Pond Maintenance To Prepare For Summer

As we enter into summer, many of us fishkeepers are getting the chance to enjoy our gardens and undergo some pond maintenance. With pond plants coming into full bloom and fish becoming more active after the colder months, summer is when ponds are at their best. But with temperatures on the rise and increased levels of sunlight, there are key considerations that fishkeepers need to make. Regular cleaning of pond filters and pond pumps is suggested throughout the year, but it is essential to do this before summer so that your pond is ready to thrive. Here is our guide on how to undergo essential pond and koi pond maintenance. 

Regularly Check your Pond Pump and Pond Filter

With your garden pond pump and pond filter as your main tools in guaranteeing that your pond water is clean and healthy, regular maintenance of these pond products during the summer months is a must. Remove any debris from your pump that may have collected around the cage and impeller, and clean your pond filtration system frequently, ensuring that the filter foams and media do not require topping up or replacing.

Ensure your Pond is Well Aerated

Maintaining sufficient oxygen levels in your pond is vital to the health and wellbeing of your koi and other pond fish. You may wish to keep your pond filters and waterfall or fountain pumps running continuously to keep your pond aerated. If you are concerned about noise levels at night by leaving it running 24/7, air pumps or air stones are also excellent for oxygenation, whilst creating much less sound. 

Pond Fountain - All Pond Solutions

Manage Your Water Levels & Changes

A key cause of oxygen levels dropping in your pond during the warm summer weather is water evaporation. To help keep your pond healthy, try maintaining your water level by topping it up once a week, ideally with collected rainwater. If you need to use water from the mains, try and add it more frequently in lesser amounts to help the temperature levels adjust more gradually, and be mindful that the nutrients in tap water can cause increased algae growth. When using mains water, you will also need to add a dechlorinator and water conditioner to ensure the water is safe for your fish and help maintain your pond’s biological balance.

Combatting Algae Growth in your Pond

Topping up water levels with mains water, in addition to the increased hours of sunlight over the summer months, can make preventing the spread of algae a constant battle due to high levels of phosphates, one of the algae’s primary food sources. An algaecide or algae remover can be used to resolve green water issues, but installing a pond UV steriliser is a more effective, long term solution to treating an algae problem. The UV light inside the steriliser causes algae to flocculate, or clump together, enabling the pond filter to remove it from the water.

Providing additional shade to your pond water can also help reduce algae growth and pond keepers can achieve this by planting a variety of border, floating and submerged aquatic plants.

Pond Algae 

Regular Tending to your Pond Plants

Whilst the addition of aquatic plants can be a great way to provide shade for your pond, the warm weather can cause plants to grow rapidly, and regular maintenance – deadheading marginal plants and removing and old or diseased leaves – can ensure that your water is not discoloured or overpopulated.

Whilst submerged plants are a great way of boosting oxygen levels in your pond, they can grow extensively during the summer. To keep on top of the excess, uproot a few handfuls and leave on the side of your pond overnight before disposing of them, allowing any aquatic organisms to return to the water.

Removing Weeds from your Pond

As with algae and plants, pond weeds grow at a rampant rate during the summer. Blanket weed is most common during warmer weather and the use of bacterial pond treatments is a good way to control the problem and restore the natural balance of your pond.

 It is also important to remove the build-up of sludge and debris from your pond shelves and floor to help maintain your pond’s water quality.

Floating weeds can rapidly take over a pond if not managed correctly, so regularly using a net to remove these from your water will help prevent weeds from getting out of control. As with removing any aquatic plants, make sure to leave them overnight by the side of your pond to remove any creatures before disposing of the weeds.

Pond Weeds

Adding New Fish and Plants to your Koi Pond

Thinking of adding new plants or livestock to your pond? Summer is the perfect time to do so - with higher levels of sunlight and water warmth, as well as you naturally spending more time in the garden to monitor their progress. It is, however, important to ensure that any new fish are added gradually to minimise the risk of increased ammonia levels.

Before adding your fish, make sure that you allow them to acclimatise properly to your koi pond. Still in their bag, let them float for 30 minutes in the water, allowing the water temperatures to equalise. Following this, carefully place your fish into your pond with the use of a net, making sure not to drop any water from the bag into the pond.

Monitor your Pond Safety at all Times

The most important aspect in preparing your pond for summer is to ensure the safety of yourself and others. Whilst pond grilles or fencing can be used as a precautionary measure, it is critical that around water young children are supervised at all times. Caution should also be taken in the storage of pond and fish treatments as the chemicals they contain could prove extremely harmful – make sure to keep these securely stored away out of reach.

But the rule applies to adults as well – make sure that the area around your pond is free from any trip hazards, and all electrical pond equipment is correctly wired to a waterproof switch box. If you are unsure of how to do this, consult a qualified electrician.