Regular maintenance for an Ecosystem Pond with koi, goldfish or any other kind of fish includes emptying the skimmer basket as needed, adding a regular dose of beneficial bacteria and, of course, feeding the fish.
While the exact needs for your individual pond will vary (especially if your pond is especially large), here’s generally what’s involved in caring for a backyard ecosystem:
1. Empty the Skimmer Basket
Your skimmer takes in leaves and other debris before they have a chance to sink to the bottom and decay. To empty the skimmer basket, simply lift up the cover, take out the basket and dump it into your garden, compost pile or trash. That’s it!
How often you empty the skimmer basket depends on personal preference and how much debris ends up in your pond. Once a week is fine for most people. You might decide to empty yours more often if your pond is under a particularly messy tree, for example, or you might leave it go for longer if your pond stays pretty clean.
2. Add Bacteria
A second must for maintaining a clear pond is adding regular doses of beneficial bacteria. Beneficial bacteria consume excess nitrites in the pond that would otherwise feed the type of algae that turns your pond water green.
You can add liquid bacteria to your pond by hand about once a week via a simple pump bottle, or you can install an autodoser that constantly adds tiny doses of bacteria for you.
3. Feed the fish
The third thing you need to do to maintain your pond is feed the fish. Most pond fish can grab a lot of their nutrition from the bugs, plants and algae that naturally end up in the pond, but you do need to feed most kinds fish food as well to keep them at optimal health. We recommend choosing floating fish food pellets with high-quality protein and multivitamins designed specifically for the needs of pond fish.
You can also buy foods that meet the specific needs of your fish. Some formulas, for example, are made to enhance your finned friends’ colors, while probiotic foods work great for treating sick or stressed fish. You can also feed your fish treats like Koi Krunchies or watermelon.
Feeding your fish, emptying your skimmer basket and adding beneficial bacteria to your pond will make up the majority of the maintenance you perform on your pond – and these tasks only take a few minutes to do every week. That leaves you with lots of time for relaxing with a book in your hand and the soothing sounds of flowing water around you.
Aside from regular maintenance, the only other work you’ll need to do for your pond is a few once-a-year tasks that come with the changing seasons and some basic care for whatever plants you decide to add.