As the final bits of ice disappear and those first warm days of spring arrive, we all get anxious to get back to outside activities and that includes enjoying our ponds. Follow these few steps and you’ll be well on your way to healthy clear water this season.
- Remove heavy debris from the pond. As it breaks down, this garbage creates nutrients that help algae grow. Excess muck on the bottom of the pond can also harbour and grow bad bacteria and parasites that can harm fish. When cleaning out the pond, temporarily move the fish to a large container of pond water so that silt does not get into their gills and cause problems. Also, be careful when cleaning as other critters, such as frogs may still be hibernating on the bottom.
- Change 25 – 30% of the water to eliminate toxic substances that may have built up over the winter. When adding new water, make sure you use a water conditioner to remove chlorine and chloramines.
- Test your water to ensure that pH is in the desire range of 7.0 – 7.5. If you have fish, test also for the presence of ammonia and nitrites. If any of these tests result in readings outside of the desired range, take corrective action.
- As the water temperature moves above 10C (50F) begin regular additions of “Klear” beneficial bacteria and “Nutripac” nutritional supplement to accelerate to development of a healthy bio-system and crystal clear water. Use “Sludgebusters” bacteria to break down accumulated muck on the bottom.
- Add Barley Straw and Pond Shade to your pond as soon as the ice is off to help prevent algae growth. Barley Straw releases a natural algaecide as it breaks down and can be a very effective way to keep algae in check when the pond is facing the combined stresses of spring. Pond Shade temporarily tints the water providing the equivalent of “sunglasses for the pond.” By shading the pond from excess sunlight, algae growth is inhibited.
For more information pick up one our Opening Your Pond Fact Sheets, available at Rice Road Greenhouses. Better yet, attend one of our free Perfect Pond Seminars.