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Random Thoughts About Having A Backyard Pond
This is just some general information and some final thoughts about a backyard pond that might be useful once your pond is completed. Really no particular order, just off the top of my head.
About Your Fish
If you have fish in your pond, you shouldn’t feed them once the water temperature falls below 50 degrees and you’re heading toward winter. At the other end of the seasonal spectrum, in the spring, don’t feed them until the water temperature reaches 50 degrees. You can see here that a thermometer might be a good accessory.
In the winter, again if you have fish, and your pond begins to freeze. Make some kind of small hole in the ice to allow any gases to escape. We found that the best way to do this is to pour some boiling water just long enough to make a small hole in the ice. Whatever you do, don’t pound on the ice because you will stress the fish. The best way to avoid the problem is to keep a bubbler or an air stone going to move the water.
Another thing about fish. Fish food is kind of expensive and we found that fish like, believe it or not, Cheerios. Buy a big box of off brand Cheerios and mix it in with their regular fish food. They love the stuff! We also found out that they love frozen peas.
If you ever get a turtle for your pond, get him a piece of driftwood to float around on. They like to get up on something and sun themselves.
About the only predators we have to worry about are the Blue Herons. I don’t know how they find ponds in residential neighborhoods, but they do. We’ve had one show up two or three times. But each time we were fortunate enough to witness the arrival and were able to scare them off. However we have heard several stories about people who have had their entire ponds wiped out, every single fish.
From time to time my wife has netted the area but that does take away from the beauty of the pond, so the net never stays in place for long. We also bought a fake Heron and set it near the pond. We change its position every once in a while, that way it helps us feel that we might be doing something useful. I guess the best way is to be vigilant when you’re home and hopeful when you’re not.
Your Pond Upkeep
Personally, I wouldn’t worry too much about cleaning the bottom of the pond. We’ve never cleaned ours since it was put in. Just make sure your filter is in good working order.
When fall arrives and you have trees nearby, it’s a good idea to put some netting over your pond. Decomposing leaves are not good for the fish, so if you do get leaves into the pond, try and skim off as many as possible.
Potted perennials that sit on your pond shelf can be cut back for the winter months and just sunk to the bottom till spring if you don’t have anywhere else to keep them.
We have found that the pond does not cause any mosquito problems. As long as you have fish and water movement of some kind you shouldn’t have any problems either.
After the pond season is over, it’s a good idea to get all of your equipment together, clean it up and store it all together in one place. Believe me, in the spring, you’ll be glad you did.
Always be aware of small children near the pool. This should go without saying, but this is a subject that can’t be stressed enough.
Some Last Points To Make About Your Backyard Pond
Ever hear of a Pseudacris Crucifer? I never did either. I have heard them though. Every year they are the little frogs you’ll hear on that first warm spring night. I heard them called spring peepers so I had to look it up and see if these little creatures had a real name. Turns out they do, so from now on I’m going to call them spring peepers. They’re attracted of course to ponds, and they lay a lot of eggs, so it’s spring treat time for the fish.
One very nice effect for your pond is a single underwater light that points up through the water. These lights usually come with different colored lenses and they look real pretty at night.
It’s very important to be careful when fertilizing your yard to not get any of it in your pond. This could be very bad for your fish.
Well thats about it for this little 12 part series about Pond Construction. I hope it was a help to you. Feel free to ask questions or leave some comments, I would love to hear from you. All the best and good luck with your own backyard pond. Talk soon, Bob