What to expect with the warm weather: Three things to expect with warm weather and your pond.
Every year as the seasons changes from the cold winter months to the warmer spring months, there are at least three things you can expect with the warm weather. Over the last several months your pond has probably been hit with a heavy organic load. Falling leaves, rain runoff, fertilizers, twigs, sticks and whatever your yard has contributed to your pond. With all of this going on there are a few thing you can expect with the warm weather that is just around the corner.
The warmer weather and sunny skies over the past few weeks have flowers blooming, trees leafing out — and algae spreading quickly. With the crazy weather we have here in So-Cal, we could have 70-80 degree days and 30-40 degree nights. Water this cold makes the bacteria go dormant. This is an issue because the bacteria is so crucial to a healthy ecosystem. For bacteria to fully function, water temperature MUST be above 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure to use bacteria to not only treat algae, but to prevent its growth. Follow the directions on the bacteria container to properly treat your pond!
As the sun shines and the weather warms the fish will become more active and will begin to look for food. We of course all want to feed our fish and watch the eat, after all that’s part of keeping fish right? Unless your fish are super active we suggest holding off on feeding until the water is constantly above 60 degrees F and the fish are extremely active.
Fish may be partially active during the day and super relaxed at night. If the water is still cool the fish’s metabolism most likely isn’t as active as it will be. If the fish fill up on a high protein diet their body’s may not be able to process the food as efficiency as needed. This could lead to the food rotting in their stomach and causes Illness or even death. Underfeeding is much less common than over feeding.
Some signs that a koi is being overfed:
- Extended belly
- Wispy looking tail
- Listless behavior
The negative effects include:
- Increased biological waste in the pond (from both the koi and uneaten food)
- Decline in water quality
- Lowered oxygen content
- Damage to kidney and internal organs
- Increased chance for disease onset
- Fin rot
You should feed your fish 1 to 2 times a day. To figure how much food is enough, a good rule of thumb is to give them only what they will eat in 5 minutes. Time to start increasing your fish’s feeding regimen? Order your fish food now.
As the weather warms up, so will the water. As the days keep getting longer and warmer, the plants in your pond or water garden are going to start growing. You might start to see the tops of the plants budding with me growth or you might see new shoes start to make their way towards the sun. Plants will begin to grow very quickly, it is important to maintain the growth before it gets out of control in the pond. You also want to make sure to remove any dead leaves or plants from the pond as soon as possible. Letting those fall to the bottom of your pond will contribute to more algae growth.
If you do not already have plants in your pond, they make a great addition to your existing filtration system. If your pond is 100 gallons or 100,000 gallons the addition of pond plants will decrease the amount of maintenance to keep your pond water clean and is a great alternative to expensive products that kill algae by chemical or mechanical means. In warmer seasons, floating plants are beneficial because they can keep the water temperature down by providing shade during the hot summer days. Read more about the benefits of pond plants.
Spring is my favorite time of year. It’s when everything starts to grow, everything is fresh and green, and the plants are budding and blooming.
It’s also a time when your pond may need a little extra attention. All the debris your pond has accumulated over winter has settled at the bottom, and when temperatures rise you will see algae bloom due to this excess organic matter! Don’t wait till your pond is full of algae, hire a pond professional to perform a much needed spring clean-out on your pond.