Spring - summer - autumn and winter
Here’s how to maintain your pond through all the seasons of the year
The 4 seasons at a glance
What maintenance do you need?
Let’s give some thought to the seasons. This will save you problems and often money, too! Maintenance carried out in one season can have a serious impact in the following season!
In spring two processes happen at once: On the one hand the water temperatures rise and the fish start to become active after the winter. Then it is essential to choose the right food for low temperatures ( Spring ) with an addition of vitamins to the food ( JBL Atvitol ), to strengthen the resistance of the animals. This is the only way of effectively preventing diseases, such as spring viraemia.
On the other hand the many nutrients dissolved in the water (nitrates, but even more phosphates) result in burgeoning algae growth as soon as the solar radiation increases. The shade provided by the water plants and other vegetation around the pond is still missing. This means that spring is usually the last chance of the year to bind the nutrients and thus deprive the food source of the emerging algae (e.g. JBL PhosEX Pond Direct ).
At the same time the monitoring of the water quality (carbonate hardness) is strongly advised because rain falls strongly dilute the mineral content and this leads to very soft water. Check the carbonate hardness either with the JBL PROAQUATEST KH Carbonate hardness , PROSCAN or with the JBL PROAQUATEST POND Check pH/KH , in order to find out how stable your water is after the wintertime.
In summer three situations arise at the same time: Firstly, due to rising temperatures in the water, the oxygen content drops, and aeration can become necessary. By the way, aeration is not only essential for the fish, but also for the bacteria which break down pollutants. The high water temperatures mean pond fish need an easily digestible food ( Summer ). Strong thunderstorms in summer with heavy rainfalls decrease the water hardness drastically and your pond water is not stable anymore. With JBL StabiloPond KH you can re-stabilize your water and prevent high fluctuations of the pH level.
In autumn several factors have to be considered: To prevent losses, the fish have to be prepared for the wintertime. Due to the falling leaves the water is increasingly burdened with organic substances. Water plants and algae die slowly and move into their winter phase. In doing so, they release the nutrients stored in their tissue into the water. This creates the basis for the following year’s algae growth. Autumn and early winter (before the start of the frost period) are the ideal times to remove nutrients from the pond water (to really get them out of the water system). These are the only times when the algae promoting nutrients are really free inside the water and not bound to the algae. The absorption of nutrients in autumn is vital for the coming year and should happen over JBL PhosEX Pond Filter (nutrient export), alternatively through JBL PhosEX Pond Direct . The fish need to eat nourishing and varied food in this phase to increase their resilience and to create reserves of strength for the winter break Autumn . Sickness in fish in springtime is very often caused by insufficient strengthening for the winter. A vitamin supplement every 2 day to the food ( JBL Atvitol ) significantly increases the resilience of the fish. Leaf fall into the pond can be significantly reduced by using netting or can be counteracted by taking out the leaves by mechanical means. If lots of leaves have accumulated, JBL SediEx Pond helps (bacteria & oxygen).
Although the pond is dormant in the cold season you should still pay attention to a few basics: Not every winter is extremely cold and “warm” periods can occur where fish become active and want food. In these phases it is important and recommended you feed the fish, but only with a specific and an easy digestible food which also doesn’t stay long in the digestive tract of the fish during the low temperatures ( Winter ). If ponds are less than 180 cm in depth they may completely freeze. With an ice-free device and a specific aeration ( JBL PondOxi-Set ) under the device you can usually prevent the pond from freezing all the way to the bottom. If a pump is in operation it should NOT be placed at the deepest point because it would mix all the water layers. But a water temperature of 4 °C MUST be maintained in the deeper regions where the fish can then survive the winter.
The seasons according to the earth’s latitude
Different seasons require different care. This is the case in Central Europe at least. But even in countries where there are no cold winters with minus temperatures, factors like rainy seasons, dry seasons or perhaps a summer with particularly high temperatures all play a decisive role for the garden pond.
Mediterranean region and subtropics
Generally the seasons in Mediterranean regions don’t differ significantly to those in the temperate climate zones, except that the summers are much warmer and drier (winter rainfall areas) and in winter periods of heavy frosts are quite rare. The most important differences concern the summer and winter months.
In summer two situations arise at the same time: Firstly the oxygen content drops due to rising temperatures in the water and aeration can become necessary.
By the way, aeration is not only essential for the fish, but also for the bacteria which break down pollutants. The high water temperatures make an easily digestible food necessary for the pond fish ( Summer ).
Rainfall is common in winter. Periods of frost are possible but are rarer, don’t last as long, and are more moderate compared to those in temperate areas.
Winter rainfall drastically decreases the water hardness and your pond water is no longer stable. With JBL StabiloPond KH you can re-stabilize your water and prevent high fluctuations of the pH level.
If the water temperature drops to under 15 °C, switch over to low temperature food ( Winter ), because fish digest much slower at low temperatures and it isn’t good if the food is in the digestive tract too long.
Tropics and desert countries
In these countries, seasons look different than in Central Europe. They are usually divided roughly into the rainy season and the dry season.
In the dry season / summer three situations arise at the same time: Firstly the oxygen content drops as a result of rising temperatures in the water and aeration can become necessary.
Aeration is not only important for the fish, but also for the pollutant-degrading bacteria.
The high water temperatures make an easily digestible food necessary for the pond fish ( Summer ).
After intense water evaporation, mineral containing tap water is usually used as a top-up. Because only pure water (H2O) evaporates, leaving the minerals behind in the residual water, it’s better to check that the mineral content hasn’t increased too much ( JBL PROAQUATEST GH General hardness ).
In the rainy season, the situation reverses: A lot of demineralised rainwater is supplied to the pond during strong rainfall. In fact this occurs in such quantities that it results in a complete water change within a very short time and the mineral content falls to a dangerously low level. The monitoring of the general hardness and carbonate hardness ( JBL PROAQUATEST GH General hardness and JBL PROAQUATEST KH Carbonate hardness ) is then essential, and appropriate re-dosings of JBL StabiloPond Basis will need to be carried out.