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Ponds are a lovely addition to any garden and can create a beautiful and serene retreat. But it is of course important to maintain the pond to keep it healthy and in tip-top condition.
- Keep algae under control. Rake it away from the surface or invest in a pond UV clarifier. These eliminate the unsightly green water by exposing it to UV radiation.
- Check the filter regularly and clean it if necessary. Use a small brush to scrub away any dirt and grime to remove blockages. When you reassemble the filter make sure there are no leaks.
- Warm water encourages the growth of parasites but during hot weather the only way of controlling the temperature is by adding shade. If your pond isn’t naturally in a shady spot, then you can buy pond shades. Floating plants can also help to keep the water at a cooler temperature. Fountains are also beneficial to increase the amount of oxygen in the pond.
- Feed fish regularly to encourage growth, but make sure you don’t over feed them – left overs can collect at the bottom of the pond, contaminating it.
- Top up water levels regularly during hot periods to prevent the weathering of pond lining which is not covered by the water. Less water can also reduce oxygen.
- Floating weeds can cause problems, so pull them out when possible.
- Remove any dead leaves, left-over food and bacteria with a pond vac – which sucks out the harmful debris which pollutes the pond. Pond vacs only remove a small amount of water along with all the junk, so you don’t need to worry about finding a temporary home for your fish or topping up the pond.
- Your pond may need extra nutrients to keep it healthy. You can buy special tablets which will release the necessary good stuff even in low temperatures.
- If you’re new to keeping fish, think carefully about which to include. Carp can uproot plants, while goldfish won’t harm your plants in any way. If you want to protect smaller fish from pesky herons which swoop in and steal them, it may be worth investing in a heron reflector or decoy heron.
- Frogs can be a great asset to your pond by keeping insects at bay. They also can be an interesting species to watch over the seasons. Frogspawn will find its own way into your pond, so avoid taking any from a friend’s pond as it can spread non-native plant species and amphibian diseases.