When fall comes knocking at the door, many people breathe a sigh of relief with the arrival of cooler temperatures and less muggy days. Autumn is a beautiful season for enjoying your pond or waterfall, but there are a few things that need your attention to ensure your fish and plants return in a healthy state next spring.
When the leaves begin to fall, many of them will end up in your pond. Even if tree is several feet away, the wind will eventually pick them up and deposit them on the surface of your pond. If not removed by you or the skimmer, those leaves will sink to the bottom of the pond and start to decompose and create toxic gases. This can harm your fish during winter and cause water quality issues come spring time. Be sure to net your pond to make the task of leaf control much easier! You’ll thank yourself when the weather warms up once again.
Do you have a pond thermometer? Now is a wise time to invest in one. During the fall season, feed your fish a steady diet of Aquascape Premium Cold Water Fish Food. You can safely feed your fish until the water temperature drops below 50 degrees, at which point you need to cease giving them food. When water temperature dips below 50, your fishes’ metabolism starts to slow down and they no longer digest food properly. Don’t worry. They won’t starve since they’ll go into hibernation for the winter.
At this time, dying foliage of your aquatic plants should be removed. You don’t want spent flowers and leaves dropping into the pond and decaying. Hardy water lilies should be cut back to just a couple inches above the crown. If your hardy lilies are potted, move them to the deepest part of the pond to over-winter. Tropical water lilies won’t survive the winter and should be treated like annuals. Remove them from the pond altogether.
Taking just a few minutes to perform these pond chores will result in healthier water and fish for next year’s pond season!