Ways Pond Maintenance Can Protect The Water And Fish

How Can Pond Maintenance Protect The Water And FishMany homeowners who consider installing water features are scared off by pond maintenance. Keeping a feature healthy and beautiful, though, is much easier than it seems. As long as it is installed correctly and fitted with the right equipment, a feature requires minimal work to balance its ecology. Adding fish can help reduce upkeep even further as they will eliminate any insect populations close to the feature. Mosquitoes and fish do not coexist.

What are the biggest challenges when performing pond maintenance?

When fish are in the water, the most pressing needs are providing oxygen, preventing algae growth, filtering out waste and keeping the water shielded from runoff. Koi require a high amount of oxygen to stay healthy, and extended periods of low oxygen will quickly kill them off. Algae growth is a massive problem because it will choke off the water and reduce oxygen content. Koi produce a steady stream of solid waste, which can be made worse by decaying plant matter or other debris. This waste contains a high amount of ammonia, which will become toxic in high enough concentrations. Ammonia also breaks down into nitrates by bacteria in the water, accelerating algae growth. Runoff carried into the pond by rains can alter the pH of the feature or carry harmful chemicals into the water.

How can pond maintenance protect the water and fish?

Supplying the water with dissolved oxygen is the first step in creating a healthy environment for the fish
. Without it, the fish will never be able to adjust to their new home. Oxygen can be fed into the water using a bubbler or other aerator. Fountains can also provide the feature with slowing algae growth and additional oxygen though they shouldn’t be relied on alone.

There are several methods to preventing algae growth. The simplest is to place the feature in a shaded area as algae can’t take root without constant sunlight. Placing rooting plants around the edge of the water can also reduce algae growth by providing competition for nitrogen and other nutrients. If algae growth explodes, there are chemical solutions that can quickly take care of the problem, but these just treat the symptom, not the underlying problem.

A thorough drainage and filtering system will usually prevent any problems with waste. Gravity fed drains placed on the bottom of the feature will take in most solid waste, keeping ammonia levels at healthy, low levels. The drain should feed into a settling tank and media filter to remove large and small particles of waste. As long as the filter system is washed down regularly, and the feature rinsed out about once a year, waste won’t be a problem.

Blocking runoff should also be a major priority and can be done with rooting plants, rock placements or diverting ditches. Homeowners should also avoid fertilizing their yard if possible as this is a major source of nitrates.

Prime Lawn can help a homeowner set their water feature up for easy upkeep. With our experts’ help, it’s possible to install a beautiful, healthy pond on any property.

This article was published on Thursday 10 July, 2014.

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