In order to keep skating on your ice rink, you need to maintain it. There's really little more than shoveling and flooding, but it's important to do this regularly.
When you go to flood the ice, use hot water if you can. It will make a smoother surface. I used cold water all this winter because that's what I could use.
You probably should flood almost every day, except when temperatures will climb above freezing or if snow is expected. Snow and water will make for very soft ice that is hard to skate on. It will also be very rough. Sometimes, the ice will form a hard shell that is easily broken by the slightest amount of weight. Shovel snow before you flood.
I tried using a spray nozzle on a hose to flood the ice, but it doesn't lay down quite as much water as an uncapped hose will. If you want to make some banked snow freeze, the spray nozzle is the way to go. If it's just flooding, you may want to use the hose normally.
When flooding, keep the hose moving. Concentrated water will create a hole 3-4 inches deep in a matter of about a minute. If you keep the hose moving, the water will not create any large holes. Be careful that you do not put too much water on the sides of the ice, as it will seep down and ruin your ice base. I like to bank snow on the sides of the ice if I can, as the snow will absorb the extra water.
When you're done flooding, empty your hose of all water. However you do it, it's very important to prevent freezing. I usually disconnect the hose from the faucet, then pick up the hose little by little forcing water out the other end. (Without a spray nozzle, of course.) This gets enough water out of the hose to keep it usable.
Once you shovel ice, you'll never want to shovel a concrete side walk again... It's so smooth and easy to do, you'll wish the whole sidewalk was skateable ice.
If you get snow, shovel it off as soon as you can. If the snow melts and refreezes, you'll have a hard time getting the ice skateable again. I only half shoveled my ice, it warmed up, then froze again, and I never did get the ice skateable again.
Bank the snow up on the sides so that water will not seep down and ruin your base. After flooding once or twice, that snow will freeze in to ice, and will be all the more effective.
I'm sure most people have watched on TV to see the refs patching ice with snow and water, patting it down with a puck. This works pretty well for a quick fix, if you have snow.
If you don't have snow, you can fill a hole with water and it will freeze and patch the hole. If you use a water bottle to fill the hole, don't force water in to the ice, as you'll dig a larger hole. Just let it fill, don't force it.