As a pond building contractor, I receive questions like, “How do I care for my pond?” “What do I have to do to my pond?” “How do I get clean water?” quite often. Below are some tips to help you do just that.
Taking care of your koi pond is completely dependent on how it’s built. When it’s built with a properly sized filtration system, you can keep your pond running well with very low maintenance!
More Spring Pond Care Tips:
Add beneficial bacteria. We recommend adding beneficial bacteria every day for the first week after your pond is started. After that first week, adding bacteria once every week is usually plenty.
We suggest getting an Automatic Dosing System if you have a busy lifestyle and don’t have time to add bacteria treatments to your pond.
We also suggest checking the skimmer basket about once a week. During the first few spring weeks in Minnesota, tree seeds can fall in your pond and plug the basket An easy 10 minutes spent every week in spring goes a long way towards clean and clear pond water for season later.
Summer Pond Care Tips:
During the summer months, your pond will start losing water to evaporation. The beautiful water plants will also start to give off moisture to the air through the leaves. You should be adding between 1-3 inches of water per week to maintain the correct water level in your pond.
Keep adding beneficial bacteria weekly, also.
Fall Pond Care Tips:
Cover your pond with a leaf net. This will help keep your pond clean. Make sure you keep the net off the surface of the water so the leaves don’t release tannins in the water. Tannin makes the pond water look like dark tea.
Fall is when the lights in the pond really come into play. Watching the fish swimming around, showing their beautiful colors as they play around the rocks, is so fun! Make sure as fall approaches you quit feeding your fish around 50 degrees. The fish can’t digest heavy foods at low temperatures but may eat algae and other things if they’re hungry. Don’t tempt them to over-eat!
Switch to Cold Water Beneficial Bacteria. Continue adding cold water bacteria every week until the ice comes, then add one dose every month to help keep the fish happy and healthy.
As fall comes to close it’s also time to close down your pond, typically around the last week of October. In Minnesota you can keep fish through the winter but it is hard on them. Make sure to accomodate for your fish health! Take the fish in and place in a tank with aeration or keep them in the pond if the pond will have some form of aeration and a hole in the ice (for air exchange).
Overall, a 10x15 pond should take about 25 hours a year to keep it going, and once you get started, you’ll find that it’s a great time to slow down, relax outside, enjoy nature, and even make some new friends as people hear your waterfall and want to see it!
Jeff Chudek has been building ponds and waterfalls professionally since 2005. As a kid, his favorite time of year was spring, because the spring thaw created so much mud and puddles, and all the trees and plants were waking up. He loves figuring out the best way to use something, and fixing things that are broken. He's good at coming up with ideas, and helping choose the best idea for you.