It does not matter where you live, I am sure that you have storms at some time of the year. In the north of the northern hemisphere, we are inclined to get lots of rain in winter and spring. In the tropics, there may be monsoons. Whatever you call them, they produce lots of wind and lots of rain in a short space of time – it is basically a storm.
The fact is that, if you know that a storm is approaching, you can take safety measures and save your precious fish, whether they are expensive or just dear to you. It might be useful to distinguish between minor and major storms, but that is only helpful if you can trust your weather announcer.
Minor Storms: the first thing to do is to stop feeding your fish, if you have enough notice of the storm. Fish can easily live for weeks on the insects and plant life in the water, so do not be concerned. The reason for stopping feeding is that if the storm damages your filtration system, the quality of the pond water will not deteriorate so much, if there is no uneaten food in it.
Take out some of the water to allow for the rainfall, but do a partial water change too, because otherwise the reduced water level will contain greater levels of toxins until the rain comes.
Remove items from the vicinity that can blow over and fall into your pond. It is a good idea to put a net over the pond to prevent debris being blown into it too. Flying twigs or branches could alarm or even spear your fish.
Major Storms: we are not talking about hurricanes here. If a hurricane threatens to hit, you ought to evacuate your fish to a temporary tank somewhere safe – maybe a 50 gallon barrel in the basement or something like that.
If you want to be totally sure that your fish will be ok, you could ask your local pet shop to take them away to look after them otherwise continue as for a minor storm but with the following extra precautions.
Disconnect all the electrical apparatus in and around your fish pond. Make certain that there is no way that a live wire can fall into the pond and electrocute your fish. Remove all the plants from your pond as they could be damaged by the wind and waves, but leave any stone hiding places that your fish will surely look for while the storm is raging. If you reckon that perhaps you do not have enough ‘caves’, build some provisional ones from bricks or blocks.
Put a double layer of netting over your pond and tie it lower down than normal, say only a few inches above the water line, but not so low that if a fish gets out, it cannot get back in. Lastly, build a wall of sand bags at least two feet high all the way around your pond. This will allow the water to get in and drain away, without taking your fish with it, which is why the net must be high enough to permit the fish to get back into the pond.
Owen Jones, the writer of this piece, writes on many topics, but is now concerned with water garden pumps. If you are interested in a Solar Powered Pond Pump, please go to our web site now for a great deal.