Essential to-dos to keep your pond at its best

When you get right down to it, keeping your water garden thriving beautifully always comes back to the basics. Here’s a quick refresher of the best practices to help keep your pond in tip-top condition:
  • Make sure your pump and filter system are rated for the size (gallons) of your pond.
  • Remove any debris on the bottom of the pond, especially in the spring and fall.
  • Conduct a partial water change in the spring and fall, or anytime you are restarting or shutting down your pond, and be sure to add a dechlorinator if you are using municipal tap water.
  • Keep your pond oxygenated. This can be in the form of a waterfall, spitter, fountain, or bubbler.
  • Do not over populate your pond with fish.
  • Do not overfeed your fish.
  • Examine fish for activity to ensure they are not struggling and are visibly healthy.
  • Clean your filter system filter mats, pre-filters, and any sponge filters on a regular basis (watch for reduced water flow).
  • Add plants—floating (shade and filtration), submerged (oxygen), and perimeter (beauty).
  • If your filters are equipped with bio media, back-flush them to keep them operating efficiently. And remember, bacteria and sludge accumulate more quickly in the warm weather.
  • If you haven’t changed the UV bulb for the past two seasons, change it—hot sunny weather means algae, and you want your UV clarifier to work at peak efficiency. If you use it year round, change it after 9 months.
  • Watch for diminished water flow—this could mean a clogged intake, pump, or filter.
  • It’s not unnatural for your pond to lose an inch of water after several days of hot weather due to evaporation, especially if you have a fountain and other water features running. But if your water level appears to be dropping much faster, check for a leak.
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