With the snow moving away now, we are enjoying some slightly milder weather, which has been instantly reflected in the temperature of the Japanese ranchu pond. The pond has crept up 0.2 degrees C during the day over the last couple of days, without heaters. I have taken this natural change as the time to begin very gradually warming the pond. Its crucial that i remain ahead of the natural climate curve, to avoid a mild spring day heating the pond significantly, over a short period.
It has been interesting to observe the ranchu during the subtle temperature changes. Without a doubt, activity has increased, with all fish, at times. It is fascinating to think the ranchu are so in tune, with such subtle changes. It certainly reiterates the importance of avoiding huge temperature swings, over a short period of time, or at least understanding the possible effects. Whilst a big temperature change may not show any visible damage to the fishes health immediately, who knows what effect it may have had on the ranchu in future? Particularly, with breeding in mind, its general activity levels and ability to react to environmental changes, to trigger breeding at a later date, could be effected?
With all this in mind, my plan is to raise the temperature of the pond by 0.2 degrees C every 24 hours from now on, this may increase slightly in later weeks but i hope will not go above 0.4 degrees C. My plans suggests that the pond will reach a temperature of 15 degrees C late February, which will have given the ranchu the best part of 8 weeks below 15 degrees C.
When the brighter days arrive, i will need to monitor the pond closely. The conservatory warms up fast and so will the pond. I will do what i can to limit the amount that the pond warms each day when possible, although i suspect, at times (with work commitments), this will be a challenge. I think what will be more important, will be to prevent a full, temperature swing (up and down within 24hrs). The downward swing, i will be able to control and so we may reach 15 degrees C slightly earlier.