Allotment Articles 2.
Ponds In Summer
In summer the pond is at its peak of attraction and interest with everything growing vigorously and the pond is full of life and the tadpoles will be busy cleaning up the pond by eating all the rubbish and developing into small frogs. After they leave the pond they will feed on insects and slugs in the garden returning in a year, or two, to mate and produce a new generation.
When the small frogs have left it is a good time to clean out the pond if you haven't already done it. This job can be done at almost any time except mid winter, but if it is done when the fish are at their most active they will recover quicker from any scales broken off, or other accidental damage and so will the plants. In Summer you can feed the fish on almost anything as they will be very hungry and eager to fill their stomachs. Pellets are quite cheap and there are some good ones on the market, but sticks are more popular these days. Flakes can be used for smaller fish and are vary good for them, but are a bit expensive for large fish. In the middle of summer the food is normally high protein and fish based.
If you are going on holiday it is better not to leave the neighbor with food as it is likely that they will over feed the fish and pollute the pond. Fish can manage on their body reserves for a couple of weeks and there will be some natural food such as algae and insects for them to eat. However if you are worried about them you can buy automatic feeders and feeding blocks that are quite cheap and will give you peace of mind.
Don't forget that growing plants need food, especially lilies which sometimes don't flower if lacking in nutrients. You can feed your plants by re potting them in special aquatic compost, or by giving them food in one of several forms now available. There are tablets, granules and there is also a liquid feed.
In Winter the pond is usually clear due to low light intensity, cooler weather and general dormancy. However, as Spring comes it usually goes green and then clears a little by Summer until it reaches a natural balance. The more oxygenators you have in your pond the clearer it will be. A filter or U V System is another answer, but is not cheap.
All plants will help to keep the pond clear, especially lilies which will shade out the sunlight. They also provide shade from the fierce summer sun for the fish and will prevent them from getting sunburn. Fish can often be found hiding under the lily pads. As the water gets warmer it holds less absorbed oxygen, so when it is hot it is a good idea to have the pump running whether it operates a fountain, or a waterfall. Don't forget that oxygenating plants take oxygen out of the water at night, so if you have a lot in your pond it is important to leave the pump running through the hot Summer nights as well.
As Spring turns into Summer fish will be seen chasing each other around in their efforts to spawn. This often results in minor damage as they push up against pots, so it is important to keep an eye on them and at the first sign of trouble pour in some general medication which will be readily available from your local aquatic retailer. If the females look as though they are outnumbered try to introduce more to balance up the numbers so that they don't get so exhausted. After eggs are laid they will slowly get eaten by the fish as will the fry when they hatch, so if you want to be save some it is a good idea to remove them and place them in a specially prepared aquarium, or isolation pond. The fry can be fed on Infusoria and brine shrimps.
In Winter the pond will be kept topped up by rainwater, indeed it will probably overflow, but in the hot dry weeks of summer you will need to top it up from the tap. When adding a quantity of water you can add a de-chlorinator to neutralize the chlorine in the tap water. Don't add very large quantities of water on a hot day because you may chill the fish and then they may get white spot.