In the summer, you’ll be more likely to be in your water garden in the evenings, enjoying your pond, watching the fish swimming lazily through the water. The heat of summer, however provides some challenges in maintaining your pond, and keeping the fish healthy. These tips will help you to keep the fish and the pond healthy.
Oxygen levels in your pond are essential if you have gold fish. When the water temperatures reach 90 degrees F., level of oxygen should be at least 7.0 ppm. You will start noticing signs of stress in the fish when the oxygen level drops to 4.0 ppm, and they will start dying at 3.0 ppm. The oxygen levels in the water will drop as the temperatures rise, so during the hottest part of the day, you should provide shade for the pond and the fish to keep the water temperatures down. Fountains, air stones, or other aerators will help to add oxygen to the water to keep the fish healthy.
Parasites such as anchor worms, fish lice, flukes, and other parasites will increase in warm weather. Some of the symptoms will include thick mucous on the fish, rubbing against objects in the pond, jumping, and flashing. Visible parasites, like anchor worms, fish lice, and others can be treated with Dylox, Dipterex, and Masoten. For other parasite infections, you should consult a pond specialist for treatment. Be sure to tell them how the fish are behaving, and what the symptoms are. Follow the instructions on the label carefully to avoid killing off the fish as well as the parasites.
As the weather, and the water temperature warms up, so will the metabolism of your fish, so you will need to feed them at different intervals than in cooler weather. Estimate the total body weight of the fish in the pond, then feed them 1%-1.5% of the total body weight in food, 5-8 times a day. Koi will digest their food faster in warmer weather than in cooler weather. When the weather gets warm, you should feed them about 5-8 times a day as opposed to 1-3 times a day in cooler weather.
If your pond gets direct sunlight during the day, especially during the hottest part of the day, you should provide shady areas for the fish to keep out of the sunlight, especially in shallow ponds. Water lilies, rocks, and other plants will provide shade for the fish. If you have to, you can also shade the pond with a beach umbrella. Just make sure that the fish have shelter from the direct sunlight to prevent them from getting sunburn. Shade will also help to prevent algae.
In warm weather, more water evaporates from the pond, especially with a large surface area. Monitor the level of the water daily, and add water to your pond as needed. Remember not to use water with chlorine if you have fish. You can buy water treatments that will remove chlorine from the water, or fill a few buckets, and let them sit overnight before adding it to your pond.
A pond does require quite a bit of attention in the summer. But by following these simple tips, you can keep the pond and its inhabitants healthy. And you’ll get more enjoyment out of a healthy pond.