Twin Oaks Koi

Twin Oaks Koi


 
Seasonal Informatiom
Fall / Winter
Fall starts the time when you need to monitor the water temperature, plants, bottom condition and your feed. In the Ft Smith, Arkansas area you can usually keep your filter, falls, etc working thru winter.
Plants
Plants should be pruned and cleaned up. You can prune lilys back and put them a little deeper water for the winter. Your annuals, like water hyacinths, water lettuce, etc. you can take out of the pond and toss when they start looking ragged.
Bottom conditions
This is a good time to clean large debris off the bottom and generally get the pond cleaned up. You might consider some fall/winter bacteria to help condition and help decomposition of leaves and debris from the pond for winter. If you don't have a skimmer, consider a net over the pond to catch big debris. If you have a skimmer, check it more often.
Filter
Consider doing a cleaning on your biofilter, but don't let debris go into the pond. You'll only defeat the purpose of doing it in the first place, which is to get your water quality as good as possible before the fish go dormant for the winter, when you don't want to disturb them. Don't use chlorinated water from your garden hose, you'll kill all the good bacteria and make matters worse. Use water from your pond to flush the biofilter and parts. If you you have a skimmer filter, clean it good also.
Water
After you cleaned everything up is the time to do a good water change. If you've been regularly doing water changes that's great. Now do a much larger one. If you have a smaller pond you might consider doing a 40-50% change. MAKE SURE YOU DECHLOR THE NEW WATER AS IT ENTERS THE POND. (Tip: Put timer on your hose bib.) We want good water quality going into winter, not stressed or dead fish. During the winter you need to test the water for ammonia and nitrites, to be sure they aren't building up due to slower bacteria activity with a large fish load.

Feed
During the fall, when water temperatures drop to 60 degrees, you might consider feeding a fall feed, something lower in protien, wheat-germ based food. Below 50 degrees discontinue feeding. Then use the lower protein also in early spring to help females from getting egg bound. No guarantees there but some say it can help. Any feed the fish eat during cold weather can set in the stomach and rot. So don't be tempted to feed until spring when the water warms up to 60 degrees plus.

Spring/Early Summer
Plants
Plants should be pruned and cleaned up and brought back to their normal pond positions. Make sure any new plants coming in are throughly washed.
Bottom conditions
This is a good time to throughly clean the pond. Depending on your pond as to whether you vacuum it out (typically no rocks on the bottom of a shallow pond) or take the fish out and drain and wash the pond (rocks on bottom/deeper pond). Make sure you have a safe, aerated tank for your fish and use the proper nets to handle them. Flush and pump out all the muck. MAKE SURE YOU DECLHOR WATER GOING BACK INTO THE POND. Then aclimate the fish by adding some fresh dechlorinated water to their holding tank prior to putting them back in the pond.
Filter
Clean your biofilter, but don't let debris go into the pond. Don't use chlorinated water from your garden hose, you'll kill all the good bacteria and make matters worse. Use water from your pond to flush the biofilter and parts. If you have a skimmer filter, clean it good also.
Water
After your major spring cleaning just continue doing small water changes. MAKE SURE YOU DECHLOR THE NEW WATER AS IT ENTERS THE POND. Here's a good tip: put a timer on your hose so you don't "overwater".
Feed
Starting your spring feeding is not an exact science. Generally you can start with small amounts after the water temperature has crossed 60+ degrees not to go below again till next fall. It would be good to start using a fall feed into spring as it may help prevent egg bound females.
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