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How can my koi survive the Frigid Winter?

Here’s how to help my koi fish recover from the Frigid Winter 2014/2015

You and many pond keepers across the country have experienced the most severe, frigid winter in many, many years.

We lost koi (some of our favorites) and the rest have really been weaken to the point, we ask ourselves “Are they going to make it to spring?”

According to the calendar spring arrives on March 20Th. It’s time for “spring time pond cleanup”. Removing the buildup of winter debris on the bottom of your pond. Getting rid of that nasty green water and the ugly string algae. Prepare for the pond season!!

Don’t rush into your normal spring pond cleanup. We have not had a “normal” winter. Your “wet pets” have gone through more stress than they ever had in the past. For some, it was their first winter and it was bad!

Extremely stressed and gravely weakened, our fish don’t need more stress put on them by us at this time.

Please see below a few suggestions you might consider this special spring.

This is not your normal spring

Do to the extremely frigid winter you may want to change some of your normal spring pond cleanup. Here are a few suggestions:

Water Changes

The sooner you can do a water change the better. The first clear day you have a chance to do a 10% water change do it, even if you’re not ready to open your pond.

Take advantage of these clear days for ten percent water changes. However, don’t do a large water change on these clear days. A ten percent water change is much less stressful on your fish than a forty percent water change all at one time.

Note: Remove 10% of your pond water and add the fresh water very slowly so you do not change the temperature of your pond water.

Add the total amount of DeChlor before adding the fresh water. Halfway into filling your pond, I would add another full treatment of DeChlor. A double dose of DeChlor will not hurt your fish and help remove excess ammonia from your pond water.

Attention: You do not want to change the temperature of your pond water. It takes time to very slowly add the fresh water to your pond. Instead of waiting for their pond to refill, I’ve had pond keepers do other things to pass the time.

The problem was they forgot about the refilling, only to return to an overflowing pond of dead fish, killed by the chlorine in their tap water.

Cleaning the bottom of your pond

Before your fish are eating and active, wading around in your pond can be very stressful for your fish. Just take a net and remove any dead fish for now.

Clearing String Algae and Green Water

Because your fish are so stressed, this is not the time to use an algaecide, pulling string algae and worrying about green water. Algaecides can be very stressful on your fish.

Green water and a nice green carpet of algae in your pond are the very best natural medicine your fish can have at this time.

Green algae and green water is priceless to help your weak fish recover from the life threatening winter we had this year.

I know, I suggested you read this article many times, however, it’s more important now than ever because of our bad winter
Don’t Kill Mother Nature’s Gift!

Well Rick, when do I do my regular spring cleaning?

I wouldn’t do anything until your fish have had their normal spring treatment and they are eating and active. Then I would clean the bottom, remove only the string algae and treat for green water.

Please remember, this has not been an average winter. So we have to treat our fish with their weakened immune system very gently this spring.