Maintaining A Healthy Pond 365 Days A Year

Sept 20, 2013 – This pond maintenance guide coaches pond owners on the items and characteristics of a pond throughout all the seasons. We all want the best for our ponds and the wildlife that lives within so this should help give you the information that you require to ensure its health.

Winter

December – January – February

December, January and February are the coldest months of winter. During this time the fish are usually very inactive and live primarily at the bottom of the pond. In these colder temperatures the fish will not be feeding & burning off any excess fat so the levels of oxygen in the water does not have to be as high as in the warmer times of the year.

Keep an eye on all the foliage that is dying off the plants surrounding your pond. As the leaves and other debris fall in and around your pond remove as much of it as you can to avoid large amounts from entering your pond water.

Limiting the amount of dead foliage that enters your pond reduces the required oxygen needed to decompose these matters. The same oxygen that could otherwise be used to maintain a healthy ecosystem in your water. The organic matter that does reach the pond starts to decompose during the winter months and in the process toxic gases are released into the water. To ensure these gases are not trapped by pond ice and to allow them to escape, keep an open area on your pond surface that remains open all winter long. Using an aeration system to do this is an excellent solution, many people tend to go to the pond and break the ice every few days but this can send shock waves through your pond and damage the fish.

If you are adding fish food into your pond it is recommended that you stop this once the water temperature dips below 50°F. Begin again after the temperature rises above 50°F. Fish can survive the winter on nutrients that their bodies have stored.

To keep small ponds open in the winter you can use a floating de-icer that has a built in thermostat that automatically turns a heating element on when the water temperature drops below 36°F.

Most air pumps are turned off during the winter months because they require warmer temperatures to operate effectively and avoid damage. Fish do not require as much oxygen but still need a certain level to stay healthy so look for aerations systems that can be used all year round. Koenders Windmills have some excellent aeration products that are used throughout the year to keep ponds open and pond water healthy and clean.

Spring

March – April – May

Your pond and plant life has been dormant for the past few months so if you are ever going to add a pond conditioner – this is the time to do so. This is also a good time to add some cold temperature fish food is small amounts to give your fish a healthy start. Keep an eye out for any parasites & diseases which may come to life after being dormant over the winter.

Spring is also a good time to clean and inspect your pond, remove any dead leaves and debris that may have accumulated around the edges of the pond and if you have water intakes available you may want to flush and fill the pond with 25% new water. This can help eliminate any elements that may be polluting the water.

May is normally the earliest time that new fish can be introduced to the pond. New fish should be watched carefully after introduction for signs of disease or poor water quality.

Summer

June – July – August

If you are feeding your fish then this is a good time to give them the warm water fish food to assist them in their growth. If you have not already been pond aerating then this would be a critical time of the year to increase oxygen levels in the water.

Hot weather can also reduce water levels by as much as 4 inches per/week so if you have a source of water inflow then your pond should be monitored and the water should be topped up when required.

Visit the Superior Windmill site and learn about the various kinds of aeration systems and which ones are the best for your pond. Due to the increased temperatures that summer brings – pond water heats up and is unable to hold oxygen as well as it does in the colder temperatures, the healthiest of ponds may experience low oxygen levels so be sure to implement an aeration system. Don’t wait until pond algae has covered the surface of your pond and your fish are gasping for oxygen at the surface of the water.

Autumn

September – October – November

This is the time of year when the leaves begin to fall from the trees. If too many leaves are allowed to get into the pond and decay it can throw off the ponds ecosystem so do your best to collect leaves off the ground or surround the pond with a net or fence. Depending on the size of the pond this may not be economical. This is another good reason for aeration. The extra levels of oxygen that a pond aeration system provides helps speed up the decay process of leaves and other organic matter that finds its way into the pond.