Spring is right around the corner and you’re itching to get your backyard pond back up and running. If you’re a new pond hobbyist and this is your first spring opening, then congratulations! Owning a fish pond is a beautiful and rewarding experience. Whether this is your first rodeo, or you are just looking for some tips, keep reading below to see what I suggest for opening your pond.
The goal here is to start prepping your pond for Spring when the water gets just above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, so it is prepared and ready to go by the time warm weather comes. This also all depends on the climate you live in. If the water doesn’t freeze over where you live, then you’re going to have to perform steps like cleaning out debris over the winter too. The last thing you want is to feed an algae bloom in the Spring. Make sure you have a pond thermometer so you know when to start prepping for Spring.
First, start prepping your pond for Spring by removing as much waste as you can from the bottom of your pond. You’re looking to get rid of dead leaves and nasty decomposing plant matter that has been building up over the winter. If you used a leaf cover and cold-water treatments over the winter, this step should be a lot easier. Because plant matter releases toxins in the water as it breaks down, get them out of the way first to keep your fish healthy and prevent your filters from clogging up. Start by skimming as much waste as possible out of your pond by using a pond skimmer net or pond vacuum.
After removing all the gunk from the bottom of your pond, you’ll want to do a partial water change. I recommend a 20% water change, but you can also go a little higher if your water was excessively dirty. When doing this don’t forget to use some kind of heavy metal neutralizer and dechlorinator. This is also an excellent time to clean up and re-pot your aquatic plants.
Now it’s time to get your pond filter back up and running. Check to make sure everything is running properly and that there are no plumbing leaks. I also suggest using new filter media pads for your mechanical filter every season. If you are also using a UV clarifier, be sure to remove the quartz sleeve and clean it with something like CLR and rinse well. Place a silicone lubricant on any rubber gaskets before you reassemble your clarifier to prevent leakage. It’s also a good idea to add your beneficial bacteria additive as directed now.
Lastly, if you have a pond filter that backwashes, I suggest performing a backwash at least twice a week for the first two weeks. Then only backwash once a week for the rest of the season.
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