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Basic Maintenance:  Your New Hobby as a Pond Owner!
           
A garden pond is its own little ecosystem, much more than just a pretty accent for your backyard. It has life forms, both plants and animals that rely on the upkeep of your pond.  Like any man-made object this created biosphere may need a nudge to push it a long every now and then.  A pond owner must pay close and careful attention to their pond life. Make a hobby of just sitting back and relaxing as you take in the beauty and different features of your pond, so you learn it.  Learn what color the water should be, look for any fish or amphibians you have not seen for awhile and pay attention to any spots or unnatural growths on your animals, and check for leaves or debris piling up. All of these are signs that attention may be required.

Here are some things that need careful attention each spring as the weather beings to warm back up, and your plants and animals become more active:

  • Add more plants, or split and replant older plants
  • Remove the water heater if you have one
  • Clean and Drain the bottom of your pond.

When planting new aquatics in your pond, have some fun, and put on waders and get into your pond! You know what’s in there, so there is nothing to be fearful of. Make sure you add a water heater to your pond if you have fish during the winter, and remove it once spring comes back. Try not to ever fully drain your ponds water, only do so if a repair needs done or if the sludge on the bottom is so great that is harmful to your aquatic life.

During the summer months, simply keep up with pond chores. This would include raking the pond surface for debris, regularly emptying the filter, checking the pH level once a month or so, and generally appearance upkeep.  Do not be alarmed by the appearance of algae, this will occur every year no matter what.

As the algae forms, be sure to check the pH level more often, as this can raise you levels. Your pond should stay between 7-8 pH levels for ponds with fish, so as not to harm them. Also make sure you have a good filtration system, as this will help keep the pH level in balance as well. Adding floating pants or shade will help cut down on the growth of algae.

During the fall months you should add a net over your pond to catch the falling leaves. This is also the proper time to cut back your pond plants. If you are not planning on adding a heater to the pond, to allow it to run all winter, you will want to remove, dry, and store your pump, filter, and any fountains for the winter. Make sure to keep holes poked in the ice to allow toxic gases to escape from the pond during the winter months!

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