Getting Ready For Spring

spring1The snow is melting, the birds are chirping, and the sun that you have been missing has finally decided to show its face. Perhaps you live in the Southern states and you’ re just happy that the temperature is starting to rise again. Either way, you may want to give your pond a fresh start by giving it a spring clean-out. Spring algae blooms occur because of excess nutrients and deficient amounts of beneficial bacteria. In a clean-out, the stale pond water is replaced with fresh, clean water that is ready for bacterial colonization. Spring clean-outs replenish the water in a pond and allow it to begin a fresh, new season. Since a balanced pond ecosystem keeps the pond healthy the rest of the year, an annual clean-out gets it off to the right start. Ideally, you would start your spring clean-out early in the spring before the water temperature creeps up above 55° F. At this temperature, your pond hasn’ t begun it’ s annual balance, and the fish are not as active so the clean-out won’ t be so stressful to them.
Every pond is different, and some ponds do not require an annual clean-out. Spring clean-outs are recommended annually for most Northern ponds because of the debris that can build up over the winter. If your pond is larger than 2,000 square feet, it might only need a clean-out every few years. And larger ponds may never need a complete clean-out because any impurities present are minimal compared to the volume of water in the pond. The larger the pond, the easier it is to maintain (just like a fish tank).
Because they are able to bacterial life year-round, ponds in the South may not require a full annual clean-out. A partial clean-out, where the filter media is cleaned and a 20 percent water change is done, may prove to be beneficial for the entire system. Every two to three years may be sufficient for a full pond clean-out.
The best way to tell whether your pond needs to be cleaned out? If the water looks the same in the early spring as it did the previous summer, it’ s probably okay to skip the clean-out.
Now it’ s time to roll up your sleeves, put your waders on, and get ready to clean out your pond!

Source: (C) 2006 Pond Lifestyles