A koi pond fish relocation story

Bryn Mawr, PA—Koi Pond  Project

Mr. R. purchased a new house over the summer and he knew he wanted a Bryn Mawr, Pa, Koi Pond ASAP so he could relocate his fish from his old house to the new one.

Matt met with Mr. R. and they talked about what Mr. R. wanted from his pond. His number one priority were his fish. He had about 20 fish in his old pond and he wanted to move every fish with him to the new koi pond.   He also really wanted his new pond to blend in well with the current landscaping, and to seem a natural part of the outdoors.

Matt also reviewed the space for best viewing purposes. Mr. R. enjoys looking at his backyard from his second floor living rooms, so AquaReale made certain to have great views for that angle.

Mr. R.reached out to us in October, 2015. He needed his pond built before it got too cold to move the fish over before winter set in. For his budget of $15,000. Mr. R. got the following:

  • 14 x 18 foot pond
  • pond lights
  • two fish caves
  • plants
  • waterfall
  • skimmer and biofalls

The Challenge

The outdoor area is designed as a Japanese garden, with tight spaces and lots of plants. AquaReale’s goal was to create a welcoming environment for the fish while matching the pond to the general look and feel of the outside area. There were a lot of irrigation lines as well, adding to the overall challenges for the job.

The Big Fish Move

Once the pond was built and water quality tested, AquaReale moved the fish from the old pond to the new one in 60 gallon containers. Stress coat was added to the water when we moved the fish. This creates a slime coat on the fish that helps them with the transition.

The Result

Mr. R. and his son are both very pleased with the new pond, as are the fish we moved. Mr. R likes how the random sized rocks mimic nature and look organic “I love how the pond fits my space so perfectly,” said Mr. R.

How to care for your pond in the winter

Winter Pond Care
Winter Pond Care

Winter Pond Care
Frequently Asked Questions

So many questions come up here on the East Coast regarding Winter Pond Care . Here are a few of our top questions, along with answers from AquaReale owners Matt and Laura.

1. What does my fish pond need in the winter?

Winter Pond Care is pretty simple.  Ponds really only need one thing during the winter and that is air. As long as a pond is at least 18 inches deep, it shouldn’t freeze all the way to the bottom, so the fish will be OK. (link) You will need some way for the harmful gases to get out of the pond at all times. We recommend an aerator or bubbler.
Toxic gases caused by decaying matter and fish waste can become trapped under the ice by releasing harmful pond gases. An aerator or bubbler will leave a small area of the pond ice-free, which will allow the gases to escape. That’s all your pond needs!

2. When should I stop feeding my fish in the winter?

When the water temperature hits 50 degrees. This is usually around Thanksgiving. Don’t feed the fish when it gets below 50%, because their bodies are already shutting down and they can’t metabolize the food.

3. Can my pond keep running in the winter?

That depends on each individual pond. We can’t give one basic answer. If you has a submersible pump, the pump can stay running all winter. If you have an external filter system, you cannot run your pond during the winter. Other factors include length of stream, waterfalls and other variations in each individual pond. We recommend an aerator or bubbler even if you do keep your pond running all winter. For specific answers for your pond, please contact us.

 

 

Football and flagstone…kitchens, that is

We recently created a Main Line, PA flagstone kitchen.  Here’s a video walk through of the project…

What do pond fish do in the winter?

What do pond fish do in the winter?
What do pond fish do in the winter?

What do pond fish do in the winter?

It’s the question we get asked the most, so here are some answers:

The warm weather is obviously the best time to be able to enjoy pond fish. During this time pond fish and koi are active, lively, and highly visible. Many pond fish and koi become downright interactive with their keepers and will follow them around the pond, stick their faces out of the water or practically climb out of the pond to celebrate feeding time.

During this time we all know exactly what is going on with our fish and all it takes is a quick peek into the pond.

Then the cold weather sets in and we slowly lose our ability to see what’s happening with our pond fish. Their activity slows down, they tend to keep themselves concealed, and once the ice and snow come; well, we lose touch with our fish. So what’s going on underneath those layers of ice and snow? What do pond fish do in the winter?

So what are the fish up to?

In short, not too much. But pond fish not being up to too much is an interesting behavior all the same, given that they are so lively throughout the rest of the year. Koi and pond fish are poikilothermic animals, a fancy way of saying cold-blooded.

This basically means that their body temperature is regulated by the surrounding temperature of the water, and their body functions respond and change according to the water temperature. The activity and metabolism of koi and pond fish is greatly reduced which is why they do not feed during the cold periods.

What do pond fish do in the winter?  For the most part they sit on the bottom of the pond in the “warmest” pocket of water they can find. During winter months the warmer water is on the bottom of the pond as opposed to warmer months when the warmer water is at the top of the pond!

Fish Hibernation

What do pond fish do in the winter?  Koi and other pond fish go into a state of torpor. Torpor is not quite full hibernation, because it is of a shorter duration than hibernation, but otherwise it is a very similar state of being: reduced body temperature, slowed metabolism, slow reaction times, reduced breathing rate and primary body functions.

Torpor allows the animal to save the energy that would otherwise be needed for higher levels of activity. Because of the state of being in torpor it is a very good idea to keep things as calm as possible around the pond. If you need to open the ice in the pond find a quiet way to do it like using boiling water to open a hole, don’t chop it open with a pick ax!

Even using a hand held drill with a hole saw is actually pretty quiet compared to other methods, and if the ice is too thick to open with boiling water the hole saw is a great tool to have. To maintain an open area in the ice try using a floating de-icer or an aerator. This open area in the ice will allow noxious gases, like ammonia, to escape from the pond.

Contact us for more information or to get a de-icer for your pond.