When Spring starts to bring in the warmer weather, this is time to get outside and begin enjoying the water gardening season. Your pond has been dormant all winter and needs a little care to make it beautiful. Follow these ten simple steps to prepare your pond for success.
Inspect your pond
Check to see what effect the winter weather has had on the pond liner. Make repairs as needed.
Make a water change
You should make a 15% to 25% pond water change over several consecutive days to eliminate the dissolved organics built up over the winter. Also, remove dead leaves and debris that have accumulated in the bottom of the pond.
Condition your tap water
When doing spring start-up water changes don’t forget you need to eliminate chlorine & chloramines found in municipal water. While they make water safe for human drinking, these substances are harmful to your pond fish and must be removed. Even a small trace of chlorine will irritate fish and damage gill tissue and large amounts can be toxic. Use a PondCare brand water conditioner such as Stress Coat or AMMO-LOCK to remove harmful chlorine or chloramines from the tap water.
Start the biological filter
Clean out and start up the filtration system. Add PondCare BIOFILTER BOOSTER™ to improve the development of the biological filter and keep your pond naturally balanced.
Test your pond water
It is not possible to know the condition of pond water without testing. PondCare Test Kits offer a quick and accurate way to evaluate pond water quality and stop problems before they occur. Ammonia and nitrite are the major causes of fish loss in ponds. These compounds can reach toxic levels in the spring once fish begin feeding. Testing is also a way to monitor the condition of the biological filter.
Inspect your Fish
Take time to examine your fish. If you see torn fins, blood streaks, ulcers or a fungal infection use PondCare MELAFIX® and PIMAFIX®. MELAFIX is an all-natural antibacterial remedy for the treatment of koi and goldfish diseases. PIMAFIX is an all-natural antifungal remedy designed to work with MELAFIX. These will treat bacterial infections, ulcers and open wounds that may develop on your fish after a rough winter.
Feed your fish a low-protein fish food
As the temperature of your pond water approaches 42°F, your fish will start looking for food. In cooler temperatures, when the water temperature is between 42° F (6° C) and 72° F (21° C), fish require a high carbohydrate/reduced protein diet. In cooler water, fish metabolism slows and so does the need for protein. Feeding a high protein food in cooler waters will result in poor water quality. In fact, the excess protein is converted to ammonia and excreted by the fish, adding to the pollution of the pond. To prevent this from happening, feed your fish PondCare Spring and Autumn Pond Food, a reduced-protein, high carbohydrate, vitamin-enriched diet, specially formulated to feed pond fish when water temperatures are between 42°F and 70°F.
Provide your fish with essential electrolytes
In addition to a proper diet fish also need electrolytes such as potassium, sodium, magnesium, chloride, and calcium to maintain proper health. PondCare Pond Salt provides all the essential electrolytes fish need to survive. For planted ponds, the recommended level of salt is 0.1% and for fish only ponds the rate is 0.2%. To determine the proper dose of Pond Salt, test your pond water with a PondCare Salt Level Test Kit.
Caring for pond plants
Root-bound plants should be divided and re-potted. Use PondCare Aquatic Planting Media to re-pot plants. Most ponds don’t have enough plants so plan for more! Besides adding beauty to your pond, plants help create a more natural ecosystem. Aquatic plants need the right nutrients for growth and flowering. PondCare Aquatic Plant Food Tablets will provide these essential nutrients to potted plants such as water lilies and lotuses. Floating plants such as water hyacinths, water lettuce, and Elodea will flourish when PondCare Aquatic Plant Food Liquid is added to the pond.
Keep your water clean and clear
Murky, cloudy water keeps is unattractive and unhealthy. A build-up of sludge and dissolved organics reduces the oxygen concentration in the water, creating a breeding ground for disease-causing bacteria. Digest sludge and reduce dissolved organics with beneficial bacteria. Use Either PondCare Eco Fix®, Simply Clear ® or Pond Zyme®, they reduce organic pollution and maintain a healthy ecosystem in your pond.