Record high temps have been running rampant across the country, which can pose a concern for pond owners. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to ensure you keep a healthy pond with happy fish during the dog days of summer. Refer to our five critical tips during the summer pond season and you can rest easy knowing your fish and pond are well cared for.
1. Add Oxygen
Warm water holds less oxygen than cold water so you should consider placing an aerator or AquaForce pump in your pond. Fish use more oxygen in the summer because they’re more active. They’ll benefit from the increased supply that an aerator adds.
2. Feeding Fish
If you feed your fish, feed them in the morning and be careful not to overfeed. Uneaten food decays faster in warmer water and can pollute the pond. Don’t worry that they won’t get enough to eat during summer pond season. Fish will gladly nibble algae off the rocks.
3. Keep It Clean
Remove dying leaves and flowers before they have a chance to decay in the warmer water. And since the water’s warm, feel free to wade into the pond to remove dying lily pads and blooms. Don’t be surprised if you feel your finned friends rub up against your legs!
4. Provide Shade
Pond plants such as waterlilies or water lettuce help provide fish with shade from the heat of summer sun, cooling the water and making algae control easier, too. You can also add a fish cave to your pond to provide a shadier spot that also serves as protection from predators.
5. Pond Evaporation
Be mindful of evaporation of pond water. Midwestern states typically lose one inch of water or slightly more each week. Ponds in southern states have reported evaporation levels in excess of three inches per week. Keep in mind, these are averages. If you’re experiencing a fast evaporation rate, you might want to check for a pond leak.
Above all else, be sure to take time at the end of the summer pond season to enjoy your aquatic plants and fish. The beauty and serenity of a water garden is one of life’s little luxuries that you want to savor as often as possible.