Summer is the perfect time to enjoy your living pond. Here are some tips.
Relaxing next to a sparkling, clean, and clear pond full of lively fish is a great way to spend your summer days and nights. With the right maintenance, keeping your pond this healthy should be relatively easy. Summer, however, poses a variety of threats to your pond’s well-being, and these must be dealt with to keep it healthy and looking fresh. Follow this guide, and enjoying your pond will be the highlight of your summer:
Oxygen is Essential:
As the temperature rises during the warm summer months, water is able to hold less and less dissolved oxygen, which is essential to your fish’s survival. If your fish are gasping at the surface of the water, this is a warning sign that your oxygen levels are too low. Try one or more of these ideas to increase the levels of oxygen in your pond.
- Add a waterfall or fountain to your pond:These decorative features also serve the essential purpose of oxygenating your pond. By churning up water, they allow more air to be mixed in and dissolve, helping the fish survive. A less glamorous way of doing this is by adding an aerator or skimmer to your pond.
- Use Plants: You can also help control your pond’s oxygen levels with certain plants. Surface plants like lilies and water lettuce will provide coverage for your water, which will keep it cooler and more oxygenated. Be careful though, as too much coverage will reduce your water’s ability to interact with the air, and lower oxygen levels. Try to keep at least a third of your pond’s surface open. Another idea is to use submerged, oxygenating plants.
Feeding the Fish:
Your fish will need to be fed more in the summer to accommodate increased activity, growth, and winter reserves. This comes with some guidelines:
- Try to feed your fish daily, with a high protein feed, but be careful not to overfeed. What they can eat in roughly five minutes is the correct amount of food.li>If overfed, your fish will produce too much waste, which can be harmful to the water. To take care of this, you can use both a regular filter and a biological filter.
- If the water temperature goes above 85 degrees Fahrenheit, try to cut back feeding.
- Water Quality: Check the quality of your water every week by testing for pH and ammonia and nitrites levels. You should also clean out your filters periodically; but when cleaning your biological filter, be sure to use pond water, as anything else will damage the filter. From time to time, you also may want to swap out 10-15% of the water in the pond with new, conditioned water.
- Mosquitoes: Mosquitoes can plague ponds in the summer months. You can try to keep them out by letting as little water as possible remain stagnant and using pond insecticides.
- Plants: You can keep your plants healthy in the summer by using an aquatic plant fertilizer. This will help them grow and bloom easier, and make your pond more beautiful.
- Drought: If your water level gets too low, you should consider adding water to the pond, again, making sure it is conditioned first. If the drought lasts, you may want to look into a temporary tank to hold your fish.
- Runoff: Make sure not to use lawn or tree fertilizers where they could drain into your pond. This can affect water quality and cause algae to bloom.