A garden pond can be a beautiful addition to your garden. It can give your normally static landscape more movement and flow. The sound of the water will also contribute to a natural ambiance that will make you and your guests feel more in tune with nature. But maintaining a garden pond is no easy task.
From the mechanisms used to the fish and plants in the water, you have to make the right choices to keep the pond clean, healthy, and beautiful. Here are some tips to keep your fish and aquatic plants thriving in your garden pond.
Clean Your Pond Regularly
Keeping your pond clean is the first step in maintaining its health. Always remove leaves and debris that fall into the water. These leaves will build up and decay over time and can make the water toxic to your fish, so you need to remove them when you see them. Some plants even have poisonous fruits and leaves that can harm your fish, like jasmines, wisterias, and black walnuts. You should keep these plants away from your pond or ensure that they don’t get in the water.
Sludge will also build up at the bottom of your pond. It is normal for this muck composed of decayed matter to be in your pond, but once it becomes too thick, it can start to pollute the water and deprive your fish of oxygen. Removing this sludge can be done with the use of a pond vacuum.
Manage the Plants In and Around Your Pond
Taking care of the plants in and around the pond also comes with pond maintenance. As with keeping your pond clean, you should prevent tree leaves from falling in the water. You can use a net directly under the tree to catch the leaves and empty it every so often. But cutting the foliage might be a better option if the tree casts too much shade and does not let some sunlight shine on your pond.
The aquatic plants that you placed should also be managed properly. Removing the dry leaves from these plants before they start to sink and rot at the bottom is a good way to prevent sludge buildup. The kinds of plants also matter as there should be a healthy mix of floating and underwater plants in your pond. Beware of plants that can become invasive and prevent the growth of your other plant choices.
Keep the Water Fresh and Moving
Having the right size of pump and filter is crucial in keeping the water healthy for your fish. This helps keep the water full of oxygen and removes debris that can build up over time. These devices should also be maintained since they might break down from overuse during the year’s warm months. Clean or replace them as needed.
A stagnant pond can also become breeding grounds for bugs and mosquitoes that can bite and transmit diseases. To prevent this, some garden pond owners install fountains and other mechanisms that increase the circulation of the water. But if mosquitoes persist, some insecticides for mosquito larva are available, killing them in the water where they are most vulnerable. You can use a tiger mosquito attractant to kill the other adult mosquitoes that get inside your home.
Prevent Too Many Algae
Algae can be food for your fishes and can add a mossy look to your pond. But algae can damage the system when it starts to cover the entire pond as it prevents light from entering the water and deprives the plants and fish of oxygen in the long run. Manually removing these floating algae from the water’s surface can help, but there are available substances that you can buy to regulate algae growth more effectively.
Avoid Fertilizers and Chemicals Near the Pond
Using fertilizers and chemicals on the plants and grass around your pond should be kept at a minimum. These substances can be carried by rainwater and seep into the soil and water, which can kill your fish and aquatic plants. If using them cannot be prevented, consider having a shallow canal around your pond or a ridge that rises at about 3 inches in height above the soil level to divert the chemical-carrying water from getting into your pond.
Don’t Overfeed Your Fish
Lastly, avoid overfeeding your fish. The leftover food that your fish leave behind will settle at the bottom of the pond and contribute to the harmful sludge buildup. In addition to the ammonia-rich fish excrement, the pond water can become toxic to them. Discover how much food your fish needs to feed them well while taking care of your pond.
With all of this, your pond should be in good condition all the time. Addressing the buildup of the mentioned substances early should prevent bigger problems in the future. Don’t forget to enjoy the fruits of your hard work and sit idly in your garden to take in the view of your personalized piece of nature.