For many, the vacation is the most beautiful time of the year. However, the pond and the fish do not have a holiday. It can quickly become boiling in the summer months, and the hot spell can last for several days. At worst, the water tips over, which means death for your fish. Therefore, before you go on vacation, you should take precautions and ask a neighbor or friend to check on your pond regularly.
What You Need to Consider Before Your Vacation
In advance, before you go on vacation, you should take care of the pond during this time. It makes sense that you contact a pet shop you trust, which is well acquainted with garden ponds. You can also ask there if a professional can take care of your pond in an emergency while you are on vacation. An experienced pond company can also care for your pond should the water tip or an emergency arise. You should give the pet shop or pond company phone number to your friend or neighbor who will take care of the pond while you are away. Give the friend or neighbor your cell phone number in an emergency. They can call it with any questions or doubts. They will then tell you what steps should be taken. It is best to write your friend or neighbor a checklist of all the things to consider when caring for the pond while away.
Sometime before your vacation, you should take care of the technology for your pond:
- Test strips or droplet tests to check the water values
- Pump and filter to ensure good water quality
- Automatic feeder
- Skimmer to remove impurities from the water surface
- Parasol or awning to provide shade for the pond
What You Should do Before Your Vacation
A few weeks before your vacation, you should install the technology in your pond to see how it works. Try out the pump, filter, skimmer, and feeder and make the appropriate adjustments.
About a day before you leave for your vacation, you should recheck the water values. It is best to do this in the presence of your friend or neighbor, whom you can show how to check. Write down for him what values the water must-have.
Especially in summer, the water can evaporate quickly. Before your vacation, fill up with water again or make a water exchange if the water values have deteriorated.
Drain and clean the skimmer. Fill the feeder and make the appropriate adjustments.
Before going on vacation, remove algae once again and show your friend or neighbor how to proceed with algae removal. You should also recheck the pond plants before your holiday and remove dead plant parts.
Good Water Quality With Pump and Filter
You should buy a pump and filter according to the volume of water in your pond. The pump mixes the water layers, ensures a good oxygen content, and prevents algae formation. The filter supports the natural metabolism of the pond. If you would like to counteract algae formation, you can also equip your pond with a small fountain and water features.
Control of the Water Values
If your friend or neighbor takes care of the pond during your vacation, you should get him a strip test. It may not provide accurate values as the droplet test, but it works faster and easier. It’s best to write down for your friend what to do if the water values deviate from the norm. If the pH is not between 6.5 and 8.5, about one-fifth of the water should be replaced. This is also necessary if the lime content is lower than 5 degrees dKH or the ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate levels are too high. If the water level drops more than 4 inches (10 centimeters), you should replenish it. It would be best to have algae killers on hand for emergencies. This quickly destroys floating and filamentous algae. The algae killer contains bacteria and active oxygen.
Feeding Fish With the Automatic Feeder
Fish food that is not eaten sinks to the bottom and promotes the formation of algae and mud. If you use an automatic feeder and fill it up before your vacation, your friend or neighbor will not have to worry about feeding your fish during your break. The new, modern automatic feeders can be filled with different feeds and programmed. You can accurately set the feeding times and the amount of feed. You should install the feeder to avoid getting wet and damaged by rain. If you go on vacation for a long time, you should buy a second feeder, fill it and set it. Then you need to show your friend how to install the feeder.
Skimmer for Clean Water Surface
A skimmer saves work when pollen, leaves, and other debris fall into the pond. It would help if you bought the skimmer according to the size of your pond. Show your friend how to clean and empty the skimmer. It would be best if you cleaned the skimmer’s filter basket and debris strainer regularly. Depending on the size of your pond, cleaning should be done at least once a week, but twice a week is better.
How to Shade Your Pond
Before you go on vacation, you should shade your pond. The entire time while you are away, the pond can remain shaded. This will not harm your plants and fish. In this way, you will avoid the formation of algae due to strong sunlight and, in the worst case, the overturning of the water.
A parasol is sufficient for small ponds. Over a larger pond, you can stretch one or more sun sails.
Do Not Buy New Fish Before the Vacation
Before going on vacation, you should not add any new fish to your pond. The new housemates could introduce diseases and infect the existing stock. Plus, you’ll know what to dose for food if you don’t buy new fish for the time being.
Instead, if your fish have multiplied a lot before the vacation, you should give some fish away. Perhaps a friend who has a garden pond will be happy to receive the fish. Otherwise, you can offer the fish through a swap meet.
The Checklist for Your Friend
To help your friend or neighbor quickly know what to do, you should write them a checklist. It could look like this:
- Your cell phone number
- Possibly the phone number of a pet shop or a pond company
- Water values
- Add water if the water level has dropped about 4 inches (10 centimeters)
- Water exchange, if the water values deviate
- Empty filter basket and skimmer strainer twice a week
- Remove algae if the water is cloudy
- Add algae remover to the water if the water is green
It is best to place the net, algae brush, algae remover, and water test in a clear and easily accessible place.
Before going on vacation, hire a neighbor or friend to take care of your backyard pond. Write him a checklist and leave your cell phone number. Your friend should regularly check the water values and refill or replace the water if necessary. You can prepare your pond well if you use a pump and filter, an automatic feeder for the fish, and a skimmer for impurities that have fallen into the water. You should also not forget about shading.