As we enter into the season of long balmy evenings and weekends spent out in the garden, now is the time to ensure your pond is looking its best, says All Pond Solutions.
But with temperatures slowly on the rise and increasing levels of sunlight, there are other factors that pondkeepers need to consider to help keep your pond clean, clear and flourishing throughout the summer months...
Regular maintenance of your pond pump and filter
With your garden pond pump and pond filter as your main tools in keeping your pond water clean and healthy, regular maintenance of this equipment over the summer months is essential. Remove any dirt or debris from your pond pump that may have collected around the cage and impeller, and clean your pond filter frequently, checking that your filter foams and media do not require replacing or refilling.
Keep an eye on your water levels
Water evaporation is one of the main causes of a drop in oxygen levels in your pond during the hot summer months. Try to keep your water level consistent by topping it up once a week, ideally with siphoned rainwater. If you do need to use tap water, be sure to add a dechlorinator and water conditioner to ensure the water is safe for your fish and to help conserve your pond’s biological balance. If using mains water, it can also help to regulate pond water temperature by more adding it more regularly in lesser amounts, and be aware that the nutrients in mains water can cause increased algae growth. When using mains water, you will also need to add
Make sure your pond is well aerated
In addition to monitoring your water levels, managing the oxygen levels in your pond is fundamental to the health, happiness and welfare of your fish. It is advisable to keep your pond filter and pump running continuously to keep your pond aerated, however noise-conscious pondkeepers can use an air pump or air stone overnight, which will also help to oxygenate your pond whilst creating much less sound.
Adding new livestock and plants
Summer is the ideal time to update your pond with new fish and aquatic plants - with increased hours of sunlight and water temperature, in addition to you spending more time in the garden to check on their progress. However, patience is key – to try and reduce the risk of an ammonia spike in your pond, by introducing any new fish gradually.
To help your fish acclimatise properly, add new fish to your pond still in their bag for 30 minutes. Floating the bag on the surface of the water lets the water temperatures equalise and reduce levels of stress when adding them to your pond. Finally, place your fish into your pond gently with the use of a net, being careful not to drop any water from the bag into the pond.
Battling algae growth in your pond
Increased levels of sunlight and using tap water to top-up your pond are two of the leading causes for increased phosphates in your pond, creating a feeding ground for algae. Using an algaecide or algae remover can help resolve green water issues, but a better long-term, preventative measure against algae is to install a pond UV steriliser. Exposure to the UV light inside the steriliser causes algae to flocculate, or clump together, which enables your pond filter to remove it from the water.
Adding border and floating plants to your pond can also help to reduce algae growth by creating extra shade for your pond water.
Controlling weeds in your pond
Whilst helping your garden pots and plants thrive in the summer, increased sunlight also causes widespread growth of weeds in and around your pond. Blanket weed is a common frustration for pond keepers during spells of warmer weather, and the application of bacterial pond treatments provide an effective solution and restore the natural balance of your pond.
Floating weeds can also rapidly take over a pond if not carefully controlled, so making time to regularly remove these from your water with a net will help prevent weeds from becoming unmanageable. However, ensure that you leave the weeds overnight by the side of your pond before disposing of them to allow any aquatic organisms to return to the water.
Pond safety is crucial
Last, but certainly not least, the most critical consideration when enjoying your pond this summer is to safeguard yourself and others. Installing a pond grille or fence is a good precautionary measure, but it is VITAL that young children are supervised around water at all times.
Pond keepers should also make sure that any pond or fish treatments are securely stored away out of reach, as the chemicals they contain could prove extremely harmful to both humans and animals.
Be sure to clear your pond of any potential trip hazards and ensure that all electrical pond equipment is correctly wired to a waterproof switch box. If you are unsure of how to do this, consult a qualified electrician.
All Pond Solutions is one of the UK’s leading online aquatics retailers, offering customers one of the largest selections of pond supplies, aquarium equipment and livestock at highly competitive prices.
For more information, or to shop for pond products online, visit www.allpondsolutions.co.uk