish suffering with ammonia poisoning, other than levelling ammonia levels in water.
Fin Rot Fish’s fins appear jagged and may have a milky substance around the edges Like ammonia poisoning, Fin Rot is caused by incorrect water qualities. We would advise using Pond Equaliser and then monitoring the infected fish.
Camallanus Worms Serious infections can be seen in the form of a pink/red worm protruding from the fish’s anus. They may also be lethargic and lose their appetite A de-worming medication such as Levamisole is the recommended treatment.
White spot White spots will be visible on your fish’s fins and possibly body This is a very common disease and there are many remedies available at your local pet shop.
Hole In The Head Quite literally, the fish will appear to have small holes or indentations on their head and may lose their appetite A common method used to treat this disease is to add the antibiotic metronidazole into your water and then monitor water levels very closely. It is also thought that an improved diet (frozen fish food or vegetable based foods such as seaweed strips) can aid in the recovery of the fish.
Nitrite and Nitrate Poisoning Symptoms are not obvious but they can include erratic swimming and loss of appetite Although nitrate poisoning is not a disease, as we discussed in the last blog, it can be deadly to your fish. Ensure your water has low levels of nitrate by using Nitrate Klear.
Pop-Eye Eyes are abnormally sticking out of the fish’s head and may appear cloudy in colour Ensure water quality is perfect to avoid infecting any other fish. Remove the infected fish and keep in quarantine whilst treating with antibiotics.
Swim Bladder Disease Fish will be floating on their side or back and will be unable to dive The easiest treatment is to not feed the effected fish for 24 hours. Swim bladder is caused by fish taking in too much air when eating.
Velvet Fish will have yellow or grey dusty spots on them Copper and quinine-based medications are very effective, but these can be toxic to certain fish so check before treating

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. 

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 

Customer Stories – Wolfhound Mum

“Wolfhound Mum” bought a bottle of Pond Klear on Amazon. Here’s what she wrote about her experience

“After having problems with both my UV lights, the water in my pond had become really bad, not only green, but the debris suspended in the water made it impossible to see all but the largest fish (& then only when near the surface). I bought this on a whim, not really convinced it would work, it seemed too good to be true. Wow… This stuff is amazing. I used double the dose as recommended for the 1st application on a Wednesday night & by Friday morn’ not only could I see all my fish, I could see the bottom of the pond. The fact it was harmless to dogs was essential as even though my pond is raised, our wolfhounds use it as a large drinking bowl. They are all fine but probably scare the heck out of my previously sight impaired fish. Can’t recommend enough. I would not have been able to see these fish just 4 days ago.”

Click here to buy from our website .