Yesterday we started up one of the pumps - hopefully the other pumps will follow today. Anyway, the water is a murky mess, which it is every Spring, although somehow the water seems murkier somehow this Spring......
Anyway, at the end of 2008, I started getting down on my belly on the lower deck and hanging over the pond a bit. I did this a couple times a week last year between raindrops and I found last year, the fish will come over and see me when I am down almost face first into the water. I started doing this regularly last year as I found that I could 'check them out ' for problems.
Yesterday, I got down on my elbows and belly to see if the fish would come over to me and they all did - even in the murk! I was so excited - they all came over to see me!
Yes, we do salt the pond in the fall when we are shutting everything down for the winter. I believe last fall DH told me he had it to 2.8%, which is the highest it has been in the winter. We will have the salt level back to 0 here shortly before it is time for the waterlilies to start coming up.
DH started up the remainder of the pumps and everything is 'up and running'. I love this time of year
Yesterday I was down on my belly to see who would come over and I had my fingers in the water -several that will generally eat from my hand came over and nibbled on my fingers a couple of times. It made my day - I feel like the ponding season is finally beginning!
That's interesting that you salt your pond in the winter. I salt mine in the early spring. I grow water lilies, too, but I bring my salt level up to 2.5% and it doesn't hurt them at all. I usually don't keep it that high, but I do keep it that high until summer generally. It keeps the fish from getting Ich and anything else nasty that seems to live in the pond over the winter. I do not shut my pond down for the winter because our winters are generally quite mild. If the pond freezes over, it doesn't last very long. I've only had to shut my pump off a couple of times, and then only for a few days. After that, it thaws out and I turn it back on again.
The salt will affect all of your plants. We used to run salt all the time and did not think there was a difference in the plants, until we stopped with the salt during the normal ponding season. I do know there is quite a bit of controversy on salt in ponds. My understanding is that in Japan they have salt year round and they run a much higher level of salt than we do here in the US.
Between the end of November to the first week or so in December - it depends on the water temps, we bring all the pumps, pressure filters and uv lights in to the house. We have a couple of heaters we put into the pond for the winter and we generally start everything back up anywhere from the first week in March to the first week in April, depending on the weather. The fish stay in the pond all winter.
We have had years with problems and health issues with the fish and we have had years that were problem free.
I never noticed any problem with the plants, but I don't really keep adding the salt once the filters start kicking in and the weather starts warming up. If I notice any of the fish have a problem, I add salt, but I've only had one fish that had any real health issues, and I ended up taking him out of the pond and treating him in a 'hospital' tank. Last year he was eaten by the heron, so that takes care of that, unfortunately. I'd say that generally the salt level stays below 1% during the growing season.
How do you like the UV lights? I was considering buying one last year because we got warm weather really fast and the filtration got overloaded. I ended up cleaning out the 'veggie' filter, which was a huge pain in the behind, and then waiting a couple of weeks for the bacteria to kick in. After that, the water stayed clear, so I didn't buy one. I am anxious to see how this year goes. I was sorely tempted.
we would not be without the uv lights. I know in previous years we had tried shutting them off to let the good bacteria try to control the algae blooms, but we ended up with green water anyway. So, no more - the uv lights come out with all of the other ponding equipment and they stay on until it is time for everything to come in.
Your salt levels are low enough and apparently it has not been an issue for you.
you would need to hook up the uv on the hose going into the pressure filter. We have a uv light in our pressure filter, but we also have a uv2 hooked up on the hose going into the pressure filter. I hope this helps.
That's one reason I shied away from buying one. I would have had to disassemble the plumbing to install it and it just seemed like so much trouble to me. I've only had green water that one time, and that was because the veggie filter really, REALLY needed cleaning. Once I just bit the bullet and got it done, it was all fine. When I put it back together, I put it back with lava rocks in mesh bags so I could just pull them out (or rather, the MAN can pull them out since they are so heavy) and rinse them off. That way keeping this filter clean will be easier. It's not nearly as attractive, though.
Yes, that is why I keep considering buying one. I am wondering if it would help keep some of the nasty things like Ich from being an issue in the spring. Of course, the salt keeps things under control, but I wonder if the fish would be healthier with the UV filter. I keep waiting to find one that would be easy to retrofit into my system. The issue is that I 'created' my system myself, so finding something that fits is a problem. Plus, the plumbing is not simple to take apart and then put back together. I would like to find one that would fit down inside my skimmerbox.