Summer Pond Tips
Author: Brett Fogle
Use an oxygen tester and air stones to keep your available oxygen level to at least 7.0 parts per million of dissolved oxygen in 90 degree F. water. Koi and goldfish start showing signs of stress at oxygen levels of 4.0 ppm and will start dying at 3.0 ppm. The higher the water temperature goes the less oxygen that's available. Water temperatures over 90 degrees will also affect fish health so keep the temperature under control by providing shade during the hottest parts of the day.
It's Parasite Season
Warm water causes an increase in parasites such as anchor worms, fish lice or flukes. Some parasites such as anchor worm and fish lice are visible and can be treated with Dylox, Dipterex or Masoten.
Invisible parasites such as external protozoa and flukes can not be seen but they usually cause symptoms including extra thick mucus, constant scratching by rubbing against objects, flashing, or jumping. Some variations will cause a noticeable head shaking and yawning. COntact your pond specialist for treatments because different symptoms are indicative of different infections. Follow label instructions at all times or you could cause serious injury or death to your fish.
Summer Koi Feeding Tips
If you water is between 70 to 85 F. then feed a low protein food in a quantity that is equal to 1.0% to 1.5% of total koi body weight in pond. Estimate total koi body weight in pond and feed recommended % of food daily based on season and water temperature divided into intervals of about 2-2-1/2 hours.
It takes koi about 2- 2-1/2 to digest food in warmer water and 4-8 hrs in colder water when feeding is begun. So in warmer ideal water temperatures feed 5-8 times daily the individual portions totaling daily amount needed. In cooler temperatures feed 1-3 times daily.
Sunblock for your Koi
Koi are not immune from sunburn, especially in shallow ponds that get direct sunlight. Provide shade such as water lilies or a rock overhang. Even a beach umbrella will do in a pinch.
Watch for Evaporation
Depending upon the surface area of your pond, you can lose several inches per day to evaporation. Monitor and adjust your water levels daily or as neccessary. Remember, do not use water with chlorine in it if you have fish!
Five Quick Tips For Healthy Summertime Water
- Ensure that you have good mechanical and biological filtration and that your pump will turn the pond water over totally at least twice per day.
- Operate the pump 24 hours a day.
- Provide adequate shade by having 60 to 70% of the pond's surface area covered with floating plants or other types of shade.
- Add water clarifiers and bottled bacteria if your water remains cloudy even when good filtration is present.
- Test oxygen levels daily and add air stones if levels fall below 7 PPM.
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About the author
Brett Fogle is the owner of MacArthur Water Gardens and several pond-related websites including macarthurwatergardens.com and pond-filters-online.com. He also publishes a free monthly newsletter called PondStuff! with a reader circulation of over 9,000 pond owners. To sign up for the free newsletter and receive a complimentary 'New Pond Owners Guide' for joining, just visit MacArthur Water Gardens at www.macarthurwatergardens.com.
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