Finally, you have the pond of your dreams, but things aren't quite as perfect as you wanted them to be. How do you keep your pond in good shape? Here are some common pond problems you may encounter and how you can solve them.
If your pond seems to be losing a lot of water at a rapid rate, do not mistake this for evaporation. You actually probably have a leak. If the leak is at the bottom of the pond, you will have to drain it and use a sheep's foot roller to insert bentonite clay into the leak. Unfortunately, bentonite can be a bit expensive, so this is not a cheap fix. However, it is the best way to repair a leak.
Bentonite is effective because it swells to 12 to 15 times larger than its original size when inserted into the leak, creating a leak proof seal. It also allows nutrients to still be exchanged between sediments in the pond.
The problem may also be from a plumbing leak. In that case, while the pump is running, check the hoses for leaks and then fix the problem by replacing the section of hose that contains the leak.
Sometimes, water loss may be caused by water seeping over the liner edge. You'll have to find out where the spot is by moving rocks and other barriers. When you find the low spot in the liner, readjust it to stop the leak.
You will need to do a check of the pH, or acidity, of the pond water with a pH test kit. A pH reading of 7 is neutral, a pH reading that is higher than 7 is alkaline and a pH reading that is lower than 7 is acidic. The pH level should be around 7 to 7.5 in the pond.
It should never be below 6.8 or above 8, as low pH levels prevent effective biological filtration and cause stress on your fish. A high pH level makes it harder for plants to grow or survive and can also be harmful for your fish. pH levels may change due to acid rain, soil runoff and fish waste. So check regularly. If the pH level of your pond isn't at an ideal level, you should purchase products that can change the pH levels in water.
A little algae growth is actually a good sign, as this shows your pond has the right nutrients and systems to support life. However too much algae can become a problem, since it can cloud the water and steal nutrients from plants and fish. If you don't have any plants in the pond, the chance of algae growth is much higher, so it is a good idea to add plants to your pond.
Plants and algae need the same nutrients, but plants will receive the nutrients before the algae can, which keeps algae from forming. Overfeeding fish is a common cause of excess algae growth, as well, so be sure to feed your fish the proper amount of food.
To help prevent algae growth and maintain the quality of the pond water, you should consider installing a mechanical filter and ultraviolet sterilization. Ultraviolet sterilization is very easy to install and won't affect the water, plants and fish since it works from the outside of the pond.
You may also need to change some of the water regularly to remove some of the nutrients algae feeds on.