If you have a fountain or pondless waterfall, then this topic probably doesn't worry you as much because these features can simply be unplugged while you are away on vacation. However, if you have a pond with fish there are a few more things to keep in mind before you leave. Fortunately, there are precautionary steps that can be taken in order to ensure that your water feature continues to run smoothly while you are away.
Do NOT overfeed fish in an attempt to compensate for the feedings that they will be missing. This will only cause water quality issues including ammonia and nitrate spikes. The fish will be able to feed off of the natural algae, plants, and insects. Missing a week of feeding will have no negative effects on the fish. Some people install automatic fish feeders, but it is not necessary.
Before leaving for an extended amount of time, be sure to fill the pond all the way up. You want to account for evaporation that will occur during the warm summer months. While filling the pond you should also add beneficial bacteria and pond detox. Replacing some of the old water with conditioned tap or hose water will help replace some of the dissolved oxygen that is lost during the warm summer days. The last thing you will want is to come home to is a pump that ran dry and burned out. Another way to prevent the pump from running dry is to clean your mechanical filter (skimmer pad or similar mat) before you leave. This will prevent them from clogging up, and from running your pump dry.
If you are a person that finds yourself vacationing frequently, then you might want to consider adding an auto-fill system to your pond. This unit consists a float, similar to that inside of a toilet boil. This float controls the flow of top off water- When the float is low, the auto fill will kick on and will fill the pond to the appropriate level. The Hudson Fill Valve system by Aquascapes is easily added into your pond skimmer with the included hardware. This product also includes adjustable thumb screws that allow you to easily adjust the unit to the proper level. The system is then connected to a source of water with a 1/2" or 1/4" poly pipe (easily connects to an outdoor hose or faucet). These units are fairly easy to install, and can save you a lot of time, money, and frustration.
If you want to be extra cautuious ( or you just don't feel comortable leaving your finned friends for an extended period of time) then give us a call! The experienced crew memebers at Action Water Gardens, Inc. have the tools and know-how to keep your pond healthy and in tip-top shape!