~Seasonal Advice

PETER’S SEASONAL POND MEMORY JOGGERS

Despite the recent “big freeze” and general adverse weather conditions, now is the time to start preparing your pond to get the best results for the coming season.

For those who maintain their ponds themselves we strongly recommend the following actions.

Ultra Violet Bulbs

Renew ultra violet bulbs now: they are only efficient for one season, even though they may still glow.  Prevention is always easier than cure.  We stock a wide range of makes, sizes, wattages: if you are not sure of your make, model and size, then remember to bring your existing bulb to us.    As UV o-rings are in direct contact with the uv lamp, they tend to perish quickly.  They prevent water from exiting the chamber and entering, damaging the electrics.    Therefore we strongly recommend that these are changed every time you change your lamp.

Please remember not to look directly at a glowing uv bulb, as it could cause eye damage and temporary blindness.

Blanket Weed

Blanket Weed is already rearing its ugly head in spite of the Big Freeze.   Again prevention is better than cure.  For those who have not installed the highly-effective Itronic system, we recommend our best selling natural treatment that is efficient in treating blanket weed and, what is more, does not turn your water milky like some other products: it can also be added at low temperatures. 

Start adding it now before the blanket weed takes a hold, even if your pool is blanket weed free, to keep it at bay.

Itronic Blanket Weed Controllers

Itronic Blanket Weed Controllers, which should have been turned off when the water temperature fell below 10°C, need some attention to maintain efficiency in controlling blanket weed.  Now is the time to ensure peak performance by cleaning the stainless steel cathode and copper anode – a task needing to be performed throughout the season for best results.  Copper anodes need to be replaced annually; we have them all in stock alongside all other Itronic component parts.  If in doubt, we are always pleased to advise.

Please remember not to switch the Itronic on until water temperature reaches

10°C; start on setting “5” and increase only in small increments, if blanket weed persists.  Obviously a pond thermometer is an essential piece of kit to assist with this particular installation.

Filter Checks

Sponges and gaskets working efficiently are paramount to ensuring good water quality.  Whilst we stock a wide range of sponges and gaskets, customer feedback and experience tell us that, generally, the better quality products last up to twice as long as the cheaper ones.  Check for signs of deterioration, not forgetting the central mesh column which may support the sponges.  Try to wash sponges in water taken from your pond, thus preserving the beneficial bacteria to ensure continued efficiency - or, even better, add a filter start bacteria product.  We carry a stock of most makes of sponges, gaskets and spares.

Pump Check

Pump checks also need to be undertaken.   Turn off the electrics first, remove it from the casing, hose off, and check the impellor for dirt and wear and tear.   Replace any worn or damaged parts.  

Feeding

To maintain fish health it is important only to feed wheatgerm food until the water temperature reaches 10°C+.   Then slowly reduce the quantity of wheatgerm and gradually increase the staple diet food.  There are ample stocks in store in various different sizes.  See Newsletter below.

Adding Fish

If you want to add fish to your pool, you would benefit from bringing in a sample of your pond water, together with the size or capacity, and having it tested to make sure the water quality is safe for fish introduction.    There is a nominal fee for this but it is well worth it.

ONLY ADD FISH HOUSED OUT OF DOORS AT THIS TIME TO YEAR.  HWG’S FIRST STOCKS OF OUTDOOR BRITSH BRED FISH WILL BE HERE VERY SOON, SO WATCH THIS SPACE.

Make a habit of using a general tonic whenever you add new fish as a preventative measure against parasites.  This applies to all new fish even if moving from, say, a neighbour’s pool.

General Cleaning

Regular cleaning of ponds is recommended every two/three years, particularly as sludge deposits can exceed one inch per year, adversely affecting water quality and making your pool unsightly.  We always stock a wide range of cleaning equipment, such as nets, vacuums, pond silt reducers etc.

Pond Maintenance Service

HWG continues to provide a highly professional and efficient pond maintenance service, catering for ponds both large and small.  Our service is tailor-made to suit your specific needs.

Please remember that if you are considering having any pool work done by HWG this year ie a clean out, equipment upgrade, change of UV bulbs or Itronic anodes, or perhaps you just want filter maintenance, seasonal or start of season maintenance, then book your free quotation early.

We are currently taking bookings for “Spring Maintenance”.

We sincerely hope you have found the above tips useful.  We look forward to seeing you at the Centre soon.

Never hesitate to call if you have any concerns about the pool or aquarium.  We are always pleased to help and look forward to hearing from you, or , - better still - seeing you soon at Henley Water Gardens! 

HENLEY WATER GARDENS

SPRING NEWSLETTER 2011

Snow and Ice

Snow and ice played havoc with pond equipment, liners, plants and fish stocks and the nation even ran out of pond heaters during the “big freeze”!  Plants and a wide range of quality pond fish will become available in March and stocks and varieties will increase as the season progresses.  Be prepared for next time, if you have not already got a pond heater, then make sure you get one ready for next time.

Spares

Whilst we always stock a wide range of new quality pond equipment, HWG are very keen on repairing where possible and keep a wide and increasing range of spare parts.  Before replacing a major item of equipment, seek our advice on whether a part replacement will restore the item to effective operation – so important in these days of economic restraint.

Heron Deterrents

The herons’ appetites seem insatiable after the cold weather and, over many years, we have traded various deterrents with varying degrees of success.   Last year we supplied dozens of customers with a new, fairly inexpensive, and unobtrusive product, which is easily installed, the success rate of which has been confirmed by customers themselves.  Call in for a demonstration or visit our website to see what is available.  Also Contech Scarecrow heron deterrents are in stock now.  Doubling up on your heron deterrents ensures better protection.

Pond Plants

As plant specialists, we are constantly striving to increase the varieties and stocks of pond plants: as the season progresses, we will be carrying stock of some of the more unusual ones and, of course, native plants both for DIY and pre-planted medium, large and mature jumbo containers.  The first stocks of hardy pond plants have arrived.  We can advise on pond plants and have a pool planting service.  Just ask.

Staple Fish Food

Our new quality fish food range “Aqua Feast” is now in stock.  We have seven varieties in small, medium, large and bulk bag sizes – something for everyone.    Aqua Feast is cheaper than the well-known branded products, such as Tetra and Hikari, but is still excellent quality and value.  Give it s a try this year, but do not change from Wheatgerm until the temperature is correct.

Website

Our on-line web shop has been operational for two years.  Visit us at www.henleywatergardens.co.uk for equipment and spares and, of course, Peter’s pearls of wisdom on all things aquatic!

Yes, it is true….. we no longer stock tropical livestock and tropical plants and we apologise to our regular tropical fish lovers.   However, we continue to stock everything else ie all dry goods associated with indoor fish-keeping as well as all things pond related.

GOOD NEWS FOR TROPICAL FISHKEEPERS.   We still have two large, fully- equipped (with all equipment and quality external filters) ex-display tanks and cabinets at silly prices. If you know anyone looking for a large tank, then this is a one-off opportunity not to be missed, not to mention the Telephone Box Aquarium!

VISIT HENLEY WATER GARDENS SOON