Powering up your Pond for Spring

Getting to Clean and Clear

Warm temps, blue skies and green grass are within reach. The mercury is slowly rising—and lounging pond-side with your favorite book will soon be real. Yes! But first, you have to give a little. One afternoon of TLC will ensure a clean and clear pond that beckons your presence on warm days and cool evenings. Enter, knee-high rubber boots. Long time no see. Whether you inherited your pond or designed and built it, we trust our goals are similar: a beautiful, healthy, low-maintenance pond.

Admiring > toiling.

Trust us, the work can be done—quickly and easily. A couple of hours invested up front will pay dividends all summer long. So get motivated, educated and inspired. With an afternoon of preparation and this step-by-step guide, you can one-up last year’s performance. It’s time to dig in. Break a sweat. Get dirt underneath your fingernails, and make it count. Let’s go!

Give the pond a once-over. Skip the scanning—really look for damaged parts that require repair or replacement.

Turn on the pump (if it was turned off in early winter). If you live in a cold climate, ensure your pump was designed to withstand frost and cold temperatures.

Check filter pads—change if torn or damaged.

Turn the filter system on. If the filter is appropriate for the pond’s size and the amount of fish, it will regulate the natural balance and produce clean and clear water.

Reactivate the filter system with a filter starter bacteria. This “good” bacteria catalyzes the natural processes that clean and clarify the pond water.

Check the lamp in the UV Clarifier—replace if it has exceeded 8,000 operating hours.

Budge the sludge—remove the buildup of organic material on the pond’s floor. Resist the temptation to leave it—sludge may not be visible to onlookers, but it will compromise the pond’s health as it breaks down and robs the ecosystem of oxygen. The sludge—usually comprised of dead leaves, pods and sticks—can be scooped or vacuumed out, depending on the amount of build up.

Check the water level. When the evaporation and precipitation cycle don’t  synch perfectly, water levels suffer. Before you add water, dechlorinate it with AquaActiv Chlorine Remover to protect the fish and other organisms.

Test the water. Water should be free from ammonia and nitrates. If high levels are present, consider a water change. Changing 25-50% of your pond’s water is optimal to restore its natural balance.

Add beneficial bacteria. Replenishing “good” bacteria—which often dies  during the winter—will ensure ammonia is reduced and biological processes are set in motion.

Show some love. Treat your fish with a conditioner to prevent infections and protect their health.

Thin aquatic plants. Trim dead foliage and separate larger plants into separate pots to ensure growth and optimal flowering.

Ramp Up Slowly. Fish have been in a state of hibernation for several months; fast and furious is not their modus operandi, quite yet. Once the water temperature exceeds 50 degrees, start feeding them small amounts.

And that’s a wrap! Every job well done deserves a reward, so pull up a chair. Lean back, clink your ice and rest your elbows. Relax, enjoy—ahhhhhh.