Home | About Us | Contact Us


Koi Forum - Koi-Bito Magazine straight from Japan
Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 50

Thread: lessons learned from cold weather

  1. #1
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    seattle, wa
    Posts
    6,340

    lessons learned from cold weather

    I had really anticipated some emergency postings as the wave of cold weather gripped the USA....busted pipes...lost power etc. Anyone want to share horror stories from the past and what you did in consequent years to prepare for the problems....

    I can name about 2,000 things ( hey i've been at it for 3 decades ) here in the pacific northwest..... I think i had my outside pond about 2 years when a heavy snow had power down for a week and all my pipes froze. That's when my mind thinking outside the box said...hey there ricardo...in japan they put koi inside for the winter...why don't you do likewise. Which eventually led to my building an inside koi pond...and then after that initial money drain, a honda generator was added. It made life so much more enjoyable and if I could read the lips of my koi they were saying things like...thanks Dad, bless you paw...or some that just came in from Japan...Oregato....tomadachi.....

    I'm hopeful some of the wealth of accumulated knowledge can be shared so that the readers ( not so much posters) can do some preparations....

  2. #2
    Jumbo jnorth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    3,159
    Sludge valves on bead filters are usually a ball valve on a piece of 1" pvc. This pipe will freeze easily if your bead is outside all winter with a running pump attached to it. The easy fix is to keep a light on near it all winter or at least when it is cold. The heat from the light will keep it warm enough so it doesn't freeze. If you shut your pumps down then be sure to drain all your lines as well as your filters. You might want to crack open the sludge drain on an empty bead filter thats outside for the winter as it doesn't take much water to freeze and crack that drain..
    Koi-Unit
    My personal koi page Updated 7/8/07
    ZNA Potomac Koi Club

  3. #3
    Oyagoi dizzyfish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    1,448
    Quote Originally Posted by jnorth View Post
    Sludge valves on bead filters are usually a ball valve on a piece of 1" pvc. This pipe will freeze easily if your bead is outside all winter with a running pump attached to it. ..
    I certainly wasn't aware of that.
    Thanks Jim

    Good thread Dick.

  4. #4
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    seattle, wa
    Posts
    6,340
    It really is amazing the heat one 60 watt bulb produces in an enclosed area.

    For those building a pond or planning one where lose of power and freezing temperatures is a way of life, It helps to have a way to drain your filters and lines until you can get power returned. I think eventually all of us plan for a generator to help out on those occassions. I know the next pond I build for myself will have an automatic one that once the power goes off a sensor automatically kicks in...that way I won't have to stress if I'm away and not able to be home immediately to deal with the emergency. I know they cost money so always open to suggestions by our readers as to what to do in the interim from starting our response as beginners to having already developed a plan as "olde timers"....

  5. #5
    Honmei Brutuscz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    3,826
    One of the worst pond disasters I've had was a winter problem. I generally used a floating heater to keep a space in the ice and nothing else. Well..being it was the only warm spot outdoors..it attracted mice to nest. Well, they chewed through the line of the heater and tripped the GFI. The way I found it was not running was when we had 2 feet of snow, and I noticed my space in the ice was buried. I tried to dig it out...and use a hot water hose. This was like a joke with 2 feet of snow on 6 inches(or so) of ice. I was a newbie...and figured I wasn't overstocked, so they would be fine...no rush. Well, by the time I melted and dug through...they were all dead. It was horrible, I felt like I was pulling corpses out of the water.

    Now...If I use a floating heater..I put in 3 of them last season..and covered the wire with hosing and duct tape(in case mice try again). I plugged in 1 heater and have the other 2 in the water..on standbye, to plug in if needed.

    In my new pond this year, I have 2 air pumps with airstones running. The laguna styrofoam thing..with a small water pump running. I also have 2 floating heaters in the water, but not plugged in...just in case everything else fails to keep the ice open.

    My advice.....wear a belt and suspenders when it comes to winter ponding!!!!


    If your desire to succeed is greater than your desire to fail, then you will succeed.

  6. #6
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    seattle, wa
    Posts
    6,340
    My oh My! It seems no matter what we plan ahead for there is always another horror story about something one would never plan for....thanks for sharing your experience...anyone else?

  7. #7
    REC
    REC is offline
    Nisai
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Warrenton, VA
    Posts
    73

    Test Your Water!!

    For those of us afflicted with cold weather problems, it is easy to "forget" about water quality in our ponds... especially those ponds "under the ice." And since we do not monitor our water quality as closely in winter nor do we do as many water changes in a pond subjected to melting snow and ice and lots of rain, chances are that our water quality is going to deteriorate and we might not be aware of it.

    So.... I suggest that everyone monitor their water quality all winter especially your KH levels just to make sure everything is OK.. and don't be afraid to adjust them or change some water as needed.

    I teach the KHA guys (unisex term) that for mature ponds, if they got to take only ONE water test to give them an idea of the health of the pond in cold water, what would that be?? Well, in my not so humble opinion, it is KH levels. And here is a couple of reasons why..

    1. With a solid KH level, we know the pH is going to stay relatively stable.

    2. A good KH level will counteract the effects of photosynthesis and melting snow and ice which will continue "under the ice."

    3. A low KH level is a foreteller of impending disaster.. especially in ice covered ponds.

    4. Ammonia will probaby be measurable but of no concern because the toxicity of ammonia is greatly reduced in cold water.

    So, get out there and grap some pond water... warm it up and exercise your drop-squeezin' fingers and get some readings... Everyone will be a lot happier knowing the fish are in good water.

    REC

  8. #8
    Sansai GazKoi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Essex UK
    Posts
    229
    A good answer REC as for some reason many people just seem to switch off or slow down big time during winter and we still need to make sure our fish are swimming round in nice water

  9. #9
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    seattle, wa
    Posts
    6,340
    wonder if it makes sense to post what you feel is prefered kh readings...and to comment on what temperature you feel the water should be raised to in order to get appropriate readings from the kit....

  10. #10
    Sansai GazKoi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Essex UK
    Posts
    229
    Hi Dick,

    I still try to keep on top of my pond maintenance even through the winter,this will not be as much as in the summer because obviously i don't feed as much but try to keep the pond as clean as i can

    I live in an area which has very hard water so run RO so i need to keep an eye on things so to help me to do so i have monitoring equipment that runs 24/7/365 so i can walk in and see what my Temperature,,PH,TDS & ORP are at any given time.I also heat and at the moment the pond is running around 12.5c the PH is 7,TDS 200,ORP 350ish.
    Regards

    Gazza

Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Lessons Learnt
    By Tora Bora in forum Main Forum
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 08-08-2013, 06:43 AM
  2. koi-Bonsai similar lessons to be learned
    By dick benbow in forum Main Forum
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 11-30-2006, 10:53 AM
  3. Water Evaporation In Cold Weather
    By Akai-San in forum Main Forum
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 03-15-2006, 01:16 PM
  4. cold weather consequences
    By dick benbow in forum Main Forum
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 02-24-2006, 09:39 PM
  5. Bakki showers and cold weather climates
    By keokoi in forum Main Forum
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 10-19-2005, 08:55 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Articles - Sitemap - FAQs and Rules

KB Footer Graphic
Straight from Japan... For the serious hobbyist!
All content and images copyright of: Koi-bito.com