Pond Owners Handbook - Latest Articles
We’ll begin with a few reasons why temperature effects feeding your fish so heavily.
Winter is approaching and bringing with it cold weather. As the water in our ponds cools towards freezing, fish begin their transition into semi-dormancy. Many biological processes slow, including a fish’s immune system, and the digestion of food. Due to this natural slowing, fish cannot process the same amounts or varieties of food they often encounter in Summer and Spring months. While immune-suppressed fish can be susceptible to a varied set of infections and disease.
Many popular pond fish have no true stomach, this includes our beloved Koi and Goldfish. Without a stomach to properly digest food prior to passing it to the intestines, whole food will stay latent in the gut of a fish and begin to rot. Potentially harmful bacteria will capitalize on the ideal conditions found inside of a fish, colonizing and passing into the bloodstream of the host fish. From that point forward, there is little a pond owner can do to help the inflicted fish. Sepsis can set in and kill the weakened fish, otherwise stressing and possibly leading to secondary infection of the fish.
Pond owners would do well to taper off fish feeding when temperature nears the 60*f mark. Feeding below 60*f should be done in small amounts with a low protein cold water food such as Aquascape’s Cold Water Fish Food. Monitoring water temperature is essential to feeding properly at this time of the year, with floating pond thermometers being under 10$. Don’t worry if you miss feedings or don’t see your fish eating food left to them, as fish will naturally forage on algae and plant matter that is easier to digest. At Cole’s we’re particularly fond of Hornwort as an over-winter perennial feed plant. Feeding should stop altogether when temperature drops below 50*f.
When temperatures are lowered, not only are your fishes biological processes slowed, but so are the bacteria we rely on to filter the pond. Bacteria that normally convert ammonia from fish waste and not performing at optimal levels, and this can lead to toxic levels of ammonia, and in rare cases nitrites. It is a good idea to monitor ammonia levels if continuing regular feedings – always bring water to room temperature before testing to ensure accurate results. High ammonia can be remedied with Cold Water Bacteria or AmmoniaFix.
Read more on fish food with this article: http://www.colespondstore.com/food-nutrients-and-your-pond/
Stay tuned for our article on Spring feeding and common Spring-time mistakes.
On this page you can find an index of manuals, or instruction books that have been requested by our customers. If there is something we can find for you, shoot us an email or leave a comment below. We should have a manual for you in two business days.
Product Manuals – Current (2013)
Product Manuals – Outdated (Pre-2012)
Although koi tend to be the number one choice of fish among pond owners, goldfish make charming accents to the water garden and should be a consideration when stocking your pond. As a general rule, goldfish do not grow as large as koi and therefore are better at allowing plants to grow in the pond.
The common goldfish comes in many shapes and varieties. The red and white sarassa comet tends to be one of the most popular goldfish varieties, with the calico-colored shubunkins coming in at a close second.
Since goldfish have little chance of outgrowing most ponds, they are a great choice for small ponds. But be careful as they do breed quite easily and can quickly over-populate your pond with numbers instead of size.
Goldfish come in fancy varieties, as well. These include the oranda goldfish, ryukin, and black moor. Generally, these are best left to the aquarium hobby for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, they have difficulty swimming away from predators with their rounded body shape. They actually seem to waddle more than swim! Also, they don’t fare very well in cooler climates. Their small size does make them perfect for container water gardens, as long as a winter home can be found for them indoors.
A pond without fish can be a bit uneventful. In fact, many pond lovers add a water garden to their landscape just so they can enjoy fish. To avoid over-stocking a small pond, consider adding goldfish, which are just as colorful as the popular koi.
LED is what’s new!
Enjoy feeding your fish while underwater lighting enhances their beauty and creates halos of light around each water lily leaf. Come home from a stressful day at work, and enjoy a pond’s nightlife.
Expand your viewing pleasure into an evening wonderland beyond the patio or deck. You and your guests will enjoy your pond, waterfall or water feature with illuminated ripples and reflections. Your pond and surrounding gardens can become the center of your outdoor evening entertainment. Contrasts of light and dark draw you into a new magical nightscape dimension. Various forms of underwater and landscape lighting have been available for many years.
In past there have been concerns with safety, frustration with maintenance, as well as installation issues. This has all changed with the Aquascape LED systems.
LED is the latest development in indoor/outdoor lighting technology. It has changed the way we purchase and use the pond and landscape lights. LED lights have a natural looking white light and last ten times longer than halogen lights, costing far less to run and wastes less time replacing burnt out bulbs. They save up to 90% on hydro compared to halogen lights.
Aquascape LED fixtures provide a variety of design options to illuminate the pond above and below safely using a tiny inexpensive low voltage transformer. The low wattage bulbs don’t disturb the fish or heat the water.
It is fun to play with the positioning of the lights. Choose to place lights in the pond, or focus them on a cascading waterfall, rippling stream, colourful water plants, bubbling fountain or garden backdrop. Experiment with placing lights higher or lower to achieve different effects. The nearer the light is to the surface the brighter, more intense it is coming out of the water. Placing the light lower creates a more diffused effect.
Always direct lights away from the viewer so that there is never any glare. You may wish to hide the fixtures with stones and bury the extensions as you can leave these lights to freeze over winter.
The beauty with the Aquascape LED system is that when it comes time to add more lights, you easily can, with threaded connectors and extension cables (some with multiple adapters).
Aquascape also offers a simple “plug and play” kit with everything necessary for a quick professional installation at a surprisingly low cost. These kits are popular with homeowners and contractors.
It’s amazing how just a small amount of light on a little bubbling garden fountain in an otherwise dark area, creates such a dramatic focal point.
Some people begin with just a few lights, and then quickly discover how much fun it is to “paint with LED lights”.