Spring is on the horizon and your sleeping pond is ready to awaken. Help your pond or water garden make a healthy and stress-free transition back to life with the following helpful tips:
Plan Improvements - Don't fret if it's still too early to open your pond. Use this time to plan pond improvements. Is this the year to add a fountain? Or a
waterfall? Or perhaps install a new, energy-efficient water pump? Browse our catalog or web site to get ideas as well as quality pond products this spring.
Take inventory of your pond maintenance supplies - Was there something you wish you had last year to make pond maintenance easier? A better net or a pair of Aqua Gloves? Are there new products you want to try or something you've been meaning to get - like chest waders to keep you dry and warm when standing in 45ºF pond water? Check your existing inventory, stock up on essentials such as extra tubing for emergency repairs, and take the plunge. Try new timesaving maintenance products.
Get supplies for a healthy pond ecosystem - In early spring, the pond ecosystem is in a fragile, transitional state where water conditions can rapidly deteriorate. Increased biological activity means a greater demand for oxygen, especially in dirty ponds. As organic materials from the previous year begin to break down, they can lower pond pH, release harmful ammonia, and provide an abundant supply of nutrients for algae. Be prepared with pond water conditioners including
biological additives, ammonia detoxifiers, and a pond aeration kit.
Check plumbing & electrical - Carefully examine your filtration system to make sure everything is in working order. Check for cracks on the filter or kinks in the plumbing line and also test the ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet. Replace all equipment or parts that are damaged or not working properly. This will ensure proper filter operation once the water temperature is warm enough (above 45°F), to start your pond filtration system.
Get a head start on your pond - Many natural processes that help maintain a healthy pond environment need time to establish. As soon as water temperatures are warm enough to run your pond filtration system, use bacterial additives to help jump-start biological filtration. Without bacterial additives, it can take a few weeks to establish efficient biological filtration. Natural products such as barley straw also require time to work effectively against algae. Add barley straw early in the season, before you have an algae problem, to reap its full benefits. If your pond water still turns green,
API POND ALGAEFIX® can be added to keep algae growth under control without harming ornamental pond plants.
Make planting easier - Pick a warm day and remove a small amount of water to simplify plant maintenance. Use an extra
water pump and
tubing to remove water without disconnecting your fixed system. The lower water level will make it easier for you to move over-wintering plants on the bottom of the pond to their respective shelves. As you move the plants, examine their overall condition. Keep extra plant baskets and planting media nearby so you can divide and repot the plants if they are crowded or are growing out of their planters. Use this opportunity to add
plant food tablets and to remove larger settled debris. When refilling the pond, remember to use a
Lower fish stress - Fluctuating spring temperatures can be extremely stressful for pond fish, especially goldfish and koi that wintered over in the pond. To help reduce stress, turn off fountains or waterfalls during cold spells to slow the rate at which a pond cools. Do not feed your fish until pond water temperature is consistently above 40°F. Feed an easier-to-digest wheat germ based food once water temperatures remain above 40°F. Add a little bit of pond salt to help encourage a healthy slime coat so fish are able to naturally fend off parasites and bacterial infections.
Spring preparations organize and simplify pond care, leaving you with plenty of time to enjoy a healthy, beautiful pond that is easy to maintain.