Maintaining your pond or backyard water garden is the least favorite of all water gardening activities. Thankfully, it rarely takes a long time, and except for ending up wet and dirty, is not difficult to do. If you keep your pond balanced ecologically, water garden maintenance is easy and rare. A eco-balanced pond has one bunch of submerged vegetation per square foot of pond surface, has at least 50% of the surface covered by floating plants for shade, has no more than one linear foot of fish per 25 square feet of pond surface area, only goldfish. And most important, you do not feed your fish Once you have gotten your pond balanced, maintenance is easy.
There are some tasks that must be done regularly to keep your balanced pond balanced. Most of the time water garden maintenance is a matter of removing aquatic plants rather than adding to them. Aquatic plants are weeds occurring in swamps and will take over the pond if given a chance. So in doing your water garden monthly maintenance, remove all dead or dying plant material. If left to decompose, it can foul your water and kill your fish.
If you have water lilies, fertilize them monthly during the summer months. Use one fertilizer tab per gallon of pot. Often water lilies are planted in shallow and wide pots. Give them two tabs monthly from the time the pads reach the water in the spring until the lily begins to go dormant in the fall. You can tell when the dormancy begins. The pads will get smaller and the lily will bloom less often.
Each month remove all debris from the bottom of the pond. Use a fish net or pond vacuum cleaner. Usually a fish net is that is needed unless the pond is under trees.
Clean a filter monthly unless you have a biofilter which needs to have a thriving bacterial community growing in it. Just rinse out the biofilter and replace it. With a mechanical filter, usually a block of foam rubber in a box, remove it, rinse it until the water runs clear and replace it. Do not wring it out like a dishcloth or it will deteriorate quickly and you will need a new one.
Remove any hoses from the pump and using your garden hose with a powerful nozzle, clean out the pump hoses. Usually much algae will come out of the hoses. Your fish will eat it and love it.
Using that same garden hose, blast any debris or algae growth off your surrounding rocks and waterfall. Your fish will eat this as well.
Top off the pond if any water has evaporated. If you add more than 10& water by volume, don’t forget to add a dechlorinator. That will dissipate any chlorine and heavy metals found in most city water.
Check all hose connections, check your waterfall to make sure all water is falling back in the pond and not leaking off the side of the falls.
Monthly water garden maintenance is easy and takes just a few minutes. Your pond will stay clean and continue to give you hours of pleasure.