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Spring Pond Dilemmas And The Products You Need To Solve Them

By April 24, 2024Ponds

Spring is here and it’s an exciting time for pond owners. Koi and goldfish come out to play, tiny green leaves unfurl from beneath the soil, and everything is filled with a new energy and life.

But spring is not without its challenges. A healthy, beautiful season relies in part on the actions you take now to make it happen. It’s not hard or complicated, but it can require a little bit of know-how and a few key products to help make your life easier.

Today we’re sharing some of the spring pond essentials that will help you make the transition to a new and lovely season. From clean water to happy fish, there are plenty of options for taking on any challenges you may face.

cold water bacteria

Dealing With Gunk

Here’s an important fact of pond life: not all bacteria is bad. In fact, some is necessary if you want a healthy, thriving pond. Beneficial bacteria produce enzymes that break down organic waste, which is especially important during your spring opening.

From fish waste to decaying plants, beneficial bacteria will chow down like they’re at a royal feast. For a healthy spring startup, choose cold water bacteria, which is a strain that stays active in water below 50° Fahrenheit.

As an added bonus, it can bring out the bright, natural colors in your koi, and it’s completely safe for all wildlife – including pets and plants.

fish nets

Managing Slippery Critters

If you’re doing a thorough pond cleaning, you’ve got another dilemma: what to do with all those fish that have been happily hibernating over the winter?

The solution is to move them to a holding tank while you drain and clean the pond. And the best way to do that is with a fish net. Please don’t try to move fish with your pool skimmer or plastic bag or some other household implement!

Fish nets are specifically designed to protect your pond fish from stress and damage. They will let you safely transfer and handle pond fish, including koi and ornamental goldfish without damage to their fins and scales.

fish food

And Hungry Ones

When your fish begin to poke their heads up again in spring, they’re going to need the right kind of nutrition to support a healthy reintroduction to active life. When you begin feeding fish again in spring, choose cold water food.

Yes, there are different types of fish food for different types of fish and different seasons! But don’t worry if it sounds complicated, because you can follow a few simple rules of thumb.

Wait until the water temperature hits 50° before feeding fish. Any colder and your fish won’t be ready to digest the food, which can make them sick.

At that point, you can use a cold water fish food, which is typically high in ingredients like wheat germ, which makes it easier to digest. Above 60° and you can choose a regular food.

heron decoy

Heading Off Stalkers

If your fish are waking up, so is the rest of the wildlife in the neighborhood, and that includes predators. From herons to egrets, raccoons, opossums, skunks and house cats, it can be a wild world out there for a fish!

Don’t wait until you lose a few to lunch. There are tons of ways to thwart predators, like bamboo edging around your pond to keep predators from gaining a foothold or a faux log fish cave to give fish a place to hide when danger is near.

Decoys like herons, alligators, and swans can add a touch of fun to your décor and warn predators away at the same time.

For savvier predators, you may need to take more direct action, like using a “scarecrow.” No, not the straw-stuffed kind, but a small water-spurting mechanism that will spray a startling gush when it senses motion.


Squelching Squidgy Water

Spring algae blooms are not uncommon. Temperatures are rising, fish are becoming active, plants are growing. The ecosystem is changing, and that can give rise to an imbalance as things shift and then settle back into place.

The Aquascape IonGen is a great tool to help you ward off algae blooms and keep your pond clear all season. It’s EPA approved and doesn’t use a single chemical, which means it’s safe for you, your family and pets, pond critters, and the environment. It’s also designed specifically to control the pesky string algae that can wreck havoc with pond health and look pretty icky, too.

Use this system all season – it’s quiet, unobtrusive and energy-efficient – and you’ll have a much easier time maintaining your pond.

pond thermometer

Figuring Out When To Take Maintenance Actions

You know to wait for a certain temperature to feed your fish. You know that cold water bacteria works in certain temperatures. You know that algae happens when the temperature is right.

But if you don’t know the temperature, you’ve got a problem!

If there is one must-have pond product for any season, it’s a water thermometer. Don’t “guess” when it’s time to feed fish, add bacteria, increase oxygenation, or perform any other maintenance task that’s based on water temperature. A simple thermometer will eliminate any potential dilemma that you might face because you simply don’t have the data you need.

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pond dosing system

Wait… Pond Maintenance? What's That?

We get it – you’re busy, life gets in the way, time flies. Do you really have time for another crisis – algae, cloudy water, sluggish fish, super hot days?

In case you were wondering, yes, there is a product for you. The Aquascape automatic pond dosing system has it right there in the name: automatic. This little appliance will add (yes, automatically!) the right dose of water treatments to your pond, and even to your fountains and pondless waterfalls.

Treatments include beneficial bacteria, detoxifiers, clarifiers, and protective elements depending on what your pond needs.

Program the system to dispense the appropriate treatment at the appropriate time and in the appropriate amount for your pond size and you can maintain optimal water quality with minimum effort. It doesn’t get a whole lot easier than that.

pond kit

Having No Pond To Maintain

No need for wailing and gnashing of teeth. If you’re merely dreaming of a pond, that’s a dilemma easily solved with a good shovel and a pond kit!

If you’re the DIY type, or if you’re looking for a fun weekend project to do with the family (it can be done, we promise!) then try your hand at a pond  or pondless waterfall kit.

These kits come with all the equipment and instructions you need to be successful. Just add water – and your choice of stone, fish, and plants – and you’ve got yourself a project you can be proud of and a water feature you can enjoy for seasons to come.

Maintaining a pond requires some TLC, but it doesn’t have to be hard. There are plenty of products designed to keep your pond healthy and make it easy to do. If you have questions about your pond or want recommendations for products to fit your specific needs, get in touch with us at our pond shop. Our pros will help you make the right choices for a gorgeous and healthy spring season.

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