There’s nothing like an evening walk around a sparkling neighborhood pond. A thriving water feature enhances the ambient quality of almost any setting. A murky pond full of algae generally has the opposite effect. If you oversee a pond, you know that such a valuable asset comes with some responsibility. Algae overgrowth is a common aquatic problem and is one of the most persistent issues pond keepers confront. A simple annual management plan is the best strategy to keep toxic algae growth at bay. These steps may help you create a plan that works for your unique setting.
Many pond managers find it useful to consult an aquatic expert to have an initial evaluation performed. This generally involves a site visit and water test to determine the nutrient composition, oxygen content, and shoreline integrity of your pond. From there, the specialist can recommend items to include in your schedule and any maintenance needed for your pond aerators and fountains. If you’d rather not consult an expert, it’s important you learn about basic pond management and recommended annual maintenance.
A pond is a living organism that presents unpredictable and complex challenges. A pond specialist will be able to assist you in developing an annual management plan that outlines specific maintenance tasks for each season. If you are on a tight budget, you can take on writing the plan yourself, based on what you learned in your research. Your program should include regular maintenance for your pond’s shoreline integrity, aeration system and nutrient balance. Aeration is the most significant factor in preventing toxic algae growth. A comprehensive plan will allow you to spread your annual budget out evenly and help avoid the expense of unexpected aquatic problems.
Once you have a comprehensive maintenance plan outlined, you will have specific tasks to do and can plan for those that might require extra help. Your pond management plan is only as effective as your willingness to follow it. You don’t want to wait until you notice algae overgrowth or a mosquito outbreak to take action. At that point, multiple problems have likely been growing under the surface for months.
A clear, shimmering pond requires a proactive management strategy. It doesn’t take long for a pond to develop systemic problems if it is not properly maintained. Some research will help you develop your annual schedule and then you can begin performing the maintenance and testing outlined in your plan. A comprehensive management plan will give your pond the support it needs to sparkle through every season.