If you have a pond that has fish in it, how many times to you observe what happens to the ecology of the pond? It is important to know what to look for when certain conditions change and what they may mean to you and your pond. We all know or should know that when the water starts to become cloudy, it is a good indication our filter system needs attention. The results of not attending to this situation can cause you to have sick fish living in an unhealthy water environment. This is just one example of how to observe your fish and pond. Let us look at some others.
If you start to notice your fish eating your vegetation you might want to increase their feeding to see if this stops them from eating your plants. The common Koi will completely destroy a pond’s vegetation unless this is not taken care of immediately. Personally I developed a system of wire cages which fit over my water lily pots that lets the lilies grow through the wire mesh. This keeps the hungry Koi away from the root structure of the plants. For more about this system visit my website.
Observe your fish and pond for algae growth. Algae is something all of us veteran pond builders have dealt with through the years at one time or another. If you see a green slime growing in your pond then you have algae. As a pond owner you can control these outbreaks of this messy green slime that makes your pond look ugly and can even clog your filtration system to a halt. So what causes this build up? First, look at the amount of fish you have in your pond. Many pond owners use this scenario; 20 to 25 gallons of water per inch of Koi. An example would be; say you have 50 inches of fish. If we take 20 times 50 we would get 1000 gallons of water. Many things can enter into this formula such as number of plants in your pond, the type of filtration system, and whether your pond receives too much sun light. It is very important got to feed your fish too much as the more they eat the more waste they create. I know from experience that plant coverage should be at least 60% coverage of your pond. As your plants grow you will notice less and less algae. I use water lilies because it also offers the fish protection from the sun and predators. Fish food is another contributor of your algae problem. Feeding your fish too much food can result in excess food settling on the bottom of your pond which will contribute to the growth of algae. Again you must observe your fish and pond to make sure you maintain the proper balance for a healthy living space.
One more thing that helps keep your pond clear is to make sure you take out leaves and debris that might fall into your pond. Decaying debris can cause your pond to go sour quickly and can contribute to sickness and disease of your fish.
The best thing I can tell you from this is to observe your fish and pond before any of these scenarios might happen. Like in any business, preventative maintenance is the best way to approach problems before they happen. With this approach your pond will maintain its beauty and clarity for many years.