Care and Maintenance.
As I said earlier, my pond has required surprisingly little maintenance. Basically, you will need to occasionally clean your filter(s), test your water, add a little water when needed, and keep excess debris out of the pond.
Most experts do not recommend
draining and cleaning your pond more frequently than every five years or so (and
not even then if it really doesn’t need it). Remember, you have established a
living ecology. All of that algae, (good) bacteria, and microbes are a natural
part of a healthy pond. If you clean it all off, you are just starting all over
Most experts recommend changing
some of water occasionally by siphoning out some of the water from the deepest
part of the pond and then replacing it with fresh water. IMPORTANT: do not
change or add too much water at a time. The chlorine and other chemicals in your
tap water can be harmful to your fish. It is recommended that you only change or
add about 20% of your pond’s capacity at a time. If your tap water has a high
content of chemicals, there are chemicals that you can buy and put in your pond
to treat the water and neutralize the harmful chemicals.
While we are talking about
chemicals, the people that I have come to trust for advice do not recommend
heavy use of water treatments and chemicals. You will find that there are a lot
of chemicals available for sale that promise to give to crystal clear water and
do all kinds of good things for your pond. They usually say they are not harmful
to fish or plants when used properly. My advisors tell me that you can achieve
clear water and a healthy pond naturally without adding chemicals unless
absolutely necessary. I have found this to be true and avoid adding chemicals as
much as possible.
You will probably experience an
“algae bloom” soon after you install your pond and then once or twice a year
thereafter, especially in the spring. This is normal and will usually clear up
in a few days to a couple of weeks. An algae bloom is a sudden spurt of algae
growth that may turn your water green for a while. Algae growth is a natural and
important part of your pond “establishing itself”. Eventually, algae will
cover your pond liner and anything else in the pond. This is natural and good.
The trick is keeping the algae growth in check. This is accomplished with the
proper balance of filters and plants (which are natural filters).
You may experience a growth of “string algae” which is a long, green, stringy form of algae that tends to cling to the sides of your pond and plant pots. This is a little harder to deal with. You can buy little bales of Barley Straw to put in your pond, which is supposed to help prevent string algae. If you have a problem with string algae, or other unwanted growth, seek advise from a reputable expert. Again, I have found Web sites such as www.pondsonline.com invaluable for advice on pond care.
Insects: Plants and water naturally attract a variety of insects and other wildlife. We really have not found this to be a problem, but have noticed more bees and wasps since we installed the pond.
Mosquitoes: The experts say that
water gardens generally do not increase mosquito population because, 1.
Mosquitoes do not breed in moving water and, 2. fish will eat Mosquito larvae
before it hatches. Since you will have a fountain or waterfall, your water will
Next: Winterizing Your Pond