Spring is almost upon us and it is time to start thinking about the annual spring pond cleaning. If your fish pond or water garden looks relatively the same now as it did in early summer last year then your pond may not require a spring cleaning. It is also possible that you have a larger pond on your property and that the necessary fall pond maintenance steps were performed.
If that is the case you may also get away without a spring fish pond cleaning. For everyone else, this article is for you.
A thorough spring fish pond cleaning and maintenance scheduling is a sure fire way to ensure that your pond or water feature will look great and have a healthy balanced ecosystem for the upcoming season. A proper pond servicing could mean the difference between an enjoyable, relaxing, stress reducing delight and a slimy, stinky, eye soar that is a dream come true for a mosquito but a nightmare for you!
Here are the necessary steps that are commonly involved in an average spring pond cleaning operation.
- Unplug electricity and disconnect the plumbing
Pumps will drain, UV lights disconnected and auto-fill features shut off.
- Begin draining the pond
Caution and proper pumps should be used to prevent causing harm to fish.
- Catch the fish
Fish should be handled very carefully with a disinfected net and then stored in their own pond water in a cool shaded place.
- Remove plants and objects
It is important to remove all objects from the fish pond to ensure a thorough cleaning is possible. It is also wise to move heavy objects away from pond edges so they can’t fall in and tear your liner or cause other damage.
- Clean the pumps and filters
Pumps and filters should be disassembled and cleaned vigorously. Keeping your fish pond equipment clean and in mint condition will ensure that they do the job the manufacturer intended and their life will be increased, in return saving you big $$$.
- UV light maintenance
Unfortunately the life expectancy of a UV light bulb is incredibly short. UV bulbs should be checked at least a couple of times a year but the spring is the most important time because if water around a UV bulb is allowed to freeze, the bulb will shatter.
- Scrub the pond liner and surrounding rocks
Nothing works better to clean a pond liner than some good old fashioned elbow grease and a hand scrubber. You NEVER should use any type of detergent or soap. The most important aspect to remember is that you never want to remove too much. Beneficial pond bacteria that colonizes on pond liners and rocks is an integral part of the fish pond ecosystem.
- Fill the fish pond
When filling the fish pond you should use a water metering device to determine the exact amount of water your fish pond holds. This information is very important in the case you need to add a de-chlorinizer or any other type of pond treatment that must be in a measured dose.
- Add De-chlorinizer to the water
The majority of municipal city water around Vancouver Island contains a substantial amount of chlorine which can cause harm and kill fish.
- Re-introduce the fish
Pond cleaning can be stressful for a fish which is why care and caution should be used at all time during handling. If there is a difference in temperature from their temporary storage container and the new water in the pond they should be floated for a brief time to become accustom to the new temperature, avoid shock and reduce stress.
- Prepare and divide plants
At this point aquatic pond plants should be trimmed and pruned to remove dead and dying materials to ensure a fresh healthy start for the spring. A special fertilizer should be added to water lillies and other flowering aquatic pond plants to provide nutrients for a health bloom. Pond plants should also be removed and divided to guarantee healthy root systems. You can use the extra plants to enhance the visual appearance and fill in your water garden or to become a little more popular with your water gardening neighbors.
- Add pond treatments
This step may be optional depending on your fish ponds unique requirements but it may also save you big headaches and money in the future. A salt treatment at this time can greatly reduce the risk of disease for your fish. The addition of beneficial bacteria can ensure an optimal pond ecosystem of too much was removed in the cleaning process or if your pond provides an inadequate colonizing opportunities. There are many other algae preventative treatments available but once again it depends on your unique pond requirements.
- Establish predator protection
Predator protection is a very real and frustrating fact of life that we have to deal with living on Vancouver Island. There are many methods to protecting annoying pests from raiding your fish pond, some of them work while others simply do not. With the proper preventative methods in place your pond pets can enjoy a safe and secure neighborhood.
Once these steps have been executed properly the next task at hand is to sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds of your pristine pond or water feature. If you would like to skip steps 1 through 13 and move directly to this last task we can help you do just that. Ties with Nature is proud to offer professional fish pond and water garden cleaning and maintenance services.
If you would like further information on our pond cleaning services click here or call 250-585-5058 to schedule your spring pond cleaning.
We provide professional fish pond maintenance services to central Vancouver Island including: Chemanius, Ladysmith, Nanaimo, Lantzville, Nanoose Bay, Parksville, Errington, Qualicum Beach and Coombs.