Ponds through the season. Ponds change through the season and its useful to know what if anything needs to be done to keep your pond and your fish healthy. At Maltby Aquatics we are able to help you maintain your pond throughout the year or if you maintain your pond yourself but need that little bit of assistance every so often contact us today for a free consultation to see how we can help.
Ponds in Spring
The pond begins to start waking up in the spring with a hive of breeding going on, from frogspawn to baby fish spring really is a key time for your pond…
Spring Filter Maintenance
The removal of a winter cover or the start up of filtration if it was removed over the winter will occur in spring. A good clean of both pump and filter sponges will ensure the filtration is working effectively and a bacteria booster is a great way of kick starting the bacteria colonies to multiply. Fish will slowly need to be fed again with the increased temperatures, 9-10 degrees Celsius is a good time to feed your fish..
Ultra Violet filtration
Its time to get the Ultra Violet lamp back online ready for the longer days. It is important to change your bulb every year and at Maltby Aquatics we recommend changing your bulb in the spring. Changing the bulb can be a bit fiddly and quartz sleeves are very fragile so if you need any help with a UV change contact Maltby Aquatics to book in a change and we can even clean your filter for no extra cost too!
Marginal Plants introductions
From late March Marginal plants can be added to your pond, Maltby Aquatics can supply quality marginals at shop prices, quality specimens hand potted by us delivered to your pond!
Spring Pond cleaning
If you missed a clean in the Autumn a quick pond clean before the frogs arrive can be beneficial to remove pond sludge, at Maltby aquatics we always ensure we save as much pond life as possible when cleaning ponds, with wildlife ponds it is ideally best to clean Autumn where pond life is at its lowest not during breeding time, fish ponds are more forgiving and can be maintained early and late season.
Ponds in Summer
The summer months are where the fish and pond life are busy, temperatures are higher and fish will be feeding heavily and because of this it is important to ensure the pond filtration is working effectively…
Summer Filter Maintenance
Maltby Aquatics recommends ensuring your pond filter is maintained and pond pump is cleared of solids at least once in the summer season. Many pond filters have easy clean functions to keep them in check over the summer months. If the pond filter is left without maintenance solids will build up on the sponges and bacteria colonies will suffer and water quality issues can occur causing toxic water parameters. Un-maintained pumps can also clog very easily and there flow will reduce significantly which will also effect the bacteria colonies. It is very important throughout the summer months when fish waste is at its highest that the bacteria colonies in your filter are thriving to ensure the waste is broken down to keep your pond fish healthy.
New fish introductions
Early summer/ late spring is the perfect time to introduce new fish to your pond. Fish should be full of life and feeding well in the warmer temperatures and will settle well to your pond. It is important to note parasite levels will be high with higher temperatures but well maintained UV filtration will ensure this does not become a problem to healthy fish. Please note extraordinary hot days can cause oxygen issues when transporting fish so be sure to have oxygen added to the transportation container.
Oxygen and Pond Plants
Pond plants will be growing rapidly through the summer months and using high levels of oxygen when photosynthesising, the addition of an air pump in hot days can be useful to keep oxygen levels high during the summer evenings.
Green water and Algae growth
Algae growth will also be at its highest in the summer months with blanket weed being a troublesome algae. Green water is a common problem in summer due to long bright days. A well maintained ultra violet clarifier will ensure the green water is a thing of the past. Ultra violet lamps irradiate the green algae cells causing them to die off and sink to the bottom, a good filtration unit will then be able to process the waste. Maltby Aquatics can help maintain or install a UVC to keep your pond crystal clear! Effective Blanketweed treatments can be done for a small cost..
Maltby aquatics recommends increasing the amount of marginal and aquatic pond plants in your pond,
extra plants will mean extra competition for nutrients that the algae likes and can help reduce algae levels in your pond.
Ponds in Autumn
Autumn is a great time to close the pond up for the winter period, it is still just about warm enough to get out and do a few jobs in the pond. At Maltby Aquatics we provide a filtration package with October being a great time to service the filtration before the winter sets in…
Filtration Maintenance, Winter preparation
A complete pump clean and impeller inspection to ensure the pump will run until next season. A good clean of the filter sponges is a great way of ensuring the filter will work without interruption throughout the winter season. The filtration during the cold winter months will contain very little bacteria colonies however still provide a home for many aquatic animals and help remove leaf detritus. We also recommend turning off the Ultra Violet lamp as this will not be useful in the darker days, the addition of a winter cover for the filter is best installed at this time of the year.
If your pond does not have a net on all year round it is important to install one in the autumn to reduce the leaves entering the pond. Large amounts of leaves in the pond is not beneficial as they will decay and cause anoxic conditions.
Marginal pond plants pruning
Autumn is a great time to cut back all your marginal plants heavily, this is beneficial as it will promote new growth in the spring and also removing the die back will stop the dead plant matter falling into the pond and rotting reducing oxygen levels. Maltby Aquatics can factor in a plant prune when servicing filtration equipment.
Removal of leaves and detritus during the Autumn is a great time to give your pond an overhaul before it gets to cold.
Ponds in Winter
The pond in winter is at its dormant stage, there really is very little that needs to be done the fish and aquatic life will remain very lifeless conserving energy and oxygen. Temperatures can drop below freezing and the build up of ice can cause problems…
Your Pond and Ice
One key job is to ensure the pond does not freeze over. We recommend keeping your pond filter and pump working to help reduce the likelihood of this occurring and installing a pond heater in cases where the pump is not effective. At Maltby aquatics we can provide an inexpensive cover for filtration which will keep the filter ice free during the winter months and allow it to work effectively. It is important to ensure the pond remains ice free as the ice blocks gas exchange, no oxygen will come in and no harmful gases will leave the pond. The decaying of leaves and detritus further leads to the lack of oxygen in the pond, lack of oxygen will kill fish and amphibians such as frogs resting in the winter so it is really important to keep your pond ice free. Keeping your pump on will allow for water movement and gas exchange, this will reduce the chance of ice forming, we do however recommend turning off large waterfalls as water mixing with the cold air can cause temperature drops in the pond which can also be harmful.
Fish in winter
During the winter when temperatures drop below 9 degrees it is time to stop feeding your fish completely, you should have already switched their food in the Autumn to a wheat based food known as ‘wheatgerm’ this is less protein based and therefore easier to digest food. Fish that become dormant do not need feeding as they are conserving the energy and the fat reserves they built up in the summer will allow them to survive the winter period. Feeding fish when dormant through very cold temperatures will cause the food to rot in the fishes stomachs as they can not digest. It is also very possible that the food will not be eaten and will rot in the pond causing water quality issue and low levels of oxygen.