Summer is here and it is time for barbecues, family trips, and fun in the sun. Ponds in the summer are a bit of a different story. They are experiencing high nutrient loads and too much sun. Here is your guide to combat these problems and get back to all of the fun activities you have planned.
During the warmest months of the year photosynthesis is thriving and causing all sorts of growth. This is great for your marginals and lilies, but the growth happening at a microscopic level could become harmful to your water balance and clarity. Here are a few tips to help you combat extra nutrient loads.
- Use a beneficial bacteria – beneficial bacteria competes for the same food source as harmful bacteria and does not negatively affect your water clarity.
- Use UV technology – UV bulbs expose algae to a type of light that breaks down algae cells before they are able to grow and turn your water green.
- Do not overfeed your fish – Fish are active moving and growing in summer and it is hard not to overindulge in feeding time with them. Extra food during feeding however will just rot in the water adding to poor nutrient loads. Be attentive during feeding times to not feed more than what they can eat in a couple of minutes. Plus, if fish get hungry between regular feedings they can much on nutrient loads found in the water. Win, win!
If you follow along with us year round, you notice that aeration seems to be a part of maintenance tips throughout the year. This is true, but why aeration is important year round looks a little different throughout the year.
- Oxygen levels can be depleted as you treat for unwanted bacteria in the water, so it is good to have extra oxygen particularly in summer months when algae and other high nutrient loads are being treated for.
- Oxygen levels in water fluctuate more in changing temperatures. If you live in an area that experiences hot days and mild nights throughout summer you can feel the relief daily at nightfall with temperatures. The same thing is happening in the water and can greatly impact fish. Harsh sunlight impacts water temperatures particularly at the surface while water at the bottom stays cooler. The paradox is that the highest oxygen levels are at the surface while the cooler, more comfortable temperatures for fish are at the base of the pond. Use aeration in summer to mix water for cooler temperatures throughout and adding additional oxygen. You can create this effect with a waterfall, aerator, or nozzle kit.
Providing shade to your pond can also help with both slowing down photosynthesis happening in your pond and providing cooler water temperatures. You can achieve more shade a few different ways.
- If the placement of your pond has a shadow cast on it by a tree or a building for the warmest parts of the day, that helps.
- If you have pond plants that cover part of the surface of your water, they will provide shade and cooler temperatures for your water.
- You can use Pond Blue to tint the water a beautiful shade of blue which will repel UV light like a pair of sunglass keeping the water nice and cool.
Bonus Summer Tips
Test your water regularly to determine if water treatments or partial water changes are needed.
If you have UV technology at work in your pond and have not changed the UV bulb this year, do so before the hottest days of the summer to stop green water before it starts.
If your water has gotten to the point of green water or even string algae, you can use a pond vacuum to quickly and easily restore water balance and beauty back to your pond.