A beautiful, well-maintained pond in your garden is a wonderful focal point in any landscape design and can be a great talking point when having guests over It gives you something to plan the rest of the garden around, it provides a peaceful place to relax and can be a fantastic project for you to work on.
However, maintaining a pond and keeping it healthy does take some work and you need to be committed to the upkeep. It doesn’t need to be a full-time job, but you will need to carry out various maintenance tasks throughout the year to keep it in tip-top shape. Having the right equipment and game plan will make keeping your pond clean and healthy easy.
The key is to perform maintenance regularly, as this will be more beneficial than one big clean each year. It’s important to look after your pond carefully, give it some TLC and let the fish and plant life that surround it grow to be healthy.
Stay on top of your pond care throughout the year by following a few simple tips and changing your routine with the seasons.
Stay on Top of Basic Year Round Pond Maintenance
Maintenance of pond pumps and filters should be carried out regularly. As soon as you notice any reduced flow, clean all of your pond pumps and pond filters. Remember to switch the system off first and turn off the UV light as without running water it will overheat and damage the light.
On the bottom of the pond remove sludge and buildup. You can choose to use treatments or a pond vacuum for this. To help prevent and reduce the formation of sludge in the first place use a skimmer product or a net to remove leaves and other debris from the top of the water.
Water will leave your pond naturally through evaporation, leaving behind a lot of pollutants. While your filtration system takes care of a lot of these, it’s still necessary to do partial water changes, about 25% once a month, to keep things fresh. Periodically test the water to be sure everything is in the balance, every few months should be fine.
When cleaning your filters, be sure to clean all of the elements in buckets that are free from herbicides and pesticides using pond water. When replacing the filter materials do it gradually over a few weeks, so the beneficial bacteria are not discarded all at once.
Chlorine can wreak havoc in your pond. Don’t ever use chlorinated water to clean filters – even the amount of chlorine in tap water can kill the beneficial bacteria in the filter. When you are topping off the pond or doing water changes, a dechlorinator should always be used.
An UltraViolet Clarifier (UVC) lamp should be replaced yearly even if it hasn’t burned out. They only have a lifespan of one year and will become ineffective if not changed.
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By The Seasons:
Pond Maintenance In Spring
Spring is the season of preparation for the upcoming year. This is the busy time of year for pond owners, so be ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work. The tasks you perform at this time of year will set the foundations for your pond’s health for the rest of the year and will make the rest of the year’s maintenance go smoothly.
As the water starts to warm it’s time to clean out the leaf litter and other debris that may have accumulated both on the surface and at the bottom of your pond. Now is the time to change out the UVC lamp and remove O rings and lubricate them or replace them if needed.
Plants can be trimmed back and should be separated out if they are overgrown. Fertilize them for maximum growth and better summer blooms.
If you have fish in your pond, evaluate their health. Some may have grown too large and need to be moved or rehomed. If they have bred, your pond could be overpopulated with too many fish and not enough space. It’s easier to move fish when the water is still cool, find friends or maybe even shops that are willing to rehome your fish.
Pond Maintenance In Summer
During the summer months, the water will naturally be warmer, and your fish will be growing and more active so they will need a higher protein diet. Consider adding an air pump to keep oxygen levels from dropping and ensure your fish stay healthy.
With or without fish, algae growth can be rapid at this warmer time of year, so be sure to monitor and add products to control it as needed.
Summer is the season to sit back and enjoy your pond, and there should be very little to do outside of maintaining pumps and filters. As soon as you notice water flow is decreasing, give them a thorough clean.
Pond Maintenance In Autumn
In Autumn, leaves that fall into the water and dead flower stalks need to be cleaned away, and any summer sludge build up should be taken from the bottom. Give your pond pump and filter a thorough end-of-summer clean to keep ensure it continues performing well.
At this time of year, it’s good to be aware that plants will begin to go dormant and your fish will eat less as their metabolism slows. This is perfectly normal and nothing to be worried about.
Pond Maintenance In Winter
Winter is the best time to install a new pond, as it will be settled by the time spring comes.
It will be colder, and the fish will not need to eat much. Be sure to remove uneaten food and also remove any dead plants or rotting leaf litter. Freezes are not particularly common in Australia. However, if there is any bitterly cold weather on the horizon, be sure to clear your water lines and do the same for any water features such as fountains or waterfalls.
Sit Back And Enjoy Your Pond
Having a water feature in your garden gives your property a unique aesthetic. After all, not every homeowner has a stunning water feature in their landscape design, and when you’ve cared for it yourself, it’s something you can be proud of. It’s something that you need to work at, but there is a certain sense of achievement and pride that comes with watching it change and adapt through the seasons.
It might seem like there’s a lot of work involved, but once you learn the fundamentals of caring for your pond, it will get easier. Stay on top of your basic pond maintenance tasks throughout the year, such as cleaning filters, checking your pumps and removing any sludge buildup from your pond floor. Be sure to do partial water changes and keep your pond chlorine-free.
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As you roll through the year and the season’s change, follow the seasonal tips we discussed above and your pond will stay healthy and beautiful. Be proud of what you’ve created; this is your little ecosystem for you to nurture. And when all the hard work is done, you can sit back, relax and enjoy your pond all year round, no matter what the season.