Weald Aquatics | Aquarium & Pond Fish Shop in Kent | The Weald Aquatics Blog - Pond maintenance

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Using salt in aquariums and ponds

Blog post written by Gary | 25 August 2017 | Category: Pond maintenance
(702 views)

Using aquatic salt in aquariums and ponds has many benefits and helps to keep your fish fit and healthy.

Salt will help in the following ways:

  • Reducing fish stress
  • Stabilising water quality
  • As a general tonic
  • Protecting fish against harmful nitrite
  • Improving the function of the gills
  • Reducing the osmotic shock caused by ulcers or wounds
  • Can be used with most aquarium and pond treatments to increase effectiveness

Salt dosage is usually used in 3 different concentrations:

  • 0.1% as a general tonic and mild pH buffer
  • 0.3% to minimize stress
  • 0.9% to help when treating for dropsy, ulcers and fungus

Pond salt can also be used as a tonic dip at a concentration 28g per litre for 2-3 minutes which will clean the skin thoroughly.

Aquatic salt is best dissolved before adding into the aquarium or pond. Once added it will remain indefinitely and will only need replacing when a water change is carried out.

 

Water cleaning products and Blagdon's feature lavender scent
Pond salt and aquarium salt

Barley straw in ponds

Blog post written by Gary | 09 March 2017 | Category: Pond maintenance
(968 views)

Using barley straw is the natural way of controlling all types of algae and blanketweed in the pond and is safe for use with all fish, plants and other aquatic pond life.

Barley straw is usually packed in bales or pouches depending on the amount of pond water to treat. Also available from NT Labs are barley straw pellets which, as the name suggests, is compressed barley straw giving you more a more concentrated treatment.

Bales or pouches of barley straw can be placed in the pond throughout the year but are best installed in the spring as it will normally take up to four weeks for the barley straw to become fully active depending on pond conditions and temperature. The barley straw bale will gradually rot away so it will need to be replaced after three or four months;  this is to allow the amount of natural chemical from the barley straw to remain in the pond water to keep the algae under control.

To get the best results from the barley straw bales, they should be placed in good water circulation which is normally near a waterfall or where water is returning from the filter unit. They should also be tethered just below the water to get maximum water and oxygen circulation. Barley straw bales can also be placed in filter systems as long as the bale is kept underwater and will not cause problems with the filter operation.

Pond pumps should be kept running 24 hours a day and not switched off at night to get the maximum effect from the barley straw.

If you want a quicker result from barley straw it is available as an extract in liquid form which, when added to the water will work straight away.

 

A selection of barley straw products that we have in the shop
A selection of barley straw products that we have in the shop

Oxygen in Ponds

Blog post written by Gary | 24 May 2016 | Category: Pond maintenance
(1039 views)

Keeping a good level of oxygen saturation in the pond in the summer months will improve your pond water quality and keep your fish healthy.

Oxygen levels will deplete at night time in the pond due to photosynthesises not taking place. The algae will take in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide; this can be fatal to oxygen loving fish.

Adding pond oxygenating plants into the pond will add oxygen in daylight due to photosynthesis but can cause problems at night again due to the plants taking in oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide.

Low oxygen levels can also occur in hot, sultry and thundery weather due to the low air pressure. Also, there are lower levels of dissolved oxygen in warmer water.

There are several ways to keep the oxygen level correct for the number of fish you have in the pond. Pumping the pond water through a filter with a UV lamp returning via a waterfall will inject more oxygen into the water and at the same time eliminate greenwater which will cause low oxygen levels at night.

Having a pump with a fountain unit fitted will also oxygenate the pond water helping the fish and water quality but will not eliminate green water algae.

Fitting an air pump to the pond is the most effective way to get more dissolved oxygen into the pond. Air pumps have a number of air stones which can be placed in different parts of the pond giving water movement and forcing more dissolved oxygen into the water.

Having more dissolved oxygen in the pond water will not only keep the fish in good condition, it will also help to break down the organic waste in the pond which will help keep the algae levels to a minimum.

 

Pond air
Air pumps

Dealing with blanketweed in ponds

Blog post written by Gary | 27 April 2016 | Category: Pond maintenance
(1149 views)

At this time of year as the sun becomes stronger and the weather becomes warmer, blanketweed in ponds can grow very quickly covering the pump and causing it to fail due to the impeller becoming clogged. Also the blanketweed becomes entangled in the marginal and oxygenating plants making the pond look unsightly.

There have been many treatments brought out to clear blanketweed from ponds, however most will struggle to keep the blanketweed under control. Having tried various treatments we have found the most effective to be a product called Blanket Answer. We have been selling this product for the last five years and on only two occasions have we had a customer say it did not keep the blanketweed under control.

Blanket Answer is a unique blend of minerals and enzymes and is safe for all fish, wildlife and biological filter systems. Once Blanket Answer is added to the pond, the water will initially go milky cloudy which will clear in a few days. The blanketweed will then die back. A further treatment may be added if there is a sign the blanketweed is starting to reappear.

To get the best from Blanket Answer, have a pump running continuously to help disperse the treatment throughout the pond. Also as with any treatment having good oxygen level saturation helps fish like sturgeon and orfe.

We have four sizes of Blanket Answer:

200g for ponds up to 2,500 litres: £9.59
800g for ponds up to 10,000 litres: £22.99
2000g for ponds up to 25,000 litres: £44.79
4000g for ponds up to 50,000 litres: £75.99

 

Different sizes of Blanket Answer
Blanket Answer - the answer to blanketweed

How to clean and change a pressurised pond UV light filter

Blog post written by Gary | 04 September 2014 | Category: Pond maintenance
(6878 views)

Cleaning

Many customers find that even when they have a UV light filter fitted to their pond filter system the pond water remains or still goes green with algae. If the UV light filter is the correct size for the pond, then normally if the unit is working either the UV lamp needs replacing and/or the quartz glass has become dirty reducing the amount of UV radiation reaching the algae allowing the algae to multiply very quickly.

The UV lamp should be replaced every year, ideally in the spring, giving full radiation output throughout the spring, summer and autumn when the sun is at its strongest. When changing the lamp it is best to inspect the quartz sleeve for a build-up of hard water deposits and dirt. This should be cleaned from the quartz glass carefully as the glass sleeve is very fragile.

We have taken a series of photos to show how a Bermuda pressurised UV filter is dismantled ready for a lamp change. To change the UV lamp in a similar filter system will normally follow the same rules.

Changing a lamp

Turn both pump and UV filter off at the mains switch before opening the filter.

 

The UV lamp can be changed with the lid in the closed position.
Remove screws on ring, turn ring to allow UV cover to be removed.

 

Unscrew UV lamp housing to reveal UV lamp, remove lamp by gently pulling out of the electrical connection. Insert new UV lamp by pushing gently into the electrical connector.
Screw back UV lamp housing making sure the O-ring is in position, re-assemble top dome by screwing back into position. Turn pump and UV light on. The UV light can be checked when switched on by looking at the clear hosetail – a blue glow will be visible when the UV lamp is operating.

How to clean a pond UV light filter

Blog post written by Gary | 03 June 2014 | Category: Pond maintenance
(3838 views)

Many customers find that even when they have a UV light filter fitted to their pond filter system the pond water remains or still goes green with algae.

If the UV light filter is the correct size for the pond and is working normally, then either the UV lamp needs replacing and/or the quartz glass has become dirty, reducing the amount of UV radiation reaching the algae and allowing the algae to multiply very quickly.

The UV lamp should be replaced every year ideally in the spring, giving full radiation output throughout the spring, summer and autumn when the sun is at its strongest.

When changing the lamp it is best to inspect the quartz sleeve for a buildup of hard water deposits and dirt. This should be cleaned from the quartz glass carefully as the quartz glass sleeve is very fragile.

We have taken a series of photos to show how a TMC UV filter is dismantled ready for a lamp change and glass clean.

 

Switch off power to UV unit and undo screws to remove green cover allowing access to light unit.
Switch off power to UV unit and undo screws to remove green cover allowing access to light unit.

 

Lift the light unit out of UV holder.
Lift the light unit out of UV holder.
Disconnect lamp leads from ends of UV lamp.
Disconnect lamp leads from ends of UV lamp.

 

Remove UV lamp from inside light unit.
Remove UV lamp from inside light unit.
Remove UV lamp from inside light unit.

 

SUnscrew nut fittings from each end of light unit, remove the two O rings and then remove quartz glass. Carefully clean the quartz glass and re-assemble into the light unit, fit and connect new UV lamp and refit cover.
Unscrew nut fittings from each end of light unit, remove the two O rings and then remove quartz glass. Carefully clean the quartz glass and re-assemble into the light unit, fit and connect new UV lamp and refit cover.
Unscrew nut fittings from each end of light unit, remove the two O rings and then remove quartz glass. Carefully clean the quartz glass and re-assemble into the light unit, fit and connect new UV lamp and refit cover.