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WGD Blog

  1. Winter Special Offers

    Pond Heaters
    Get an EXTRA 10% Discount off all these Winter Products

     

    Winter will soon be here.

    As any Koi keeper (from amateur enthusiast to professional breeder) will tell you, UK Winters provide a different set of challenges. Koi themselves aren’t native to the UK and so some care needs to be taken to ensure their comfort and survival.

    What happens to Koi in Winter that is different from other times of year?

    As soon as the water temperature falls below 5 degrees C, it becomes harder for the fish. Their systems begin to shut down to conserve vital energy level, not moving unless they really have to. It is nature’s way of enabling the Koi to cope with the demands of a climate they are not accustomed to. Luckily, they are extremely hardy and versatile creatures and have coped in every water system across the globe, with Antarctica being the only exception. At less than 5 degrees C, the Kio’s immune system is very low, which is why you can have problems with parasites and infections in the Springtime when the fish start to become active again.

    Koi are ‘poikilothermic’, meaning cold-blooded and their body temperature is dictated by the surrounding water; telling their body functions when to respond and change, all regulated by the temperature. The metabolism of a Koi is dramatically reduced when they do not feed for long periods of time, as nature tells them to start limiting energy expenditure to cope with the demands of a cold environment which will last for an unknown period of time.

    As the Koi’s metabolism slows to a crawl, they seek pockets of warmer water in the pond, where they will spend the majority of their time through the coldest months. They may appear torpid, even static, however they will move a small amount to prevent their joints from seizing. The state or torpor they are in is not quite fully-fledged hibernation, but it is similar, with reduced body temperature, slowed metabolism, reduced breathing rate, slower reaction times and primary body functions. They are almost treading water on the bottom, using as little energy as is possible. You may see Koi lined up side by side like soldiers, all facing the same direction. A common misconception is they are ‘huddled’, sharing body heat, but since they are ‘poikilothermic’ it wouldn’t make sense that they can share core body temperature like a Human could. It is more likely they are cramming into the warmest pocket of water, fitting as many as possible into the space. This process would be the same in a 1000 gallon pond or a 60 acre lake.

    The above is extracted from an article written by Shaun Mitchell of Mitchkoi, the UK’s leading online Koi carp brand – Quality Koi delivered to your door.

    With the above in mind what can a pond keeper do to help Koi in Winter?

    Keep track of water and air temperatures using Digital Thermometer

    Ideally you should have two thermometers; one for the water in the pond and one for the outside ambient temperature. The ambient temperature is a good indicator of where the weather is heading and what you should be doing in preparation for even colder weather well in advance. When temperatures start to fall below 12 degrees C, special care should be taken when making decisions regarding feeding and pond care.

    Preventive Treatments – Formalin and Malachite Green

    Many people believe it is a good idea to use a good general purpose treatment such as Formalin and Malachite Green before the cold snap sets in. Any issues that Koi have pre-winter can fester during the colder months and can worsen and become harder to treat. If you treat the problem beforehand you can reduce this risk and can ease the Koi through the cold weather. The thermometer will provide you with a guide as to whether you can treat your pond, however you should remember that many treatments will become less effective as the water temperature drops.

    Minimize Chilling of the Water

    Although the amount of Oxygen in the water is a much smaller problem in lower temperatures than in the summer, ensuring that the pond dose not freeze over, which would prevent Oxygen getting in and trap toxic gases inside is essential. To do this, continuing to circulate the water can greatly help. However leaving you air stones / discs at the base of your pond can create real problems as the rising bubbles will bring the warmer water at the base of the pond up to the surface where it is coldest. The same principle applies to water pumps, although circulating the pond water is still beneficial, moving your water pump and air stones / discs nearer to the surface of the pond will reduce there chilling effect. Waterfalls and skimmers should also be turned off in the winter as they can also chill the water.

    Alternatively, the introduction of a small pond heater or ice preventer will keep an area of the pond free from ice and ensure good gas exchange

    Warning – If you do get ice formation on your pond, do not smash the ice, as it can shock and kill your Koi.

    Careful Feeding – Wheatgerm based foods

    In the winter months, it is key to avoid overfeeding your Koi as the metabolism slows, their ability to digest a high protein growth food dwindles. It is wise to switch to an easy-to-digest Wheatgerm base food, and to feed the Koi less frequently. When the average temperature drops below 5 degrees C we suggest you stop feeding for the rest of the winter and restart feeding with Wheatgerm when temperatures rise in the spring.

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  2. Extensive Range of Oase Spare Parts

    Wheatgerm Foods - Special Offer

    NEW – Extensive Range of Oase Spare Parts

    As part of our continued commitment to offering our customers the highest possible levels of customer service, we are introducing a new and extensive OASE SPARE PARTS service. In addition to offering some of the very best products within the water gardening industry, Oase is unsurpassed when it comes to offering replacement parts and currently list over a 1000 components to ensure you get the very best from your Oase products.

    We have now begun the introduction of there spare parts range and currently have 100’s of items online with many more to come. So if you Oase product has seen better days and could do with a "make over", why not have a look at the wide range of parts available.

    Click Here to see our current range of Oase Spare Parts

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  3. Autumn Special Offers

    Autumn Pond Care - Special Offers

    Autumn Special Offers

    Autumn is here….

    So winter will soon be on its way.

    Getting your pond ready for the winter is a much nicer process if you remember to take action whilst the pond water is still a nice temperatue. Detailed below are some suggestions on what action should be taken around this time of year to reduce the risk of problems with your pond and fish, along with some products that will help you achieve this.

    Remove Excess Debris

    The quantity of debris that makes its way into your pond increases during autumn, placing extra burden on pumps, filters, and other equipment. Remove excess organic materials such as leaves on a regular basis to prevent accumulation. With the exception of reeds, grasses and oxygenators all other pond plants will die off in the winter and will come back in spring. But the debris caused as they die back will add to the workload on the equipment in exactly the same way as the leaves and so this needs to be controlled. As the plants begin to turn simply cut away the excess and leave in a pile next to the pond for a few days. Leaving it next to the pond allows critters who have been caught up in the clean to get back to the pond. This not only allows your filtration to work more efficiently but also prevents potential equipment damage due to clogs. A little bit of effort alleviates extra burden placed on costly pond equipment and ensures years of proper operation. Pond Vacuums and Skimmer Nets are ideal for removing small or manageable amounts of leaves and debris. If an inch or more of debris has accumulated on the bottom, clean the pond before the weather makes it too cold to do the job. Be diligent! The less organic debris that settles in your pond over the winter, the better for your ecosystem and fish.

    Pond Cover Nets Free

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    4 in 1 Combo Net 4 in 1 Combo net now

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    Pond Gloves 50% off pond gloves.

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    Install Pond Netting or Skimmer

    The best way to maximize leaf-removing efforts is to prevent leaves from falling into the pond in the first place. Drape pond netting over the entire pond surface to keep the majority of leaf litter and debris out. Support the netting with wood, PVC or beach balls to prevent a pileup of leaves in the centre of the pond on top of the net and to protect the stalks of water plants. Once the immediate threat of falling leaves has passed, unfasten the pond netting and remove the few remaining leaves with a vacuum or net. For those who like to get down and dirty, a pair of lightweight waterproof waders or gloves lets you stay dry while performing pond maintenance. A Pond Skimmer could be installed as an alternative and will collect the leaves as they float around your pond, the Skimmers can also be useful in the Spring if blossom is an issue.

    Monitor Water Temperature

    Measure and monitor water temperature instead of air temperature. Measuring water temperature is the most accurate way to determine when to change diet, stop feeding, and start feeding your Koi again. Remote digital units are now available so you can monitor water temperature without having to step foot outside your home.

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  4. September Special Offer – Extra Discounts off Tetra and Vitrafin Wheatgerm Foods

    Wheatgerm Foods - Special Offer

    September Special Offer – Extra Discounts off Tetra and Vitrafin Wheatgerm Foods
    15% off Tetra Wheatgerm and 10% Vitrafin Wheatgerm Foods

    How and when to feed your fish

    Fish have evolved over the years to extract the appropriate nutrition from the food they eat.  Commercial foods have been designed to offer what they need when they need it. During the cooler temperatures fish do not absorb as much Protein, so Wheatgerm Fish Food has been developed to meet these demands, it is low in Protein, but higher in other nutrients. So during the Autumn and Spring, using Wheatgerm based food can really help you fish to “build up” before and after the winter.

    Should you feed during the winter

    Pond fishes metabolism relies on temperature to enable them to digest food fully. If the temperature drops and the fish metabolism slows, as does their digestive system and any food left in their system will remain there and could start to literally rot inside them. As such, feeding fish during the winter months can be a very trickle business. If you choose to feed your fish you must be confident that the water temperature will remain suitably warm enough for several days after they have fed and you should feed Koi and Goldfish Wheatgerm Foods, which are a specifically designed food to met the fish requirements at this time of year. If you are in any doubt it is better not to feed.

    The table below offers a guide to which food type is best for the time of year or temperature.

    Food Feeding Guide

    Tetra Wheatgerm Food
    Current Brochure Price
    Extra Discount
    Price After Discount
    Tetra – Wheatgerm Sticks – 1.4 Kg
    £19.98
    15%
    £16.98 (£12.12/Kg)
    Tetra – Wheatgerm Sticks – 2 Kg
    £28.98
    15%
    £24.63 (£12.31/Kg)
    Vitrafin Wheatgerm Food
    Vitrafin Wheatgerm Pellets – 2.5Kg
    £15.98
    10%
    £14.38 (£5.75/Kg)
    Vitrafin Wheatgerm Pellets – 5Kg
    £23.99
    10%
    £21.59 (£4.31/Kg)
    Vitrafin Wheatgerm Pellets – 10Kg
    £38.99
    10%
    £35.09 (£3.50/Kg)

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  5. How to Solve and Avoid Low Oxygen Problems

    How to solve and prevent low Oxygen Problems

    How to Solve and Avoid Low Oxygen Problems

    With the warm weather we have all been waiting for finally on its way you may need to make sure fish enjoy it as much as you do. As temperatures start to increase, the ecology of a pond will change. Increased temperatures will increase the activity of your fish and hence the consumption of Oxygen, whilst at the same time the rise in water temperature reduces it’s ability to carry oxygen, these factors in severe cases can be fatal to your fish.

    For plants, fish, amphibians, wildlife and even many forms of bacteria, an environment which is rich in oxygen is critical. Although oxygen is present in water and the air around us, ensuring a sufficient quantity of oxygen within a pond is not something that should be left to chance

    What happens in natural ponds, why don’t they need any help?

    In most wild ponds, nature has a very brutal way of establishing a balance. They normally have much smaller quantity of fish per 1000 gallons of water than there would be within a garden pond, allowing waste products from the fish to be diluted without causing them harm. Because of this low population, there is normally plenty of oxygen for the fish population. However in natural ponds sometimes things go wrong. If a very fast growing pond plant overtakes the pond (such as parrot’s feather or even blanket weed), or if the fish population suddenly explodes. It can cause a massive reduction of oxygen during hot humid summer nights and in extreme cases, kills most of the fish population (usually killing the largest fish first).

    Why do some plants have this effect, I thought they were Pond Oxygenators?

    Although plants don’t breath in the same way we do, the cells within plants continually use oxygen to help fuel growth and repair (this is called cellular respiration). This process happens 24 hours a day and carbon dioxide is given of as a by-product. Fortunately, during daylight hours another process called photosynthesis more than corrects the balance by producing oxygen as a by-product of absorbing energy from sunlight. So although plants can boost oxygen during the day, they do not at night and in fact are one of the oxygen consumers.

    Click Here to go to our Blanket Weed Treatments Page

    Can I add additional Oxygen to my pond?

    In garden fish ponds the balance between fish and plants is more commonly in favour of the fish, with plants often as decoration only. This is where nature needs a helping hand to keep the oxygen levels up. In addition to plants Oxygen is added to the water wherever water comes into contact with air, so the greatest quantity of Oxygen enters your pond at the surface, so ensuring a good circulation of the pond is the first step to keeping Oxygen levels up. Your pump should be at the bottom of the pond, where the oxygen content is lowest and should push water up to the surface and ideally spread it out across the surface of the pond. Adding a fountain or waterfall all increase contact time between the water and air and give more opportunity for the vital Oxygen to be absorbed.

    For more information on these products, click the following links

    Blanket Weed Treatments : Filter Kits : Pond Fountain Pumps : Pond Spitters

    There are also other ways to put water in contact with air. Pond air pumps can be a fantastic way to improve the oxygen levels within a pond. Although each individual bubble may be tiny, releasing millions of bubbles into the bottom of a pond with an air pump and air stones, keeps the air in contact with the water as the bubbles rise to the pond surface. In addition to the direct transfer of oxygen achieved by this process, an added benefit is that the rising bubbles will drag de-oxygenated water from the base of the pond back to the surface for re-oxygenation. The Oase OxyTex CWS air stone is particularly good at releasing thousand of very fine air bulbs and also acts as a boost to your filter system.

    For more information on these products, click the following links

    Pond Air Pumps : Air Pump Accessories

    The time of lowest Oxygen levels are normally at dawn and often the most common sign of an Oxygen problem is when the fish are up at the surface first thing in the morning with their gills moving quickly. If you see this then you need to act quickly as your fish maybe in danger and sadly it’s always the largest fish which die first. A very useful fast acting treatment is Oase’s AquaActive Oxy Plus, which actively releases Oxygen quickly straight in to the water because it is a hydrogen peroxide granulate fixed on a carbonate. When it becomes wet the carbonate goes into solution and the peroxide starts to react with the water. The result is pure oxygen and water. Due to the fact that the carbonate goes into solution very slowly we have a immediate but long lasting effect. This treatment can be added to your pond before a problem exists and will spring in to action as and when needed.

    For more information on this product, click the following link: Oase OXY Plus

    You can never have too much oxygen in a pond and many experts believe fish are healthier in environments which are rich in oxygen, and they would recommend adding air pumps to almost all fish ponds as a matter of course not just when and if the Oxygen levels are dangerous.

    The simple rules to follow are:

    A) DO NOT over stock your pond. As a rule of thumb a pond should be stocked with no more than 100” of fish (excluding their tails) per 1000 gallons of water (5.5cm per 100L). If you exceed this limit you should be very careful to ensure the level of oxygen in your pond does not fall too low (particularly at night) and be carefully of fish fry which as they grow will greatly add to the oxygen consumption.

    B) DO NOT allow oxygenating plants, blanketweed or green water to overtake your pond. Remember that although in the day plants produce more oxygen than they use, at night they don’t produce oxygen at all, but they do produce a lot of carbon dioxide.

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  6.