How do you maintain a pond? The key to keeping it clean and beautiful is checking on it with each passing season as weather conditions shift. As fall approaches and leaves begin to drop; it’s a good time to roll up those sleeves and give your water feature a thorough cleanup and maintenance inspection. Follow these fall maintenance tips this month to keep things clear and funk-free in the pond.
1. Check Your Pond Pumps, Filters, and Lines.
Blockages can occur in your pond filtration systems from plant debris or other matter that has fallen. Inspect them closely and run the lines to make sure they are functioning smoothly. If water isn’t flowing through the system properly, turn it off, remove the filter, take it apart, and clean it thoroughly. Check if there are any worn-out pieces that need replacing. Inspect the rest of the filtration system for any visible blockages and remove them.
2. Look for Cracks
Throughout the summer, your pond may have weathered some wear and tear from storms, falling debris, or other surprises of nature. Take a flashlight and inspect the lining, filtration system, and other areas for cracks or holes (it may be best to empty your pond to do this inspection). If you see any evidence of damage, try to assess the severity. You may be able to seal the cracks with sealant, but major damage may require a replacement liner.
3. Add Coldwater Bacteria For Large Ponds
Adding beneficial bacteria supplements helps to maintain a healthy ecological balance as temperatures dip. Coldwater beneficial bacteria help reduce waste, ammonia, and nitrites, which will save you a lot of time on pond maintenance down the road! It’s safe to use in ponds with fish, and many formulas are fortified with vitamins to help keep your fish looking extra colorful and healthy.
4. Clean Out Your Pond
Your fall outdoor maintenance regime is just as important as a spring cleanup! With all the falling leaves and other plant debris left over from summer, plus the natural breakdown of materials in the water, there’s bound to be some gunk collecting in there. Use your skimmer to clean out all the debris, or use a pool vacuum if you have one. Consider collecting this organic matter for the compost bin—as it breaks down, it will provide plenty of good bacteria for your garden!
If the water is relatively clear, there’s no reason to drain it completely. Your pond is a microbiome that has a diverse assortment of bacteria and organisms, and if you remove it all, you’ll have to build up the water’s ecological balance again. Don’t let the sludge build up too much, as this can reduce the amount of oxygen intake, which can kill beneficial bacteria and cause harm to your plants and fish.
5. Check On Your Fish, If You Have Any
How are those little guys doing? Make sure things are going swimmingly for your aquatic pals, and look for any signs of illness or injury. If you need to relocate your fish for pond maintenance, here are some tips on how to do it safely:
- Fill a small kiddie pool two-thirds full, with half pond water and half clean water from the hose. Toss in a tablet of de-chlorinator.
- Take a submersible pump or aeration unit and set it up inside the pool.
- Place the pool in some shade nearby, so you can keep an eye on the fish while you do your maintenance work.
- Scoop the fish up with a net and place them into the pool. If you’re having trouble catching them, you can drain some of the water from the pond.
- Once everything is clean, if you need to add some more water, pour it in and wait for it to warm up to the temperature of the water your fish are used to, so it won’t shock them. Pour the fish, with the remaining old water, back into the pond.
- Turn the filter and pumps back on as soon as possible.
If you need any tips for these more technical aspects of pond maintenance in Fort Lauderdale, we encourage you to call us at the garden center, and we can offer further guidance!