Pet Fish - Maintaining a Pond
These tips on maintaining your pond will help you keep it running well from season to season.
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Just like any other type
of yard maintenance, pond maintenance varies with each season. These
tips on maintaining your pond will help you keep it running well from
season to season.
In the spring,
you need to clean your pond thoroughly.
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If the pond is extremely dirty, you may need to actually catch the fish
and keep them in a holding tank so that you can drain the pond.
Otherwise, you should only need to remove about half the
Remove any debris and
fallen leaves from the pond.
You should clean the filter and change the media or material it uses to
work, as well. This gets rid of bacteria that will be harmful
to fish. Then, refill the pond with fresh water.
You should treat the pond for parasites to keep your fish
The plants in your pond
will usually bloom again as the season progresses. You'll
need to cut off any dead parts and you should use a pond safe
fertilizer to feed any potted or deep water plants.
Don't feed your fish
until the temperature stays above 55°F (10°C).
Otherwise, the fish will not be able to digest the food.
You may want to consider starting them off with wheat-germ
As the weather warms, you may also want to give your fish specially
formulated food with antibiotics in it for two weeks to prevent illness.
During the summer, pond
maintenance is fairly simple.
Switch your fish to a high protein food.
Test the water for ammonia, nitrates and pH. If the water
quality is bad, the fish may not have enough oxygen to survive.
You should change fifty percent of the water if it is
It may also be a good idea to add a few additional oxygenating plants
to the pond to stabilize the oxygen level and keep algae from taking
over the pond. Fertilize the deep water plants and marginal
plants in the pond with a pond safe fertilizer. You should also clean
the filter and pump.
In the fall, you will be
spending most of your time preparing your fish for the winter months.
Fish can't easily digest foods in lower temperatures so you'll need to
reduce the amount you feed them as temperature goes below 70°F
(21°C). When the temperature is under 50°F
(10°C) stop feeding the fish until the weather warms up again
in the spring.
You should trim all the
plants in the pond and remove dying parts to prevent them from rotting
under water during the winter. When leaves begin to fall you
should cover the pond with mesh so that the leaves don't drop into the
water. If the leaves are left in the pond they will decompose
and become harmful to your fish.
involves keeping the pond from freezing solid so that toxic gases do
not build up under the ice. As the temperature of the pond
water gets below 40°F (4°C), remove the pump from the
bottom of the pond. When it is at the bottom, it circulates
the water of the entire pond, making it too cold for the fish.
Instead, you should put a
re-circulating pump at the top of the pond to provide oxygen and to
keep the pond from freezing completely during the winter months.
You'll also possibly need to install a heater or pond deicer,
which will release toxic gases and provide more oxygen for the fish.
Remove filter mats from
the skimmer and filter because they'll freeze and will be difficult to
thaw out. You may want to cover the pond with netting to
avoid predators, as fish are most vulnerable during winter and early
To learn more about pond
maintenance, visit Fantastic
Caring for Pet Fish
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