Seasonal Pond Care
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.
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 ( JBL PondEnergil ) and a vitaminization of 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 all 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 ( JBL Oxygen Test O2 and JBL PondOxi-Set ). 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 Koi 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 leaf fall the water pollution with organic substances increases.
- 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 hearty and varied food in this phase to increase their resistance and to create reserves of strength. 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 resistance of the fish.
- Leaf fall into the pond can be significantly reduced by using netting or can be counteracted by mechanically taking out of leaves. If lots of leaves have accumulated, helps JBL SediEx Pond (bacteria & oxygen).
Although the pond is dormant in the cold season you nevertheless should pay attention to a few basic things:
- 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 an easy digestible food which also doesn’t stay long in the digestive tract of the fish during the low temperatures (e.g. JBL PondEnergil ) or JBL Koi Energil midi .
- If ponds are less than 150 cm in depth they may completely freeze. With an ice-free device and a specific aeration under the device (JBL PondOxi-Set) 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 needs to be kept in the deeper regions where the fish can then survive the winter.
- The water supply into the deep zone of the pond is essential. Because of the stratification of the water the use of an aeration system is not suitable, the application of JBL OxyPond is a measure for the oxygen enrichment in the deep zone.