Autumn is the time to start preparing koi ponds for the winter season
Independence, MO (Vocus) October 13, 2010
"Autumn is the time to start preparing koi ponds for the winter season," states RC Moore, president of KoiPondFever.com."The steps taken now will help ensure healthy koi in the spring with no fatalities and no outbreak of algae, harmful bacteria, or parasites in the spring. All these problems are due to poor water quality. "
Feeding in the fall is an important step in preparing the koi for winter. When the water temperature is below 70°F and the daylight hours are less the metabolism of koi is slowing down. Using a floating thermometer is a must when feeding in the fall. At this time feeding should only be once per day and in the afternoon when the water temperature is at its peek. After a good rain it is best to wait a day to continue feeding. Use a high quality koi food that is easy to digest but still has the minerals that koi need in their diet such as Dainichi All-Season or Saki-Hikari Multi Season. Feeding a wheatgerm diet is easy for the koi to digest but has few of the other ingredients that koi need for good color and health. As the water temperature cools to 50°F the koi only need to be fed 2 -3 times per week and when the water temperature falls below 50°F the koi should not be fed at all.
Clean up in the fall can be a chore keeping up with the leaves that are blown into the pond and overwhelm the skimmer. Using a pond net can keep leaves out of the pond and reduce filter and leaf basket cleaning. KoiPondFever.com has a sale on all Laguna nets which come with stakes to secure in place. It is best to keep the net above the water and not let the leaves decay on the water surface. On larger ponds large floating balls can help keep the net off the water and shed the leaves. Before installing a net it is best to cut back marginal plants such as water iris or pickerel and keep the dying leaves of water lilies pulled.
No matter how diligent koi keepers are in keeping leaves and debris out of their pond, there still can be a build up of debris that settle to the bottom. Even the most established koi ponds can benefit from using Microbe-Lift Fall/Winter Prep. Microbe-Lift Autumn/Winter Prep helps to accelerate the decomposition of leaves, scum, sediment and other organic matter in the fall and winter. It will also jump start your pond to a healthier environment in the spring. The two part system comprises 1 quart of liquid bacteria and two 2 oz water soluble packets containing a blend of cellulase enzymes, cellulase-producing bacteria and a cold weather bacteria. The cellulase enzymes, along with the cellulase-producing bacteria, are the key to accelerating the breakdown of leaves, organic sediment and sludge all winter long. The cold weather bacteria and liquid bacteria take care of the initial breakdown of by-products and continues to provide sustained biological activity even in water temperatures under 40°F (4°C).
Koi pondfever.com has a sale on all their pond deicers. In colder climates the koi pond should never freeze over solid. This can cause a build up of harmful gases that can be fatal to koi. Many people shut down their pumps in the winter but it is best to maintain some kind of water movement in the koi pond to keep from having dead zones with little or no oxygen. Large waterfalls should be shut down because they cool the water more than a circulation pump.
Proper proper preparation on the fall means fewer diseases and fatalities of koi and a beautiful pond without algae outbreaks and a mess to clean up in the spring. For more information visit KoiPondFever.com.