Like anything in life that’s worth having, owning a pond has its work cut out for you. There are a lot of things that you as a pond owner are going to have to keep an eye on and maintain. Here are a few tips to help ease the pain and hopefully turn arduous work into an enjoyable time spent creating and maintaining your outdoor sanctuary.
Are Ponds Easy to Maintain?
There are several factors to consider when it comes to natural pond maintenance – the planning of the pond’s location, smart cleaning using a filter and skimming the debris, plants useful against algae and paying attention to the water quality.
Location Is Key
In addition to having the pond near some shade while still exposing it to partial sunlight, it’s important to place the pond where you’ll see it everyday. This is a little trickery at work, but the old adage “out of sight, out of mind” definitely applies here. If you walk past your pond everyday on your way to pick up the paper, you’re more likely to work on it a little each day.
Taking consideration of location helps minimize other headaches as well. Ground runoff such as lawn fertilizers, contaminates and pesticides all can negatively affect your pond water quality. Having your pond in a good location (especially near accessible electricity and water) takes the headache out of maintenance by discouraging extra busy work.
Filters go a long way to clean your pond so why not make it easy on yourself when it comes time to clean them? Use filters that are easily accessible, like gravity filters or pressurized filters. You don’t have to deal with anything that’s submerged, so you won’t have to dive down and find and clean/change the filter. Use an easily accessibly external filter and a skimmer to trap debris into a basket or net that you can easily empty.
Plants do an excellent job of fighting algae by just being themselves. They compete for nutrients that algae needs in order to blossom and they shade the water from direct hot sunlight, which robs algae of yet another essential they need to grow.
Another way to keep algae from finding a home in your water garden or pond is to make sure your water is properly oxygenated. If you haven’t already, consider the addition of a fountain or waterfall. These features agitate your otherwise stagnate water, which adds oxygen to it. When your pond has ample oxygen, benefits abound: your filters work better, your pond naturally fights off algae, and your fish grow better and their colors become more vibrant.
Speaking of fish, if you have them (Koi or gold), make sure you don’t overstock your pond. Fish create waste and you don’t want more waste than your pond can naturally handle, as this creates a big problem for you and the pond’s upkeep. A good rule of thumb: 1 to 2 inches of fish per square foot of water surface. Also, take care to not overfeed. Any more food than what your fish can consume in 5 minutes is too much. It’s a waste of food and it makes it that much more work for your pond to do in order to breakdown the wasted food.
Keep these tips and mind and you’ll spend a lot more time enjoying your pond rather than maintaining it. You’ll save time and money by doing occasional work and helping your pond work for itself.