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How Storms Affect Your Oklahoma Pond

As we all know Oklahoma is well known for tornadoes, rain, hail, lightning and various other weather conditions. Do these storms affect my pond, if so how? Storms can suddenly drop water temperatures and most importantly change the pH in a pond. So you ask, “What is pH and how do storm affect my Oklahoma Pond”. Several things can happen with storms, here are a few listed below, but lets start with what pH is!

The pH level is a numeric value that indicates the relative acidity or alkalinity of the water on a scale of 0 to 14, with neutral at 7. Most Oklahoma lake and pond organisms prefer pH levels of 6.5 to 9. When storms are present, atmospheric pressure changes sometimes causing pH in your pond to change. This change in pH can be lethal to your fish. Here are some other quick facts and tips.

  • Hail is not big deal but if you have excessive amounts floating in the water you may want to consider scooping as much as you can out so that the fish don’t suffer such temperature fluctuation.  (imagine someone dumping ice water on you!)
  • Lightning is another thing most people don’t think of when it comes to your pond. Sure we’ve all experienced a power outage, but we have seen ponds get hit by lightning that affected the fish. My personal pond got hit by lightning and killed two fish and damaged another. Of course this is something out of our control but we need to be aware it can happen. 
  • Tornadoes, we’ve all seen them and know the damage they can do. No need for details here!
  • Exposed liner can be damaged by hail.  Protect it by covering it with rock and gravel. Liner needs to be completely protected from the harsh rays of the sun, from the freeze and thaw cycle and from hail.  
  • Hail can cause leaves, branches and other debris to drop in the pond.  Get out what you can and make sure to dump the skimmer basket a couple extra times to make sure it doesn’t get clogged with leaves caused by a hail storm.
  • Lily pads can be damaged. It is better to leave the damaged lily pads there because they are still converting sunlight to energy for the plant.    Wait until the whole leaf and even the stem turn brown and look mushy.  Then give them a quick tug and they will come right off.  Good to pull them off because they add nutrients to the pond as they decay and can cause more algae.  Luckily, lily pads send up new leaves pretty quickly and will look gorgeous before you know it!
  • Excessive rain and hail can upset the balance of the pond ecosystem.  Give it an extra dose of beneficial bacteria.