You will probably have heard the met office’s augers of doom regarding extreme weather events. Climate change is causing the UK to suffer a greater incidence of extreme weather. Hail showers in July, a summer heatwave, the Beast from the East and Storm Ali are amongst the freak events that you may have experienced over the last couple of years.
Extreme weather is always an inconvenience and sometimes incredibly disruptive. It is also problematic for ponds. With hotter days and tropical nights becoming more common, pond keepers face greater challenges.
talkSPORT presenter Jason Cundy is used to fielding calls about Premier League football and the World Cup. What the former Chelsea player probably never anticipated was a caller confessing to killing his neighbour’s fish. But that is exactly what happened recently when a Welshman called Cundy’s show in some distress.
The caller, who said his name was Spike, had been minding his neighbour’s house while they were away. He called the national radio station because he was desperate for help after causing a disaster. Cundy and his co presenter encourage their listeners to discuss anything that happens to be on their mind, other than politics. On this occasion it was dead fish.
You may have read that it is advisable to turnover the entire volume of water in your pond every hour which might not be feasible in a larger pond. It is vital to turnover the water in your pond at a sufficient rate to remove ammonia and nitrite from the water. But what is that rate?
Think before you increase waterflow
If you are fortunate enough to own a large koi pond, turning over the water every hour would require an impressive filter system and truly scary energy consumption! Before you plan to construct your own power station, it is important to consider that issues with nitrite and ammonia are less common in larger ponds.
The smaller the pond, the more likely it is to be overstocked and the harder it is to keep the water quality stable. Larger ponds can sustain slower turnover rates and you will probably find that a turnover rate of 2-4 hours is ideal unless your pond is enormous. You can test your water regularly using a proprietary kit but if you do discover ammonia in the water, merely speeding up the turnover rate may not help and might actually prove to be counterproductive.
Is your pond filter too small?
Poor water quality would most likely be the result of a using a filter of insufficient size. Speeding up the water flow will merely result in the pond water passing too quickly through the filter for it to process it properly.
Bear in mind that your pond’s surface, walls and floor will be colonised by the same bacteria that feature in your filter. The larger the pond, the larger the surface area, giving you a bigger bio-filter. Turning up the flow may achieve nothing more than a huge electricity bill!
In larger ponds, poor water quality will usually be the result of inadequate filtration or overstocking. Attend to these potential issues before considering adjusting the turnover rate of the pond.
It is possible to achieve outstanding water quality in a 30,000 gallon pond, for instance, with a turnover rate of 16 hours, providing the filter is up to the task.
Why does inadequate filtration time promote algae growth?
It is the breakdown of dissolved organic carbon compounds into simple inorganic compounds which is the most time-consuming aspect of filtration. The resulting compounds are ultimately incorporated back into living organisms.
This complex process is never instantaneous and will, even under ideal circumstances, take some time. It isn’t hard to see that if insufficient filtration time is available, intermediate products will be pumped out of the filter back into the pond. Which rather defeats the object of having a filtration system! Inadequate filtration often leads to excessive algal growth occurring because the filter is merely producing a generous supply of plant nutrients!
You have a delicate balance to strike if you are to achieve optimum water quality in your koi pond. It is possible to indulge in complicated calculations but ultimately, trial and error might be the only way to find the perfect combination of filtration, turnover and stock levels.
A koi pond is a fabulous feature for any garden, but those colourful fish will draw youngsters towards the water. Koi are undoubtedly beautiful and fascinating. Their wonderful patterns will be appealing to youngsters and attract them to a potentially dangerous situation. Even shallow water is a potential hazard and so children must be protected from falling into your pond.
Koi keepers have many challenges to overcome. They will spend a great deal of time constructing their pond and creating the right pond environment. They will tackle poor water quality and might be the victims of unscrupulous thieves attempting to steel their fish.
Pronounced kar-rah-soo, this variety of koi gets its name from its black colouring. Almost completely black, this fish from the kawarimono class may exhibit different colours on the ventral area, usually red, orange or yellow. The black colouring rarely fades over time and so you will always be able to savour the true beauty of this koi.
Koi are relatively straightforward creatures to care for but you can run into trouble if you don’t do your homework. Simple mistakes can lead to big issues! Here are the most common errors and how to avoid them.
Most animals need natural light in order to thrive and koi certainly benefit from the sunshine. There are many ways in which sunlight will benefit your fish but it is important to strike a good balance of light and shade. There is much to think about when caring for your koi but their need for light should never be overlooked.
It isn’t often that you hear about an RSPCA investigation into the treatment of a koi! It’s usually the treatment of dogs, cats and horses which hit the headlines but a recent case involved a koi and there is something of a mystery surrounding the fate of the unfortunate fish.