Your Summer Water Garden
Summer is the best season to enjoy a beautiful water garden. However the season also brings special challenges in caring for your water garden. But if you know what to do, you can handle the challenge! The super bright sun and soaring temps warm the water, causing lower oxygen levels. This in turn can lead to undue stress – even death – for your colorful fish AND an explosion of algae growth! The good news is that our experts know exactly how to manage these threats to your lovely water garden and keep the water quality healthy. Read on, and YOU will know, too!
Oxygen Level Management: One way to increase oxygen levels is by lowering sunlight exposure, thus lowering the water temperature. Water Lilies and other floating aquatic plants that cover the water’s surface will block sunlight penetration and lower the water temp. Another effective way to increase oxygen levels in the water is by installing an Aerator pump, which infuses oxygen into the water through an air stone, using a small powered air pump. You can use a water re-circulating system that pumps water from the pond’s basin thru a creek or over a water fall. The most direct way to increase the O2 level, thus protecting your fish, is a combination of shading the water’s surface with plants and installing an Aerator.
Managing Algae Explosion – Now, about that algae…! This is perhaps the most talked– about issue in water gardening. The water garden industry and professionals, like those at here at Evergreen of Johnson City, often promote a biological approach – setting up and managing an ecological balance between fish, plants, and their environment. It’s easier than it sounds! A biologically balanced water garden uses naturally occurring beneficial bacterial to, in turn, break down and convert harmful ammonia to Nitrates. This is important because ammonia is basically a kind of nitrogen fertilizer for algae! Control the ammonia and you’ll starve the algae! Applying beneficial bacteria like Microbe Lift PL is also recommended. Apply it to your water at each spring start-up, as well immediately after any form of heavy water change or cleaning. Using biological filters is an effective option for managing and producing this bacteria. These filters serve as a colonizing home in which the bacteria can grow and multiply, as well as pick up the ammonia from water passing through. Other variables that also play a role in throwing off a water garden’s balance include fish feeding habits, volume and size of fish to water garden size, over-cleaning, etc. Come talk to Laura France or one of our other water garden experts to discuss how you can easily begin paving the road to a ecologically balanced water garden. It’s easy…we promise!