Home > Maintaining Your Pond > Spring Pond Maintenance

Spring Pond Maintenance

By: Dr Gareth Evans - Updated: 3 Oct 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Clarifiers Filters Pumps Sludge Leaves

As the pond begins to wake up after its winter sleep a few simple jobs done at this end of the year should help get things off to a flying start as the weather warms up. Equipment which has lain unused since the autumn needs to be prepared for the new season and the pond itself will probably benefit from a few final touches before things get underway in earnest.

Spring is also one of the most difficult times for fish, which have been dormant throughout the cold and now need to adjust to the quickening rhythm of life as the water warms up. However, bacteria and parasites will also be present in the water and will themselves be starting to become more active, which can pose a threat of disease, particularly to any fish which have been weakened by the strain of over-wintering. In addition to the routine seasonal maintenance, the fish-keeper also needs to keep a particularly vigilant look-out at this time of year for the first signs of illness.

Clarifiers, Filters and Pumps

With spring comes the return of the green water threat, so the pond’s ultra violet clarifier needs to be brought back into operation to counter the algae which cause it. As the UV bulb ages, its efficiency drops and less UV radiation is produced, so it needs to be replaced ideally each year. Spring is a good time to do this, since the clarification effect is most needed in the opening few months of the season, when the likelihood of algal blooms is at its highest. When changing the bulb, it is a good idea to check that the quartz tube it sits in is free of deposits or lime-scale – a dirty tube will also cut down the amount of UV hitting the algae.

Cleaning the bio-filter is another job for this time of year, paying particular attention to shifting any old sludge that has settled, so it does not get recycled back into the pond once you turn the pump back on. Be sure to use pond water or rainwater to wash the filter, rather than tap water, to avoid introducing chlorine and other unwanted chemicals into the system.If possible, it is often a good idea to try to time things so that you can run the filter for a week or two before the weather really starts to warm up and the fish become active, allowing the numbers of beneficial filter bacteria to build up.

If your autumn or winter maintenance did not include removing the pump, now is the time to lift it and clean it up – externally and internally – to ensure that the pre-filter unit is clear, the intake is not blocked and that the impellor is not fouled so that it can rotate freely.

The Pond

If large numbers of leaves have found their way into the pond or a thick layer of sludge is sitting on the bottom, it is worth either hiring a pond-vac or using a wide-bore tube as a siphon, to suck up the deposits and dispose of them, to avoid storing up problems for later. Left alone, this material will begin to decompose as the warmth brings increased bacterial activity – leading to the possibility of excess nutrients to drive algal growth, not to mention depleting the dissolved oxygen in the water. Although ponds generally look very clear at this time of year, testing the water before everything really begins to get going will give you a better idea of what sort of condition it is in and also alert you to any potential problems before they become significant.

Finally, once the danger of frost is passed, delicate plants which were removed from the pond or bog garden for the winter can be returned and any plants which need dividing should now be split and replanted in suitable baskets, using a good, low-nutrient pond compost.

With all the season’s routine maintenance out of the way, you can safely settle back and wait for the temperature to slowly rise and hopefully begin to reap the rewards of you efforts as the new growing season gets underway.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Davo
    Re: Your Top Pond Questions Answered
    Why do i have continual white froth on top of my small patio pond. I have now only got 3 very old goldfish left in it The…
    23 September 2017
  • fishy
    Re: Raised Ponds
    hi ive built a raised pond, the top edge is perfectly level but the one end is lower than the other buy at least a couple of inches... will this mean…
    23 September 2017
  • Puzzled
    Re: Your Top Pond Questions Answered
    We have just cleaned out, relined and filled a garden pond which was filthy and leaking (we moved into this house a year…
    20 September 2017
  • PondExpert
    Re: Choosing the Right Fish for Your Pond
    Bill - Your Question:What fish will not eat frog spawn or tadpoles Our Response:We don't know of
    12 September 2017
  • Bill
    Re: Choosing the Right Fish for Your Pond
    what fish will not eat frog spawn or tadpoles
    10 September 2017
  • Linjay
    Re: Fish Diseases and Ailments
    Like Lyndy 2Jun Our fish are dying with no visible signs of anything wrong. The water is clear, ph fine, Any ideas what could be…
    3 September 2017
  • johno
    Re: Digging Your Pond
    good morning all, hopefully someone can advise me on my issue filling a preformed pond I have dug the hole, packed with sand at the bottom,…
    29 August 2017
  • talora
    Re: Aerating Your Pond
    I want to use "Paddle Wheel Aerator" in my small pond. May I put my queries?
    25 August 2017
  • lindyloo
    Re: Choosing the Right Fish for Your Pond
    shkenny your stickleback is a male making a nest to attract a mate for breeding. as the female lays the eggs in the…
    18 August 2017
  • kev1
    Re: What Could be the Reason for all the Fish Dying?
    if you have water lilies and they are overcrowded they are also like a jungle below the water line fish…
    2 August 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the PondExpert website. Please read our Disclaimer.