A garden pond is a great feature to help you enjoy nature. Observing plants and fish help you relax but you need to be aware of seasonal changes in care. Kate Michaels shares her seasonal pond care: the how-to guide with Pet Problems Solved…
Seasonal Pond Care: The How-To Guide
Once you have got your new pond up and running you might start to think about the difference in caring for your pond through the changing seasons, and you’d be right. Your pond is a very different environment in the warm spring and summer months, compared with the cold winter temperatures.
There are very different maintenance and care needs both for the pond itself and everything living within its waters, depending upon the time of year, so here is a quick guide on everything you need to know for effective seasonal pond care.
Your Pond in Springtime
As the temperatures start to rise you need to help your pond move from its cold weather state, ready for the new season to start so any winter preparations which were undertaken now need to be reversed.
For example, remove the cover if you have one and turn pumps and other systems back on if you switch them off. Once the water reaches 50 degrees you can start feeding your fish again with cold weather food. Wait until it hits 60 degrees before moving forward with a regular feeding programme.
Use a skim net or pond vacuum if you have one, to remove any remaining winter leaves or debris from the bottom of the pond and to clear any excess algae. If you need to, replace the water in the pond completely and give it a thorough clean while storing the fish safely in a container.
Now is the time to replace and repot the plants in the pond as well as cleaning out and replacing the filters in the system. It’s a great time to completely clean up and recharge the whole environment after the period of winter dormancy.
Your Pond in Summertime
Start your regular feeding programme back up for you fish but make sure you don’t overfeed or pollute the pond with too much fish food. You can start to remove any dead leaves and plants from the pond to avoid filling the pond with debris.
Make sure your air pumps are on and working correctly to give the fish the maximum amount of oxygen – they need more in the warm weather but warm water holds less oxygen so the pump will help to improve the conditions for the fish.
Sit back and enjoy spending time relaxing around your pond as this is when it will be at its most beautiful and impressive.
Your Pond in Autumn through into Winter
Unfortunately for pond owners, the arrival of autumn spells the period of most work as leaves start to fall into the water and plants die, causing decay and debris which can have a profoundly negative impact on the water quality.
The best way to avoid this problem is to install a leaf net over the pond at this stage and to use a pond vacuum to clear any debris which does manage to make its way into the bottom of the pond somehow.
As the water temperature starts to drop you need to adjust the type of food you are giving your fish and how often they are being fed – this needs to change for Autumn and then again for winter time as once the water is below 50 degrees the fish won’t need feeding again until Spring arrives.
Put a floating pond de-icer in the water when it starts to get really cold, to prevent the pond freezing entirely – you need to allow any gases from rotting debris in the pond to be able to escape during the cold winter months.
You should also stop feeding the plants and remove any dead or dying leaves at this time of year. Make sure their roots are deep enough in the water to prevent their roots being frozen so you might need to lower them all. Some plants might need to be removed from the pond altogether during the winter to help them survive.
It’s the perfect time of year to think about your pond equipment and to consider whether to leave your pump and filter system running throughout the winter period. If you do leave it running then you will need to prepare it to deal with the freezing temperatures. If you plan to turn it off then your fish will be fine as cold water carries a lot of oxygen and the fish’s respiration will have slowed in any case.
If the systems are switched off then it’s a good time to drain them all and store them clean and dry ready to be reinstalled when the water temperature starts to rise in the spring again.
As you can see from the equipment, your pond has very different care requirements during the different seasons so make sure you are ready as the temperatures begin to rise or start to fall.
About the author:
Katie Michaels is a freelance writer who loves pets. Recently, she has been very obsessed with fish and turtles. When not playing with animals you can find her in the nearest local library looking for vintage books to borrow. She writes freelance for Aquacadabra.
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