Pond liners, pond pumps, fish, aquatic plants and pond water all form an integral role in the health and longevity of a garden pond. In this article we will touch on the steps that need to be taken as Spring and then Summer approach so you can enjoy the beauty a pond brings to a garden without the stress of dealing with algae.
Stepping outdoors this morning, the air was filled with hints of Spring – a time when ponds come to life as they reawaken after winter. If your pond includes the presence of fish, it is important that pond maintenance is taken care of before the pond water rises above 500F at which point fish become energised.
If you winterised your pond (putting a net offer your pond to catch falling leaves and other debris) then you may not have to do that much to ensure a healthy start to warmer weather. However, if you didn’t then chances are that dead leaves and plants have landed in the water and sunk to the bottom risking an increase in oxygen depleting mulch build-up as a result of decayed plant matter and organic waste accumulating at the bottom of the pond.
Spring maintenance and pond pump care
- Remove pond heater (if you used one to keep surface ice-free) and replace pond pump
- Use a net to scoop-up any nutrient-rich debris from the bottom of your pond and dig it into the flower beds
- Start feeding your fish as the water temperature warms up and fish start becoming visibly active – feed only enough so that it can all be consumed within 10 minutes. You want to avoid uneaten food sinking to the bottom of your pond and causing a build-up debris
- Pond pump – check that all moving parts are clean and in good working condition.
If your pond has a high number of fish (could be a result of healthy fish breeding and pond exceeding the healthy balance of fish to pond size ratio) and is located where a lot of debris falls into the water, then a necessary annual clean-out maybe required. This is best done in the Spring when the water is still cool and fish adapt better to the process. It involves clearing-out dead plant debris and organic fish waste which collectively form an oxygen-depleting mulch. If not removed it can severely affect the quality of the ponds water.
The best approach to cleaning a pond
- Remove all fish first by transferring them to a holding tank.
- Use a nylon brush to clean the debris covering the pond liner around the sides of kind
- Use a net and brush to scoop-up the muck from bottom of pond
- Return fish to pond
With all the steps ticked-off, your pond will be ready to bring so much life and enjoyment to your garden.