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  #11  
Old 09-24-2004, 08:17 AM
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Victor Victor is offline
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I've never used the blue dye Kevin, so you're probably asking the wrong person. I personally would'nt want it in my pond, but that's just my preference.

It sounds like you're on the right track with your pond though.

It's funny how many critters a pond can attract.

Vic
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  #12  
Old 09-25-2004, 02:00 PM
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Critical Care Critical Care is offline
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I've never used dye myself as well. Some of the golf courses around here use it in their ponds, and it is supposed to suppress the growth of algae. My wife doesnít go for the look and so it will never fly here, heh heh.

Canít say Iíve ever run into a ground water problem, but conceivably that could happen in a marshy area. If your pond is in a low spot, runoff from the surrounding area could percolate down beneath the liner, orÖ and this can happen anywhere, as it did to me at my own place, if you have a break or disconnection in the output from the pump. My wife, bless her heart, put the pump back in the skimmer box in the spring, but didnít secure the fittings. Quite a bit of water Ė somehow Ė managed to work beneath the liner. I have an overflow French drain system and that area got soaked while much of the stones, gravel, and boulders along the side of the pond worked loose. But, this isnít directly related to draining the pond, but is something that could happen anytime to anyone who takes their pumps out for the winter.

I have clients who routinely want their ponds drained and cleaned out. It can be a lot of work, and my main concern is not to damage the liner Ė if it is a liner. Oh, and you will find different views on whether to clean or not to clean biofilters as well. Some people say that they clean theirs once or twice through the season; others say never to clean them because of the destruction of the beneficial bacteria. This year I didnít clean mine, and canít say if I noticed any difference Ė good or bad.

By the way, I just spotted in the local paper where some place is giving away 55-gallon drums for free. These make great inexpensive biofilters for koi ponds. If you can hide something that big Iíd suggest it. Oh, and make sure you have some bio start, or other type of starting bacteria, to jump start your pond in the spring when the water temp goes on the upswing.
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  #13  
Old 09-25-2004, 08:47 PM
lawnMaster5000 lawnMaster5000 is offline
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since your pond has now been in for a few months it has probably all balanced out and now looks great. I hope you have chosen not to use the blue die stuff. If you create the correct balance of plants it is NOT needed and your water will be CLEAR. It is going to go through some cycles though as you saw in the begining until everything gets balanced out. It is part of mother nature - that is what you were trying to simulate, right?

As far as this winter, i would not do anything different. I live in St. Louis and leave my pond running year round. As long as the water is moving through your UV and pipes etc it is not going to freeze. You know how damn hard it is to freeze moving water, i dont think that will be a problem for you. THe surface may freeze, but if you have a water fall as i am sure you do then that will allow the needed air / water surface contact. If your pond does begin to freeze over completely i am sure it will only be for a short time period and you can either break a small hole in the ice or just wait for it to melt. I have had a few freeze overs (a shell of water freezes over the water fall - it is really col looking) and have never had negative effects in the 3 winters i have had mine in.

good luck, and enjoy your now pond.

ohh and i agree with those that said wait till spring for plants and fish.
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  #14  
Old 09-25-2004, 11:36 PM
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Critical Care Critical Care is offline
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The icy waterfalls are pretty and out here they can last all winter. I sort of hate to run my pump (3000 gph) all winter because of the cost involved, not to mention the possibility of freezing solid the skimmer box inlet to where the pump is. If that happened, the pump would burn up. And believe it or not, but I was told by my koi distributor that the pond will stay warmer if you donít run the pump. HmmÖ Should research that more, eh?

Ponds that freeze over can winterkill fish because of lack of oxygen. Breaking ice with a hammer or rock can hurt the fish, like a concussion grenade, so in time you may want to invest in a stock tank heater. It wonít heat up a large pond but will keep a small area thawed out which is the most important thing.
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  #15  
Old 09-26-2004, 09:54 AM
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Running your pumps all winter?

I'd strongly recommend that you don't run your pumps through the winter. Even though you haven't had any problems yet, that doesn't mean you won't have any problems in the future by doing that. All it takes is a power failure on a really cold day and all of your pipes, your EXPENSIVE U/V, your pumps and any other pond component that could be damaged from the expanding effects of freezing water could be ruined. If your pump fails, that in itself could cause the exact same problem. You'd have to replace alot of expensive components, as well as hunt down a whole lot of leaks in the spring. Not my idea of fun at all.

Even if you don't have an electrical failure, nor a pump failure, you're still causing problems if you run your waterfall all winter in a cold climate. I'm sure you understand that waterfalls are great at increasing the oxygen content of your water. I'm also sure you know that the way this happens is due to the increased amount of water/air contact that occurs as the water is broken up into smaller amounts as it falls through the air to the surface of your pond.

Well.......Not only is the water becoming more saturated with oxygen when this happens, but you must remember that the increased amount of surface area that's exposed to the air also allows that cold air to suck heat out of that water as well. As this process happens over and over as the pond cycles, your waterfall can actually cause a "super cooling" effect on your pond. This is absolutely NOT A GOOD THING! Since moving water is more resistant to freezing than still water. Your pond water has the potential to be well below freezing if you run your waterfall through the winter in cold climates.

The deeper parts of your pond will be where your fish are trying to hibernate. They hibernate there, because that's where the warmer water is. The earth is obviously warmer the deeper you go in the water. This is why you should make your koi ponds as deep as possible. If you run your pumps, especially if you run your waterfall all winter. Not only are you supercooling the water, but your circulating water that would normally be a warmer, safer place for your fish to hibernate (bottom of pond), to the surface where it mixes with colder water and eventually will go over your waterfall where it will eventually be really cooled down.

Another reason running your pond through the winter in cold climates is a horrible idea is because you risk the formation of an ice dam. Let's say you're at work and ice freezes in your waterfall, your skimmer, or any other place where the buildup of ice could cause your pond water to overflow out of the pond system. You've just caused an ice dam. You'll either empty your pond and leave your fish nice and dry in the winter time air, or if you have a low water shut off. Your pumps will automatically shut down, leaving all of that water in your pumps, pipes, U/V and other components to freeze and destroy everything. Sounds like fun huh?

Do your fish a favor. Don't run your pumps in the winter. You're risking the health of your fish and you're definitely not helping your pond. Your biological filters sure aren't active at those temperatures either. All of your nitrifying bacteria has been long since dormant at that point.

If you're not going to build a greenhouse over your pond, the best way to prepare your pond for winter, is to place alof your biofilter media in a laundry bag. Place a rock in this bag with it and sink the bag in your pond. Then drain your pond down far enough to empty the water out of all your plumbing, except bottom drain pipes (there's a way to get all the water out of those without draining your pond completely). Once you're pipes are empty, empty all your filters, pumps and components like U/V's. Take your pumps and components inside and let your filters sit dry all winter.

To keep the surface of your pond from freezing over completely, place a surface heater on the water's surface. It will keep an ice free area open all winter that's large enough for a safe amount of gas transfer to take place. Letting your pond freeze over completely is not good! What's even worse than that would be cracking a hole in the ice with a hammer, or other any other impact method. Like Critical Care told you. Doing so will shock your fish. It is a strong possiblity that you could kill them by doing so.

If you prep your pond the right way. Winter can be a safe time for your fish and a stress-free time for it's owner.

Vic
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  #16  
Old 09-26-2004, 12:50 PM
lawnMaster5000 lawnMaster5000 is offline
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Thank you Victor, I agree with most of what you had to say, and I am not claiming to be an expert on Koy. One big detail that i failed to mention is pond depth and design like you commented on. I suppose one reason i am able to leave the water running year round is that I have a large area that is circulated very little and stays much warmer than the rest of the pond.

One other thing to consider though is that Nashville's avg tems from Jan 1 - Feb 28th is 29/50 compared to Columbus which is about 20/35 according to weatherunderground.com

Kevjenty, you certainly wont go wrong doing what Victor has suggested, I was just saying i dont think it is needed. If you are unsure go with Victor.
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  #17  
Old 09-26-2004, 02:28 PM
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Victor Victor is offline
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Hello LM

Since you're not in a "cold climate" you don't have to worry about preparation for winter the way the rest of us that do live in "cold climates" do. Like I said in my post. That information pertains to "cold climate" koi ponds.

Vic
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