Summer Pond Maintenance
Having a water feature like a pond in your yard is not only eye catching, it also can provide the soothing sound of running water and the addition of wildlife like fish, frogs, birds and more. Now that the heat of summer is upon us your pond may require a little attention to keep it looking its best. Has pond algae started to form and cloud your water? Are predators like herons eyeing up your beautiful koi and comets? Here are some tips to maintaining your pond and keeping it looking and working its best for the rest of the season.
There is a variety of algae that can form in your pond. Some float freely in water, coloring it green; others coat the sides of a pond with a green or brownish slime. You can treat and prevent pond algae safely by using an algaecide, such as AlgaeFix®, even if your pond has plants and fish. Another way to help control pond algae naturally is by using barley straw. Fungi decompose in the barley straw and release a chemical that is thought to prevent the growth of algae. The use of barley is effective as a preventive, but not thought to be successful for treating existing algae. Another approach to controlling algae is the use of a UV light. UV clarifiers combat green water by exposing suspended single-celled algae to very high levels of ultraviolet light, which destroys its reproductive ability.
Moving water not only enhances the beauty of a pond, it also improves the natural systems that are taking place beneath the water’s surface. Aeration is the process of adding oxygen to your pond water. Maintaining healthy levels of dissolved oxygen in water helps with the breakdown of decaying vegetation and other nutrients in pond water. This is important because excess nutrients in the water lead to algae growth. Other benefits of aeration include enhancing pond fish habitat, improving overall water quality, and removing and preventing foul odors caused by stagnant water.
In addition to algae problems, other nemeses of the pond keeper are predators who spot out their pond fish. Herons are notorious for snatching colorful koi and comet from the backyard pond. Providing your fish with natural cover from pond plants like lilies or hyacinths are one way to protect them. Other strategies include heron decoys and pond nets. One thing you may not have heard of is the Brilliant Pyramid. This floating pyramid, secured by an anchor, has three mirrored faces that reflect the sunlight and frighten away the herons.