Summer poses a variety of threats to your pond’s well-being, and these must be dealt with to keep it looking healthy. Ponds, their pond liners and inhabitants need additional care when the ambient temperatures rise above 250C. Follows these tips to benefit for all your pond has to offer.
Oxygen is essential to your ponds health
Hot sunny spells during the summer months will result in the temperature of your pond water increasing, and as a result the ability of the water to ‘hold’ dissolved oxygen decreases. Oxygen dissolves more readily in cold water. When the temperatures rise particularly during hot summer days as we are currently experiencing, fish will find it more difficult to get dissolved oxygen in through their gills. Avoid stressing fish further by feeding them at cooler times of the day – early morning and late evening. You will also want to feed fish sparingly to avoid waste. Any uneaten food will be left floating in the water and eventually sink to the bottom thereby increasing the nutrient levels which algae thrive on. A good rule of thumb is to never feed fish more than the food they can consume within 5 minutes – fish only eat what their bodies need to survive.
To assist with keeping your pond cool and well oxygenated, consider adding a waterfall, fountain, or solar powered aerator. Higher oxygen levels also help control algae.
Importance of aquatic plants
Floating water plants add shade and help keep pond water cool. Lilies prefer still water and Hyacinths can handle moving water, both of which are easy to grow and provide good cover.
In hot weather, top-up your pond occasionally to replace water lost by evaporation. Tap water is full of nutrients which algae thrive on so make sure it is conditioned first or use rainwater collected in a rainwater butt. Hot, humid weather is often accompanied by heavy thunder shows. Build your pond to avoid run-off, but if this is not entirely possible, make sure not to use lawn or tree fertilizers where they could drain into your pond. This can affect water quality but making it nutrient rich causing algae to bloom.
Although rubber pond liners are resistant to the effects of UV radiation, a PVC pond liner doesn’t offer the same technical feature so it needs to be well protected by maintaing your ponds water level and laying a well covering pond edging.
Relaxing next to a sparkling, clean, and clear pond full of lively fish is a great way to spend your summer days and nights. With the right maintenance, keeping your pond healthy is a task that should be easily achieved.