Hot tamales and chili peppers might be a summer favorite for some, but this week’s high temperatures are enough to scare any fish and their owners into some air conditioning. As the Midwest feels the heat wave it is important to keep tabs on your pond environment. During high heat spells, ponds battle heavy evaporation rates, increase in photosynthesis and warmer water temperatures than desired by most fish. Because the earth’s surface temperature will also rise, both direct sunlight and indirect sunlight ponds will feel fluctuations in temperatures during high heat.
Protect Your Fish From Extreme Heat
- Shade your pond from strong sun rays. Reducing sunlight keeps single-cell algae from blooming or turning your pond green. Either a pond dye or pond netting can be applied over the pond during longer periods of high heat to lessen photosynthesis.
- Add Pond Aeration to help stablize water temperatures.
Aeration circulates top surface water with cooler low flowing water. Aeration includes an air compressor on the outside of the pond and an air diffuser located near the bottom of the pond. Either air stones or air membrane diffusers allow the diffussed air to enter into the water column of the pond increasing the amount of dissolved oxygen in the pond. Dissolved oxygen levels increase with aeration which means your fish will stay active and healthy despite spikes in sun and temperatures.
- Conduct 10% water changes to balance warmer and cooler water temperatures. Removing and adding water can be done every 24 hours. Avoid sudden temperature drops by adding water within 10 degrees of the current pond water temperature. Rule of thumb = raise temperatures by 1 degree per hour. Too much cold water can be disasterous.
- Condition your water with a pond de-chlorinator during water changes. Insuring the pond water is free of Chlorine will keep the fish’s slime coat thick and healthy.
- Cut back on fish feeding. During high heat time periods reduce high protein food intake so your fish will eat more algae which is easier to digest and will produce less waste.
- Add your water treatments, beneficial bacteria, and debris control substances in the early morning hours to reduce the risk of oxygen depletion.
Protect your pond the best by incorporating an Autofill device which will maintain fresh water levels all of the time, even when you are at home on your favorite couch, in the air conditioning, enjoying your fish from afar or from your very own pond webcam. Adequate water levels will protect the pond pump, your filtration and most importantly your fish health.