Friday, May 30, 2008

Backyard Pond Maintenance Tips

With a minimal amount of effort, you could keep your backyard pond in pristine condition. To follow are a few tips for how to properly maintain your pond.

1. Monitor water quality

One problem which many pond owners have is algae-buildup. Other than using chemicals, there are two main ways to control algae: (1) UV Clarification, and (2) through natural means.

A UV clarifier helps to kill algae by running the pond water through a UV light. UV Clarifications start at $100, and can be purchased from garden centers, pond stores, hardware stores, or online.

A second, and more cost-effective, option that is available to pond owners, is to invest in barley straw extract. Barley straw has received considerable attention as an algaecide based on research done in England. Results have shown that barley straw prohibits the growth of many types of algae. Barley straw extract can be purchased from garden centers.

2. Monitor water levels

Throughout the course of the summer, evaporation will lower your water levels on a weekly basis. Keep an eye on this, and make sure that you don’t end up with a dry pond (this is very bad for your pump!)

3. Proper pump maintenance

Once every couple of weeks, take your pump out of the pond and clean it (and any filters that come with it) to ensure that there is no debris building up that may cause it to jam. Remember, a pond without a pump is just a cesspool of water (i.e. breeding grounds for mosquitoes). It is crucial to keep your pump running throughout the entire existence of your pond. If a pond fails, replace it immediately. It is actually advisable to have a spare pump on hand, in the event of failure, since the average pump will only last for 2 years.

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