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Video: Preparing The Pond For Winter
Preparation of the pond for winter begins in the fall. The water temperature will tell you when to prepare your pond for winter. In order to prepare your fish and pond for winter, you first need a good thermometer. Tie one end of the string to a thermometer and the other end to the rock at the bottom of the pond.
Small ponds. Since they are the simplest, preparing for the winter should not be difficult. Many of the small ponds are completely emptied, especially in areas with long, cold winters.
Check the water quality: Before preparing for the winter, several tests should be done, including an oxygen test. This will help you understand the pond aeration device. And also, it will help to achieve the safest water characteristics and keep the fish from stress while you carry it.
Preparation of winter maintenance: first of all, you need to establish a pond for fish at home, in which the latter will survive the period while the pond is empty. Don't forget that this will be a long period. The size of the temporary home is very important. Usually a large aquarium will work for fish from a small pond. You can also build a pond at home using cylindrical blocks and a lining.
In order to reduce the negative stress effect on the fish, a container for wintering should be prepared in advance, preferably a week or two before the fish is moved. Fill your container with pond water. Using pond water is preferable to help your fish adapt faster. If you are not able to use the pond water, then the water from the tap will come off, just do not forget to add the necessary chemicals to it in order to remove chlorine and other harmful substances from the water.
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To provide a temporary shelter with the necessary beneficial bacteria, simply add a few rocks or plants from the pond. If you do not have any plants or rocks, try adding something from the biofilter in the pond to your aquarium.
As soon as you fill the aquarium with water, you can work on filters. Most pond filters will not be suitable for an aquarium and therefore you will need an independent, separate filtration system. Some outdoor filters will work with an aquarium, but they don't look very aesthetically pleasing and too bulky. However, if you decide to use an external filter, make sure that it stands on a stable stand above the water level so that the filtered water flows back into the aquarium.
Transportation of fish. Once you've set up a winter shelter for your fish, it's time to catch the fish itself. Drain the pond to the point that the fish can still swim but are easy to see. Now try to scoop out the fish using plastic buckets. Nets will work, but they can damage by rubbing the protective mucus off the fish's body. Now you should acclimate the fish, preparing it for the conditions of the winter aquarium.
Preparing for ongoing service. Test the water every few days and make the necessary changes. Monitor nitrite and ammonia levels closely, especially since the biological filtration system may not yet be operating at full capacity. After a few weeks, test the water regularly and carry out changes.
Plant care. Freezing is the best time to separate and transplant your plants. In northern regions where temperatures drop below 15 ° C, tropical plants should be moved into the house, and the strongest can be placed in the deepest part of the pond as soon as they start to turn brown.
Empty pond cleaning. Once the pond is empty, you have two options: either clean it now and cover it before spring comes, or clean it in the spring before filling it with water. Whatever you choose, you have to work hard. One way or another, but if you clean the pond in freezing, then in the spring you will have to work much less.
Large bodies of water. Check the oxygen level in the water. What is its content in water in summer? Is the bioburden high? What is the phosphate level? Before preparing for wintering, you need to do a water test from your reservoir, check the level of ammonia, oxygen, phosphates in order to determine the baseline indicators and later understand what factors led to such indicators. And you'd better come up with a plan right away for how you will handle if things don't go the way they should.
Network installation. As soon as the first leaves begin to fall, you should cover your pond with a fine mesh net. This will keep most of the leaves and twigs from getting into the water. The net is barely visible and should be pulled and secured around the edges of the pond. It is important to make sure that the net does not touch the surface of the water. As soon as there are a lot of leaves, simply detach the net fasteners on one side and discard the leaves, then re-fasten the net. If you have a garbage collector, you need to make sure the garbage bin is clean every time.
Cleaning the bottom. Even with a net, some leaves from nearby trees, bushes, and other vegetation can enter the pond, even the leaves of plants growing in the pond. Thus, they will collect at the bottom of your reservoir. When decaying leaves gather there, the content of organic components in the water will increase, take oxygen from the water and negatively affect the fish, causing it to be stressed. During leaf fall, it is necessary to remove most of the organic matter that accumulates at the bottom. The first step is to trim the edge plants and remove the floating leaves before they start to decay.
Cleaning strokes, filters and pumps. A dirty filtration system is ineffective. Power consumption increases and performance drops significantly. In the end, it can simply clog up and stop working altogether. Use the situation to completely clean out your filtration system, replace filters as needed.
As soon as the temperature has dropped below 5 ° C - the main pumps, filters and protein collectors should be turned off and put into the pantry. Do not leave the pumps at the bottom of the pond, as this can lead to a drop in temperature throughout the pond, as a result of which the fish will use up all their fat reserves in an attempt to survive.
Make a partial water change. All of the above actions will raise the suspension from the bottom of the reservoir, so now is a very good time for a change. A 50% water change can also be done during the fall, which will cause you much less discomfort than you would when the temperature drops below 15 ° C. If the water is still cloudy the next day after the change, the procedure should be repeated. Remember to use water conditioners if your tap contains chloramines.
Retesting. To avoid false readings, leave your pond for a few days after following the tips above. Then measure the oxygen level and water quality.
Oxygenation of water. Once you have cleaned the bottom of your pond and filters, you need to keep the entire system up to date. The aerator will help you maintain the oxygen level at a proper and safe level. Also, this will prevent the surface of the pond from being covered with ice with the onset of cold weather. If you are going to use the aerator during the winter months, you need to install it correctly so that it does not overcool the water and harm the inhabitants of your reservoir. To avoid water oversaturation with cold air, the aerator must be installed indoors or pumped warm air from the room. If the aerator is in a pond, it should be at least 30 cm above the bottom of the pond. If you live in a northern climate, then you will need an auto defroster to keep ice from forming.
Change the diet and portion size when feeding fish. Once the temperature drops below 21 ° C, it is necessary to slowly reduce the amount of protein in the food, replacing them with non-protein foods based on wheat and bread bacteria, which are much easier to digest. The lower the temperature, the more difficult it is for the fish to digest food. Even if it is important for your fish not to lose weight during wintering, be extremely careful and avoid overfeeding. Feed should be 2-3 times a day with such an amount of food that the fish completely eats within 5 minutes, after which the remnants of food must be removed from the reservoir.
At air temperatures below 15 ° C, fish should be fed exclusively with plant feed based on wheat bacteria, gradually reducing the amount of feed given. When the temperature drops below 10 ° C, the bacteria in the digestive system of the fish will not be able to digest the food, now you need to stop feeding. It is also necessary to reduce the amount of organic waste in the water. This is because organic matter decomposes quickly.
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Every time you feed, when the temperature is below 15 ° C, remember that the bacteria in your filter will also reduce their activity. They can no longer multiply at the same rate as before and therefore, at extreme temperatures, they will die or become completely passive. During this period, the water should be checked frequently to see increases in ammonia and nitrite levels.
Remove plants before the first frost. Leaf fall is a very good time for transplanting and dividing plants. Medium temperatures will give the plants the time they need to regain their root system before frost, and the plants will produce more flowers by summer, of course, if properly fertilized. As soon as the average daytime temperature drops below 15 ° C, tropical plants must be moved indoors. As soon as the temperature drops below 10 ° C - this will be the first serious frost, quickly remove the nets, prepare and place hardy lilies at the bottom of the reservoir. In the northern regions, you also need to prepare and relocate marsh plants to a lower, deeper level. However, if your body of water is shallow, transfer them to a house with tropical plants and transplant them into new pots, if the need arises.
Using an auto defroster. In the northern areas, you need to remove the pond cover before the water starts to freeze. After you remove the network, you can install an auto defroster. This device will not be able to heat the pond, it will simply keep the water temperature at a certain level, not allowing it to be covered with ice. This allows toxic gases to escape from the water as well as oxygen. In warm climates, where the water surface is not covered with ice, pumps and pumps should continue to operate throughout the year. If the temperature in winter falls below 5 ° C, then the defroster must be placed at least 30 cm above the bottom. Fish stay at the bottom in winter, and if your pond is clean and not overpopulated, then the surface can freeze without harm to the inhabitants. Remember that in case of complete freezing of the water surface, the ice cannot be broken by blows.Sound waves can seriously harm your fish. To get rid of the ice, place a hot vessel with water on the ice. No need to pour boiling water over the ice - the ice will only freeze more. After a few minutes, the vessel will melt the ice.
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