March Pond Maintenance« Previous Article Next Article »
As the temperature starts to pick back up it’s a great time to get back outside and start work on your pond. It's still early before algae blooms it’s ideal to prepare for the year ahead.
One of the most important jobs is to replace your pond UV lamp, this is because the UV output will only last around 6-9 months of continuous use, the reason we don’t tell you to change it sooner is because it is only required when it’s very sunny outside as this is what creates green water. Never look at working UV lamps though as this will damage your eyes.
Don't Forget Your Quartz
Whilst you are changing your UV lamp it’s also advisable to remove the quartz sleeve, this is the glass tube which goes over the lamp to stop water getting to it. This is because algae and lime scale can fuse onto the quartz and if left untamed will coat it preventing the light from penetrating it and killing green water algae. This is also one of the most common cases of peoples UV clarifiers not clearing the pond, after a faulty or aged UV bulb. If the lime scale or algae cannot be removed, then it's best to have purchase a replacement quartz sleeve.
As you are taking apart your UV unit or filter it would also be an ideal time to replace any seals, usually available in service kits or as seals kits themselves, you want to replace these because over time they tend to become hardened and brittle, not doing their job and allowing water into the unit, damaging it.
Divide up your marginal plants which have grown and become overcrowded, this will give them space to bloom this year with ease, and it’s also a good time to top the gravel on them back up to prevent fish from digging up the plants.
It’s also a good time to start buying your hessian liners, pond baskets and compost before they sell out of aquatic centres when the busy season begins. Always try to prevent any compost from falling into the pond when you are doing this, the fertilisers in compost will feed algae and it will bloom more than ever.
If you haven’t already, remove netting which has been used to prevent leaves falling into the pond, if you use a cover net year round to protect against predators then our advice would be to use a different one or purchase a new one, this is because of the cold weather during the winter may have made the netting become brittle.
Fish Food and Tonic Salt
If the temperatures have picked up then you can start to feed your fish, if they’re still slightly cold but the fish are eating then feed wheatgerm as it is easier for them to digest. Due to their digestive system shutting down or slowing down during the winter your fish will be weak and so will their immune system so it’s a good idea to dose the pond with tonic salt to give them a boost and feed them little but often.
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