As the temperatures begin to climb, this is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy your pond or lake. We know, however, that keeping pond water fresh and clean during these hot months can be tricky, but we have a few easy summer pond care tips that will allow you to maximize the use of your pond.
- Do Some Pre-Season Prep
By early June, most of the country is already heating up and certain areas have had a few temperature spikes. Typically, this first step should be completed before the temperatures really begin to rise, but if you haven’t done some pond spring cleaning, time is of the essence.
Typically, we recommend that you give your pond some serious attention in early to mid-Spring. Rake it out and remove as much debris as possible. With a smaller pond, you might enlist the services of a pond vacuum and get in there and get out that muck.
Dead leaves, fish waste and other debris can cause oxygen levels in your pond to drop and create a condition known as hypoxia, which is a dangerously low level of oxygen. Hypoxia can lead to fish kills and promote the rapid growth of floating organic matter. This happens especially quickly when the water temperatures begin to rise, which is why it is important to do all you can to get that water debris-free before the water temperatures begin to climb.
- Think About Runoff
Excess debris and animal waste contribute to drops in oxygen levels, but hypoxia also can be caused by runoff that enters your pond. For instance, if there is adjacent farmland or perhaps livestock being raised on the property, nitrogen and phosphorus can enter the pond as runoff.
Any time you have significant rain, your pond water could be affected by livestock waste or by the fertilizers used on your lawn, garden or crops. Ensuring proper containment of livestock waste can reduce this issue. Another option is to use phosphorus-free or low-phosphorus fertilizers for your lawn and garden.
- Maintain A Healthy Lawn
Obviously, a healthy, thick lawn of grass looks amazing, but that’s just one reason to keep your lawn as healthy as possible. When your lawn has healthy soil and healthy grass and plants, it is better able to soak up rainfall. This reduces the amount of runoff that will enter your pond. A healthy lawn surrounding your pond also helps to prevent erosion around the edge of the pond.
In addition to maintaining a healthy lawn, we also recommend that you create a plant barrier around the edge of your pond. This further prevents erosion and it also prevents excess runoff from entering the pond, thus making pond care easier.
When cutting grass, it’s best to capture as much of the grass as possible to prevent the grass from settling in the pond. This is especially important if the grass is treated with fertilizers containing phosphorus.
- Consider A Colorant
Colorants can improve the look of your pond’s water, but they also can help reduce the amount of aquatic vegetation in your pool. A colorant may help to reduce the water temperature in your pond, and high water temperatures often lead to a drop in oxygen levels and the rapid growth of organic matter.
If your pond water is stagnant or if there is an abundance of floating organic matter, we recommend that you remediate these issues first and then apply colorant to the healthy water. At Healthy Ponds, we have black and blue colorants that use dyes safe for fish, plants, pets and people.
- Aeration & Bacteria Can Do Some Heavy Lifting
Stagnant pond water is a breeding ground for a variety of serious issues, from hypoxia to smelly water to mosquitoes and more. Pond water needs to be agitated consistently in order to stay fresh. Installing a bottom diffusion aerator can be a great way to keep that water circulated. You can also add a fountain, which enhances the look of your pond and provides additional agitation.
Treating the water each month with beneficial bacteria is another simple way to handle summer pond care. For instance, with our AquaSpherePRO® product, you simply toss these biodegradable spheres into your pond and they immediately go to work, releasing beneficial bacteria.
These bacteria eat away at sludge and floating organic matter, and each sphere releases bacteria for up to 30 days. After 30 days, you just toss in more spheres. In some cases, your water might need a bit of extra help, such as after a large rainstorm or a temperature spike. We have additional supplements, such as Natural Blast® and Rush® that can help if you are experiencing severe water problems, such as water clarity issues or an abundance of floating organic matter.
Our beneficial bacteria products are chemical-free and veterinarian-approved. The bacteria are safe for fish, wildlife, pets and people. To learn more about these pond care products and determine which options are the best for your particular situation, click here. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call or email us at any time.