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Toxic Pollutants & Their Effect on Fish Health
Once water temperatures increase in the summer months, fish become more active and produce increasing amounts of waste, leading to potential water pollution. Fish produce waste in the form of ammonia, which is broken down into nitrites then nitrates by beneficial bacteria. Both ammonia and nitrite are very harmful to fish, even in very small quantities. Ammonia, in particular, is more toxic at high temperatures and can cause severe problems. In fact, water can hold five times as much dangerous ammonia at 77°F as opposed to 41°F. The effect on water quality is exaggerated by a high pH, resulting in the formation of more toxic ammonia.
High nitrite levels are also more dangerous in low oxygen water levels. Nitrite causes the hemoglobin in the fish's blood to form metheamoglobin, which cannot carry as much oxygen around the body of the fish, therefore making fish lethargic.
Nitrates are relatively harmless to freshwater fish and act as great fertilizers for plants. However, they also encourage the growth of unwelcome algae, such as green water or blanket weed. So, be sure to test the water quality every few weeks with a kit.
If there is a noticeable reduction in water flow, you can back flush your pressure filters and gently rinse any biological media in a bucket of pond water. (Depending on your type of filter, its biological media can be anything from plastic cylinders/spheres to spaghetti-like strands to foam pads.) Biological media should never be washed under the hose; chlorine contained in the water kills the beneficial bacteria. Remember to never scrub the media clean; simply rinse off any excess sludge or debris so beneficial bacteria will remain intact and active, restarting the biological process.
Organic or Chemical Feeding of Plants - Whats Best
A fundamental question in vegetable gardening is - what is the proper use of organic and/or chemical materials? Let's determine the truth of the matter, with four basic principles and a few brief examples from Dr. Jacob R. Mittleider's worldwide experience.
The bright yellow flowers of the marsh marigold (Caltha palustris) are easy to mistake for the cowslip (primula veris). Both are widespread over Europe, Asia, and the U.S. However, the cowslip is a denizen of fields and pastures while the marsh marigold inhabits sloughs and stream banks.
Nontoxic Pest Control for Your Home and Garden
Pesticides are toxic and, while often effective against pests, can be dangerous for your family and pets. Outdoors, sprayed pesticides might drift on a breeze and dust your vegetable garden or your neighbor's yard. Indoors, pesticides can linger in the air, exposing the family to harmful chemicals. For these reasons, many people are turning to nontoxic pest control methods.
How to Win the War Against Slugs and Snails
Slugs are one of the most hated of garden pests. You may have spent time carefully planting out your seedlings into the bed, but when you return next morning, you find chewed leaves, the growing points nibbled away and a mass of slimy trails all around. All clear evidence that garden slugs, or sometimes snails, have been enjoying a nocturnal feast at your expense.
When to Plant Vegetaibles
Planting times for vegetables and other annual plants vary from species to species. In much of the United States the prime consideration is the date of the last spring frost/freeze. Many vegetables can be planted up to four weeks before the last frost, while others need to wait until a couple of weeks after the frost.
Butterfly House in the Flower Garden
Whenever you decide to look for a butterfly house for your flower garden, you first have to determine what it is you actually want. A search for butterfly houses will yield two different types. There is the type of butterfly house that contains butterflies and their nectar plants. These type of butterfly houses are actually structures created for the specific reason of providing a safe and enclosed space in which to study the butterflies.
I made my very first garden when I was six in a small corner at the end of my grandmother's garden. It was a small patch, not more than six rows by 10 plants long, but it was MINE, with the flowers I picked and the dirt that I dug. And I knew that it was mine when Nana helped me put up the sections of wire fencing that set it off from HER garden.
Popular Adirondack Chairs - Everything You Need To Know
Adirondack chairs were invented during the early 1900's by a vacationer who was looking for ways to furnish his summer home. By utilizing materials found around his Westport, NY, vacation home, Thomas Lee crafted a unique chair that caught the attention of a local carpenter and would eventually gain widespread popularity.
Why Teak Furniture is the Better Choice
For centuries, it has been known that teak has qualities unlike any other wood. With an average lifespan of 75 years, teak wood has long been commended as the ideal choice for outdoor furniture.
The Heralded Teak Furniture Manufacturer: Kingsley-Bate
With an average lifespan of 75 years, teak wood has long been commended as the ideal choice for outdoor furniture. It has qualities unlike any other wood in its ability to withstand the rigors of adverse climates, yet weather attractively.
Decorate Your Outdoor Spaces on a Budget!
Many times when the weather becomes sultry, the only place we want to be is in our favorite chair on the porch, sipping ice-cold lemonade! So, if we are to spend our summer months languishing with Mother Nature, why not treat our "outdoor room" to a little freshening up, and make our time outdoors more enjoyable! Here are some great, easy ideas you can use to add your own personal style to a much used "summer home"!
5 Simple Steps To Dividing Your Hardy Water Lilies
If you missed the springtime window of opportunity to divide your hardy water lilies, don't worry, it's not too late. Although springtime is the best time, you've actually got the entire normal growing season to get it done.
Online Garden Seed Exchanges
If you've been gardening for any length of time you have probably realized a couple of things.
Wild Flower Garden - Make Amends...Your Plants Will Love It
A wild flower garden, just like any garden you wish to plant, requires good quality soil that will meet the needs of the plants you put in it. That means that your garden soil may need some amendment. So why do you need to amend the soil and how do you do it?
What is the Right Plant and Where Do I Put It?
Know if your plants are disease-susceptible. Your choice of plants used in your garden is as important as the soil that you put those plants in. Select plants that are disease resistant and they will be much more easy to maintain and will give you the look you are wanting. Food for thought is use plants that are native to your area.
The location of your pond should be decided. You've picked a good spot in your yard where you can see the pond from different places, and it's near enough to the house so you can see it from a window. This is really part of the fun because you can visualize the landscaping ideas you'll be incorporating into the pond area once the dig is finished.
A Compost Primer
Most gardeners and landscapers will agree almost unanimously that the single best thing you can do for your lawn is to add compost. Good, organic compost can remedy almost any problem you have with your soil. If you soil is too acidic, adding compost will help neutralize it and bring it back to a proper pH level. If your soil is too alkaline, ditto! Adding compost will help balance the alkalinity in the soil. If you live in an area with a lot of heavy clay, adding compost will help loosen and aerate the soil. If you live in a coastal or southern area with a lot of sand, adding compost will help bind it together. Soil lacking nutrients? Add compost to add new life to overworked soil.
Gardening Tips and Tricks for Late Autumn
Preparing for the Winter Months: Gardening in October
This is a project I've had on the back burner for many months now, but now it's finally ready!
Blue Wild Flowers for Your Garden
Planting wild flowers in your garden, or simply scattering wild flower seeds around an area of your yard are both ways to take advantage of Mother Nature's treasured gifts. Wild flowers are carefree, colorful, and tend to attract bees, butterflys and birds. So planting wild flowers not only gives you an easy maintenance flower garden... it also promises to be a constant source of interesting activity throughout the year.
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