Keep your pond beautiful and clean with regular maintenance and upkeep
Backyard ponds are a beautiful addition to any home. This guide will introduce you to some of the beneficial accessories you can add to your pond to help keep your pond clean.
Whether you are installing a new pond or just changing the water in the one you already have, it’s highly recommended you use a variety of pond water treatment products, such as chlorine remover.
Chlorine remover removes chlorine and chloramines and detoxifies heavy metals that are commonly found in tap water. Also, chlorine remover should be added when you add new fish to the pond as it will replenish the natural coating and reduce the stress of the fish.
Water clarifier and sludge remover work together to clear water and maintain a healthy ecosystem. The water clarifier solution draws sediment particles and dirt together until they are heavy enough to fall to the bottom of the pond and be processed through the filter. This cleans cloudy water and leaves it clear.
Sludge remover contains a naturally occurring water-revitalizing bacteria. Once introduced into pond water, the bacteria consume carbohydrates, proteins, starches, fats and cellulose debris that accumulate in ponds. The bacteria also reduce odors that are produced as a result of organic decay, making filters more efficient with less maintenance.
To help keep predatory birds and animals away, consider using Pond Blue. It wards off wildlife while creating a beautiful blue hue in your water. It also adds an effective UV blocker for healthier water and fish.
Any pond that gets direct sunlight will eventually have to contend with algae. The presence of some algae is beneficial. The short, green fuzz that carpets the pond liner and appears on rocks cleans the water and contributes healthy oxygen when the sun shines.
Excessive algae can be as dangerous as it is unsightly, however, so algae control is necessary. Failing to curb algae growth could result in poor water quality and may be fatal for your fish.
The easiest way to keep algae at bay is to limit the amount of sunshine the pond receives. The pond should be located in an area that receives no more than four to six hours of direct sunlight per day. That’s enough to keep the water lilies and other ornamental plants healthy and blooming.
Another effective algae controller is barley, a natural grass that releases substances that inhibit algae growth as it decomposes in pond water. It does take some time for barley to become an effective controller, and the decomposing stalks can foul the water unless they remain intact and are contained.
An alternative to actual barley grass is Liquid Barley Pond Clarifier and Pond Fountain Cleaner Tablets, which provide barley’s natural anti-algae properties in an easy-to-use tablet.
If your pond gets more than six hours of sun each day, consider building a trellis or lanai to the south end of the pond. You could also plant trees and shrubs to extend shade over the pond.
If your algae growth becomes unmanageable, use an algaecide. Use algaecide only in ponds that do not have an outflow into creeks, streams, lakes or other bodies of water. Algaecides should be used as a last resort and in moderation according to manufacturer’s recommendations.
Adding floating and other ornamental plants will provide numerous benefits to your pond, including soaking up the sun, shading the surface, adding oxygen, cooling the water temperature and reducing the nutrients that feed algae.
Choose between mechanical, UV and pressurized filters.
The filtration system is comprised of the filter box, a coarse filter pad for collecting large debris, a fine filter for collecting small debris and bio balls that promote positive bacterial growth.
Mechanical filter boxes remove debris from the water and provide housing for the pump. The housing prolongs the life of your pump and aids in performance.
The filter pads should be replaced annually.
UltraViolet (UV) filters
- UV light sterilizes pond water by reducing micro-organisms and bacteria.
- UV technology is available as a separate system such as the UV pond clarifier, but you can also use a system that incorporates UV technology, such as the pressurized pond filter with UV Clarifier, or the Complete Floating Fountain with UV cleaning power.
- Both the filters and clarifiers can be submerged in the pond water.
Require seasonal maintenance and should be replaced annually.
Check the quartz sleeve for obstruction and replace the UV bulb every season, even if it appears to be working fine as they lose effectiveness over time.
- Add positive bacteria into the water and work by drawing pond water through an inlet, and then forcing it through three filter areas: a coarse filter, a fine filter and the bio balls.
- Once the water leaves the filter, it is clean and fortified with the positive bacteria essential for a healthy ecological balance.
- Each filter should be replaced annually.
Aeration, Plants & Fish
To get enough oxygen in the water and maintain a healthy pond balance, add spitters, plants or fish.
Spitters are small statues that spit or squirt water into the pond.
- Normally placed on or near the edge of the pond.
- Nozzle kits offer a variety of water displays, which can be adjusted to varying heights depending on the power of your pump.
Use special pumps that provide oxygen into the pond and serve as an aerator.
If you turn your pond into a water garden, consider a mix of plants that add texture, color and variety to your waterscape. Plants also provide shade from the sun, which can help prevent algae growth and protect fish or koi.
There are three basic types of plants that are commonly used in ponds:
- Floating plants such as hyacinth and water lilies - should cover 50 to 70 percent of the pond surface at the peak of summer, so it would be smart to begin with 20 to 30 percent coverage and let them grow to the optimum level.
- Bog plants such as cattails and grasses – should be treated the same as floating plants.
Submerged plants such as anachris and hornworm
You can add fish to both natural and formal ponds. It’s best to wait five days after the pond has been established with the pump and filter before adding fish.
Although fancy goldfish do fine in shallow ponds, koi usually need about 3 feet of water. If you plan on leaving your fish outside during winter, use a pond de-icer to keep an area of the surface free of ice.
To maintain a healthy environment for your fish, use the following rule of thumb:
For every 265 gallons of pond water, do not exceed a total of 2 feet of fish length. An example is a 265-gallon pond with three fish, each 6 inches long. Another is a 265-gallon pond with 20 fish, each 1 inch long. Both scenarios are within the limit of suggested fish load.
Provide your fish with enough food to be eaten in one to three minutes of feeding. Also, do not feed your fish when the temperature drops below 55 degrees because the fish’s slower metabolism will not be able to process the food.