In some areas, tourists flock to the countryside every year to take in the colors of fall foliage. While these falling leaves can be quite beautiful, they can also do incredible damage to a backyard pond, in three major ways:
- An excessive amount of leaves can clog up a pond skimmer.
- They could wind up suffocating pond fish and other aquatic life.
- They provide the nutrients needed for algae to thrive and bloom out of control when temperatures start to warm up.
This year, prevent these three disasters by taking a few basic steps during your routine fall pond maintenance.
Check Skimmers Regularly
First of all, since pond skimmers are often clogged by falling leaves, it is good to check and clean your pond skimmer at least three times a week. You might also find that you need to use a wet vacuum or a net to clean up the pond surface and help lighten the skimmer’s workload.
Install a Leaf Net
As leaves decay in the water, they lower the level of dissolved oxygen and could even end up suffocating koi and other fish. Certain types of leaves, such as oak, even release toxins into the water which can poison fish and other animals, so when it comes to koi pond maintenance, a leaf net is often the best solution for autumn foliage. A leaf net is simply netting which is suspended over the pond to catch leaves before they hit the water.
Remove Debris from the Bottom of the Pond
As leaves decay, they will turn into a sludge which sinks to the bottom of the pond. This is where nutrients that support algae will be found. Use a long-handled pond net to scoop out that muck as part of your backyard pond maintenance routine. If you use a sludge remover water treatment or vacuum, this work will be much easier.