Well Spring is right around the corner !!
Spring time in the rocky mountain region can be very stressful on your fish and water garden inhabitants. With the weather going from 70 degrees to 30 degrees at night, your fish really don’t know how to act or feel. The fish have been is their hibernation state (Stasis) for a long time now and they are trying to figure out what to do!
We want to make sure that they are happy and safe in these times. Make sure that you have a thermometer available to check the water temperature so that you do not feed your fish until the day and night time water temperatures are above 50 degrees. You should also make sure to feed only a wheat germ based food to your fish when the water temperatures are between 50-65 degrees. After the water temperatures are above the 65 degree mark then you can start feeding a more high protein food.
Make sure that all of your filter system is in good shape and get things started and running. This will help with water clarity and also with establishing your biological filtration in the filters and stream bed. Having a waterfall will also help with oxygenation of the water and help the fish with there stress levels.
A lot of pond owners have there ponds cleaned in the spring time. If you have this done or do it yourself, make sure that you wait until the water is a little warmer. Water temperatures around 50 degrees will help with fish stress and also with acclimating the fish back into the cleaned pond later. Also make sure that if you use water from your house and it is not from a well, you need to put a water conditioner in the top off water to take out chlorine and chloramines.
In the spring time your pond or water garden is going through a lot of changes. With the water temperatures warming up you will start to see a lot of algae. Both single cell (the stuff that turns your water green) and filamentous algae. Both of these algae’s are not fun to deal with. With your filters running this will help. Adding beneficial bacteria to the pond will help a lot. We have several different suppliers for beneficial bacteria for you to choose from. You can also add water treatments to the water to kill the algae. If you use these products like Algae fix or Desolve-9 to kill algae make sure that you keep your waterfall or aeration system going so that the algaecide will not kill your fish!! All of these products take dissolved oxygen out of the water and can kill fish if not used correctly. You will need to know how many gallons of water that you have in your pond before you use any of these products. Most pond owners over estimate how many gallons their pond is, so be very careful or you might kill your wet pets!!
You can get an estimate of how many gallons your pond is by a simple calculation. Take the length x width x the average depth ( this is where it gets a little complicated, the average is if the pond is 3 ft deep in the center and you have plant shelves then the average could be 2-2.5 ft deep) multiply this number by 7.5 (a cubic gallon of water) and this will get you close. I usually take off 5% of this value to get a little closer.
Length x width x average depth x 7.5 = total gallons
These are some of the things that you need to think about in the spring to help your water feature get started. If you have any questions please stop by the store or give us a call and we can help you through any questions or concerns that you might have.