Water Garden Care - Your Complete Guide to Pond Maintenance
Proper water garden care is essential to the longevity of your pond ecosystem. After all, now that you've spent so much time designing and building your pond, isn't it worth it to protect it for the future? Unlike a stream or river, which naturally renews itself with fresh water and nutrients, a pond is a closed system, meaning that nothing from the outside is added and nothing is taken away (unless you do it yourself). Because of this, successful pond maintenance is all about re-leveling the playing field as various forces affect the ecosystem balance. For example, fish naturally produce waste, which left unchecked, will build up until your pond is completely inhospitable. In a river or stream this wouldn't be a problem since the waste would natural flow away. However, in a closed system, fish excrement can be equalized with proper mechanical and biological filtration.
It is often said by experienced pond keepers that if you look after the water in a pond, the fish, plants and other features will generally look after themselves. This is because water is the lifeblood of a pond ecosystem, and the way to manage that lifeblood is through proper water garden care and pond maintenance. Many common problems such as pond algae (green water and blanket weed (aka. string algae) pond parasites, algae blooms, fish sickness and chemical imbalances can all be prevented with proper routine maintenance.
Water Garden Care - Filtration
Proper filtration is one of the most important aspects of water garden care. There are many ways to filter the water in a pond, and a successful pond will usually incorporate a couple different types of filters. These include skimmers and other mechanical filters, as well as biological filters, which help promote healthy water through proper chemical balance. For more information, please read our guide on pond filters.
Monitoring water temperature is an important part of routine water garden maintenance. As the temperature increases, your pond is more likely to be affected by algae and other weeds such as string algae. Therefore, keeping your pond water temperature in check will greatly help prevent the dreaded green pond water.
Temperature is especially important if you have fish in your pond, since temperature directly influences the physiology and health of fish. As the temperature increases, fish will naturally become more active, in turn using more oxygen and food as well as producing more ammonia as waste. Higher waste levels will then put a higher demand on the filtration system which also uses more oxygen as part of the biological filtration process. On top of this, oxygen solubility decreases with the water's rising temperature. Therefore, as the temperature increases, it is very easy to create a situation where your oxygen levels are too low to support life in your pond. To read more about pond temperature requirements, please read our page here (coming soon!).
Pond Water Chemistry
Pond water contains a number of difference qualities that can help promote or degrade a healthy pond water balance. These include the pH balance, ammonia levels, nitrate and nitrate levels, dissolved oxygen levels, the water hardness, phosphate levels and unwanted organisms such as hair algae. We are currently developing a detailed guide which will dive more deeply into each of these topics. So stay tuned!
This page is a work in progress and is far from complete, so please check back soon for more water garden care and pond maintenance tips.