Valueaquatics Preparing your pond for hibernation

If the fish hibernate in the pond, you can prevent complete freeze-over by leaving pond filters running or fountain and filter pumps, respectively, this will help keep part of the surface free from ice. Do not break the ice under any circumstances!
Water movement keeps part of the pond ice-free. Only turn off filters and water falls/fountains if the weather turns exceptionally cold.

It has been shown that ponds where the surface freezes over come to no harm and can be beneficial. The fish will be hibernating in the bottom of the pond and less active.

Feeding your fish should be stopped by now as the temperatures are dipping.

Even if they come to the surface on fine sunny days refrain from feeding as the fish will be using there fat reserves and will be unable to digest any food that they will eat. This then rots in their stomachs, the gases build up and the fish looks very fat and round, this will kill the fish.


It’s Wheatgerm Time again

As the water temperature is now dropping it is time to think about feeding your pond fish Wheatgerm.

Why feed Wheatgerm?

 Well quite simply at low temperatures the fish cannot digest high protein foods. The high protein feeds stay in the fishes stomach undigested and starts to rot in the stomach which can kill the fish slowly.

At ValueAquatics we sell Wheatgerm feeds by Tetra, NishiKoi and Royce in different sizes to suit your demands.


Water feature special offer from Valueaquatics

A Valueaquatics special offer Boy with Flute water feature.

This feature is made from a resin called Poly Nature which is an ultra-light but very strong material and has had years of use so proving how strong it is and resistant to the weather and climatic conditions.

The feature is in a copper finish and measures 21 x 25 x 50cm (LWH). They have a ½” pipe inlet and require a pump rated at 2000 lph.

All for £34.95 inc. Shipping and vat to mainland UK.


Pond plant fertilizer from Tetra

It is not only the fish in the pod that need looking after but the plants as well. They take a lot of nourishment from the fish waste as part of the normal pond cycle, but like your house plants require some added missing elements. These are known as trace elements because the plants only require them in very small amounts. The problem with some pond fertilizers is that they contain phosphates and nitrates which will also feed algae’s.

So Tetra has formulated a pond plant fertilizer Plantamin which contains iron and the other trace elements that are essential for the lush growth of pond plants.

Plantamin is easy to apply simply add 50ml of Plantamin for every 1000 litres or 220gallons of pond water. Treat at this dose at the start of the pond season and then at a half dose every 2-3 weeks after that.

Valueaquatics offer Tetra Pond Plantamin in a handy 250ml size container.


A ValueAquatics special offer

Special offer Prima XL 3200/5000 and 9000 solids handling filter pumps.

Valueaquatics offer these excellent pumps on a  Special Offer.

Hozelock have stopped making the Prima range now but they still carry the Hozelock warranty.

These pressure pumps can handle large solids up to 10mm Ø and are designed to pass the solids from pond to a biological filter.

The Prima range are excellent for water falls.

  • Efficient motor optimised for maximum flow through extended pipe runs.
  • Reliable ceramic sleeved shaft with triple seals and thermal overload protection.
  • Solids handling system for efficient filtration and minimum maintenance.

Model   Max Flow Max Head  Solids  Waterfall width @ 1m   Hose dia.

XL3200   4000lph        4m        0-8mm            0.22m            20 – 40mm

XL5000   6000lph        5m        0-8mm            0.34m            20 – 40mm

XL9000   9600lph        7.5m     0-10                0.61m            20 – 40mm


A New Pond Treatment from Tetra TETRAPOND CLARIFIN

ValueAquatics can now offer a new pond treatment from Tetra for cleaning up dirty or cloudy water “Clarifin”.

It gets rid o cloudy or murky water which is caused by inorganic particles that  is suspended in pond water.

Clarifin goes to work very quickly in the first couple of hours after it has been added to your pond.

It works by the complex chemicals produced by the living cells that is a biochemical catalyst or enzyme which breaks down the waste.

Clarifin contains minerals and organic natural safe chemicals not artificially produced ones.


New Pond Treatment from Tetra – FilterZym

 ValueAquatics offer this new Tetra product FilterZym that speeds up the maturity of new pond filters by promoting the growth of bacteria in the filter.

This means that you can add fish to a new pond with relative safety faster.

Simply add powder from the correct number of capsules to the filter media as directed in the instructions and leave the filter running then add your fish.

This does not mean fully stock the pond this should always be done gradually Two or three at a time over a period of a few weeks until the correct number of fish are added. Remember small fish will grow into bigger fish so allow for this when stocking a pond.

 The bacterium in the filter breaks down ammonia and other waste products from the fish, so are essential in filters. This is why there are so many problems when starting a new pond up or after filter maintenance.

 For a new filter use the powder from 3 capsules.

After filter maintenance of media change use the powder from 3 capsules as well.

 One box contains ten capsules.


Tetra Pond Quick Test 5-in-1 Strips

ValueAquatics Blog

Tetra Pond Quick Test 5-in-1 Strips

This test kit is extremely easy to use just take out a test strip dip in the pond water let it stand for a minute and simply read off the comparison colour chart. Obviously read the instruction for the correct times, but generally that is all there is to it.

I use this kit as a good quick guide to check the pond water quality but if a test or tests show any abnormality I check with a wet chemical test which is more accurate.

I check my water parameters every two to four weeks. Always do water checks around mid day not first thing in the morning as you will get unreliable readings, as the biology of the pond is just getting going again fro the night time close down. As bacteria, algae, plants and fish etc. sleep or are less active at night giving off different chemical reactions/changes to the pond.

If your pond is new I would recommend testing the water every 3 or four days until the water comes into the correct parameters.

The test strips test for pH, KH Calcium hardness, GH General Hardness, NO3 Nitrate and NO2 Nitrite.

The tests can be split into two types for better understanding Chemical and biological tests.

The chemical tests we include here are pH, KH, GH and Oxygen because the levels are caused by chemical reactions in the pond and some as other biological reactions or processes.

The pH measures the acidity or alkalinity of the pond water. For goldfish and Koi the pH should read between 8.0 and 8.5 no lower than 7.0(neutral). The water should be slightly alkaline which is best for Goldfish and Koi. A new pond may start off at 6.5 to 7.0 unless your tap water is hard then it will probably be ideal in the 8.0-8.5 range. As the water matures the pH will usually come in to the correct parameters.

The KH measures the amount of soluble carbonate/bicarbonate ions that are a buffer to maintain a steady pH. A medium to high KH shows that the pH is less likely to change and is what we are looking for.

The GH shows the general hardness of the pond water, generally those of the calcium and Magnesium ions.

The GH should be medium to high to match the natural conditions preferred by Goldfish and Koi.

The Oxygen ( O2 )which is this case is the dissolved oxygen in the water. The oxygen dissolves in the water and is easily replenished by and air pump and diffuser stone. If you have a waterfall usually you will not require an air pump, though if you have a large number of fish or larger fish it would be advisable.

The warmer the water the less oxygen will be dissolved in it, and if a pond is excessively planted may suffer from oxygen depletion at night as due to the plants respiration.

 The Biological tests are the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate as they are controlled by the pond life.Ammonia is the toxic waste from the pond life generally and is colourless and readily dissolved in the pond water. It can take two forms as free ammonia NH3 of the ammonium ion NH4+. Without going into the chemistry the NH4+ is less toxic but predominantly it takes the toxic NH3 route in alkaline water of a Koi pond. The level has to be kept at zero as it is so toxic to your fish.  

The Nitrite NO2 is toxic as well and is a biological bi product of the ammonia breakdown. It can be harder to control than the ammonia as the bacteria take longer to break it down.

The nitrite levels often run high in new ponds for longer periods. If allowed to become excessive the nitrite levels become inhibitory to the nitrite oxidising bacteria, so taking longer to reduce the level of nitrite. Even large water changes will do little to alleviate the problem.

It is the bacteria in the pond system that breaks down the nitrite to safer levels, so it takes time and the addition of Interpet Pond Bio Activator will be very beneficial to a new pond or one coming out of winter. Bio Activator is a chemical free natural solution to the problem.



Potting up your pond plants

Now is the time to start thinking of pond plants. If you have lilies pull them up and split any large overgrown plants. Simply knock them out of the old pot and split the thick roots into manageable bits, Pick the root with some new plant leaf growth and line a new pond plant pot/crate with hessian then half fill with pond plant compost, add the cutting and top up with more of the compost firming the cutting in. I then add a layer of cobble stones this stops the fish from pulling the plants out especially Koi. Then sit them in the shallows or ledges of the pond for a fortnight or until the new roots have gained a hold in the new compost, then place in their permanent position in the pond.

Pot up new plants in the same way and treat them the same way.

The Pond pots/crates come in a variety of shapes and sizes square, round, kidney shaped, deep or shallow pots.

Always line the crates with hessian this stops the pond compost from running out of the drainage holes and slots.

When using compost always use good pond compost like Blagdons Pond Plant Compost. Never use garden soil or house or garden plant composts as these may have added harmful chemicals in them like fertilisers and insecticides.

ValueAquatics carry a good range of crates and compost for your pond plants.



Pond Checks for the Start of the Pond Year

Now is the time to get your pond ready for the start of the pond year especially as this winter has been so long, Don’t wait till you switch on to find that something does not work.

Watch the weather forecasts and the pond water temperature when the last hard frosts are behind us and the water is above 50°F then you can start feeding Wheatgerm and as things warm up start feeding the usual normal fish foods.

Check your pond for pH, Ammonia, Nitrate and Nitrite levels, they may have crept up at this time, then check again after everything has been running for a fortnight.

Check your electrics, plugs and connections are all clean and free of cobwebs and other debris, if you have a meter check the fuses are all okay and make sure the fuses are all 3 amp not 13 amp unless stated in the equipment instruction manual. This could be a life saver, you would not believe the number of 13 amp fuses that I have come across in peoples aquatic appliances.

Pumps: Air pumps service and check the diaphragms are good and not holed or perished. The air line has not gone brittle and cracked or got itself kinked. Airstones replaced, I replace mine as a matter of Corse every year and keep the old ones as standbys after cleaning them.

Water pups: Service and clean them especially inside the impeller housing taking out any debris that may have got in there weed snails grit etc. Clean or replace any old foam that will have been standing there all winter.

The piping from the pump to filter check for any wear and tare also check the hose clips and connections.

UV clarifier the UV tubes should be changed every year as the UV drops off after about 6 months and will not be effective after that. While you are changing the UV source carefully take the quartz sleeve out and clean off any lime scale deposits and replace the rubber gaskets before putting it back together.

Filters: Leave the bio media in the bottom of the filter and only give the foams or brushes a clean in pond or rain water never tap water. 

Only clean the biological media in mid summer and by back flushing if your filter allows this, or by taking it out into a bucket and washing in pond water only wash out any thick sludge and solids that have accumulated then replace the media back into the filter. This only needs doing every two years.