Practical tools - Pond care calendar

Caring for your pond

Caring for your pond As well as feeding your pets correctly, now is the time to lavish care and attention on your pond’s water, plants and surroundings since these are all vital for a fully functioning ecosystem. Over the winter months, a whole range of nutrients have accumulated such as phosphate and nitrate, which can cause algae to grow in springtime. Tetra Pond PhosphateMinus from Tetra reduces algae nutrients in a natural way. You’ll see that it’s working by the brown deposit left in the filter; this can be easily removed when your filter is next cleaned.

A partial water change of approx. 30% of the water is now needed to remove nitrate. For best results, fill your pond with tap water. This water is continuously monitored at the water works and so is of excellent quality. Spring water can contain fertiliser and rainwater is often too soft meaning that the pH (acidity) of the water is liable to fluctuate. This creates problems, and can even be life threatening for fish. Treat the tap water with the water conditioner AquaSafe. This neutralises, among other things, heavy metals such as copper from domestic pipes and reduces chlorine, a disinfectant used to treat drinking water. The new product SeasonStart supplies the water with all the essential nutrients that fish, plants and pond bacteria need after the long winter break. It enhances water quality and provides the perfect start to the pond season! Then keep water values stable in your pond until the next partial water change in autumn by regularly adding WaterBalance. Now not only do your fish enjoy fresh, healthy water throughout the pond season, but you’ll also nip algae and cloudy water in the bud!

Now you should get a »pond filter going. Tetra offers individual solutions such as pressure filters, flow-through filters or gravitation filters. Alternatively, to make life easier, you could opt for one of the complete sets with pump and UV-C algae clarifier. If you already have appropriate equipment from last year, clean it up well, check the impeller (fan) in the pump and replace the UV lamp in the algae clarifier with a new one. The bulbs have a maximum life of 8000 hours. Because the UV-C algae clarifier operates day and night during the pond season, the lamp has to be changed every year. Don’t touch the glass of the lamp when replacing the bulb and clean the device’s quartz glass tube. For a more rapid solution to green water, turn to the new UVBooster. Combined with the UV-C light, the product will generate hydroxyl radicals that destroy the cell structure of floating algae. Used together in this way, the UVBooster enhances the performance of your UV-C clarifier. Is the filter material in your pond filter still in shape? If not, it’ll require replacement. Add FilterZym whenever you install a new filter. The capsules ensure the filter is rapidly populated with filter bacteria in order to break down and convert fish excretions in addition to any decaying material from dead plants. Newly planted vegetation will also take a while to get established and in the meantime won’t produce so much oxygen. That’s why it’s important to aerate your pond with the recently developed diaphragm pump APK 400 so you can be sure you’re meeting the oxygen needs of your pond stock and multiplying filter bacteria. A very straight-forward and novel solution here is OxySafe, a liquid that you can use once a week to be certain your pond is getting sufficient oxygen.

Frostbitten plants now need to be removed as otherwise they will rot and pollute the water. Divide the plants that grew well in the previous year and supplement with new ones. The new, specially developed pond soil AquaticCompost contains natural clay and white peat for growing roots. Put your new plants, along with the substrate, into basket planters or Tetra AquaPlanter bags and weigh them down with gravel. Aquatic plants, such as waterweed (Egeria densa), enrich the pond with oxygen, an essential element for all other life. Floating plants, with their trailing roots, draw excessive nutrients from the pond. For these and pond-side plants, we recommend you use PlantaMin liquid fertiliser. Simply pour the correct amount as advised in the dosing instructions into a watering can, fill it with water and then dispense the fertiliser into the pond. Important trace elements and minerals provide for lush plant growth and hence good competition to rival algae. For the queen of pond plants, the water lily, Tetra has launched a special fertiliser: »LilyPro. This new product contains the nutrients that these floating foliage plants need. LilyPro comes in the form of tablets that are put into the water lily substrate. Re-fertilise every four to six weeks to keep your pond vegetation topped up throughout the year.

Waterside and marsh plants help make your pond safe. Over the winter months, many plants perish, leaving your pond easily accessible to children and small animals. Abundant vegetation can stop them in their tracks. Plus, you need have no worries about the dog, the neighbour’s cat or birds taking a sip from the pond, for Tetra water conditioners, anti-algae agents and fertilisers are all kind to animals and plant life.

If your pond is a veritable sun trap, it’s worth also planting well around your pond. Shade in the middle of the day will give fish protection from the sun and prevent algae growth. Make sure that no pond lining is exposed to direct sunlight, or else it will eventually become porous.

TIP: Never completely change the water in your pond! Firstly, the creatures in your pond will get stressed by being caught and put back; secondly, you’ll destroy the pond ecosystem and put your fish in danger with high levels of ammonia and nitrite. These substances are nitrogen compounds that result from fish waste and dead plant material and are toxic for pond stocks.