How to Maintain and Care for a Pond in 11 Steps
Before getting yourself a pond, you should know what you are getting yourself into because pond maintenance is more challenging than you may think.
The end results are amazing, but you will spend more time and money to keep it in perfect condition just as you are enjoying the aesthetic.
Regular pond care is vital as it ensures that the water plants and fish can live in conducive environs. In this piece, here is the discussion about the importance of taking care of your pond and maintaining it in tip-top condition.
Why Is It Important To Care About Your Pond?
If you have a pond, it is imperative to do regular maintenance as it makes sure that your water plants and animals are in a clean and healthy environment. You can either do it yourself or hire the services of professional pond cleaners.
Going with professionals is the ideal choice as they are experts, and they have the knowledge needed to diagnose and treat pond water, guaranteeing that your fish and plants will stay healthy.
When you have a pond, you are bound to face some problems that regular maintenance can solve. Below are the aims you need for regular pond care:
- Waste and foliage found at the bottommost part of the pond are removed to improve the pond water’s quality and health.
- The pump and filters that let water in and out may be blocked or breakdown, inhibiting water from flowing out. This creates an unfavorable environment for the fish and plants to exist. If you do regular pond care, you will notice such malfunctions in time. It ensures that you will unblock or repair the broken filters in time.
- During autumn, leaves from other trees may fall in your pond, and regular pond care ensures that you get rid of them before they contaminate the water.
- Make sure that you nip algae growth in the bud. When you stay for an extended time without taking care of your pond, you will notice water discoloration. It occurs because of algae growth since more sunbeams penetrate the water since there are fewer aquatic plants. Algae growth calls for more plants to be introduced into the pond.
- Some aquatic plants like water lily grow very fast, especially their leaves. So regular trimming is essential to prevent its overgrowth. Water lily leaves can grow to a point where it covers the pond’s whole surface, blocking the fish and other animals from accessing sunlight.
- If you stay for long without conducting pond care, your fish and plants may die due to lack of enough oxygen or too much chlorine. So make sure to tend to your pond regularly to guarantee the fish and water plants’ lives.
- Different seasons require different pond care processes. For instance, you should ensure that the water is ever flowing during summer due to the excessive evaporation during the hot summer season.
- Removing microorganisms from the pond by applying a substrate to the bottom.
- Regular pond care will help you identify a leak in the pond and repair it with professionals’ help.
To uphold a healthy and clean pond, you must empty a certain percentage of your pond water every week and top it up with clean water.
The level of your pond water goes down due to evaporation, and this leaves behind things such as organic matter, salt, pollutants, and silt, which creates a bad environment for the aquatic life.
Although your pond has a filtration system, an outlet, and an inlet, it’s essential to monitor the water going in and out. The ideal percentage of water to remove from your pond every week is 10%. You can replace it with approximately 15-20%.
Conduct a water quality test to monitor the health of the water in your pond. You can scoop the water out with a pail, or you can siphon it.
There is high chlorine content in tap water, and this makes it unsuitable for pond water. But if there is no other water source, such as a river or rainwater, you can fill a plastic barrel with tap water and leave to rest for one day.
Since chlorine evaporates faster, the water will be ready for the pond. Alternatively, you can use dechlorination treatment, which tends to work more quickly.
Make sure to do away with any leaves and other waste material you may find. But make sure not to disturb the water too much to cause the fish to panic or deoxygenate the water.
Note that each season is different; thus, you will need different cleaning strategies.
For instance, during fall and winter, you will have to clean out your pond, while during spring, you will have to keep testing to ensure that the water is balanced. During summer, you will need to keep algae in check due to excess sunlight.
Step by step guide.
- Clean your pond by taking out debris, weed, and algae
- Manage the plants growing near the pond to avoid leaves dropping into the ponds
- Plant aquarium plants
- Control formation of ice during winter using a heater or de-icer
- Manage the growth of weeds and algae
- Maintain the filters, pipes, inlet, and outlets to prevent blockages
- Repair any leaks in the pond
- Maintain the correct water level
- Ensure that the water is maintained at the right degrees
- Aerate the pond
- Maintain water chemistry by testing it often
How To Treat Weeds And Algae Blooms?
Don’t be surprised to find weeds in your pond, because just like your garden, ponds are not an exception. There are three types of weeds in a garden pond: emerged, submerged, and floating weeds. Some weeds are good, but others are harmful to your marine life by blocking inlet and outlet, making it difficult for water to flow.
They also make it challenging for fish to swim and diminish oxygen levels in the water, making it difficult for fish to thrive. But do not panic because it’s easy to get rid of them.
Getting rid of weeds
- First, identify the non-beneficial weeds in your pond. To know which ones are beneficial, you can go online and do a little research.
- Then take out the harmful weed manually with your hands or a rake.
- Once you have taken them out, make sure to introduce aquarium plants in the pond and continue weeding out non-aquatic plants as they pop up.
- If the following don’t seem to work, you can treat the weeds using aquatic herbicides. Before selecting, read the labels to identify the correct herbicide for that particular weed. The liquid herbicide is the best for eradicating shallow or emerged weeds. Mix it with water as per the product instructions and then spray directly onto the weeds. Treat only those weeds that are actively growing. Granular herbicides are ideal for submerged weeds.
- Treat the pond in sections because dying weeds reduce oxygen levels in the water, which can be harmful to aquatic life. It also recommended treating the pond when it sunny
Algae is a primeval plant that grows in ponds and lakes. It does not have roots, stems, or leaves and reproduces through cell division. Algae growth is stimulated by the presence of superfluous nutrients and sunlight. Plankton, filamentous, and chara are the types of algae you can find in your pond.
Plankton is green in color, and it is the algae you will find in most ponds. Its growth is spurred by sunlight and the excess nutrients found in the pond. The nutrients come from the offish by-product waste, decaying fish food, and dead leaves. So ensure that you do not overfeed your fish and that you remove fallen leaves from the pond.
Algae is dreadful for your garden pond as it depletes nutrients, oxygen and decimates your pond’s aesthetic.
- The first step in preventing algae growth is to ensure that there are no surface nutrients. You can do this by trapping all surface nutrients from seeping into the water by creating a natural shoreline around the pond.
- Reduce sunlight penetration into the pond by planting aquarium plants such as lilies that block out sunlight.
- You can add pond dye to block out some of the sunbeams. After adding the dye, your pond water will turn blackish or bluish, but don’t worry; it is safe for aquatic life.
- You can also prevent algae growth by cleaning your pond thoroughly by eradicating dead and decayed waste.
- You can also introduce beneficial bacteria into the pond. Bacteria feed on the same nutrients as algae. Therefore, when you increase the number of good bacteria, you starve the algae, preventing them from developing further, resulting in a healthy and quality pond.
- You can also use an algaecide to kill algae. The liquid algaecide is ideal for planktons and filamentous. And granular algaecide is suitable for chara algae. However, its effects are not long-lasting. When you use an algaecide to kill algae, the algae settles at the bottom of the bottom, which is a source of nutrients, and this leads to the growth of new algae after several weeks.
This creates a vicious cycle. The best way to get rid of algae is by introducing beneficial bacteria in the pond water. Apart from controlling algae, these bacteria also eliminate the bad smell, curtail nutrient levels, and improve water clarity. They also convert fish waste into harmless nitrates.
Herbicide Vs Algaecide
The herbicide is used to control weeds, while algaecide is used to control algae in a pond. However, the herbicide is more effective as it helps curtail and kill the harmful weeds.
Algaecides creates a nasty cycle where it kills the algae, but the dead algae settle at the pond’s bottom – after a week or two, the dead algae acts as a new source of nutrients, leading to more algae growth.
If you have string algae, you can scoop it out using a giant sieve. And since you can take out all of it manually, it’s advisable to bring in good bacteria into the pond—plant aquarium plants to lessen sunlight penetration and decrease nutrients that the algae feed on.
Do not overfeed the fish and finally find the root cause of the algae. To avert algae growth, you can use barley straws, but do not use too much of it as it kills the fish because as it decays, it deoxygenates the water.
You can get rid of weed naturally from your pond by pulling them out. Consequently, you can bring in grass carps into the pond and allow them to feed on the weeds.
Grass carps eat about three times their body weight in plant life daily. So you can be assured that they will help control weed growth in the pond.
You can also bring in koi fish to prevent root formation, thus killing the weeds.
How to Aerate Your Pond?
Pond aeration is fundamental as it helps improve water clearness, quality and lessen weed and algae growth. The method that works effectively uses a Subsurface Aeration System to introduce diffused air into the water directly.
This method aerates the water from the bottommost part of the pond going upwards. You can use a compressor to pump air to the lower part of the pond, and the diffuser produces bubbles that rise to the pond’s surface.
Benefits of aerating your pond
- Eases algae and weed growth
- Improves water lucidity
- Reduces formation of dirt and sludge
- Enhances break down of decomposing matter
- Reduces bad smell
- Improves fish population by lowering the deaths
- Enhances the quality of the water in the pond
- Enhances oxygen levels at the lower part of the pond
The tips below are also useful in maintaining a healthy and clean pond:
- Ensure that the pond has a wire on top to prevent people from falling in or animals if you have pets. Also, ensure that you have a lighting system around your pond to indicate where the pond begins and ends, especially at night.
- You can also use an ultraviolet clarifier. This is a kit that helps clean water in your pond. It inhibits the formation of algae and weed, especially during the hot season.
- During winter, you should control ice formation as it limits oxygen, putting aquatic life in danger. You can prevent water from being frozen by placing a de-icer on the pond’s surface or mounting a heater.
Taking care of the aquatic life in your pond is not an easy task. That is why we have compiled this piece to make your work easier.
Do not let your garden pond aesthetic go to ruin or put the aquatic life in danger. Take action now, and take care of your pond.