Pond Spring Start-Up

The pond is coming back to life!

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:

Pond Thermometer Check the temperature of the pond water.
Pond Vacuum Eliminates muck and fish waste without causing turbidity in pond water or displacing fish and plants.
Leaf Eater Pond Leaf Eater Vacuum.
Water Quality Kit Kit contains what is needed to test and adjust pH as well as deal with the dangerous toxicity (to fish) of nitrites.
Sludge Away Have a rock bottom pond? This blend of Microbe Lift eats the sludge in your pond so you don't have to vacuum it out.
pH Down Safely adjusts the pH of the water downward.
pH UP This product safely adjusts pH upward. Changing the pH of the water too fast can put fish into shock.
Pond Water Chlorine and Heavy Metal Neutralizer Removes chlorine and heavy metals from pond water instantly to make it safe for pond fish like Koi, Goldfish and Golden Orfe! Removes chlorine, chloramines and other harmful heavy metals.
Test Kit for Nitrite Nitrite can kill fish. You should Test for this poison regularly, especially in new ponds or when adding large quantities of new fish.
Pond Clarifier Clarifies pond water, removes sludge, provides beneficial bacterial, boosts biofilters and solves algae problems.

Scott’s Landscaping, Inc. recommends Ultra Clear Pond Products, which can be ordered through our office.

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.
• If pumps, filters and other equipment were removed over winter it should be hooked up and turned on.
• Replace worn filter material and UV bulbs.
• It is a good idea to add beneficial bacteria product at this time and at regular intervals during the season according to directions for the specific product.
• Beneficial bacteria will do several things for the pond:
1. It will help jump start the filters
2. The bacterial colony will grow right along with the waste output of the fish and help keep the pond clear
3. Help diminish any leftover organic debris

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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