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How to maintain and cultivate

a garden pond
Water care
Food quality
Algae-free biotopes
Healthy fish
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1 Advice for
regular pond maintenance
1.1 How to improve water
parameters that are unsuitable
for fish and plants ........................ 4
1.2 How to avoid
annoying algae growth............... 4
1.3 How to re-stabilize
polluted water .............................. 5
1.4 For prevention: for a
healthy pond climate................... 5
2 Natural food
for your pond fish ................... 6
3 What to do when algae
strikes –
the sera algae checklist............... 10
4 What to do for
fish diseases ............................... 14
5 sera water information
How do water parameters
develop, and how to test the
water
5.1 What creates hard water? .......... 16
5.2 The development of acidic
and alkaline water ........................ 17
5.3 What if the bacterial breakdown
of pollutants is not effective
anymore? ....................................... 18
sera table of water values .......... 20
6 Filter systems............................. 21
7 Pond maintenance
throughout the seasons
Spring.............................................. 24
Summer .......................................... 27
Autumn........................................... 29
Winter ............................................. 31
8 How to keep Koi ....................... 32
Contents
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sera ensures
biologically clean pond water
You just enjoy your little paradise
Clear and clean water is crucial for the liv-
ing conditions of animals and plants in and
around a garden pond. Water changes,
sunlight, rain and material that have
dropped into the pond (e.g., leaves) cause
changes in water conditions.
If natural pond regulation is insufficient for
buffering the changes, it will lead to strong
algae growth and harm the plants and fish.
sera has compiled some maintenance
advice for helping you to enjoy the garden
pond throughout the year and preserve it
as an attractive eye-catching element in
your yard.
With the sera range of products, you’re
ready for pond care according to nature’s
requirements!
Tap and rain water contain substances
such as chlorine or copper, which are too
aggressive for pond fish. Water hardness
that is too high or too low (see page 16,
please) is also harmful. sera KOI PROTECT
and sera pondmorena neutralize pollu-
tants and provide optimal, appropriate liv-
ing conditions for fish. If the carbonate
hardness is below 5°dKH it should be
increased to between 5 and 10°dKH using
sera GH-KH plus to ensure safe buffering
of the pH value.
On page 16 you can find out
how to monitor the carbonate
hardness.
Especially in summer, abundant nutrient
availability and strong sunlight make heavy
algae growth a real danger. Proper pond
water maintenance prevents algae forma-
tion. We recommend sera KOI PROTECT and
sera crystal for conditioning your pond
water. With its protective colloids and the
Vitamin B Complex, sera KOI PROTECT
ensures water conditioning according to
the fishes’ requirements. sera crystal
binds water turbidity which makes it easy
to filter them out. When using sera crystal
please ensure a sufficiently high KH value
as to stabilize the pH value.
Using a sera UVC Pond Clarifier reliably pre-
vents the growth of annoying floating
algae. Bound algae should regularly be
removed from the filter to prevent unnec-
essary water pollution by decomposition.
Thread and floating algae can be reliably
combated by sera algenstop*. The pond
water should be well aerated during the
treatment as the dying algae consume a
great deal of oxygen.
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1.1 How to improve water parameters
that are unsuitable for fish and plants
1.2 How to avoid annoying algae growth
1 Advice for regular pond maintenance
*Use biocides safely. Always read the label and product information before use.
*
5
1.3 How to re-stabilize polluted water
1.4 For prevention: for a healthy pond climate
Water hygiene is very important. Avoid any
further water pollution. Feed only high
quality food such as sera KOI SPIRULINA.
If the pH value is too high, stabilize and
lower it with sera pondmorena and long-
term sera biopeat granulate.
The pond surface must be powerfully agi-
tated. This can be achieved with sera foun-
tain- and pond filter pumps which are also
ideal for running decorative water foun-
tains. You will find more information about
the sera pond filters in the sera guide
“How to build a garden pond.”
Control the fish stock
in the pond. Your fish
may have multiplied
considerably! Reduce
the stock if the pond
is over populated.
If acute toxic symp-
toms occur, carry out
a major partial water
change immediately.
While doing this, re-
move as much sludge as possible. Con-
dition the fresh water with a double dose
of sera KOI PROTECT and sera pondmorena.
Advice for regular pond maintenance 1
The combined application of sera pond-
morena and sera biopeat granulate pre-
vents formation of unwanted algae and
many fish diseases, and ensures biological-
ly clean water. sera pondmorena is a humic
acid concentrate and is therefore immedi-
ately effective. sera biopeat granulate
releases the humic acids slowly into the
water.
These are the advantages of this water care:
• clean water
• prevention of algae growth
• enhanced healthy plant growth, and
therefore inhibited algae growth and
better oxygen supply
• prevention of fish fungal diseases
• stabilization of the pH value
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Correctly feeding the fish is a pre-
condition for keeping them success-
fully. The nutritional requirements
are different, depending on spe-
cies and age of the fish. The na-
tural feeding habits must also be
considered when choosing the food. sera
provides a wide range of foods for your
pond fish, including flake food and float-
ing pellets for all pond fish as well as spe-
cial foods such as the rapidly sinking
granulates for the popular sturgeons and
sterlets.
Food quality plays an important role on
water pollution by fish waste. Poor quality
or badly processed foods are only partly
digested by the fish. This leads to nutrient
deficiencies in the fish and greater water
pollution through its waste.
sera pond fish foods provide a healthy and
varied diet for your pond fish with plenty
of vitamins, minerals, trace elements and
herbs. sera pond fish foods also contain
large amounts of provitamin inositol,
which aids digestion and therefore
inhibits additional water pollution.
All our ingredients are preserved through
careful manufacturing processes. Your
fish prove it – sera foods taste great!
2 Natural food for your pond fish
sera KOI JUNIOR is a granulated food for
feeding young and growing Koi. This pre-
mium quality food sinks slowly, meeting
the nutritional requirements of young Koi,
who prefer to feed near the bottom. sera
KOI JUNIOR is high in wheat germ, plus
natural carotene from the Spirulina algae.
The careful blend of ingredients and vita-
mins add to your Koi’s splendid colors and
healthy growth.
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Natural food for your pond fish 2
sera KOI SPIRULINA
is a specialty granu-
lated food that con-
tains 20% Spirulina.
This helps ensure the
optimal development
of natural colors, clear
color separations, and
excellent condition of
your magnificent Koi.
sera KOI SPIRULINA is also
rich in easy-to-digest wheat germ, crus-
taceans and herbal oils making it the ideal
choice for spring and autumn feeding.
sera KOI SPIRULINA is also perfect for
enhancing brilliance in your valuable
Japanese Koi and fish with extraordi-
narily good inherited traits.
sera KOI COLOR is a nutritious, protein-rich
stick food for all larger pond fish, especial-
ly Koi. The colorful Koi need powerful
nutrition. sera KOI COLOR was developed
to meet the nutritional requirements of
the Koi while naturally enhancing their
vibrant red coloring.
sera KOI ROYAL granulated food is a premi-
um staple diet, rich in high-quality wheat
germ. Natural carotene
helps increase the splen-
did colors of the fish.
sera KOI ROYAL is ideal as
a staple diet for all Koi
when the water tem-
perature is above 8°C
(46°F).
sera granulated food for Koi is
available in the following granule sizes:
MINI – 2 mm (sera KOI ROYAL only)
MEDIUM – 4 mm
LARGE – 6 mm
The granule size
of sera KOI JUNIOR
is 2 mm
sera mix royal
is a select blend of
flakes, pellets, and gran-
ules for all pond fish. The
pellets and granules are
rich in wheat germ, fish
protein, tasty herbs, ad-
ded vitamins, and natural
carotene from Spirulina
algae. Smaller fish can take
advantage of the same valuable nutrition
in our carefully processed flakes, made
from high quality grain products, insects,
and crustaceans.
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2 Natural food for your pond fish
sera biogranulat is a low-in-fat floating
granulated food, perfect for feeding as
a staple diet to all medium-sized and
large pond fish (6 cm / 2.5 in and up). To
meet the nutritional requirements of
the different pond fish, we recom-
mend feeding sera bio-
flakes and sera biogranu-
lat simultaneously. The
amount depends on the
stock level in the pond.
Low-in-fat sera bioflakes
provide a complete diet
for all small- and medium-
sized (up to approx. 8 cm
/ 3 in.) fish in your garden
pond.
sera goldy is a high quality, low-in-fat flake
food with natural minerals and added vita-
mins for all goldfish and other pond fish. It
is the ideal choice for helping the fish gain
strength in autumn and
spring or when recover-
ing from an illness. In
the latter case, add
drops sera KOI MULTI-
VITAMIN onto the food
before feeding the
fish.
All your pond fish can
eat our high quality Koi foods – but your
Koi need it especially. Goldfish food is not
prepared for the Koi’s special nutritional
requirements.
Low-in-fat sera goldy
Color is a premium
quality granulated food
– high in fish meal and
assorted grains for easy
digestion and the gold-
fish’s natural nutritional
requirements. sera goldy
Color contains Spirulina
algae and herbs, providing
natural carotene for rich colors in fancy
goldfish and other pond fish. sera goldy
Color is perfect for both outdoor and
indoor setups.
sera goldy Royal is our premium gran-
ulated food for all highly bred goldfish
such as veiltails, Sarasas, and Shubun-
kins. This slow-sinking granulated food
is suitable for both garden pond and
aquarium fish, and especially meets
the feeding habits of sticklebacks, bitter-
lings, and gudgeons. sera goldy Royal is
low in fat and phosphates but rich in
brewers yeast, provitamin inositol, and
other vitamins for enhanced
digestibility, which helps
control water pollution.
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Natural food for your pond fish 2
January February March April May June
(above approx. 8°C (46°F)
water temperature)
Koi - - KOI SPIRULINA
KOI SPIRULINA all sera KOI all sera KOI
KOI ROYAL foods foods
Young Koi - - KOI JUNIOR
KOI JUNIOR KOI JUNIOR KOI JUNIOR
KOI ROYAL MINI KOI ROYAL MINI KOI ROYAL MINI
Goldfish and
bioflakes bioflakes
other fish
- -
goldy
goldy biogranulat biogranulat
mix royal
mix royal mix royal
Sturgeons
July August September October November December
(below approx. 8°C (46°F) (below approx. 8°C (46°F)
water temperature) water temperature)
Koi
all sera KOI all sera KOI all sera KOI
KOI SPIRULINA KOI SPIRULINA -
foods foods foods
Young Koi
KOI JUNIOR KOI JUNIOR KOI JUNIOR
KOI JUNIOR KOI JUNIOR -
KOI ROYAL MINI KOI ROYAL MINI KOI ROYAL MINI
Goldfish and
bioflakes bioflakes bioflakes
other fish
biogranulat biogranulat biogranulat
goldy goldy
-
mix royal mix royal mix royal
mix royal mix royal
Sturgeons
Sturgeon
Granules
Sturgeon
Granules
Sturgeon
Granules
Sturgeon
Granules
Sturgeon
Granules
Sturgeon
Granules
Sturgeon
Granules
Sturgeon
Granules
Sturgeon
Granules
Sturgeon
Granules
Sturgeon
Granules
Sturgeon
Granules
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3 What to do when algae strikes
– the sera algae checklist
Algae belong to the natural food chain in
water. Many small organisms feed on
them, and we should intervene only if the
algae growth becomes overbearing. Here
we have compiled and explained the most
frequent problems, as well as their causes
and treatment methods:
The pond water is an opaque green color for months (algae bloom)
The pond water is heavily burdened and
polluted. Causes for this type of wa-
ter pollution are over-
feeding the fish and
not removing rot-
ting leaves and plant
parts. Remove the
causes and carry out a
partial water change.
Condition the fresh
water with sera KOI
PROTECT and sera KOI
BIOCLEAR.
We highly recommend using a sera UVC
Pond Clarifier to combat floating algae.
The sera UVC Pond Clarifier reliably
destroys annoying floating algae (green,
cloudy water) and parasites. This con-
tributes to maintaining clean, healthy
pond water.
Rainwater from the roof has been added
to the pond. Water collected from a roof
surface is heavily saturated with environ-
mental pollution. Use well-water or tap
water.
Topsoil or garden-soil is in the pond.
Nutrient-rich topsoil significantly pro-
motes algae growth. Remove any topsoil
from the pond and replace it with gravel.
Also, do not allow the rain to wash topsoil
into the pond. You will find advice on how
to design the pond edges in the sera guide
“How to build a garden pond.”
filter
UVC
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What to do when algae strikes 3
– the sera algae checklist
Do you fertilize the marsh or bog plants
with garden fertilizer, peat, or grass
clippings?
These fertilizers are high in nitrate and
phosphate, which pollute pond water.
Remove them from the pond and
perform a large partial water
change. Condition the fresh water
with sera KOI PROTECT, sera pond-
morena, and sera biopeat granu-
late. Fertilize your pond with
nitrate- and phosphate-free sera
florenette T tablets.
Are you feeding your fish cor-
rectly?
Do not feed if the temperature
drops below 8°C (46°F). Above this,
young Koi can be fed sera KOI ROYAL
MINI, while Koi and other large fish
can be fed sera KOI SPIRULINA and
sera KOI ROYAL. Small fish can be
given sera goldy. At 12°C (54°F) and
higher, medium to large Koi
should also receive sera KOI
COLOR, while young Koi are
given sera KOI JUNIOR. All our
high quality foods can be fed to
goldfish and other species dur-
ing the warm season. Select the
appropriate grain size when
choosing. Low-in-fat sera goldy
Color and sera goldy Royal are
perfect of small and fancy gold-
fish. Feed two or three times a
day, but only as much as the fish
can eat in a few minutes. Never
use breadcrumbs or inexpensive
foods. These can lead to nutritional
deficiencies, as well as water pollu-
tion problems.
Are there enough submerged plants in
the pond (e.g., hornwort, waterweed?
Check your plant stock for health.
Submerged plants are nutrient competi-
tors to algae, and they provide oxygen (see
sera guide, “How to build a garden pond”).
Stock the pond with several rapidly grow-
ing submerged plants. Plants are able to
consume nitrate and phosphate only when
they are provided with trace elements, so
use sera florenette T as fertilizer.
Clean water also enhances healthy plant
growth. sera crystal binds water turbidity
in the pond making it easier to remove the
particles. Be certain to agitate the water
well to enhance the oxygen supply. Prior
to adding sera crystal, check, by using the
sera kH-Test, that the carbonate hardness
is at least 6°dKH, although 8°dKH is better.
The coagulated particles can be collected
from the surface or drawn through the fil-
ter after they sink. Clean the filter
immediately if it becomes clogged.
fig.: floating algae
12
3 What to do when algae strikes
– the sera algae checklist
The water is clear, but the pond is strongly affected by thread and beard
algae growth
Smear algae grow on the decorations, stones, and plants
Are there enough nutritional competitors
(submerged plants) present?
If not, we recommend adding hornwort
and waterweed. sera algenstop* is highly
effective for the control of thread algae.
The dead algae should be removed with-
out delay to prevent the vicious cycle of
algae growth. Remove floating algae with
a rake as an immediate measure. As a pre-
ventative, sera pondmorena is effective
immediately, and sera biopeat granulate
or the sera UVC Pond Clarifiers are effec-
tive over the long term.
The causes are an oversupply of nutrients
and, generally, less than optimal hygienic
conditions.
As an immediate measure, perform a par-
tial water change (removing sludge with a
sludge pump) and add a combined appli-
cation of sera algenstop* and double dose
of sera pondmorena.
To prevent a reappearance of smear algae,
ensure your water conditions are good
and follow-up with applications of sera
pondmorena and long-term sera biopeat
granulate.
fig.: smear algae fig.: hornwort
*Use biocides safely. Always read the label and product information before use.
fig.: thread algae fig.: water weed
13
What to do when algae strikes 3
– the sera algae checklist
The pond water smells bad
The pond water has “turned.” Too much
sun irradiation and nutrient oversupply,
such as overfeeding, lead to rapid algae
growth. The algae die and rot as soon as
the nutrients are consumed, withdrawing
oxygen from the water at the same time.
Plants can no longer grow under these
conditions. Carry out a one-third water
change. Repeat this partial water change
in one or two days.
Remove sludge and dead plant parts with
the water change and condition the fresh
water with sera KOI PROTECT and sera bio-
peat granulate according to the instruc-
tions for use. Add more submerged plants,
such as hornwort. These plants are nutri-
tion-competitors for the algae. You will
find further advice about planting in the
sera guide “How to build a garden pond.”
*Use biocides safely. Always read the label and product information before use.
*
Spring virus (spring virosis) and the similar
looking Erythrodermatitis are promoted by
rapidly changing environmental condi-
tions (varying water quality or tempera-
ture). Affliction is the worst in overstocked
and/or heavily polluted ponds. Feeding
poor quality food, or food from open or
translucent containers, weakens the
fishes’ resistance to disease and can
promote a disease breakout.
We recommend using sera cyprino-
pur, according to directions, to pre-
vent spring virus (spring virosis).
Feed your fish sera KOI SPIRULINA,
sera KOI ROYAL and sera goldy
early in spring at water tempera-
tures of 8°C (46°F) and up.
For additional vitamins, we rec-
ommend adding a few drops of
sera KOI MULTIVITAMIN to the food a
few minutes before feeding. Or offer
sera activant tablet to support
strength and vitality in your fish.
In cases of an acute disease outbreak the
fish should be fed sera KOI BAKTO TABS
according to the instructions for
use. Its highly active agent is
taken up through the digestive
tract and is active from the
inside, directly at the loca-
tion of the infection. For
overstocked ponds, install
additional sera pond filters
and reduce the stock to an
appropriate level.
4 What to do for fish diseases
The fish has bleeding sores and ulcers, bloated belly and is
not swimming properly
(sometimes, not all symptoms are visible)
If the pond water is checked regularly and
carefully maintained, fish diseases rarely
occur. If your fish should become ill, sera
water treatments can safely and reliably
help. Here we have compiled a few com-
mon pond fish diseases with their symp-
toms and suggested corrective measures.
Small parasitic crustaceans (commonly
known as fish lice) are the cause.
Using sera cyprinopur will remove para-
sites from the fish. Follow directions for
use.
14
The fish are affected with almost round shape, jelly-like parasites
of approx. 5 mm (0.2 in.) in diameter or they have bleeding sting marks
15
What to do for fish diseases 4
You will find further information on treating fish diseases in the sera
guide “How to keep your ornamental fish healthy.”
The fish are infested by parasites
(small white spots or skin slime)
The fish breathe heavily with
open gill lids and scrub themselves
These parasites are secondary para-
sites, i.e., ones that can be found in
almost every pond; however, they
are not able to harm healthy fish.
The secondary parasites can only
multiply if an animal is infected
by another disease or is under
stress. White spots also often
develop after stress caused by
catching, transporting or a
new surrounding. Other caus-
es are, for example, an infu-
sion of large amounts of
fresh water (especially in the
case of well and rain water), considerably
decreasing water quality, and unbalanced
or low-in-vitamins nutrition. sera omnisan
reliably interrupts all parasitic activities
within a few days.
These symptoms are typical for
skin and gill flukes. Add sera
ectopur according to instruc-
tions for use. If the fish are not
better after three days, use sera
omnipur for additional support.
The water quality is good, the fish do not
scrub themselves and have no detectable
disease. In this case an internal disease
caused by virus or bacteria is pos-
sible. Fish that have stopped
eating are a distinct sign of this
disorder. Often they rest apa-
thetically in the water or even
lie on their side. Only rarely are
all the fish affected right away. In
most cases the disease will relate
to one particular fish species.
They are infectious. Treat with
sera KOI BAKTO TABS as soon as
possible.
gill fluke
(microscopic
photo)
Howto keep your
ornamental fish healthy
including an
extensive
diagnosis chart
Recognizing Diseases
Identifying causes
and eliminating them
Scientific Consultant:
Dieter Untergasser
Howto keep your
ornamental fish healthy
Treatment and
recovery of your
ornamental fish —
prevention
and cure
Treatment and
recovery of your
ornamental fish —
prevention
and cure
The fish behave strangely
Especially in garden ponds it is often diffi-
cult to recognize fish diseases. sera
omnipur makes treating most common
ornamental pond fish diseases possible.
The composition of sera omnipur is
designed to target specific parasites in
garden ponds. Besides treating para-
sitic diseases, gill, and skin flukes
(Dactylogyrus, Gyrodactylus), sera
omnipur is also highly effective at
treating bacterial infections such as
fin rot. Furthermore, sera omnipur
combats fungus (Saprolegnia, Ach-
lya) and accelerates the healing of
external injuries and wounds.
Diagnosis problems
16
5 sera water information
rain
mineral-rich
soil
ground water
high total hardness
high carbonate hardness
How do water parameters develop, and how to test the water
We recommend checking the pond water
regularly to prevent water parameters
from reaching critical limits. Maintaining
healthy water conditions inhibits the likeli-
hood of algae and fish diseases develop-
ing. Testing the water with sera test kits is
simple to perform, even by the novice. The
highly accurate monitoring tests are based
on either counting reagent drops until a
color change occurs or comparing the
sample to a color chart for measurement.
Total hardness (GH)
The total number of sera
gH-Test reagent drops con-
sumed – when the color
changes from red to green
– provides the total hard-
ness (in °dGH) value.
Carbonate hardness (KH)
The total number of sera kH-
Test reagent drops con-
sumed – when the color
changes from blue to yellow
– provides the carbonate
hardness (in °dKH) value.
5.1 What creates hard water?
If rain water seeps into limestone or mineral-rich layer
of soil, it dissolves:
calcium carbonate
+ magnesium and + hydrogen carbonate
= total hardness (GH) = carbonate hardness (KH)
The optimum values for keeping
pond fish are between
6 – 16°dGH and
5 – 10°dKH.
Measuring the water hardness and other water parameters is easy:
17
sera water information 5
rain
peat-
contain-
ing soil
ground
water
rain
lime-
contain-
ing soil
ground
water
pH 5
weakly
acidic
pH value
decreases
pH 3
acidic
pH 5
weakly
acidic
pH value
increases
pH 9
weakly
alkaline
5.2 The development of acidic and alkaline water
The acidity or alkalinity of water is express-
ed by the pH value. The more acidic the
water, the lower the pH value. On the other
hand, an increase of alkalinity in the water
raises the pH value. The pH ranges from
0 (strongly acidic) to 14 (strongly alkaline).
Neutral water has a pH value of 7.0.
The pH value of tap water is adjusted by
your waterworks department while
preparing your drinking water. Tap water
normally has a weak alkalinity pH value (7.5
– 8.5). Acidic water would damage the
water pipes.
Rainwater is usually acidic, with a pH value
below 5.0. Often it shows a pH value of 3.5,
which is extremely acidic. If the rainwater
seeps through peat-containing soil, it dis-
solves humic acids as well as the acids that
are already present. Well water from this
area would clearly be acidic.
In contrast, when rainwater seeps through
heavy limestone soil, the acids are bound,
after this the water becomes hard and
alkaline.
Extreme pH values, too acidic or too alka-
line, are detrimental to fish and plants. A
pH value between 7.0 and 7.5 is optimal.
Bear in mind that even in rural areas, large
amounts of acidic water – with a pH value
as low as 3.5 – can get into the pond with-
in 15 minutes after a heavy rainfall. To pro-
tect fish from the harmful effects of acid
rain, condition the water with sera KOI
PROTECT and sera pH-plus, if necessary.
Remember too, to check the carbonate
hardness regularly and increase if neces-
sary.
The following sections are mainly relevant to pond owners
who use ground water from their well.
18
5 sera water information
How to easily monitor the pH value:
Fill 5 ml of pond water into the sera meas-
urement vial. Add 4 drops of the
sera pH-Test reagent and com-
pare the color of the solution to
the color chart enclosed with
the kit.
You can get quicker and more precise
results by using the electronic sera pH
meter. We also advise checking the
ammonium/ammonia level with the sera
ammonium/ammonia-Test kit if the pH
is above 7.
First, check the carbonate hardness
with the sera kH-Test. Carbonate
hardness is the influence of pH sta-
bility in the water. If necessary, use
sera GH-KH plus to increase its
level between 5 and 10°dKH.
Second, use sera pondmorena
and sera biopeat granulate
to achieve a stable low pH
condition. For a stronger
change use sera pH-plus to
increase the pH value or
sera pH-minus to decrease
it.
How to adjust the pH value correctly:
Bacteria break down fish excrements and
other waste products in the pond. If the
action is disturbed, harmful substances
accumulate in the water. Ammonia and
nitrite are very toxic to fish. Nitrate pro-
motes the growth of unwanted algae.
The level of free, toxic ammonia is calculat-
ed from the measured ammonium/am-
monia concentration and its pH value. For
this purpose, an appropriate chart is
included with the sera ammonium/am-
monia-Test. A free ammonia concentra-
tion of over 0.2 mg/l (ppm) is dangerous to
fish. An immediate partial water change is
necessary.
The sera nitrite-Test shows if the
water quality is good, critical, or
harmful. Nitrite levels over 0.5 mg/l
(ppm) require an immediate partial
water change. If the
nitrite concentration is
even higher, there is acute
danger for the fish.
5.3 What if the bacterial breakdown of pollutants is not effective anymore?
19
sera water information 5
The sera nitrate-Test informs
you of the nitrate level in your
pond water. Nitrate concen-
trations over 50 mg/l (ppm)
are harmful to fish, especially
juveniles, and additionally
promote algae growth.
The sera phosphate-Test allows you
to detect the phosphate level
of the pond water. Phosphate
concentrations above 1 mg/l
(ppm) strongly promote algae
growth.
It takes only a few minutes
to check if the oxygen level
is too low for your fish, when
you use the sera oxygen-Test.
Oxygen levels should always
be at least 4 mg/l (ppm) O
2
.
sera oxypur is a fast and
long-term solution to rais-
ing the oxygen level when
necessary. We recommend
a general increase in water
circulation to improve oxygen
assimilation from the air.
The sera aqua-test set
contains a practical combination of gH,
kH, pH and nitrite (NO
2
) tests.
Protein substances, such as food left-
overs, and fish excrement feed the
bacteria and are broken down. By this
action, depending on the pH value,
either harmless ammoni-
um or toxic ammonia
is formed. Ammo-
nium is formed
when pH value is
below 7.0. Stronger
ammonia occurs as
pH values rise.
Nitrosomonas
bacteria process
ammonium/ammonia
and oxygen to nitrite.
Nitrobacter bacteria
process nitrite and
oxygen to nitrate.
Well-balanced planting
of submerged and bog
plants keeps nitrate
and phosphate levels
down. Fast growing
species such as horn-
wort (Ceratophyllum
demersum) are best.
How the nitrogen
cycle works:
excrements
protein
disintegration
urine
urea
ammonium/
ammonia
NH
4
/NH
3
nitrite NO
2
nitrate NO
3
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:
Filter systems 6
You may combine different sera pond fil-
ters, water pumps and UVC Pond Clarifiers
according to the size of your pond.
The sera Bio Pond Filters purify the water
biomechanically and biologically in a sev-
eral step system.
The filter media is already included with
the pond filters. To increase filter perform-
ance, we recommend using sera siporax
pond (white rings) as shown in the filter
pictures. sera pond filter connection noz-
zles steplessly fit all hose diameters.
sera pond filter systems according to the construction kit principle
sera
filter sponge
sera
biofibres
sera
biopur
Cross sectional drawing
of the filter tub
The sera pond filter W 1500 is suitable for
garden ponds up to 10,000 liters (2,650 gal.)
or larger if the water is very clean. It con-
tains: Filter sponge, sera biofibres and sera
biopur. The large filter tub provides plenty
of settling space for bacteria that break
down waste products, so the water is
cleaned both mechanically and biologically.
21
The sera 3 chamber biofilter is suitable for
particularly large garden ponds and Koi
ponds from 10,000 liters (2,650 gal.) to maxi-
mum 15,000 liters (3,960 gal.). You can
remove dirt and deposited sludge without
removing the filter media. The sera 3 cham-
ber biofilter contains: honeycomb struc-
tured plastic material, filter mat and lava
rocks. You can increase filter performance by
additionally using sera siporax pond in the
third chamber (white rings in the picture).
UVC
3 chamber
biofilter
22
6 Filter systems
filter
UVC
The sera Bio Pond Filters are available in
3 sizes for garden ponds holding up to
5,000, 8,000 or 10,000 liters (1,320, 2,110 or
2,650 gal.) of water. The sera Bio Pond
Filters contain: Filter mat, bio-rings, inlet,
outlet and overflow tubes. You can
increase filter performance by using sera
siporax pond (white tubes in the picture).
23
Filter systems 6
Unwanted floating algae (cloudy, green
water) and disease-causing bacteria are
destroyed by UVC irradiation. In combina-
tion with the sera pond filters, algae
and bacteria are then easy to remove.
sera UVC Pond Clarifiers are available
in several sizes depending on the vol-
ume of your garden pond.
Power packs for the garden pond:
The sera Pressure Filter and UV System
The sera Pressure Filters T and sera
Pressure Filters T + UV System have espe-
cially high filter volumes of 11, 25, 40 or
50 liters (2.9, 6.6, 10.5, or 13.2 gal.). Although
they are suitable for ponds up to
12,000 liters (3,170 gal.) they can easily be
buried to avoid obstructing your view.
Access for filter maintenance and cleaning
remains simple, even if it is buried. The sera
Pressure Filters T and sera Pressure Filters T
+ UV Systemconsist of heavy-duty ABS-plas-
tic and are equipped with connectors for all
common hose diameters.
Two new UV pond clarifiers, the sera UV
Systems 11 W and 24 W, guarantee
long-term clean pond water. They are
weatherproof and can be buried, prohibit-
ing the technical equipment from disturb-
ing the natural beauty of the pond. Both
models tolerate pressure up to 0.4 bar
(e.g., 4 m / 13 ft. waterfall height). This
allows use of the outlet water for addition-
al filters, spouts, fountains, or brooks.
Norms: TÜV – GS – IPX6 – CE
24
Spring
Pond maintenance begins with the first
warm sunbeams. In spring (April, May) the
pond needs special attention. To ensure
you will always enjoy clean water and
healthy fish, we would like to share some
advice for pond care in spring.
Water test:
Check the water quality with the sera
tests. You will find further advice in the
chapter “sera water information” (see
page 16).
Feeding:
When the water temperature is
constantly above 8°C (46°F), feed
the fish with easy-to-digest food
(sera KOI SPIRULINA and sera KOI
ROYAL for adult Koi and other
large pond fish, sera KOI JUNIOR
for young Koi, sera Sturgeon
Granules for sterlets and sera goldy
for smaller pond fish). Enhance
their vitamin supply and ener-
gy with sera KOI MULTIVITA-
MIN and sera activant. You
will find more valuable tips on feed-
ing in the chapter, “Natural food for
your pond fish,” (see page 6).
March
7 Pond maintenance throughout the seasons
25
Pond maintenance throughout the seasons 7
Preventing and combating fish disease:
Essential to your spring routine is a pre-
ventive treatment against spring virus
(spring virosis). To accomplish this,
add a full dose sera cyprinopur
directly into the water according
to the instructions for use.
Repeat this preventive measure
three more times. Simultane-
ously, supplement the food with
vitamins daily for one week.
Simply add 3 drops of sera KOI
MULTIVITAMIN onto the food and
allow it to soak in the refrigerator
for 10 minutes before feeding. If
your fish already show disease
symptoms, read, “What to do for fish
diseases,” (see page 14). Treatment for this
must start before any other pond mainte-
nance!
Spring cleaning and water care
(Perform only when the water
temperature is above 12°C / 54°F):
Remove leaves, dead plant parts
and sludge and change about
one third of the water.
Exercise extreme care as
you work, as the fish hardly
move at this time and can
be easily injured. Condition
the fresh water according to
the fishes’ requirements
with a double dose of sera
KOI PROTECT and sera pond-
morena (depending on the
total water amount).
Prevention of algae:
By using sera KOI PROTECT, sera
pondmorena and sera biopeat
granulate, you help provide bio-
logically clean water and prevent
the growth of annoying algae before it has
a chance to take hold. Further information
is described in the chapter, “What to do
when algae strikes,” (see page 10).
26
Plant fertilization:
sera florenette T and sera pond
florena provide your pond plants
with all important nutrients for
healthy growth and colorful flow-
ers. Please refer to the instructions
for use to find out how much and
how often your pond plants
should be fertilized.
Total and carbonate hardness:
Water hardness fulfils a very
important task in the garden
pond because it stabilizes the
pH value. In ponds, total hard-
ness should be between 6 and
16°dH and carbonate hardness
between 5 and 10°dH. The pH
value will fluctuate if the hard-
ness is lower, leading to consider-
able stress for the fish. Monitor
the hardness regularly using the
sera gH-Test and sera kH-Test.
Increase carbonate hardness with
sera GH-KH plus.
Oxygen:
Clean the pond filter. If the sera pond filter
is regularly overtaxed (flow rate
goes down frequently), or if the
oxygen level is below 4 mg/l
(ppm), as monitored with the
sera oxygen-Test, we recom-
mend increasing the filter size.
You will find more information on
this topic in the sera guide, “How
to build a garden pond.” The oxy-
gen level can be raised by using
sera oxypur in acute cases.
Water test: see March
Water maintenance:
After heavy rainfalls, add a supplementary
dose of sera KOI PROTECT according to the
instructions for use. Carry out a partial
water change if the pond is small or over-
stocked.
Plant fertilization: see March
Total and carbonate hardness: see March
Regular feeding:
with sera KOI SPIRULINA, sera KOI ROYAL,
sera KOI JUNIOR or sera goldy
Water test: see March
Water maintenance: see April
Plant fertilization: see March
Total and carbonate hardness: see March
Cleaning:
Remove all decayed plant parts and leaves.
Feeding:
Young Koi and sterlets are fed with sera
KOI JUNIOR, adult Koi with sera KOI SPI-
RULINA, sera KOI ROYAL and sera KOI
COLOR. Other pond fish should be fed sera
bioflakes, sera biogranulat and sera mix
royal. Goldfish are fed sera goldy, sera
goldy Color and sera goldy Royal. Please
adhere to the feeding information on the
labels.
You will find additional advice in the chap-
ter “Natural food for your pond fish,” (see
page 6).
April
7 Pond maintenance throughout the seasons
May
27
Summer
In the summer, all life in and around the
garden pond grows and thrives. Due to
strong sunlight and high nutrient supply,
algae may multiply rapidly. We recom-
mend testing the pond water regularly.
Water test:
Because of the quantity and variety of ani-
mals and plants living in your pond, the
water parameters change rapidly. The
chapter, “sera water information,” (see
page 16), explains how easy it is to carry
out our sera water tests, and how this
helps life under water.
Water maintenance: see April
Prevention of algae:
To prevent algae, condition the water
with sera pondmorena. The light
spectrum required will be taken
away from the algae by the light fil-
tering effect. For supporting sera pond-
morena we recommend adding sera bio-
peat granulate with its long-term effect.
For the acute control of algae we recom-
mend sera algenstop*. Please pay
attention to the information for use.
You will find further information in
the chapter “What to do when
algae strikes” (see page 10).
Total and carbonate hardness:
Carbonate hardness is broken
down when algae is growing
heavily, but also by the plants
because of their high carbon
dioxide requirements (known as
“biogenic decalcification”).
Plant fertilization: see March
Cleaning: see May
Feeding: see May
Pond maintenance throughout the seasons 7
June
*Use biocides safely. Always read the label and product information before use.
*
28
July
Water test: see March
Prevention of algae: see June
Total and carbonate hardness: see March
Plant fertilization: see March
Plant maintenance:
Prune heavily growing plants to provide
sufficient space for other plants. Do not let
floating leaf plants cover the entire pond,
restrict them to a certain area. Remove
decayed plant parts and leaves.
Feeding: see May
If the water temperature becomes very
high, feed sparingly with sera bioflakes or
sera biogranulat. These foods are especial-
ly easy for the fish to digest.
Water maintenance:
Replenish evaporated water regularly.
Condition the fresh water with sera KOI
PROTECT. Follow the instructions for use.
Small or overstocked ponds require a par-
tial water change.
Cleaning of the pond filter:
The filter needs cleaning when its flow
rate decreases considerably. After clean-
ing, reactivate the filter biologically with
sera KOI BIOCLEAR.
7 Pond maintenance throughout the seasons
29
Autumn
To maintain healthy pond fish and plants
during the winter months, you must
begin preparation in autumn.
Be alert for fish diseases:
Observe your ornamental fish regularly
and carefully. If you suspect a disease,
refer to the chapter “What to do for fish
diseases” (see page 14), where the symp-
toms and treatment of common fish dis-
eases are explained.
All maintenance procedures described for
the month of July also apply for August.
All maintenance procedures described for
the month of July also apply for Septem-
ber.
Feeding:
Start feeding sera KOI SPIRULINA, sera KOI
ROYAL or sera goldy, plus vitamin supple-
ments as additional preparation for winter.
Drip sera KOI MULTIVITAMIN onto the food
and allow it to soak in the refrigerator for
10 minutes. Repeat this supplementation
once or twice weekly. This ensures your
fish can gather enough strength to survive
the long winter period.
Pond maintenance throughout the seasons 7
August
September
30
October
November
Plant maintenance:
On a bright sunny day, carefully remove
leaves, decayed plant parts and sludge.
Prune the height of the reed mace and
other tube-like stalk plants to just above
the water surface. By doing this, the plants
co-assist with the gas exchange that helps
support the oxygen supply to the hiber-
nating animals.
Water change:
Carry out a larger water change (about 2/3
of the pond contents) and siphon-off
dead leaves and sludge with a pond va-
cuum cleaner. Condition the fresh
water with a single to one-and-a-
half-fold dose of sera KOI PROTECT
and sera pondmorena.
Feeding and vitamin sup-
plementation:
This helps the fish strength-
en and prepare for winter,
feed the same as in March as
long as the water tempera-
ture is above 8°C (46°F).
Preparing hibernation:
(1): If the fish hibernate in the pond, the
sera pond filters or fountain and pond fil-
ter pumps prevent freezing over com-
pletely when combined with a device that
keeps a part of the surface ice-free. The
sketch on page 31 shows you how to install
the pond filter. Do not break the ice under
any circumstances!
(2): We recommend letting the fish hiber-
nate in an aquarium, as large as possible, if
the pond is less than 1 meter (3.3 ft.) deep.
In this case, the aquarium water tempera-
ture should be between 14 to 18°C (57 –
64°F), but no higher. You will find further
information on optimal pond depth in the
sera guide “How to build a garden pond.”
Water maintenance:
It is important to condition the water,
with sera KOI PROTECT, especially if fish
hibernate in the pond. Also, see April.
7 Pond maintenance throughout the seasons
31
Winter
The pond rests in winter, letting nature
recover in its long hibernation. Fish and
other inhabitants in the pond can easily
endure the winter only if it is well-pre-
pared during autumn, and the pond is
deeper than 1 meter (3.3 ft.).
December, January, February
The water movement keeps a
part of the pond ice-free
sera pond filter
(place in a depth between 40
and 50 cm / 16 and 20 in.)
pond liner
Hibernation:
The only maintenance needed in winter is
to ensure a portion of the water surface
remains free from ice, by using either the
sera pond filter W 1500 or a filter pump.
Adjust the outlet nozzle directly below the
water surface. The surface area around it
remains in motion and ice-free, and the
pond is supplied with oxygen. Do not
break the ice under any circumstances!
The fish can be badly injured by the sonic
waves. In any case they will be frightened
towards the colder upper water layers and
consume more oxygen.
Under no circumstances should you place
the pond filter or the pump on the pond
bottom or in deep zones. The warmer
water near the pond bot-
tom will mix with the
colder water from the
rest of the pond, and the
fish will be unable to
hibernate further. The
optimal setup of pond
zones is explained in
the sera guide “How to
build a garden pond.”
Pond maintenance throughout the seasons 7
Koi are often referred
to as, “Kings of the
garden pond.” Anyone
who deals intensively
with these magnificent,
tame ornamental fish
will soon understand
the enthusiasm of Koi
keepers.
With good care, Koi can
grow very large (ap-
prox. 1 m / 3.3 ft.) and
they live for a long time,
more than 70 years.
Apart from the pond
size, conditions for Koi
are these:
• choose high quality and well-balanced
foods
• ensure optimal water quality
• be consistent with disease prevention
through careful water maintenance
and observation of your fish
• providing optimal hibernation condi-
tions
32
8 How to keep Koi
In the
sera guide “How
to build a garden
pond” you will
find tips for build-
ing and decorat-
ing a Koi pond.
The temperature
Compared to the original form of the carp,
Koi need slightly warmer water to keep
active and lively.
Water temperatures between 18 and 25°C
(64 and 77°F) are best. Many Koi ponds are
heated to maintain a water temperature
of about 20°C (68°F), year-round.
Of course, Koi can also be kept in ponds
that are not heated. In this case, the fish
hibernate at the bottom of the pond from
late autumn until spring.
As soon as the water temperature in
spring is above 8°C (46°F), start feeding
regularly.
33
How to keep Koi 8
After the long winter rest the Koi are still
weak and must be fed energy-rich and
easy-to-digest food. sera KOI SPIRULINA
and sera KOI ROYAL are ideal for this pur-
pose. Young Koi should be fed sera KOI
JUNIOR or sera KOI ROYAL MINI. sera KOI
MULTIVITAMIN can be dripped onto the
food as an additional vitamin supply.
When water temperatures rise during the
spring, we recommend alternating sera
KOI SPIRULINA, sera KOI ROYAL and sera KOI
COLOR when feeding.
Feed sparingly, only as much as the fish
can eat within in few minutes, but several
times a day.
In warm summers, when the water tem-
perature exceeds 25°C (77°F), it is best to
feed very sparingly, several times a day.
sera KOI ROYAL and sera KOI COLOR are
ideal for this.
When the water temperature drops in
autumn, it is time to prepare the fish for
hibernation. By feeding sera KOI SPIRULINA
and sera KOI ROYAL, as well as by adding
sera KOI MULTIVITAMIN, you will help your
Koi to form enough reserve for the long
winter.
When the water
temperature drops
below 8°C (46°F),
stop feeding, even if
the Koi still eat. With
these low tempera-
tures the food is no
longer digested. It
remains in the intes-
tines, and it can
harm the fish. In
heated ponds, the
fish must of course
be fed throughout
the year.
Feeding
34
8 How to keep Koi
Oxygen
Disease prevention
The carbonate hardness
A carbonate hardness of 5 – 10°dKH is ideal
for Koi, just as it is for other pond fish. This
ensures sufficient pH value stabilization,
and your ornamental fish have constant
conditions. You can find further informa-
tion about monitoring and increasing the
carbonate hardness in the chapter, “sera
water information,” (see page 16).
Koi require more oxygen than other pond-
fish, for example, goldfish: therefore it is
important to especially consider these
aspects for Koi ponds:
• The pond should be designed in such a
way that no leaves or conifer needles
can fall in, if possible. Rotting plant parts
consume a large quantity of oxygen,
which is then not available for the fish.
At higher temperatures the oxygen con-
tent in the water is lower than in cooler
water. At the same time the Koi need
more oxygen for their digestion.
• Never overstock the pond with Koi.
Introduce only a few fish at a time and
always consider the final size of an adult
Koi.
• Feed sparingly. Uneaten food pollutes
the water and promotes algae growth.
We recommend regularly checking the
oxygen level with the sera oxygen-Test to
detect potential problems before they
happen. sera oxypur can be used as an
immediate measure for oxygen shortage.
To correct the problem, watch for and alle-
viate any of the causes we have listed
above.
Koi should regularly be checked as a dis-
ease prevention measure. Besides visual
signs (e.g., injuries, bloated belly, protrud-
ing scales, bloodshot wounds or ulcers,
white spots, or parasites), every change of
behavior (e.g., the unusual passiveness of
How to keep Koi 8
a generally assertive fish), is a clear warn-
ing. Observe during feeding time because
the fish come to the water surface and are
more readily visible.
Further investigations, such as a skin swab,
should only be done when you are clearly
suspicious of a disease! We discourage you
from performing a “routine skin swab,” as
is sometimes recommended. It causes
unnecessary stress on the fish and great
danger of skin injury while catching it.
You will find further information about fish
diseases in the sera guide “How to keep
your ornamental fish healthy.”
35
food and care
products