Pond Lily

Koi Pond Care

Provided that you have constructed your pond well, taking care of a koi pond can be quite simple. Empty the skimmer leaf basket and clean the filters on a weekly basis. Netting out leaves and small branches that are not caught in the skimmer basket will keep them from breaking down and adding to the bio-load of your koi pond. Some plants may have to be thinned periodically.

Fall can be a challenge trying to keep up with the leaves that end up in your pond. I tend to pull the water hyacinths at this time and trim the watercress back to a 2 foot square area. The less plants on the water surface at this time will insure that most of the leaves are caught in the skimmer. An extra pump placed at the bottom of the deep pool also aids in keeping leaves from ending up at the bottom and not in the skimmer. Pull the water lily stalks as they die off. Hardy lilies can be left to over winter in the pond as long as they are planted 12 or more inches deep.

Tropical lilies will have to be removed from the pond as soon as they start loosing their leaves in the fall. This usually happens before the first frost when the water temperature drops below 65° Fahrenheit. To store over the winter you have to understand that tropical lilies never experience cold or even cool weather in the zones where they originate. They do experience dry seasons, where the lake beds dry up and trigger the plant to go into a dormant state. Simply remove the potted plant in the fall and cut away all the foliage including buds and place in a dark space at room temperature. The soil will dry out slowly mimicking the dry season that the plant would naturally experience. In the spring, be sure to wait until the water temperature is consistently above 70° Fahrenheit, before replanting in the pond.

I run my pumps all winter long. This keeps the pond from freezing over and keeps plenty of oxygen in the water. It also gives the pond a quicker start in the spring. If you do shut your pumps down in the winter be sure to disconnect the pumps and clean before storing them inside. Remove any UV clarifiers and store until spring. Use a pond heater to keep the water from freezing over solid. A frozen pond creates a gas build up that is toxic to the fish.

In the spring the pond will have to be cleaned again. Leaves will blow into the water throughout the winter months. Some people will drain a pond in the spring and rinse the gravel. Not only do you dramatically change the water chemistry when you do this but you also upset the biological filtration of the gravel bottom. I simply use an extra pump to flush the debris off the bottom to be caught in the skimmer filter. A finer filter pad is added to catch more of the debris while cleaning.