10 Springtime Start-Up Tips for Water Gardens
With the onset of warm weather, now is the time to get outside and begin enjoying the water gardening season. Ponds that have been dormant all winter may need a little extra care to get back on track. Here are ten simple steps to prepare for a successful water garden season.
- Evaluate the pond. The first step is to take a look at the pond and determine what kind of work needs to be done. Was the pond cleaned out last fall? Is it time to give the water feature a top-to-bottom scrubbing? If the pond was adequately prepped last fall and, after evaluating it this spring and there is only minimal debris, a light cleaning may be sufficient. If not, it may be necessary to fully drain and scrub the pond.
- Clean-up winter waste build-up. Remove string algae, dead leaves and debris that have accumulated in the bottom of the pond. CrystalClear® AlgaeOff® works great for lifting debris off rocks and bringing debris to the surface for easy removal.
- Condition the tap water. When doing a spring cleanup or water change, don’t forget to eliminate chorine and chloramines found in municipal water. Even small traces of chlorine will irritate fish and damage their gill tissue, and large amounts can be lethal. There are several products that are capable of removing these toxins such as; CrystalClear® Vanish™, CrystalClear® Vanish™ PLUS or CrystalClear® Polish AC™.
- Start the biological filter. Clean or replace filter pads, and begin adding CrystalClear® Spring & Fall Prep natural bacteria to boost biological activity.
- Test pond water. It is not possible to know the condition of the pond water without testing. Test kits offer a quick and accurate way to evaluate pond water quality and stop problems before they occur.
- Inspect fish. If you see torn fins, blood streaks and/or ulcers are a sure sign of stressed fish. CrystalClear® KnockOut™ PLUS, CrystalClear® WipeOut™ or CrystalClear® ParaSalt™ can help relieve stress in both koi and goldfish and can help prevent bacterial infections and parasites.
- Feed fish a low-protein food. As the temperature of the pond water increases, fish will start looking for food. CrystalClear® WheatGerm is recommended as a good low protein, high carbohydrate, vitamin-enriched diet, specially formulated for all pond fish when water temperatures are between 40° F and 60°F. Fish food can be switched to Crystal Clear® Staple or Platinum high-protein foods once water temperatures exceed 50° F.
- Provide fish with essential electrolytes. CrystalClear® ParaSalt™ provides all the essential electrolytes fish need to stay healthy and vibrant.
- Care for pond plants. Root bound plants should be divided and re-potted. Fertilize plants with CrystalClear® Thrive™ to provide the essential nutrients for strong growth and early spring blooms. Adding floating plants such as water hyacinths, water lettuce will provide your pond with shade and remove excess nutrients. It is also a great time to add pond snails.
- Keep the pond clean, clear and healthy all season. The natural bacterias found in CrystalClear® BioClarifier™ and CrystalClear® MuckOff™ contains the products needed to digest sludge, reduce dissolved organics and keep the pond filter working its best all season.