Prepare for Severe Weather
Knowing when storms are going to occur is crucial for taking care of your yard’s Koi pond or other water feature. To do this, you will need to take extra special care of your water feature to prevent damage from potentially destructive weather.
Make sure all furniture and equipment in your yard are not left around the perimeter of your water feature, especially before a storm. Make sure that any fish you stock won’t be affected by any hazardous weather conditions and that the proper antibacterial agents are pumped into it afterward if you have a fountain.
After a storm, you will want to conduct all necessary maintenance procedures to restore it to a usable state. These types of duties include removing anything that may have gotten in during the storm, making sure the proper balance of the necessary chemical levels is present in the water and making sure any pumps or electrical components are in working order.
Use a Cover if Necessary
Using a cover for your water feature can be a necessity when it is not in use, especially during prolonged periods of harsh weather conditions.
Depending on the size of your water feature, a cover may not be necessary unless it is unused for extended periods of time. A cover is more practical those for ponds with fish and vegetation in them. You can build a simple, yet durable cover for your pond in just a few hours while saving a few dollars.
Depending on what you have in your yard, a cover might not always be necessary or even practical. For fountains, swimming pools, or anything that gets shut down entirely during the colder months, shutting down all plumbing and electrical systems while keeping the surface of the feature dry hold more importance than merely covering it.
Remove All Debris as Soon as Possible
Not only does this make your pond or fountain much more attractive to guests, but it also prevents the growth of unwanted algae and other bacteria. You will want to make sure to keep up with less visible debris in your water feature at least twice a week.
Regular cleaning not only keeps up the appearance and smell of your water but can also improve the quality of life for whatever fish you may have if you have a pond. Foreign bacteria that they cannot adapt to can pose a threat to them, even if you treat it in due time. Because of this, it is better to take preventative measures by cleaning out any foreign objects as soon as you see them.
This unwanted debris can form on the surface and around the edges of the water feature. Bugs, leaves, and other matter that has been blown about by winds can pose a maintenance issue during all seasons. To prevent unwanted bacteria from being introduced to your water feature, it’s especially vital that you keep up with this yourself whenever it is up and running.
Consider the Effects of Colder Weather
Fountains, pools or anything made from stone is vulnerable to cracking during the Winter. Cracks happen when water features are not kept dry before they are shut down, causing them to absorb any remaining water. In turn, this water freezes and expands within the stone during colder weather.
Preventative measures for fountains and stone-based structures can be taken to ensure that they aren’t damaged by Winter. If your feature is built into the ground, you may want to look at the foundation as well. Fill any cracks that you may find and then take utmost care in drying the surface of your feature.
If possible, you might find it beneficial to keep any portable water features unplugged and packed away through the duration of Winter. These tend to cost less as it is and can often be disassembled. Portability makes it easier to stow your fountain without the risk of breaking it.
Prepare any Fish for Extended Periods of Non-Use
Koi Ponds are among the classiest and most popular water features found in back yards. The nice thing about this particular species of fish is that they can adapt to winter conditions if cared for properly ahead of time. As with any species of aquatic life, this is an additional step of upkeep to consider with a water feature, particularly during long periods of stagnancy.
Research the type of fish you plan to keep in your backyard water feature and decide whether they are suitable for extended periods of colder weather. Learn what the effects of feeding them before shutting down your water feature may be; some fish may die as the result of being unable to digest their food in colder weather.
Also, consider any meds or supplements that you can give your fish to extend their life and enable their survival. While many fish can survive in harsh conditions, these help ensure that they can look just as bright and healthy when you plan on using your water feature again.