Spring is Time for Pond Start-up!

Published by Bucks Country Gardens in LandscapeLawn & Garden

Spring is upon us! This is a key moment when nature awakens from the winter months. The temperature increases and so does the potential for pond problems. It is important for your pond to begin to thrive again in a healthy and well-balanced way.
Winter is a hard time for both the fish and the plants. Many different materials may have blown into your pond over the cold winter months, such as leaves and other debris. Spring is the time to clean up and inspect your pond. Remove any netting that you may have on your pond for easier access. It is a good idea to have a water thermometer handy to test water temperatures before cleaning the pond. This will help you gauge where exactly you should be with your pond maintenance schedule. Everyone attempting to make a pond should note that minerals and chemicals in tap water will kill beneficial organisms, check out watersoftenerguide.com If you are thinking of using your hose to start it, think again.

As water temperature approaches 42 degrees Fahrenheit, your fish will start to eat again. Feed them an autumn/winter food since water temperatures are still chilly and below 65 degrees. At this time, you should make a gradual 15 to 25 percent pond water change over several consecutive days to eliminate the substances that are polluting your pond.  After you have removed some of the pond water, remove the dead leaves and debris that may have accumulated in the pond. Try to refrain from scrubbing the pond walls and floor. If you do this, then you will surely remove the necessary and beneficial pond bacteria that have built up from the previous year(s). You should then resume filtering water through the filtration system and add Quick Start or Microbe Lift to improve the development of the biological filter, and to also keep your pond naturally balanced.  You may need to replace old filter pads with new ones if they seem too worn or dirty. I suggest using Polyester Pre-Filter Pads and Activated Carbon Coated Filter Pads in the filtration system to remove particles and to clear the water.

When doing spring start-up water changes, remember that you need to eliminate the toxic substances found within tap water.  PondCare Stress Coat Plus Fish and Tap Water Conditioner will do the trick. After a harsh winter, pond fish are very susceptible to diseases, and Stress Coat will help to restore the natural slime coating that helps fish fight off diseases.  The protective coating in Aloe Vera, which is also found in Stress Coat, will promote the healing of any damaged skin. You may need to rid your pond of any harmful ammonia, phosphate, or nitrate spikes. Spring is a necessary time to run these pond tests.

Bucks Country Gardens sells pond water test kits for your spring start-up maintenance.We can test a sample of your pond water for you if you bring in a cup of the pond water in a clean jar.

After the winter months, re-establishing your aquatic plants in the pond may require some potted plant adjustments.  After the dangers of snow and ice have diminished, it is a good time to move your marginal plants from the deepest part of your pond, back to the shelf levels, as well as cutting off any rotted stems that appear on them. It is also necessary that the nutrients needed for growth and flowering are made available to the plants.  Pond plant food tablets will provide these necessary nutrients to potted plants, such as water lilies, lotus, and any marginal by the addition of tablets to the soil in their pots. All of your aquatic plants will produce more blooms and achieve their greatest potential when you use the liquid plant food or the plant food tablets, as opposed to not utilizing any plant food at all.

Spring is here! Make sure you get a jumpstart on your pond maintenance to sustain your lively fish and maintain your beautiful pond plants.

Tiffany Rausch | Greenhouse Supervisor