Too much heat can have bad consequences for the garden pond. The increased algae growth can cause the pond to tip over and thus endanger the fish living in it. Optimal pond maintenance in summer can prevent this.© white78 - Fotolia.com
A garden pond is the oasis of calm in a garden. But you can only really enjoy it if it looks clean and well-kept. Many give your garden pond an extensive maintenance treatment in the spring. That is correct, but that is not the end of it. It is also important that the garden pond is not left to its own devices in summer. Because of the hot temperatures and the oversupply of food, which increases the growth of algae, it quickly happens that the pond tilts and the animals living in it are endangered. In the worst case, they can die.
To prevent this from happening, it is important to always keep an eye on your garden pond in the summer and take regular precautions. You can find out exactly what these are.
Checklist for pond maintenance in summer
❍ Check water values© jensrother - Fotolia.com
Water quality determines life in the garden pond. To create a balance here, you have to check the water values regularly. There are special test strips for this that can be used to easily read the water values. The following values are decisive:
- pH (pH)
- Carbonate hardness (kH)
- Total hardness (gH)
- Ammonium (NH4)
- Ammonia (NH3)
- Nitrite (NO2)
- Nitrate (NO3)
" PH value
The pH value indicates how acidic (7) the pond water is. If this is too acidic, then the mucous membranes and gills burn in the fish. If the water is basic (alkaline), ammonium is converted to ammonia, which causes the animals to die painfully.
So you have to create a balance to protect your plants and animals. The ideal value is between 7 and 8 (tolerance range: between 6.5 and 8.5 pH). Due to rain, fresh pond water and sun, the water is subject to constant fluctuations. Fluctuations of 0.5 pH are allowed, they should not be larger, as this can be harmful for fish and plants.
As just mentioned, the pH value is subject to constant fluctuations. Ponds tend to acidify over time. This is due to the urine of the fish, rainwater or the release of acidic substances from some bacteria. How much the pond can deal with these pH fluctuations depends on the level of the carbonate value. In order to maintain a stable pH value, the carbonate hardness must have a value between 6 and 10 ° dKH.
The total hardness in the pond water indicates how many dissolved minerals are in it. These are necessary for many biological processes in water. If the water is too soft (low mineral content), these will no longer function properly. Soft water is between 8 and 10 ° dH. You have optimal water hardness if the value is between 10 and 15 ° dH.
" Tip: The value can be increased by adding fresh water to the pond.
»Ammonium and ammonia
Ammonium is formed through the excretion and degradation processes of organic materials. Does not matter. It becomes dangerous if this ammonium is converted to ammonia if the pH value is too high. Even a small value can be fatal to the fish. The ammonia content in the pond water should therefore be 0 mg per liter.
However, if the measuring device shows you a value of 0.2 mg per liter, you should urgently carry out a partial exchange of the water. Replace 25 percent of the water at a level up to 1.0 mg per liter. With a higher value, however, you should exchange up to 75 percent.
»Nitrite and nitrate
A detectable nitrite value can also be the cause of fish death. This ensures that the oxygen transport is blocked and the fish suffocate accordingly.
With a biological balance, however, the toxic nitrite is immediately converted into the harmless nitrate. Plants use this as fertilizer. An excess can increase algae growth. So also make sure that the nitrate value is as low as possible - everything is fine up to 25 mg per liter. In addition, you should use more aquatic plants and undertake a partial water exchange with nutrient-poor rainwater.
|PH value||6.5 - 8.5 pH|
|carbonate||6 ° - 10 ° dKH|
|total hardness||10 ° - 15 ° dH|
|ammonia||0 mg / l|
|nitrite||0 mg / l|
|nitrate||up to 25 mg / l|
|oxygen||5 - 10 mg / l|
If there are larger deviations in your measurements than the optimal values mentioned here, you should take precautions in this regard. This is the only way to maintain the biological balance of the water.
❍ Cut back aquatic plants
In addition to numerous fish, aquatic plants also belong in every garden pond. They affect the water quality and should therefore not be missing. But what can have a negative effect on the quality is the fact that the plants spread freely and grow too abundantly. In the worst case, the pond can tip over.
You counteract this with a targeted pruning. Just take a pair of scissors and thin out the plants. Afterwards, however, be sure to remove all plant residues such as stems and leaves.
»Expert tip: Only a third of the pond should be planted.
❍ Remove algae regularly© pure-life-pictures - Fotolia.com
Algae in the garden pond are not uncommon. On the contrary - they should even be there. But only to a small extent. As soon as the temperatures rise and the sun shines on the pond, the algae growth increases. Thread algae in particular are an annoying problem. So that the algae do not take over and thus disturb the biological balance, it is important to remove them. Landing nets, rakes or special thread algae brushes are suitable for this. Alternatively, of course, a long stick works.
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The aids mentioned above are suitable for normal infestation of thread algae. However, if this is already too advanced, special algae destroyers (found on aquagart.de) are the simpler and, above all, time-saving alternative. The agent is applied directly to the thread algae and removed within 24 hours. It has no negative effects on the fish and plants in your garden pond.
❍ Fill up with water
Smaller ponds in particular quickly reach a temperature of over 22 ° C in summer. When this value is reached, you should always fill up with cold water to prevent a lack of oxygen in the pond.
The same applies to evaporation. In particularly hot summers with low rainfall, many garden ponds lose up to 120 liters per square meter. Cold water must be refilled here regularly.
❍ Pond pumps and pond filters in continuous operation© Luftklick - Fotolia.com
Pond pumps and filters should definitely work continuously in summer. This is the only way to ensure that sufficient oxygen is permanently available in the garden pond.
The filter pump should be cleaned once a week. This is the only way it can achieve full performance and keep your pond clean.
❍ Special summer food for fish
Fish need valuable nutrients in the warm season. For example, the feed should be rich in protein in summer to ensure optimal growth. It should also be enriched with micronutrients, as the fish can use it better. At the same time, this has the advantage that the excretions are reduced and the nitrate content in the water remains low.
❍ Create a shady place© stockpics - Fotolia.com
As mentioned above, algae grow more when the garden pond is in the blazing sun. The fish also need a shady spot in order not to get a dangerous sunburn.
The location cannot be changed afterwards, but you can provide shade at the garden pond. A sun sail can be installed quickly and easily, for example. But a bridge also provides a cool shelter for the fish.