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FAQ's

Pond Heaters

Most pond heaters are designed to keep a small area of the pond surface free from ice, and as such can be removed when the threat from ice has passed. This is normally during March but can vary from season to season.

Cleaning

Spring is the ideal time to vacuum your pond. This ensures that the pond will be clean before the temperature gets too high, and thus gives you a head start for the rest of the summer. If your filter was shut down during the winter you should make sure that the filter is thoroughly cleaned before switching it on, as decomposing debris can pollute the pond water.

Frost Damage

Prior to switching on any equipment, a thorough examination of the pond and equipment should be undertaken to ensure no damage has occurred during the winter months. The most common problems are caused by ice, this will primarily affect pipework, stonework, (such as waterfalls) and also the internal parts of an Ultra Violet Clarifier. When you are confident that no damage has occurred, or you have repaired any damage, then the filter system can be installed. However, we recommend installing the filter at a time when regular checks on its performance can be made in case anything has been overlooked.

Re-installing your pump fed filter

The first things that should be installed are the filter and pump. The temperature can still be quite cool when the pump is re-installed, so the pump should be situated in the top third of the pond. When the temperature is consistently reaching 8 degrees and rising, the pump can then be lowered to the bottom of the pond. At this temperature the fish will become more active rather than staying at the bottom of the pond. During the spring is when young fish fry will hatch you may also find Newts and Toads in the pond, which are sometimes quite small and can unfortunately be sucked into the pump. We manufacture a product called the Super Strainer which is designed for the Prima pumps to be sat inside it, preventing the small fry, newts and toads being sucked in. For other pumps you make a cage from planting baskets. The filter and pump should be started 2-4 weeks prior to the commencement of feeding, to give the filter a chance to mature. We recommend that you start feeding when the water temperature is 8 degrees and rising. Starting your filter prior to feeding, allows the filter to begin maturing, through the natural food found in the water during spring. However, it is always a good idea to add Filterstart to the filter, to boost the bacteria colony.

Re-installing your gravity fed filter

When re-installing your gravity fed filter using a Multi Level Inlet, you should only draw water from the top of the pond by blocking off the bottom inlet. If you have installed a bottom drain, reduce the flow rate to help minimise the water temperature dropping. When the temperature is consistently reaching 8 degrees, you can begin to use the bottom inlet on a Multi Level Inlet and increase the flow in a Bottom Drain system to the recommended level. The filter and pump should be started 2-4 weeks prior to the commencement of feeding, to give the filter a chance to mature. We recommend that you start feeding when the water temperature is 8 degrees and rising. Starting your filter prior to feeding, allows the filter to begin maturing, through the natural food found in the water during spring. However, it is always a good idea to add Filterstart to the filter, to boost the bacteria colony.

The last item to be installed should be the Ultra Violet Clarifier. This should be turned on approximately 6 weeks after the filter and pump, or when the Ammonia and Nitrite levels are acceptable, (for ammonia this is between 0-0.25 and for Nitrite 0-0.15) and the fish are being fed daily. The bacteria in the filter breakdown the fish waste so that it is not harmful to the fish. For this reason, care should be taken to ensure that full maturation is achieved as early as possible and certainly before the UVC is switched on, as UVC’s can greatly effect bacteria maturation.

Feeding

You should test the water every 2-3 days during the first two weeks of feeding

When you first start feeding your fish in the spring, you should feed them on a wheatgerm-based food. This has low protein content but is high in fat, and is ideal for the cooler weather. It produces fewer pollutants and gives the fish the nutrients that they require after the winter. Feeding high protein food too soon can lead to protein froth (foaming), which can be unsightly.

As the temperature rises to 10-12 degrees you can then feed your fish on staple foods. These contain everything needed to keep the fish healthy throughout the summer.

When the temperature rises to 16-20 degrees, you can feed your fish protein or growth/colour enhancing foods. This type of food has added vitamins and nutrients to encourage their growth and colour. There are high protein levels in these types of foods, which can lead to large quantities of waste. Fish waste contains ammonia, which is harmful to fish, and therefore high protein foods should only be used if your filter is fully matured, (i.e. if the Ammonia and Nitrites stay at acceptable levels).