Spring, summer, autumn and winter. For each season there is a different maintenance to follow and various aspects to consider. There are only a few simple points needed to keep your pond clear and algae-free the whole year round. We’ll talk about these in the following.
In spring two processes happen at once:
On the one hand the water temperature rises and the fish start to become active after the winter. Then it is essential to choose the right food for low temperatures ( JBL PROPOND SPRING M and add extra vitamins to the food ( JBL Atvitol ), to strengthen the resistance of the animals, which is the only measure to effectively prevent disease problems, 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 almost the last chance in the year to bind the nutrients and thus deprive the food source of the emerging algae (eg. 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 KH Test or with the JBL PondCheck , in order to find out how stable your water is after the wintertime.
In summer three 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 ( JBL PROPOND SUMMER M ).
Strong thunderstorms in summer with heavy rainfalls decrease the water hardness drastically and your pond water is no longer stable. With JBL StabiloPond KH you can re-stabilize your water and prevent high fluctuations of pH level.
In autumn several factors have to be considered:
To prevent losses, fish have to be prepared for the wintertime. Due to leaf fall, water pollution with organic substances increases. Aquatic plants and algae die slowly in the winter phase and release the stored nutrients back into the water. This creates the ideal conditions for the algae in the coming year. Autumn and early winter (before the start of the frost period) are the ideal times to remove nutrients from the pond water (to get them out of the water system for good!). 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 water should be filtered though JBL PhosEX Pond Filter (nutrient export) or alternatively treat the pond with JBL PhosEx Pond Direct .
Fish need to eat hearty and varied food in this phase to increase their resistance and to create reserves ( JBL PROPOND AUTUMN M ). Sickness in fish in springtime is very often caused by insufficient building up for the winter. The addition of a vitamin supplement every 2 days to the food ( JBL Atvitol ) significantly increases the resistance of the fish.Leaf fall into the pond can be significantly reduced by using netting or can be counteracted by mechanically removal out the leaves. If lots of leaves have accumulated, then applying JBL SediEx Pond (bacteria & oxygen) will help.
Although the pond is dormant in the cold season you nevertheless should pay attention to a few basic factors:
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 to feed the fish, but only with a specific and easily digestible food which also mustn’t stay long in the digestive tract of the fish during the low temperatures ( JBL PROPOND WINTER M ).
If ponds are less than 150 cm in depth they may freeze over completely. With an ice-free device and a specific aeration 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. A water temperature of 4 °C needs to be kept in the deeper zones in order for the fish to survive the winter.