Aquatic expert Dan Everton has this advice on how to maintain your pond during November, when the days are short, frost threatens and leaves are falling from the trees.
Although slightly disappointing at the moment, the summer may well heat up over August, and Dan Everton says this is a time when you must keep checking the health of your pond and aquatic plants.
Some pondkeepers like to encourage a thoroughly natural look, however for those of us who prefer a neater apperance August is a good month to tidy any marginal plants by cutting back summer growth.
Approaching the end of the season, leaves will start yellowing. Remove them together with any fading flowers. This will prevent the dying foliage falling into the pond, rotting and causing water quality problems.
To break down any blanket weed, you can choose one of a number of water treatments that will solve a range of problems or add barley straw either in the form of pellets, a bale (best located near a fountain or at the base of a waterfall) or as an extract.
Barley straw does take longer than alternative chemical treatments to start working but will last for around six months and doesn't remove oxygen from the water.
Oxygen levels are critically important and in August they may be very low, if you see your fish gasping for air then this is a tell-tale sign that the water needs oxygenating.
A pond air pump can also be installed that sits outside the pond with a pipe and air stone(s) going into the pond and this simply pumps oxygen directly into the water. An OxyTex CWS will supply oxygen and, through its unique bio-technical fibre structure, has lots of surface area to accommodate important micro organisms that effectively decompose excess nutrients.
Finally, it's always a good idea at regular intervals to check the health of your pond with a test kit.
This will tell you whether for example there is an excess of ammonia or nitrite, high levels of which will kill fish; nitrates that will result in algae problems; and the water's acidity / alkalinity.
Once these levels are discovered, appropriate action can be taken to rectify any problems.
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