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article: Summer Maintenance of Garden Ponds

Summer Maintenance of Garden Ponds

Summer is the season where most action takes place in or around your garden pond. Plant growth is at itís best and feeding demand is at itís 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 itís 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.

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