This is my first year
with a pond and thus my first winter. Needless to say I'm a bit concerned with
getting through the winter months.
I live in the Columbus,
Ohio area and I have a 4000 gallon lined pond and originally started out with
eight koi that were 3-5 inches long in the spring. Today a couple of my koi are
much larger but to my surprise just this week I noticed that we have BABIES! One
is orange and black but the other TEN! Are all black. I'm not even sure these
black ones are koi…
Here are my questions....
Is it safe to clean the pond while the fish are in it? I was going to use a pool
vacuum to clean the bottom of the pond and get as much of the yard debris out
that I can.
2) Should I move the babies into the house
over the winter or leave them in the pond? My pond won't support these newcomers
so I'm thinking about removing them...
3) Just curious...
How do I tell if these all black fish are koi? Could they be something else brought
in by visiting birds and frogs?
4) Speaking of frogs...
we have two that have setup camp in our pond. Is there anything I can do for them
for the winter so they stick around?
5) My pond is about
three feet deep at its deepest point. I've read that over winter I should turn
the filter off, turns the falls off and just use an air stone to keep the top
from freezing over. Should anything else be done?
to your questions:
1) Absolutely safe. Even with the sprats,
you'll be fine. Get the crud out as thoroughly as you can. Think about rinsing
the areas behind your edge rocks (if you have them) with a sump pump and pond
water, then letting your filters take care of the suspended crud.
If you are not planning to support the fry, just leave them be. They are too small
and fast to be caught now and are not big enough to stress your filter yet. They'll
be bigger and easier to catch in the spring. Any that don't survive the winter...well,
that's the Great Circle of Life.
3) Try catching one.
Look at its mouth. If it has barbels (whiskers) at the corners of its mouth, it
is a koi.
4) Leave the frogs alone. They'll dig into any
available mud for the winter. You'll see them again in the spring.
Get a hoop house or other greenhouse application over your pond. It'll improve
your fish health and survival. If you stick a small electric radiator under the
cover next to the pond, you won't see any ice at all. Shut your pumps down and
blow the water out of your lines when you start to get freezing temps at night.