Each season has its own common issues for pond owners. Summer is one of the more challenging seasons for water clarity because of the warm weather and rain. The warm weather months are when you want to spend the most time by your pond, so you want to make sure it's clear and enjoyable. Algae become a major concern, as blooms can seemingly spring up overnight and turn your pond green. Summer care is as easy when you have aeration, filtration, and the right water treatments are the key to a beautifully clear summer pond.
What's Going on in a Summer Pond?
As the weather transitions from spring to summer, there is more sunlight, and the pond water gets warmer. Warm water holds less oxygen than cold water, making it harder to maintain oxygen levels in the pond. Fish are most active during summer, as warm water powers their metabolisms. They're swimming around and building up quite the appetite, needing lots of food and oxygen and creating more waste.
Heavy rains can lead to runoff into the pond, causing excess nutrients, which fuels algae blooms. In addition to runoff, lawn clippings, leaves, flowers, and other debris can make their way into the pond and break down into nutrients. Algae use these nutrients, along with sunlight, to bloom.
Easy Summer Care
Maintaining your pond in the summer is as easy when you're prepared and have the right systems in place. The first rule of business is to manually keep the water clean using a filtration system and physically keep debris out of the water by scooping it out with a pond net. A filtration system with the right-sized pump for your pond also helps keep the water aerated. Ideally, you want to prevent water quality issues from occurring.
The beneficial bacteria in a pond can harmlessly break down a small amount of debris in the water through the pond's nitrogen cycle. Pond plants help absorb nutrients and filter out debris, but ponds are typically exposed, and it's hard to control debris from entering the pond. A filtration system helps remove organic waste from the water. Filtration systems focus on the small debris in the water that is too tiny to scoop out. A filtration system cannot filter large debris like leaves or grass clippings. Larger debris needs to be scooped out using a pond net.
Types of Pond Filtration
There are three different types of pond filtration, mechanical, biological, and UV clarification. Some filtration systems combine different types of filtration.
Mechanical filtration uses filter pads to catch the debris as the pond water passes through them. Filtration pads can trap fine debris like uneaten fish food or fish waste. You can clean the filter pads by running them under clear water and replacing them when they get too worn.
Biological filtration uses beneficial bacteria to break down the debris in the water. As the pump pushes water through the bio-media (like smartpond bio-balls), the bacteria help break down the debris.
A UV Clarifier uses UV rays to break down microscopic algae before they can turn your pond green. The light breaks down single-celled algae (planktonic) to stop it from taking over your pond.
Aeration is one of the most important ways to maintain water clarity during the summer. Keeping your pond water constantly moving and oxygenated helps combat algae, keep the beneficial bacteria colonizing, prevent mosquitoes from breeding, and gives your pond fish the oxygen they need. Harmful pond bacteria that break down debris into harmful gases thrive in an environment without oxygen.
If your pond doesn't have enough oxygen, the beneficial bacteria die off, and the harmful bacteria get to work. The gases these bacteria release are harmful to fish. They work slowly, creating a layer of sludge at the bottom of the pond that turns the water murky when agitated.
Water features like waterfalls and fountains help to circulate and aerate the water and are perfect for smaller and more shallow ponds. If the surface water is constantly agitated, it helps prevent the algae from blooming and mosquitos from breeding. Keep your pond pumps and aerators running day and night during the summer to make sure the water is circulating and oxygenating.
You can use certain water treatments to prevent or treat water quality issues. smartpond water treatments work to prevent and fix common water quality issues like cloudy water while being safe for pond inhabitants and local pondlife.
Learn more about the different smartpond water treatments and what to use them for.
During warmer summer months, filtration and aeration are a primary focus to help maintain water clarity. You want your pond to be crystal clear all summer long. Aeration keeps your pond water circulating and oxygenation, while filtration helps remove the debris and break down algae. You can use water treatments preventatively to stop problems before they start or fix any existing issues that won't go away, like cloudy or smelly water. Summer is the season to hang out by your pond and enjoy nature, and maintenance is easy with the right setup.