After spending a few months bundled in sweaters and staring at bare, leafless trees, and grounds covered in snow, you start dreaming of spring. When the weather starts to warm, plants bloom, animals come out of hibernation, and soon, little baby squirrels, raccoons, and rabbits will wander about. Spring is the season of new beginnings as nature awakens after a long winter.
Spring is easily a favorite season for pond owners. Once the ice and snow thaw and the temperatures warm, you can reopen your pond finally! The first step is spring cleaning. Your pond has likely been dormant for the past few months, so your oasis may need a little help to return to its former glory.
Cleaning is essential for water clarity and overall pond health. Leaves and runoff fertilizer make their way into the pond as the snow melts and cause a buildup of muck and excess nutrients. This can be damaging to fish health and lead to algae blooms as the water warms up.
Tip: Sludge Remover is an excellent addition to your spring cleaning pond toolkit to help clear up the muck and restore balance.
How to Clean Your Pond Pump
Once the pond is clean and the water has warmed to at least 50 degrees, you can reintroduce your pump and filter, but you need to clean it first.
Take a bucket of water from the pond and scrub away any dirt from the pump or filter. Pond water is better than tap water as it won't add chlorine or chloramines into the pond. Avoid using any chemicals on the pump or filter because they can harm the fish.
Keep an eye on the pump and filter when running them for the first time to ensure everything is in order. You want to avoid coming home to any surprises. It's better to run the pump and filter once you've cleaned the pond so you don't stir up any muck and debris.
Start Feeding Your Fish
With the water temperature is consistently above 50 degrees, you can slowly start feeding your fish. Even if they're giving you the "feed me" eyes, you want to start slowly because fish metabolisms gradually take time to get back to normal speed. They also may seem sluggish, but they'll become more active as the weather continues to warm.
Perform a Water Quality Test
Test the water to check the overall health of the pond. An imbalanced pH or high levels of ammonia level can cause stress and hurt the fish. They are fragile as they warm back up, needing time for their immune systems to reach full strength.
Tip: Adding the Chlorine Remover plus Conditioner can help reduce stress and removes harmful toxins from tap water.
Relocate Your Fish Back Into the Pond
If you moved your fish inside for the winter, you need to make sure they have time to adjust to the new water temperature. First, place a few fish in a bag with their current water in it, leaving a few inches of air at the top. Tie the bag and let it sit on the pond's surface so they can acclimate.
Check the temperatures after 10 minutes; if the water in the bag is the same temperature as the pond water, they can be released. It can be stressful on fish to move back and forth. The process is less stressful when the conditions are as similar as possible.
Extra Spring Care
When you resume regular landscaping and gardening, keep debris and fertilizers away from your pond. Debris will break down, creating sludge and adding to the nutrient load of the pond. Fertilizers can harm or disrupt your pond's balance.
Tip: Barley Pond Clarifier is great for routine maintenance and to help keep pond water balanced.
Reopening your pond can be a relaxing and cathartic experience. You've been waiting for warmer weather and are most likely ready to get to work! Cleaning and making sure your pond is in tip-top shape can help make the seasonal transitions easier. Your fish will soon swim full of energy and greet you each morning again. Your yard will be vibrant and alive as plants bloom and trees regain their leaves. Once again, you will be able to retreat to your peaceful oasis, crack open a good book, soak up some vitamin D, and listen to the beautiful sounds of running water as you relax.