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The Top 6 Pond Maintenance FAQs, and Answers to Them

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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 12:28 am    Post subject: The Top 6 Pond Maintenance FAQs, and Answers to Them Reply with quote

The Top 6 Pond Maintenance FAQs, and Answers to Them.
By Henry Jones

1. Q - How much time should I expect to spend each week maintaining the pond?

A - During the pond season (the summer) you should expect to spend five to ten minutes each week between emptying debris from the skimmer, and topping off the pond (accommodating for natural evaporation).
This of course presumes that you've covered the bases as far as creating a naturally balanced ecosystem.

2. Q - How about maintenance time in autumn? Does it increase?

A - Definitely. When the leaves a blowing hither and yon, many of them will naturally find their way into your pond.
That means you will be emptying the skimmer basket at least once a day (maybe twice) instead of once a week, so your maintenance time will increase in the autumn.

3. Q - How about in the spring? Does that change things?

A - The one maintenance event of the year for most pond lovers, is spring clean out.
And whether you're a died in the wool do it yourselfer, or you hire it done, a properly done spring cleanout that includes draining the pond, catching and housing the fish safely, power washing the pond, filling it back up, and allowing the fish to re-acclimatize, it generally takes the better part of four hours.
The good news is that it happens only once a year.

4. Q - While we're at it, what about maintenance in the winter?

A - Unless you're in a climate that's warm all year around, you'll probably be shutting your pond down in the winter.
That requires you to put a surface agitating bubbler in the pond in order to keep a hole in the ice, allowing for gasses to be exchanged.
You may even want to use a complimentary pond heater in case of a real cold winter. One way or the other, most of your winter maintenance time is spent looking out the window and assuring yourself that the pond hasn't frozen over, and your fish are still hibernating.

5. Q - Is feeding the fish considered part of pond maintenance?

A - No, it's not.
Since most people get a kick out of feeding the fish, we always consider it a recreation.
Fish feeding should take no more than a couple minutes per day, unless you choose to spend more.

6. Q - Since keeping a pond in balance allows Mother Nature to do most of the real maintenance work, what's required to have a balanced pond?

A - You must have an appropriate amount of fish (1 inch of fish for each square foot of pond surface), aquatic plants (they should cover about 40% of the pond's surface), and plenty of aerobic bacteria to break down debris and transform it into usable plant nutrition.
Follow that recipe and your maintenance headaches will be minimized, and your relaxation time will be increased.

Henry Jones is a writer, a freelance archeologist, and a professional pond builder whose blog, aims to fill the water gardening community with good information in place of bad.

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