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Spring Cleaning#012
March 01, 2010

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Spring is in the Air The arrival of longer days hold hope for warmer times and nature begins anew. You have probably been a bit cooped up inside over the winter and are looking forward to getting outside, and your pond will be waking up from its winter rest. The exact date of spring's arrival will depend on your hemisphere, of course, but in the U.S. it officially begins around March 20. You can begin your pond work around the end of March or the beginning of April, depending on where you live and how mild the weather is.

The first activity will be at micro-level as bacteria have simple structures and so can quickly respond to the warm sun. Very soon the pond will become cloudy, algae will appear on the sides, this is not the time for gallons of algae remover. This is your ponds natural process and will clear itself if the conditions are right.

If you have plants, as they begin to grow they will deny the algae sunshine. Next, your Koi will begin feeding on it, and so will other life forms in the pond, thus reducing the algae even more. Finally, the remaining algae will be removed as you increase the flow rate of your filters and turn on your UV light.

Remember, the wise koi owners always tries to let nature correct problems and only when this does not happen should treatments be applied either to the pond or the koi in isolation.


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In the early spring as the koi become more active they should be fed only sparingly and with good protein foods that can be digested quickly. As the pond will still be murky in the spring, do not risk overfeeding; otherwise the left over food will rot on the bottom creating extra ammonium compounds. No matter what your fish might like you to think, they are not ready for much food. So steel yourself and ignore any early begging, which can be especially difficult if you're used to feeding your friends by hand. Just remember that it's for their own good.

Inspect your koi for any signs of illness as they will be slimmer by the end of winter and thus more likely to succumb to parasitic or bacterial attack. By the late spring they should be feeding well, increasing in weight, and be getting very active, for now is the time they will be spawning a new generation of koi. All being well, you will have lost no koi over the winter but if you did not prepare for this period then losses will be high. Wait for late spring or early summer to introduce new livestock.

TIP: Test water chemistry often. Watch for increasing ammonia levels as water temperature rises in the pond.

Equipment Review

If you do not run your filter, pump, and UV clarifier over the winter now is the time to do any required maintenance. Test all your equipment and make sure everything is working correctly. Also, give the filter a thorough cleaning, make sure and not wash away your good bacteria.

Plant Maintenance

Spring is the best time to repot any plants that have outgrown their containers. It is also a good time to divide whatever plants need it. Either way, use fresh soil and add plant food tabs to keep all the plants growing well. Lilies and Lotus should be fertilized every 3-4 weeks, marginals every 5-7 weeks. Your plants will really take off again as the weather warms up.

We here at the Koi Pond Guide hope you are enjoying your newsletter and Feel free to pass this newsletter on to your friends or family!

Also, your comments and questions are welcomed and appreciated!

Happy Ponding!
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