What's My Fish Feeling?
Cooler water can hold large amounts of oxygen, that is not the case for warm water, as it holds less oxygen. As the warmer weather approaches, and spring thawing has already occurred, your fish become more active. Increased activity means the fish require more oxygen when unfortunately, less oxygen is available to them.
Fish aren’t the only pond inhabitants who increase their activity in warmer water. When things start getting hotter, biological activity increases. Just like humans, stressed fish are more susceptible to diseases when they’re not feeling their best. Since most pond owners stock their water gardens with cold water fish, it’s even more imperative to be aware if your pond is becoming undesirably and uncomfortably warm.
Fish aren’t the only living things that can be negatively affected by warm water conditions. Your pond plants might start to show the effects of high heat. Water lettuce and water hyacinth can turn yellow and burn. Even the leaves of hardy waterlilies (Nymphaea) may begin to burn and turn brownish in extreme heat since they are cold season plants.
The severity of your lily pads deteriorating and wilting is extremely problematic, as it can cause further warming of pond water. Since the leaves of a waterlily help shade the pond and keep it cooler, maintaining the plant’s health is a priority.
Stop the Fish Fry
If your pond has overheated even once in a typical summer season in your area, chances are it will happen again. Applying a few proven adjustments to your pond can help make all the difference to beat the heat.
Depth: Perhaps making your pond deeper is a long-term plan to consider. Ponds with a depth of two feet or more have an advantage over shallower ponds, as the bottom of the pond will remain cooler and the fish can hang out at the lower depth.
Shade Cover: Shade is another important long-term fix. Shading your pond can be quick, easy, and beautiful. If your waterfall is exposed to direct sun, add shrubs, trees, or other landscaping features to provide cover and make your water garden look more natural. Aquatic plants help cool a pond provided one-third to one-half of the pond’s surface area is covered.
Circulation: Finally, circulation is key to keeping the pond cool. A larger capacity pump can be part of the solution. Keep in mind that also adding a waterfall or stream can play a huge part in oxygenating of pond water. These elements increase the pond's overall circulation, keeping temperatures down.