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OUTDOOR MARKETPLACE

Preparing Ponds for Spring


© Sgtrockin| Dreamstime.com

Spring around the pond: It’s a time when the water lily leaves start poking through the pond’s surface, the koi and comets wake from their winter slumber, and pond owners emerge from their homes to head over to their local pet supply store to stock up on products for their preferred pastime.

When customers come in ready to dive into their ponds, remind them of these spring-cleaning duties (and their associated products, of course):

  • Start with a clean slate: Just as people give their houses a good cleaning in the spring, pond owners should give their ponds and yard a good cleaning, too. Recommend they drain the pond and remove all the excess debris, like leaves, dead aquatic plant material and sludge, from the bottom of the pond. A pond vacuum can make this job relatively easy.
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  • Clean the filtration system and skimmer: Most filters contain mats or media, which are designed to trap particles and provide an environment for beneficial bacteria to grow. It will need some spring cleaning. Pond owners should remove the filter media, rinse it well, shake it out the particles and hose down the filter box before turning the system back on. If the media needs to be replaced, this is the time to do it.
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  • Boost the beneficial bacteria: To jump-start a pond’s biological filtration in the spring, recommend some commercial beneficial bacteria to customers. They work to break down detritus and consume lethal contaminants in the water, like ammonia and nitrates.
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  • Check the ultraviolet bulb: For pond keepers who keep green spring algae in check with a UV sterilizer, remind them to inspect the unit’s sleeve and replace the bulb, which typically last a little over one season.
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  • Prime the pumps: Customers with dry surface pumps should examine the equipment to be sure there are no cracks in the housing, install the pump, and fill it with water to prime it. Customers with submersible pumps should remove the pump from the pond, clean it well and inspect it for oil leaks or other defects. Then they can simply put it back in place and plug it in.
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  • Start feeding: As soon as water temperatures reach a steady 50 degrees Fahrenheit or so, fish keepers can begin feeding their aquatic pets again. Remind them to stock up on a good wheat germ-based food to transition the fish into the eating routine.

Before spring arrives, be sure to stock your shelves with everything your pond-owning customers will need for the season, including filtration media, UV bulbs, fish food, pond vacuums, pumps and beneficial bacteria. Brush up on your pond knowledge and be ready to help hobbyists wade into spring!  <HOME>

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