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My kayak paddle is on the corner, mocking me (and not just because spring is coming at us like lightning). Having to rush to get last-minute items ready before the pond warms up is one thing I’m NOT looking forward to, though. I recently made a list of my own things, so I thought I would point out a few items I’d forgotten that are likely to become necessities sooner than you think.

1. VACUUM FOR PONDS

Having a decent pond vacuum has always been important to me, and no doubt I will continue to discuss it in the future. In case you have deciduous trees near your pond, it is just not replaceable for ensuring the health and cleanliness of your pond. In the spring, however, it’s particularly important that you make your garden ready. It can be difficult to get rid of organic debris from a pond if you didn’t cover it for autumn (you remember to cover your pond before the leaves fall, right?). The water will still collect some sludge and build-up, but if you can vacuum it out before the water warms up and the rot and anaerobic bacteria really rise to the surface, you can save yourself a TON of trouble throughout the year.

The time is right to take a closer look at your pond vacuum, even if you already own one. Ensure that your vacuum is in good working order and ready to use before attempting to use it. On a beautiful spring Saturday two years ago, my mother blocked off the whole day to clean up the pond, only to discover that she was using both parts of the vacuum while it was filled with water through a hard freeze, causing the hose to snap. It was tea-colored water for an additional month while I waited for a replacement part and cleaned out the pond.

2. DECHLORINATOR

This Spring, you’re going to perform partial water changes, right? In that case, you should have a dechlorinator on hand. If you are using a bottle from last year, make sure you do not have a tiny bit left in it.

3. POND NET

Have you left the pond net out again this winter even though you swore not to? Has your dog chewed a hole in it? He probably did. It’s something he always does.

4. BARLEY, ACTIVATED CARBON, FILTER MEDIA, LIVE BACTERIA, AND MEDIA FILTER

In the Spring, your pond’s ecosystem is still trying to adjust to the seasonal change, resulting in a lot of water health problems. This can be disappointing and unfortunate, but it presents an opportunity to stem problems before they develop. Partial water changes and removing organic debris and sludge are two of the most important things, but sometimes you will need some help along the way with new, clean filter media or natural water additives.

5. FOO FISH

Your fish will need to be fed again when the temperature in the aquarium reaches 50 degrees and remains there. Make cold water food your starting point and stick with it until the water is above 60 at night. Fish that are still slow from the cold will have an easier time digesting cold water food, as their digestive processes are already sluggish. The key is to have good, high-quality fish food on hand as Spring approaches to avoid having to run to the store and get inferior food (really, guys, fish food quality makes a huge difference).

SUN PROTECTION: A BONUS

Spring is one of the best times to work on your pond and also prepare things you need to do for pond before spring, especially since winter is just getting underway. But it is still important to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. You may feel the need to get some rays after spending most of the winter indoors, but your skin is particularly vulnerable. Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind that sometimes sweeping up a few leaves or checking the water level can turn into two hours spent in the garden. Be careful not to get burned.

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