After a record-breaking summer, September is the point where pond keepers need to start planning for what’s to come.


  • Now is the best time for a thorough cleaning, as temperatures are high and life cycles of fishes and amphibians are at their most convenient.
  • Be prepared. With trees getting ready to drop their leaves, a pond cover net positioned before the end of the month can catch a lot of debris that can fuel next year’s algae growth. A skimming net can be used to remove leaves that evade the cover net.
  • Consider a pond vacuum – little and often hovering can save a lot of work with hands-on cleaning. With large fish in the pond it also reduces the loading on the filtration. For the seasonal clean-outs there’s nothing to match the convenience.
  • As with any herbaceous perennials, this is a great time to introduce new plants to the pond. They may be starting to look a little tired but marginals and lilies added now will be far larger than new ‘fresh from the nursery’ stock when spring comes around. Add the fact that they’re seasonally reduced and it’s hard to ignore the logic, especially if you repot them now to save the bother in early spring.
  • Continue the war on algae. The more nutrients that can be removed from your pond the better and reducing the biomass of blanketweed is key to this. Whether it overwinters or breaks down to release these nutrients, short-circuiting this process is vital.


  • The tropical season is just around the corner. As things quieten down in the pond-related areas of the store, focus returns to the indoor fish and some rare seasonally available species start to appear. Keep an eye out for interesting imports.
  • What’s on your wish list? With a world full of choice, not all stores will carry everything your aquarium may desire. If there’s a fish that you’ve been searching for and it’s suitable for set up, talk to your favourite branch about sourcing it for you. I’m sure I don’t need to remind you that it’s always important not to be tempted by species that you can’t house as adults in your existing aquaria.
  • Have you got a first aid kit? Some of the more common health problems are more easily dealt with when tackled in their early stages and water quality issues are just one of them. Find a little room somewhere for a test kit (what do you mean you don’t have one already?), an ammonia remover, bacterial booster, a white spot treatment and a broad-spectrum anti fungus and bacterial remedy. When you need these items it’ll generally be in a hurry. Don’t forget that a Hydra filter will free you of any ties to bacterial filtration and can be a lifesaver in the event of any disruption of mature filters.