|How to maintain and look after a healthy pond|
1. If you are having problems with overgrowing aquatic plants then instead of applying harmful herbicides consider purchasing a grass carp instead. Grass carp will readily consume most types of rooted aquatic weeds living up to about 7 years. Given the length of time that they will control your weeds for, this works out to be relatively inexpensive when compared to chemical controls. A general guide is to stock anywhere between 1 and 3 fish depending on the size of the pond.
2. Although it’s tempting to clean out your pond during the summer months, this kind of disruption when oxygen levels are at their most temperamental can do more harm than good - particularly when combined with the temperature shock induced by refilling from the far colder garden tap. Cleaning your pond is recommended yearly during spring or autumn.
3. The importance of feeding your fish a good quality food is paramount to the health of your pond. Foods high in wheat germ are easily digested by your fish when compared to those high in animal protein. This reduces the waste produced by the fish making it easier for your filter to cope with the job in hand. Always check the ingredients on the fish food packaging.
4. Maintain your filters according to manufacturer's instructions. All types of pond filters will require some maintenance whether it is 'recharging' nitrogen absorbing zeolites or rinsing out biological filters. Poorly maintained or neglected filter systems are of little use and can have a severe impact on the quality of your pond water.
5. Replace UV filters at the recommended intervals. These specialized tubes emit ultraviolet radiation within a specific spectrum that is used to destroy algal plants cells as they pass through its light. As the bulb ages it is unable to maintain the intensity of radiation required to do the job and eventually the algal plant cells can pass through undamaged. Unfortunate to us, the light will still look as though it is working as it will be 'on', but filter systems designed to be used with UV lights are not usually able to cope on their own and so the water can quality begin to turn if the bulbs are past their best.
Main image credit - Arden https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en
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