Hooray! Spring is our favourite time of the year for us pond keepers, as we can now bring our ponds out of their Winter state and start getting ready for the Summer.
Once your pond water has warmed up it's the ideal time to plant up your pond with new plants or replace any that you have lost over the Winter. All pond plants add oxygen and provide shelter for fish - add different varieties of water lilies, marginals and reeds to help. When putting new plants in always use aquatic compost in a pond basket topped with sterilised aquatic gravel, and for best results use a slow release aquatic plant fertiliser - all available in store. Hornwort, Willowmoss, ranunculus, potamogeton & callitriche are all great oxygenators, and are a good addition to your pond, add these now.
PUMPS & FILTERS
Spring is when your filter will be working its' hardest, so ensure that everything is working properly. Replace your filter foams if they have decayed or rotted away but the most important thing to do is to change your UV Bulb now. These only last for 12 months and lose c.10% of their efficiency per month. Spring is when Blanket Weed and Algae can take a hold of your pond so ensure your bulb is new. If your pond is swamped with Blanket Weed or algae, come down to the store and either add a new filter or UVC, or grab some Blanket Weed or algae control - we have many solutions which work a treat! More oxygen helps prevent Blanket Weed so ideally add an air pump and airstone and plants to your pond. You should aim for 2/3 of your pond surface covered in pond plants, as this helps oxygenation, reduces algae and provides shading for fish and wildlife.
Also give your pump an overhaul – check it is clear of debris and that the impeller is working well.
A FINAL CLEAN
Clean out any excess sludge if you have some in your pond with a pondvac - these make pond cleaning really easy. Alternatively you can use a sludge busting product, available in store.
If you are unfortunate enough to have a Heron that likes the taste of your fish - take action now and prevent your prized fish from becoming a quick snack. First off you can try a dummy plastic Heron, these look lifelike and can stop a real Heron from deciding your pond is his food plate, only as long as you keep moving it daily! We have other heron scarers too which work well. Second defence is floating rigid pond netting - these float on the surface so are barely visible and will stop the Heron from getting to your fish. We also have nylon pond netting that can be stretched across your pond as well.
Once the water temperature has risen above 10 degrees and your fish start to come to the surface and ask for food, start feeding them with your usual Summer feed. Between 4-10 degrees keep feeding wheatgerm foods. Now is the time to stock up - we have lots of different varieties in store.
ANYTHING NOT RIGHT IN YOUR POND?
If you have anything about your pond that you are not sure of, just bring a sample of water into store and where possible some pictures and we will help to sort your problem out.
AND FINALLY - THE STARS OF THE SHOW - THE FISH
From next week we will have full stocks of many different varieties of pond fish, from goldfish, shubunkins, grass carp, orfe, tench, sturgeon, sterlets, with Japanese Koi and Classic Koi arriving next month. If you are stocking up your pond get a membership to our Fish Club and save 10% off all the fish you buy for the rest of you life for only a small fee - ask in store at the till. Before adding fish it is always advisable to have your water checked so bring a sample in with you and we will test it for you to ensure your new pond mates will have a happy home!