Pond Spring Start-Up
April is typically the time to ready your pond for the Spring season: proper preparation in the spring makes for a healthier pond all summer. Ponds should reach a water temperature of 48 degrees Fahrenheit or above before being disturbed. This is the time to remove netting which may have been placed over the pond to keep leaves and debris out. Dead leaves and other organic debris, as well as any significant accumulation of sludge, should be removed from the pond bottom using a skimmer net or pond vacuum.
Supplies That May Be Needed:
Garden ponds are special environments that take time to develop. It takes several seasons to achieve a balanced eco-system. Ponds should not be completely drained and scrubbed down every year for this very reason. A complete draining of the pond must be avoided whenever possible, but a partial drain is desirable to dilute the minerals and pollutants which may have accumulated due to the constant evaporation of water during the past year. Draining 1/3 of the water and replacing it with fresh water accomplishes this goal without disturbing the habitat of fish, frog and other pond life.
Caution: de-chlorinator must be added when re-filling the pond with tap water to avoid killing the pond inhabitants. Koi are extremely sensitive to sudden temperature changes. The filling of the pond must be done slowly and carefully if the temperature of the water coming out of the tap differs greatly from the water temperature of the pond. A temperature change that is too sudden can send the Koi into shock or even kill them.
Pond water must be tested and adjusted in the spring. Taking the time at the beginning of the season to make sure the water quality is as good as possible will go a long way towards a healthy, clean and easy to maintain pond for the rest of the year.
• Nitrites should be at 0 and pH level between 7 and 8.
It is time to move hardy marginal plants onto the shelves and fertilize all pond plants once the days are getting longer and water temperatures rise and stay above 50 degrees. Tropical water plants can be moved back into the pond when the water temperature reaches 60 degrees. Feeding of the fish can resume once the pond filter has been back in operation for a week or so. Feeding of the fish should start slowly and with a good quality cool water food so neither the digestive system of the fish or the beneficial bacteria colony of the pond will be overwhelmed.
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