With experts predicting the sunshine to continue now is the time many will sit back and enjoy their garden at its best. Andy Paxton, from leading water gardening specialist Blagdon, offers advice to pass on to your customers to care for aquatic life as the mercury rises:
1) Keep pumping – It’s essential that the pumps and air pumps are running throughout the day and night. The oxygen levels in the pond deplete at night-time when the plants stop producing oxygen. If the pump is not in operation when it is dark the fish can become stressed.
2) Improve circulation – It’s important to keep the water moving in the pond to ensure it doesn’t become stagnant under the scorching sun. Adding a fountain or waterfall, appropriate to the size of the pond ensures good water movement. There are also a wide range of products designed to create small bubbles, which help to circulate water from the bottom of the pond to the surface.
3) Keep it clean – Basic pond maintenance must continue over the summer months. The pump pre-filter foam, pump cage and filter foams should cleaned out regularly to increase water flow through these areas and contribute to a good overall circulation throughout the pond.
4) Stay on top of waste – Fish may eat more during the warmer months; this is due to quicker metabolisms boosting their appetites and is completely normal. This does, however, lead to increased levels of waste within the pond’s ecosystem which should not be ignored. Filter systems can usually cope with these sudden rises in temperature, and therefore waste, but customers can add products to boost the filtration system by adding a source of good bacteria.
5) Treat new water – Every time the pond is topped up, which of course will be quite frequently in the summer, it must be treated to de-chlorinate the tap water and remove the harmful metals it contains. The hose must be run gently to avoid shocking the fish through the sudden change in temperature between the cold tap water and warm pond.