Pond Maintenance

Pond-Doctor-LogoHow should I clean my pond? When should I clean my pond?
Some ponds are never cleaned and the ponds and its occupants survive very well. However, a large number of ponds are created with high fish densities or are built in locations were the pond receives a great deal of debris over the year. Even if you start out with just a few fish initially, in a healthy pond they will breed to the point that the number of fish will push the environmental limits of your pond and biofilter.

The debris may be the result of leaves blowing into the pond, the die-back of vegetative pond plants as well as fish wastes. It is these latter types of conditions that will necessitate you cleaning the pond eventually.

The two most likely time points for cleaning are in the fall, to reduce the amount of accumulated muck on the bottom of the pond as you head into winter, or in the spring to remove material accumulated over the winter from leaves blowing into the pond, accumulated fish waste or catkins and similar materials shed by trees as they leaf out.

5179317_lCleaning in the fall reduces wastes in the bottom of the pond which may turn anaerobic if sufficient oxygen is not available, creating a breeding ground for harmful bacteria, or which may decompose, releasing ammonia and other dangerous chemicals that can be trapped under the ice. The build-up of these pollutants can lead to fish kills over the winter months. While keeping a hole in the ice over winter will help alleviate the accumulation of gases, cleaning the pond before winter sets in will reduce the overall potential for problems. Cleaning the pond in the spring may help reduce diseases and parasites that often occur as the pond and its biology warms up for the summer, as well as reduce the overall availability of nutrients that stimulate algae growth. The following are a few approaches that have been successfully used to clean the pond.

First we need to empty all the water.If you have fish we will use the water to fill a tub or multiple tubs for your fish. Once water is low enough catch all fish . this is a great time to give each fish a once over to check overall health.

Remove all large debris by hand or using a shop vac. and use a pump and hose to rinse the silt and sludge . This is the most critical point as the sludge is what cause most of the harmful gases that algae feeds on and that cause fish health issues.

We want to make sure all filters and skimmers get cleaned. while the pond is filling. Once full, adjust your pond according to the guidelines we have come up with for your specific pond and make sure we treat chlorine and chloramine.

Most home owners take a weekend to get there pond cleaned. How ever if you let our trained professionals with expansive equipment take care of it for you. the can get it done in a matter of hours and it will make a huge difference on how your pond looks throughout the year.

Pond Maintenance Tip:
If a pond is cleaned annually routine maintenance will be easier and more effective.

Routine Water Feature Maintenance
The subject of Pond maintenance is a very broad one. Its variables can be but are not limited to seasonality, type of feature, environment, location and the health of your ponds ecosystem. I will outline the major points that Pond Doctors various maintenance program covers and recommends to all of our customers.

EARLY SPRING

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  • IT ALWAYS BEST IF POSSIBLE TO CLEAN UP THE REST OF THE YARD AND LANDSCAPING MOVING FORWARD ON YOUR POND. THIS PREVENT DEBRIS FROM GETTING INTO YOUR CLEAN POND
  • ANNUAL DETAILED CLEANING
  • SPRING PRIMING OF BACTERIAL FIELD
  • CLOSE INSPECTION OF FISH HEALTH
  • OBSERVING STRUCTURAL ISSUES AND RECTIFYING THEM
  • INITIAL ADJUSTMENT TO WATER CHEMISTRY
  • PAY CLOSE  ATTENTION TO FISH  ESPECIALLY THE FIRST FEW WEEKS
  • CHECK FOR SETTLE LEAKS THAT MAY HAVE DEVELOPED OVER THE WINTER
  • KEEP AN EYE ON WATER LEVEL FOR LEAKS THAT MIGHT NOT HAVE BEEN FOUND EASILY
  • CARY OUT ANY MAJOR CHANGES YOU MAY HAVE PLANED FOR OVER WINTER SO WE DON'T HAVE TO DISTURB POND BALANCE MID SEASON
  • COVER LINER OR LIGHT RE STACKING OF ROCKS
  • CUTTING BACK PLANT MATERIAL that were not cut back

SPRING/SUMMER

  • TESTING AND ADJUSTMENTS OF WATER algea control
  • KEEP PUMP CLEAR OF DEBRIS
  • REGULAR CHECKS AND CLEANING OF SKIMMER (VARIES)
  • MONTHLY CLEANING OF FILTER(VARIES)
  • SCRUBBING OF WATERFALLS
  • COVERING OF LINER AS NEEDED
  • CUTTING BACK OF DEAD PLANT MATERIAL
  • FERTILIZING OF PLANTS

FALL

  • REGULAR MAINTENANCE AS OUTLINED ABOVE
  • NETTING OF PONDS IF NEEDED TO KEEP FALLING LEAVES OUT
  • FALL BACTERIA
  • FALL FISH FOOD
  • LATE FALL CLEANING IF POND IS OVERSTOCKED WITH FISH(MOST ARE)OR IF THERE IS ALOT LEAVES OR DEBRIS
  • WINTERIZATION OF PUMP ,FILTER,AND POND WINTER
  • INSTALL HEATER BEFORE IT FREEZES IF YOU HAVE FISH
  • INSTALL AERATION PUMP IF FISH LOAD IS HIGH OR THERE ARE OTHER CONCERNS FOR FISH
  • CHECK ON HEATER TO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A HOLE IN THE ICE TO ALLOW GAS EXCHANGE
  • CHECK ON FISH REGULARLY
  • IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO MAKE DRASTIC CHANGES TO YOUR POND THIS WOULD BE THE TIME TO PLAN. THIS WAY WE CAN SCHEDULE THIS IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE SPRING CLEANING SO WE DO NOT HAVE TO DISRUPT YOUR POND ECOSYSTEM MID SEASON.

All water features need some level of Maintenance. The needs of each will vary.Pond Doctors has the answers for your. Ponds specific needs. We have several programs designed with your individual needs in mind. Including giving you direction so you can get the results you deserve.

Priority emergency service calls,Early pond start ups,late winterizations and,VIP page on this site for more detailed information,are just a few of the benefits of being a Pond Doctors Maintenance customer.

15313163_mlWildlife: Plants and Animals In and Around Ponds
In the Midwest there are many different types of plants fish and frogs that you can house in your pond it will depend upon the size of your pond and the filtration you have tropical plants will working in ponds from Mother's Day until the nighttime temperatures start dropingto 50° at night plants that are Hardy to zone 4-5will normally do fine over the winter we cut them back and sink them if they're in pots drop the plants in the deepest part of the pond bring them up in the spring.

Depending upon the size of your pond and the filtration system there are many different types of goldfish that we can keep your pond if your pond is more than 500 gallons we can keep koi if you have less than 500 gallons would recommend show bumpkins or ornamental goldfish also known as comets.

Having a water feature in your landscape attracts many different types of wildlife your yard especially different types of birds different types of plants will also attract butterflies and maybe hummingbirds. Having plants in and around your water feature will add several benefits. The plants in the pond will help filter the water, The plants will help eat up the nutrients algae uses to reproduce. Plants around the outside of the water feature will help to soften the looks of the Rock and help blend The feature into your landscape.

If you have specific questions about your individual pond please don't hesitate to call 402-630-8673  or you can email us.

Plants and Fish for Sale
We have plans of all different types tropical and this zoneHardy plants available-for-sale depending The time of year we also have many different types of fish in tadpoles available again depending on time of year for availability, please call 402-630-8673 or you can stop at Pets R Us in Rockbrook Village at 108th and Center in Omaha. We work very closely with them and house our fish and plants. You can call them at 402-391-4126.

FISH AND PLANT HEALTH

  1. Things to look for when you think your fish are not well:
  2. Gasping
  3. Sores
  4. Flashing (this is where the fish race around the pond turning from side to side)
  5. Laying on the bottom
  6. Cotton gross on the sides of the fish (also known as fungus)

If you see any of these signs please fill out a contract sheet right away and market urgent. It is important to look over your fish regular the faster we canidentify a problem the better results well will have.

In some ponds aeration  is a good idea but this can be a complicated subject please fill out a contact form so pond doctors can address your ponds specific needs. If your pond is heavily stocked with fish or has a lot of debris a fall cleaning would be a good idea please contact us for details about your specific pond.

Plant and fish health in a pond is almost always related to water quality if you think your fish are ill or acting in an unusual way the first step is to get your water tested we offer free water testing at pets are us in Rockbrook Village hundred and eight and Center Street when you bring your water in you should try and have an idea of how many gallons of water you have if you're not sure take a measurement of the length the width and the average depth of your pond not the deepest but the average.

If your plants are not looking well one of the first things you want to think about this have you fertilized most pond plants especially tropical ones have a high need for food fertilizer tablets or steaks normally work better than liquids.

Winterization and Pump Storage: Getting Your Pond Ready for Winter
When Daily water temperatures are at 50° it's time to stop feeding the fish it's also time to make sure that we cut back all the pond plants bring in tropical inside the winter and send any other plants to the bottom if you have a lot of leaves in your area in the area where the pond is at it's also good idea to net the pond before the leaves start falling the Less debris we get into the pond the better it's also important to start a winter bacteria normally in September before the water starts freezing we want to take the pump out and get the filter system ready for winner each filter will have different requirements you can call us and will be happy to help we take the pump out because we do not want water to freeze your lines. your fish will do better in the winter if we take the pond pump out. water temperature at the bottom of your pond is normally around 55° if your pond is below The freeze line.you need to have a pond heater to keep one hole the ice so we can allow gas exchange to happen as long as this happens your fish should do fine in the winter The ice over the top of the pond ask is an insulator and actually keeps the water below warmer for the fish if we get a lot of snow make sure to dig some of the snow off the ice so we can allow light to get through.

If you have  pond doctors do your winter shutdown when we pull your pump we can store it it should be In water to keep the pond pump from drying out and the seals going bad we will also winterizer the filter system correctly and store it if need be.

Algea issues 
The key to algae control is an ongoing maintenance program. The idea is to stop algae bloom before it started. Algae blooms form when there is too much food and too much light. In most cases we can't do much about the light but we can address the food issue. The food comes from Decaying material such as fish waste excess of fish food decaying plant material bird waste etc. we address the food issue by having the right filtration system and adding the light amount of treatments and beneficial bacteria. To get started we need to test your water and learn the other specifics of your water feature please fill out a contact form so we can get started to make your water feature what you wanted to be.

Algae issues normally fall into 2 Categories string Algae and green water both are related to the same thing poor water quality first thing to do is to test the water pond doctors offers this service and can come to your house and test the water for you and treat the pond and adjust pond correctly treatments are an ongoing process and depending upon your pond and filtration system they will vary from pond to pond ,pond doctors offers maintenance services or we can help show you how to do some maintenance yourself either way give us a call or send us a email.

725267_mlWater Quality
The quality of water in your pond will dictate how everything else works in your pond if you water is poor Quality your fish will not be healthy your plants will not be healthy and you will have lots of algae issues many factors go into water quality how many fish you have in the pond where you pond sits in your landscape and the type of filtration system you have.

For a diagnosis on your particular pond, please call Pond doctors at 402-630-8673.

If your fish are not acting normally don't look right the first thing we need to do is to check the water quality because fish live were they go to the bathroom water quality is very important and if it is not good They become sick quickly we work closely with pets r us in Rockbrook Village bring a sample of your water and a description of your pond, how many gallons the pond is and pictures of the fish if you can you can also call us at 402-630-8673.