We don’t often think about our ponds over the winter and many of us prefer to cover them over, so animals and birds don’t accidentally fall in! Spring isn’t just a time for rebirth, chocolate eggs and the first time you’ve really had a chance to relax since Christmas. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to get the pond back into action, as you’ll want the entire garden shipshape in plenty of time for warm spring afternoons and lazy summer evenings.
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Warm Not Hot
You may be very tempted to celebrate the sunshine by declaring your pond ‘open’ for the new season! But we would urge you to hold off until the night’s get warmer too. Depending on where you live, the climate will play a huge role in how often you clean, maintain and look after your pond, it’s inhabitants and even the pond equipment. Once the aqua thermometer reads around 50 degrees Fahrenheit for about a week, then it’s time to start making some changes. Because you won’t have had any flies buzzing around, or fish to eat the algae all the good bacteria will have long since died.
Remove any sludge or grime on the bottom and don’t forget to clean, then check the dormant filters are in good condition before switching them on and replacing the bottom drain. You should be fine to leave everything running all year round in warmer climes, but in cooler countries ponds without covers tend to freeze in winter so you should power everything down.
Choose Ultraviolet Sterilizers
You may not realize it, but not having a sterilizer in your pond you can leave your fish vulnerable to some nasty diseases. An ultraviolet one reduces the chance of unwelcome new residents as your pond gets up and running again, don’t forget your fish have been in a temporary living facility, or even in large freshwater tanks all winter so it’s going to take them a little while to get used to being back outdoors. What this means is that they’re not at their full strength yet so will need time to boost their immune systems back up. An Oase aquamax pump system will also keep algae at bay, because the more sunshine the pond gets, the bigger the clumps of algae grow. It’s also vital in these early weeks that the water is kept as clear as possible, so you can keep a close eye on your fish and any new aquatic plants you’ve purchased
Don’t Forget Fish
During the winter months, your fish’s metabolism will be much lower so it’s important that you don’t overfeed them by accident. Now spring’s arrived fish should be eating a handful of fall / spring fish flakes three times per week, if possible look for brands that contain wheat germ as that'll be easier on their digestion. In the summer, once the water temperature has risen above sixty-five degrees Fahrenheit they’ll be much more active and a lot more hungry. Make the switch to a high protein food that’ll boost their weight and if you're thinking of adding more fish to the pond now’s the time to do it!
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