The first thing you will need to do is clean up the mess left over during the course of the
previous autmn and winter. Use a pond net, skimmer or pruning tool to remove leaves,
twigs and debris in, around, and at the bottom of the pond. Use your pond vacuum to
suck up dirt and plant matter from the base of the pond. Make sure your thermometer is
working properly, if it isn’t, install a new one.
Early spring is a good time to do a water change of up to 50%-75%, depending on the
pond’s condition (and what was done in the autumn). Winter run-off may contain pollutants
that may have seeped into the pond, use a pump to partially drain the pond. Before
refilling the pond, let the water run a few minutes to flush the pipes. After replenishing
the water, add a water prep to eliminate chlorine and chloramine as well as to neutralise
Starting the Equipment
Pond equipment should have been cleaned and packed away for winter; if it wasn’t,
make sure that you clean them thoroughly before restarting. Take your filter apart and
thoroughly rinse all media in a bucket of water use pond water taken from the pond
- never use tap water as the chlorine will kill off the beneficial bacteria that keep your
pond water in biological balance. Replace filter foams if required before reinstalling your
filtration systems. If pumps were in operation over the winter, remove and clean them.
Reassemble any hoses and other water runs and inspect for damage. Repair and replace
as required, then test to ensure that everything works. If you have a waterfall,
use waterfall foam to fill in gaps and openings in waterfall area. If you have a
UV steriliser or if your filter contains a UV-C lamp, early spring is a good time to replace
the bulb as its effectiveness dramatically reduces after 12 months. When the water
temperature remains above 7ºC / 45ºF, start the filter and the UV steriliser to maintain
clear water. To help achieve optimum water conditions, add in barley straw and peat
granules to the filter’s biochamber or directly into the pond (using a mesh bag to contain
Fish that have been kept indoors for the winter will need time to adjust to the pond’s
environment. A sudden change in temperature and pH level can harm them. Ensure that
the water temperature is a minimum 15°C /60°F before relocating the fish back into the
pond. Allow them to acclimatize gradually. Never pour or drop them into the pond. Gently
net and place them in a plastic bag for transportation.
If you have purchased new fish, put the bag in the pond and let it float untied on the
water surface. Wait about 10 minutes or until the temperature of the bag and the water
are about equal, then untie the bag and add a small amount of pond water to the bag
and leave for another 10 minutes.
Repeat the process once or twice more, then add ½ a
cap of a water prep pond water neutraliser before gently allowing the fish to swim out of
the bag and into the pond. Moving can be traumatic for fish, so watch them carefully to
ensure that they’re adjusting to their new surroundings and that there are no losses. Also
check ammonia and nitrite readings regularly, using a pond test kit, to ensure that the
biological filter is establishing rapidly and effectively.
Fish should be fed only when the water temperature is consistently above 8°C/46.4º
F. Once above 8°C/46.4ºF, begin feeding a spring/autumn formula food enriched with
wheat germ, it is low in protein, easier to digest, and helps minimize waste. When
the water temperature stays above 10ºC/50º F, switch to an all season formula. Feed
amounts that fish can eat within a few minutes and remove any uneaten food.