Let’s talk about pond maintenance and preparation for spring. Some of you might not be ready for this, like up in the North East, but others may already be rolling up their sleeves and girding themselves for the pleasures associated with getting pond things up to snuff.
Well where do you begin? I would have to say that a cursory look at everything is probably the best way to start. Take a notebook and pen with you so that you can jot down notes about things that need attention.
I would probably take a peek at all of my plumbing fixtures and make sure something has not developed a leak anywhere. Sometimes they do and you notice it early on, but being a small issue it might be put off until now. Take a look at all the fittings that might contain O-rings too. O-rings tend to dry out over time and can become brittle. Of course brittle equates to leaks at some point in time. It is better to know now than when they go out completely and you’re not there to catch it in time.
You might want to give everything a good wipe down too. Dust and dirt that accumulates on things like pumps can cause issues too. You want to turn them off and unplug them if you need to use any spray cleaners near them. Typically though, spray cleaners are usually used on them, but you shouldn’t take chances with electricity.
It’s also a good time to check filters in your air pumps too. Dust and debris can clog those over time just like the air filter in your car. Your air pump will run at a lower efficiency rate without a clean filter. If you have a diaphragm air pump and depending upon the age of the pump itself, you might want to check the diaphragm for wear and tear too.
Make sure your UV lighting is in good working order as well. It will be irritating later when it starts to warm up and the sun shines all day long and you see a huge bloom of algae in the pond. The bulbs are moderately priced, so you might consider having an extra one on hand. Speaking of the bulbs you should always wear gloves when handling them. The oil from your finger tips can create a hot spot on the bulb which will eventually work towards the bulbs untimely demise.
Untimely demise? Who talks like that? I should have said, you will rue the day that a bulb goes out early, but that sentence is probably just as corny. But I digress.
Check the quality of your water too. If the pond has remained full, with or without fish, it’s a good idea to know what state the chemistry is in. This way when your fish do get moved back in you know they are going into a healthy environment.
If you had to drain the pond over the winter, now is a good time to check the entire interior surface out. Make sure you see no cracks in your concrete or holes in your rubber liner. Repairing them now will be easier and less costly than after you have filled the pond back up.
If your pond had gone through winter with water in it, you may have to manually clean varying debris out of the water. This could be anything, from leaves to other solids. Scoop them out and it will mean less work for the filer itself.
Finally, if you have plants, you should trim them up some. Make sure all the pots are at the proper levels in the water as well. A general squaring away of the plant life will make the pond look fresh again too.