Pet fish kept in an outdoor pond are a beautiful sight, as well as a far more natural habitat for fish than a small aquarium. However, keeping a pond clean, functional, and before anything else, healthy requires a lot of work.
Hopefully, there are ways to make this job easy for yourself, so today we’ll talk about a few simple steps to maintain your Koi Pond efficiently.
Light-duty but frequent maintenance beats once-in-a-month all-out cleaning
All types of fish require a steady supply of clean water for oxygen; both aquariums and ponds are slowly but steadily getting dirtier each day, which means that you should try cleaning it at least partially as often as possible.
There are a few signs to watch out for that will tell you when your Koi Pond is dirtier than it should be, which consequentially means that you’ll need to readjust the pond maintenance schedule:
Algae will naturally begin to grow in your pond, no matter what you do. While there are factors that determine the rapidity of their growth, they can’t be halted in full. Hopefully, most types of algae aren’t toxic, but they will readily dissolve oxygen as they decompose, potentially hurting your pet Koi fish. Algae with blue-green leaves are more toxic than more common green-colored algae.
Depending on the characteristics of your pond, algae will bloom within weeks, months, or in some cases several months. They are photosynthetic (absorb sunlight as food) and rely on nitrogen more than any other type of nutrient aside from phosphorus. Having healthy vegetation near your pond’s banks can help slow the blooming progress.
The water in your Koi Pond becomes cloudy due to fish waste. Generally speaking, the higher the number of fish in the pond is, the faster the water will turn murky (and unhealthy). Due to the fact that fish waste is tiny, it dissolves at a rapid rate and can’t be resolved in the way one would approach cat or dog waste, for example.
Sludge treatment tablets work like a charm on this particular occasion and are considered the most effective way to approach the issue.
Muck is essentially a formation of organic matter that typically envelops the floor of a pond. The development of muck is unavoidable, as it will form whenever living organisms die and decompose, such as algae, surrounding vegetation, fish waste, twigs, or grass clippings.
Basically, muck is ‘food’ for aquatic weeds, most notably algae. While hand-scraping muck may be a viable option for an aquarium, larger ponds present a different issue. Muck-cleaning tablets work great, as they attract beneficial microorganisms that slowly eat it, keeping your pond clean.
Buy a better pump
Pumps are used to drain contaminated water and fill the pond with fresh water. Despite the fact that even the cheapest entry-level pump can get the job done, a high-quality pump will drastically reduce the effort you need to put into the maintenance process.
Stronger pumps are both faster and more reliable, which basically means that they offer better water circulation, slowing the progression of muck and blooming of algae.
On the other hand, most pump models lose their efficiency over time. A budget one will be slower and slower as time goes on, leaving you to wonder why are algae growing much faster than you’re used to. While faster pumps aren’t immune to the tooth of time and degradation, they’re typically outfitted with more advanced features and mechanisms that ensure long-lasting dependability.
Use a power washer instead of a hose
If you don’t have one, it may be wise to invest in a power washer, as hosing down a pond can take hours on end. Furthermore, one of the biggest problems your Koi Pond faces is the development of malevolent microorganisms (muck) that feed algae and constrict the supply of oxygen to the pond.
Most conventional water hoses are only strong enough to clean a pond in the aesthetical sense, but they’re not strong enough to remove the deeply-rooted muck at the very bottom of the pond’s floor.
Speaking from a practical standpoint, using a power washer is also significantly faster and will allow you to fit the pond maintenance tasks within a busy schedule easier.
Plant beneficial plants around your pond
Certain plants can help your Koi Pond grow healthier either directly or indirectly. For instance, Pickerelweed attracts butterflies, dragonflies, and bees, which are known to eat mosquito larvae. Due to its length, this plant also provides excellent cover from the sun.
Cardinal Flower seeds may be a bit more difficult to find, but they’re absolutely gorgeous and attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Cardinal Flowers grow to be much taller than Pickerelweed, offering even better cover.
Arrowheads are an excellent choice due to their resilient nature. They can survive in most kinds of environments and will help you slow the growth of algae by reducing your pond’s exposure to bio falls.
While the vast majority of beneficial aquatic plants can endure harsh water, they still need to be cared for, just like your Koi Pond. Inquire about the requirements of each seed type you want to plant and combine pond maintenance with the needs of your plants.
Keep your yard clean of leaves and twigs
Leaves and twigs can easily land in your pond if the wind is strong enough, where they will be ignored by your Koi fish for the most part. They’ll slowly degrade and enlarge the pile of growing muck, which will in turn make the algae bloom faster.
Even if you don’t have any trees in your yard, scout it out for the leaves that may have been carried over. Furthermore, make sure that your yard is free of any kind of non-organic debris, especially items that are made of plastic. Fish can get tangled up in plastic bags or try to eat plastic cups, so in a nutshell, do your best to keep your backyard as clean as possible.
We hope that this brief rundown was useful to you and that you have learned something new today on how to maintain a Koi pond. Make sure you are staying safe in these times we are all going through and have a good one, guys!