Your pond needs to be cared for year-round. Fish don't fly south if it gets cold! Up your pond maintenance game with UV lights and filters, to start.
While spring and summer are the seasons where you will likely get the most enjoyment out of your pond, that doesn't mean you should forget about it completely during fall and winter!
In fact, if you maintain your pond year round, it will not only result in a healthier pond, but it will also save you a lot of time and money.
Here are our top 10 pond maintenance tips that you can use to keep your pond healthy and looking its best all year round.
1. Check the Water Quality
Obviously, the water in a pond is a large and crucial part to maintain.
You should definitely be checking your pond's pH balance and make sure that the water hasn't been contaminated, as well as ensuring a high oxygen content.
Semi-regular cleanings of the pond definitely wouldn't hurt, especially if you have plants or fish.
2. Supplement Your Pond
This tip has a lot to do with the previous one: some supplements can be extremely beneficial in keeping the pond water clean and healthy.
Bacteria and microorganisms are often a crucial part of a pond ecosystem, so maintaining the bacterial colonies in your pond is extremely important.
Besides maintaining the already present bacteria and microorganisms, there are some bacterial supplements you can add to your pond as well.
Chlorine, fish medication, heavy metals, and the changing of water all can disrupt the pond's ecosystem. Adding water conditioners can clear these harmful substances and help with your pond maintenance.
Even adding plants can be a great supplement to your pond: they can clear harmful waste and add oxygen into the water.
3. Keep the Pond Clear of Debris
Debris, like leaves or sticks, can accumulate in your pond.
Clearing the pond of this debris is important for a couple of reasons.
First of all, as debris decomposes, it can release harmful chemicals and pollute your pond.
Debris can also block light from entering your pond, which can kill plants, bacteria, and fish.
You can clear debris using a net or a device called a skimmer. In the fall, it is a good idea to use leaf netting, as you'll likely have an excess of falling leaves.
4. De-Ice and De-Snow
While ice or snow could be considered debris, we think this is important enough to get its own section.
Clearing snow from your pond is important for the same reason clearing leaves is: it can block light from getting to the water. This means that plants and bacteria cannot make oxygen, which is essential for pond life.
Ice can trap harmful compounds and gases in your pond, which will hurt fish, plants, and the water quality.
Use either a de-icer machine or water flow to prevent ice; you can use warm water to thaw out an area of the pond.
Do not hit, whack, or chisel the ice to break it up. This results in shock waves that can kill your fish!
A de-icer can also prevent your pond from freezing solid, which (unsurprisingly) can also kill your fish.
5. Have Good Aeration
As the other tips have hinted at, oxygen is an important part of a healthy pond.
Having a water pump or a waterfall will circulate the water and help to add oxygen to the water from the air.
Warmer water holds less oxygen, so during the summer and spring, aeration is crucial.
Another plus to aeration is that some water movement can help prevent freezing.
6. Take Care of Your Plants
Plants are not only important for the pond environment's health, but they can also make your pond look great!
You can take care of your plants by:
- removing their dead or dying leaves
- periodically repotting them
- using fertilizer
- changing them out if they are seasonal
- place submerged plants below the ice zone (fall/winter)
7. Take Care of Your Fish
As with your plants, your fish need attention!
While it is best to allow the fish and plants to exist naturally in their environment, be on the lookout for diseases or infections that can kill your fish.
Predators can also kill your fish: protect them!
You should also know what to feed them, how much to feed them, and how this depends on the season.
Also be aware of water temperature and quality, ice, and aeration (see tips 1, 4 and 5).
8. Prepare Your Equipment for Each Season
It isn't just the living things that need pond maintenance: your equipment does too!
Be sure to clean and replace filters at least once per year.
If you live in a place where temperatures won't drop too low during the winter, it's a good idea to keep your pumps and filters running through each season.
But if instead, you live where it is below freezing and rather cold during the winter, those things are not as necessary as cold water holds more oxygen.
Reducing the water circulation during winter is also a good idea, as a lot of circulation can result in hyper-cooling (warmer water is exposed to the air, which cools it) and this can lead to fish death and freezing.
Fall or winter would also be the time to add your de-icer to the pond.
9. Be Ready for Anything!
Even if you take all of these tips to heart and are an expert in pond maintenance, there are some things you cannot prevent.
Imagine there is a power outage that causes your pumps or your de-icer to stop working.
Or perhaps there is a huge, unexpected snowstorm that completely covers your pond with snow and ice.
Maybe a tree falls directly onto your pond.
There's no way to predict or prevent these things, but you can be ready for them.
You could have backup generators ready for potential outages, and you can be good about checking the weather forecast.
Just make sure you have your supplies handy and are able to check on and maintain your pond.
10. Hire a Pond Maintenance Professional
All of this can be slightly overwhelming, especially if your pond is going to need daily maintenance.
There's a myriad of companies you can hire to help you with your pond maintenance if you need it.
A pond can be a great investment, and maintaining it can range from being a fun hobby to a chore.
Summer and spring are great times to sit back and admire your pond in its peak seasons. But don't forget about it year round: you might not get to enjoy it if you don't take care of it all year!
If you have any questions or comments, don't hesitate to contact us!