If you have a spring or stream-fed fish pond on your property, you most likely have a dam too that prevents the water from flowing away and taking your fish with it. In order to keep your pond healthy and able to maintain the fish, you need to maintain and repair the damn. Here are a few things you should be doing to keep the fish alive and healthy.
Since water is moving across and through the dam, you need to keep some type of vegetation growing along the edges and banks. Without this vegetation mud and debris will erode from the sides and could cause the dam to completely block. This will cause an overflow of water in the pond that could end up with fish getting trapped in areas without water after a small puddle dries up. It is also important to keep the vegetation from growing into the pond where it can break decompose and foul the water.
You should be using natural materials to create the dam. Anything else may leach harmful chemicals into the water. These materials will break down with time and the water running through them. Be sure to keep an eye on the dam and replace anything that is about to break apart. You need to keep the water flowing to avoid creating a stagnant pool instead of a flowing pond. The fish need to have a steady supply of oxygen which can only come when the water flows properly. Fish waste contains nitrates that are harmful to the fish if allowed to build up. Fresh, flowing water helps to move these out of the water.
Cleaning the Dam
Not all the nitrates will flow out of the pond as the water spills over the dam. Quite a bit of the waste will accumulate at the bottom of the dam, clogging areas and allowing for more nitrates. It is a good idea to clean out this sludge every 5 to 10 years, depending on how large the pond is, to keep the water and the fish healthy.
Whether you have a small pond with a few fish for your enjoyment, or a larger one you use as a way to provide fresh fish for the dinner table, you need to keep the water and the fish healthy. Using a stream or spring and adding a dam is a great way to create the pond without having to use some type of pump to keep the water flowing. Make sure to maintain the dam and you will be able to keep the small ecosystem alive and healthy for many years. If you run into any problems, contact a dam repair company to help make things better again. For more information, contact a business such as T. Luckey Sons, Inc.