The beauty and joy of a pond makes summer far more memorable and relaxing! Summer is still in full swing and every moment with your finned friends and pond plants should be thoroughly relished. To fully enjoy yourself while Living the Aquascape Lifestyle®, you want to make sure your water feature is healthy and functioning optimally through the remainder of the warmer months. When water temperature remains above 80 degrees, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.
Health of Your Pond Fish
Keep an eye on your fish. Do your finned friends appear stressed out, gasping for air close to the water’s surface or especially close to a fountain or waterfall? Warm water has a low capacity for holding oxygen, while cooler water can hold very large amounts of oxygen.
Warm pond water and increased fish activity go hand and hand, and that increased activity also means your fish require more oxygen when less oxygen is available, thus creating a vicious cycle. Stressed fish often begin to develop diseases, and soon enough you’ll have a domino effect.
If you haven’t already done so, add oxygen to your pond by placing an aerator or AquaForce® pump in your pond. You’ll be able to use the aerator or pump in the winter to help keep a hole in the ice.
You can also install a fountain with a pump if your pond doesn’t have a waterfall or stream. Make sure all areas of the pond are skimmed and the water circulated. And keep in mind that waterfalls, streams, and even fountains play a huge part in the oxygenation of the water in your pond.
Beat the Heat
There are some preventative measures you can take in order to keep your pond from turning into a warm, unhealthy mess at the end of summer. It all starts with a well-designed water feature. Depth of water, plant coverage, shade, and circulation should all be considered when designing and building a pond. A minimum depth of two feet is suggested; the bottom of the pond will remain cooler.
You’ll also want to stock your pond with a lot of plants to provide shade for the fish. A good rule of thumb is to provide plant coverage of approximately 1/3 to 1/2 of the pond’s surface area. It’s not too late to add plants to your pond. Consider placing floating plants like water lettuce and water hyacinth. You won’t need to do any potting or planting and bonus – most aquatic plants are on sale this time of year.
Perhaps one of the most important parts of pond design is circulation. Hopefully your biological filter and mechanical filter are placed across the pond from each other, so that your pond receives optimal circulation. If not, consider adding a Pond Powerhead for additional circulation and to create movement in stagnant areas. Like an aerator, the Pond Powerhead can be used in the winter to keep a hole in the ice.
Additional Late Summer Pond Tips
During the final months of summer, you can use these tips to help keep your pond performing optimally:
Feed fish in the morning and be careful not to overfeed. Uneaten food decays faster in warmer water and can pollute the pond.
Be sure to remove dying leaves and flowers before they have a chance to decay in the warmer water.
The bottom line is that you need to continue to keep an eye on your pond and let your fish and plants do the talking. If you have a balanced ecosystem, you’ll find it much easier to maintain the health of your pond, fish, and plants. Not to mention, you’re setting up a healthy transition into the fall season.