Garden Ponds and Heatwaves
The UK has been experiencing some phenominally good weather over the past few months and as a result, we have been inundated with customers experiencing issues like green water problems.
We’ve put together this short guide of 5 things to consider when keeping a pond in hot weather.
During prolonged periods of hot weather your pond will naturally loose water from evaporation and plants as they will be drinking more. If you have a water butt then this is the ideal way to top up the water level, however many of our customers water butts have now run dry, so if you are adding tap water then using a dechlorinator will allow you to do this with out harming your fish.
Wildlife around your pond
It is more likely that wildlife in your garden will try and drink from your pond water in hot weather spells. If your pond does not have sloped edges, wildlife that try to get towards the pond water may get stuck. One option is to create a temporary beach/ slope area with things like upturned planting baskets, while another idea is to leave shallow dishes of water around your pond. Hedgehogs will be able to drink from the dishes safely, but if you add some stones then bees will be able to without drowning. Bird baths and dishes of water around the edge of your pond may also deter cats and dogs from entering your pond and puncturing your liner.
If you do experience a punctured liner then the our repair kits will be able to stop water levels decreasing further.
If you are keeping fish then it is important to add oxygen to your pond during hot weather as warm water holds less oxygen. Warm water also increases a fish’s metabolic rate, meaning that they need more oxygen. It is also worth noting that larger fish require more oxygen so as they grow each year, you may need to increase your ponds oxygen levels. Air pumps, Fountains, and waterfalls will all help add oxygen to your pond. If you have a spare pump, even just returning the water back into the pond with a piece of hose can help to add more oxygen as a temporary measure. You may also find this blog helpful when considering how to increase oxygen levels.
Green water and Blanketweed
A common misconception is that green water in your pond is bad for your fish health, but this is not necessarily true. The water quality itself is not always related to the colour of your water and if you want to check your water quality the best way to do this is by using a test kit rather than looking at the colour. Customers tend to be experiencing high levels of green water at the moment because of the increase in hot weather. Algae blooms thrive in sunlight so if your pond has little shade you may find it particularly difficult to keep on top of green water. We’d recommend ensuring your UVC bulbs are working and are at their full strength (bulbs can loose strength after six months of continuous use), while using a green water treatment such as PondXpert Anti Greenwater
However if you are experiencing Blanketweed then there are a number of things you can do to help such as clearing away sludge from the bottom of the pond, using a brush to physically take the weed away and adding treatments. Our blog contains a lot of useful advice on Blanketweed. It is important to keep on top of Blanketweed in this weather because if it left untreated, over time it can cover the surface of your pond, reducing oxygen levels and eventually suffocating your fish. It can also cause blockages in pumps, filters and hoses, so it is worthwhile clearing your equipment regularly.
Adding Shade to Your Pond
Alongside water levels, oxygen levels and algae problems, sunlight can have an adverse effect on your fish. You may not be aware that fish, like humans, can get sunburnt. So, if your pond is in full sunlight for most of the day, you may find it beneficial to add some shade. You can add floating plants or water lilies (ideally to cover 25% of the surface water), or as a temporary measure in such hot conditions, a gazebo or parasol can be positioned over the pond.
If you have any tips of your own for keeping a healthy pond during hot weather, then we'd love the hear them!
You can email any useful ideas over to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope that you manage to enjoy this glorious weather relaxing by your pond!