First winter. Should I still do small water changes?


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Haha it's there trust me
Here's where I think semantics gets in the way - the difference between a rocked bottom and a gravel bottom. If you have large rocks on the bottom of your pond where things can get trapped away from the flow of water, then yes - you will have debris that builds up. But my pond is rocked on the SIDES with gravel on the BOTTOM. The gravel layer is shallow - less than two inches deep. There is nothing under that gravel except the liner. I know this because I can see it with my own eyes. I get in the pond and move the gravel with my feet - nothing. No debris, no silt, nothing. Very little debris gets to the bottom of the pond in the first place because of the water flow from water fall to "skimmer". The current is strong and constant. Any organic matter produced by the fish is broken down quickly - I've literally never seen fish poop in the pond. Ever. I'm not dumb. I know it's there. It's dealt with by the ecosystem very quickly so there's no build up of fish poop either. No build up of organic matter = no black smelly goop.
 

Meyer Jordan

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Here's where I think semantics gets in the way - the difference between a rocked bottom and a gravel bottom. If you have large rocks on the bottom of your pond where things can get trapped away from the flow of water, then yes - you will have debris that builds up. But my pond is rocked on the SIDES with gravel on the BOTTOM. The gravel layer is shallow - less than two inches deep. There is nothing under that gravel except the liner. I know this because I can see it with my own eyes. I get in the pond and move the gravel with my feet - nothing. No debris, no silt, nothing. Very little debris gets to the bottom of the pond in the first place because of the water flow from water fall to "skimmer". The current is strong and constant. Any organic matter produced by the fish is broken down quickly - I've literally never seen fish poop in the pond. Ever. I'm not dumb. I know it's there. It's dealt with by the ecosystem very quickly so there's no build up of fish poop either. No build up of organic matter = no black smelly goop.
Perfect example of an apparently properly designed eco-system pond. They do function amazingly well in maintaining both water quality and clarity.
 

waynefrcan

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Do you get algae in the water and the type that puts a layer on all surfaces? Your water looks clear.
 
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Do you get algae in the water and the type that puts a layer on all surfaces? Your water looks clear.
We do. We get different types of algae depending on the water temperature. We have one type of algae that we only see right when the ice starts to melt off the pond - it's really pretty. All ruffly and very vivid green. The fish graze on that in the early weeks before we start feeding. Then we get the carpet type algae that clings to the rocks. Right now that has started to grown longer - the rocks look much fuzzier right now than they do in midsummer. It's pretty interesting to watch and observe as it changes.
 

waynefrcan

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The same here the early spring algae is a string type bright green. Then we get everything plastered with the stuff that clings to all areas including between the rocks and your gravel also will get a layer. Where does that go? Over years it will build up with fish/food waste and dead plant material and stuff blown into the pond. Some might get dissolved back into the eco system but not all. The skimmers won't catch everything. Most of the ponds without rocks on bottom still need to be cleaned out with pond vacs or decay does accumulate.

My pond the sidewall rocks are the worst for hiding stuff as they are bigger.
 

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Colleen leaves her fish in her pond in Canada and have seen others up there leave them outside .Not sure why your level would go up for ammonia . I leave mine in the pond and do no water changes except for the rain and the snow melt .Test my water in the winter maybe once or twice during the winter but my temperature is a lot milder and you would think it would be worse .
 

Meyer Jordan

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The rate of decay of organic matter in any pond is primarily determined by the temperature of the water. Low water temperatures retard any bacterial or fungal activity thus slowing any decay rate.
 
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I won't try to convince you @waynefrcan - you're gonna believe what you've already decided is true. It's not new - I've had people telling me for years my pond won't work, my fish won't live, my water will be green. I'll just sit and wait for doomsday I guess.
 

waynefrcan

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lol, with having a great pond system as yours, it doesn't get to the level of harming the fish, good work!
 

waynefrcan

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I have some around I can post
 
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If you aren't feeding fish in the winter, there is no point in doing a water change.... You shouldn't be feeding them in the winter unless you have a heater in the pond that puts the water temperature above 50 or youre in an area where the water temperature never goes below 50 in the winter. Heck some people don't even feed them even when the temperature is normal :cool:.
 

Meyer Jordan

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Check the water chem and the amount of decay first before you decide to not do a change.
If you are already a water change advocate, this approach makes the most sense. It is during the Winter months that water quality will suffer most.
 
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The only thing I do regarding the pond water during the winter is to add water if it gets low due to evaporation during really cold and dry spells. I haven't had any winter water quality issues, probably due to leaving the waterfall and pump running all winter long to circulate the water. The water stays crystal-clear and the fish are happy and healthy come spring. The only fish I've lost over winters were small fry (which is fine by me as otherwise I would have an overcrowding issue).
 

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