Spring Start Up
It's that time of the year again, when our ponds wake up from the warmth of spring with active fish and budding plants. Now is a great time to examine and determine what condition your pond is in & decide what you need to do about it.
Spring is a great time to start pond maintenance- clean your filters and evaluate repair or leak issues. Also determine if your pond needs to be completely cleaned out and refilled and when is the best time to do this. It’s getting close, but those with fish may want to hold off for a few more weeks.
What to Do First:
Examine: Look for leaks, damaged areas, check out fish health, plant’s conditions.
Determine: Make a list of what needs to be done. Use a pond journal to keep track. Determine if your pond needs to be completely cleaned or if it just needs some
maintenance. Also check your filters, UV clarifiers and plumbing to see what needs to be
replaced or repaired.
Plan: figure out & decide what you will do now, and then what you will do later in the
season (see below). If you are unsure about how to do this, we will cover this later or
contact Nature Perfect Pond Maintenance for someone to do it for you.
Products to Use: Beneficial Bacteria, cold water or Sludge Reducer
Pond Net to scoop debris & algae. Use dense or fine skimming nets for muck
“Pond Cleaner” Cleanmax or OxyPond “cleaners”, Spring aka Wheat Fish Food
Floating Thermometer (sinking thermometers use in fall & winter)
Replacement UV Bulbs, filter media or other items that may need repairing
Spring Start Up Tasks:
Make sure your pump and other aerators are working properly. Add the extras you
may have winterized in your garage back into the pond- spitters, pressure filters, etc.
Clean Out Filters, filter media pads, brushes and skimmer net/basket
Examine Fish Closely. How do your fish look & behave? Note abnormal behavior
or if there may be health issues: fish swimming sideways, sores or streaks, scraping
on the sides or bottom and excessive jumping. Refer below on feeding fish in spring.
I also direct people to my favorite fish vet’s website: https://koivet.com/ We can also
help you determine the best solution for disease and parasite issues.
Examine Plants- many may still be dormant waiting for warmer weather to arrive.
You can cut back dead foliage, repot or divide plants if needed.
Water Level- is your water level normal? If low, at some water, slowly if you have fish
so they can properly acclimate to the temperature differences. Once full, monitor
level, if you have a leak then you will have to test for a leak- refer to
http://natureperfectlandscaping.com/eliminating-pond-leaks/ Also stop in the store or email us.
Water Change- read the info below to determine if your pond needs to be completely cleaned
out, or if it just needs a water change. When doing a water change: remove 10-20% of the
water; add water conditioner & beneficial bacteria cold water treatment; then fill back up with
water. Remember to slow fill not to shock your fish.
When your pond or water feature needs to be cleaned completely cleaned:
There is an inch or more of sludge build up on the bottom and shelves.
Excessive algae blooms and filamentous(string) algae problems.
Your water is turbid, cloudy and mucky or slimy looking.
If it has been more than 3 years since the last complete clean-out.
How often you completely clean your pond?
Typically once a year, or every 2-3 years depending upon your fish load & filtration -
heavier the fish load (yearly), smaller fish load & better filtration (2-3 years).
There are always exceptions, healthy water = healthy fish & plants. Using
beneficial bacteria products will help maintain the balance by digesting the fish waste
& debris that accumulate over time. Having a veggie filter, bog garden or just a lot
of plant coverage will also enhances water quality. Most algae blooms are a result of excess
pond waste, so decrease your waste, decreases the algae.
When to completely clean your pond:
Water features, ponds, etc. with no fish- clean just about anytime of the year. If
there are plants, protect them from the hot sun or cold winds.
Typically, ponds with fish, are cleaned in late spring through early to mid
summer, weather dependent (around 60 - 80 deg F). Avoid cold days, extremely hot
days or when fish are dormant. Fish can die from stress, so be careful with them!
How do I start to feed my fish in the Spring?
1. Start off with Cold water fish food / wheatgerm diet, or you can feed uncooked
Quaker Oats or Cheerios.
2. Feed sparingly to start to reduce the risk of illness- 1-2 times a week when water
temperatures are above 50degree water temperature.
3. Gradually increase feedings as the weather warms. During Spring 9cooler months), it is
best to feed in the afternoon or early evening while it is warmer. During summer it is best
to feed in the morning when it is cooler.
4. If you notice your fish’s scales beginning to raise or turn red, stop feeding and watch
them. If the scales don't go down, try treating with an antibacterial medication and
move fish into a heated hospital tank or if that’s not possible, go the other direction
and load up your pond with beneficial bacteria to out compete the pathogenic
bacteria harmful to fish. We are here to help you with fish problems and are able to
scrape fish and look under a microscope to identify potential parasites.