During the next few days, temperatures will drop. Looking at the weather forecast, they are due to plummet further over the next few weeks. The experts say that there will be snow in some parts of the UK tomorrow as I write.
For the majority of you with unheated ponds, it may surprise you that the water temperature is about 5 deg.C. at present This is likely to drop further. Now is the time to take a few simple precautions like:
– early March 2011
– Waiting for his ‘Full English’
- Stop feeding completely if the water temperature is below 5 deg.C. (feed sparingly from 5 deg.C.- 7deg.C.
- If you have a winter protective cover, it should now be on to reduce chilling – the cover will help to prevent heat loss and keep the water 1- 2 deg.C. warmer.
- Bypass any waterfalls, turn down the air (but leave some going). Do not stop the filter.
- If the pond water surface freezes, melt the ice to form a small hole to let the gases escape. Do not mechanically break the ice as the noise and vibrations can injure your fish.
- Drain the garden hose and put it in the garage to make sure it’s kept operational – hoses will freeze and block if left out. You made need to fill the pond in a hurry if you have a burst pipe etc.
- Keep a look out for Herons – you are more likely to get problems from predators like Herons during the winter when their natural food source is in short supply. We had our only attack last January.
- This is one time in the year that a thermometer is most useful and it need to be part of your kit. Try not to let the pond water drop below 5 deg.C. The Koi will survive at lower temperatures but the risk of losses are far higher. The weaker Koi will go on their sides at about 2 deg.C. and swim bladders can be damaged.
- A large aquarium heater which has a low energy consumption will give a little bit of ‘background’ warmth. Our many other heaters will provide more sustainable warmth.
If you have any worries about your pond or the behaviour of the fish, give our team a call on 01243 698284 or 01243 572762.
Have a good winter season
The HealthyKoi Team – Rod, Gerry & Dave
Fishkeepers are in for a treat this November as a new major aquatics exhibition is taking place in the UK. Based at London’s Olympia, Aquatics Live 2011 is the first of its kind in the UK, combining expert seminars and live demonstrations with major manufacturers and leading British retailers.
Over two days in November, Olympia will play host to the UK’s greatest event for the aquarists and will bring together exhibitors drawn from all over the country, giving visitors a unique chance to shop, ask questions and see first-hand the widest range of available products. They will also have a rare opportunity to talk face-to-face with manufacturers and see demonstrations of the latest innovations in fishkeeping.
In order to ensure the best possible conditions for exhibitors with aquatic livestock displays, Healthy Koi have been commissioned to undertake the water testing for the mains and tank water supplies to both floors in the exhibition halls. The results, together with any recommendations and comments have been issued to the exhibitors to ensure that they undertake any necessary measures required to suit the particular species that they wish to show.
Healthy Koi Team
This year, we have again had a very harsh and severe winter. In some cases, ponds were frozen for a prolonged period and without pond heaters to keep part of the surface free from ice, many Koi suffocated. Others, who have been weakened by the prolonged cold spell will emerge in the spring with depleted strength and not in the best of health. As a result, it is important that their environment is well looked after, they have excellent water quality and you start feeding again with wheatgerm/ multi-season feeds as soon as the temperature allows. Blood samples taken at this time of year often show the Koi to be anemic. The resumption of feeding will help them with any nutritional problems and to regain their former condition.
Some of the fish problems which are occurring at the present time is due to water toxicity. This often occurs when we have had a poor winter and a lot of debris can end up in the pond. A good clean-up and controlled water changes usually cures these problems.
Pond & Environment
- Clean and vacuum the pond.
- Strip and clean pumps.
- Check all valves and pipework – now is the time to undertake those changes before the heavier feeding starts and the filtration system builds up efficiency.
- Re-direct / re-connect waterfalls which have been bypassed during the very cold winter spells.
- Clean and flush the filters – use pond water and clean alternative biological bays at weekly intervals.
- Reinstate any reduced air supplies.
- Replace the UV clarifier tube so its at peak performance when during the summer.
- Test the water – this is most important when the feeding protocol changes (ie resumed/ increased feeding rate or food type).
- Remember that it will take time for the biological filter to build-up again.
Sit by the pond, have a cup of tea or coffee and just watch the Koi for a while – they will tell you if there is a problem.
- Look for any surface blemishes, marks or changes in behavior.
- If there are any changes, bowl-up and carefully inspect the Koi – invert and look at the underside of the body and the gills.
- Do not treat the pond as a matter of course.
- If you think you may have a parasite problem, check with a microscope and mucous scrape first. If it’s confirmed, select the best medication to treat the problem, bearing in mind water temperatures.
- If you find costia, remember that this is a secondary parasite and is only found on 1 or 2 unwell Koi – look for the cause.
- Keep an eye on the water temperature and feed accordingly. If temperatures look like dropping again, slow the feeding rate.
If you need any advice or have any concerns, do not hesitate to contact on 01243 698284 or 01243 572762.
The HealthyKoi Team – Rod, Gerry & Dave