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 you do not notice any large build-up of debris then a light cleaning may be sufficient.
- 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 chlorine 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™ , Vanish™ Plus or 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 you should treat your fish immediately as these are sure signs of stress. CrystalClear KnockOut™ Plus, WipeOut™ or ParaSalt™ can help relieve stress, prevent bacterial infections and remove parasites in both koi and goldfish.
- 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, and vitamin-enriched diet to feed in colder temperatures.
Once water temperatures exceed 50°F, fish food can be switched to CrystalClear Staple food for an economical, everyday food or if you want to fatten your fish up spoil them with CrystalClear Platinum high-protein food.
- Provide fish with essential electrolytes.
Pond salt provides all the essential electrolytes fish need to stay active. Electrolytes are critical in building and maintaining a beneficial slime coat. Electrolytes assist in mucus production which is essential in wound repair and in times of heavy stress such as seasonal change.
Using salt products such as CrystalClear ParaSalt also helps to ward off and remove most common protozoan parasites found in koi and goldfish such as: Dactylogyrus, Byrodcytulus, Epistylis, Trichodina and Chilodonella. CrystalClear ParaSalt can be used in a salt bath for heavy infestations or as a routine treatment to keep parasites from entering the pond environment.
- Care for pond plants.
Root bound plants should be divided and re-potted. Fertilize plants with CrystalClear Thrive™ tablets 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 and clear all season.
The natural bacterias found in CrystalClear BioClarifier™ and MuckOff™ contains the products needed to digest sludge, reduce dissolved organics and keep the pond filter working its best all season.
After your pond is cleaned out for the season make sure to apply CrystalClear BioClarifier to help jump start your filters with a proper dose of bacteria. If you didn't do a full clean-out then you are likely to have some debris at the bottom of the pond so try CrystalClear MuckOff tabs to help remove that muck and odor.