No concerns here as we have gotten to liking the heat and there is no snow to shovel! FL is busy and though and planning to build another pond, just bought the supplies last weekend. I will create a new post so not to highjack this thread.
I am thinking of building a pond here in Sarasota Florida and wondering if anyone can give me some answers as to whether or not the heat here is a detriment to pond life and what challenges it adds to pond maintenance....
Wow Michael, I so appreciate you taking the time to give me all of these pointers....My pond is built and running (waterfall into stream into second waterfall and into pond) I have many plants (papyrus, maiden hair fern, obedient, taro, water lily, water celery, bacopa, parrots feather and mint...all in the pond and stream) I have seven shubunkins...The pond is 30" deep and about 9 by 12 but once the shelves were put in it brought the gallons to about 900Hi, Rubyduby,
I'm writing from across the peninsula (Daytona Beach) where I have been enjoying my renovated 1,200 gal concrete and tile pond for the last five years. In a word, yes, heat can be a detriment to pond life but there are many simple solutions to minimizing its effects. 1) Make your pond as deep as possible. The less surface-area-to-volume of water, the lower the tendency to rapid heat gain. My freeform pond is 2-1/2 feet deep but only six to eight feet across, comprising 1,200 gallons. 2) Surround your pond with tall foliage dense enough to block direct overhead sunlight. 3) Grow plenty of floating vegetation such as water lettuce throughout the summer to allow fish additional shade. 4) Provide more aeration than you think you need. I have two waterfalls and three spitters that my fish enjoy hanging out under when it's really hot out. 5) Good circulation helps prevent hot spots and also distributes oxygen content.
Koi and comet goldfish are extraordinarily hardy fish. They can tolerate water temperatures in the low to mid 90s for lengthy periods of time, although ideal temperatures for them are at least ten degrees lower than that. If you can keep your pond surface in shade throughout the day, nighttime temperatures will bring pondwater temp down by the following morning. If you live near the gulf, breezes are also very helpful in keeping surface temperatures down, and this cooler water will gravitate towards the bottom, where fish will hang out.
In spring and summer, everything in Florida grows like mad, including your fish. Algae and undesirable aquatic weeds can become a problem. I've struggled with both green and string algae. The former is best dealt with through patience. All new ponds will turn green for a while until they stabilize. Algacides are not as effective as good filtration/circulation and plenty of aquatic plants. String algae collect on surfaces beneath running water (waterfalls, streams) and is best dealt with by periodic manual extraction. Fish themselves will eat algae and adding a few plecostami ("plecos") helps to keep surfaces algae-free. Anyway, algae are generally not toxic to fish unless overpopulation begins to sap oxygen from the water.
In the fall and winter, I begin to remove water lettuce (so I can see the fish better). Their metabolism drops off with cooler weather and there is less fish waste and less maintenance.
I'm sure there's more stuff to suggest, but don't let Sarasota prevent you from building and enjoying your fish pond!
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