A Guide To Ideal Seasonal Pond Temperatures

One common goal that many pond owners have is maintaining a healthy and beautiful pond all year-round. One of the main tricks to keep your pond looking great through the summer, fall, winter, and spring, is to maintain ideal seasonal temperatures. For most pond life, but especially fish, maintaining the right temperatures each season plays a huge role in their survival. Throughout each season, it is essential for pond owners to keep an eye on the temperature of the water. Compared to the air, water temperature takes a long time to heat up or cool down, so having a thermometer is vital to figure out the correct temperature for the health and safety of your pond.

In addition, the deepness or shallowness of your pond or water garden will play a role in the water temperature. When a pond is deeper, light is decreased significantly. That being said, when a pond is shallower, light from the sun is able to heat the water faster.  It is for this reason that when the air is cold, the lower layers of water may still have warmth — all of which is essential to the survival of pond life during the various seasons.

Maintaining ideal seasonal temperatures can be a challenge for some pond and water garden orders. To help, we put together a seasonal guide for ideal water temperature for your pond or water garden.

Winter

Since we are currently in the winter season, we are going to start here! It is recommended that pond owners try to maintain a 40-degree water temperature in their ponds and water gardens in the winter season. Of course, depending on what climate you reside in, this may be more difficult for some owners than others. On the water temperature drops down below 40 degrees, it is important to shut off and running water features, like waterfalls or fountains. You will want to make sure that your pond is deep enough so that when the temperature falls, the fish will be able to go to the deeper, warmer parts of the pond. If you live in a colder climate where water often freezes, consider reading one of our upcoming blogs, ‘ What Should I Do If My Pond Freezes?’.

Spring

After winter, when the temperature starts to increase, your pond will start to warm up.  During this time of year, pond water should be between 55 and 65 degrees, Fahrenheit. Spring is a stressful time for fish as they are coming out of a dormant state. This causes them to have weakened immune systems, but when the water temperature is around 65 degrees, Fahrenheit they will become stronger and cause the fish to be more active and have a better chance of survival.

Summer

The ideal temperature for pond water in the fall is around 68 to 74 degrees, Fahrenheit. When the water is around 85 degrees, Fahrenheit and above, the pond water loses most of its ability to contain dissolved oxygen. In addition, high temperatures can cause pond fish to be more active, using up a lot of oxygen. When all the oxygen is used up and no more remains, it can cause the fish to die.

Fall

Across the nation, most pond water temperatures will start falling around September and October. Around this time, the water should be around 70 degrees, Fahrenheit. As the temperatures start to get cooler in the fall, it should be a goal to have your ponds water temperature to drop to around the mid-fifties. Maintaining this temperature through the seasons will allow for pond life to properly adjust to the shifting seasons.

By following these guidelines, pond owners will be able to keep their ponds throughout each season of the year. In addition to maintaining the ideal seasonal water temperatures, part of keeping your pond healthy is having the necessary equipment and pond care products. When you are in need of pond supplies, there is no better place to get pond products online than Castle Aquatics! We carry a wide selection of some of the biggest brand names in pond care products. Whether you are looking for pond filtration products or submersible pumps, pond lighting, or pond UV clarifiers, you will be sure to find it at Castle Aquatics!

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Guide To Winter Pond Keeping

Just because the chilly weather is here (depending on where you live) does not mean that you have to close your pond or water garden. In fact, there are a handful of benefits to keeping your pond running during the winter months, like the formation of gorgeous ice sculptures that collect on a waterfall or stream, turning your backyard into a winter wonderland. Although ponds and  water gardens can be breathtaking in the winter it is possible that the buildup of ice can act as dams, diverting water out of the pond. And, if you live in the North and Midwest regions, you have to be cautious of ice buildup as it is much more common in these areas.  

It is best practice to check on the water features and the water level of a pond or water garden during the winter. If ice starts to build up and you notice the water level decreasing, it may be time to turn off the pump until the spring. However, if you decide that you want to experience the beauty of winter ponds, and don’t mind the extra care and maintenance, your biggest concern is ensuring that there is enough water for the pumps to operate.

Keeping your pond or water garden running during the winter is possible, but it does have its challenges. If you’re a pond owner who is considering keeping your pond open throughout the winter, we put together a brief guide that will answer common questions when it comes to ponds, water gardens and the cold winter months.


Can Ponds Even Run Through The Winter?

This is a question we are often asked and there are two answers, yes and no. During the winter season, the usual water supply options are not available due to inefficiency. Automatic water fill valves and outdoor water spigots should be turned off. Leaving them run throughout the course of the winter season will increase the risk of the pipes  freezing and cracking. Without the use of these valves and spigots, water garden and pond owners who choose to keep their pond running will have to find an alternate source of water to help replenish their pond. Using a hose is a quick and simple way to supply water to your pond. That said, it is normal for pond owners to periodically add water to their pond during the winter season.


Will Waterfalls And Other Water Features Freeze?

The size of the pump plays a pretty important role in a water features ability to operate effectively during the colder months. For example, if your water garden or pond has a pump that kicks out at least 2,000 GPH it can easily be used throughout the winter as long as it is continuously running. Because the pump is continuously moving water, it will help keep a hole in the ice that is near water features and in front of the circulation system.

However, if you live in a climate that has repeated freezing temperatures it could lead to excessive ice build up. Having too much ice can cause the entire water feature to operate improperly. If you notice that the flow of water into the circulation system is inefficient at keeping up with the pump due to ice, it may be time to shut the system down. Once the ice breaks down and melts, restoring the normal water flow, the system can be turned back on.


Will Pipes and Filters Crack During The Winter?

One of the biggest concerns when it comes to keeping a pond open during the winter is if the cold will cause the pipes and filters to crack. Most open type pond filters are made out of polyethylene and are constructed to bend and bow along with the freezing and thawing that winter brings.  Pressure filters should be winterized and drained if full freezing takes place in your area.  The pipes also will not crack if you choose to keep the pump running throughout the winter as there will still be a flow of water moving through the pipe. And, moving water does not freeze. Pipes will only crack in the winter if stationary water is left in the pipe and allowed to freeze. 


Most ponds and water garden owners choose to shut down their system in the bitter winter months to avoid the maintenance and care it requires. However, keeping them open in the winter brings worthy aesthetics to your yard. We encourage pond owners not be afraid to keep their system running as long as possible, getting the most out of them!

When you need supplies to keep your pond running during the chilly winter months, from aeration kits to pond solutions and treatments, be sure to shop the wide selection of pond and water garden supplies at Castle Aquatics! Our professionals can answer your questions about pond care and maintenance, and are ready to help you find the products your pond needs to stay healthy and running properly. For more information, contact Castle Aquatics or find the nearest dealer.

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A Guide To Fall Pond Care

With fall right around the corner, it won’t be long before the season changes, bringing beautiful colors throughout nature, cool temperatures, football, apple orchards, and more! For a lot of us, fall is our favorite time of the year, but for pond owners, the cooler temperatures and constantly falling leaves can make fall a stressful time. Fall is a time that should be enjoyed by everyone, and if you own a pond, your fall can be stress-free by taking the following proper fall pond maintenance and a few precautions.

THE IMPORTANCE OF FALL POND MAINTENANCE

When fall officially arrives, most pond owners will likely find that leaves and debris will fall into a pond, potentially clogging the pump and causing build-up. Fall is a time when leaves are constantly falling and pond temperatures drop so the proper maintenance is crucial to your water garden. Plus, winter is right around the corner, which makes maintenance even more important to your pond’s health.

ELIMINATING LEAVES AND DEBRIS

Some pond owners don’t have to worry about getting leaves in their water garden, but for those who live in a colder region, or have a pond located under or around multiple trees, it can be more of a challenge. Some may think that having a skimmer filter will be able to handle the cleaning, but there will be times when your filter will not be able to catch all the leaves and debris before they reach the bottom of the pond and begin to decompose. The best way to keep debris from reaching your ponds bottom in the fall is to use a pond net to remove it. Keeping debris and leaves out of your pond will not only keep your pond healthy going into winter but will also make your pond maintenance in the spring much easier. Allowing leaves and other debris to reach the bottom of the pond will cause them to decompose and rot, which can produce gases that could potentially be harmful to you fish and plants.

Castle Aquatics TipOnce your pond or water garden is free of leaves and debris, consider using a pond cover net over your pond to catch the leaves and debris throughout the season.

It doesn’t matter if your pond isn’t in an area with a lot of trees, the fall is still a time where pond owners should keep on eye on the debris level of their pond. To stay healthy, ponds require significantly more maintenance in the fall than they do in the summer. As winter gets closer, the fall may be a great opportunity to take care of the plants in your pond as well.

POND PLANT CARE

With winter coming up, the fall is a great time to tend to any plants. Frost can end up killing plants, causing them to decay in your pond and feed algae. Pond owners should divide and repot plants that can be saved, and tropical plants, such as water lilies, can be brought inside and cared for, while hardy plants can be cut down and trimmed when they begin to brown.

FISH CARE

When the weather starts to cool down and pond temperatures begin to drop, pond fish, including koi, will begin to hibernate. It is important for pond or water garden owners to check their feedings. When temperatures are between 50-60 degrees, feeding should be reduced to once every one to two days. When the temperature drops below 50 degrees, it’s best to cut off feeding completely. When pond fish are going into hibernation, their digestive systems slow down, and feeding them could lead to health problems or even death. It may be beneficial to measure the temperature of your pond using a thermometer, so you can ensure you’re giving your fish the proper amount of food. If you’re unsure how much to feed your fish in the fall, it’s best to ask for a professional’s help.

GENERAL FALL POND CARE

As pond experts, a common question we are asked is which products should be added to a pond so that it will be healthy going into the winter. While there are many maintenance products and treatments you can add, we recommend using the following treatments to your pond:

  • Bacti-Pak The Bacti-Pak is formulated to reduce and eliminate organic and decomposing debris in the pond.  The combination of natural bacteria act as cleaners, help maintain a strong balance and reduce undesired gases in your pond while providing clear, clean, and healthy water conditions
  • NatureMax – Adding NatureMax to your pond or water garden will remove ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, dead leaves, and other organic debris, keeping your water clean and healthy.

Fall is a crucial time to maintain your pond with the amount of falling leaves and other debris, in addition to the cooler temperatures. When you’re countenancing your pond or water garden and are in need of pond care products, look no further than PondMAX! Whether you need pond treatments or accessories, with PondMAX’s huge selection of products, you’ll be sure to find exactly what you are looking for!

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Determining The Right Water Treatment Dosage for Your Pond

Longer days and cool summer nights create beautiful moments to enjoy your koi pond or water garden. However, higher water temperatures and more sun exposure welcomes uninvited debris and other challenges that can affect your pond’s water quality.

Treating pond water effectively with the right products is critically important to maintain and balance a healthy aquatic environment. This is where our PondMAX water treatment product range provides the perfect solution. PondMAX water treatment products are designed to reduce excess nutrients, fish waste, eliminate muck and remove debris – PLUS they are fast acting, easy to use, maintenance free, and safe for your fish and pond health.

But, one of the most common questions we receive during these summer days to keep ponds healthy is:

“How much water treatment should I use for my pond?”

Luckily, figuring out the right amount of water treatment doesn’t have to be difficult with our expert team at the ready to help!

We have created a quick and easy PondMAX Water Treatment Dosage Guide to show you the recommended dosage for each product while helping to maintain your pond health and get rid of unwanted debris.

Take the guesswork and time-consuming maintenance tasks out of your pond care by following the dosage table below:

Now, creating a healthy and crystal-clear aquatic environment is as simple as 1-2-3!

Download your copy of the water treatment dosage guide here.

Want to find PondMAX water treatment products for your water garden this summer? Contact your local store to check availability.

Have questions about which water treatment products you should use? We are here to help! Contact us to speak to one of our expert product specialists.

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Preparing Your Pond For Cooler Weather, Part 4

You should start preparing for the cooler weather before it comes, therefore cleaning and maintenance is needed year round for the most part. Although it is most needed in preparation and throughout the cooler weather season, vacuuming your pond is a necessity for you to keep your pond in its best shape, and for the health of your koi.

Many overlook what’s on the bottom of their pond, and the buildup of muck can become detrimental to the quality of the water. It’s important to start cleaning before the pond reaches 50F because the fish will still be active and constantly moving during the warmer weather.  This makes them less likely to be affected negatively by the cleaning procedures, and lessens the chance of harmful toxins, fungi and parasites.

A Pond Vacuum is a maintenance device that has minimum disturbance and can suck up debris from the hard to reach areas of your pond. Just like a regular vacuum for your household, pond vacuums are simple and hassle-free to use, making your pond maintenance routine easier than ever before.

Why vacuuming is neccessary

  1. Leaves and debris land on the pond surface all year and sink to the bottom, which will create an increase of ammonia through the winter months. – The rotting leaves, tree branches, dead aquatic plants that fall into your pond through time ruins the oxygen levels of the pond, which can harm your fishes’ health. Using a pond vacuum can help you get to hard to reach areas to suck up debris and keep your water clear and in its best shape.
  2. Algae dying from cooler water temperatures sinks to the bottom. – The aquatic life also contributes to the debris that can build up at the bottom of the pond, which can cause ammonia for your fish from its alteration of oxygen levels. It is best to remove them from the bottom of the pond to prevent it in the best way you can.
  3. Excess fish food and fish waste sink to the bottom of the pond. – When feeding your fish, their diets can change throughout the cooler weather, and feeding the perfect amount every time is not guaranteed. The fish food and their waste can contribute to the debris as well.

TYPES OF POND VACUUMS

AUTOMATIC – The PV450L by PondMAX is an electric pond vacuum designed to provide high suction and a large capacity waste tank. When in auto mode the PV450L will suck until the tank is full and then automatically go into standby while it drains the waste tank for 30 seconds. Then it returns to suction mode and makes cleaning out the debris in the bottom of your pond or fountain a breeze.

MANUAL – The ProSucker from PondMax is also a great manual option. It makes it very easy to clear out the light muck that build up in a smooth bottom water feature. The ProSucker uses the pressure from your garden hose to create a vacuum and pull out the waste.

Consider these options from PondMAX and contact your local store to check availability.

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Preparing Your Pond for Cooler Weather, Part 3

When preparing for the cold weather, pond maintenance and koi care are equally important so that your fish will last through the colder months.

Koi and pond fish are cold-blooded animals, which means their bodies respond to how warm or cold they are according to their surroundings. Cold weather could cause loss in appetite and digestion problems.

When water temperature reaches lower at 60°F, it’s best to change their diet to a wheat germ base that has low protein, making it easier for your fish to digest. When water temperature drops to 55°F, the metabolism of your fish will begin to slow down and you should reduce the amount you feed them.

Benefits of Cold Weather Fish Food

  • Highly Digestible

The cold weather weakens their digestive systems, and having easy to digest foods will help them be able to consume the appropriate amounts.

  • Low In Protein

Proteins are harder to digest than other nutrients, and during this time of year your Koi and Goldfish need low protein diets to help the digestion process.

  • Vegetable Based

Low protein and wheatgerm foods are most ideal for feeding in cooler temperatures, and help keep the ammonia to a minimum.

Consider these Cold Weather/Wheat Germ Fish Food for fall and contact your local store to check availability.

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How A Pond Can Add Value To Your Property

Based on ponds’ effect on property values, it’s clear most people enjoy the sight of water — and they’re willing to pay extra to get it. For homeowners whose property size or location isn’t quite suitable for a full-scale pond, adding even a small water feature, such as a waterfall or fountain, to your front yard can….

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How to Backwash a PondMAX Filter

With PondMAX professional filter systems you will find weekly maintenance a breeze! The Spin to Clean backwash is the easiest backwash system on the market today. Watch this video to learn how it works in more detail.

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