Nature Perfect

Crafting Beautiful Landscapes Throughout
The South Puget Sound Since 2000.

2905 Black Lake Blvd SW, Tumwater WA 98512

Current Hours
Landscape Design & Installation (360) 280-5116
Monday-Friday 8:00-4:00
Saturday and Sunday - Closed

POND Supply Store (360) 412-0309
Monday - Friday 8:00-4:00 | Saturday 10:00-4:00

Spring Pond Start Up

Spring Pond Start Up

Pond Fish Care , Pond Maintenance & Care 🕔April 2, 2020
Clean Filters, Cut Back Plants and Skim Debris

It’s that time of the year again, when our ponds wake up from the warmth of spring with active fish and budding plants.

Now is a great time to examine and determine what condition your pond is in & decide what you need to do about it.

It’s a great time to do some pond maintenance, clean your filters and evaluate repair or leak issues. Also determine if your pond needs to be completely cleaned out and refilled and when is the best time to do this. It’s getting close, but those with fish may want to hold off for a few more weeks.   

What to Do First:

Examine: Look for leaks, damaged areas, check out fish health, plant’s conditions.

Determine:   Make a list of what needs to be done. Use a pond journal to keep track. Determine if your pond needs to be completely cleaned or if it just needs some maintenance. Also check your filters, UV clarifiers and plumbing to see what needs to be replaced or repaired.

Plan: figure out & decide what you will do now, and then what you will do later in the season (see below). If you are unsure about how to do this, we will cover this later or contact Nature Perfect Pond Maintenance for someone to do it for you.

Spring Checklist

Products to Use:

  • Beneficial Bacteria, cold water or Sludge Reducer
  • Pond Net to scoop debris & algae. Use dense or fine skimming nets for muck
  • “Pond Cleaner” Cleanmax or OxyPond “cleaners”
  • Spring aka Wheat Fish Food
  • Floating Thermometer (sinking thermometers use in fall & winter)
  • Replacement UV Bulbs, filter media or other items that may need repairing
Clean skimmer nets or baskets. Clean filter mediawith a strong stream from the hose (not pressure washer), replace old media before it falls apart.

Spring Start Up Tasks:

  • Make sure your pump and other aerators are working properly. Add the extras you may have winterized in your garage back into the pond- spitters, pressure filters, etc.
  • Clean Out Filters, filter media pads, brushes and skimmer net/basket
  • Examine Fish Closely. How do your fish look & behaving? Note abnormal behavior or if there may be health issues: fish swimming sideways, sores or streaks, scraping on the sides or bottom and excessive jumping. Refer below on feeding fish in spring. I also direct people to my favorite fish vet’s website:  We can also help you determine the best solution for disease and parasite issues.  
  • Examine Plants- many may still be dormant waiting for warmer weather to arrive. You can cut back dead foliage, repot or divide plants if needed.
  • Also stop in the store or email us.

Know when your pond or water feature

needs to be cleaned completely cleaned:

  • There is an inch or more of sludge build up on the bottom and shelves.
  • Excessive algae blooms and filamentous(string) algae problems.
  • Your water is turbid, cloudy and mucky or slimy looking.
  • It’s been more than 3 years since the last complete clean-out.

How often you completely clean your pond?

  • Typically once a year, or every 2-3 years depending upon your fish load & filtration – heavier the fish load (yearly), smaller fish load & better filtration (2-3 years).
  • There are always exceptions, healthy water = healthy fish & plants.  Using beneficial bacteria products like Autumn Leaves Digester by Strata, will help maintain the balance by digesting the fish waste & debris that accumulate over time.  Having a veggie filter, bog garden or just a lot of plant coverage will also enhances water quality.  Most algae blooms are a result of excess pond waste, so decrease your waste, decreases the algae.
String algaein streams can be removed by hand or use a toilet brush and twirl it around to capture algae.

When to completely clean your pond:

  • Water features, ponds etc. with no fish– clean just about anytime of the year.  If there are plants, protect them from the hot sun or cold winds.
  • Typically, ponds with fish, are cleaned in late spring through early to mid summer, weather dependent (around 60 – 80 deg F). Avoid cold days, extremely hot days or when fish are dormant. Fish can die from stress, so be careful with them!

How do I start to feed my fish in the Spring?

  • Start off with Cold water fish food / wheatgerm diet, or you can feed uncooked Quaker Oats or Cheerios.
  • Feed sparingly to start to reduce the risk of illness- 1-2 times a week when water temperatures are above 50degree water temperature. Gradually increase feedings as the weather warms. Spring, best to feed in the afternoon or early evening while it is warmer. During summer it is best to feed in the morning when it is cooler.
  •  If you notice your fish’s scales beginning to raise or turn red, stop feeding and watch them. If the scales don’t go down, try treating with an antibacterial medication and move fish into a heated hospital tank or if that’s not possible, go the other direction and load up your pond with beneficial bacteria to out compete the pathogenic bacteria harmful to fish. We are here to help you with fish problems and are able to scrape fish and look under a microscope to identify potential parasites.