Similar FAQs are grouped below:
Aquatic and Other Critters,
Technical Committee Reports.
Can Irises grow in the Phoenix desert area?
The answer is yes. Irises come in different types. Those that will grow in the Phoenix desert area are: Bearded, Aril and Arilbred, Spuria, and Louisiana. Of those types the first four are land locked (webmaster's terminology about Irises) plants. Only Louisiana Irises are aquatic (webmaster's terminology about Irises) and love to have wet feet. Louisianan irises are great for bogs.
There are varieties of each type that bloom early, middle, and late in the season. Irises like sun, but if only partial sun is available -- morning sun of six hours is preferred. Irises will not bloom in deep shade. Land locked Irises like well drained soil. Water should not stand in the bed. They like good air circulation. Provide space according to the type of iris.
The American Iris Society, Inc. (AIS) is the national non-profit organization and its website is www.irises.org/. AIS has regions and Arizona is part of Region 15 and has a web site www.region15ais.org/. The Greater Phoenix area has the "Sun Country Iris Society" and contact information may be found at www.suncountryiris.org/.
There are Iris Societies in the Prescot area named "Prescott Area Iris Society" (PAIS), and Tucson named "Tucson Area Iris Society" (TAIS) with a website http://tucsoniris.org/
Is there a plant watering guide for this desert area?
Is there a nursery in Phoenix area with a Plant Questions and Answers WWW page?
Can daylilies grow in the Phoenix area?
The answer is yes, but they need to be special versions that do not go dormant. They can not take the hot summer sun directly. While they need sunlight to bloom, morning is best, but they need shade from the afternoon glaring sun. Darker flowers burn up sooner than the yellow or pink. They also may need some special attention with watering and insulating the roots (in double pots with air gaps or insulation.
There is no website for the greater phoenix area, yet anyway. But, there is a local organization that is a part of the national.
The American Hemerocallis Society, Inc. (AHS) is a non-profit organization and its website is www.daylilies.org. It has regions and Arizona is part of Region 7. The Greater Phoenix area has the "Desert Daylily Society" and contact information may be found at www.daylilies.org/AHSreg7.html#arizona. They have a Daylily Tour and a Daylily Show annually. They only meet ever two or three months at the Scottsdale Civic Center.
A Daylily lover website can be found at http://www.day-lily.com/
Is there a Canna Virus affecting the Cannas?
What is the name of the water lily plant with the huge leaves?
Reprinted in part, with permission of The Hudson Gardens
The three to nine foot wide lily is commonly called Victoria or Victoria Amazon.
Also known as:
- Queen of the Water Lilies
- Royal Water Lily
- Amazon Water Lily
- Santa Cruz Water Lily
- Giant Water Platter
The large leaves have spiny underside that protects it from being eaten by some fish.
Victoria is a genus of water lilies, in the plant family Nymphaeaceae, and two species Victoria amazonica and
the Victoria cruziana. They are water plants with very large leaves that float on the water's surface. Victoria amazonica has a leaf that is up to 9 ft in diameter, on a stalk 22-26 ft in length. The genus name was given in honor of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. It is native to the Amazon River basin, hence part of the name.
The day before the plant flowers, a tennis-ball sized bud rises out of the water. At sunset on the first night of its bloom cycle, the bud opens to reveal a 50+ petal bloom that may be up to 18" in diameter. The bloom is sharply white and glows in the darkening night sky. As the flowering Victoria opens, it emits a strong fragrance of tuberose, pineapple and banana that can be sensed from 20 - 30 feet away. It also radiates heat and is considerably warmer than the surrounding air. At this stage, the Victoria is female, seeking to be pollinated. The bright flower, heat, and strong fragrance combine to attract pollinating scarab beetles. Several pollen - covered beetles enter the flower and stay for the night, feasting on the starchy nectar. As dawn approaches, the temperature of the flower cools, and the fragrance disappears. The bloom closes and traps the beetles inside for the day, allowing the pollen-covered beetles to fertilize the Victoria.
At sunset of the second night, the bloom re-opens and the beetles are released. At this point, the flower has pink or red petals, and has changed not only color, but gender as well-- it is now male. The beetles leave in search of a first-night blooming Victoria, and the original flower remains open for the rest of the night. After the second night ends, the pollinated flower sinks back into the water, allowing the seeds to germinate and mature.
The flowers are white the first night they are open and become pink the second night, and are gone the next day. The
night-blooming flowers that appear for only 48 hours once a year, in late July to early August. However each plant may produce multiple blooms.
Since those beetles are not native to the USA, the flowers must be hand pollenated.
Victoria Longwood is a hybrid created by crossing the two native plants, the Victoria amazonica and the Victoria cruziana produced by The Hudson Gardens, Littleton, CO http://www.hudsongardens.org/
Source document with additional information:
The growing season, the container and the size of the pond influence the size of the leaves. Dead leaves must be removed quickly to reduce the development of loads of muck in the bottom of the pond.
Is there a plant related to the Victoria?
Is floating water hyacinth a noxious weed in Arizona? What about Parrot's feather?
The short answer is YES to water hyacinth (WH) being declared a noxious weed! WH is listed on the Arizona Department of Agriculture (AZDA) web site page "Prohibited, Regulated and Restricted Noxious Weeds." Floating water hyacinth appears under all three headings: Prohibited, Regulated, and Restricted. "Prohibited" plant are prohibited from entry (shipped) into the state. "Regulated" and "Restricted" plants if found within the state shall be quarantined to prevent further infestation or contamination. What does that mean, if found on your property - you will be required to destroy them.
Note: GPPS Webmaster -- If a business sells plants, they are inspected by the AZDA for compliance with the noxious weed restrictions. So plants sold at nursureys and do-it-yourself centers should be safe to purchase. However, do NOT trust online vendors -- they may not know the particulars of Arizona.
Source: Arizona Department of Agriculture
University of Arizona, Cooperative Extension: "The term noxious weed is not the same as invasive plant. An important distinction is that noxious weed is a regulatory term and is any plant designated by a federal, state or county government to be injurious to public health, agriculture, recreation, wildlife, or property. Noxious weeds are regulated with respect to their transport, sale, and eradication efforts. Not all invasive plants that occur in Arizona are noxious weeds." Note: GPPS Webmaster -- Parrot's feather is "invasive" but not noxious.
Source: University of Arizona, Cooperative Extension: "Invasive Plants on Small Acreage Properties in Arizona" (pdf)
This answer has been reviewed by AZDA, Plant Services Department as being accurate.
Is there a difference between Water Hyacinth and Frog's Bit?
Both plants are invasive and can choke other plants out of waterways. Frog's Bit is native to Florida. It is not listed, currently, on the AZ Department of Agricultures list. Two Utube videos were found about identifying the Water Hyacinth and Frog's Bit.
Utube: "Water Hyacinth"
Utube: "Frog's Bit"
Are there categories of water plants?
Plants vary within four categories: deep-water, marginals, oxygenators, and floaters.
How do plants filter a pond?
Plants use nitrates and phosphates removing them and thereby filtering the pond. These items could contribute to algae growth.
Do water lilies require sunlight?
Both hardy and tropical water lilies like sun light. They need at least five to ten hours per day, along with regular fertilization, to keep them happy.
What is the difference between a hardy lily and a tropical lily?
Tropical lilies have many blooms per plant than hardy lilies, and go dormant in the winter time. Tropicals are strongly aromatic and hold flowers above the water. Many tropicals have viviparous leaves and flowers come in all colors. Hardy lilies have slight to no aroma. Hardy lily flowers float on water surface and there are no blue or purple colors. Hardy lilies keep their foliage all year round and have no viviparous leaves. Many varieties of tropical lilies are night bloomers, whereas hardy lilies do not.
Source is a chart from William Tricker, Inc.®, 7125 Tanglewood Dr., Independence, OH 44131. It is copyrighted material.
Permission has been granted to link to this chart by the company. Note the link will open a separate instance of your browser.
Characteristics of Tropical Water Lily and Hardy Water Lilly
What are marginal plants in a water garden?
Marginals (sometimes called "bog" plants) are grass-like plants grow in shallow areas no deeper than six inches. They border the water garden. Some examples are: Cattail, bamboo, rush, and papyrus. Other plants fall into the family of marginals and grow with a minimum of three hours of sun light.
The "Hughes Water Garden" link describing marginal plants
Propagating tropical water lilies?
Viviparous (vip's) starts grow easily in conditions that they like. No special equipment is required, 70-80 degree water, fair to good light.
Once the vip's have formed roots and shoots, they are independent plants and will continue to develop as long as conditions remain favorable.
Where would I find the clay soil for repotting my water lilies?
Some people feel that the unsented kitty liter is the best for water lilies because it is normally clay based. Where ever you can find unsented kitty liter that is clay based is the best comment on where to find it.
Two of our members has cited a red 25 pound bag at Wal-Mart as the cheapest and manageable.
Two other members have cited sand from the building and garden departments of Home Depot and Lowes. They add some of their own top soil.
One member cited "pond plant soil", which looks suspiciously like sand, at Summer Winds Nursery.
What elephant's ear can I plant and where?
There are three genuses of plants known as elephant's ear. alocasia, colocasia, and xanthisoma colocasia.
Alocasia is the taro that is grown in standing water all over the Pacific as food. There are many cultivars that are popular ornamentals for ponds and bogs. Many have dark purple or almost black leaves. Alocasia will grow in moist soil as well as standing water.
Colocasia is the genus of the Giant elephants'ear and 'african mask' grown as a house plant. It is native to Central and South America. Colocasia will rot in water. So no standing water.
Xanthisoma colocasia like to be in water up to 6 in. But, xanthisoma must dry out a little every once in a while, just not bone dry.
A regular fertilizing every month is good during the growing season. A balanced, 20-20-20, fertilizer or water-soluble kind such as Miracle Grow or Peters is fine.
Can I introducing pests and diseases to my plants?
The answer is YES, unless you make preparations to disinfect any new plant before adding it into your water garden.
Two methods are: potassium permanganate (pp) crystals dissolved at the rate of about 1 tablespoon per 2 gallons of water is an effective disinfectant. Soak plants in this pp solution for a couple of hours. Also soak the leaves (no roots) in a vinegar solution of about 10 mil per 10 liters of water.
What are some oxygenating plants?
What are some floating plants?
Plant feeding in the fall or winter months?
Stop feeding aquatic plants about a month before the first frost in your area. Even some areas of the southwest do not have frost. Plants grow slower or go dormant in the shorter, cooler days of the fall and winter months.
Where is the best place for my tropical marginal plants?
You should place them in shallow areas of the pond. Some ponds are built with a plant shelf at around 12" deep specifically for placing shallow-water plants.
Another location could be a shallow area of a bog filter.
How often should I fertilize the aquatic plants in my water garden?
You will want to fertilize your aquatic plants during the growing season starting in the Spring and fertilize monthly through the end of the summer, especially lilies. It is wise to use fertilizing tablets versus liquid fertilizers. Liquids fertilize the entire water garden, to include algae. You can construct a tablet insertion probe out of PVC pipes -- a smaller pipe inside the other pushing the tablet into the plant's dirt/pot. Cut larger pipe on angle to make it sharper.
Can I have too many plants in my pond?
Yes and No. Or better said -- it depends. Water surface area is reduced by floating plants, e.g., lillies. Off gassing depends on surface area. Likewise, plants at night respirate, using oxygen to produce CO2. So depending on the number and size of your fish, the CO2 increase and lack of O2 may kill larger fish. Increasing waterfalls, stream beds, fountain, and/or trickle filters will increase water air surface area.
Is there a list of ideal bog plants?
Many marginal aquatic plants not designated as bog varieties will do well in bog conditions.
|Common Name||Botanical Name
|Bat-faced Flower||Cuphea liava
|Cardinal Flower||Lobelia cardinalis
|Cattail, dwarf||Typha minima
|Corkscrew rush||Juncus spiralis effusus
|Hair Grass||Eleocharis acicularis
|Iris / Yellow Flag||Iris pseudacorus
|Iris / Louisianans||Iris brevicaulis,
and Iris nelsonii
|Marsh Marigold||Caltha palustris
|Monkey Flower||Mimulus cardinalis
|Papyrus/Nile Grass||Cyperus papyrus
|Papyrus, Minature||Cyperus haspan
|Pickerel Weed||Pontederia cordata
|Swamp Hibiscus||Hibiscus semitobstus
|Sweet Flag, Common||Acorus calamus
|Sweet Flag, Variegated||Acorus gramineus 'Variegatus'
|Umbrella Palm/grass, dwarf||Cyperus altemifolius
|Water Thalia/Water Canna||Thalia dealbata
Source, for the most part, Tucson Watergardeners.
What size of air bubbles should be used to provide aeration? Don't those bubbles provide the oxygen to the water as they rise?
Large air bubbles (like those from aquirium features) do not help. The do little to create the water circulation from bottom to top. Therefore, small rapidly rising bubbles are the best, especially in the summertime.
The air in those bubbles (regardless of size) have a surface tension that does not allow for effective transfer of oxygen. So the answer to the second question is NO! In fact, when the bubbles hit the surface of the pond and creates ripples, then the pond surface tension is changed and allows for better transfer of oxygen.
Where is the best place in a pond system to add aeration?
There are numerous spots for ideal aeration points.
One ideal location is the "deepest water location," as the small rising bubbles help to lift the lower water to the surface - where the surface ripples create the best transfer of oxygen to the water. As the bottom water lifts with the bubbles, water forms a circulation effect by pulling other water towards the bubbles.
Directly into the biofilter system as close a possible to where the bacteria are sitting as bacteria need oxygent too.
Vortex filters and Japanese matting work so well in a serious water ponds system if plentiful volumes of air are supplied.
Airstones in bog gardens are known to also beneficial the plants like aquaponics.
How much air should I add to my Koi Pond?
Add as much air to your pond as you can using air pumps and air stones to distribute the air. You can add the air directly to the pond, the filter, the waterfall and anywhere else you can.
40 lpm / 1000 gallons
Pond Volume in Gallons
Liters of air/min required to maintain
Dissolved Oxygen at Koi Safe Levels
Overstocked ponds require additional aeration - double or even triple the number of liters per minute
Do you reduce the amount of aeration during the winter?
The answer is Yes. Reasons are:
First fact is that colder water holds more oxygen than warmer water.
Depending on the depth of your pond, the warmer water temperature is at the bottom. That flys in the face of logic, but remember, if your pond is burried into the ground at least the natural temperature of the earth will help retain the water temperature the lover you are.
So, you need to greatlty reduce aeration from airstones on the bottom. No need to cause the upward movement of warmer water to the colder surface water. Waterfalls and trickle filters reduce the temperature of the water, so they also need to be reduced or bypassed.
If you have side returns, that may be your alternative method of returning water from the pumps to the pond.
What affects how much oxygen is stored in water?
The amount of oxygen water can hold is dependent upon atmospheric pressure, salinity and temperature. Water may hold less oxygen as your altitude increases. Salinity is not as important for most freshwater fish producers. The most important factor is water temperature. As temperature increases, water may hold less oxygen. Most low oxygen problems occur from June through September and impacts the larger fish first. Some reasons for this are:
The amount and continuity of your pond's aeration system. When there is a power outage, what is your plan to provide oxygen to your system. Note: No water pumps moving water through biological filtration will allow the amonia levels from fish metabolism to increase and the lack of aeration does not add oxygen to the pond either.
The number and size of your fish effect the "fish load." The higher the fish load the demand for oxygen increases.
Water can hold less oxygen as it becomes warmer.
Respiration rates of both plants and animals increase with the warmer water, so more oxygen is used.
Summer's still, hazy or cloudy days may reduce the amount of oxygen produced.
Large amounts of feed given to fish at this time of year result in large quantities of fish waste which create a higher demand for oxygen.
Plants' respiration during cloudy, evening and night hours reduce the oxygen levels and adds carbon dioxide in the water and air. This may kill your fish and is known as "winter kill." In some area of Arizona ice may form across the pond and when there is no transfer of gases -- fish die.
What are solutions to the loss of power and hence the shutting off of aeration?
There are two simple options for the continuation of aeration plan:
Have a back up power supply: In these days solar electric or gasoline generator are options.
A short term solution is created by the adding of Hydrogen Peroxide (from pharmacies or other type of store. Note: Hydrogen Peroxide breaks down to oxygen and water in twenty-four hours. The the ration for addition is one (1) millileter (ml) / gallon of water. There are 5 ml per teaspoon to ease any calculations.
What affect does the location of the air pump have on my pond?
NEVER install an air pump BELOW the pond's water level! (unless you install a check valve in the air line!).
If at any time your power supply to your air pump is interrupted, water will back siphon down the delivery tube and flood the pump workings, rendering the pump inoperative, to say nothing of the danger of water and electricity coming in contact with each other.
What is a trickle filter?
A trickle filter is a type of gravity filter - it uses spray bars and gravity to return water to the pond. The sprays along with the media increase the surface area of the water for the oxygenation of same. A sidebar benefit is the cooling of the pond water.
Noel Shaw, Southern Arizona Koi Association, AKCA Koi Health Advisor, has a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation that contains a lot of information to include a trickle filter toward the very end of the presentation.
This file is 7.3 Mb and is found at http://www.sakoia.org/TRICKLE_TOWER_AND_SHOWER_FILTERS.ppt which needs a PowerPoint viewer.
Are there any safety issues to consider when cleaning a pond?
The answer is yes.
First safety item is slipping and falling, but that should be a given.
The muck at the bottom of a pond created from over feeding, fish waste, dead plant material, etc., can produce Hydrogen Sulfied, which is POISONOUS to fish, plants and HUMANS! Yes, Hydrogen Sulfied can kill you and it is sneaky. It desensities your sense of smell in as few as fifteen minutes. It make you think that the smell (normally like rotten eggs) has gone away, so you keep on working, and later you are dead.
So be careful when cleaning your pool bottom, such as wearing a respirator that has filtration capability. Likewise, have someone with you at all times.
Are there any GPPS members doing Aquaponics in the Greater Phoenix area?
The answer is yes, and we have had a meeting or two at the Malone's home.
Robert has some of reliable sources that he recommends:
Aquatic Eco-Systems, Inc.: Shop Aquatic online at AquaticEco.com
This company has a great inventory of personal and commercial parts and parts. If it isn't in their catalog it probably doesn"t exist. Great sourcing and idea catalog available on request.
Backyard Aquaponics: Backyard Aquaponics
This is a great Australian electronic distributed magazine. It is a wonderful source of information from a very motivated and experienced aquaponics culture. Subscription and back issues available and a informative Newsletter.
Friendly Aquaponics Newsletter: Friendly Aquaponics Newsletter
Very informative sort of Mom & Pop Website Hawaii based with free subscription available.
Friendly Aquaponics, Inc
PO Box 1196
Honoka'a, Hawaii 96727
Are there any FAQs about Aquaponics for Arizona?
How can I control the pH in my Aquaponic System here in Phoenix?
This question was asked at the Jan 11, 2014 GPPS meeting.
-- There was discussion about Aquaponics and about Dr George Banks Jr mention in a FAQ above. But no real methodolgy for Ph control was mentioned.
As webmaster, I did some searching and found one Utube that discusses pH control and other water conditions as they effect fish and plants.
In the Utube video there was comments made about natural processes that could raise or lower the pH. If one wishes to bring a basic (high) pH down you can add distilled white vinegar or use lemon juice. On the other hand, if you wish to raise and acidic (low) pH up -- you can add sodium bicarbinate.
What is the difference between Hydroponics and Aquaponics?
Very breifly, aquaponics adds an aquatic animal to the water tank. Normally, fish or shrimp.
Some backyard ponds have bog gardens attached that act as filters of the nitrate produced during the breakdown of the ammonia produced by fish or other aquatic creatures. Which is or can be call aquaponics.
Hydroponics does not have fish. But can be used to grow other plant material like vegetables.
Does any member of the club have a Do It Yourself pond filter design?
There was a presentation made at the Feb 2012 meeting which was given by Tom Briggs.
Was there a GPPS presntation about Pond Leaks made at a recent meeting?
There was a presentation made at the Oct 2011 meeting which was given by Dan Stough.
That Microsoft PowerPoint presentation is available on our resource page.
What should I have a pond sitter do for me while I am away on vaction?
Of course the easy answer is that "it depends!" It depends on who your pond sitter is: family, friend, or a pond maintenance contractor. It also depends on the time of year. It depends on how much they know about ponds: do you leave a list of things to do?
Some things to consider:
Keep it simple: How much to feed the fish and when? -- depends on the season and water temperature. When the water temperature is either too warm or too cold you will not need to feed the fish. Information is located in these FAQs about feeding fish.
Are the pumps running? Where are they in the yard?
Post key information on the inside of a window facing the pond.
If a pump is not running is there a electric breaker or ground faults interupter they could check and reset? Where is it located?
Such information as your cellular phone number if there are any other problems they see.
Location of a replacement pump.
NEVER turn off the pumps!
If you have a pond maintenance contractor: ensure they know what you authorize them to do in your absence. Have a signed contract.
Is there any way to check the pond water temperature from inside my home?"
What you would need is a thermometer placed somewhere in the pond water with a readout inside the home. Of course some type of electric powered device with either a wired or radio readout.
A battery powered, Acu-rite Deluxe Wireless Pool and Spa Thermometer - Model #00617 is resonably inexpensive. It has been found at Home Depot for less than $30.
What is the difference in flooming as a method of areation?"
First let us describe flooming. Flooming is accomplished by a pump ejecting water upwards to the surface of your pond from the bottom. The result is the rippling of the surface. Similar action to that of an air stone on the bottom but without air bubbles. No air bubbles allows you to see the fish easier. Flooming also decreases the probability of failing to replace the air stone.
Areation of water takes place on the surface of the water and its contact with the air.
What is the "new pond syndrome?"
The most important part of a pond is the filtration system. This keeps water clean, clear and free of toxins such as ammonia and nitrite that are produced directly or indirectly by the koi and from decaying organic matter in the pond. Efficient filtration relies on the presence of beneficial micro-organisms such as bacteria, algae and protozoa. However, it takes a while for some of these organisms to become established in sufficient numbers to be fully effective. During this time water quality may be less than perfect, creating a situation commonly described as 'new pond syndrome'.
Many disease outbreaks and koi deaths can be directly linked to stress caused by poor water quality/new pond syndrome. New koi in a new pond may get sick and die due to ammonia and nitrite spikes from an un-cycled biological filter. An immature filter on a new pond (new pond syndrome) is the cause of this. It takes time to develop a population of micro-organisms within a filter. To allow the filter to develop adequately, koi should be gradually introduced, one or two at a time over a few months. Avoid overfeeding which again puts too much of a strain on an immature filter. You can also purchase commercial products that will speed up the process such as "Super Start Bacteria" for pond filters.
Was there a GPPS presntation about Elevated bog into pond construction?
Yes there was a couple of years ago -- the presenter is not identified at this time, but there was a handout. It had a cross section of the elevated bog's construction along with additional notes.
What are some pond construction ideas?
The first construction idea is do not rush into this. Take some time -- attend either a Koi or Water Garden club in your area. Especially if they meet at member's homes. Look at what they have done. Ask questions: what would you do differently if you could?
You may hear this from the question above: Make your pond as large as your space will allow, because the normal comment after completion has been -- historically -- "I wish I had made it bigger!"
Second major idea: Do not buy any fish until your pond is constructed and it has had some time to stabliize. Stabilization of initial bacteria for the biofilters.
Bottom drains for man made backyard ponds are best to reduce having to muck out the bottom. If you plan ahead you can purchase a bottom drain with an air dam as a separate part of the drain. A pvc pipe supplies air to the air dam and helps to circulate the water in the pond and provide aeration for the plants and fish.
If you have the EPDM liner, provide a couple of extra bulkhead fittings for future use. Provide the appropriate pipe on the outside with a valve and cap. You may want to add a side drain, or a pond water return port and better to have it ready to use and not have to drain the pond, clean the liner, make the fitting, etc. How many? It is up to you! This includes the bottom drain above. If you think you do not want to use one, or if you want to do your construction and filtration in stages -- put the bottom drain in, run your pipes, but valve it and cap it off for future use. Mind you it is way easier to undue the cap rather than tearing out the entire pond.
Consider your construction area and raise the sides for heron and other predator protection. Three courses of concrete block with a cap stone may be ideal. Always consider having your pond be at the minimum of three (3) foot deep with near verticle sides. And while some advocate a "walk in beach like area" -- remember herons walk and herons stalk.
Consider your construction area, for trees and some shade of your pond. Why? Leave will get into the pond and make work for you. Shade? Algea -- especially the green pea soup thrives on sunlight.
What kind of filtration will you have for the pond? Consider that you are constructing a waste water treatment facility. Like a swimming pool, where will you back flush the filters to? Consider a bog filter/garden area as part of your construction.
Check with your HOA if you have one and your city building codes. You would hate to start something and only have to tear it out.
What is this I hear about water changes? What is the value?
If you are going to be keeping koi, you may hear about water changes to keep your fish healthy. There are varying ideas on how much to change as means to keep your pond water quality and healthy fish. Likewise, some people cite problems with the pea green soup algae bloom. It is said that a water change of ten percent on a weekly basis will help fight algae bloom. So we will address a ten percent (10%) per week to be a starting point.
Typically, pond people backwash their sediment and biological/bead filters and as a result lower the depth of their pond by a percentage (amount they determine by many methods). After doing the backwash they add water back to their ponds. Hence a water change.
So the value of water changes are numerous. Water quality, healthier fish, and possible reduction in algae.
The webmaster's pond construction has had the idea of adding water by a drip methodology. Low and behold a recent venture on the web resulted in finding another source advocating a "Drip Irrigation" water change methodolgy.
How can I prevent algae growth?
It is a common question. Algae spores are everywhere and if you have water, warmth, sunlight, and nutrients, you will grow algae. The trick is to starve the algae of light or nutrients.
Shading the pond can be the easiest.
Another deterent is UV light filter.
Lastly regular water changes assist in removing the nutrients from the pond.
Barley straw for algae control?
The process of the barley straw decomposition is temperature dependent. It takes the straw longer to rot in lower water temps in turn causing it to take longer for it to become active.
Definition of year round pond operation is dependent on the climate.
Putting barley in my pond could start as early as mid-March or April, depending how early spring decides to arrive. And as late as July or August, again dependent on how long the first batch of barley lasts. That would be my definition of year round. In warmer climates a year could be close to even steven, adding barley every six months or so.
Centre For Ecology & Hydrology "Control of Algae wiht Barley Straw" Report
What are pond liners?
There are many kinds of pond liners. If we understand what a liner does for us it may help in the discussion. A liner is a material that helps in the trapping and retaining of water in a location. In our case ponds and water features.
There are natural and man made liners.
Natural liners appear in ponds, rivers, streams, etc. One such type is clay. Certain types of stone are impervious to water and other types of stone are not.
Manmade liners can be flexible or ridgid.
Common to flexible liners are EPDM rubber (ethylene propylene diene Monomer (M-class) rubber) and PVC (polyvinyl chloride).
EPDM is available in two thicknesses:
45 Mil Liners, For reflecting ponds, Koi ponds, or residential applications.
60 Mil Liners, For public parks, schools, public gardens, landfill, water canals, under ground foundation protection, reservoirs, lakes, and basements.
PVC Liners can be in separate types. Industrial and "Fish Safe."
Some industrial pvc may be dangerous for aquatic creatures like fish.
If you want to use a pvc liner, please ensure it is "fish safe" and has Ultra-Violate (UV) Light protection. Check the manufacturing location of your pvc liner. United States and Canada are normally the best. It is reported that China has produced pvc liners with chemicals added or removed that may be harmful to your fish.
Manmade flexible liners are best placed over some type of underlayment. Sand, newspapers, or geotextile fabric are known to be used. Geotextile fabric of eight(8) ounce thickness will protect EPDM and PVC from protruding rocks, sticks or other material in the ground.
Common to ridgid liners are fiberglass, metal, or concrete.
These may be preformed or cast in place. Typical concrete liners have some sort of additional lining. This may be on the external dirt or interior water side of the concrete. Your webmaster has seen concrete poured over EPDM. I have seen the swimming pool type of "pebble tech" applied to the inside or some very special coatings placed on the inside of concrete ponds.
What size of pond liner do I need to purchase for my pond?
While ponds may have various shapes, liners are sold in basic square or retangular shapes. So first you need to establish the overall square or retangle to put your pond inside with a length and width. Next the depth of your pond has to be considered. You must go down one side and up the other side, therefore you have to add twice your depth to both the length and the width. Finally you need to have some additional liner beyond the edge of your pond. Typically you add one (1) foot to all four sides. In other words two (feet) needs to be added to the length and the width.
Example: If you basic shape is a retangle that is 10 feet wide by 20 feet long and you wish your pond to be four (4) feet deep, you would need --
10 + 4 + 4 + 1 + 1 = 20 feet wide
20 + 4 + 4 + 1 + 1 = 30 feet long
or a liner that is 20' X 30'
How do I calculate the number of gallons of water are in my pond?
In this question we are only dealing with the pond itself. The total gallons of a system includes the pond, pipes, pumps and filters. That kind of total volumn is necessary to calculate dosages for medications for sick fish or systems.
A pond can be an easy or very difficult computation -- depending on the exact shape and depth of the pond. You have to first determine the area of the surface in square feet. Next you calculate the cubic feet based on the depth.
What if my pond varies in depth?
This depends on how it varies in depth. It may be a simple average of the depths.
OK, lets determine the surface area square footage:
Squares and rectangles are very easy (length times the width) Circles are a little more complicated (Pi r2 is the formula where r2 is the radius of the circle or half of the diameter times itself and Pi = 3.14). Round ends on a square or retangle are the combination of a circle and a rectangle/square. Other shapes may require you to break out a geometry book for the area of an oval. Kidney shapes are the very unique to calculate and will not be discussed at this time.
Now, lets determine the cubic feet of the pond:
If the depth is constant, it is simple the depth times the square footage of the surface will determine the cubic feet or volumn. If the bottom slopes from one depth to the other side of a different depth, calculate the average of the two depths. Any other changes in depth are basic estimates, but the average depth times the surface area.
Lastly, lets determine the number of gallons of the pond based on the volumn in cubic feet:
One cubic foot of water is 7.5 gallons. Therefore, a 100 cubic foot water feature has 750 gallons of water and 2000 cubic feet of water is 15,000 gallons.
How do I determine the size of pump to feed my desired waterfall effect?
First determine the weir width of your waterfall, as measured at the point where the water flows over.
Determine the depth or thickness of the water you want to flow over the fall weir. If you want a slow-flowing waterfall, an eighth of an inch is enough. Faster-moving waterfall weir should be three quarters of an inch.
Consult the chart to determine the number of gallons per hour you will need to pump to keep your waterfall pouring at your desired rate, e.g., a half an inch of water depth across a one-foot-wide waterfall weir, you need 780 gallons per hour.
| Light to
| Medium to
|| 60 GPH
|| 120 GPH
|| 360 GPH
|| 660 GPH
|| 120 GPH
|| 240 GPH
|| 780 GPH
|| 1380 GPH
|| 180 GPH
|| 540 GPH
|| 1500 GPH
|| 2760 GPH
|| 300 GPH
|| 780 GPH
|| 2280 GPH
|| 4200 GPH
|| 360 GPH
|| 1080 GPH
|| 3060 GPH
|| 5580 GPH
|| 480 GPH
|| 1320 GPH
|| 3780 GPH
|| 7020 GPH
|| 600 GPH
|| 1620 GPH
|| 4560 GPH
|| 8400 GPH
|| 660 GPH
|| 1860 GPH
|| 5340 GPH
|| 9780 GPH
|| 780 GPH
|| 2160 GPH
|| 6120 GPH
|| 118220 GPH
Determine the overall height of the waterfall from weir to top of the pond. This will ensure you have enough liquid head lift for the pump you will select.
Last point is to consult the pump manufacturer's information or website for the necessary gallons per hour for the waterfall height's liquid head, e.g., your pump mat provide 750 gallons per hour at a height of one foot, but only 340 gallons per hour at a height of three feet.
So it pays to have the due dilligence to create your desired effect.
External Pond Pumps vs. Submersible Pond Pumps?
It first depends upon the benfits and restrictions of each type:
The Benefits of Submersible Pumps:
A submersible pump is designed to be placed in the pond, and submerged under the water.
Submersible Pond Pumps are the easiest of all pumps to install. Installation requires no more than attaching a hose to the waterfall, or filter. Then just place the submersible pump in the water and plug it into a power supply. Some have solar power.
Submersible Pond Pumps range in size, gallons or liters per hour (GPH or LPH). They are as small as 50 GPH, but for most ponds - pumps range from 350 GPH to 4000 GPH.
Some Disadvantages of Submersible Pumps:
Electrical short or electriacal bleed off into the water that may cause injury or death to fish (or humans). Albeit, most are UL approved.
Presence of the pump, cord and pipes in the pond may disrupt the visual enhancement of the pond.
The Benefits of External Pond Pumps:
External pond pumps are designed to be more energy efficient than swimming pool or submersible pumps.
Easy to clean.
Usually, come with a removable leaf trap or can be added which clog less often.
Easy to hook up to bottom drains, surface skimmers, and some sediment filters.
Generally external pond pumps last longer, and are easy to repair.
Higher lift capability than some submersible pumps.
Do not clutter up the pond's underwater visual experience.
Some Disadvantages of External Pumps:
Require some plumbing connections, shut off valves, and possibly more pipe.
Require more physical space and possibly some facility to hide them, pipe, and filters from view.
How often should the water turn over in the pond?
It first depends upon the size (number of gallons in your system -- pond, pipes, and filters). It is recommended that one turn the water over in a pond once every 2 hours. Once every hour is an ideal turn over rate in smaller ponds of less than 1000 gallons. Turn over means that all the water in the pond, pipes, and filter(s) cycle completely through the system.
What determines if a filter is "gravity" or "pressurized"?
There are different types of filters you can purchase or make for your pond. The question you need to determine is if you want to push or pull water?
Most ponds that push water have a pressurized filter, similar to a swimming pool filter. Between your pond (body of water) and a filter container is a pump that will take the water from the pond and push it through a filter and then back to your pond. If a filter is not a closed container, chances are the water would spill or pour out the top instead of going through a pipe back to your pond which would be a problem. The filter needs to be a closed system, water tight, that would only allow the water to be pushed back to the pond through a pipe. In a closed system, you are pushing lots of water through a small container then through pipes. Pressure builds up in the container and the filters are designed to handle the pressure. These are often bead or other media biological filters.
In a gravity system you are pulling water. You have your pond (a body of water) followed by a pump that pulls the water. There may be a filter container (a second body of water), square or round, that holds water before the pump. In this first case, the water in the filter container is at the same height as the pond (not lower, or higher). When water is pulled from the filter by the pump it is replaced by the force of gravity from your pond. These are often vortex settlement filters. In the second case, there may be an open container after the pump (waterfall or trickle filter containers) that is above the pond level and uses gravity to flow the water back into your pond. The pump lifts the water to the higher level. You have to know the "liquid head lift" of the pump is larger than the height of your waterfall or trickle filter.
Both systems work. It is a matter of what you want, where you plan on placing your filter, and space. Pressurized systems are usually easier to install for a DYI project and provide flexibility. Gravity feed systems usually require less energy to operate but occupy more space.
An ideal organization of filters: gravity filters, then pumps, followed by pressurized filters, and finally UV filters.
What's the difference between a UV Clarifier and a UV Sterilizer?
UV-Clarifiers are used to kill algae and some disease organisms. Water flows through UV-Clarifiers faster than the UV-Sterilizers.
UV-Sterilizers kill 99% of floating algae as well as other living organisms. They do not harm the beneficial bacteria that grow in filters and on rocks, etc. in the pond. They kill the organisms that are floating in the pond water.
The best physical location for UV filter(s) is after the biological filter and before the return to the pond.
Most koi keepers opt for the UV Sterilizers to assist in killing any harmful bacteria and parasites.
How much UV do I need for my pond?
A basic need for UV is removal of green water (algae bloom). A basic guide is 8-10 watts per 1,000 gallons. Some pond people maintain that, for a reduction of bacterial levels, this can be increased to 30 watts per 1,000 gallons. Some additional factors are: flow rates, and stocking levels.
Best and easiest way to seal a crack in hard shell liner?
It is easier to drape an EPDM liner inside the hard shell instead of trying to repair it.
Of course you have to remove the fish, plants, rocks, lights, etc.
How can I keep Herons out of our pond -- and eating my fish?
This is a popular question with a multitude of answers. There have been ponds with CDs on a string to dance in the wind. Some use shade cloths over the ponds to hide from view. There have been fishing line stretched overhead to keep herons from landing. BTW, herons do not land in water they walk into water. Deep ponds (over three feet) or pond with vertical sides helps. Some use heron replicas since they are solitary types.
Will a pond cause mosquito problems in my yard?
If you keep fish in your pond, your fish will eat mosquitoes and their larvae. If you do not keep fish then you will want to use natural bacterial mosquito control products.
Pond Constrution FAQs?
A link is provided to an already published list of Pond Construction FAQs. Source: Springdale Water Gardens
Pond Construction FAQs
When should I add fish to my pond?
It is recommended that one wait a month before adding fish to ponds. This will allow time for bacterial colonies to get established. Use bacterial starters and dechlorinators if you wish to add fish to ponds sooner. Time and mother nature are the safer side of starting a pond.
I want to increase flow to my waterfall from 1,500 gph (gallon per hour) to almost 4,000 gph, what size pipe should I use?
To increase water flow to 4,000 gph you need to use the appropriate size of pipe. When using a 4,000 gph pump, a proper size of pipe would be two inch. A way to think about pipe size is to imagine drinking through a straw. A cocktail straw it would take longer than if you were to drink water from a standard size straw.
A Tip: Avoid sharp 90 degree turns because it will reduce water flow. Consider using a plumbing connection called a sweep corner if you must. A sweep still has resistance but it has a bend and not a right angle.
- Up to 500 GPH: Use 1/2" inside diameter
- Up to 900 GPH: Use 3/4"
- Up to 1,500 GPH: Use 1"
- Up to 2,700 GPH: Use 1-1/4"
- Up to 3,600 GPH: Use 1-1/2"
- Up to 5,400 GPH: Use 2"
- Up to 13,500 GPH: Use 3"
- Up to 21,000 GPH: Use 4"
- Up to 42,000 GPH: Use 6"
I would like to learn more about goldfish, do you know of any websites?
There is one below:
Goldfish Society of America (GFSA) developed a classification system for goldfish. This system differentiates them into three broad categories, based on tail and with or without dorsal fin type. Each of those categories have their own varieties.
Can goldfish and koi cross breed and create hybred fish?
The answer is YES!
First bit of information is that comets will eat koi eggs. Second, is the fact that koi do not eat baby goldfish. So, if you keep them in the same pond and you see baby fish, you will need to check them out for barbels -- the koi determining characteristic.
Are these offspring able to reproduce? Answer is no they are sterile.
How many Koi or Goldfish should I have in my pond?
The quick answer is it depends!
The first question to be asked is -- How many gallons of water are in your pond?
Second, Do you want what is ideal for your fish or do you just want a lot of fish?
There are numerous ways of calculating the number of fish. There are calculations for koi fish per square surface foot, koi fish per cubic foot, koi fish per gallon, pounds per gallon, or pounds per cubic foot. There are calculations based on the water surface area.
So, we will cite only one calculation:
"One inch of fish per ten gallons of pond water will do well if adequately filtrated and small, regular water changes are done."
Does that mean you can not have more than that calculation? No, what determines that is filtration, filtration, filtration and aeration, aeration, aeration. The more you do those things the more fish you can have. HOWEVER: If you overstock your pond and those items fail, you can loose (aka kill) your fish due to lack of oxygen.
Example of another means to determine the number of Koi: A large Koi, up to 30 inches, should have at least 500 gallons per fish. While a jumbo Koi, up to 36", should have at least 1000 gallons per fish.
A bunch of formulas!
Doesn't the Phoenix summer heat over 110o F kill the fish?
The quick answer is NO!
That is if care is taken not to allow the water to boil -- ;) hehehe.
While fish in the lakes and rivers survive the AZ heat, this question is couched on our human experience. So, first we must remember that fish live in water and it is the water temperature that effects them.
Waterfalls, fountains, sprays (like patio misters for humans), spitters, and even a filter that sprays water (known as a trickle filter) help to lower the water temperature and increase the saturation of oxygen in the water. Warmer water temperatures decrease the oxygen in the water. Plants respiraton during the night creates CO2 and thereby decrease the oxygen saturation. Likewise, airstones and aeration of the pond are discussed in other FAQs is help the fish.
Fish metabolism decrease when the water temperature is either too hot or too cold. So, one of the first things to do is know the pond's water temperature. In the summertime, when the water temperature climbs to 86o F and above decrease food and at 90o F and above -- do not feed the fish. In the fall and winter: 55o F and below is the trigger to stop feeding fish.
The Koi keepers that are koi krazy discuss that deeper the water the better. Deeper water has increased volumn and does not fluctuate rapidly. Shallow water heats up quicker and it is the rapid temperature fluctuation that stress the fish -- especially koi.
What are the fish feeding secrets?
Koi (Cyprinus Carpio) produce ammonia as a product of their metabolism, goldfish not as much as koi. The biofilters develop bacteria that breakdown ammonia into nitrogen products used by plants. In the late fall and the pond water temperature starts to drop, so does the koi metabolism and the filter's bacteria start to fail. The higher protein ( 30 + % ) fish food for coloration and growth should be reduced. When the water temperature is at or below 55o F, stop feeding the fish. Likewise, stop feeding fish if your water temperature is above 90o F.
If you want your Koi to really grow, late September/October before the water temperature gets below 55-60 degree range and the Koi metabolism starts shutting down, feed them several times a day (four or five). That does not mean dump a lot of food -- still maintain the five minute rule. Three hours between feeding is ideal.
Late Fall can be an ideal time to purchase Koi and/or goldfish food from distributors online in the northern climates as they will want to deplete their stockage levels and will be offering discounts. Idea from Clyde Parks.
There is a Japanese vegetable product "Manda Fu" that is highly digestable and very high in Vitamin C with very low fish waste products.
Wheat based and white fish meal based foods with shrimp, carotenoids and Vitamin C are good. Wheat germ based foods are very digestible, and Vitamin C boosts their immune system. Believe it or not: plain Cherios is an alternative food. When your water temperature starts climbing and is in the mid 60s, you might start teasing the fish with small amounts of higher protein foods with very small pellets.
During the summer, a very high protein treat for Koi is the hard tofu cut into small cubes.
During a recent search for the lowest percentage of protein pond food found in local stores was: Aquarium Pharmaceuticals, PondCare - Spring & Autumn Premium Pellet (11% protein with Vitamins A, C, D, E for water temps 42o F - 70o F)
One the die hard fish feeding secrets is to NOT over feed them. A rule of thumb is no more food than what they will consume in five (5) minutes.
Koi love watermellon, zucchini, oranges, grapefruit, lemons cut so they can attack the fruit or vegetable -- more vitamin C! Remember koi do not have teeth, they will just suck on the treat.
Is there a local source for Koi information and knowledge?
GPPS has some members who also belong to the Valley of the Sun Koi Club, Inc. (a.k.a. VSKC) in the Greater Phoenix area. VSKC is a club in the Associated Koi Clubs of America (AKCA). VSKC's web site has numerous pages about Koi and Koi Keeping (Annual Show, FAQ's, Links, Koi Rescue, Sponsors & Vendors, Water Quality, History of Koi, Koi, Quarantine, Koi Health Advisor, and Ask Bryan to name a few key pages) and can be found at: Valley of the Sun Koi Club, Inc.
What is a koi?
A koi is an ornamental Japanese carp (Cyprinus Carpio). Depending on the pond size, feeding and stockage levels, Koi can get 24-36 inches long. Koi have the same body shape and have two pair of barbells (whiskers) unlike goldfish that have several body configurations and fin combinations.
If you wish to learn more about Koi there is another non-profit club in the Greater Phoenix area where Koi is their focus:
Valley of the Sun Koi Club, Inc.
Is there a way to determine the sex of a koi?
Yes, when they are older it is rather easy! The difficulty exist when the koi are small. Those culling experts at koi farms have other methods and a lot of experience.
Now back to you and me. There is a website that has the easy methods in text and pictures.
If you wish to learn how to determine the sex of your koi:
Nishikigoi sexing koi page
Must I learn Japanese to keep koi?
What is the differences between koi and longfin, butterfly, or dragon koi?
First let us discuss: longfin, butterfly, or dragon koi. They are different
names for koi with extensively longer fins. They are said to have originated from Thailand.
Whereas the Japanese versions have shorter fins and were considered "standard" koi by the Japanese.
For many years longfin koi were shunned by Japanese breaders and the koi associations. The popularity of longfin koi in the United States has started to influence change in those opinions. Some Japanese koi breeders are developing longfin, butterfly or dragon koi. The Associated Koi Clubs of America has people certified by AKCA to be koi judges. They are dealing with specifications on how to judge longfin koi. Many Koi Shows have various awards for "standard" koi, but currently only have one judging option of "longfin" for all of the color combinations and sizes.
If you wish to learn more about Koi there is another non-profit club in the Greater Phoenix area where Koi is their focus:
Valley of the Sun Koi Club, Inc.
How do you get koi to eat from your hand?
First let us say -- koi do not have teeth that bite. They have molar type teeth in the back of their mouth for chewing food. Over time you may find those molars in the bottom of your pond.
Once trained to eat from your hand, they do suck on fingers and the back of your hand. So to start the process of teaching them, let us teach you. Remove all jewlery, water resistant watches, wash your hands well and rinse off all soap.
At first they will be skitish, so they must get use to you being near them when they eat. When they start coming up to the surface near you when they eat, you can proceed. Next, you have to introduce your hand to being in the water when you feed them. Start with the food away from your hand and slowly introduce the food closer and closer to your hand. Later, start having the food in your hand, letting some escape and float away from your hand. Larger fish will be the first to come near and later to your hand to eat. The fish are noisy when they suck in their food -- so do not flintch. Over time, little fish will come up to eat too. You can talk to them over this training period, in a sense calling them to chow! Some people do advise you not to name your fish. Why? Because you will not feel so bad should something happen to them. There is one type of koi that is really prone to the hand feeding habit -- Chagoi pronounced [cha' goy].
How much do koi cost?
Cost of koi vary, ranging from a few dollars to several thousand. Confirmation (shape), color, size (age), and linage are factors that influence the cost.
Are goldfish and koi related?
Can goldfish and koi be together in the same pond?
Goldfish and koi can be in the same pond. Some people segregate them into an upper or lower pond that are on the same filter system. Goldfish produce less ammonia than koi and do not grow as large (only eight to ten inches). Whereas, koi under ideal conditions can reach 36 inches and one type even larger than 36 inches.
Goldfish and Shubunkins will live happily in Koi ponds. However you should be aware that certain types of fish such as Rudd and Orfe are more sensitive to some medications. Make sure that you check any treatments before use in your pond.
Keep in mind the potential for cross breeding of goldfish and koi and the sterile offspring. See above FAQ on this subject.
What are the types and varieties of goldfish?
What causes my goldfish to swim upside down?
Searching the WWW, disclosed that others across the USA have had the problem of a goldfish swimming upside down -- mind you they are not dead, just upside down.
Fish have "swim bladders" that control the height or depth of their swimming. Swim bladder disease is one cause that can be treated with the correct medication.
A second cause is constipation caused by either too much food or the wrong type of food. Goldfish do have specific foods designed for them. During the colder water temperatures, like all fish, their metabolism shuts down. Food can set in the stomach area and not be digested. The WWW has stories of feeding green peas to help upside down goldfish.
What fish can help control algae?
There is a "Chinese Algae Eater" (CAE) that can live up to ten years. It does have problems with water temperatures being low. One GPPS member's CAE was very slow and hardly moving until she removed it from her pond and placed it inside her home.
Another algae eating fish is the Chinese High Fin Shark. One was recently seen swimming in a Koi pond by your webmaster. It looked to be eight to ten inches in length. The owner has had this fish for three years.
Are there any native Arizona fish for my pond?
There are some native fishes that may appeal to GPPS members. The American Flagfish, (Jordanella floridae), gets about 2-3 inches and is an excellent algae-eating fish. It's quite attractive and does well in Arizona ponds. Another species is the Giant Sailfin Molly, (Poecilia latipinna), which can reach 6-8 inches. It also is primarily a vegetarian, but is a surface-dwelling species whereas the Flagfish tends to stay near the bottom.
Source is an e-mail from Allan Semeit.
I hear there is a small mosquito eating fish?
The Mosquito Fish, (Gambusia affinis), is the bane of conservationists. It is a very predatory species that outcompetes most native fishes. My preference is to encourage GPPS members to use alternate species for mosquito control.
Source is an e-mail from Allan Semeit.
Webmaster has heard from several sources that your goldfish or koi will eat mosquito larvae.
What is the AKCA?
Associated Koi Clubs of America (AKCA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to Koi keeping. It is focused on information exchange and expanding knowledge. Breeders, collectors, and Koi enthusiasts benefit from the Association's annual National Seminar and local clubs. Their web site is AKCA.
What is the AGA?
It is an acronym for the American Goldfish Association. It is a group of goldfish people who have gotten together to promote the breeding, raising and showing of goldfish in the U.S. and Canada Their web site is AGA.
What is the GFSA?
Goldfish Society of America is dedicated primarily to goldfish. It is focused on information exchange and expanding knowledge. Breeders, collectors, and goldfish enthusiasts benefit from the Society?s publications and local clubs. Water gardeners and Koi enthusiasts are also served by GFSA. Their web site is GFSA.
Are there any pond tours in Phoenix or Tucson, AZ?"
YES. This club holds an annual pond tour in the Spring. The tickets are actually a map that show the general areas and then maps to specific locations, normally members' homes. Currently the tickets are free, but the club accepts donations at each location.
There is a known pond tour in the Tucson area hosted by the Southern Arizona Koi Association (SAKA). SAKA has a website that announces when they hold their Pond Tour. They normally charge $5.00 per adult and children accompanying a ticket holder are free. SAKA.
There is "The Tucson Watergardeners" who have had pond tours. They have a website at: The Tucson Watergardeners which has pictures of past tours. Theirs are typically in September. They also hold water plant sale in May.
Is there any information or listing of other garden clubs in the Greater Phoenix area?"
YES. The following was found while searching for Master Gardener information.
There is a website: Maricopa County Extension that has a list -- which includes Greater Phoenix Pond Society.... neato!
Is there any information about streaming video for use with ponds?"
A quick and dirty answer is YES. Your webmaster had looked into this several months (ok years) ago.
There is a website: Bonnie's Plants where they have information and even sell such. They do have streaming video of their pond on a "Koi Kam" which is in their navigation at the top of the page. Bonnie has a lot of information about pond construction, plants, koi, and many other items.
Your webmaster must admit that he has yet to purchase one from Bonnie. Why? His pond is still under construction. I cannot invest in a camera or something like a camera when I need to construct the pond!
Where can I find 55 gallon plastic barrels in the Greater Phoenix area?"
A member and former president of GPPS, Tom Briggs, once mentioned an Arizona Barrel company.
They have a website: Arizona Barrel Company
Is there a table for conversion of coverage of material per bag, cubic foot, and tons of rock?
Bag coverage in square feet from a "3 cubic foot bag"
Add row values to get other results, e.g., 5 bags = 4 + 1, 8 bags = 2 x (4 bags)
Coverage in square feet per yard
Add row values to get other results, e.g., 5 yard = 4 + 1, 8 yards = 2 x (4 yards)
Coverage in square feet per yard of rock
Add row values to get other results, e.g., 5 yard = 4 + 1, 8 yards = 2 x (4 yards)
conversion factor tons of rock: 1.25 Tons = 1 cubic yard
Do you know of a great source of Aquatic Information PDFs?
This site found by webmaster during a search on dissolved oxygen.
Numerous areas are included: Beginning Aquaculture v Ornamental Aquaculture v Water Quality v Recirculating Aquaculture Systems v Fish Health Management v Fish Diseases - Parasites v Fish Diseases - Bacteria v Fish Diseases - Fungi v Fish Diseases - viruses v Non-Infectious Diseases v Treatments and Biologics v Nutrition and Feeding v Induced Spawning v Harvesting, Grading, and Transport v Aquaculture Equipment and Engineering v Aquatic Weed Control v Pesticides v Predation v Economics and Business Management v Disaster Assistance v Corals v Non-Native Species v Aquatic Veterinary Professional Development v Miscellaneous v Aquarium Hobbyists and Pond Owners
What is the blue green color on some lanscape rocks seen around pond areas that is not turquoise?
First lets define what is turquoise. Turquoise is a blue to grey green mineral consisting of copper aluminum phosphate. Native Americans used turquoise in making jewerly decorations
Some landscapes have rocks with the blue green mineral that is not turquoise. The copper mine in Ajo, Arizona have copper aluminum silicate.
Reminder, copper is not safe for fish so do not place stones with copper aluminum silicate in any water feature with fish, especiall koi.
Why Should I join a Koi club or water garden society?
An advantage of belonging to either is the pool of resources available to members. You will be able to get relevant advice about almost anything related to the hobby. It is likely that another member has had the same issue as you. A Koi club will specialize in Koi, whereas a water garden pond club will cover a broad spectrum.
Another advantage is that you will often be able to get discounted prices on equipment, fish, etc.
Clubs or societies invite guest speakers to talk about a particularly relevant topic or invite authors or famous faces in the hobby to offer guidance, advice and support.
Can you list any "How To" libraries?
Aquatic and other Critters
Is there an exotic bird rescue service in the Phoenix area?
Is there another turtle that does well in Phoenix area?
There is a member of GPPS who reported that he has had and currently has Reeves turtles. They grow to be 5-6 inches in size. They like to sun themselves, especially as they get older. This sunning helps to dry out their shell which aides them in shedding portions of the shell so they can grow. While they are native to the Orient (China, Korea, Japan), if they are bred in captivity and especially in AZ they can do well.
Why do I want a dark shelled turtle in the Greater Phoenix area?
First the dark shell indicate it is a hard shelled turtle and not a soft shelled turtle.
They are supposed to do better in the Phoenix area.
How old can a red-eared slider get?
Approximately 40 years. If every need it addressed and they do not get sick.
What is wrong with my turtle's shell?
A turtle's shell showing signs of pitting, soft spots, fluid under the shell plates, discharge or foul smell, or shell plates falling off and exposing tissue, your turtle has shell rot. Shell rot is an infection of a turtle's shell. The turtle's environment may have caused the infection. Check for one or more of the following:
It is wise to research the needs of the turtle and create an environment to meet those needs.
- Too much moisture
- Too little moisture
- Unsanitary conditions
- Improper diet
- Improper heat
- Improper light
What is the difference between a turtle and a tortoise?
Turtles are Chelonians that are aquatic or semi-aquatic. A tortoise is a Chelonian that lives on land. Chelonians lack teeth and usually have a hard shell that protects the body and consists of bony plates fused to the vertebrae and ribs. Unlike all other living reptiles, the skulls of chelonians lack temporal openings
I have had a predator attack my fish and apparently eat them because I find the skeleton and bones -- Any idea what this may be?
It sounds like the midnight bandit that wears a mask over its eyes: a racoon. Most other predators do not leave the bones. Sometimes a heron leaves a large fish outside of the pond with a hole in its side. Wild cats would cart their bounty away.
I am afraid of attracting bees around my pond?
Here is an interesting fact about bees around water features. You need not fear being stung as they are the water gathering bees. They transport water back to their hive. There are several aquatic plants that bees land on so they can gather water.
If you leave them alone, they will not bother you.
Which aquatic plants do the bees like the most in a pond?
We have been granted authorization to link to the website for "Glenn Apiaries".
Their web page "Creating a Honeybee Water Garden"
http://www.glenn-apiaries.com/beepond.html contains plant information as you scroll down. Other pages on the site have oodles of info about bees.
Is there any information about Arizona and Sonoran Desert Toads?
Is there any source of information about brine shrimp?
Again, a yes answer. There is a website for "Brine Shrimp Direct" and they have authorized us to link to them. Their site has articles, FAQs, sells the brine shrimp eggs, hatching products online resources, and all kinds of other aquatic foods.
Your webmaster has been given a club member ID number that will give you a discount that you can use on their website when purchasing their products.
As cited above: GPPS makes no waranties nor endorsements of their products.
GPPS current members: If you want member code number please e-mail the webmaster identifying the company and request for ID.
If you wish to order frozen product or air shipment from them, they suggest you phone them at 800-303-7914 or 801-782-4700. Since they are in Utah, a two day ground, packed in dry ice shipment is provided to us in the Phoenix area.
Visit their website:
Bulk orders totalling $250 or more also have discounts.
Are there snails that eat algae? Is there a better snail for ponds?
In brief, the answer is yes. However, there are snails that eat the other pond plants and lay eggs that may cause the pond to become over populated. Some can be rather large.
The Google search that proved the best was at http://www.pondplants1.com/snails.htm.
Is there a large snail for ponds that lays eggs and eats plants?
Again, a yes answer. A potentially rather large snail is the Apple Snail. They are egg layers (aboe the water line) and they do eat plants.
IMHWO, the Google search that proved the best was at http://www.applesnail.net/content/faq.php#6.
How do you keep snails happy?
They need a high in calcium diet and a high pH for healthy strong shells.
Is there an organization that can inform me about desert reptiles? You know Arizona native snakes,
lizards, turtles and tortoises!
Why are reptiles called cold blooded?
Their blood is not cold, but they do not generate their own heat. They are more accurately defined at ectothermic. Ectothermic creatures get their heat from the surroundings. Reptiles need heat to assist in the digestion of food and other body functions.
What are the temperature ranges for a red eared slider?
TEMPERATURE RANGE (°F)
- Air Temperature: mid 70's - 80's
- Basking Temperature: High 80's to low 90's
Source: Red Eared Slider
- Water Temperature: ~ 72 to 76 degrees for sub-adults & adults
- 78 to 80 degrees for hatchlings & smaller juveniles
Is there a web site for Arizona Reptiles and Amphibians?
Technical Committee Reports
The membership of the club has access to the Technical Committee that answers questions for the members -- ONLY. The Tech Committee Report(s) are provided in links!
The Greater Phoenix Pond Society is not responsible for recommendations made by Technical Committee members.
The first report (of many to follow) -- Oct 2011 Report (PDF)
The next report -- Feb 2012 Report (PDF)
Do you have a question and answer that needs to be here?
If you do, send an e-mail with the information to webmaster
FUN FISH FEEDING GAME
Here is a cool diversion for
The fish will follow your mouse around the screen,
you click on the screen, food will drop.