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Blagdon's top ten tips on how to preserve the health of Britain’s 3 million ponds
With swathes of England currently in the grip of a drought and the resultant hosepipe ban zone extending into many parts of the country, the health and welfare of over three million1 ponds’ flora and fauna are currently hanging in the balance.
According to current official advice, homeowners are only permitted to top-up a swimming pool or pond "in which fish or other aquatic animals are being reared or kept in captivity"2 during the hosepipe ban. By following Blagdon’s practical drought advice, gardeners will now be able to not only ensure the healthiest, clearest possible conditions for both fish and plant life, but reduce water changes and the frequency of times needed to carry out pond top-ups.
Top ten tips:
1)Firstly carry out an essential spring clean to remove organic waste to leave your pond sparkling. Debris such as dead leaves and any sludge from the bottom of the pond causes the water to become dirty and disrupts the balance of the pond. Certain equipment such as water-vacuum cleaners will enable debris to be removed efficiently whilst recycling the water back into the pond rather than wasting it.
2)Secondly don’t forget to service your pond filter: by thoroughly cleaning all of the media, a pond will be instantly cleaner. Ensure that old pond water is utilised to clean the filter to ensure essential bacteria is not damaged. Products are available that can help to kick-start the essential bacteria cycles in the pond to keep the water healthy.
3)By creating shade over a pond via a temporary canopy or garden parasol evaporation and algae growth will be reduced, keeping water cleaner for longer.
4)Oxygenate your pond using a air-pump; this is particularly important in hot weather when pond oxygen levels are low.
5)Carry out any pond maintenance in the early morning or evening when temperatures are lower as this reduces evaporation.
6)It is important to naturally reduce organic waste without using precious oxygen – bacteria and enzyme culture products are available which will reduce the need for filter and pond cleaning, thus further preserving water.
7)Rain water from water butts can be used to top-up ponds but it is important to remember that it is often acidic: a pH adjuster should be used for acid ponds.
8)Keep ponds free from unsightly, deoxygenating green water and blanket weed algae – innovative products such as a UVC clarifier can help with this.
9)Maintain fish health by feeding sparingly- don’t kill them with kindness.
10)Use a pond cover net to protect fish from predators such as herons which may be forced to fish in garden ponds as the drought effects their natural habitat.
Lucy Bearman, Blagdon Brand Manager says: “The current drought situation concerns us greatly. Our passion for responsible fish-keeping as well as the health and welfare of a ponds’ flora and fauna is central to our focus at Blagdon. We hope that the guidance we are issuing today to our customers will help pond owners and gardeners responsibly manage their ponds during a time when water is scarce. By following this advice and because our quality products are rigorously tested, a healthy, clean pond is achievable during this difficult situation.”
Blagdon recommends that all pond-owners check with their local water authority as terms and conditions during a drought are subject to change.
1. Pond Conservation UK
2. Water Use (Temporary Bans) Order 2010 Part 2 Article 8 (i) (f), and Article 10 (i)]
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Notes to Editors:
•Blagdon The Pond Masters www.blagdonthepondmasters.co.uk
•Interpet offers one of the largest pet and aquatic product ranges, incorporating 12 different brands including: Interpet, Mikki, Nylabone, Blagdon, Kent Marine, PetLove, PetSafe, Four Paws and Super Pet.
•For more details about Interpet visit: www.interpet.co.uk