The Ultimate Guide to Pond Maintenance

pond maintenance

Maintaining a pond is a very involved process.

From removing weeds, to water testing, to finding the best time to do an annual clear out, pond maintenance is not as easy as just making sure the water level is constant.

But with some work throughout the seasons you can keep your wetlands healthy. And your ecological system can be a great space for lots of wildlife.

Read on for some advice on when and how to clean out your pond.

Pond Maintenance Throughout the Seasons

Trying to find the best time to take care of your pond often depends on the kind of pond maintenance you want to do.

Being aware of the types of wildlife using your water feature as their homes is important. You don’t want to interrupt breeding seasons. Or disrupt nests.

Focusing on water quality and weed removal will go great lengths in keeping a balanced ecosystem.

Here’s a layout of things to do during each season that will keep your pond healthy.

Summer

During the summer it’s important to make sure the water level remains constant. You will want to check the water quality weekly using a kit specific for ammonia, chloramine, and chlorine. These chemicals will kill fish.

Summer is also a prime time to remove invasive plants and weeds. Weeds like cattails and reedmaces are dangerous for pond health.

Items like weed razers will keep pond growth down. If you limit the number of lilypads, cattails and eel grass down, the aeration in your pond will increase drastically. This will also help keep algae growth down as well.

Summer is a prime time to do some major maintenance. Most wildlife will be well past breeding season and any young will be well on their way to maturity.

Plus, nicer weather makes maintaining your pond’s health much more enjoyable.

Autumn

During the fall season, it is important to get your pond ready for winter. This involves removing pumps and filters, draining fountains and any other water lines you may have running into your pond.

If you have fish in your pond, reduce feeding. Remove nonhardy plants. And move submerged plants like lilies and lotuses to deep parts of the pond. Skimming the surface of the pond for leaves will maintain water quality. And there are many devices that will keep leaves from cluttering the surface of your pond.

Do not leave too much organic matter in your pond. And make sure you cut back any organic matter that may crowd your pond.

Winter

During the winter months consider putting in a floating pond heater and de-icer. De-Icers will help keep your hibernating fish alive through the winter months. It creates a hole in the ice that allows the flow of air.

You can also use a piece of wood or a ball on the surface of your pond to keep the pressures of ice from damaging your pond.

Again, make sure you remove any pumps and filters you may have in your pond. And shut your fountains off. If you use a floating de-icer, keep it away from any aerator you may have.

Some pond owners may consider smaller waterfalls. It will require some watching and maintenance throughout the season. The last thing you want is an ice dam forming and damaging your pond.

Keep an eye on your pond’s water levels as well. This will be tricky in winter with all water sources turned off. Some landscapers recommend carrying buckets of water from your house or garage to your pond.

Just like in summer, topping off your water levels will have to happen during the winter as well.

You do not want to disturb your habitat too much during this process. Winter is prime time for hibernation. So keep that in mind as you head into the cold season.

Spring

Once the promise of warm weather starts to peek on the horizon it’s time to get ready for the heavy duty pond maintenance.

The first thing that must be done is draining the pond. Hose down the liner, locate and patch leaks and once that’s done, fill the pond by trickling water through a hose. This prevents mineral buildup.

Replace pumps and filters as needed and make sure your fountains are functioning properly. Inspecting and replacing aerators if need be is also a good idea.

Once your pond is full and the risk of frost has gone, bring out the plants you’ve kept in storage and begin feeding your fish the high-carbohydrate food they need to thrive.

Maintaining your ponds oxygen levels is important. This keeps algae from growing as the water warms.

Best Ways to Keep Weeds Away

There are many ways to keep weeds and algae away from your pond.

Choosing a 100% chemical-free algaecide is a great way to remove potentially dangerous algae from your wetlands. Make sure any chemical you use is safe for your pond specimens though. The last thing you want to do is kill your fish and bullfrogs.

Another great way to keep weeds under control is to choose a beach rake that will remove lily pads and cattails from banks.

These tools can be used on land and water, making them a great multi-use tool for your pond.

There are a lot of ways to keep weed growth down in your pond. These are just a few methods that may work for your water features.

Want to Learn More?

Knowing when’s the right time to work on your pond is an important aspect of pond maintenance.

The work to keep your pond healthy never goes away, even in colder months. But with the help of this article and some of our products, you will be able to keep your wetlands healthy.

Visit our website for more products. We have multiple kinds of weed razers that will work well for any size pond or lake. We also have chemical free algaecides which will keep algae from compromising your pond’s water quality.

With the help of our professional staff, we will get your pond taken care of.

What Makes a Plant “Bad?”

Aquatic organisms, just like every other living thing, have good traits and bad. But why do we call some water plants “weeds” or “invasive” species?

Good question. As much as we all love the melting pot of a world that we live in, there are consequences to mixing organisms. And invasive weeds can bring life-changing consequences too, at least, in terms of ecology.

Plants that are non-native (brought from another ecosystem) have greater potential to be labeled “invasive” or a “weed.” Why?

Because of balance.

Let’s take a look at the Water Hyacinth. This plant is a native of South America and characteristic for its beautiful violet flower. In the 4 other continents, however, any property owner with this “adornment,” would be quick to point out it’s thorns.

WATER HYACINTH (Pixabay Image)

Brought to News Orleans for the 1884 World Fair, this organism did what organisms do best. It spread its seed. Covering the surface water with its thick leaves and blooms, it wasn’t long before waterways were clogged with the Water Hyacinth’s majestic beauty.

Perfect for a World Fair, right? Wrong. Due to the choking nature of this plant’s bloom, sunlight no longer reaches other aquatic plants. Slowly, this invasive weed starves the oxygen levels in the water thereby killing not only plants and fish food sources, but injuring wildlife.

But wait, it gets better. As the infestation of Water Hyacinths increases (spread by wind, floods, birds, boats, and humans) so does the MOSQUITO POPULATION. Just what everyone wants!

So not only does it choke out the sun, kill virtually every living thing around it, and promote blood sucking pests, but its mere existence can cost millions of dollars.

When waterways become so choked with this invasive weed (as they did in New Orleans during following the World Fair) freight ships and other boats cannot travel through. Furthermore, removing this invasive weed from major waterways requires a massive labor force; the economy also takes a hit as shipments must be stalled or rerouted around the catastrophe.

(Further reiterated in this delightfully dramatic video: Invasive Weed: A Story of a Wicked Plant)

 

Since 1884, the Water Hyacinth has spread to Africa, Europe, Australia, and Asia. One can only imagine the havoc wreaked on those shores…

Spread of Invasive Weed Eichhornia crassipes (Water Hyacinth)

So while the purple flower sure is pretty, please don’t take offense when we label this plant as a First Class North American WEED.

 

For further reading:

 

Tools to Eradicate Water WEEDS

10 AWFUL INVASIVE SPECIES

Please Keep it Contained

Let Us Tell You Why You Need to Commit to Algae Control

algae controlHave you noticed that a thin layer of algae has started to slowly overtake your lake or pond?

What about the fact that fish seem to be dying at a rapid rate, or that you aren’t seeing the kind of bird life you used to enjoy as much anymore?

Are you frustrated with the unsightly look of algae on the surface of your water? Algae control is about more than just keeping your ponds, pools, and lakes beautiful.

It’s also about protecting the ecosystem of these waters and keeping your family safe and healthy.

Read on to learn more about why algae control is something that you need to take seriously — and the tools to make it easier.

Why Algae Control Matters

You might not think that algae in your lake, pool, or pond are something that you need to take seriously, this simply isn’t the case.

Sure, it doesn’t look great, but it’s not harmful in any way, right?

Wrong.

In fact, according to information gathered by the CDC, hundreds of people have become ill as a result of algae contamination.

While not all types of algae are hazardous to human health, those referred to as Harmful Algae Blooms (HAB) certainly are. This is because they produce high amounts of toxins that, especially when breathed in, can make you seriously ill.

They can cause problems in your lungs, your stomach, your intestines, and much more.

Plus, as algae continues to rot, it lowers the overall oxygen level in your pond or lake. This means that it can kill the plants and animals that call the water home.

Other Health Dangers Of Algae

Let’s talk a little bit more about why you need to take algae control seriously in order to protect not only the environment but also the overall health of your family.

Believe it or not, larger amounts of algae have the ability to contaminate your entire water supply. Not only will the water start to seriously stink, it will also mean it’s unsafe to swim in.

Interestingly, algae doesn’t only poison the animal life that might be living in your lake or pond. If there’s enough of it, it can start to act like an enormous net. Fish and birds get tangled in this web of algae and die as a result.

And if you’re taking your boat or canoe out on the water?

Algae can damage that, too. It becomes attached to the bottom of your boat. Over time, this means that your boat will slow down from the weight of the algae.

The Best Tools For Algae Control

Now that you understand why algae control is so important, let’s take a look at some of the most effective products you can use to get rid of this green gunk.

Use one or all of these tools and algae killing agents to tackle your pond problems once and for all.

Cutrine-Plus

If you’re dealing with surface algae, then we suggest picking up a bottle of Cutrine-Plus, which is ideal for both smaller ponds and larger lakes.

It works especially well on either filamentous algae or even planktonic algae, meaning that it packs a serious one-two punch. This is thanks to the main active ingredient in this product: copper ethanolamine.

For best results, we suggest using anywhere from about 1/2 a gallon to three gallons for every acre-foot. Keep in mind that, the thicker your algae level, the more of this product that you’ll need to use. Always dilute Cutrine-Plus before you use it.

Kleer Pond Algae Treatment

Next up on our list of the best products for algae control is found here.

The Kleer Pond Algae Treatment, which is perfect for those who want to kill algae, but wants to use a chemical-free agent to make it happen.

Kleer is an all-natural algae killer because it’s made from living organisms that work to tackle the gunk in your pond. And because it relies on living microbes that feed on the nutrients that algae provide them with? It works for about six months after a single application.

How’s that for effective?

Especially if you have fish and other animals living or swimming in your pond, this is the option you should invest in.

It even helps to handle the odor associated with planktonic algae!

The Swifter Sifter

In addition to algae control agents, sometimes you also need to invest in a tool to help you do the job.

This is where the Swifter Sifter comes in.

It’s able to clean 6,300 square feet without you having to lug it around (although it’s only eight pounds) to different locations. Plus, the fact that it’s made from rust-proof aluminum makes it an awesome investment.

The tools help to clear away both plants and algae, meaning that it will leave the surface and waterbed of your pond or lake looking cleaner than ever. You simply cast it out into the water, let it sink to the bottom, and easily reel it back into you.

Best of all?

It comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Looking For More Algae Control Advice?

We hope that this post has helped you to understand why algae control is something that you can’t afford to ignore.

As you’ve learned, algae control doesn’t only impact the plant life in your pond or lake. It can also kill fish, birds, and be extremely harmful to humans that come into contact with it.

We strongly suggest that, as soon as you spot any algae growth in your water, you purchase some of the products we discussed in this post immediately.

Looking for more information about how to keep your pond or lake healthy? Want to invest in some more tools that will help you to keep things clean and protect the ecosystem your water has created?

We can help.

Spend some time on our website and blog to learn more about how to keep your lakes and ponds happy and healthy all year long.

Clean It Up: The Benefits of Beach Raking

“A Thalassophile” (n.) A lover of the sea.

You might not have heard of this word before, yet most people would say that they love the sea. Does that make you a thalassophile? Maybe, but unfortunately, as much as we humans claim to love our precious turquoise ocean, it’s not being cared for.

In fact, according to the team at National Geographic, as of 2015 there were 5.25 Trillion pieces of trash in the ocean.

Yes, the ocean and the marine life that lives within is in trouble. And we need to do something, before its too late.

How can you keep the ocean clean? One way is beach raking. Keep reading to find out more.

What is Beach Raking?

Beach raking or grooming is the practice of removing seaweed, debris, and trash from sandy beaches.

There are a variety of methods you can use. For major projects, some use large tractors with rakes being pulled behind. Others use tools, such as beach rakes, to clean areas both inside and outside the water. And others use their hands to pick up trash along the shoreline.

However it’s done beach raking is a great way to keep beaches clean and well groomed.

Read on to see the several potential benefits to beach raking.

What are the benefits?

According to Ocean Conservancy, trash in the ocean has a profound effect on wildlife people and local economies. Let’s take a look at the benefits of beach cleaning for each of these groups:

1. It Helps to Protect Wildlife

Beach raking helps to remove trash, such as plastics and fishing gear. These unwanted items can be detrimental to wildlife.

For marine animals, trash in the water and on the shoreline is easily mistaken as food. For example, many sea turtles sadly eat plastic bags thinking they are jellyfish, causing them to suffocate. Other sea turtles, fish, and birds also eat plastic straws and stirrers, causing a real danger to their lives.

“From plankton to whales, animals across ocean ecosystems have been contaminated by plastic. Plastic has been found in 59% of seabirds like albatross and pelicans, in 100% of sea turtle species, and more than 25% of fish sampled from seafood markets around the world” – Ocean Conservancy

Other animals may get tangled up in trash or old fishing lines and nets eventually leading to their death. We all remember that tragic photo in 2017 of the seahorse holding onto a Q-tip.

Plastic also attracts and concentrates pollutants from surrounding seawater, so when it is eaten by unsuspecting marine creatures, they can become contaminated.

Beach cleaning can help to save these creatures. But it’s not only affecting the animals, it’s affecting us too.

2. It Helps to Protect All of Us

If we go back to that quote from the Ocean Conservancy above, it stated that 25% of fish sampled from seafood markets have traces of plastic in them. That means we are eating plastic too.

It’s not just plastic though. Recently, many fish and other kinds of seafood have been found to have high levels of mercury in them. The fish ingest things with mercury in them, we, in turn, eat the fish and ingest dangerous amounts of mercury, which can actually lead to insanity.

Keeping the shoreline clean will help any beachgoers to enjoy themselves more. Imagine taking a trip down to the beach and having to wade through smelly rubbish, old seaweed or debris to get to the sea. Nobody wants that experience when they go to the seaside.

An unclean beach may also be a health and safety hazard. You could step on something dangerous, or even get tangled up in something and fall over.

As you can see, keeping beaches clean protects all of us.

3. It Helps to Protect Local Economies

Clean beaches mean more tourism. And that’s a vital part of the economy for many places around the world. Having a dirty beach really puts people off.

For those who own shoreline businesses, such as villas, hotels, or restaurants, a clean beach will definitely improve the overall ambiance of their beachfront experience, which in turn keeps them in business.

There are also many men and women who earn their living from selling or catching seafood.

If you still want to eat fish for dinner, we need to keep fishermen in business. If the beaches are unclean, boats will find it hard to float through the debris. They will also struggle when they pull up nets that are filled with trash.

Cleaning up the shoreline can help keep many local economies thriving.

How can you get involved?

There are many organizations and charities that are doing their bit in saving the planet.

Whether you decide to join a team, make a local team of your own or be a lone ranger, you can really help to make a difference in your efforts.

Getting the community together for a beach grooming session can also bring you contentment. Not only will you be doing something meaningful and unselfish, but you’ll also increase your knowledge about the marine environment.

If you’re planning a beach raking session, make sure to follow these simple beach cleaning hacks:

  • Visit the beach when it’s not busy
  • Notify local authorities
  • Have a plan for where you’ll dispose of the trash
  • Keep everyone safe by wearing thick gloves and closed toe shoes
  • Don’t use plastic bags!
  • Use buckets or reusable bags to collect the trash and recyclables

Other things you should remember include recycling and having the right equipment.

Have designated bags or boxes for items that can be recycled. For example cans, glass and plastic bottles can all be kept separately for recycling. Bigger items, such as old tires and appliances might be able to be recycled too. Do your research beforehand to check if there are any fees for recycling these items.

Have the right equipment. A beach rake is a key item to have on hand and can make the process of beach cleaning so much faster and more productive.

Save Planet Earth — Do Your Bit

Do your bit. Every little bit helps! The things you do now to help your planet can help to protect wildlife, the economy and your fellow humans both now and in the future.

So get your tools ready, grab a bucket and get down to the beach!

Check out our products page for a variety of tools that can help you make your beach raking a success.

7 Benefits of Lake Weed Removal

lake weed removalLiving off a large body of water is a blessing for those who get to do it.

However, many lake users run into issues of vegetation control. This could be algae blooms. It could be excessive, even harmful, vegetation growth.

Some amount of growth can be a beautiful touch to a lake or pond, and even detoxify chemicals and provide food for aquatic creatures.

If aquatic vegetation is not controlled, an aquatic ecosystem can become completely unbalanced. It can ruin your backyard environment.

This is why its essential to maintain proper vegetation control in large bodies of water.

Eliminating harmful vegetation can ensure your lake or pond is healthy for yourself and the creatures who inhabit it.

There are many specific benefits to lake weed removal. Read on to hear about a few of them.

Room For Fun

One of the most immediately dampening effects of excessive vegetation can be how it limits your favorite activities.

For those that live off of lakes and ponds, swimming, boating, fishing, and other water-based activities can be the highlights of a summer.

Overgrowth of algae and other plant life can make these tasks near impossible.

Outside of being unpleasant, sometimes overgrown plant life can become so thick or prevalent that these tasks become impossible to do altogether.

Vegetation can hinder or possibly even damage boat motors and machinery. The last thing you’ll want on a fishing trip is to get trapped or stuck in lake weeds.

Keeping Picture Perfect

A body of water can be a tranquil, wonderful sight. Lake weed removal can ensure that your lake or pond remains this way.

Excessive vegetation can discolor your body of water’s natural hue, giving it a more sickly, green appearance.

Vegetation can also emit less than pleasant odors. It can even give the water a musty, thick texture. Not pleasant to feel or taste.

Algae overgrowth can quickly overtake the top layer of your lake or pond, hiding the water away underneath thick layers of green.

Not only will your body of water be unhealthy, it will certainly look it.

Lake weed removal early in on this process means your backyard views will remain beautiful and soul nourishing.

Balance In The Food Chain

Lake weed removal will also ensure another group thanks you for your work– the fish!

Excessive vegetation can totally throw the ecosystem of a body of water out of whack.

Too much plant growth can give smaller fish and creatures room to hide. This makes it much harder for bigger fish to find their food.

What results is a complete imbalance in the amount of small fish population compared to big.

The food chain in these systems begins to completely unravel, and many of the bigger fish will die out.

Avoiding Fish Kills

Having such an abundance of plant life will also begin to suck the oxygen out of the body of water.

While having some small plant life is actually beneficial to oxygen levels, too much will completely choke the body of water’s oxygen levels completely.

This will leave the aquatic life in your lake or pond with none to live off of.

Lakes or ponds with excessive vegetation frequently find dead fish washing up on shore. This is as a result of oxygen depletion from the lake.

Proper lake weed removal ensures that the natural balance of a body of water remains… and prevents you from having to see the sometimes unruly results.

Hold Mosquitos At Bay

If you picture an overgrown lake in your head, you can probably hear the steady hum of mosquitos with it.

A body of water with excessive vegetation is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitos and just another reason why lake weed removal is so important.

Mosquito populations tend to cluster towards bodies of water with strong vegetation, resting on this growth and making it home.

Its been proven that as vegetation increases, so do mosquitos populations.

We don’t have to tell you that mosquitos are annoying. But they also can carry disease, and keeping large populations away from your home is always a good idea.

Depending on where you live, lake weed removal can’t promise a mosquito-free environment.

But it can certainly help to keep large amounts of the pests at bay.

No Flooding or Backage

Excessive vegetation can take up a lot of space in your body of water.

Over time, this displacement might begin to negatively affect the surrounding areas.

Bodies of water with large amounts of vegetation may find that typically pathways for water runoff are blocked by plant growth.

This can result in general flooding over the typical edges of your body of water, creating a lot of mud and muck– especially after rain!

Prevents Later Issues

The sooner lake weed removal is brought to a body of water, the better it will be for the environment in the long run.

Harmful vegetation frequently has deep roots and spreads quickly.

Early removal will make the job much easier for you. It will also ensure less interference with your body of water’s soil and dirt.

Aquatic weeds need to be removed fully, not just cut. Many aquatic weeds reproduce through fragmentation, and cutting them could potentially increase their numbers instead of decrease.

Using a rake or other tool to effectively rid your body of water of weeds will create a healthy, longer life for your body of water.

Waiting to deal with the issue until your lake or pond is completely overgrown can make the problems much harder to manage.

Lake Weed Removal Has Many Benefits

Living off a lake or pond be a dream, but without proper lake weed removal, it can become a nightmare.

Practicing ongoing vegetation monitoring is the best way to ensure that the body of water that you adore remains healthy and beautiful throughout all seasons.

We have a variety of products available to make removal an easy and stress-free process.

If you have any questions about excessive vegetation, you can contact us anytime for tips or help.

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