If you are a new pond owner it can seem a little overwhelming thinking about trying to keep that pond clean, clear and healthy. You see all of the pond supplies out there and all of the technical terminology and your head can spin. But, if you just remember to aerate and filter the water, supplement with beneficial bacteria and check the pH regularly to determine if any water conditioners are needed, you will be off to a good start and will find you have given yourself a strong foundation to build on. Here are some seasonal tips to assist with your pond care.
Spring—Awakening to new beginnings
Spring is the most active time for your pond. As ice thaws and days become longer, everything in and around your pond “wakes up” and begins to renew itself. This can be one of the most enjoyable times for a pond owner as you can see exciting changes every day! This is also a time to be very vigilant about new algae growth and possible unwanted weeds.
Some algae growth can be good for your pond and even desirable. Like everything else in life, it is a question of balance. Monitor your pond at this time and if you see algae beginning to become problematic, contact Fin Farm, and we will help you design an algae maintenance schedule.
Spring is also the best time to treat unwanted weed growth. Many exotic plant species may have taken root last season and now is the time to stop their growth. Fin Farm has a variety of Weed Control options. You don’t need to wait until weeds have become unsightly before taking control.
Summer—Enjoying your pond’s full potential
Summer is the time to sit back and really enjoy your pond. Everything is in full swing due to the hotter weather, the longer days and the warmer water. Your pond becomes an activity hub for all kinds of wildlife, not just your fish, at all hours of the day and night. From birds, butterflies, and bugs to frogs, snails, and fish, your pond will be the place to be during this time.
As the temperature rises, it’s important to make sure your water is adequately aerated. Warm water holds less oxygen, and fish use more oxygen in warmer weather. Pumps need to be fully operational and fit for the task to provide required oxygen levels. Adding a fountain or aerator can also help to keep your pond cool and well oxygenated. Ensuring good water movement throughout the pond and preventing stagnant water pools will also eliminate mosquitoes breeding in your pond.
Higher oxygen levels also help control algae. Chemical filter media need to be regularly replaced throughout Summer, and products designed to eliminate algal nutrients will be beneficial. Dead foliage should be trimmed from pond plants to reduce debris build-up in the pond, provide more room for new growth, and, of course, improve the appearance of the pond or lake. The team at Fin Farm are happy to discuss your maintenance needs during Summer to ensure you get the best out of your pond or lake.
Fall Pond Maintenance
Inside they call it “spring cleaning”. Outside it is called “fall cleaning”. Fall is when you start to do a lot of cleaning up around the pond and prepping it for the winter months. During the fall ponds can become covered in leaf litter, pine needles and grass clippings, all which can cause problems in a pond. Skimming off dead leaves from the surface of the water along with removing leaves and other debris from around the pond’s edge will go a long way in maintaining the water’s integrity. Obviously, size of the pond will determine if this is practical, but if at all possible it should be done.
You will also want to trim back dead or dying foliage from water plants. This will help with the amount of skimming you will have to do.
Because water temps are starting to fall, the amount of food the fish need is reduced, therefore you should reduce the amount of food you feed them. Water temperature affects a fish’s metabolic rate and as water cools, their metabolism slows. If you continue to feed them at the rate you did in the summer, you will create excess waste and bottom sludge or even worse kill them.
Of course, like the rest of the year, continue with your regular beneficial bacteria applications and check your equipment and structures for damage or clogs to ensure everything is operating well.
We have a full Resource guide available about winter pond care here