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Spring care for ponds

When Spring is approaching, we offer the following list of pond care suggestions to help get your pond off to a healthy start:

1.  Take a look at any of your pumps and filters and buy new filter pads, barley straw, etc. to get things in order for the next few weeks. 

2.  Start increasing your water circulation and begin feeding your fish Spring and Autumn Fish Food (low protein diet) or any fish food designed for cold water use when the water temperature reaches a constant 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit.  Don't feed your fish below this temperature. 

3.  It is a good idea to clean your pond once a year either in late Spring or early Fall.  Remove all fish from your pond and place in a large tub with your original pond water. (Large Rubbermaid storage containers work great and are quite inexpensive).  Make sure you cover the tub with netting so the fish don't jump out, especially koi.  Try to keep the fish and plants in the shade while working so they don't "cook" in the tub while you're cleaning the pond. (Make sure you keep your plants wet, if not submerged in pond water in another tub.) Pump out all the water and sweep up any remaining debris with a broom and soft-edged dustpan.  Rinse liner and repeat as necessary.    I often use a new, unused sponge mop and mop it out well - giving it a little scrub with the mop as I go along or an old, clean bath towel.  It's important that you DO NOT use any type of cleaning agent -  use only tap water!  Once your pond is all cleaned out, fill with tap water and dechlorinate it with Ammo Lock II.  This will instantly lock up the chlorine and chloramine that are in your tap water.   Be sure to acclimate your fish to your new pond, just as you did when you brought them to the pond the first time.  Read our Transfer Fish  info to find out how to properly acclimate your fish to your pond.

4.  Add Microbe Lift beneficial bacteria to jumpstart the biological system.

5.  Add organic barley straw to help prevent algae growth and increase biological system.

6.  Start the biological and mechanical filters, adding fresh filter media.

7.  Fertilize each plant and place at appropriate depth.   Lilies and lotus should be fertilized every 2-3 weeks, marginal plants every 5-7 weeks.

8.  Add floating plants such as water hyacinth and water lettuce after danger of frost has passed.  If your pond is in full sun, 2/3 of your pond's surface area should be protected by shade, either by aquatic plants or trees, etc.  This will provide a place for your fish to retreat from the hot sun as well as help reduce algae, since algae loves full sun to thrive on.  Add additional aquatic plants such as bog and marginal plants, water lilies, lotus, etc.

9.  Monitor your water chemistry once a week with the Master Liquid Test Kit - Tests Levels of Ammonia, Nitrite, Phosphate and pH.

10.  Take pictures, enjoy, relax, stretch, go smell the roses, tell someone you love them, enjoy life... and your wonderful pond! :o)