Feed on

Summer is the season where most action takes place in or around your garden pond. Plant growth is at it’s best and feeding demand is at it’s highest. As a result of this, you must deal with the heavy waste load.

Testing for ammonia and nitrate will show you if your filter is keeping up or not. If it is not, you may have to reduce your fish stocks and scale down on your feeding. Regular cleaning of pre-filter sponges or the equivalent should also be carried out during the season. High summer temperatures may cause fish to lose their appetite as a result of excessive metabolic demands in an environment where oxygen levels may be lower than normal.

Plant pest activity is at it’s worst in the summer. Keep a watch daily and take action promptly because under warm conditions in the summer, problems can spread very quickly. Remove all dead and damaged leaves. Even in healthy plants, dead leaves and blooms should be removed regularly. Healthy plants may also be thinned out as appropriate or desired. Water-borne and other predators may also be at their most active at this time of year.

Evaporation from ponds is a familiar summer problem, especially if there are streams or cascades of water. Water is lost from the pond in two ways, First marginal plants take up large quantities of water through their roots during the growing season and they lose it through their leaves. Second, high air pressure will cause water loss through direct evaporation from the pond surface. Regular top-off might be necessary.

Many fish species will continue to sprawl well into the summer. If the spawning occur during late summer, it may be necessary to prepare alternative indoor accommodation for at least some of the fry to enhance their chances of survival over the coming autumn and winter. This mostly applies to areas where the cold season temperatures are likely to drop towards the lower tolerance level for the species in question. Hatchlings from mid season spawning should be somewhat tougher by the time the colder weather begins to set in.

Longer days and relaxing summer nights equals more time to enjoy your koi pond and water garden. However, along with the temperature change means new challenges that you need to keep in mind this summer.

Avoid poor water quality

Pay attention to your fish and their eating habits. During the summer, koi and other pond fish will be more active than during the cooler months. This means they will want to eat more and will in turn produce more waste. Stick to your normal feeding habits to avoid poor water quality due to overfeeding. Consider an automatic feeder to take all the thinking out of it. Don’t feel as though you can’t treat your fish every now and then. You can get specific koi treats at any pet store or fresh fruits and vegetables are also great treats. Stick around for a few minutes after feeding so you can scoop out any left over floating food to keep waste to a minimum.


Boost your current biological filter with supplementary filter media or bacteria. Bacterial additives break down toxic waste better when water temperatures are higher. Keep in mind that supplementing biological filtration during the summer months should only be done in conjunction with increased oxygen levels.

Add more oxygen

Installing an aeration pump will prevent havoc on your pond due to lack of oxygen. As water temperatures rise, your pond will lose more and more oxygen. The supply of natural oxygen will decrease during the summer while the biological demand increases. Aeration will allow efficient gas exchange to reduce buildup of harmful gasses while increasing oxygen levels at the same time. Healthy levels of oxygen in your pond will keep your fish healthy and happy.

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