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Pond Supplies You'll Need After The Ice Thaws This Spring

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Gosh, it's been a dreadful winter for most of the country.  California and Oregon is suffering from the drought while the rest of the mid west, southern and eastern states get stomped with unprecedented amounts of snow.  All of this makes going outside and driving it not very enjoyable for a lot of folks, but what kind of situation will we face once the snow and ice melts?  Here's a list of the top 5 pond products you'll need to get your pond in tip-top shape this spring.

1.  First, you'll want to get your water pump running or continue to run your pond aerator.  The pump should provide proper water circulation and aeration while your aerator should provide oxygen throughout your pond. 

2.  Next, if you have a skimmer, be sure to get that going.  This will siphon off unwanted floating debris and keep it from settling to the bottom.  If your skimmer has a bottom drain system attached (a super great feature to have, by the way) then, you can turn the valve and get some of the water, silt and debris from the bottom and get it siphoned out from your skimmer system.  Be sure not to do this feature too early as the warmer water on the bottom of the pond may be needed to keep your fish warm while cooler temperatures are closer to the surface.

3.  Before you get excited and want to feed your fish, let's get your biological filtration system going first.  The first pond supply product you may need is to purchase some beneficial bacteria such as our Microbe Lift PL for small ponds less than 250 square feet or so or our PlanktoniX for larger ponds and lakes.  Add the recommended amount of either product and use for at least a couple of weeks before you feed your fish.  This will help restore the beneficial bacteria which is responsible for keeping your pond clean, decomposing organic matter, and breaking down nitrates and ammonia so the pond doesn't become toxic to your fish.  All of this organic matter and nutrients in the water will feed algae and pond weeds and cause them to grow.  So, add your pond bacteria at the beginning of the season when water temperatures are around 50 degrees.  you'll want to keep on a regimented schedule of adding pond bacteria.  This is your #1 friend to keeping your pond healthy and clean.

4.  After water temperatures have equalized a bit and there's no threat of frost and summer clearly seems to be on it's way (fingers crossed), you may consider cleaning your pond from all the debris that collected in it during the winter.  Even a water change by removing 1/3 up to 1/2 the water may be a good choice.  When adding fresh water, be SURE to use Activated Filter Carbon to remove the chlorine and chloramines from the water as these are toxic to your fish and your beneficial bacteria you're trying to establish.  We'll give some advice on another blog for a super easy way to do this.  But, absolutely DO NOT add fresh tap water from the garden hose and go directly in your pond.  This can cause your fish, beneficial bacteria and everything else to die.  You must dechlorinate the water as it's going in.  By the way, this mistake itself is one of the most popular reasons why people continually have a green pond.  They get frustrated and keep emptying the pond over and over again when they've never given the bacteria a chance to multiply and grow and do what they're supposed to so you don't have green water.  It really takes at least a couple of weeks, depending on the temperature, to get beneficial bacteria established well.  Do yourself an inexpensive and super effective gift.  Just be patient and wait. :)

5.  After you've cleaned out your pond or changed the water and have your plumbing system and aeration system set up and are adding the pond bacteria, you're pretty much set for a while.  If you want, you can add some aquatic sun blocker such as our Aquashade, Black, Blue & Black or Blue Vail. They are safe sun blocker dyes to use in the pond to block some of the sunlight that filters through the water and provides sunshine to unwanted (and perhaps, wanted) submersed pond weeds, plants and algae from growing.  A word of caution:  They are dyes and will stain your hands so wear gloves, old pants & shoes when applying.  (No matter how careful you are they inevitably seem to get tiny drops or powder residues on you that will stain.) 

That's about it.  You should be able to sit back and relax and enjoy your beautiful pond this year!  Remember - that pond bacteria is your #1 friend to keeping the pond clean so be sure to have plenty on stock and use it as recommended.  We recommend our Microbe-Lift PL for small ponds less than 250 square feet and our PlanktoniX for larger ponds and lakes. 

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