Proper upkeep during the summer months is vital in maintaining a clean, healthy, beautiful pond. Knowing the proper preventative steps to keep algae under control and pond water clean goes a long way in avoiding headaches down the road. Here is a summer maintenance checklist with the steps necessary to keep a pond in top shape:
- Manage the food intake of fish in the pond. Overfeeding will cause the fish to produce more waste, leading to lower water quality. Feed the fish only as much as they can eat in a few minutes, and be sure to clean out any eaten food after feeding. An automatic feeder is also an option for food management, but feeding by hand is recommended because it allows the feeder to keep a better eye on consumption and waste.
- Warmer water is less able to hold oxygen, which can lead to an unhealthy environment for biological creatures, and a poor quality of pond water in general. Promote higher oxygen levels in the pond with an aeration pump, or a device like a waterfall or fountain that keeps the water flowing. Moving water will also help to discourage mosquito breeding, and properly oxygenated water is vital to a healthy ecosystem, also keeping algae levels down.
- Introduce biological filtration bacteria to break down harmful waste materials efficiently and effectively. When using biological filtration, it is important to maintain proper oxygen levels with the methods listed above.
- Perform regular maintenance on any chemical filter media being used. The summer months tax chemical filter media systems more than other months.
- Make sure the pond surface is 60 to 70 percent covered by shade, using rock overhangs or aquatic plants like water lilies. Shade keeps the water cooler, which helps control algae and limit parasites. It is also beneficial to the fish population, which can suffer from overexposure to harsh sunlight.
With the right combination of preventative pond maintenance and daily vigilance from its caretaker, a pond can stay as beautiful and healthy during the summer months as it does in the cooler, more forgiving months of spring and fall.