The tip of the month is something we either invented, heard about, stole or somehow found out about that helps with our pond operation.
Standard disclaimer... We do not take responsibility for the use or misuse or otherwise obligate ourselves in any way by your use of one of our tips, if you use one and it works fine, if it does not you are on your own.
SKIPPY SEZ: May's Tip of the Month is........
Spring Start Up -- step #1 is to clean out and remove as much debris as possible.
Do a 1/4 to 1/3 water change if you like; use a de-clorinator if using city water when refilling the pond. Chlorine and chloramine (a chlorine and ammonia compond) are deadly to fish and beneficial bacteria. Both are now added to most tap water by the water treatment plants; they need to be neutralized for a healthy pond environment.
Try not to use any water clarifiers other than ones that contain beneficial bacteria. Hopefully, you can start a good natural cycle and obtain a "balance"; thereafter you will only rarely need these types of products.
Start the pump and filter.
Add some beneficial bacteria to the filter and the pond (approx 3 oz per 1000 gallons). The faster a healthy, growing, beneficial bacteria colony gets going, the quicker the pond will "balance". When this happens, you will have a head start on keeping green water at a minimum and at the same time you will protect your fish from disease and other health problems. Make sure the beneficial bacteria product you use does not contain any strains of aeromonas or E. coli bacteria.
If the fish are not active...DO NOT FEED THEM. ONLY feed the fish with a high quality wheat germ food until the water temp. stays above 50 degrees F. Feed very little (only what the fish will eat in a few minutes) and remove any uneaten food. Best to add a vitamin supplement directly to the food. DO NOT now or ever feed Koi either trout or catfish chow....it is unhealthy for Koi. When buying bulk food, ask if it contains trout or catfish chow. Over time, these types of feed cause major health problems and pollute the pond environment.
Pond plants, if lowered a bit during the winter, should be moved to their normal growing places, that is.... when there is no chance of freezing. Tropical plants should not be put into the pond until the water temp. is going to stay above 55 degrees F. Floating plants, like water hyacinth and lettuce can be put in the pond on warm days, but if the night temp is going below 45 degrees F, then these plants should be returned to the house and stored in a bucket or other suitable container. If they have overgrown their pots or have grown too large or viney, repot them, split them, give them away or compost them. Don't throw them in a lake or river. They will eventually be "deemed invasive" and then no one will be able to have them.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call and ask for some free advice.