Aquatic expert Dan Everton has this advice on how to maintain your pond during November, when the days are short, frost threatens and leaves are falling from the trees.
The Oase SwimSkim 50 Pond Skimmer is the big brother of the SwimSkim 25, it is larger in size and has been designed to handle pond surfaces up to 50 square meters, hence the name SwimSkim 50.
The SwimSkim 25, has been a very sucessful model for Oase, and the SwimSkim 50 has been developed with the same design in mind but on a larger scale, which is 350mm in diameter by 740mm maximum height (most of which will be submerged and out of sight.)
It has it's own pump unit built into it, which means it can work independently to your filter system, so it doesn't have to be left on permanently, just as and when it is needed.
It will remove uneaten foods, excess protein and leaves from the surface of your pond. This helps to keep the pond healthy as if these are not removed from the pond they will sink to the bottom and begin to rot which will pollute the pond water, causing water quality problems which could mean ill fish health, fish deaths and even cloudy water too.
From opening the box, the unit is pretty much ready to go into the pond, you'll just need to attach a plug or wire it into your switch box, and you're ready to go.
As the unit moves over the water it will also create surface movement which will help to oxygenate the pond as any surface movement does this. It also has an integrated aerator which will add oxygen too. It's a great alternative to a pond air pump as it does two jobs in one, skimming and adding oxygen.
Maintenance of this product is simple, you just remove the filter basket, empty this out and clean the foam out in some water removed from the pond. The pump is unclipped from underneath, the front pump housing will twist off and the impeller can be easily cleaned. It will only need a wipe down every couple of weeks really and the basket and foam should be emptied once a week, but likely more during the autumn due to the leaves falling.
In the box you will get the SwimSkim 50 pond skimmer itself, which consists of the model you can see in the image above, a basket which fits inside and a foam to protect the pump from any larger debris. The pump will be inside the unit but is easy to get to when cleaning. You'll also received 10 metres (33 feet) of electrical cable which is suitable for outdoor use as would be expected.
One important factor is that you will also have some paperwork inside which will extend your gauranatee from 2 years up to 3 years completely free of charge. It's vital that you send this paperwork off to Oase and they will return to you a certificate with the guarantee which will run for 3 years from your original purchase date. This will cover you for most problems which the unit. Certain problems are not covered though, like for example wear and tear parts like the impeller, and also certain situations like if you cut through the cable or an animal bites through it.
You might not be familiar with the UK Men's Sheds Association but this is a fast growing organisation that, as David Coton discovered, encourages camaraderie and a sense of achievement among its members.
The Wildlife Aid Foundation recently purchased several animal ornaments from GardenSite and David Coton, one of our partners, thought that this charity carried out such terrific work that we made a charitable donation to assist with the cost.
With high winds increasingly affecting most parts of Britain, many people are likely to be contacting their insurance companies at some time regarding damage caused to sheds, greenhouses, fences and other garden property. Robert Hall explains how GardenSite.co.uk can help with an independent insurance quote and claim.
Here in Birmingham, the weather has been as changeable as ever, very warm just before Easter followed by a cold spell only last week. During May the threat of further frost will largely pass and, with spring well under way, Robert Hall is in no doubt that this is going to be a busy month in the garden.