How To Shade A Garden Pond (Heat Protection Guide)

How To Shade A Garden Pond (Heat Protection Guide)

Anthony Barnes

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Summer is the best time of the year. The sun is finally out and there is nothing better than sitting back and relaxing in the garden.

More after these days are people investing in ponds to add to the garden and whilst this is to enhance your garden’s beauty, it also comes with plenty of work.

Garden ponds are beautiful additions however it is important to know how to look after it so that it stays as perfect as it started out.

In this article, we will be guiding you through how to protect your garden pond during the hottest seasons of the year to keep your pond looking great.

Why Shading Your Garden Pond Is Important

The sun is something we all look forward to. It is a time to explore the outdoors, hang out with friends and family and, most important of all, soak in the warm air.

However, not all things thrive from the rising temperatures like we do.

Although garden ponds are stunning to look at, especially in the summer, this is not to say that they will benefit from the from the sun.

In fact, if your garden pond is not protected from the heat, it can do some damage.

It is very important when the sun is out to shade your pond for this will help to control the growth of algae, keep away any predators and keep your fish swimming happily.

Below, we will be highlighting these benefits in further detail:

Algae Growth

One thing that is important to highlight is algae growth. In the summer when the heat is soaring, the growth of algae doubles.

In turn, this becomes unmanageable, leaving your garden pond looking dirty and unkept.

With heat, algae is prone to growing much faster meaning that it is much more difficult to handle and keep up with.

Although the growing of algae is inevitable, it is still very beneficial to keep your pond in the shade during hotter seasons as it will slow down the growth.

Your pond will end up with less algae, therefore making it much easier to handle.

As well as this, too much algae can have a real strain on the fish in the pond. Every time algae blooms, the production of oxygen reduces.

This can be very uncomfortable for fish, particular goldfish and koi fish.

The Comfort Of Fish

Most garden ponds will have fish, so it is very important to acknowledge them and how their behaviors will change depending on the climate and season.

The two most common types of fish to have in garden ponds are koi fish and goldfish.

Although these fish are able to withstand any temperature, whether that be cold or hot, this is not to say that they are comfortable by any means.

Typically, you would want them to be in a temperature of between 65F and 75F degrees.

However, it is not just about comfort; it is also about their health. With warmer temperatures, the likelihood of ammonia heightens and this can be very dangerous for fish.

Oxygen Levels

Allowing your garden pond to keep shaded will massively improve its oxygen levels.

During the hotter months of the year, fish will naturally become more active.

They will eat more due to their metabolism rates increasing and because they are eating more, they are producing more waste too.

Beneficial bacteria will then work to break down this waste however they need plenty of oxygen in order to work.

With the soaring temperatures and lower rates of oxygen, this bacteria will not be able to do its job.

Ways You Can Shade Your Garden Pond

As the temperatures rise, it is very important to think about the quality of your pond.

You will want to keep it shaded in order to protect the overall quality of the pond as well as the fish swimming in it But not everyone has ponds that can easily be shaded, so how will this work for them?

If you have a pond that is in the middle of your garden with no shade from trees, then you may feel as though there is nothing you can do, but this is not the case.

There are many ways to shade your garden pond no matter where it is located, keeping it safe for your fish and algae free,

Below, we will be listing some of the best ways you can shade your garden pond:

Using Pond Plants

One option is to use pond plants (or lily pads) to shade your garden pond. Whether you choose to use real ones or artificial ones is completely up to you for they both work just as well to grant you the best results.

Their large surface area will casually float on top of the water, thus providing shade from the sun, blocking direct sunlight for the fish.

As mentioned prior, it doesn’t matter if you choose to use real or artificial pond plants however you should still bear in mind what you will get out of them.

If you choose an artificial pond plant, your garden pond will be provided with the shade it needs.

On the other hand, if you choose to use a real one, not only will you be providing your pond with shade but also more oxygen, allowing for natural filtration.

If you prefer, you can also choose to use marginal plants instead.

These plants will only need to be dotted around the corner of the pond to allow a discrete look whilst still providing your garden pond with enough shade.

Using Fish Shelters

Another option is to use fish shelters. This product is just how it sounds – they are shelters for fish.

Whilst this will not provide optimal shade for the entire pond, this is a great choice for protecting your fish.

When the days are much hotter, you want your fish to feel comfortable and the only way to do that is to allow them some shade.

Using a fish shelter is a great way to do so. So, how do they work? These shelters are specifically designed to sit at the bottom of the pond floor and curves over to block the sun.

Not only is this great for shade but also acts as a nice shelter for the fish for when they want to de-stress.

Fish shelters are typically made from non-toxic plastic or mesh material, making it a safe option.

If you are thinking about investing in one of these, you should be aware that it does have some limitations.

For one, this fish shelter will not work for shallow pond; your pond should be at least 3 feet deep with water.

Furthermore, you may also need to invest in more than one shelter, meaning more money needed to be spent, however this is only for those who have a larger pond with many or large fish.

Using Shade Sails

Some may choose to use shade sails, a similar choice to the fish shelters.

Some may even say that this product is a better option as you will only need to purchase one and it will be guaranteed to provide full shade to your garden pond.

Made from a durable UV-resistant fabric, these shade sails are installed above ground, completely shading the pond from high up.

What’s more is that you are free to adjust how much shade you want to give.

You can either partially shade or allow full coverage. Shade sails are a great option, especially for those with smaller garden ponds, and are perfect to use during the hottest days of the year.

They are easy to install, requiring no maintenance, and cover 90% of all UV light.

Using a shade sail will also reduce the growth of algae as well as deterring any airborne predators such as herons.

Whilst this may seem like an extreme assumption, there are many predators who will take the opportunity to swoop down and prey on fish, even in garden ponds.

Using Pond Water Dyes

A final option is to use pond water dyes.

Many people are worried about using products such as this one as they believe it may contain harmful chemicals, however be reassured that pond water dyes will produce the best quality results without using any harmful toxins.

Pond water dyes are completely non-toxic making them safe to use in ponds and around fish.

This is a popular method which is used to control algae where shade isn’t given.

Typically, these were most suited for larger areas of water such as lakes however have more recently been introduced to garden ponds.

What is unique about water pond dyes is that they are the same dyes we used to colon foods, so come in colors ranging from turquoise to blue to black.

We would highly recommend using a blue dye as this will look natural against the pond, however another popular choice used amongst many is black.

This dye product will like around 2 or 3 months before it needs to be topped up.

How to Shade a Garden Pond (Heat Protection Guide) (1)

Reasons To Have A Garden Pond

Ponds are a great addition to any garden. So long as it is well kept and you understand the importance of heat exposure, anyone is capable of having a pond.

However, the main reason people want ponds is to enhance the look of their gardens. Guests will be mesmerized and it will truly create a lovely finish to your home.

If you are considering adding a pond to your garden then you will want to look at the many benefits:

They Are Stunning To Look At

The one major benefit of having a garden pond is its appearance.

Ponds are gorgeous to look at and will simply complete the entire look of your garden, particularly in the summer when the sun is glistening on the water and shines beautifully.

A garden pond also adds a unique touch, making your garden much different from the rest.

Not many people are able to describe their gardens as unique and cozy, but having a garden pond will definitely allow that.

They Are Great For Filling Up Space

Whether you have just moved into a new home or have been stuck on ideas, we have all been through the stage of trying to fill up empty outdoor spaces.

When it comes to gardens, there is only so much you can do.

You may have a place for an outdoor seating area, a small play area for the kids, yet you are still left with that empty space which bothers you every time you enter the garden.

Thankfully, we have garden ponds to solve this problem.

What is great about using a garden pond to fill up space is that you can choose for the pond to be as large or as small as you desire.

Whatever you choose, you will definitely be satisfied with the results and glad you went down this route.

Garden Ponds May Attract Wildlife

Another benefit to having a garden pond is that they attract wildlife. Although some may see this as a negative, we see it as a great positive.

You will be welcoming birds to bathe, frogs to hop on lily pads, home for animals.

As well as this, it is also a great way to educate your children and introduce them to different birds and insects you may see.

Having A Garden Pond Increases Your Property Value

Because of its appearance and the way it will enhance the look and feel of your garden, having a garden pond will naturally increase your home’s property value.

This is particularly beneficial for those who are wanting to put their house on the market.

If someone was to view the home and see this pond, they will automatically feel very drawn to it and will be willing to spend a little more as it is both stunning and unique.

Some people may even build a pond (see also ‘How To Build A Pond Or Water Garden‘) for this reason alone. If so, make sure to do plenty of research and make this pond as wonderful as ever.

It Keeps You Busy

There is much more to a garden pond than the way it looks and being able to relax with them.

Garden ponds require plenty of maintenance, maintenance which some will thrive from. If you are looking to keep yourself busy and on your feet then a garden pond is a great idea.

You will have to monitor how much heat is getting to it, take care of the fish inside, monitor the algae, clean the pond and just make sure it is constantly looking good.

As well as this, you will also have fun building the pond from scratch if you are someone who enjoys getting their hands dirty.

They Are Relaxing 

Lastly, garden ponds are extremely relaxing.

Why listen to a playlist of calming sounds when you can relax in your garden to the calming sounds of your pond?

Listen as the water flows, as your fish swim, as birds chirp as they perch on the side of the pond.

This will be a great environment for all to relax by after a stressful day and be filled with a sense of calm.

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Things To Consider When Getting A Garden Pond

When it comes to getting a garden pond, there are many things that should be considered:

Sunlight

Before investing in a garden pond, you will need to think about how much sunlight the pond will be getting.

As we have explained above, sunlight is a massive factor, especially because of how your pond will need to be protected from the heat.

Think about the comfort of your fish as well as the rising chances of algae.

Location

Another thing to think about is visibility. It is important to choose a location in your garden that is not in the way yet is visible to all.

For instance, you do not want to have a small pond in the corner of the garden where no one can see it.

You want it to be the main focus of your garden, welcoming guests as they enter. This pond should be your centerpiece.

Wind

One thing which many people do not consider is wind. If you know that one area of your garden gets particularly windy, then it is probably best not to have your garden pond there.

This is because the wind can mess with the quality of the pond, not only having the potential to knock ornament and decorations over but also creating water loss from the pond.

Health And Safety

The health and safety of those around is a big factor, especially if you have any children or pets.

Children can easily fall into the pond if they are playing nearby and pets can try to catch the fish.

You want your garden pond to be safe for everyone, so it is necessary to alter the design to fit this purpose.

We recommend fencing off your pond as a means of protection. You should also think carefully about the location you are choosing.

Trees And Bushes

Wherever you have your pond is a long term decision, so you will need to think about how your pond will cope during all seasons.

There are some people who choose to have their garden ponds sat underneath trees and by bushes but these people soon regret their decision when autumn comes and leaves are falling.

You will be constantly having to scoop leaves out of your pond and this means plenty of work.

Whilst this isn’t to say that you should not have your pond under a tree, you should still be made aware that this will require a lot more maintenance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Garden Ponds Hard To Maintain?

Garden ponds can be hard to maintain so it is important to always be vigilant and keep up with all the work that needs to be done.

If you don’t want to do much maintenance, be aware of where you are locating your bond.

Make sure that it is not under a tree or anywhere windy as this will only lead to more work.

Do You Need Planning Permission To Have A Garden Pond?

This all depends. It is best to check with your state council to see what they advise, however as it is your garden you should be allowed to do what you want.

If you are living in a rented property, however, you should always ask your landlord/landlady first.

Can You Have A Pond In The Front Garden?

Yes, you can definitely have a pond in your front garden, but it would be best small.

You should also consider where you live. If you live on a busy main road then a front garden pond wouldn’t be best.

If you live in a quiet suburban area then a pond would make a great addition to the front of your house.

However, with this said, you will need to be more cautious when it comes to safety as your pond will be closer to cars and other threats.

Final Thoughts

Ponds make a great addition to any home but it is up to the owner to maintain it.

Heat is a great threat so it is necessary to know how to maintain the pond despite the sun.

Above, we have given you many tips to help you. By following them, you will find yourself with a well maintained and managed garden pond which all will love.

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By Anthony Barnes

Anthony Barnes is the founder of Water Heater Hub and a second-generation plumber by profession. Before developing Water Heater Hub, Anthony Barnes was a full-time plumber, and he has undertaken a wide variety of projects over the decades. As a second-generation plumber, it was easy for Anthony to get used to the technicalities of all from a tender age