Autumn Pond Maintenance

Autumn Pond Maintenance

March 12, 2021

Autumn is the time of year when we admire the changing foliage colours of our ornamental plants and enjoy the pleasantries of the season slowing.

Nonetheless, there are always jobs in the garden and, most of all, our ponds. The fish and plants require our attention to prepare them for the Winter months that lie ahead. 

As the weather begins to cool, most aquatic plants will gradually start to die back in preparation for their dormancy. Autumn is the critical month to give these plants one last feed and overall maintenance to set them up for a comfortable Winter and future healthy growing season in the Spring. As the foliage begins to yellow and die back to the water level, it is essential to remove 'spent/old' leaves to avoid them from decaying in the water and causing unhealthy bacteria growth. Removal of foliage won't be as much of an issue for larger ponds; however, small ponds with less water, frequent pruning, and removing old leaves are necessary.
If your pond is near taller shrubs and trees where there will be many leaves falling into the water, it will require regular skimming of the pond base's water surface and cleaning. Filtration pumps are available from PondMAX, which filter the water to keep the pond's overall health in top shape. Alternatively, using a Stainless Steel Fish Net is also useful for removing unwanted debris in the water. For more challenging to reach areas such as the pond base and walls, using the PondMAX Pro Pond Vacuum is ideal. The green head sucks up unwanted algae, sludge, and other debris from the bottom of the pond, which gets discharge through an anti-kink discharging hose, resulting in cleaner water. If your pond is deep and wide, the Pro Pond Vacuum has an extendable aluminium handle making it suitable for various pond depths. It is also a useful piece of equipment to siphon water from the pond if overflowing is a risk during higher rainfall periods. 
Like the plants, fish will begin to slow their water activities, and this is the ideal time to reflect on any pump and filter settings. The flow rate can be reduced throughout Autumn, as it will encourage the water temperatures to stay more consistent over the cooler months of the year. Depending on the pond type and size, pond pumps can be removed for a short period in Winter and re-installed once the weather begins to warm again. Doing this will be less disruptive to fish that might be settling in the pond's hidden corners during cooler weather. Nonetheless, this is an optional step and won't make or break the pond's hygiene. Lifting out filters and cleaning them of any algae growth and other build-ups can be done now. 
Checking water quality and health is another critical step in the maintenance plan during Autumn. Without adequate water health, plants and fish will struggle to thrive. Using a nitrate testing kit is a great way to check for any issues within the water. PondMAX has several pond treatments available to best suit your pond and that is safe for fish.

Spending a few hours maintaining and tending to your pond will keep your fish and plants thriving all season and into the warmer months.