Gardening Texoma: Preparing Your Pond for Winter and Fall
1) Check your water quality. Is it green or is there lots of organic windblown debris?
2) Perform Routine Maintenance.
A. Clean skimmer and pump filters. This can be done by simply rinsing them clean.
B. This is a great time to clean them due to the excessive amounts of fallen debris.
C. If you stir up too much debris, it doesn’t hurt to do a partial water change.
3) It is a good idea to add 3 lbs of salt per 1,000 gallons.
4) While we are in the last days of Indian summer, get your bacteria level stabilized. It is good to switch from warm water bacteria to cool weather bacteria.
5) It is best to put a net over your pond to catch leaves and dust from blowing into your pond.
A. Try to keep the netting off the water. You can use a fairly inexpensive floating exercise ball.
6) Reduce feeding habits. Koi are cold blooded creatures and when the temperature drops their body temperature drops and their metabolism slows down. Once water is below 50 degrees Koi cannot digest food in their stomachs and this can result in sickness or death. Their metabolism shuts down and they go into a state of semi-hibernation.
A. If you do feel that you need to feed the fish, please do not overfeed. This can have fatal results.
B. You will know when these states of hibernation are occurring.
C. If they are at the top of the water and act if as if they are begging, then throw them some food.
7. This is a great time to change out the light bulbs in your underwater lights. It is best to do this while the water is not freezing cold
8. Now is a really good time to cut back excessive top growth and any plant material that is blocking your skimmer or your view.
9. If you have a micro pond, it is best to turn off or remove your smaller pumps from the pond before freeze.
A. If your pond is not at least 18 inches deep, it is best to remove your fish. They can be exposed to extreme cold and lack of oxygen, which can be very deadly.
• This is the time of year you really need to be thinking about if it is time to go to the next level. Micro ponds are much more work than a larger pond. Larger ponds are much easier to maintain.
ENERGY SAVING TIP OF THE WEEK: Install an automatic (computerized) thermostat in your home or business