I need help and advice


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I need help/advice. This is my first winter with my pond and I am confused and or don't understand some of the advice I have been given. I live in South Carolina less than a mile from the ocean so I will never get snow or water freezing. My pond is 800 gallons above ground. I have an in pond filter and plenty of aeration. First I was told or it was highly suggested that I change out 25% of the water every couple of weeks and clean out the filter as it would cause problems with my water quality if I didn't. So I was doing that every two to three weeks and was told no that was too much work. Cleaning the in pond filter was wrong and would destroy good bacteria and I should only add water as needed. So I guess The first question do I change some percentage of water and if so how often. Also if I shouldn't be cleaning the in pond as often how often should I clean it. It was always dirty when I did clean it.

Second question do I change water in winter and clean filter maintaining a regular schedule if not what do I do in winter. I had planned on maintaining my regular schedule along with running my aeration but now I am wondering what I should be doing?. Also I have read not to feed if water is in the 50's but if the fish come up and eat a little should I feed or not feed?

All my water parameters are good.
 
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Water changes are a "controversial " topic....some people love them, others don't believe in them......I fall somewhere in the middle - LOL. When I clean our filter, I pump water from the pond, so I replenish it.....which is a water change, albeit a small one. With an 800 gallon pond, my opinion is 25 % is too much....I lean towards smaller, consistent water changes.

I believe in cleaning pond filters, otherwise they'd be too gunked up to operate. What type of filter do you have? If I lived in a climate that didn't have cold winters, I'd leave my pond running year round.....it all depends on your winter temperatures and risk of plumbing freezing.
 

j.w

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I have an overload of goldfish for my pond and filtration is not 100% effective for me so I do water changes once in awhile. I let water out through a hose while I let water flow in slowly so as not to shock the fish. Not every 2 wks tho, maybe once a month in Summer only. How may fish do you have?
 
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Hey Bossman!
Your first winter, cool. A few things that caught my attention in your questions. First above ground, this type of pond is usually prone to more temperature fluctuations (the ground is not providing a buffer). So your fish will have days or parts of days with temperatures above 50. Their metabolism heats up and they are hungry. Not a problem to feed them, just don't feed them when the water will be dipping back down below 50.
Water changes are GOOD. However in this good category there are different types of water changes with some being better than others. Look at it this way, water changes are part of the "house cleaning" we do for our ponds. Is it better to clean your house a few times a year? or once a month? or a little each day? Each will result in a clean house. But we all would prefer to live in a house that is cleaned regularly therefore never getting really disgusting. So the water change I do on my pond is a constant drip method. Not everyone can do this. 5-10% once a week is a good start, depending on your fish load.
In pond filters lose there "filter" function as they become clogged. Best way to clean them is in a bucket of your pond water till water will flow easily through it. This way you minimize the disruption of any good bacteria working in there.
I read a good article about those water changes, I will find it for you.
 

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I fall on the not doing water changes side, but I will say do what works for you and your pond. Have been keeping ponds for a long time and have never done water changes intentionally in my ponds. However, my ponds are setup for plants as the main filter in the pond and the pumps are mainly for circulation.

Water changes are fine, depending on the reason. First do you know what your water quality in your pond is, and do you know the water quality out of your tap is better than what is in your pond. Otherwise, your water change could be counterproductive.

Also, the feeding part, I dont make a decision to feed/not feed on a preset temp, but use my fish behavior as an indicator. If they are hungry feed them, fish do feed when the water temp drops low albeit minimally.
 
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ashirley

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I am in SC although unfortunately not as close to the ocean :( I don't do water changes but do top off the water that evaporates. My pond sits in full sun so I add some fresh water each week during the summer. I have stopped feeding the fish as the nights are getting colder.
 

sissy

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Feed wheat germ food and make sure you have some type of temperature thermometer in the pond or one from anywhere that you can check .Water will always be warmer in the bottom but an above ground pond can be different from an inground pond .My pond is half below and half above ground .Remember the water coming out of your tap will be a different temperature than the pond water .If I do a change or have to add water I use a big stock tank and then a pump to pump it into the pond after it acclimates .I have a well that is over 400 feet in the ground so a big change .You could use a bucket .I use only an aerator in the winter and a pond heater .I turn off both pumps
 
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I fall on the not doing water changes side, but I will say do what works for you and your pond. Have been keeping ponds for a long time and have never done water changes intentionally in my ponds. However, my ponds are setup for plants as the main filter in the pond and the pumps are mainly for circulation.

Water changes are fine, depending on the reason. First do you know what your water quality in your pond is, and do you know the water quality out of your tap is better than what is in your pond. Otherwise, your water change could be counterproductive.

Also, the feeding part, I dont make a decision to feed/not feed on a preset temp, but use my fish behavior as an indicator. If they are hungry feed them, fish do feed when the water temp drops low albeit minimally.
I tend to agree with minimal water changes. Most public water supplies add phosphorus to the water to help keep pipes from oxidation , and others use a lot of Monochloramine these chemicals are designed to kill bacteria in drinking water. Well that's the last thing you want to do with a pond. But there are many inexpensive additives you can add to your tap water to lesson then effects of the monochromatic. I looked at the article and i find a lot of the questions and answers are much like a germaphobe saying the best way to stay healthy is to walk around with a mask on all the time. While the other side of that coin is to expose someone to every germ so they can build up an immunity . like dr's and nurses do . So while Both have there merits while for one pond often water changes make sense as the water is from down wind and picks up who only knows what is in the air. SO other water sources can bring needed nutrients to your pond that had been depleted by the plants or burned off by the sun. The water varies so much in this country from one place to another there is no easy this is the answer this is how it will work for everyone.
 
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Well as you can see there is many opinions on water changes....... And I will bet all the ones that don't think you should do water changes have the correct number of fish per gallons of water and excellent bio filtration systems...... I myself have an excellent bio filtration system, because if I didn't I couldn't have kept a 3000 gallon pond going well with about four times as many Koi as I should have...... That being said everything was great until fall and cold weather came and my pond crashed and I lost all but three fish...... So since then I have 8 Koi and no problems...... But I do a 25% water change every week during the summer and once a month during the winter. I really don't have to do it and I use a hose end charcoal filter to add the new water..... Like I said probably don't need to do it but it makes me feel better. If you want to do it and it and you can afford to do and makes you feel better , go for it...... Just my opinion
 

addy1

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Our ph is so low in our well water it is hard on our pond to do water changes, so I don't. With my huge bog filtration system I have no need to do any.
 
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If you want to do it and it and you can afford to do and makes you feel better , go for it...... Just my opinion
I would just add the caution that there has been some information shared recently that suggests that your fish may not enjoy water changes as much as we think they do. I've read a lot lately about flow through water changes being less stressful for fish - a slow trickle versus a big out and in. The trickle method also requires adding no additional chemicals to deal with chlorine.

Just a thought!
 
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How and when you clean your filter depends on what type it is and if it is sufficiently sized for your water volume. Also, if the water exiting the filter slows down, then that's a definate indication for a cleaning.

Preferably it will have some form of bio balls for the beneficial bacteria to cling to and also some type of filter pads. The bio balls normally shouldn't be cleaned (unless there's a serious blockage). However, the pads, which collect the bulk of your waste, should be cleaned.

Water changes seem to be a matter of opinion. I rarely do them. Maybe I'll do 300 gallons of my 1500+ gallons once a year. If I do, it will be in the late Spring or early Summer.
As the water gets colder in the Fall and Winter, the water always seems to be much clearer.
 
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Things are a bit different for me. My pond is covered and the water stays warm enough that I feed sparingly all winter. The filter is cleaned by back-flushing with water from the pond. If I clean the filters, I have to replace the water. The filters are cleaned each week, ten days at the most. I might get away with doing that less often in winter, but I normally don't.

We also have good well water, so there is no problem with anything being added that might be bad for the fish.
 

sissy

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remember even well water can change with heavy rains .Also well water can come out of the ground a lot colder than the pond water .My well is over 400 feet in the ground and then the lines running to the house are over 5 feet in the ground .They were only 3 feet but back fill of ground put them at a little over 5 feet I only clean the top filter pad once a month on my 2 filters .Even here they had major problems with Danville city water as it has a bad smell and tastes funny ,but they say it is safe ?.Most people in Danville buy bottled water to drink and cook with .I had city water in NJ but well water here and funny thing is I go up to NJ and cannot drink enough water .I guess I am a city water type person .I know my well water is good but I guess even after all these years being down here I still can't get used to it .I do have a whole house filter that does not use salt
 
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We keep a close eye on the water. It really is good here. We are lucky that way. And the temperature isn't even that different with the pond covered. It can actually be warmer. It's never been a issue for us and never a problem for the fish. But it is something to be aware of.

We have the opposite feelings about water. We have always lived where we had well water and can't imagine having city water that is treated with chemicals. I would have no idea how to dechlorinate my pond water. I know what to use, but the process is nothing I've ever needed to do.
 
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We have the opposite feelings about water. We have always lived where we had well water and can't imagine having city water that is treated with chemicals. I would have no idea how to dechlorinate my pond water. I know what to use, but the process is nothing I've ever needed to do.
Surprisingly chlorine really isn't as bad as you would think at least in my area being the north east. while chlorine is a very toxic chemical in every form. When it is introduced to our waters you have to remember this is A PUBLIC DRINKING SUPPLY. The big differance being we don't live in it 24/7 to make the chlorine harmless is simply buying a declorinator which is a liquid that is rather inexpensive. a gallon usually is good for like 100,000 gallons add the correct quantity to you pond slowly and into a place with lots of current. That's it....
 

sissy

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city water never killed me .The only way it can cause problems is maybe with old iron plumbing .But not many houses have that any more as pex came into play and so easy to install .See some house with that pb plumbing and the insurance and government stepped in to help homeowners get it replaced
 
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Pex has a LONG LONG LONG WAY TO GO to make even a dent in replacing copper, led pipe. Its crazy how Hillary got on with the hole flint Michigan and the bad water . while some of the water was clearly compromised by high iron with the reddish tint . the other levels are very common else where such as New York and Philadelphia there are still miles of led pipes supplying water to homes and businesses. New York actualy won a taste testa couple years back against other cities and bottled waters.
 
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Back in the 80's I owned a house that was built in 1932. It was on Staten Island, (New York).
The water pressure was terrible out of some of the fixtures. We had access from the basement and replaced all the supply pipes with copper. (There wasn't PEX at the time). Anyway, those old supply lines were galvanized pipes! They suffered from what I called hardening of the arteries. When we cut them open, there was so much rust inside that the water was only flowing through a pin hole. Crazy!
 

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