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Summer Tips

You should have planted water lilies and aquatic plants that will soon cover up to 2/3 of your pond surface. Not only will your fish enjoy the shade, but too much sunlight is a key ingredient to algae problems. Donít forget to feed your plants monthly. Use a good aquatic plant tab such as Highland Rim and you will see more, longer blooming plants. Healthy plants not only provide oxygen for the pond, but they can actually help reduce the buildup of algae because they compete for the same nutrients in the water. Speaking of algae, this has been another horrific year for algae. if you are experiencing string algae you are not alone. If you have not tried GreenClean Granular, you should. It is a fast acting algaecide that is available in powder or tablets and is fish and plant safe once the product is activated in water. It works quick and effectively at killing off that dreaded string algae. It is best to net out the dead or dying algae to keep it from degrading in your pond and feeding a new algae bloom. If you have a problem with green water or pea soup algae there are several excellent products. AlgaeFix by PondCare has been a favorite for years and in addition Tetra's Algae Control or Microbelift Algaway 5.4 for a quick solution. As with all algaecides, follow the manufacturers recommendations for dosage an be sure to keep your pump operating 24/7 as all algaecides remove oxygen from the water while killing off algae.

Nearly every problem associated with your pond begins with your water. In natural ponds, mother nature takes care of everything. For our backyard ponds, the responsibility falls squarely in your hands. Water quality is the most important thing in our pond. Testing your water should be done weekly. There are simple test strips by Microbelift or more advanced test kits by PondCare, but no matter what your choice, do it on a regular basis so you can spot trouble before it is to late. Larger ponds are much more forgiving than smaller ponds when it comes to water quality. It doesnít take much to throw a 500 gallon pond out of balance. On the other hand, it takes a lot to change a 5000 gallon pond. When you add water to your pond, be sure to add a de-chlorinator. Chlorine and Chloramine are present in most city water and will certainly kill your fish. We have discovered a wonderful hose end filter that eliminates the need for de-chlorinators. We use them for everything in the pond and garden. Changing out 10% of your water on a regular basis is also good medicine for your pond as is a mild application of pond salt.

This is growing season for your fish. That does not mean you need to over feed them. In fact, one of the leading causes of imbalanced pond water and algae growth comes directly from over feeding your fish. Everything you feed your fish ends up as a waste product in your pond. If you have an over population of fish (we are all guilty of this) you are directly contributing to higher levels of ammonia and nitrate in your pond. It is better to feed your fish smaller meals more often than it is to overfeed them with a large daily meal. Never feed them more than they can consume in 3-5 minutes total. Be sure to net out any leftover food or it will eventually turn to waste. If you keep your fish a little hungry they will feast on your algae.

Whenever you add new fish, it is always recommended that you quarantine them before you bring them into your pond. If you see any signs of disease, we carry a full line of fish medications for Ick, Fungus and Parasites as well as Koizyme.

There is probably no better time to enjoy your pond than at night. The addition of low voltage (12v) pond lights will extend the time you can enjoy your pond. Because they are low voltage, they are safe for you and your fish. New LED pond lights offer exciting color changing lights. LED lighting will give you the best performance at the lowest operating cost. You would be amazed at the new 1w or 3w Aquascape LED light. Be sure and keep your pumps running 24/7. Did you know that the oxygen levels in your pond actually drops at night and if you do not provide circulation, the beneficial bacteria in your filters can die resulting in buildup of ammonia and nitrates. While plants provide oxygen during the day, they actually use oxygen at night producing carbon dioxide. If you have heavy algae blooms this condition could lead to a loss of fish.

Finally, if you are experiencing cloudy water and algae problems, consider the addition of a UV clarifier. These have been the biggest boost to pond owners since the introduction of pond filters. There are both submersible and external UVís available for every size pond and they are easy to install and provides immediate results for green water algae. Unfortunately, string algae does not pass in front of the UV light so it is not affected. UV lights do not take the place of good pond care but they are simply another tool to help you enjoy your pond to the fullest.

Be sure to check out the many new products for 2011.
Happy Ponding.

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