Whether you have a large pond stocked with fish or you have a decorative feature such as a koi pond; fish pond maintenance is a crucial task. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be a constant battle. Here are a few tips that can help keep your pond and your fish as healthy as possible.
Larger Ponds & Small Lakes
When it comes to fish, pond maintenance focuses largely on keeping those oxygen levels steady. When you have too many fish or your pond has too many algae or weeds, oxygen levels can drop and this can lead to fish death.
So, how do you maintain those oxygen levels? Here are a few quick tips.
Be Mindful Of Your Fish
When it comes to stocking a pond or really any water feature with aquatic life, such as an aquarium; it’s all about balance. Obviously, you don’t want to place too many fish in your pond, as there won’t be enough oxygen in your pond water, but you also want to consider the best mix of fish. You’ll want to include species that work well in your conditions as well as species that interact well with each other.
To get started, you will need to measure your pond and that includes calculating the width, length and depth. Once you’ve done that, you will have a better idea of how many fish your pond can sustain and what kind of fish will be the best fit for your pond. We highly recommend that if you want to stock your pond, you consult an expert who can come out and take a look at your pond and assess what type and amount of fish are best.
If your pond is already stocked and you are beyond that point, you’ll need to ensure that your fish population doesn’t climb too high. If you test the water and find that oxygen levels have dropped, this could be due to a high fish population, and some of the fish will need to be rehomed.
Aside from assessing your fish population, aerating your pond can be an excellent way to maintain proper oxygen levels and keep your pond from becoming stagnant, and we always recommend that you invest in a good aerator. Adding beneficial bacteria also can be a good option, especially when used in conjunction with an aerator.
If your pond is not stocked and contains no wild fish, oxygen levels might not be as big of a concern, but this beneficial bacteria still can be a great option and will help you keep your pond water looking its best. In some cases, pond owners also choose to add colorants that further can improve the aesthetics of your pond water.
Watch Out For Algae Blooms
When temperatures spike, oxygen levels can drop and algae can grow very quickly. While a small amount of algae is beneficial for your pond, when the water turns pea soup green or you notice floating matter on 20% or more of your pond’s surface, you definitely need to act.
While using some type of beneficial bacteria every month can inhibit algae growth, you may need to use additional products that are designed specifically to help with temperature spikes or quick spikes in algae growth.
This is similar to swimming pool maintenance in a way. Swimming pools are agitated and chlorine is added constantly, but sometimes a temperature spike can cause algae to build and pool owners might add some type of granular oxidizer to the water to clear up the water. Obviously, we definitely do not recommend using the same products for a pond, we simply use this as an illustrative example of how easy it is for algae to bloom when water temperatures rise and that you might need multiple products to help maintain your pond.
Should You Treat Throughout The Year?
In some areas of the country, where temperatures rarely drop below freezing, treating the water with beneficial bacteria can be a good idea throughout the year. In areas with colder winters, you might only need to treat for six or eight months of the year. Typically, once your water temperature reaches 45° F, you need to treat the water and treat it monthly throughout the warmer months.
It’s always a good idea to keep some beneficial bacteria products on hand just in case of an early spring or temperature spikes. Weather is unpredictable and while we can provide a basic estimate of when you should treat, those dates definitely aren’t set in stone.
Koi Pond Maintenance
When it comes to koi fish pond maintenance, the same basic principles apply. Clean water and proper oxygen levels are crucial. An overpopulated pond or a pond with too many or two few plants can affect oxygen levels.
It’s also crucial that you keep an eye on the temperature of your pond. If the water temperature starts to head beyond about 70° F or higher, this can cause oxygen levels to drop. Using an aerator can reduce the temperature, but aquatic plants also can provide much-needed shade for your fish.
You might have heard that koi hibernate in the winter, and while this is true, using a de-icer can be smart in any areas where the winter temperatures remain low for an extended period of time. Generally, koi can survive even if the top of the water has frozen over, but we still recommend that you invest in a de-icer just in case to ensure that oxygen can get in and other gases can escape.
It’s also wise to check on your pond every day or every other day and skim out any debris that winds up on the pond. You could simply do a quick check at feeding time, which brings us to another point. Don’t overfeed your koi. This is a common mistake and any excess food can damage the water quality in your pond and cause your fish to become very ill. Feed just the right amount, and your fish will be happy and healthy.
As with larger ponds, using beneficial bacteria can be an easy way to keep your water clean and clear of unwanted vegetation. These fish pond maintenance products contain a mix of bacteria that consume excess nutrients and eliminate water but won’t harm fish or other wildlife.
While fish pond maintenance is crucial and often time-consuming, all-natural bacteria-based products definitely make it easier to keep your pond water as healthy as possible. All of our microbial products are all-natural and veterinarian-approved and may help you keep your ponds as healthy as possible. If you aren’t quite sure what products you can contact us via email, phone, online chat or click on the Contact tab on our homepage and fill out our quick form.