A garden pond, whether large or small, is always a lovely feature in any landscape. While its gentle gurgling may ease your worries of the day away, you do have to get your hands dirty to keep it running that way. So get up from your lawn chair, and follow the regular maintenance steps to keep your pond flowing and all its contents thriving.
Spring is the time of rebirth and replanting, and the pond is no exception. Once the winter chill has gone for good, it will be time to clean, get the water flowing, and bring back the living plants and fish. First, you will want to drain your pond and clean the muck from the bottom. More than one inch will be detrimental to the pond’s health. Fix any leaks or rips to the pond’s bottom in the appropriate way. This is also the time to bring out the pump and filter again. Then, top off the water to avoid a build-up of salt and minerals. Lastly, bring back the water plants and fish for a healthy ecosystem and feed the fish at least twice a day.
In the summer, regular maintenance is as simple yet engaged as a weekly water testing and cleaning. The water should not contain high levels of salt, minerals, ammonia, chloramines, or chlorine. You may also want to install an aerator to help increase the water’s oxygen levels.
Besides testing and rebalancing the water as necessary, keep an eye on the plants and fish. Trim or remove any dying or overgrown plants, and remove debris such as fallen leaves, twigs, and the like. Check on the fish regularly to see that they are healthy and are not exhibiting unusual behaviors. Check for water pests and remove excess algae also.
In the fall, it is time to start packing up the system while maintaining its cleanliness. Skim off any leaves or debris that come into the pond, and make use of a net to catch falling leaves if need be. As temperatures drop, you can pack away the pump and filter, take non-hardy plants indoors, and slowly decrease the feeding of the fish until they get no feed. Fish do not need to eat as much in colder temperatures, and overeating can kill them. When you are not feeding them, they can eat the algae in the pond.
If you expect the winter months to generally be below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, you can bring both the fish and plants indoors. Or else, you can keep the pond from freezing over by keeping an air hole open, using an aerator, and even installing a de-icer.
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