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Spring Pond Opening
First key point is to understand for your Spring pond opening is that your pond does not come alive based on the calendar. It is the water temperature that determines when your pond emerges from hibernation. Once water temperatures reach the 50 to 55 degree range for several consecutive days, your pond is officially back to life!
Most of the country has experienced unseasonably warm weather in February. But it is important not to jump the gun - this temperature range needs to be sustained over 5 to 6 days. We had temps here last week in the 70 degree range and some of our service customers sent emails requesting us to come out for an opening. Well, snow is forecasted for today...
However, now IS the time to get prepared for the day you do open your pond. Here is a list of items you should have on hand when that glorious day arrives:
Spring Fish Food - in early to mid Spring you want to feed your fish a food that is higher in wheat germ and lower in protein. We use the Blackwater Cool Weather mix and have had great results.
U/V Bulbs - it is important to have fresh bulbs to start the season. Early Spring plankton algae blooms are very common, and if you let it get out of hand it will make a mess of the pond that will take weeks to rectify. Bulbs should be replaced every 12 months. You can find the full array of bulbs HERE.
Filter Pads - if your pads are worn, they become ineffective as water is able to flow around the sides. Matala is the best filter media available as it is rigid, provides excellent mechanical filtration, and provides optimal surface area for beneficial bacteria colonization. You cut the pads with a box cutter to fit snugly into virtually any filter basin.
Water Treatments - probably one of the broadest and most confusing product segment. In our service business, we use what we call "The Big 3" on every maintenance visit and they really are fantastic. The Big 3 are Clarity Max, Biological Clarifier, and MuckOff. You will be impressed with the health of your pond if these are used regularly. They all have a long shelf life so you can order what you need for the entire season.
* Note: beneficial bacteria does not activate in water temperatures below 55 degrees.
Aeration - nearly all beneficial bacteria that exists naturally in your pond, or is added via water treatments, is aerobic. To maximize colonization you need to maintain high dissolved oxygen levels in your pond. This is more important than ever early in the season. I run my aerator and waterfall 24/7 for the first 5 to 6 weeks on the season. Aerators for any size pond can be found HERE.