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Another Top 5 Tips & Common Water Gardening Questions Answered

  1. Almost all swimming pools have a sand filter. This type of filter is there to remove solids and particles that remain suspended in the water or that are sucked up from the bottom using a mechanical cleaner of some sort. This removal of solids from liquids is called filtering or filtration. However the filter does not purify the water. This job is done by the use of chlorine type chemicals. In this way the swimming pool water, is made safe to swim in since all the harmful bacteria have been killed by high chlorine concentrations. In a garden fish pond things are very different ... food is eaten by the koi or goldfish. After digestion the remains are expressed as a waste product by the fish. The fish also needs to "urinate" and this ammonia rich aqueous stream becomes dissolved in the pond water also. Toxic nitrogen based chemicals build up. The process of biofiltration or biofiltering is needed to clean up this situation. The biofilter purifies these chemicals. Without the biofilter the fish would poison themselves to death. The secondary reason for a pond bio-filter is to remove solids circulating in the pond water but its first job is to purify the water.

  2. When a new garden fish pond is built it will typically take 4 to 6 weeks for a viable healthy population of nitrosomonas and nitrobacter bacteria to build up before the biofilter is working effectively. It is wise therefore that during this period you introduce any new koi or goldfish slowly. In these early days it is especially important that a continuous supply of oxygen is supplied to enable the bacteria in the filter to live. This is why a pond pump must work 24/7/365 because the water is the source of oxygen for the bacteria. The pond filter bacteria need oxygen to biologically convert ammonia to nitrates and without this oxygen the bacteria die quickly and certainly within 8 hours. Once dead the colony takes about 5 weeks to reach good viability condition once more. For the first weeks do not overfeed your fish ... in fact best not to feed them at all for a few days then only a tiny amount every 2 days say until the filter is well established

  3. Before you rush out and buy fish for your new garden fish pond .... decide what sort of fish you want to stock, sounds simple? Bear in mind you can put more goldfish than koi in the same size pond (about twice the mass ... you can judge this using total length of fish). The reason is koi eat a lot more food more and grow much faster. If you stock goldfish work on 50cm in total length per square metre of pond water surface area. Work on half of this or 25 cm of koi if you want to keep koi fish in your pond. With an excellent well designed and working (24/7) biofilter you can stock about 50% more than this. Hence in a pond with 2 sq. metres surface area you can stock up to 20 goldfish 5cm long. This still allows for the fish to grow. If you want to stock more add 1 to 2 litres of Alfagrog or other top notch biomedia to your biofilter for each 2,000 litres of pond water. It is best to stock goldfish in small shallow ponds. They are hardy and very friendly.

  4. When it comes to koi keeping and selecting koi food everybody has their own view on what's best. The way to really tell what's best is to explore the digestibility of the food in question and this is mainly governed by the type of raw material used. If high grade raw materials are used in formulating koi or goldfish fish foods then you get high protein and low ash and as a result highly digestible fish food. So to feed good food you're looking for high purity food made from the best raw materials. Select your Koi food on the basis of protein, moisture and ash ... the latter 2 should as low as possible. The protein content should be as high as possible. Choose fish food this way and over a year you will pay less ... although per kg the food might be somewhat more. You need to feed lower quantities of high quality food than low quality. There is a second spin-off of using high quality koi food and that is that water quality will be better. See below.

  5. Always buy the best goldfish or koi food you can afford. This will give you good water quality and fish will grow to their optimum size and fitness in your pond. Just look at the fish food analysis and you will understand why ... sticks are generally low in protein. The best foods are those with ash levels of about 5% and moisture levels of about 5-8%. Never buy food which does not give this type of information on the packet. Ash (with exception of tiny quantities of certain inorganic minerals that are generally found in water anyway) and moisture add no value to your fish or the pond itself and are thus a total waste of money. Some foods have a total of ash and moisture = 25%. This means you are only getting 3/4 of a bag of food if you think about it. The type of raw materials used is also very important. Look for fish meal as the best raw material for good digestibility and higher protein levels of 35% or more.

Another 5 water gardening quick tips here

Previous 5 water gardening quick tips here



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