Adding a water feature to your backyard is a great way to create a peaceful space or include a natural swimming and fishing hole. Many people opt to include ponds in their backyards for exactly these reasons. One thing some homeowners forget about, though, is that just like your yard, a pond requires regular maintenance. If you plan on keeping up your pond yourself, there are a few things you should do to keep it in great shape and avoid losing any wildlife you may have stocking in it.
Keeping It Clean
The first step in pond management is keeping your water and the land around it clean. You want to make sure you clean your pond weekly to remove any leaves or debris that have fallen in the water. You can approach this similarly to cleaning a pool with a skimmer or get a rake to pull rotting leaves off the bottom.
You also want to monitor the plant life surrounding your pond. Weeds will love the moist banks of your water feature, but can be damaging to the ecosystem within or invite critters like mice and snakes to hide in them. Be sure to keep the plants surrounding your pond neatly trimmed and pull up anything you didn’t plant yourself. You also want to keep up with any vines growing in your water, as these can take over the surface and restrict sunlight for things under the surface.
Controlling the Environment
Especially in cold climates, ice in the winter is a serious concern for your pond. If ice forms over the surface of the water, the water below can drop significantly in temperature and not accumulate enough oxygen to support your fish. Try floating a de-icer ball in your pond in winter time or treating the water with wildlife safe de-icer to keep the surface from becoming solid.
You also want to look out for algae growth in your pond. Algae can upset the pH balance in your water and be toxic for the fish who live there. It’s easy for algae to get out of hand because it feeds off the sunlight, so as soon as you see any starting to grow, treat it with the right chemicals to make sure it doesn’t take over your pond.
Ponds can be wonderful backyard water features, but they also require regular upkeep to stay healthy and beautiful year round.