Tetra: Prepping your outdoor pond for winter

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Prep Your Pond for Winter: Checklist

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Now that the days are growing shorter and temperatures are getting colder, your pond and its inhabitants are beginning to get ready for winter. There are important things to do now to help your ecosystem adapt to the upcoming harsh months. Will it be a mild season? Or, will it be the harshest on record? No one knows for sure.

Falling Leaves
If you have trees close by, it is advisable to place a meshed net over the pond in order to prevent falling leaves dropping into the water. Although the net may look unsightly, it only needs to be in position while the leaves are falling, and is easier than removing the leaves from the pond by hand.

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Preparing Your Pond for Seasonal Changes

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More great info straight from Tetra!

Fall is a beautiful time of the year. But, sometimes that beauty can be hard on your pond, especially if you have trees nearby. In the fall, it is very important to prepare your pond by cleaning it out, protecting it from falling debris and maintaining your equipment, especially if you live in cooler climate zones.

Deicer and fish

Before winter sets in, invest in a TetraPond Pond De-icer. Gases produced by decomposing organic material are toxic to fish when they are trapped beneath the ice covering the pond’s surface. In small ponds, the TetraPond De-Icer is especially helpful in preventing ponds from freezing solid. Remember, for fish safety, it is extremely important to never break ice on the pond because the shock waves can be detrimental, and sometimes fatal, to fish.

To ensure you cover all of the necessary fall pond prep steps, print and keep this checklist handy:

  • Reduce the number of leaves falling into the pond with netting. Most pond retailers carry different sizes that can be hung over the pond like a tent. Or, you can build a frame across the surface.
  • Remove any floating debris regularly with a hand net. Installing a skimmer unit will also save you time and effort.
  • Cut back dead or dying aquatic plant foliage during the fall.
  • Purchase a wheat-germ-based pond food developed especially for a Spring and Fall Diet.
  • Disconnect the pump, filter and UV clarifier before water freezes.
  • Store UV clarifier indoors for protection.
  • Store filters indoors (if manufacturer’s directions suggest).
  • Sink a few clay pots or weighted-down, clean buckets into the pond to provide refuge (in place of the protective plant cover that will disappear). Frogs who have taken up residence in your garden will also benefit from a place to hibernate.
  • For breeds especially sensitive to the cold, like fancy goldfish, bring them indoors.
  • Purchase or have the pond de-icer ready for installation.

 

Tetra: Feeding Your Fish in Hot Weather

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Feeding Your Fish in Hot Weather

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Summer is the one of the most enjoyable times of the year to sit by the
pond and relax. During extreme or extended periods of hot weather,
however, it’s necessary to watch for potential problems caused by high
water temperatures.

First, provide food that is quick and easy to digest. Your fish will be
very active in warm temperatures and should be fed at least once, and up
to two or three times, per day, depending on conditions. It is best to
feed your fish in the morning–the coolest time of day. To ensure
they’ve consumed all of their food, offer small amounts at each feeding.
This will prevent uneaten food from decomposing at high temperatures
and polluting your pond water. If it is extremely hot, and your fish
seem sluggish and not interested in eating, wait for cooler temperatures
later in the day or the following morning.

In addition, the solubility of oxygen depends on the temperature. In the
winter, oxygen readily dissolves in cold water. In the summer, as water
temperatures rise, oxygen becomes increasingly insoluble. When fish
feed in extreme summer heat, their movement uses more oxygen, which is a
problem if there isn’t a sufficient oxygen supply in the water.

Take steps to increase water movement, such as ensuring there is good
water circulation. Disrupt your pond’s surface to aerate water and
increase the area where oxygen and carbon dioxide can be exchanged.
Consider adding a fountain, a bubbler or a waterfall, in addition to
oxygenating plants.

The golden rule? As the water temperature rises above 77°F, fish will
consume less food in a given feeding. Feed only as much as fish will
consume within five minutes. They will eat what they need to survive,
dependent on various conditions.