November 1999 Newsletter
It's a GIRL!!!
A Note from the President...
NOVEMBER MEETING - PLEASE
NOTE TIME CHANGE
End of The Season
WINTERIZING YOUR POND.The calendar says November, and for pond keepers this means it's time to start panning for Winter.As cold weather comes our plants begin their journey into dormancy.This is obvious by browning foliage.When this happens you want to cut off the remaining growth to prevent it from decaying in the water.Plants that are classified as hardy in you area should simply be placed in the deepest part of the pond for the winter.To attempt to over-winter tropical plants you can also place them in the deep part of the pond or try one of these methods:Plants with tubers or rhizomes (tropical water lilies, canna, etc.) can be over-wintered by stripping the tuber of foliage and placing in a bog of water to be stored at a constant temperature of 55-58 degrees.Many others such as Umbrella Palm can be brought inside and placed in a sunny window for the winter.Keep wet in no hole containers and treat as a houseplant.You may also want to bring in a tropical water lily if you have a south-facing window.These can be put into a large tub garden container and they may bloom all winter.Floating plants like water lettuce should be removed and used for compost.
As your pond's water temperature falls below approximately 60 degrees you should begin feeding a food with lower protein content, such as the Mazuri Winter Nuggets, Signal Pond Wheat Germ, or Wardley Pond Stix.When the water temperature falls below 50 degrees (a pond thermometer is helpful) you want to cease feeding the fish.Although a few weeks into winter the temperature may rise above 50 degrees you still do not want to feed if this is just a temporary warmth.It will stress the fish if they are unable to digest the food before the temperature falls again.
The next decision is whether or not to run your filter system for the winter months.There are advantages and disadvantages of each option.If you run the filter there is a risk of broken plumbing and filter in the event of a power outage.The plumbing needs to be set up so water would flow back into the pond or you would need to be there to drain the plumbing manually.Also, circulating the water can super-chill the pond by exposing warmer pond water to freezing air.If running your filter, you should not draw water from the bottom.If you decide not to run the filter you first need to drain all plumbing, including filter, UV sterilizer, and external pump.Not running the filter can lead to high levels of ammonia and nitrites in the spring, but adding packaged bacteria early enough would help with this problem.
For [some] of us there is the chance of a layer of ice forming on the pond.For a short period (1-2 days) this should not be a problem.Anything longer and the ice traps toxic gases in the water.This can be prevented by use of a pond de-icer or an ice preventer. DO NOT break the ice, this can damage of kill the fish by producing sound waves. The ice can be melted by placing a pot of hot water on the ice.
(Newsletter Editor's Note: This article was written
for colder climates with more of a chance of freezing.Use your good judgment
in following the advise in the above article.)