After a difficult winter, the weather is finally breaking, and we’re all ready to be outdoors. These warmer evenings and weekends are the perfect time to start thinking about de-winterizing your pond so it can be up and running when spring fully arrives. Here are our tips for easing your pond back into warm weather.
Removing Winter Debris
Use a skimmer net to scoop wet leaves from the bottom of your pond, and if needed, try a product such as Microbe-Lift SA Liquid Sludge Away to speed up the natural decomposition process of leaves and other debris.
If your pond has accumulated so much debris that you’re unable to remove it easily, you might be in for a complete spring pond cleaning. Be very careful in this situation, as you will upset the balance of the pond and interfere with algae growth.
Complete Spring Pond Cleaning
For a complete cleaning, pump pond water into as large a container as possible. Catch your fish with a net and place them in the container that is filled just enough to cover them. You may need to cover the container with leaf netting to prevent the fish from jumping out, especially if your fish are koi. Add a small pond or aquarium aerator to the tank to ensure the oxygen levels in the water remain at a safe level. Be sure to keep the container out of the sun if it’s a hot day. Remove your plants as well if necessary and cover with damp newspaper – keep underwater plants in a container of water.
Use your pump to remove as much water as possible from the pond and finish the job with a broom or shop vac. Make sure only to remove the sludge and not to scrub any of the velvety algae coating the liner; that algae is beneficial to your pond. Don’t use any sort of chemical during this process.
Once you’ve finished the cleaning, you can pump the water your fish are stored in back into the pond and carefully return the fish. Pour in dechlorinator and fill the pond slowly from your garden hose while adding your plants back in as well. Be sure to test your pH and adjust as needed.
Additional Spring Pond Tips
• Begin feeding your fish a cold-weather formula when the water temperature is consistently 50 degrees, and switch to regular food when the water reaches a constant 60 degrees.
• Begin fertilizing your plants and adding new ones as the weather warms.
• Turn your pump back on if you shut it off for the winter.
• Resume your regular filter cleaning schedule.
If you follow these spring pond maintenance tips, your pond will be healthy and ready to add to your enjoyment of your backyard throughout the season.