A guide to keeping your pond healthy
Keeping a garden pond is a fun and exciting hobby that can completely transform your outdoor space into something unique and exciting. Of course, there’s often a lot of work associated with keeping a healthy pond and if you aren’t prepared to keep up with the necessary maintenance, cleaning and testing, your beautiful pond could eventually turn into an eyesore.
To help your pond thrive and to ensure you can make the most of all the benefits associated with keeping a pond, such as getting closer to nature and engaging in a therapeutic hobby, we’ve put together a guide that’ll offer up pond keeping advice, take you through the process of caring for your pond, as well as answering some of our most frequently asked questions.
Pond Filters and Pumps
The most important piece of equipment you’ll need in order to maintain the health of your pond is a filter, the basic function of which is to keep the water in your pond circulating, ensuring that it is clean and properly oxygenated in order to support your livestock. Beyond this vital function, however, specially designed pond filters can also be bought that can further boost the functionality and health of your pond. When setting up a new pond and filter, we recommend adding some filter boosting bacteria to kick-start your filter system.
UV water clarifiers - Different from your standard pond filter, some come with an additional UVC unit. Filters with a UV Clarifier are designed with a UV chamber which, as your pond water passes through it, causes the algae commonly found in ponds that are too small to be caught by standard filters to clump together. This algae, which is responsible for the greenish colour of many ponds, can then be broken down by filters and collected in a lower chamber where it is easily removed. Ultimately, this type of UV pond filter won’t upset the biological balance of your pond and will remove the unwanted green pigment in the water, leaving you with a beautifully clear pond to enjoy.
Inline UV Clarifiers are also available to be used in conjunction with a mechanical/biological filter, so you can upgrade your filter system to include a UVC without needing to replace your existing filter.
Pond fountain pumps - Decorative pond pumps are a great and easy way to turn your pond into an eye-catching water feature. Introduce some design flair to your pond with our collections of pond fountain pumps. More than simply being an excellent option for creating a unique and beautiful pond, the surface disruption from a fountain can also increase the oxygenation levels of your pond, ultimately contributing to both the healthiness of your pond water and fish. Some fountain pumps also have an outlet to connect to your pond filter and also create a waterfall for the water to flow back into your pond.
Also consider our In-Pond Filters, many of which come with a fountain nozzle (or even a range to choose from) - a real all-in-one solution for pond water filtration with a beautiful fountain!
Air pumps - Keeping your pond water oxygenated is very important for your fish health: lack of oxygen is a common cause for fish death, especially overnight when pond plants switch from producing oxygen to using it up as part of their cycle. Air pumps direct fresh air to the bottom of your pond to be released through porous air stones to create bubbles which float to the surface, oxygenating and aerating your pond.
Pond heaters / Ice vents - Speaking of keeping your pond oxygenated, pond heaters are a great way to prevent your pond from fully freezing over in the winter. They do not heat the whole pond like an aquarium heater would, but they prevent a small area of the surface from freezing over, allowing oxygenation so your fish can still breathe.
Debris such as stray leaves and dirt will naturally fall into your pond from time to time and, if allowed to sink to the bottom, will begin to decay. The decomposition of natural debris will risk upsetting the ecological balance of your pond, both through the release of harmful gases and through its settling at the bottom in the form of sludge, so it’s important that you minimise the effects of debris by clearing your pond regularly.
There are two main ways to do this, the first being through manual debris removal with a net. Nets, such as the Hozelock Pond Nets, are an inexpensive way to remove debris from the surface of your pond, but a less time consuming method can be found in an automatic pond skimmer. An excellent investment for those that don’t have the time to perform manual maintenance every day - or even more often than that during Autumn when falling debris is a constant problem - a pond skimmer is designed to automatically pull surface debris into a collection basket which can be emptied at your convenience.
Pond Water Tests
With everything set up, and your necessary equipment installed and working well, your next task is to ensure the health and happiness of your pond, fish and plant life by creating a testing routine. A regular testing routine will allow pond keepers to track any changes in water quality and tackle them as soon as they occur. Maintaining this routine will allow you to identify water quality problems early and treat them before they become life-threatening to your livestock.
When it comes to creating your own pond testing routine, there are two main options to consider, the first of which is to purchase a manual pond test kit. Depending on the brand you choose, these kits contain all the equipment you need to measure vital parameters of your water including pH, ammonia, nitrite and phosphate. This method is more time consuming than more technologically advanced methods that have become more popular in recent years, but manual testing does bring its own benefits. Firstly, manually testing your pond with a pond test kit can be a relaxing process which provides you with the opportunity to get closer to your fish and understand more about what they require to thrive. Secondly, manual pond testing kits, such as the popular NT Labs Pond Lab 200 Multi Test Kit and the API Pond Master Test Kit are significantly cheaper than their automatic test alternatives.
For those that don’t have the time to manually test their pond on a regular basis, the second option may be a more useful, if slightly more expensive, alternative. Automatic pond testing devices fundamentally have the same role as manual testing, but are more accurate, considerably easier to use and, depending again on the specific monitor you choose, can keep a 24-hour watch on the water quality of your pond. These devices are also bluetooth compatible, allowing you to monitor your pond with ease from your phone through a corresponding app. Additionally, while many may balk at the price of automatic pond monitoring equipment, such as the Seneye Pond Pack Kit, they represent a clever investment purchase for those who’ve already spent a lot of money on stocking their pond with expensive fish and plant life.
Find everything you need to keep your pond healthy at Aquacadabra
Looking to improve the health of your current pond or doing research before starting one? At Aquacadabra, we stock a wide range of pond filters, pumps, test kits and more, all from leading brands including Seyene, Hozelock and Bermuda, so we are confident we can offer the very best in pond keeping equipment to amateurs and pond enthusiasts alike.