What I've done to Autumnize my pond and onwards

JohnHuff

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This is what I've been doing...

1) Towards the end of feeding season I started decreasing feeding and changing the food from a high protein to a lower protein food. For the previous month though, I maximized feeding so the fish could build up some energy storage.

2) Yesterday was the first time I stopped feeding when the water temp dropped from 55F to 51F. I have a cheap temperature gun from Amazon to do this. Air temperature is not the same as water temp.

3) I plan to clean the mechanical filter media one last time this season. The filters don't usually clog up during the cold season so I leave them alone after that.

4) I continue to run the pump until I see snow or ice. I've read that running the pump when it's very cold will decrease the pond temperature because the water is cooled when it comes in contact with the cold air. So it's a balance of keeping water flow in the pond vs. cooling it too much.

5) I keep the pond at its maximum volume because I have a very shallow pond (about 2.5ft) and the deeper the pond is, the warmer it is at the bottom. I've also put styrofoam on part of the surface before to retain heat but I haven't done that for awhile.

6) It doesn't get too cold where I am (Seattle area) so so far I have not had to use an air pump or heater for my pond. It does ice over some years but it's usually just a thin layer and I break it up a little.

7) Make sure you bring plastic stuff inside. Sometimes buckets can get brittle and break. And definitely garden hose nozzles, they always break if I leave them out in the cold.

8) For some reason my fish seem to get bigger when they appear again during the Spring even though I don't feed them during the winter.
 
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For some reason my fish seem to get bigger when they appear again during the Spring even though I don't feed them during the winter.
We've noticed the exact same thing! They definitely grow over the winter months. And here our pond ices over completely and sometimes stays completely iced all winter.

Great list @JohnHuff . Easily adaptable to everyone's unique pond situation.
 

sissy

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I have used styrofoam also and found those plastic softballs at the dollar store work also .I never break ice as the shock wave in the water and heard it can harm fish .I do not get that cold here or stay that cold for long .,It can be 30 degrees one day and 70 the next day
 

j.w

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I leave my pre-filter/pump to waterfall running all year long. Keeps it circulated and so far seems to work good that way. If we do get an ice covering the falls keep a hole open. I turn off aerator. Feeding them Fall food now but that too shall end very soon.
 
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Thank you for posting this information. This will be the first winter for my pond and fish, so I'm a little nervous, but hopefully my fish will emerge healthy, and bigger.
 
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sissy

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I got a solar pool cover at the dump but it is not clear but says on the tag it is .It is blue with clear bubbles in the plastic ,but not clear .I went back to the store to pick up the plastic I saw but darn it all sold out .So talked to the guy and he is getting it in next thursday hopefully
 
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I never turn off my filter pump. It'll start killing the filter after half an hour.

I do change the pump for a lower rated one in the winter months and turn off the waterfall. I also keep the UV and air pump going but reduce the rate I trickle change the water.. Koi don't like anything in their environment changing.
I'll probably change over the pumps on this on Sunday. It's as well to always have a spare pump. I've another spare for the pump sump drain pump.

In Spring I'll drop the lot out of the filter That'll be about 110 gallons. Then refill from the pool. It'll remove any fine particles that have buit up in the bottom of the filter.
 
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Koi don't like anything in their environment changing.
You've said that before and I find it kind of amusing... you mean like when the water temperature drops 50 degrees? Or when the pond is completely iced over and under 4 feet of snow? That's kind of a big change if you ask me. So I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "change". I mean you change out your pump and turn off your waterfall - isn't that also change in the environment? Just curious where you came by this opinion.
 
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20 x 10 green house frame over pond with double tarp over it all pumps off and foam in skimmer box for ice expansion. Probably 6 goldies in pond as unexpected test subjects to see if they survive as u could not catch them.
 
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You've said that before and I find it kind of amusing... you mean like when the water temperature drops 50 degrees? Or when the pond is completely iced over and under 4 feet of snow? That's kind of a big change if you ask me. So I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "change". I mean you change out your pump and turn off your waterfall - isn't that also change in the environment? Just curious where you came by this opinion.
Err..

From keeping koi for over thirty years.

What day did your water temperature drop fifty degrees?

It never has. That's the point I'm making.

Any changes in their environment i.e. water quality, temperature, should be gradual.
As it would be in nature. Just basic common sense.
 
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Gotcha. So an accurate statement would be "koi don't like RAPID change in their environment" - and in that way they aren't unlike any other fish.
 
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Gotcha. So an accurate statement would be "koi don't like RAPID change in their environment" - and in that way they aren't unlike any other fish.
For cryin' out loud, don't be so picky. More knowledgeable koi keepers will have got exactly what I meant.
 
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Sorry. I'm a fan of the written word - "any change" means something different than "rapid change". And you're probably right about more experienced koi keepers, but not everyone who reads here has the same experience you do.

Whatever...

Fish are sensitive to even the slightest change in thewir environment.
 
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Fish are sensitive to even the slightest change in thewir environment.
I think that's old fish think. You hear lots of people refer to koi as fragile, weak, and unable to handle change. But then I ask myself why they are banning or thinking of banning koi in many areas of the US for fear they will be released into the wild - either accidentally or on purpose - and will become invasive in the natural waterways. It doesn't seem like a species can be both unable to handle change and a threat to the environment.
 
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I think that's old fish think. You hear lots of people refer to koi as fragile, weak, and unable to handle change. But then I ask myself why they are banning or thinking of banning koi in many areas of the US for fear they will be released into the wild - either accidentally or on purpose - and will become invasive in the natural waterways. It doesn't seem like a species can be both unable to handle change and a threat to the environment.
 
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"Old fish think" indeed. Compared to to the average funfair goldfish koi are far less resiliant.

Always have been always will.


Enough koi have been dumped into ponds and lakes over the decades by owners who have given up the hobby. Or koi in pools that have been in an areas of flooding which have escaped.

So where are they?

Why do you think koi owners have sophisticated filter systems, when the average golldfish can survive in a mucky pond?

This was the first post I made under the title "Koi's Law" a thread I started on a dedicated Koi message board, six years ago.

Not as an attempt to dissuade anyone from getting into this very addictive hobby, I thought I'd start a thread giving examples of the things with which we have to contend, where other contributors can add examples of their own experiences.

Here's a couple to start;

If you're building a pool or making any sort of alterations to one, as soon as you are part-way through it, it'll start raining.

If any koi decides to go "fins up" it's likely to be your favourite.

Others have added their experiences and the thread has had over 17,000 hits.

It wouldn't happen with goldfish.
 
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Others have added their experiences and the thread has had over 17,000 hits.
I'm not sure how you are supporting your argument by telling me about another thread that you started on another site. Do people have issues with koi? Sure. However, many issues arise from people keeping koi in ponds that are just too small for the size or number of fish they are trying to keep. Eliminate that from the equation and I think you'd find they are no more problematic to keep than any other pond fish.

Why do you think koi owners have sophisticated filter systems, when the average golldfish can survive in a mucky pond?
I'm a koi owner. My pond is filtered with a planted wetland filter. Nothing sophisticated about it. And I'm sure you're familiar with the mud ponds that koi are raised in - no sophisticated filters there either. Keep a low fish load in your pond and you don't need sophisticated.

Always have been always will.
Saying it doesn't make it so. But we'll just have to agree to disagree on this one. To me a koi is a carp and no one would describe a carp as a fragile fish.
 
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