Are you planning to go on holiday for a few weeks and concerned about the well being of your pond in your absence? In this article we will look at the maintenance requirements of a pond during the summer and steps to take prior to going away.
If you keep fish then you either need to request a neighbour to come in and feed them or install an automatic fish feeder. Having someone feed your fish is fine as long as it is under strict instruction not to over feed. Uneaten food will drift to the bottom of the pond and rot, thereby increasing nutrient levels in the water, which then encourage algae growth. You won’t want to return to a green pond so getting feeding quantities correct is important. Not quite as simple as feeding a neighbours cat for a fortnight!
The warm weather in summer affects dissolved oxygen levels in the water, encourages algae growth and makes fish become more active which then leads to increased feeding and consequent increase in waste production. So, three important ongoing maintenance checks:
– Check oxygen-levels
– Maintain healthy water quality and levels
– Feed fish no more than they need.
A healthy pond has the right balance of plants and oxygen. This will in turn offer a healthy environment for wildlife and aquatic plants to thrive in.
How to maintain healthy pond water quality
Water quality in a garden pond is dependent on the balance between plants and animal life. An imbalance may result in a sudden surge of algae growth. The growth of algae is a consequence of too much sunlight and an increase in carbon dioxide levels in the water. Amount of sunlight can be controlled by growing plants such as water lilies.
The addition of oxygenating plants, which are efficient at absorbing minerals and carbon dioxide, helps to starve out the algae. As a routine maintenance task, it is important to remove any rotting organic matter in the pond such as dead leaves and flowers.
Monitor garden pond water levels
If there is a persistent loss of water then you need to take a careful look at your pond to establish the cause.
– Check that the pond edges are level. If not water loss could as a result of water flowing out of the pond at the lowest level.
– Check that the pond liner hasn’t slipped below the water level. This could happen if the pond liner hasn’t been secured in place properly at the edges in the construction phase and the weight of the water has pulled it down.
– If you have installed a flexible Butyl or Epalyn pond liner, inspect the liner for any possible damage (claws of sharp edged objects resting on a bare liner could result in damage). Repair using mastic tape.
Keep garden pond pest-free and plants healthy
– In late spring spring divide plants that are overgrown and crowding the growth of other plants.
– Fish ponds are less likely to suffer the fate of pond pests because fish eat insect larvae, but it is still worth monitoring the health of aquatic plants.
If you have addressed all these points, there is no reason why your pond can’t survive in your absence of a few weeks provided fish owners ensure their fish are going to be fed appropriate quantities.
Are you considering adding a stream to flow into your garden pond for the aesthetic appeal or as a means of keeping the pond water aerated? Then contact Liners Online to order a pond liner and protective underlay.