The International Waterlily and Water Gardening Society (IWGS) recently announced the 2012 Collector’s Aquatic Plant of the Year: Nymphaea ‘Scarlet Flame’. Shown above, this beautiful day-blooming tropical water lily was introduced by Florida Aquatic Nurseries and won 1st place in the IWGS 2011 New Waterlily Competition.
“‘Scarlet Flame’ is truly unique in its appearance and stands in a league of its own,” says Brandon McLane of Florida Aquatic Nurseries. “This free-flowering tropical waterlily produces up to 3 blooms at a time and is accented by bright green pads with red undersides. We’re quite pleased with the results.”
Spring is officially here! With an unusually warmer than normal winter this year, most ponders have already started getting their pond ready. Are you one them? Need some ideas to assure your pond will be ready? Read on….
This is the time to remove any debris that has accumulated during the winter. Leaves, twigs and fine sediment should be removed with a net. A skimmer net is a good choice for removing sediment, as it has a finer mesh than a fish net. Be sure to the remove pond heater and bubbler that you may have added over the winter to keep a hole in the ice for proper gas exchange.
Assess Your Water
Now is a great time to test your water. Getting a baseline for your water quality will allow you to understand the current condition of the water. There are several water testing kits available. If you need help understanding the importance of what each water testing parameter represents, read this article titled, “Water Quality Parameters for Your Pond”.
In the spring, your water is rich in Dissolved Organic Carbons (DOC’s) because the fish are coming back to life. While their metabolism increases, the beneficial bacteria that naturally help to remove these organics aren’t fully up to speed because of the water temperature. This time is also referred to Aeromonas Alley due to the prevalence and rapid growth of the Aeromonas bacteria. This is potentially a vulnerable time for your fish.
Partial water changes are a great way to help dilute any excessive toxins in the water, while simultaneously adding fresh oxygen back into your pond. When refilling your pond, be sure to apply a water detoxifier to remove chlorine and other heavy metals. The addition of beneficial bacteria can help your pond adjust to the addition of the ammonia and nitrite levels after a long winter. These products are temperature sensitive but are available in cold water varieties as well. You can also consider a Spring Starter Kit, which will have all essential products to help your pond off to a great start.
Happy Spring to You All!