"Understanding Your Home"   by  Building Inspector Mark Visser
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Spring opening. Fall closing. Pond netting. Deicers. Pond heaters. Aerator kits


Cleaned filter and housing
ready for next spring


Spring opening. Fall closing. Pond netting. Deicers. Pond heaters. Aerator kits


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Submerged pump ready for
winter storage



Opening and Closing a Backyard Pond
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Spring opening. Fall closing. Pond netting. Deicers. Pond heaters. Aerator kits
Spring Opening
- Use a pond net or skimmer and remove any organic material that fell in the pond during the winter.
- Do a 50% water change in several small stages. Add new water but use chemicals to eliminate chlorine, chloramine and other harmful components found in well water.
- Check the water and make sure that the biological components are in balance. Check ammonia and nitrite levels. Do more water changes if the readings are not zero.



- Make sure that the filter is clean before installing it. There are cleaning solutions available which are very effective.
- If you did not clean the pump last fall, do it now. After plugging in the pump watch it for awhile and make sure everything works as it should be.
- Gradually acclimatize fish that have been kept indoors during the winter. If the fish overwintered in the pond add pond salt for general protection. It is an effective way to ward of diseases. Do not start feeding the fish till the temperature is consistently above 10 degrees C (50 degree F)
- Plants that survived the winter should be checked. If the plants are too cramped in the pots they should be thinned out or divided. Adding plant fertilizer will help their growth.

Fall Closing
- When the leaves are starting to fall use your pond net to skim leaves off the surface. Installing pond netting will help to keep the pond clean.
- As the temperature is dropping feed the fish less and less as their metabolism slows down. At this time give your fish a wheat germ based food because it is easily digested. Once the temperature drops below 10 degrees C (50 degree F) stop feeding altogether.
- Trim and move hardy plants such as lotus, lilies, grasses, cattails, etc. to the deepest part of the pond. If you have to store them inside because of severe winter conditions provide them with light and keep the plants moist.
- Make sure to that there are plenty of bacteria to fight decaying organic matter such as fallen leaves.
- Disconnect and clean filter(s) and pump so they are ready for next spring.
- Prevent pond from freezing over. The fish will make it through the winter as long as you prevent the pond from freezing over. Always keep an area open so toxic gases can escape. Toxic gases are produced by decaying leaves, plant matter, fish waste and other debris. If the pond is less than 92 cm. (3 feet) deep it may be a good idea to let the fish overwinter in a cold but frost free location. To keep the pond from freezing over you can use de-icers, heaters or by installing an aerator kit.
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