Saturday, April 4, 2009

Wake me up in the Spring

As the temperature rises over 40 degrees, the fish begin to wake up and move around. I wait until the temperature gets over 45 consistently before I start feeding the fish. I then turn the filter heater on, if it isn't already. Having the heater on tends to even out the fluctuations in water temperature from day to night. This year we have had many days where it dropped down to near freezing. In fact, on April 1st we had snow for about 4 hours during the day. Not the typical spring we're used to in Seattle. But the filter heater keeps things fairly even.

The other thing using a filter heater does, is it allows the bacteria that will reside in the filter a chance to grow earlier. This year I introduced bacteria capsules into the central water entrance of the filter April 1st. The central water entrance is also where the heater assembly is located so it provides a nice environment for the bacteria to grow. These bacteria tablets are available at most pond stores. (I purchased mine at the neighborhood Lowes.) I also spent some time performing water tests for Ammonia, Nitrites, and also Nitrates. If any of those get too high, I pump ¼ of the water out (onto the lawn) and replace it with new water from the tap. I try and check the water every week, maybe more often as you are trying to establish your filters.

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