Backyard Pond Maintenance For Homeowners
Preparations For Your Backyard
While you were doing the landscaping for your backyard you had a pond included or put in. Maybe you're thinking of putting one in. It is beautiful and peaceful. But it is now going into fall and it is time to think about the winter maintenance for your pond so that it weathers it well.
This is important because installing a pond can be expensive as well as time consuming and back breaking work. You don't want all of that to go to waste. The following is a season by season guide in how to take to do pond maintenance on your little piece of peace. Let's start with spring.
You first start by checking the pump and pond filter to prepare for the coming summer. When the water reaches the temperature above 45 degrees F, that is when you want to reassemble and start up the filtration system. When you do that you need to check for proper flow rate and leaks. To jump start the biological filtration, add the bacterial additives so to replace any that were lost over winter.
Then it is time to monitor development of the nitrifying bacteria in the system for biological filtration and also measure the water parameters as well. This can be do with a test kit.
You need to have the pond aerator ready to promote the proper exchange of gas. If there is weather that is unseasonably warm, this can promote the rapid depletion of dissolved oxygen levels caused by the abrupt nitrifying bacteria growth. Check and start the UV sterilizer system so as to keep the water clear throughout the season ahead.
Start repotting the pond plants in early spring and also don't forget to fertilize the water lilies. When the water temperature consistently stays above 50 degrees F you can then start to feed the pond fish.
To keep the pond well oxygenated and cool you may want to consider adding a aerator, fountain or waterfall. With a higher oxygen level the lower the algae level. As well as adding water plants like water lilies. The water plants also serve as algae control and provides a little shade. Switch to a growth or staple food when the water temperature start to stay above the 70 degree F mark. By giving the fish a little food at a time and removing any leftovers will also help. By adding shrimps or snails you will have helped in keeping algae off the liner and rocks. A pond skimmer is another option as well. Don't forget to change the filters on a regular basis.
Then do a substantial change of the water, about 50 percent. This is to remove any contaminants. This is necessary to maintain the water conditions for the winter. This is should be "done when the pond temperature is the same as" the same as the source water. However the water should not be any lower then 60 degrees F in order to minimize stress.
While you are at it you should add bacterial additives that are formulated for cooler water. Make sure to clean the filters thoroughly and remove it and the main pump when the temperature reaches 45 degrees F. This is to prevent the damage caused by freezing.
Mix your Koi's food with wheat germ because it is easier to digest. Start doing this when the water's temperature is 70 degrees. When it is 60 degrees F feed them strictly wheat germ food. At 40 degrees stop feeding them altogether.
When you live in an area that has long freezing winters, harmful gases get trapped underneath the ice which cause dangerous conditions for your fish that you didn't bring indoors. The solution to this is by providing an opening in the ice to promote a proper exchange of gases.
If there are fish at the surface when the pond is frozen you need to quick to add a water pump or aerator at the surface. The fish can die fast otherwise. Do not break the ice instead you need to melt the ice.
How about a pond heater? Advice to this use a Thermo-Pond De-Icer which works to 30 below zero and a low wattage of electricity. However to prevent this altogether just place the aerator at the surface. Just be sure to keep the snow from piling up so that you can reach the de-icing equipment.
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