Spring has arrived and the ice has melted! This time of year excites all of us pond enthusiasts. It is time to start up your pond for another season of enjoyment!
Why is it important to clean your pond in the spring? A fresh, clean start to the new year will aid in your success through the summer and fall months. Rake up and dispose of leaves in the area surrounding your pond. Next, use a skimmer net or pond vac to remove debris that has accumulated in your pond (Pisces provides a pond vacuum rental service, see in store for details!).
Cleaning the Filter
You want to clean your filter BEFORE performing your water change. When replacing the Bio Media, sludge and grime will likely flow into your pond. Replace your bio media (Pisces recommends: Pisces Pond Pro Bio X Max for Ponds), 1L will filter 100 gallons. Replace sponges or other mechanical filter inserts, UV bulbs on sterilizer and IonGen probe if necessary. Pisces recommends: Laguna Pressure-Flo Service Kit (fits Laguna Pressure Flo).
Now it is time to drain your pond! Make sure you have a safe, dark place with pond water to house your fish during the cleaning. Use the pond vac to clean sludge, and pressure wash the rocks on the sides and bottoms of the pond. Agitate the gravel and once again, drain the pond and remove sludge & debris. After the pond is thoroughly cleaned, refill and treat with Pisces Pond Pro Step 1 Tap Water Treatment. Five capfuls (1 oz) will treat 1000L of new pond water.
Once your pond is clean and refilled with fresh water, you can return the fish to your pond. While your fish are separated, it is a good time to check the health and to cull your fish population. Make sure the water temperature is within 5 degrees of the water in the holding container, then acclimate the fish to the pond water. For feeding your fish in cooler temperatures, Pisces recommends: Hikari Wheat-Germ Formula. Wheat-germ Formula is a highly digestible, daily diet for pond koi. For water temperatures between 41-62F (5-18c), feed no more than twice a day the amount the fish will consume in 5 minutes. For water temperatures below 41F (5c), DO NOT FEED YOUR FISH!
This is the time to check all of your pond plants. Transplant your Marginals and lilies, and add fertilizer tabs to your Marginals. For water lilies, trim the rhizomes or tubers back to no more than 3"-5", Cut the leaves and stems close to the rhizomes and then replace.Hardy Marginals can be trimmed back to 2"-7" above the water. Place in an area that is less likely to freeze. Do not add tropical plants until temperatures reach 70F. Remove and sludge in the skimmer and clean any pads or brushes. Check your water parameters using a pond test kit to make sure your water is at its proper pH and Alkalinity.
Enjoy your clean and healthy pond!