Archive for the ‘Garden Fish Ponds’ Category

Fall Backyard Fish Ponds

November 6, 2012 3:52 pm
posted by Martin Boyle

Laura asks…

What do you do with Koi fish in the fall in a cold climate?

I am thinking of making a Koi pond in my backyard but want to get some input first. What do you need to do for Koi fish in the fall?

I live in a area that can get to be as low as around 5 F but is usually mid 20s F. Medium snowfall. Woody area so there are animals. In the summer it is usually around 70s or 80s F. Thanks a lot.

Martin Boyle answers:

Fall weather differs from mild to extremely cold depending in what part of the country you live. If it getting that cold, I would definitely plan supplemental efforts like bringing them in or heating the pond, but please don’t neglect basic pond design for them. In case of an unexpected cold snap or an early spell, be sure to build the pond so that it is deep enough to provide a good amount of water below the freezing line on the surface of the pond so there are not sudden temperature change shocks (note, this applies too if you are bringing them inside – don’t wait until it’s 20 degrees and then bring them inside to 70 degrees abruptly). Four feet is a good depth if it is really cold. Less than two or two and a half, don’t even think about leaving them out. If the pond is freezing over completely, melt the top with a heater to allow gas exchange so the fish don’t build up too much ammonia.

Feed fish less as the temperature goes down and they become more dormant. Several places I’ve read say to stop feeding at 50 degrees, one said if you have a large pond you can feed down to 46 degrees. If you feed them when they go torpid, they can’t digest, so the food sits in there and breeds bacteria to kill them.

Fall pond cleaning. Clean everything in the pond thoroughly during the warmer fall weather to reduce biological decay during the fall season. As the fall continues, clean the pond of fallen leaves so that they do not grow bacterial colonies or harbor parasites. If you have plants around the edge, move them or otherwise ensure they are not dropping things in the water to rot and kill the fish. Move your equipment so that the top waters of the pond are circulating instead of from the bottom up, and slow it so the water is not circulating as fast – this will help to keep the bottom water warmer and is OK to do because in the fall, colder water does not need as much oxygenation. No waterfalls or flows of water outside the pond in the fall, it will chill the water!

Are you somewhere that the climate stays cold for a very long time? If it warms up occasionally that’s not so bad, but if it stays very low for months at a time, you definitely want to go with the heater or the move of the fish. If you can’t move the fish, think about building a shelter over the pond instead – don’t forget ventilation for the ammonia and such. If you go with the heater, be very certain to use it in a way that you keep the water at a consistent temperature, no on again off again use, and try to arrange something so it heats in a filtered area and releases the water instead of just having a heater sitting in the water that will cause weird currents and may wake the fish up so they get weaker from needing to eat.

This site has a bunch of detailed and easy to read recommendations: ASSOCIATED KOI CLUBS OF AMERICA

You might also want to search the web to see if there is a koi club in your region which might have members who would be happy to get to know you and excited to give you advice on your project while looking at the actual site, or alternately, show you the arrangements they have made for their fish in your same climate,during there fall.

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Hydroponic Growing in Greenhouses

October 16, 2012 6:27 pm
posted by Martin Boyle

Betty asks…

Interested in Agriculture, particularly in hydroponics & greenhouses, I need guidance to suppliers, etc.?

Martin Boyle answers:

Go to sites that inform you of what you need for the plants you are growing. I believe that different plants need different chemicals. Once you know what you need the next step is to use your phone book and find a supplier in your area. Or buy from somewhere like eBay.
A site where you can get information on growing in a hydroponics bay is

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Building A Koi Fish Pond

6:11 pm
posted by Martin Boyle

Laura asks…

Koi fish pond making, I seriously need help?

Hey guys…..
I basically dug out a fish pond which is about 8x8ft and 4 feet deep. I looked at the home depot site and saw the perfect pond kits. The beckett medium-large complete water garden kit.
I was wondering what i should buy (i need a pond liner and how big a filter and a pump preferably 350gph+.
All of you pond experts out there?? How big should the pond liner be? 12×12? because i heard it has to be bigger since I’m making it 4 feet deep.
How many gallons will this koi fish pond be, and what would be the best kit? Also, how many fish can i put in the fish pond since i want alot of variety
I know this is alot of questions but any comments that answer the questions will be chosen best answer quickly!!


would this fit my pond? and what pump would i need? a 500gph?

Martin Boyle answers:

I would suggest that you purchase a book ,there may even be free pamphlets at HoDe. The liner that you provided the URL for is totally inadequate. First beside requiring some sort of underlay padding before actually inserting the liner you can calculate the size liner you need by making a few simple measurements. If you intend to have live plants other than waterlilies you will need to provide some shallow area’s around the sides of your koi fish pond. An introductory book will also tell you how to calculate the sizes of the filter components. $10.00 or $15.00 spent on a book will save a lot of money in the overall project.

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Outside Fish Tank In Utah

5:11 pm
posted by Martin Boyle

Laura asks…

Could I put a goldfish/small koi fish tank outside in Utah?

I have a 55 gallon tank that has just been in storage because I don’t have room for it in the house. I know people have ponds with fish that “hibernate” through the winter, could it work for a fish tank too? I would put it on my covered patio against the house so it would be protected from the sun and wouldn’t get snowed on.

Martin Boyle answers:

The reason the fish are able to hibernate in fish ponds during snowy months is because the ground (and water in it) is actually much warmer than you would think, especially when snow collects and helps insulate the fish pond from dropping below 40. Of course this is assuming the pond is deep enough (3 ft minimum).

Unfortunately, an above ground fish tank with a small volume of 55 gallons would not only be too small for koi and only enough for a couple of goldfish, but it would get too cold in the winter since it would be above ground. It’s sort of the same concept of how ice forms more easily on a bridge than on the ground, because of the air flow around it.

You could perhaps keep some goldfish in it, but you’d want to make sure the fish tank didn’t freeze or get below 40 F during the winter, which would require heating of some kind and shelter for the fish. And of course, filtration during the warmer months.

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Fish Pond Filter Kits

4:45 pm
posted by Martin Boyle

Carol asks…

Is a pump and filter kit for fish pond necessary?

Does it help keep the pond clean. My pond is 7×10. I have 2 fish in there. Would it still work having them in there? They can’t get sucked up in the filter?

Martin Boyle answers:

You probably don’t need a filter on a small fish pond like that. As long as you have plants it should stay clean and keep in balance.

However, if you mean to say “clear” instead of clean then that’s different. For instance, if you have trees nearby the leaves will fall into the water and make it dark. Your filter won’t be able to handle leaves unless you can remove all the leaves.

The fish probably won’t get sucked into the filter intake. The flow is too slow and the fish are smarter than that.

You don’t really want a really clean pond anyway. Your fish (I’m assuming Koi or gold fish) will live off of algae in the pond so they won’t need food. However, if you filter the water you filter out the food.

I recommend skipping the filter and investing in some lily pads or some other ornamental plants.

Who knows maybe some frogs will move in and you can listen to them croak all night.

OH! One more thing. Make sure you put a log or something in the fish pond so that it acts as a ramp out of the pond. If animals should fall in they can get stuck and drown. My parents have a fish pond and a skunk fell in and couldn’t get out. It killed all the fish!

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