Spring – March, April and May
Spring is the time when
your garden pond starts to come back to life. Your garden fish will
start to look for food, and your plants will start to reshoot. Garden
fish are at their most vulnerable during the early part of Spring where
the daytime and evening temperatures fluctuate the most. On milder Spring
days, it is possible to remove parts of the pond cover, if you have
one to allow the suns heat to warm up the pond naturally. Once the pond
water has stabilised at between 12 to 14 degrees C, it is safe to start
feeding the fish. Initially they may be fed with sinking wheat germ
pellets, just once, early in the day. Once they have become accustomed
to eating these, gradually wean them on to wheat germ floaters and then
onto a staple pellet.
Summer – June, July and August
As Summer approaches it is possible to increase feeding your garden fish and offer more high protein growth foods. An automatic feeder is a great idea for those who work away from home a lot. As the water warms up during the season, the dissolved oxygen content falls, however the fish need more oxygen, so it is advisable to activate aerators and surface skimmers. Filters and pumps should be left running twenty-four hours a day during Summer. A good purchase to make now is a dissolved oxygen measuring device. Changing 25% of the water once a month during the summer months can reduce high levels of nitrate which is one of the main causes of algae problems. If you wish to empty your pond and clean it out early summer is the perfect time to do it. A pond vacuum is the ideal way to remove debris from the bottom of the pond. The fish are active and healthy, and the plants will respond well to being pruned.
It is a good time to control
your blanket weed during the summer months.
Winter – December, January and February
Although a few warmer days
may appear during the Winter months, do not feed your fish at all at
this time. Ponds should be checked daily and part water changes continued
-10 per cent weekly or fortnightly. You may decide to switch off your
pump, this should be removed from the pond, cleaned, dried and stored
in a dry frost free area. Lag the pipework from the water purifier to
prevent it icing up. Be careful when approaching the pond so as not
to disturb the garden fish. Be aware of herons especially if natural
waters locally have frozen over as their food supply will have been
restricted. In icy weather do not allow the whole pond surface to freeze.
A clever way to ensure it does not totally freeze is to float a football
on the surface of the pond. If ice covers the pond it can stop the water
being oxygenated and can allow a build up of toxic gases
Spring or Summer are the ideal seasons if you are building a garden pond.