Summer is your pond’s time to shine. The weather is right, your fish are flourishing, and relaxing next to your backyard pond is the best part of your afternoon. But just like every other time of year, there are certain seasonal downfalls that you should be watching out for.
Lack of Oxygen
Because warm water has a harder time holding onto oxygen, with your fish being more active and therefore using up more oxygen, and aquatic plants using up oxygen at night, you might find that your pond is running a little low on the O2. Try adding a pond pump for more aeration if you are having troubles with low oxygen. A major sign of low oxygen is unexplained fish deaths, particularly in your larger fish that require more oxygen. Leave your waterfalls, fountains and any other equipment that helps with aeration running 24/7 in hot weather.
That warm, sunlit water is a breeding ground for algae. Green water is the most common and actually pretty harmless. To naturally control the algae, create shade over the pond surface with plants. A combination of aquatic, marginal, deep water and floating plants is best.
Too Hot to Handle
If you have already added plants to offer your pond surface some shade you are heading in the right direction. You don’t want to shock your fish by adding freezing water or ice. If it is too hot, you fish likely will not want to eat. Feeding them will only add to the pollution of the pond. If they do eat in extreme temperatures they will excrete more ammonia as they require more oxygen. Basically, avoid feeding your fish during an extreme heatwave.
Your pond filter is working hardest in the summertime, so keep an eye on it to make sure it is in good running order. During the summer the filter is in overdrive trying to clear pollen and common green water, resulting in more waste being trapped in the media. In addition, fish are eating more and producing more waste, filling that filter even more quickly. If you go away on a summer trip, try your best to find someone to maintain your pond and keep an eye on your filter. You don’t want it to go down while you’re gone.
Pond Surface Buildup
The surface of a pond can build up with all sorts of junk during the summer: stray leaves or grass, dead bugs, pollen, foaming from algae treatments and residue from increased fish feeding. The quickest way to combat this is with a pond skimmer. This helps gaseous exchange, reduce mechanical and biological load and make your pond look better overall.
Your pond will thrive this summer with some regular maintenance. Keep an eye on your fish when the weather spikes, try a pond skimmer for floating debris, stop algae in its tracks and make sure your equipment is functioning properly to keep it at its best all summer long. Kick back, relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of your backyard pond this season.