Summer is the prettiest time for your garden pond, provided you have a handle on algae growth and the water quality.
Garden ponds thrive during the summer months. Plants are blooming, dragonflies are zipping along the water and birds are stopping by to cool off. Right now, the water is particularly rich in nutrients, which facilitates the growth of algae. This is not a problem, up to a certain point. Filamentous algae cleans the water and positively affects the equilibrium in the pond by doing so. However, the situation becomes critical if the algae gets out of control and tangles up the other plants in the pond. Fortunately, there is an easy solution: You can easily fish out filamentous algae and duckweed from the water with a net to keep them from spreading. If the pond is already heavily overgrown or full of floating algae, you can also use a UV water steriliser or a filamentous algae killer.
But excess algae isn’t the only classic summer problem to worry about – your pond is also at risk of oxygen deficiency. You can avoid this by keeping the water in motion using pumps, small streams, fountains or waterfalls, which also happen to restrict the growth of algae. Strategically planting the pond in spring allows you to take early precautions. Underwater plants have a proven positive effect on the balance of oxygen and also like to consume nutrients. They also limit the growth of algae.
Conduct regular tests
A threatening, negative development in the pond can’t always be seen right away. This is why you have to check the water quality and water temperature regularly in summer. Pay attention to the pH value, carbonate hardness, and the overall hardness. The pH value should be between 6.5 and 8.5° KH and the lime content of the water may not sink to below 5° KH, ideally registering at 6-8° KH. If you keep fish in your pond, you also need to check the ammonia and nitrite levels on a regular basis. Quick test kits from a specialty store are the easiest option. It is best to use a drop test when testing for ammonia.
If the values aren’t right, you can use a water conditioning agent. If the water temperature is higher than 28° Celsius (depending on the species of fish already as high as 22° Celsius), you will need to cool the pond with cold tap water. You will also need to top up the pond if the pond’s water level has dropped following a longer heat spell. An alternative to tap water is rain water. The best way to collect it is to set up a rain barrel. It’s not a good idea to use the first rain after a long dry period, however, as too many pollutants are contained in the water.
Checklist for pond care
• Regularly fish out filamentous algae and duckweed
• Remove dead flowers and leaves
• Regularly check the water temperature and water values
• Check the water level and top up if necessary
• Keep the water moving with pumps, small streams, fountains or waterfalls
• Every two days, check that the filter or pump is functioning
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