I guess I speak for most of us in the UK, that we are longing for the warmer, sunny days which Spring brings. So, while we still have a few weeks to go, it’s important to schedule in spring pond care for when the days do start to get warmer. Spring will also become evident when fish start swimming around more energetically and plants are poking green shoots above the water.
If you are a koi fish keeper and don’t have a water heater in your koi pond, it is important to note that koi fish must not be fed until the pond water temperatures are stable at around 55 degrees F at night.
Things to do when spring approaches:
- Give your pond filter a good cleaning. If you have a biofilter, give it a boost of a bacteria/enzyme product to ensure a good bacteria colony starts to grow in the biofilter.
- Clean your pond pump and check all hoses for leaks or cracks.
- If you have a net covering your pond, make sure it is still intact, if not, replace it.
- Remove leaves or other debris in your pond.
- As the water heats up, the debris begins to decompose, contaminating the water, which in turn affects the health of fish.
- Spring is a great time to totally clean out your pond. Remove all water, all equipment, scrub the sides lightly (no soap), rinse – this is optional and would depend on size of pond, amount of plant and/or fish content
- Check your fish for any illnesses or wounds.
- Divide and repot pond plants. Avoid re-potting with soil full of organic matter. Most water plants grow well by potting them up in sand and don’t require fertilizer. Water lilies are, however, an exception and do require fertilizer for a healthy growth. Water plants get their nutrients by utilizing fish waste. If you have extra plants after you have divided them, you may want to consider growing them in low, damp spaces in your garden.
- If you keep fish in your pond, make sure that up to half of the surface of your pond is covered with floating plants as it gives the fish a place to hide from predators and keeps them cool in the heat of the summer. It also keeps the sun from encouraging algae growth.
- If your pond is lined with a pond liner, check that the material you have used for the edging is still in place, sufficiently covering the pond line to prevent any possible damage from claws or the UV rays – rubber pond liners are UV stable and will withstand long periods of UV exposure – but, a bare edging exposing a pond liner can detract from the beauty of the pond.
HAPPY SPRING CLEANING – when the good weather arrives!!