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Proper regular maintenance involves so much more than just filling a fishpond with water, attaching a filter to it and bringing in some fish. Outdoor ponds may be the perfect spot for insects like mosquitoes to thrive in as well as a perfect habitat for salamanders and frogs. Herons may decide that they love the fish in your pond. Plus, blooming algae may begin to take over, dimming the views of the fish.
Maintaining an Outdoor Fish Pond
To maintain a fish pond located outdoors, you will need black cotton thread in a fine gauge, a small floating ball and a water chemistry kit for tests.
Keep Ice from Forming
In the winter, you will need to keep ice from solidly forming across the surface by floating a ball on top of the water. This will enable exchange of gases. Do not pound ice to break it as the shock may hurt over-wintering fish at the bottom.
Use a Floating Ring
Use a floating ring to keep fish food that you have distributed until the fish finish eating it. Periodically watch fish to be sure all food is eaten in five to ten minutes. If there is food leftover, you may be over feeding your fish. With the fish maturing and the seasons changing, this can vary. It is a good idea to adjust food amounts when you need to. One time each day is adequate in the winter as fish are not as active during this time. In months which are warmer, feeding fish two times each day is a good idea, one time in the evening when there are cooler temperatures and one time in the morning.
Reduce Algae Blooms
To reduce the possibility of developing blooming algae and to increase the efficiency of your biological filters, you should often clean debris from the trap of your filter. Next, you will need to take a measurement of the nitrite levels in your water before you add plants or fish, water hardness, alkalinity and pH. You will need to do this after you add the plants and one time after fish has been added. For healthy plants and fish, you want these four factors to be balanced.
Balanced PH Soil Use
For potting water plants, use soil that has a balanced pH. Use gravel to top potted plant soil in order to keep fish from stirring up dirt in the water as they dig up plants.
When repairing a pond, drain it just below leaks for repairs. If there is a deeper leak than the fish can comfortably swim, move fish to ponds temporarily as repairs are made. In ponds made of cement, keep in mind that attempting to fix the leak in cement is less practical than using a vinyl liner.