HELP! This Pond was Here When I Moved In..

Posted by Bill Hoffman on Jul 21st 2020

HELP! This Pond was Here When I Moved In..

Every so often a customer will come in or call us saying; “We recently bought a new house BUT it came with a backyard pond.. The problem is I have no clue what to do with it, can you help?!” The answer is yes, of course we can help you with your new pond. 

A water garden can either be a pleasure or a pain when it comes to maintenance. We are here to make it easy and enjoyable. Keep reading to learn the basics of pond care and a few tips to help you get started. 


What Time of Year Is It? 


WINTER: There is not a whole lot to do with your pond yet…unless there are koi or other types of pond fish living there. If so: 

  • Hopefully, the previous homeowner installed a pond de-icer and an aerator system
    • These items will keep a hole open on the surface and put oxygen back under the ice while allowing for the harmful gases to escape. *Just make sure the electric stays on* 

SPRING: You really need to get things started when the pond has thawed. 

  • Make sure there are no leaves in the pond. 
  • You will have a pump and pond filters to install. 
    • The pond pump should have been left somewhere warm, like the garage or maybe a basement, in a bucket of distilled water. 
    • We can help you identify what type(s) of pond filters you have and what needs to be done. For example; waterfall filter, pond skimmer, etc. 
    • Pond water treatments, such as beneficial bacteria, will need to be started when water temperatures are around 45-50 degrees. 
    • Some pond plants will have to be moved within the pond. Different plants need to be at different levels in the water to thrive.
      Go to “Planting Zones for Your Pond Plants to learn more. 
    • Be sure to add submerged aquatics (seaweed) to help with the absorption of nutrients that have been resting in the bottom of the pond. 

Come visit our Garden Center - we offer many free educational seminars on topics related to ponds and water gardens. We also have a wide selection of blogs available. 


SUMMER: The pond season should be in full swing now. If the pond is running, there is maintenance to be done: 

  • Clean your mechanical filter (i.e. skimmer pad and net) on a weekly basis. 
  • Add pond water treatments as a regular routine for keeping your pond fish healthy. 
  • Depending on the temperature, begin feeding your pond fish. [Learn when to starting feeding your fish here.] 
  • Be sure the proper amount and combination of pond plants is present in your water garden. The important thing is to keep your pond’s eco-system balanced for minimal maintenance.  

*If for some reason your pond is not running yet, please refer to the “spring” section to get started. 


FALL: The weather is beginning to cool down, leaves are changing colors and questions start arising. 

Preparation for winter will make things much easier for you in the spring. Here is a check list of things to do when it is time. For more detailed steps, please read our “Steps for Shutting Down your Pond for Winter.” 

  • Remove and clean all the pond filters 
  • Pull the pond pump out, rinse it and store (somewhere it will not freeze) in a bucket of distilled water 
  • Cut back dying pond plants and remove any floating pond plants 
  • Clean out any leaves that have fallen in the pond water 
  • Install a de-icer [pond heater] 
  • Make sure the pond aerator is working properly 
  • Cover the pond with a net 
  • Now your all tucked in for winter 

Now that you know the basics of what it takes to maintain your pond, welcome to the ponding community! 

We are always happy to answer your questions on how to care for a pond here at Hoffman’s Water X Scapes. Plus, if you are local, chances are we may have known the previous owner and your pond. 

Do you have a pond or water feature that you do not want to work on or maintain yourself? That’s okay too. We offer on-site pond maintenance services. Check out our Pond Services Page to learn more.