Questions about fish come up daily in conversations with current and potential customers. Actually, there are several questions that come up over and over again. That’s why we call ‘em “frequently asked questions” (FAQ’s). Here are some of the most asked.
Q. Don’t fish increase the maintenance in a pond?
A. The answer is no! In fact it’s just the opposite. Fish constitute 20% of the naturally balanced, holistic, organic ecosystem that makes up your water garden. Fish actually play a critical role in reducing your workload. Fish do the following…
Q. What about the fish in the winter? What happens to them? Do they freeze? Do I need to move them inside?
A. No. As long as the pond is at least two feet deep, the pond will not freeze any deeper than 8”. That leaves 16” for the fish to hibernate over the winter. You do need to keep a hole in the ice (using a “floating heater” in the northern regions) to allow for the exchange of gasses (like oxygen). But other than that your fish will do just fine. Oxygen is very important and is supplied by running your waterfalls, adding a bubbler, or using the pump to keep the water moving at the surface.
Q. What happens if I forget to feed the fish? Will they die or get sick?
A. No, In actuality, your fish will do just fine even if you never feed them. As a matter of fact, feeding the fish is more for your benefit and entertainment than for theirs. Your fish will be just fine if you never feed them. The one mistake that people often make is to overfeed them or feed them too frequently. When temperatures fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, you should stop feeding the fish completely.
Q. How many fish can I have in my pond? What is “too many fish” ? Can you have too few?
A. A very common question. Too many fish can lead to problems with your fish, and potential for an overgrowth of algae. Too few fish means that the pond’s nutrition will not be satisfactorily absorbed and recycled. A good rule of thumb is 1 inch of fish per square foot of pond surface area. Example: a 10’ x 10’ pond, which is 100 square feet, could support 100 inches of fish. This 100 inches could consist of 10 ten-inch fish, 20 five-inch fish, and so on.
Q. What are my fish worth? How is the value determined?
A. Supply and demand, in the water gardening world just like everything else really. The fish that’s in greatest demand are the colorful and charismatic koi. The cost of koi can vary considerably. If you’re a breeder or like to show your koi, your fish can get real expensive. If you’re not planning to show your koi, then they’re not much more expensive than goldfish. Goldfish, orandas, and other varieties are also very popular in water gardens. The three main factors in determining the value of koi include…
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Q. Will birds, raccoons or other predators get my fish?
A. Contrary to what some people think, raccoons don’t swim. They do sit on the edge and swat at fish and sometimes they will go wading, but if your pond is at least 2 feet deep and 8 feet wide, your fish should be safe from those little nocturnal critters. The real and most common threat is the heron. Providing a fish cave or some other place for your fish to hide (in and under water lilies, and other plants, or fish tunnels) will help to keep them safe. Many of our clients have found that the fishing line technique has worked well to keep hawks, heron and other birds from getting to their precious fish. Think about a security fence around the sides (on tent stakes or bamboo plant poles) and then criss crossed over the pond in a start pattern.
If you would like help with any of the above feel free to contact Springer Ponds and Water Gardens. We can help determine gallons, install fish caves or bird protection.
A pond owner with a passion for life and