How to prepare your pond for Hurricane Sandy

Preparation and supplies needed for Hurricane Sandy

Here are some steps and suggested supplies to prepare your pond for Hurricane Sandy.

During storms, your fish will most likely move low in your pond so it is very important to keep aeration running.   In heavy rain the water column will flip; bottom water will go up, top water (full of oxygen) will go down.   This is known as Pond Stratification.  Without aeration, especially in deeper ponds,  the fish may suffocate as the bottom water moves to the uppers surface where fish usually swim.

For more information on Pond Stratification, here is a good link from Ohio State University http://ohioline.osu.edu/a-fact/0007.html.

Hurricane Sandy will provide heavy rain–prepare for pond stratification by using your aerators through the storm.

Prepare for Hurricane Sandy

  • Test your present water quality parameters to get your baseline numbers on pH, Hardness, ammonia, etc.
  • Remove anything around your pond that can blow in, such as chairs, tables, umbrellas and potted plants.
  • Ensure the pond is sufficiently buffered (high hardness) as the water (acid rain) will affect your pH. While I am not personally a fan of using baking soda, in an emergency, use 1 cup of baking soda per 1000 gallons of water. Buffering a pond will protect the pH from crashing. Adding baking soda at this rate will increase your pH to approx 8.4. Keep that in mind so you can adjust after the storm.
  • Reduce runnoff–if possible, from your rain gutters from going into your pond as it contains things, such as leaves and dirt, etc.
  • Cover your pond with a net, secured with stakes.
  • Stop feeding the fish. This will reduce waste and ammonia productions should the filtration be compromised. They will be fine if you do not feed them.
  • Tie things down. If you cannot move / put away things which can blow around, secure them with bungee cords, rope, etc.

 

Protect the pond power.

Get a generator to keep the circulation and air pumps running.  If you cannot get a generator, you can get creative based on your situation.  Inverters, Universal Power Supply (UPS) used for computers, marine batteries may be good alternatives.

Suggested supplies.

Ammonia test kit / strips
Nitrite test kit / strips
KH/TA test kit / strips
Baking soda
Pond Salt
Ammonia binding dechlorinator
Activated charcoal
Koi clay (calcium bentonite)
Net to cover the pond
Power Generator, inverter, etc.
Sand bags to protect the pond from runoff.
PVC pipe, fittings, glue, etc. to make repairs if necessary
Extra air stones and air pumps with appropriate size tubing.

 

After Hurricane Sandy, clean up as normal and the water quality of your pond.  Adjust the pond water as necessary to get the pond to it’s pre-storm quality.