Spring is an awesome time of year to enjoy a backyard pond. The marsh marigolds are blooming, the spring peepers are singing and you can finally enjoy a cup of coffee by the waterfall without piling on 10 layers of clothing.
With the changing seasons comes a change in your pond's needs. These range from general clean-up - whether you choose to do a full clean-out or just skim out the winter's dead leaves - to helping fish fight spring pathogens and ease into a warm-weather diet.
Having the right tools for the job makes spring pond care a lot easier - and saves you time and money in the long run.
Below are our favorite products that we use to keep our water clear and fish happy and healthy in spring. You probably won't need everything on the list, but finding the ones that work for you will make spring prep easier so you can get back to the important stuff: relaxing and enjoying life by your pond.
At a Glance: What Products Help with Spring Pond Care?
- For picking the right food and water treatments: Pond Thermometer
- For feeding and caring for fish: Probiotic Fish Food, Cold Water Fish Food, Pond Detoxifier, Protect for Ponds
- For clear water: Cold Water Bacteria, Pond Starter Bacteria, Sludge & Filter Cleaner, Automatic Dosing System, Main Autodoser Pouch
- For string algae: SAB, Barley Straw Extract
- For pond cleaning: Pond Clean-out Gloves, Skimming Net
First: Get a Pond Thermometer
Knowing your water temperature is crucial. It helps determine when you can add new fish, when you can start feeding fish, what kind of food to use and what kinds of water treatments to apply. It will also help you figure out when to stop feeding fish in the fall.
Spring Fish Food & Fish Health
Probiotic Fish Food
Fish go into a semi-dormant state called torpor in winter. As they become more active in spring, their still-slow systems need a little help fighting the pathogens that start to crop up in warmer weather. This food helps them do just that. Bonus: probiotic food is also great to feed when adding new fish to the pond, after clean-outs or any time fish are sick or otherwise stressed.
Cold Water Fish Food
Fish can’t process food as quickly in the spring as they can in the summer. This food is easy to digest and helps ease their systems into the new season. Use this or a probiotic food at least until the water temperature is consistently above 60 degrees.
Removes harmful chlorine and chloramines from water you add to your pond. A must-have if you ever do a water change or clean-out - and always recommended to have on-hand in case you accidentally overfill your pond while topping off the water levels.
A water treatment that also helps fish fight off pathogens and infections. A helpful tool for keeping fish happy and healthy in times of stress, including during changing weather and after pond clean-outs.
Products for Clear Pond Water
Cold Water Bacteria
Cold Water Bacteria is THE staple water treatment for crystal-clear water in spring. Apply one pump per 100 gallons of water in your pond at least once a week (or one pump per 600 gallons for the gallon-size bottle). Simply continue using the cold-water formula until the entire bottle is gone, then switch to standard bacteria.
Pond Starter Bacteria
Our fastest-acting bacteria, Pond Starter helps kickstart the pond’s nitrogen cycle in the spring. A must-have for recently cleaned or constructed ponds or any time you perform a significant water change.
Sludge & Filter Cleaner
Like the name says, this water treatment helps prevent and treat sludge build-up in filters and on the bottom of the pond. Sludge & Filter Cleaner is helpful to have on-hand any time of year.
If you don’t want to worry about remembering to add bacteria to the pond, an Automatic Dosing System will do it for you, adding lots of small doses throughout the week. Just swap out the included water treatment pouch when it’s empty or when you need to switch to a different treatment.
Maintain for Ponds Autodoser Pouch
The staple water treatment for automatic dosing systems. This formula includes beneficial bacteria, enzymes and a phosphate binder to prevent green water and keep fish happy. One bag treats a 2,000-gallon pond for up to 30 days. Available for one-time purchase or as a subscription.
Products for Treating String Algae
Sprinkle this powder directly on string algae to kill it. Just remember to remove any dead algae from the pond afterwards to prevent it from becoming food for new algae.
Barley Straw Extract
Some pond owners find that barley straw extract helps prevent new string algae growth. The liquid extract is less messy - and more effective - than barley bales and pellets.
For Spring Pond Cleaning
Pond Clean-out Gloves
These waterproof gloves have long been a favorite for pond clean-outs and any other outdoor work. They go up past the elbows, keeping your hands clean and dry.
Pond Skimming Net
If your pond doesn’t need a complete clean-out, you can use a net to remove excess leaves and debris. We’ve found this Pond Shark net is especially useful because it has plastic “teeth” that do a good job of grabbing leaves, string algae and other gunk.
We also have regular skimming nets that are a little more budget-friendly: