This text will highlight the key points to consider when planning maintenance to achieve a problem free pond.

Ponds are in essence a man made replica of a natural occurrance. In nature a pond is formed at a low spot or cut off channel. Sediment and nutrient is washed and blown into the system and aquatic plants begin to grow. These plants over time fill in and overgrow the pond and are joined and replaced by larger and more pernanent species. Eventually the pond becomes a bog or marsh area before becoming heath, field or woodland. This is the process of succession.
When we design a watergarden we design the ponds to be as low maintenance as possible. By choosing appropriate pond equipment, the correct aquatic plant species and quantities and protecting it from excess nutrient sources such as overstocking with fish, run off and lack of shade we minimise the pond maintenance required in the future.

In order to reduce the need for full pond  clean outs and full pond servicing we recomend an annual approach to pond maintenance. This needn’t be a laborius  process but with a little effort now and then you can help to minimise your pond service requirements.

Spring –
Seperate reduce and re-pot any plants that require attention.
Check all pond equipment including pumps, filters, aerators, UV units etc. Replace components, lubricate and service as required.
Visual check of any exposed pipes and fittings.
Assess fish stock for signs of disease.
A good times of year for a pond clean to ensure everything is running and ready for the upcoming pond season.

Summer –
Cut away excess and remove any dying or dead vegetation.
Check for dead injured or dying fish and remedy, isolate or remove asap.
Keep an eye on fish behaviour gasping at the surface is a sign of low oxygen.
Be cautious when applying fertiliser or near to the pond. It is very high in nutrients and can rapidly green up your pond.
Be cautious when using chemicals such as weed killer close to your pond as even a small amount can wipe out all aquatic organisms including fish.
A good time of year for a pond maintenance visit to ensure everything is running well and the pond is looking its best.

Autumn –
Remove any loose leaves and wind blown debris from the surface. Regularly check your skimmer if you have one.
Cut back vegetation in preparation for winter die back. This includes any plants that die back and regrow in the spring such as lilies. Most plants must be cut back above water level to prevent frost damage.
A good time of year for a full pond clean to put the pond to bed ready for Winter.

Winter –
In larger ponds ensure that features still run in order to keep an area ice free. This will prevent toxic gas build up.
Do not over mix water as this can  further reduce water temperature.
If ice does cover the pond defrost one point do not smash through as this can cause shock.
Fish will be less active do not feed them unless it is very mild or use a specialist diet.
A good time of year for a pond service whilst everthing is dormant and inactive. Time to add any new features ready for the Spring.

Ongoing –
Clean filters; gravity fed and pressurised filters need to be checked regularly to maintain optimum efficiency.
Waterways including streams and waterfalls need to be checked for obstructions including debris and excess plant growth.
Pump covers should be checked if output drops.
Remove debris and dead/excess plant growth.
Visual check fish for behaviour and health.