A pond provides you and your garden many benefits: it provides an ecosystem for wildlife, for instance, and is a relaxing haven for you to relax in after a stressful day. However, without the proper maintenance, your pond can all too quickly turn dirty, becoming less of a beautiful aquatic paradise and more a stagnant bath. To help keep your pond in tip-top condition, read on for some ways in which you can keep it clean.
The first step in maintaining a clean pond is to install a system of pond filters. These play a hugely important role in maintaining cleanliness and the ecological balance of ponds. They remove debris and algae growth to maintain a clear water quality in which plants and wildlife can thrive. Filters for fish ponds also remove the waste produced by the fish to ensure that they are swimming in a completely clean environment. Furthermore, filters keep the water in a pond moving to maintain the flow of oxygen. This prevents the water from stagnating, which as well as being an eyesore is toxic to fish and other plant- and wildlife, and provides a breeding ground for bacteria.
Remove floating debris
During the warm summer months, floating weeds and algae can quickly cover the surface of your pond. This prevents oxygen and sunlight from penetrating the water, which can be hazardous for the plants and wildlife living beneath the surface. Use a pond rake or net to remove these invasive elements from the surface. Leave the removed weeds and algae on the side of the pond overnight; this allows any creatures living in them to return to the water. You should then gently rinse the weeds and algae in a bucket of pond water to remove smaller creatures, which can then be returned to the water. Only after having checked for wildlife should you go ahead and compost the debris.
Prune aquatic plants
You should aim to keep at least 50 percent of the pond surface clear of vegetation to ensure good oxygen penetration and light levels to your water. As such, some maintenance for aquatic plants is required. Thin out plants during the summer to help maintain this balance. Remove dead leaves, fading flowers, and other debris from plants before they can drop into the water, to prevent decomposing vegetation from building up in the pond. Furthermore, deep water aquatics with floating leaves, like water lilies, benefit from being divided and re-potted, so that they have enough space to grow as the plant matures.
Top up water levels
A drop in water levels during the hot summer months can be hazardous to fish as there is less oxygen available for them to breathe. When topping up the water level in your pond, use rain water from a butt as tap water is rich in nutrients that encourages algae and weeds to thrive. If you do use tap water, add it gradually to prevent the cold water from shocking the fish.