Well, Spring is officially here. This means that it’s time to head outside and see how things are going and clean up around your pond. Here are a few quick tips to make things go more smoothly this year.
Create a step by step to do list
This is one of those tips that took me a long time to figure out, but has since been absolutely invaluable. Sitting down to make out a list that you can check off is incredibly useful for a few reasons. First, pond cleanup can be overwhelming, so breaking it down can make life so much easier and spring clean up more enjoyable. Second, you’re much less likely to forget some key step along the way if you have a list to check them off. Finally,
Be thorough with your first debris removal
Lots of things have slipped into your pond over the winter including leaves, mulch, branches, etc. There’s just no way to avoid it. Every Spring means cleaning out your pond. What many pond owners forget to do, though, is to clean around the pond before removing the debris inside. This can be one of the most effective things that you’ll be able to do all year to keep your pond’s ecosystem healthy. Your pond, as you well know, will develop a mystical magnetic force that will pull any leaves and sticks and pine cones within range into the water to decompose and throw your chemical levels all out of whack.
Early in Spring is also one of the best times to deal with your pond sludge before it gets out of hand. For backyard ponds, I like to drain them completely, take out the pressure washer and wash the rocks. I then pump out the dirty water again and repeat until clean. For larger acreage ponds, your skimmer net will be your best friend. Grab as much of the floating debris as you can or just stick your hand into that still-chilly water and grab out every bit of debris and sludge you can before it really gets going as the water warms up.
Do your partial water change right
One thing that can be very helpful, is doing a partial water change. This can be so valuable for preventing the buildup of harmful elements in your pond. A good partial water change can help to prevent all sorts of problems, and they may be most valuable early in the year, when your pond has had a full winter of ineffective filtration. Although it can be chilly in early spring, it is totally worth it to achieve that crystal clear pond for summer.
Clean your pump intake
Spring is the best time to do basic pump maintenance. If you leave your pump in over the winter, you are likely to have many things building up and growing in your filtration system. Starting Spring with a fully functional pond pump can make everything easier. Even if you don’t do much maintenance, though, at least go ahead and pull out your pump and clean out the intake I recommend this because this will do a lot to not only extend the life of your pump, but also make it run more efficiently throughout the year. I personally take the pumps out of my pond in late fall and store them in a bucket of water in my basement. This keeps it clean and this way, the pump won’t seize.
Using proper Bacteria in your pond
When your water gets below 50 degrees or so, your pond’s beneficial bacteria’s metabolism slows to a crawl. However, using Aquascape’s Cold-Water Bacteria is a great way to get a head start on pond health. It’s designed with bacteria that continue to metabolize nitrates and ammonia down to 35 degrees, which can give you weeks, or even months (depending on where you live), of extra biological filtration, and that means much healthier water and fewer sludge and algae problems.
Personal Pond Chat
On a personal note, I have discovered that backyard ponds are more durable that I had ever imagined! We have a pond in our backyard, and my kids, ages 1 1/2 and 4 1/2 are out there everyday, climbing in the stream, walking through the water and throwing rocks. They absolutely love it. It is so important that they are not afraid of it, but respect it and help to maintain it. They help to maintain the plant life, feed the fish and fill the pond when necessary. Having a pond can be a family experience and SO much fun.