We briefly discussed some steps for fall prep in September’s newsletter, but now it’s time to start planning on what to do with fish, plants, and water. The weather has been warm, but the weather forecast for the upcoming weeks is predicting a few chilly days!
Although it may be a bit too soon to get out your aerators and heaters, it’s still a good time to start thinking about preparing your finned friends for the cold weather to come. When the water drops to 60 degrees and below you will want to start feeding your fish cold water fish food. Once the water temperatures drop to 50 degrees and below, you should stop feeding your fish altogether so they can get ready for hibernation.
Aquascape Cold Water Fish Food Pellets have been scientifically formulated to provide premium nutrition at colder temperatures for all pond fish including goldfish and Koi. This type of fish food will get their metabolism ready for their winter slumber. This food contains Wheat Germ and Spirulina which ultimately makes the food easier to digest at colder temperatures while also reducing fish waste.
You may have started to notice some yellow and brown foliage on your marginal’s and lilies. It is best to start to trim plants now before they decay and leave you with some unnecessary cleaning in the spring. It’s also a good idea to remove any sludge and unwanted debris floating around. This, again, will reduce maintenance in spring while also helping your fish steer clear of high ammonia levels that could end up being fatal to them. Another thing to really help you with the falling leaves is installing a net over your water feature. Once you notice the first few leaves starting to drop its time to get that net up. Adding a net will help catch all those leaves that will potentially sink to the bottom of your pond and make it harder for you to skim out. An excess amount of leaves trapped on the bottom of your pond could also let off methane in the winter which is very harmful to your fish. These decaying leaves can start to turn your water a brown, tea color. Do not worry if leaves have already started turning your water an off color. This can be fixed by adding some Activated Pond Carbon and that will clear it right up for you.
Need to purchase a net or would like help installing one? Your friends at Action would be happy to help in that department as well. You can find a Fall/Winter Prep form on the homepage of our website and if you look to the bottom right of this page in the “resource center” or you can give us a call and we will gladly e-mail you a copy to fill out so we can put you on our fall schedule.
It is important to continue adding Beneficial Bacteria to your water feature at this time! This product works more effectively when used as a weekly treatment to keep everything in balance. Once the water has dropped to 50 degrees, you can switch from Aquascape’s Beneficial Bacteria to their Cold Water Beneficial Bacteria. Continue dosing with the Cold Water Bacteria if you are already doing so (some customers use this type of bacteria all year long). Use this treatment weekly until the water starts to freeze. Aquascape Cold Water Beneficial Bacteria has 7 pure strains of concentrated bacteria to help keep a strong biological balance while keeping water clean and clear.
Adding Aquascapes Sludge and Filter Cleaner at this time is something we highly recommend as well. This product contains different strains of heterotrophic bacteria that help prevent heavy sludge buildup on the bottom of the pond. These bacteria help digest the fine muck-like sludge that can accumulate overtime (this makes springtime maintenance a lot easier!). Sludge and Filter cleaner should be added once a week, and you can continue to add it to the pond until the water freezes.
Simple steps like these will keep your water garden healthy year round so you won’t have to stress when it comes time for clean-outs. If you have any other questions about fall prep or aren’t comfortable doing it on your own, please call us at 860-875-2395 or email at email@example.com.