Summer can be a challenging time for pond and water feature enthusiasts. Rising temperatures can affect the health of your plants, animals, and bacteria in the water. Further increase in temperature can cause oxygen levels to fall drastically, forcing your fish to come very close to the surface to get fresh air. Here are some tips to keep your pond cool and create a healthy environment for different life forms in it.
Shade Your Pond
One of the best ways to keep your pond cool is by limiting its exposure to UV light. To create natural shade for your pond, add plants with large circular shaped leaves that block out the sun. Typical examples include water hyacinth, water lilies, and parrots feather. These plants also produce oxygen. Alternatively, use a small porch umbrella or shade covering to block out the sun.
Change the Water Frequently
Some fish struggle to survive in water above 80 degrees. Daily water changes of 10% of your water volume is optimum to provide fresh clean and aerated water to your ponds water column.
Avoid Overfeeding Your Fish
There is a reason why pond builders recommend against overfeeding fish in summer. When you overfeed your fish, the left food can decay quickly, resulting in elevated ammonia levels in the water. Ammonia is toxic to fish. If the ammonia concentration in your pond gets too high, your fish will get lethargic and may eventually die. The added nutrient waste to the pond will also help cause algae blooms.
Also, plants and beneficial bacteria go into overdrive in summer. They have to work hard to produce oxygen and prepare food for themselves.
The best way to address this problem is by feeding your fish just once a day in summer. This is enough to keep your fish content as they will also feed on algae that grow in your pond.
Think About Pond Aeration
Oxygen levels are lower in hot water. This can result in the death of fish and aquatic plants. One way to address this problem is by aerating your pond. While many pond enthusiasts add plants to aerate ponds, be informed that plants compete with fish for oxygen at night.
A better way to aerate your pond is by installing a waterfall. Waterfalls filter water and inject dissolved oxygen into it. When the water from a waterfall comes in contact with the air, it becomes cooler. Plus, a beautiful waterfall can improve the aesthetic value of your pond.
Do Not Let the Water in Your Pond Stagnate
Stagnant water heats up quickly. To circulate your pond water, add a small jet, or use a bubbler to move the water around. Check your water feature regularly to make sure it is working properly, and all the water is being pushed through it.
Always run your pond pump(s) 24/7 to aerate, cool, and feed your beneficial bacteria with vital oxygen.
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