How to Maintain a Farm Pond

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Choosing to have a farm pond means added yearlong maintenance, but the benefits often outweigh the work. You can use farm ponds for watering livestock, swimming, raising fish or as a landscape focal point. Ponds are often soothing to sit beside in the evening. Many rural farmers use ponds as agricultural irrigation. Ponds add to the property in both value and beauty no matter what use they serve.

Things You'll Need

  • Ammonia/nitrate water test kit
  • Ammonia/nitrate neutralizer chemical
  • Oxygen test kit
  • Skimmer
  • Aquatic herbicide
  • Maintain a balanced and healthy ecosystem by utilizing native pond plants and fish. Placing rocks and pebbles in the pond helps create a healthy natural pond environment that can often withstand neglect for long periods of time.

  • Check the depth of your pond for adequate deepness. A pond that has multiple levels of deepness will require less maintenance during the harsh winters if the water does not completely freeze to the bottom in all locations.

  • Check ammonia and nitrate levels in your pond monthly with an ammonia/nitrate water test kit. Apply an ammonia neutralizer chemical to the pond water if the ammonia and nitrate levels are high.

  • Test your pond's oxygen levels with a test kit during hot summer months if your pond contains fish. Low oxygen levels can kill fish so you might have to aerate your pond using a waterfall, pump or some other water-flow method.

  • Check for soil erosion every spring around your pond and by the dike. You can prevent erosion by planting grass along the banks of the pond or utilizing other ground-cover plants. Planting grass over bare spots along your pond is often a yearly chore.

  • Check pond dikes monthly to make sure no wildlife or rodents have taken up residence. Wildlife often burrows holes through dikes, which will cause a leak.

  • Check pond spillway to make sure that nothing is blocking it. Beavers often build dams in pond spillways; you will need to relocate them so they do not back up your pond's water.

  • Skim algae masses and floating weeds, using a skimmer. Apply an aquatic herbicide if algae and weed growth is overly abundant.

Tips & Warnings

  • Add fish to any pond to maintain its overall health but do not overstock.
  • Water that is not supplied by a well or spring/creek should be tested for chlorine and chloramine, which can be toxic to fish.
  • Check pond water for copper if you use any type of copper pipes to supply the water to the pond. Copper will prove fatal to pond fish quickly.

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References

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