Credit to Michelle Maddalena from our Pond Addicts Facebook Group for the photo!
Having a pond on your property can provide a range of benefits. Whether you use it to create your own personal fishing hole or as a nice way for your children or grandchildren to cool off on a hot summer day, a pond can certainly give you hours of enjoyment. Of course, simply lounging around a water feature or watching koi swim around offers ample therapeutic advantages.
Having said all that, having a pond also means taking care of it. Without proper upkeep, it’ll quickly go downhill and become a source of stress and frustration more so than enjoyment. Taking certain measures in the spring can help keep your pond looking great and flourishing all year long.
Use Beneficial Bacteria
To many people, adding bacteria to any environment may seem counterintuitive. After all, why would you want to put something that’s potentially harmful into a project you worked so hard to build and maintain? When it comes to taking care of a pond, though, certain types of bacteria can actually be a good thing.
Beneficial pond bacteria work with the other natural elements of your pond to help keep the environment healthy. Virtually all pond owners struggle with algae growth, and helpful bacteria can help combat this problem. Those bacteria compete with the algae for food, essentially starving it of the nutrients it needs to grow and multiply. They won’t harm your plants, fish, and other aquatic life, either.
Get Rid of Debris
No doubt, a great deal of debris can gather in a pond during the fall and winter months. Fallen leaves, twigs, rogue litter, and weeds are only a few of the unwanted elements you might find trying to take over your pond when springtime rolls around. If left to its own devices, all that debris and overgrowth can take over and choke out the aquatic life you want to keep.
During your spring pond cleaning efforts, you’ll need to get rid of excess algae that may have worked its way into the picture as well. Several factors can promote algae growth, including natural organic material in the pond, fertilizers, and pesticides. Skimming away the algae is crucial to the health of your pond. It’ll help keep the water clear and ensure your fish, aquatic plants, and other features have the nutrients they need to flourish.
Maintain Aeration Equipment
Aquatic plants and wildlife need oxygen just as much as those that live on land. Though oxygen is present in water, it’s not always sufficient to keep your fish and plants healthy. Additionally, the more life you have in the pond, the more oxygen the water needs to provide to keep everything alive.
At the same time, winter can take a toll on the oxygen levels in the water. When the weather turns cold, it causes the oxygen levels in the water to decrease. What little oxygen is left sinks to the bottom of the pond where the warmer water lies.
Overcoming this oxygen depletion and distribution requires aeration. When spring rolls around and all the living features in the pond come back to life, it’s important to be sure your aeration equipment is working properly. If the equipment is in optimal condition, it’ll keep the water oxygenated and ensure the lifecycle of your pond can be carried out efficiently and effectively.
Add New Plants to the Mix
Plants are vital to your pond. Those that actually live in the water help provide nutrients for the beneficial bacteria that keep the pond healthy. They also provide some of the oxygen that’s so crucial but often lacking in a water-based environment. Those plants will aid in keeping problematic algae at bay as well.
Having the right types of plants around the pond is also important. When winter’s deep freeze gives way to the spring thaw, your pond is bound to receive at least a small amount of runoff. That water from snow and ice that enters your pond can contain a variety of substances, such as high concentrations of minerals and pollutants it picked up on its way to your property.
Planting vegetation around the pond will go a long way toward filtering contaminants out of the runoff before they have a chance to pollute your water. Plants will also help hold the ground around the pond in place. They’ll enhance the appearance of your pond and make it look more natural as well. Aesthetics may be a minor factor, but they’re important nonetheless.
Exercise Portion Control with Fish and Plant Food
If you have fish in your pond, it’s entirely possible that you’ll need to supply them with food. Chances are the natural features of the pond won’t be able to provide all the nutrients the fish need. When you feed the fish, though, be sure to avoid giving them too much food. What they don’t eat will settle in the pond and lead to excessive algae and harmful bacteria growth.
You may also need to provide extra nutrients for the plants around the pond to help them grow and flourish. Again, though, moderation is the key to success. Excess nitrogen, phosphorus, and other substances from fertilizers can contaminate the pond and harm the fish and aquatic plants that live in it. Those elements can also contribute to an overabundance of algae.
Making the Most of Your Pond
A pond can add monetary value to your property while providing numerous benefits and giving you all the more ways to enjoy your home and the land surrounding it. Keeping your pond clean and healthy is the key to making the most of all it has to offer, though. Spring is the time when the world seems to come back to life after winter’s deep freeze. As such, it’s the perfect time to give your pond a little extra care and attention.
Get rid of unwanted debris and growth, and add in beneficial bacteria to help foster the aquatic life you want to be part of the pond. Be sure to have the right types and amounts of vegetation in the mix, too. Keep your aeration equipment in top-notch shape, and avoid overfeeding your fish and plants. All these measures will help keep your pond healthy and beautiful.
If interested in learning more about our aeration systems, click here.