Your Water Garden Guide: Summer Edition

It's Summer! Now What?




Hopefully your water feature has settled down for the season. The plants are blooming. Your fish are swimming happily. You have clear water and string algae is being kept at bay.

Here are some tips for caring for your pond now that it's summer...

  • Be mindful of how and what you are feeding your fish. As customers with green water visit Cool Ponds we find that many of the green water problems can be traced to the type of food they're using and how often. Just because you purchased food at a pet store doesn't mean its good food. And if you bought it at a box store...you might as well dump fish waste right into your pond. Poor food = poor water quality. All the food we carry at Cool Ponds is high quality. And never feed fish as much as listed on the fish food label! Only feed them what they'll eat in a minute or two, once a day max.
  • Use beneficial bacteria weekly. Don't wait to add it once there's a problem. Use it regularly to keep your water clear and debris from building up on the bottom. Remember...not all brands are equal. Different strands of bacteria provide different benefits and different brands contain different strands. For best results, use BioClear and Clean.
  • Make sure your pond has adequate oxygenation. You may think you have enough oxygen because of your waterfall, but you may be surprised. Waterfalls are only aerating the water where it breaks the water surface -- not down deep. Most ponds can benefit from extra oxygen from an aerator. Not only is it good for your fish, it helps the bacteria work better at keeping your pond water clear and clean. (Because it's aerobic bacteria.) In the winter, you can raise the airstones closer to the surface to keep a hole in the ice. 
  • To keep water lilies blooming, fertilize them every two weeks. If you have re-potted them with our one a year fertilizer...never mind, you get to skip this step!
  • Keep an eye on your water level. It's not unusual to lose an inch or more in a hot summer day.  And if you add wind to it, it can be worse! Normally summers are erratic. Dry, windy conditions will mean more refilling. Humid conditions usually require less refilling. Don't automatically assume you have a leak if your water level drops an inch or two in a single day. Look for a pattern.
  • Keep string algae under control. (If your water isn't clear, disregard this line. Get your water clear first.) Cool Ponds can provide the treatments you need to prevent string algae....really! Remove Away Plus is awesome at keeping string algae away.
  • Watch those floating plants. Water hyacinths in a waterfall box can easily dam up the weir causing it to back flow. If you are having trouble keeping them out of your skimmer, pick up a floating plant ring from Cool Ponds.
  • Thin back marginal plants as they get crazy! In a healthy pond, marginal plants will grow and grow. Don't be afraid to thin them back as they begin to block views, waterfalls, open water, etc.
  • For immediate impact and a little "dressing" on your pond, add some beautiful, blooming tropical marginal plants. They'll keep combating algae well into late fall after the hardy plants become dormant and put on quite a show too!
Now, take some time to enjoy your pond too. This is one of the best times of year for enjoying water gardening and the nature it attracts. I know I intend to!!!


Written by Cool Ponds co-owner Staci





Comments

Steve said…
In an experiment I performed last fall I found that having a large amount of plants also increased evaporation. Plants will go through respiration at night releasing water into the air. By all means I am not saying take our your plants, just know that mature plants will cause more evaporation. Plants that grow quickly are a great benefit to your pond as well.
Beverly Reed said…
I purchased food from Cool Ponds. I have 5 small koi. Your employee said to feed them 5 pieces 2 times a week. This doesn't seem like enough?
Also, what is floating plant ring and how does it keep rots out of our skimmer?
The fish in your pond don't need to be fed at all! There are plenty of larvae and invertebrates that live in the pond that we don't see that they love to consume. I would imagine you were having an issue with algae or green water and that's why it was suggested to you to feed so little. Pond owners feed their fish for themselves, not the fish. Imagine if we had to feed all the fish in the natural lakes, streams, and rivers. They've all been getting by just fine without us! Every piece of food you toss into the pond becomes waste. That waste contaminates the water and feeds algae.

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