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Thread: Winter routine

  1. #1
    Senior Member Rank = Sansai stewyash's Avatar
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    Winter routine

    Hi All

    As this is my first pond which have been chugging away for past 2 weeks, I was wondering what you guys do for winter? Do you guys keep bottom drains on full boar or close and have alternative through winter? Also do I turn uv off in winter? here's the angle I was thinking but correct me if wrong ( I really don't have a clue lol), cover, pump turn down, BD closed and use skimmer line, its not heated so was hoping this would help lower depths stay a little warmer.as 3 ft is bellow ground level.



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  3. #2
    Personally I am going to leave the bottom drain on full tilt, just going to reduce the flow of the pumps down to the minimum my bead and uv will allow. Not thought about the skimmer to be honest but may just leave that on to keep the water nice and clear.
    be interesting to read others plans.

  4. #3
    Was thinking along same lines this morning
    im unheated not covered gonna leave B/D running as norm and shower but was wondering if filter maintenance could be monthly instead of weekly seeing as I've stopped feeding?
    its only an eazypod

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    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Adult Champion pip895's Avatar
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    I keep the BD going until the temp in the pond drops to 4deg then close it and turn off the BD air. At that point I also turn the pumps right down - enough flow to stop any freezing and to keep the media turning and that's it. I also have an emergency 2kw heater I turn on under 5 deg.
    6000g unheated in ground koi pond
    +3000g lily/Anoxic pond attached
    28 koi (40 to 65cm)
    Bottom drain & Skimmer to Drum
    JBR boichamber->Blue eco 500 pump ->below surface return.
    Blue Eco 240 -> Large MB -> Waterfall -> Planted Anoxic pond (25 baskets)

  6. #5
    Iíve been wondering the same thing. Glad you asked the question. Iím thinking about a heater in the shed which I have mildly insulated and the air pumps are in there meaning that should draw some warm air into the bottom of the pond making a kind of hot spot or 2. It would also help keep the shower and filters a bit warmer. Cover the pond too, insulate the outdoor pipework. Then next year comes and build something a bit more permanent. BDís left open with air on and maybe cut the returns down to 1 to the pond and the other pump then will just go over the shower.

  7. #6
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Kyusai 1meterchag's Avatar
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    Hello,
    You do not want to shut off any pipe work, this is because if a pipe is left with no flow the water will go stagnant. Stagnant water harbours the sort of bacteria you do not want in your pond.
    The UV could be turned off as the water will only turn green if it is not on and Koi like green water.
    Covers need to have a gap between the water and the cover so that the water can breath.
    Alex

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  9. #7
    Moderator Rank = Grand Champion Feline's Avatar
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    I agree with Alex- really bad idea to turn off bottom drain pipework. Unless you could physically seal the pond end of the BD pipe solids will drop down into the piecework stagnating and potentially blocking the pipe. I would be careful about even turning down the flow through the BDs for that reason.
    I do turn down the flow through my skimmer slightly in winter- because the pond is covered and I can't see the surface anyway, plus a lot less food going in and no dust or leaves.

    I think it's a mistake to consider a garden pond in terms of the temperature stratification seen in large deep lakes. Most ponds are simply not big enough and still enough to have that happen.

    The key to keeping the fish reasonably comfortable is insulation of the surface and filters, with some heating too ideally, but keeping the filters and pipework working properly. If you're covered then you need to keep some air running and a reasonable pond turnover rate going so that things like CO2 and hydrogen sulphide gas can escape from the surface.

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    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Adult Champion pip895's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feline View Post
    I think it's a mistake to consider a garden pond in terms of the temperature stratification seen in large deep lakes. Most ponds are simply not big enough and still enough to have that happen.
    It very obviously does happen - even in very small ponds - koi ponds normally have to much turnover admittedly. I only advocate turning off the BD if you have no other choice but letting the koi suffer temperatures well below 4deg. At 4deg and below any crud settling in the BD is not going to do much in a few days/week or so - even bad bacteria aren't very active at these temperatures.

    Last year when my pond was allowed to stratify the koi kept to the warmer layer near the bottom of the pond - the temperature near the surface were approaching zero - it didn't freeze because I had too much movement for that with the skimmer and aeration.

    A few years back, before I got a cover for the pond I panicked when I saw ice forming over the pond and turned on the bottom drain aerator - the ice went but the temperature near the base of the pond dropped over two degrees and the koi responded by sitting around on the bottom looking most unhappy where they had been swimming round prior to that. Stratification does happen and it matters in a cold pond!
    6000g unheated in ground koi pond
    +3000g lily/Anoxic pond attached
    28 koi (40 to 65cm)
    Bottom drain & Skimmer to Drum
    JBR boichamber->Blue eco 500 pump ->below surface return.
    Blue Eco 240 -> Large MB -> Waterfall -> Planted Anoxic pond (25 baskets)

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  12. #9
    Senior Member Rank = Sansai stewyash's Avatar
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    Cool so I need keep things ticking over I just need to turn air off from BD and redirect it else where, So just out of curiosity do you guys think there would be enough air going in via the turbulence from the sieve?

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    Moderator Rank = Grand Champion Feline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewyash View Post
    Cool so I need keep things ticking over I just need to turn air off from BD and redirect it else where, So just out of curiosity do you guys think there would be enough air going in via the turbulence from the sieve?
    If you're covered then I would definitely keep the BD air on. The winter is actually the only time I do run the BD air 24/7.
    It guarantees you won't get any nasty gas buildup underneath the covers. Even if the covers are tight fitting the air that you pump in will find a way to escape.

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    Senior Member Rank = Sansai stewyash's Avatar
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    Ok thanks Feline, I have covers on with a small gap, all pipework outside, filter box/shed all insulated, so I will keep BD on, its running via a timer, sorry if I'm all over the shop its a bit of a steep learning curve lol

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    Senior Member Rank = Rokusai Gray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feline View Post
    If you're covered then I would definitely keep the BD air on. The winter is actually the only time I do run the BD air 24/7.
    It guarantees you won't get any nasty gas buildup underneath the covers. Even if the covers are tight fitting the air that you pump in will find a way to escape.
    Hey Feline. Interested in your comment about running your BD airline. How do you run yours through the year?

    Clearly you run 24/7 in winter as you said but at the mo Iíve been running mine 24/7 through the summer too.

    Do I need to? Whatís your thinking?

    I can automate it 3x per day so wondering how long per time much I should run mine?

    Keen to keep my running costs down where I can.

    Thanks.

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  19. #13
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Adult Champion pip895's Avatar
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    For me when covered its on 24/7 but the rest of the time its on at night off during the day.

    The exceptions were after treating for blanket weed (would be the same for any other treatment), spawning and when the temperature of the pond went over 23deg then it was on 24/7 .
    Last edited by pip895; 05-11-2018 at 10:37 AM.
    6000g unheated in ground koi pond
    +3000g lily/Anoxic pond attached
    28 koi (40 to 65cm)
    Bottom drain & Skimmer to Drum
    JBR boichamber->Blue eco 500 pump ->below surface return.
    Blue Eco 240 -> Large MB -> Waterfall -> Planted Anoxic pond (25 baskets)

  20. #14
    Moderator Rank = Grand Champion Feline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray View Post
    Hey Feline. Interested in your comment about running your BD airline. How do you run yours through the year?

    Clearly you run 24/7 in winter as you said but at the mo I’ve been running mine 24/7 through the summer too.

    Do I need to? What’s your thinking?

    I can automate it 3x per day so wondering how long per time much I should run mine?

    Keen to keep my running costs down where I can.

    Thanks.
    Hiya.

    I run mine depending on the temperature (so more in the hot weather) and I also run it at times the autofeeder is about to go off as it keeps food in the corner I have the feeder in from heading towards the skimmer too fast.

    Ive taken on board some of Mike Snaden’s thinking on super-saturation in deep ponds causing swim bladder issues in larger koi. Since Ive got a Bakki shower running and air in my moving bed the O2 saturation of my pond is very good without needing the BD air too. Ive tested it a lot with the O2 test kit to check.

    But at the same time BD air does help keep the pond floor clean. Plus having it turned off too much of the time risks blocking the air membranes with algae. So I use a timer and mine comes on for half an hour 5 times a day, cooinciding with feeding times. The koi actually seem to cruise around in a more serene way when the air is off. I think they prefer it off. Theyve got used to the timer though so the change doesnt bother them now, initially they would hide at the bottom when it went on or off.

    I honestly believe every pond is different when it comes to BD air requirements. But there are some very experienced guys in the hobby who I am happy to copy- such as DaveJ here.

    In the past Ive used the air to help even out pH swings, but I dont currently need to do that because since running RO I dont have any significant swinging. With a KH of 1 you would expect the opposite!

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    Senior Member Rank = Rokusai Gray's Avatar
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    Cheers Feline. Thatís superb info. Really appreciate it.

    I too have a moving bed of K1 and didnít think about that adding air to the water. I think Iíll try your method of having the BD air turn on and off during the night and see how that works out.

    Thank you!!!

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