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12:47 AM   April 26, 2015
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Keep Sales Flowing

Winter provides more options for brisk pond supply sales than one might think. Whether your consumers plant to shut down for the winter or push through in spite of Jack Frost, with the right approach and a staple of products, winter could be your busiest season yet.

The Choice:
Shut Down Cold: Many consumers, in the face of a hard northern winter, choose to simply pull up stakes, place a deicer in the pond, and hope for the best in the following spring. Perfectly justified in the face of -20 below degrees Fahrenheit, the consumer who takes this approach still requires a fair amount of advice and products before they’re out of the woods.

The Products
Battening down the hatches properly takes more than just pulling equipment and plugging in the heater. Plenty of products now help ensure a more successful spring, when added just before the ice hits.

Sludge Digester: Despite careful fall maintenance, sludge happens. Waste from the busy summer season settles to the bottom, where it mixes with fish waste and anaerobic bacteria. Through the winter months the resulting decay causes toxic gas to float upward. To minimize the chances for winter fish casualties, recommend a cold-weather beneficial bacterial inoculation designed to slowly digest sludge beneath the ice.

Pond Breather: Thermostatically controlled pond deicers work well enough to keep the ice ventilated, but don’t allow for oxygenation of the water during the winter months. To ensure better fish health and adequate oxygen saturation, recommend a pond breather that actually circulates warmed water up into the air and back down to the water below. Toxic gasses diffuse faster and oxygen ends up where it’s needed most.

Sub-Surface Aerator: Again, in the interest of preserving koi and goldfish health, beneath the ice of winter, make sure winterization customers walk away with and accessory sub-surface aerator. The movement of water creates a hole for diffusion of toxic gas. It Also forces vital oxygen into the water, creating a much healthier environment for pond fish below.
Predator Barriers: Predators still prowl in the winter months. An unexpected, mid-winter thaw or an animal that has used up their fat reserves, send hungry critters scrambling for a bite to eat. By creating a hole in the ice for gas exchange, consumers also leave their prized fish open to attack. Make sure the winter season also includes another look at predator deterrent devices.

Pond-only retailers, many of whom shut down for the winter months, need to bear in mind that customers still can require supplies during the off season. Make sure each one has access to an appointment-only visit to your store for an emergency purchase. <HOME>

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