Implications of Change of Weather on Outdoor Ponds

To fellow owners of outdoor ponds,

Have the algae in your ponds proliferated over the last 2 days with the warmer temperatures? If they have, please read on!

It is forecast to be cloudy tomorrow with a maximum temperature of 22 degrees Celsius, a drastic drop from the last 2 days. Warm, sunny weather taking a turn for cooler, overcast days may spell trouble for pond fish. The weather can change the dynamics of your pond’s ecosystem.

Algae require sunlight for photosynthesis (the process of making their own food and releasing oxygen as a by-product). But with cloudy days, algae are not able to perform this but instead undergo respiration (consuming oxygen and producing carbon dioxide, like you and I when breathing). Oxygen may become depleted in the pond resulting in fish deaths.

To complicate matters, algae tend to die during such changes in weather, and the resultant decomposition eats up even more oxygen from your pond.

To overcome this, provide more aeration to your pond to increase its oxygen level. This can be in the form of more airstones, fountains, waterfalls, or any other means of physically moving water around. Use of algaecide is not advised at this time because this further compounds the matter by killing the algae leading to decomposition and the consumption of oxygen in the water. Avoid feeding your fish for the time being, or feed them minimally until good water quality parameters are restored.

Thank you for reading and remember to "pump up" the aeration!

The above was prepared by our final year veterinary student – Ivan Lim, with thanks!
Who knew he was so punny!

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Yours sincerely,

Dr Richmond Loh DipProjMgt, BSc, BVMS, MPhil (Pathology), MANZCVS (Aquatics & Pathobiology), CertAqV, CMAVA, NATA Signatory.
Aquatic Veterinarian & Veterinary Pathologist
THE FISH VET, AUSTRALIA – PERTH | MELBOURNE | TOWNSVILLE

Mobile Aquatic Veterinary Medical & Diagnostic Services.

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