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Tips for a Healthy Spring Water Garden


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Tips for a healthy spring awakening

With spring on the horizon there's no doubt you're looking forward to opening your pond. Now is the time to plan what you'll need to help its healthy transition back to life.

What you can do now
It's the perfect time to plan this season's pond improvements. For ideas, see recent pond tours. Check any equipment removed from the pond and pond maintenance items for needed repairs such as worn pump impellers, or nets, waders, and gloves that need replacing.

When the pond ice has thawed
As soon as any ice has opened up, add an aerator to the pond to prevent oxygen depletion in case of bacterial bloom. Once the pond has melted, net any debris that has collected at the surface. Vacuum pond bottom, as this will remove any settled debris, and the water change will reduce built-up pollutants. Check pond filters for anything that needs to be cleaned or repaired.

Time to open the pond!
When pond water has maintained 45°F: reconnect pumps, start up filters, add bacterial additive and place plants lowered in pond back on their shelves. Barley straw can be added now to help combat the spring green to come. Temporarily raising lily baskets to 3" depth will help them get started quicker. They can be returned to their summer placement when they have several pads.

The living pond returns
When pond water reaches 50°F for at least 3 days, the fish can be fed wheat germ. Add chemical media and turn on UVs at this time to help keep nutrients down and slow the spring green.

At 60°F, new plants, and those kept indoors over winter, can be added to the pond. Until the plants have grown enough to take care of nutrients, you may want to add AlgaeFix to control algae blooms, should they appear.

At 70°F, new fish and invertebrates, such as snails and shrimp, can be added.

Improvement Ideas

 

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