Man-made ponds certainly add beauty to any landscaping job, with the element of water being a relaxing sight, as it provides a nice break from the monotony of green grass and plants.
However, know that they need care like grass that needs cutting. Ponds, especially man-made ones, require your attention as well, otherwise, it’s going to have a negative net effect on your landscaping.
Here are some basic dos and don’ts in ensuring that your ponds are well taken care of.
1) DON’T: Perform maintenance all by yourself.
INSTEAD, DO: Hire the pros from time to time. It’s okay to do the basic maintenance tasks by yourself sometimes, but, there are jobs that are just too big for the hobbyist—and that’s where pros come in.
Occasionally, recruit pros who can take care of problems such as algae blooms and set up a proper sludge removal system, as these guys have the scientific know-how when it comes to treating ponds. You’ll be able to learn from their expertise as well, and they’ll teach you about the most efficient algae removal products too.
2) DON’T: Forget that these ponds and lakes are small ecosystems.
INSTEAD, DO: Remember that you’ll need to assist it in ensuring that it has proper ecological balance. You can do so by adding beneficial bacteria, which may increase water quality and reduce the presence of high levels of problematic nutrients such as phosphates and nitrates.
Natural phosphate binders also help control the spread of phosphates that promote an overgrowth of algae, and this is an effective algae removal system.
3) DON’T: Let the pond suffocate.
INSTEAD, DO: Set your pond up for proper aeration, as this helps beneficial bacteria to flourish, and allows fish and other aquatic life to be healthy.
Proper aeration also helps minimize the presence of disease-causing microbes from taking over the pond, and enhances the efficacy of algae removal products.
4) DON’T: Forget to help the pond to adapt to changing seasons.
INSTEAD, DO: Make sure that you’re providing enough outside interference to assist the pond in adapting to the changing of the season. From spring to winter, the pond’s maintenance requirements will change, and you will have to help it adapt.
Unlike natural bodies of water, these man-made ponds definitely require a guiding hand. In general, during spring and summer, that’s the time when you feed your fish and plants to the fullest, as their metabolism is fast during that time. That’s also when you clean up your ponds from the residues accumulated during the long winter.
When autumn comes, the main thing is to prevent decaying leaves from falling into the pond, as that can throw off the pond’s ecological balance. When winter finally comes around, you’ll have to prevent your pond from freezing with a de-icer and ensure that there is sufficient aeration for the benefit of the bacteria and the other living matters.
5) DON’T: Let your plant and animal life go unprotected.
INSTEAD, DO: Make it a priority to watch out for possible intruders. A body of water is only as nice as the organisms living in it—from the good bacteria, to the plants, and to the fish. Without these elements, your pond is nothing but a pool water, so it goes without saying that they also have to be taken care of adequately.
For the plants to be healthy, you’ll need to employ a sludge removal system and algae removal products, as these could compete with the plants for nutrients. The fish needs to be protected from birds of prey and mammals like cats and raccoons. Provide lots of covers like water lilies, rocks, and clay pipes where the fish can take shelter. As for the good bacteria, it’s important that you provide aeration.
As for problems with herons and fish, it’s recommended to provide lots of cover in the summer months when the fish are swimming near the surface. Add copious water lilies and also use rocks or clay pipes on the bottom to provide shelter. Herons and cats can cause fish large amounts of stress, especially in clear water with no hiding places. When fish are stressed, they suffer from all sorts of other health problems, too.
Maintaining a pond could be a rewarding endeavor and a fun experience. But as with anything fun, there are still chores that must be taken care of properly or else you’ll end up with an eyesore instead of something that’s truly breathtaking.