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FAQ

POND CONSTRUCTION & MAINTENANCE
 
How do I determine the liner size for my pond?

The formula is simple, but accurate measurements are a must.
1. Measure the maximum Length (L), Width (W), & Depth (D)
2. Multiply the Depth (D) x 2 (D x2 = 2D)
3. Add 2' to the measurement for edge treatment & trim margin
4. Use the formula:
Length (L) + 2D + 2' = Liner Length
Width (W) + 2D + 2' = Liner Width

Always remember to err on the larger size not a slightly smaller liner.
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Why do you only sell EPDM liner for ponds?

EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) quite a mouth full wouldn't you say?
EPDM is a highly stable material that is formulated for safety when exposed to fish and plant life in a decorative pond.
It stays flexible in temperatures from -40*F to 175*F for easy installation year round. Unlike other cheaper liner materials, it does not contain plasticizers that could make it become brittle with age and cause cracks or splits in the material, threatening aquatic life.
Unlike preformed liners, it can be easily shaped to fit all the unique contours of the pond's dimensions. It's high expansion and contraction characteristics enable it to conform to objects in the sub grade. Should earth movement occur, rocks and tree roots could be dislodged beneath the liner, but EPDM's high elongation will enable it to stretch over such objects.
Should a repair become necessary, it is easy to do without removing the liner from the pond, with the EPDM repair patch.
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FISH QUESTIONS

How do I determine if my fish have enough oxygen in my pond? Can it be a cause of fish death?

The dissolved oxygen content is one of the most important parameters in a pond. Lack of oxygen is one of the most commoncauses of death with fish.
Important factors.....
The higher the water temperature, the lower the oxygen content of the water. During warm summer months, oxygen content will be lower.
The lower the air pressure, the less the oxygen will diffuse in the water. In stormy weather with lighting strikes, the atmospheric pressure is low, which causes oxygen content in the water to be low.
If the pond contains plants or algae, oxygen will be consumed during the night, resulting in low oxygen content in the mornings. When fish death occurs, it is to be advised to measure oxygen content in the morning.
The more organic waste, the lower the oxygen content. If fishare fed excessively, the oxygen content will drop. The numerous nitrificating bacteria that decompose organic waste use large amounts of oxygen.
Fast-flowing water contains more dissolved oxygen than still water. An efficient filtering system passes the whole pond volume through the filter every one to two hours. Besides its importance for the bacteriological filter, this oxygen supply is a reason to make sure the water pump is always activated, day and night, winter and summer.
The saltier the water, the lower the oxygen content. This is why seawater contains less oxygen than fresh water.
As a conclusion, we could state that most fish deaths caused by lack of oxygen occur after a hot, stormy night in an overpopulated, insufficiently filtered, salty pond.

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How do I diagnose the lack of oxygen?  What symptoms do the fish show?

It is possible to measure the oxygen content with a digital oxygen meter.  As a rule of thumb, cold water fish minimally need 6 mg/l of oxygen.  The koi's or goldfish behaviour can also indicate a lot.  Fish in water with low oxygen content are languid and often hang close to the water surface and near the water influx.  In case of lack of oxygen, the largest fish will die first: they need more oxygen than smaller fish.
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The pH in my pond is very acidic in the morning but is OK in the evening. Why?

Aquatic plants and algae remove carbon dioxide from the water during the day. This causes a temporary rise in pH during the daylight hours. This temporary pH shift can mask a low pH situation. Testing pH in the morning will show the true pH level. Your pond has a low pH problem that should be corrected. Making a partial water change will add carbonate minerals to the pond and help stabilize the pH. "pH Up" can also be added to increase the pH.
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I'm ready to add fish, what is the fish stocking rate for my pond?

1" goldfish per sq. ft. of surface area and for koi 1/2" per sq. ft. of surface area. IMPORTANT NOTE: Greater stocking loads are possible when using larger filtration. Plan for average mature fish. Goldfish=10" and Koi=24"
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Are there guidelines I can follow in feeding my fish?

There are only a few guidlines that need to be followed for maintaining good healthy fish.
 
* Quality food reduces fish waste in water and is more easily digested.
* Never overfeed
* It is better to feed less than too much
* Remove leftover food immediately
* Sudden temperature change: Stop feeding or reduce amount until normal again
* Spring: Feed easily digested food such as one containing wheat germ
* Stop feeding when water temperatures are below 50 degrees
* In early Fall feed high protein food to prepare fish for winter
* In late Fall switch food to easily digestable food (wheat germ)

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How much feed should I be feeding my fish?

Feeding need not be difficult. Feed as much food that can be consumed in 5 minutes. Less than 8" fish = 5% of body weight daily and greater than 8" = 2% of body weight. It is possible to overfeed fish, but more likely to overfeed the filter from decomposing food.
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AQUAPONICS QUESTIONS
 
What growing method works the best?

There is no system design which works better than another.  Most systems are set up to accomodate the needs of the plant being grown as well as location.   There are three methods generally used to grow plants.
(1) Raft System - The plants are grown in floating Styrofoam boards.  Most often, this is in a tank separate from the fish. 
(2) NFT (Nutrient Film Technique)  Plants are grown in long narrow channels.  A thin film of water continuously flows down each channel, providing the plants with nutrients.
(3) Media Filled Bed - Plants are grown in a container that is filled with gravel, perlite or a fired clay pellet.  The grow bed is flooded with water from the fish tank and then drains back into the fish tank. 

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What plants can be grown in aquaponics?

Most any plant that can be grown in soil can be grown with aquaponics.  The only ones that do not do well, are the deep root plants.  However, I have seen some onions grown on top of a raft system with the roots dangleing in the water.   The ones we have grown successfully are lettuce, peppers, basil, tomatoes, strawberries, peas, green beans, cucumbers, chives, mint, spinach, broccali, and cabbage.  Flowers such as marigolds are beautiful.  Anything is possible!
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What is the preferred pH of the water in my system?

You should strive for a pH of 6.8 to 7.0 in your system. This is a compromise between what the fish would like and the plants require.
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My system is cycling, but my plants do not look healthy, whats happening?

The problem could be a number of things. First start with your pH reading, or do you have an insect problem? pH out of optimal range will not allow plants to absorb and utilize nutrients. Also, bugs will quickly zap the strength out of plants. Look closely, they are quite hard to sometimes see and can be out of control before you realize they are present.
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