Pond Maintenance

“Installing a small water garden or pond has been a home landscaping trend for the past several years, but homeowners should be aware that maintaining an aquatic environment means more than filling a tub and tossing in some fish. The root of all evil in a garden pond is excess algae, and the key to controlling algae is controlling nutrients. The most common nutrients are nitrogen compounds and phosphorus, which are the main ingredients in lawn fertilizer.”

Photo by http://www.ozwatergardens.com.au/

No pond is totally maintenance free.

If you have a well designed pond with a low maintenance filtration system you may only need 10 to 15 minutes, once or twice a month.

Ideally a full pond clean should be done as infrequently as possible. Full clean outs mean that you need to start all over again and it takes time to establish a natural ecological balance in the pond.

Partial water changes, of about 10%, can help to freshen things up and gives an opportunity to siphon out some of the pond debris.

THE 5 KEYS TO ESTABLISHING AN ECOLOGICAL BALANCE….

  1. Choose plants from each of the 5 Pond Zones (see Zone Map) to create a well balanced selection.
  2. Don’t add more fish than your pond and filter will support and don’t over feed your fish.
  3. Choose the right pump to circulate the pond water.
  4. Choose the right skimmer and biological filtration system.
  5. Lots of rocks and pebbles to create a habitat for beneficial bacteria.

PREVENTATIVE POND MAINTENANCE

Preventative pond maintenance is generally better than a full overhaul. Oz Watergardens has not only the set benchmark as a producer of waterlilies and pond plants, but we also help people with their pond maintenance and can also overhaul those that are out of control.

WHY CLEAN?

  • Build up of leaves.
  • Build up of silt and mud.
  • Invasion of weeds.
  • Over grown plants.
  • Plants turn yellow and die.
  • Smelly water.
  • Fish start to die.

SOME OF THE KEY STEPS TO A FULL POND MAINTENANCE /OVERHAUL.

Plants

Depending on the plants you may need to remove them from the pond. Waterlilies have their leaves supported by the water and need to have their stems supported as you lift, to avoid breakages.

Store the plants in temporary buckets, or in a shady position to prevent them drying out.

Over grown plants can be cut back and divided just like many other perennials.

Re-pot the more vigorous new shoots of the divided plants.

Place some newspaper in the base to prevent soil falling out the drainage holes of your

container.

Use a heavy Loam soil, not a sandy soil. We mix some of the Oz Watergardens Aquatic planting mix in as it holds onto nutrients and helps to keep it in the plants root zone rather than leaching out into the pond water where the algae grows.

Fertilise with some Oz Watergardens slow release fertiliser tablets placed in the soil.

Position the plant in the centre of the container and back fill with soil to keep it in place.

Top dress the soil with some decorative pebbles so that the fish can’t dislodge the plant and muddy up the pond.

Be considerate of the environment by disposing of the excess plant material safely and not allowing it to become a weed in our waterways.

Read more: http://www.ozwatergardens.com.au/pond-maintenance

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