If you want to enjoy a beautifully clear pond with healthy pond life, maintenance is key. Preventing water quality issues is easier than treating them once they start affecting water clarity or fish well-being. Routine maintenance helps to keep your pond well-balanced and, when done on a schedule and kept up with, can save you time treating problems later on. When taking care of your pond, avoid these maintenance mistakes.
1. Cleaning Filter Pads with Soap
As a rule of thumb, never use soap or any cleaners on your pond or its equipment when cleaning. The leftover residue can harm your pond life, especially fish, and upset the pond's nitrogen cycle. Instead, use tap water to rinse out any debris and clean filter pads. If they're really dirty, you can use a pressure washer on a gentle setting. Remember to replace filter pads once per season for optimal performance.
2. Scrubbing bio-balls, stones, liner, etc.
Your pond has a natural way of staying balanced and breaking down debris: beneficial bacteria. Sometimes your pond will need a little extra cleaning, but scrubbing every inch of your pond can do more harm than good. These beneficial bacteria live on biological media (like bio-balls), along with the stones, liner, and water features. If you have a build-up of debris and algae, gently scoop or wipe most of it away but avoid scrubbing away the beneficial bacteria you can't see.
3. Not Treating Tap Water
While tap water is great for people and most animals to drink, the chemicals put in tap water to make it safe for drinking can harm fish and pond life. Regular tap water contains chlorine, chloramine, ammonia, and other chemicals that can hurt your fish.
If you're doing a partial water change, make sure to add Chlorine Remover plus Conditioner. When doing a partial water change, if you're doing less than 50% (try just 10-20%), you can keep your fish in the pond and add this treatment. If you're changing out all of the water or adding water for the first time, use the Chlorine Remover plus Conditioner and follow the directions (wait 24 hours) before adding any pond life.
4. Not Inspecting Tubing
When was the last time you inspected your pond tubing? When you're doing routine maintenance, add inspecting tubing to your list. If the tubing breaks, it can cause problematic leaks that lower equipment performance and are a hassle to fix. Try to catch signs of wear and replace the tubing before it leaks. Always inspect your tubing when reopening your pond in the spring, as winter storage could cause cracks, especially if any water is left in the tubing.
5. Not Testing Pumps and Seals
Make sure your pond pump is working at total capacity in case you need to replace any parts. Before adding your pump back into the pond in the spring, run a quick test to see if it's working correctly and didn't get damaged during storage. If you notice any issues, do some troubleshooting to see if there’s an easy fix. Check for any clogging periodically and see if the seals are still working. O-rings often need replacing over time and are what keep water from leaking out.
Taking the time to schedule routine maintenance checks helps prevent any water quality issues and saves you time in the long run. You want to enjoy a crystal clear pond all year round, but that takes some time and effort. Avoiding these maintenance mistakes can help make the job easier. When you keep up with your pond maintenance, it is more manageable and takes less time. Prevention is always easier than treatment when it comes to pond water quality.