Pond Care


As with most permanent things in a garden, a little maintenance and repairs will be required throughout the year, a pond is no exception.

Listed below are some items that may need attention at given times of the year.

Small pond stocked with fish

Week 8:

When weather conditions allow, tidy pond margins, remove any dead or decaying growth and divide plants that have outgrown their containers.

Remove early flowering shallow marginal plants such as marsh marigold.

Replace roots and rhizomes that have come adrift from their containers and top up with coarse gravel to discourage fish from nosing them out again.

Take note of plants that have died over winter, and select replacements, or new additions for planting out in spring.

Check to see if fish have died during hard weather.

Week 10:

If required,commence site preparations for new water feature.

Week 14:

Empty leaking ponds and make good the lining.

Minor leaks to masonry ponds can be treated with primer and sealer after the brushed surface has dried.

Minor tears in flexible liners can be mended with patches from a proprietary repair kit.

Week 16:

Divide overcrowded aquatic plants, such as water lilies (nymphaea) and replant the strongest divisions into sack-lined pond baskets, filled with ordinary garden soil and topped off with gravel.

Replanted or new baskets should be set firmly on marginal ledges.

Start deep marginals, such as water lilies, in shallow water, then lower to the final deep position, using two strings.

If algae are a problem release some ramshorn snails and/or install a submersible pump.

Nymphaea floating on Pond

Week 17:

Stock ponds with fish.

Never introduce fish to ponds freshly filled with mains water.

Before releasing the fish, equalise the temperature between the pond and the bag containing the fish, by floating it on the surface for an hour or two.

Fish feeding frenzy

Week 18:

Install a submersible pump to help to keep ponds aerated during spells of warm weather.

If an oxygenator is required you could consider using elodea canadensis (Canadian Pondweed)

Children may be drawn to a garden pond, so erect a sturdy barrier to prevent them falling in.

Canadian Pondweed

Week 24:

Remove dead or damaged plant growth and blanket weed.

Garden ponds need the right balance of plants to remain clear of green water algae.

Fit a pond filter or use special chemical pond algaecides to clear persistent green water algae.

Removing blanket weed

Week 25:

Newly spawned fish fry may need protection from mature fish.

Small ponds may not contain enough natural food to sustain fish, supplement their diet with proprietary fish food.

Feeding is a good way of taming ornamental fish.

Week 27:

Spray water lily leaves and similar deep marginal aquatic plants with water.

This should wash any pests off the upper leaf surface and into the pond where they will drown, and become prey for the fish.

On no account use any chemical products to control pond pests.

Decorative pond edging

Week 34:

Ensure fish have some shade from hot sun, and if aquatic plant cover is negligible, float pieces of polystyrene on the surface as a temporary measure.

Fish in small garden ponds are most likely to suffer stress in hot weather, and it will pay to install a fountain or cascade to improve water aeration.


Week 36-44:

If fountains and cascades are not performing efficiently, remove submersible pumps and check the filter.

Larger external filters should be cleaned regularly.

Disconnect power leads before removing submersible pumps or lights from your pond.

Thoroughly clean equipment, and check cables are in good condition before storing under cover.

Remove excessive or dead aquatic growth.

Tidy up marginal plants and replenish gravel topping that has washed from containers.

Ponds choked with silt and weed are best emptied and thoroughly cleaned.

Plastic buckets can be used as temporary quarters for fish,

Cover the buckets if there are cats around.

Remove all leaves floating on the surface and those that may have sunk to the bottom.

Where falling leaves are likely to continue fouling your pond, you should provide a temporary catch net.

This will also discourage herons and cats from poaching your fish.

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