Most pond owners know how important it is to have good water quality. It might look like the water is clear on the surface, but you might notice your fish acting a bit strange, which means there is some off with the pond’s water.
This might be confusing for most people because if you are managing to keep your water clear which is 90% of the battle and your fish are still acting strange, then what can you do about it?
What is it that you are not seeing that is affecting your fish?
Well, in this article we are going to cover the 5 most important tips you need to deal with all the water issues that you will face.
Never Over-feed Your Fish
This is one of the biggest issues out there. Most beginner water gardeners never think about how much food their fish can eat. So they try to feed them more than they need so when the fish get hungry later, they will have something to eat.
That’s the wrong way to think about it.
The excess food you are feeding them will be left to decay in the pond. This will start to cause more issues than you might think.
“Okay makes sense. What if I feed them twice a day?”
That’s not a good idea either.
You should only feed your fish enough food that they can finish eating within 2 to 3 minutes tops. After that, their next meal should be the next day.
If you are worried about your fish not getting enough food, make sure you choose a quality fish food. The best ones in your case will be the ones that can float. So you can see if your fish are able to eat all the food that you are feeding them. And if not, you can just pull it out with a net.
Don’t go for food that sinks to the bottom of the pond. You won’t be able to know exactly how much food your fish need and it will also start to decay at the bottom which is never a good thing.
Using Proper Filtration For Your Pond Is Key
Most pond filters that are on the market are marketed based on the ideal circumstances. And we know that in most cases, things never go according to plan.
So make sure you are buying a pond filter that exceeds those circumstances. This is your insurance against something going wrong. Not just that, a filter for a bigger pond (even if your pond is smaller) will just do a better job.
Also, make sure that you are cleaning your filter itself at regular intervals. You don’t want to bottleneck the filtration capacity of your filter.
There are several types of filters out there. The most popular ones are known as the skimmer and a biological filter.
The skimmer is exactly what you think it is – it cleans the surface of the pond. It can remove debris like leaves and small sticks from the surface. But everything beneath the surface gets ignored if a skimmer is the only filter you buy.
The biological filter cleans everything beneath the surface. Most biological filters are positioned in a way so that they create a waterfall in your pond. This helps them spread the bacteria throughout the pond that then breaks down all the wastes beneath the surface.
The waste is broken down to a level where it is less harmful and are small enough for your aquatic plants to consume them as a fertilizer.
Always Have a Healthy Fish Population
Having 10” of fish for every 100 gallons is the best ratio in our opinion. Anything more than that, and your pond will be over-populated.
The problem with an over-populated pond is that it can cause an imbalance in your pond water. Like we talked about in our other post, it can cause an imbalance in the pH levels of water and start causing more issues.
We recommend that you just avoid that headache and if you think you have a lot of fish in your pond, then you are probably right. Try to donate some of them to other pond retailers or owners. They would be more than happy to accept your fish.
Make Sure You Have Enough Aquatic Plants
It is a weird thing to think about oxygen. But when you are underwater, oxygen is important. And if you have too many plants in your water, it can cause an oxygen deficiency in your fish at night because of the photosynthetic process that plants go through.
They give out carbon dioxide and consume oxygen. Which is all good, but the problem is, there is a limited supply of oxygen in your pond. And your fish need that oxygen too.
The best thing we suggest you do is to cover at least 40-50% of your pond’s surface area. That way, if there are plants that come under the shaded area, there won’t be as much photosynthetic activity going on in that part of the pond, leaving more oxygen for your fish.
Always Clean Your Debris
This is a big one. Most people just buy a skimmer and think that everything is taken care of. Which is true, but there are times when the skimmer just can’t get to the debris in time. And they sink and start to decay underwater.
Now combine that with the fish waste and leftover fish food, and you’ve got the perfect recipe to increase the ammonia levels in your pond.
Needless to say, having excess levels of ammonia in your pond water can cause a lot of harm to your fish. In some cases you will even see your fish trying to jump out of the water. And this is not a good sign.
This can also happen after you add a chemical to treat algae.
The solution is simple though.
First, you buy an ammonia test kit from your nearest pet/aquarium store, or you can also buy it from Amazon.
If you see that your pond has high levels of ammonia, you can just treat your pond with an ammonia neutralizer
And that’s it! You have successfully reduced ammonia levels from your pond water.