All about maintaining your pond year round

Maintaining your pond is an important part if you want to continue to enjoy a clear and beautiful pond for a long time. Read our tips and you can ensure yourself that the water quality becomes and remains optimal again.

  • A year-round pond maintenance plan
  • Pond bacteria
  • The right water values
  • How to clean your pond
  • Major maintenance
  • Maintaining pond plants
Van der Velde Waterplants

Get all the tips when you need to do something about your pond.

- 5 tips from Simon for maintaining the pond -

1. Pond plants against algae growth


To keep your pond maintenance to a minimum, we recommend not skimping on pond plants. This is because these plants help you keep the water clear, reducing the chance of algae growth. During the warmer months of the year, the water heats up mostly at the surface, an ideal situation for algae. Unless you have a nice mix of pond plants in place, in which case water lilies can certainly serve you. The beautiful bloomers grow on the surface of the water, keeping the heat and the chance of algae at bay.

2. Here's how to get flowering aquatic plants


Do you have an aquatic plant that should show a beautiful flower but doesn't? Annoying, but there is something you can do about it. It has to do with the plant's nutrition. Right now, your pond plant can't get enough nutrition from the current soil. To remedy this, Simon recommends repotting the plant in fresh pond soil to which you add special pond plant food. If you then also re-pot the plant in a slightly shallower spot, your pond plant will have enough energy and sunlight to do bloom.

3. No pond without pond bacteria

We cannot say it often enough; pond bacteria are indispensable for any pond. The small organisms know how to convert pollutants such as nitrite or nitrate into CO2. The CO2 that they excrete into the pond water forms nutrients for the oxygen plants (which are abundantly present). Thus they help each other and together - especially if you also have a low pond substrate - they ensure that algae have virtually no chance to grow in the pond.

4. Tip for clear water

External influences such as precipitation or leaf fall also have their effect on your pond. A heavy rainfall adds water to your pond, and many pond stores then advise to start working with water measurements and remedies. Not necessary, according to Simon, provided your pond meets some important conditions: pond substrate, sufficient and varied pond plants and the addition of pond bacteria. The latter you add twice a year to your existing pond, which helps your pond to maintain its biological balance despite the weather.

5. Pruning is also done in the pond

You give the plants in your garden a pruning every now and then. This is also what you do best with your water plants. In a healthy pond they continue to grow nicely, but you want to prevent the whole pond from growing full of them or that they get so big that they start to pollute your pond. That's why you trim them once a year in the fall. This applies to oxygen plants that grow underwater, but just as well to marsh plants and other species that grow above the water surface. For example, parts of the water lily die off at the end of the season. To prevent them from sinking to the bottom and rotting, remove the dead leaves and flowers from the pond as soon as possible.

Van der Velde Water plants step-by-step plan

A year-round pond maintenance plan

We'll get you started with a handy annual plan for maintaining your pond.

pond bacteria

Pond bacteria for a clear pond

Pond bacteria play an important role in ponds, they provide a biological balance. The tiny bacteria ensure that your pond remains clean and clear throughout the year.

Water parameters

The right water values

Measuring water parameters is not necessary if you provide your pond with what it needs. We love clear water without adding (chemical) agents. Read what to do if the KH-value, pH-value and GH-value are not at the right level in your pond.

Cleaning the pond

How to clean your pond

Despite regular maintenance and scooping out leaves from your pond, the bottom may become contaminated. The layer of silt will need to be removed. Simon gives tips on how to do this.

Leaking pond

Major maintenance

Probleem:

My pond has been there for almost ten years and now I want to clean it and change the water. What is the best way to empty it?

Oplossing:

Emptying a pond is quite a job that you prefer to do in late fall or early spring. To empty the pond you will need pumping equipment such as a dirty water pump and a hose that you hang in the sewer drain. First pump the pond halfway empty and then get to work removing your fish and aquatic plants. You keep these in the original pond water in a separate container. If the pond is completely drained you can choose to clean the bottom. Then fill the pond with a layer of water again, place the pond plants back with the original pond water and then fill the entire pond with water. Only at the last place the fish back including pond water.

Probleem:

At the bottom of the pond there is a thick layer of silt, which has ended up there over the years. How do I get rid of it?

Oplossing:

The mud layer consists of organic material from aquatic plants and fallen leaves from trees. The older the pond is, the thicker this mud layer will become. There is a good chance that algae will form, as the water now contains the nutrients they need. Your best bet is to pump out the pond so you can remove the layer of mud. Check out our tips for cleaning the pond. Do this carefully and without sharp objects so that the pond liner is not damaged. Once the layer is gone, you can rearrange the pond and fill it with water.

Probleem:

Is it necessary to supplement the pond with water? And how do I do that?

Oplossing:

The water level in the pond will change over time. In hot summers with lots of sun, water evaporates, so the water level drops. It is necessary to refill your pond with water as soon as this happens. This ensures that the pond liner is not exposed to sun and other weather influences and prevents leaks from occurring as quickly. A good water level is also essential for your pond plants. Do not fill your pond all at once, but spread smaller amounts of water over several days. This will best maintain the biological balance in your pond. You can use either ground water or tap water.

Pond plant maintenance

Maintaining pond plants

Probleem:

Should I prune the oxygen plants in my pond? And when can I do this?

Oplossing:

It is recommended that you trim oxygen plants once a year in the fall. These plants grow under water until they reach the surface of your pond. Once they reach that, that is when pruning is necessary; if you don't do it, the plant will mostly develop flowers and not grow much more. But for healthy pond water it is essential that your oxygen plants continue to grow. Therefore, prune these plants to -15 cm below the water surface to continue to stimulate growth.

Probleem:

At the edge of my natural pond, I have a lot of yellow iris. Is it necessary to prune these?

Oplossing:

As is true for many pond plants, it is also necessary for the yellow lily to prune it. In principle, do this once a year. Autumn is the best time for this, the moment when the seed pods have been released by the plant and their work is done. Cut back the yellowed leaves to about 20 cm above the ground. To stimulate extra growth you can also prune during the growing season. The plant will then grow faster and extract more nutrients from the water, so it will filter better.

Probleem:

I have a pond with many pond plants and also oxygen plants. How can I tell if they are all continuing to grow well?

Oplossing:

Healthy oxygen plants do not bear flowers and continually expand by making new shoots. If new shoots no longer form, this may indicate that growth has stopped. Other ways to tell that oxygen plants are no longer growing are sloughing, where the plant feels like a slimy mass in your hands, and the plant discoloring or breaking. The latter is easy to see: if your oxygen plants are no longer green but are turning brown or yellow, then the plant's growth has stopped. Is it necessary to (additionally) plant new oxygen plants? Check out our ten best oxygen plants for the pond.

Probleem:

How can I split or propagate my water lily?

Oplossing:

Keep water lilies healthy by tearing or splitting them after about four years to propagate them. You do this early in the spring so the plant can recover well. It's best to first carefully remove the pond basket from the pond so you can get to it and see it clearly. Tearing is done by breaking the lily at the places where new buds are forming; always make sure there is a part of the root. The parts you have cut off can be placed in your own pond basket. A good nutrient-rich planting is important, you can use our Aqua set for this.


Frequently asked questions about pond maintenance

There are two ways to clean the bottom of your pond:

  1. Pump out the entire pond, first providing a safe temporary shelter for any fish present, and placing pond plants in buckets with pond plants. Once the pond is empty, remove the silt layer from the bottom and rinse the pellets of pond substrate. Do not use soap or other chemicals. Then, step by step, place all pond parts back into place. Read how to do that.
  2. Another, less intense way is to clean the bottom with a pond vacuum cleaner. This works in such a way that pond animals are not disturbed. Make sure that the suction mouth is narrow enough so that grains of pond substrate do not disappear into it. You can read more about cleaning your pond here.

Simon advises all his customers to add a layer of pond substrate in both large and small ponds. The porous stone grains are an ideal place for bacteria that help keep the pond water crystal clear. You can also place pond plants (with or without a basket) firmly between the substrate.

March or April is a good time to clean your pond. We recommend cleaning your pond twice a year maximum, because otherwise you disturb the underwater life and biological balance too much. A second cleaning can be done in the autumn, for example in October. Read more pond maintenance tips per season.

Fallen leaves, branches and other plant parts floating on the water are best removed from the pond. This is conveniently done with a telescopic scoop net, or a scoop net with an extendable handle. This allows you to catch and fish out leaves from the bank to far on the pond surface. You can also prevent natural waste from ending up in the pond; stretch a fine mesh net over your pond in the fall - before the trees lose their leaves. This catches everything, and once the trees are bare you can remove the net and leaves. Simon recommends removing natural waste from the pond as soon as possible, otherwise it will sink to the bottom where it decomposes and forms a layer of silt. Your pond will then need a major cleaning much more quickly.


Request our free e-book.

Especially for you the most important do's and don'ts for maintaining your pond, in a handy e-book.

Request our free e-book.

Especially for you the most important do's and don'ts for maintaining your pond, in a handy e-book.

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