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Your pond is your own little sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Feeding your fish, checking on the aquatic plants and making sure the filters are working is ten minutes time out to focus on a simple, solo task while enjoying a well deserved tea break.
On The Surface
Just like everything else the passing of the seasons will change your pond’s appearance.
Floating leaves, plant debris and dead plants can transform even the prettiest pond into a bit of an eyesore, so it’s vital that you practice good pond maintenance and don’t just forget about it because it’s outside. Nature is always evolving, and during the late spring and summer plants can wither and die because you’ve not given them enough shade. In the depths of winter, they can be frozen solid, covered with snow and look depressingly bare. Then, just to be difficult, some ponds lose water pressure for no reason at all or suffer from unexplained evaporation.
Examine Your Pond
It sounds a little obvious but how often do you look at your pond? Many of us who own them tend to get distracted by the fish, colourful plants or are thinking about something else entirely while we sit on that stone bench in the sun. Plan a time where you’ll be able to really examine it, now’s not the time to ooh and ahh over reeds and rushes, and cast a critical eye over your watery kingdom and decide what needs doing. Is it a case of just grabbing a net and removing a few dead leaves and bird feathers? Are there too many of one plant and not enough of another?
The chances are that if you’ve got a larger pond you’ll have a bigger pump. You’ll need to turn the water filter off too before removing everything else and beginning the process of draining the pond down to the liner. Larger, ornamental ponds should be drained using a cleanout kit, as there’s a huge range of pond air pumps that will keep the water semi-clean but none of them are 100% effective, so if your pond’s a two person or more job the kit’ll be necessary.
Just Keep Swimming
Don’t worry we haven’t forgotten about your little fishies! While the pond is slowly emptying, you’ll need to be filling a temporary holding facility for your scaly friends while you clean everything else. Once you’ve got about eight inches of pond water left, scoop some of it and your fish up with a net and quickly transfer them to the water filled container you’ve prepared.
Your fish probably won’t like this very much, especially the babies, so you might want to consider feeding them before you get on with cleaning the pond itself. Remove any surface debris such as leaves and twigs, use a pond vacuum if necessary and then grab the garden hose to clean any remaining algae. Make sure there’s enough healthy bacteria left at the bottom and add the finishing touch by using some non-toxic freshwater pond dye that’ll give it that attractive greeny-blue appearance.