Preparing A Pond For A Severe Storm

Pond owners in hurricane prone areas need to be prepared for a natural disaster. Its always best to plan for a near worst-case scenario. Sometimes there is a mandatory evacuation and then you can only hope for the best. Other times, a storm comes through and causes a loss of power for a few days. In this guide, we will look at the second scenario.

First its best to have supplies ready early–before you actually need them:

  • Supplies
  • Battery operated air pumps (several)
  • Batteries for them (many)
  • Airline tubing
  • Activated carbon
  • Mesh bags for holding the activated carbon (several)
  • Hurricane / tropical storm is imminent

First you will want to get as much information as possible regarding the storm from your local weather station. Next go out and survey the pond. Locate all objects that could potentially go airborne and store them indoors; examples of this would include garden decorations, a chair, etc. Its likely that debris will enter your pond so perform maintenance on your filters. Next drain your pond significantly–you’ll have to use your best judgement based on the weather forecast as when the storm comes through so will a large amount of rain. Then lower your marginal/bog plants into a deeper section of the pond.

Passing through

There isn’t anything that you can do for your pond or its inhabitants during this time. Do not endanger your life! The rain will refill the pond–this was the reason for you draining it prior.

Come and gone

Upon the storm passing, do another survey of the pond to ensure its safe to approach or accessible. If you have power, temporarily power down all filters and remove the debris with a net. This means limbs, leaves, anything foreign, etc. If there is a mechanical filter, go ahead and rinse it clean and replace. Then power back up all filters. Also perform a small water change. Consider waiting a day or so to feed your fish as your filters will have enough waste to filter through.

If you do not have power, you will want to first remove as much debris from the pond as possible. Then get those battery powering air pumps operating immediately. We recommend placing the output of the airline tubing that runs from the air pump so that the bubbles make contact with the activated carbon. The debris may have cause toxins to enter the pond and the carbon will start to absorb impurities–however, it needs water movement to be effective.

Resist the urge to feed your fish! Their waste won’t be able to be filtered–they will certainly survive a few days without food!

When your power returns, perform a large water change and get your filters running again. Its likely that they will go through a small cycle as the bacteria levels in your biological filter would have been reduced drastically. You can now remove the battery powered air pumps. Relocate the activated carbon to an air with strong water flower such as a waterfall or the exit point of a biofilter. Feed your fish minimal amounts of food until your filter catches back up.

Additional thoughts

You must remove all casualties immediately.

Your plants will be tattered but they are resilient. After a couple days, you may notice foliage beginning to yellow–go ahead and remove it so as to stimulate new growth.