Re: Re: Pond safety
From: James Kacki (jimkackimb.sympatico.ca)
Date: Fri, 7 Nov 2003 17:02:16 -0700 (MST)



Lynn Nadeau wrote:


If you want a genuine living pond, this involves building up a whole food chain, which takes patience and some expertise.
My experience with my own pool is different.. Some Koy and /or goldfish are easy to keep in that they eat the algae that grows naturally and abundantly and the myriad of insects that also grow naturally and abundantly. The fish droppings form a natural layer of growth medium for plants etc. but it is good to start with some aquatic plants in soil in pots.
Jim

Lynn Nadeau wrote:
Around here, it's quite hard to keep any fish in a pond, as the local herons (and maybe raccoons) think the pond is a sushi bar. A visit by a pair of mallards will also clean a small pond of almost all fauna.

In my area, the northern prairies, in an urban setting, the only natural predators have been racoons and cats and while they pay attention (quite entertaining to watch), the 2'-6" depth ensures that they are not very successful (lost 1 fish in 5 years)
Jim

Lynn Nadeau wrote
If your pond is not running water, you may also have to contend with mosquito breeding.

This has not been a problem at all for me due to the koy & goldfish. We are a world centre for mosquitos but the fish have such voracious appetites that I am sure not one mosquito has got past the delicious squiggly larva stage. The fish love them and are fat, healthy and happy!

Here's another interesting fact for would-be pond makers in the north. Our winter temperatures (Winnipeg) are regularly minus 20 degrees celcius and in that range. Rivers freeze several feet thick. I tried an amazing experiment that worked very well. I have a little pump in the pool that pumps water to the top of a little stream so that the water always circulates and is oxygenated. On the theory that moving water does not freeze I decided to try and keep the fish in the pool all winter. (Carp live naturally in the bottom of our rivers all winter). I moved the tube from the pump so that is was always blowing a small jet of water (like a little fountain)a few inches above the surface of the pond. While the pond did freeze over most of the surface, there was always a small 2-3 inch diameter hole in the ice at the pumped water 'fountain'. Snow cover got to be 2-3 feet thick but there was always a small hole in it above the fountain. One could look down the hole in the snow (like looking into a little volcano) and see the fountain of water bubbling away at the surface of the water. It was so cold that the fish lived in a semi-hibernation state in the leaves and mud at the bottom of the pool. Since this was an experiment, I took half of the fish inside to overwinter in a large indoor tank (what most people with ponds in our climate do). These fish were sluggish, lethargic and did not look too happy as the winter dragged on. Well imagine my surprise when, in the spring, the fish kept outside were much, much healthier and more colourful and lively than those which were kept inside! This technique of keeping the goldfish outside lasted for 3 winters, with the outdoor fish almost double the size of the indoor fish. . Nature knows best! However, during the forth winter, there was an electrical failure in the line to the pump that went unnoticed. The pool froze to the bottom and and the fish became popsicles. A sad end to a fascinating pool adventure. It's worth a try, but keep an eye on the pump during the winter!
Jim






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