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How to Maintain a small Outdoor Pond

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An outdoor pond is a great way to attract wildlife and add a serene environment to your outdoor space. Adding fish to the pond as a hobby or for fishing, catch and release. However, a pond is only enjoyable when it is maintained to keep the algae and other unwanted aquatic weeds and plants, also unwanted pests. If set up properly, maintenance will be kept at a minimum. Following these simple guidelines will help you determine the best equipment for your pond maintenance.

Late spring is the most important time to aerate the pond.  Operating your water fountain for a pond or aerator as much as you can, all day long and into the evening to keep your fish happy.  In larger ponds additional sub-surface aerators and/or bottom diffused aeration are the most efficient and create the most oxygen.

Moving water is the key, it allows for the elimination of harmful dissolved gases, and the addition of oxygen into the water columns, especially critical at the lower sediment level at the bottom of the pond.  Forcing oxygen into the lower sediments allows of the degradation of organic material like leaves, fish waste, and all the muck that accumulates over time.  

Most of the problems with ponds starts with the accumulation of these organic sediments.  Early spring is the best time to attack the problem of sediments.

Each pond is special and needs to be sized for your system to have the best effect.

Your aeration system is your best way for the reduction of organic bottom muck. Here are some options to help make your pond healthier.

  1. Start adding your bacteria regime for the breakdown of the muck.  Summertime beneficial bacteria will supercharge your system.  All pond sizes will greatly benefit from the addition of beneficial bacteria and enzymes during the summer months.  There are lots of natural products out there; try different brands each time until you find the one that works best in your ecosystem.  The pond chemistry is different for each, and each bacteria strain developed reacts differently in different environments, you may have to try a few out to find one that does well in your pond.  For larger ponds you should be using 1-3 pounds of beneficial bacteria every week.
  • Remove dead plants and debris from the pond.  Take a walk around the pond and remove all weeds and debris, like dead pond lily leaves, seed pods and leaves from other aquatic plants, removing it all helps in the long run.  Your pond is just like your yard, if you leave it unattended for too long it will begin to degrade.

There are many products that you can use to keep unwanted weeds from taking over and damaging your pond. You might think some weeds are appealing, but some species are invasive, and once they begin to spread, excess matter will start to add to the sediment at the bottom, making it difficult for fish and other aquatic life to survive and thrive, because it decreases the oxygen.

There are several varieties of natural products on the market now and choosing between the liquid product or granular type will depend on whether you need to treat the entire water area or just a smaller area. 

Continually moving the water, whether a surface aerator or a diffused bottom aerator, can help keep the water clear and stop the growth of moss in your pond. Also, when the water is constantly moving it helps stop the development of algae and maintain a higher level of oxygen in your pond that is essential for the health of your fish.

 If you plan to use bottom air diffusers and other type of lake aerator pump , make sure you properly size this equipment to your pond or lake.

Adding an air diffuser pump will aid in boosting oxygen levels in the water, and it will also enhance the beauty of your pond because your water will be healthy and clearer. A water pump fountain that pulls water from the pond will help with the clarity of the water. This type of decorative floating pond fountains will also help to keep the water clearer and stop the overgrowth of unwanted weeds.

To further increase the beautiful look of your outdoor water garden, you may want to install a floating aerating fountain instead of a bottom air diffuser. There are fountain lighting kits that you can add to enhance the water spray at night for a magical look. The LED light kits can be attached directly to the float.

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