A backyard pond adds a beautiful aesthetic to your landscape. Ponds are a valuable way to use space because they conserve water, they’re friendly to wildlife, and they increase property value.
However, it requires maintenance to make sure it stays bright and healthy. And if you add fish to your pond, cleanliness is even more critical.
If you’re looking for ways to keep your pond clean and sparkling, continue reading!
Signs of an Unhealthy Pond
Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between a pond that’s clean and one that’s dirty. Here are some markers that show if your pond water is
- The water appears murky, cloudy, or thick
- An overgrowth of algae or weeds has turned the pond green
- Debris such as twigs, sticks, grass, and leaves settle at the bottom of the pond creating muck. An overabundance of muck creates a foul odor.
- If you have fish swimming in your pond, and they’re belly-up, that’s a pretty good sign your water is bad!
All of these problems are not likely to happen overnight. Muck accumulates overtime, and the same thing happens with algae.
Solve Pond Problems With These Steps
Caring for your pond does require work, but it’s work that’s well invested. Clear pond water is essential to keep your pond thriving. Follow these steps to ensure your pond stays awesome and algae-free.
Assessing your pond daily is vital to make sure everything goes swimmingly. Here are some steps to follow.
1. Once a week, inspect your pond pump. The purpose of a pump is to keep the water flow going, and if the pump is not adequately suited for your pond, it will not stay clean. If the pump is not cleaned, your pond water will become dirty quickly.
The filter is what you’ll need to replace. Clean the parts of the pump, insert a new filter, make sure the pump looks and sounds normal, and you’re good to go.
Consider purchasing a biological filter. A biological filter contains bacteria that attack ammonia and break it down into nitrates. This is called the nitrogen system.
2. Walk the perimeter of the pond and gather sticks, twigs, leaves, and other debris that might affect the cleanliness of the pond. You’ll want to remove things on the surface of the water and the bottom of the pond.
You don’t have to wade through your pond to grab all the fallen leaves and other particles. Use a net to get hard to reach things.
Follow these necessary steps to stay on top of pond maintenance, and keep further cleaning more manageable.
What About Fish?
Having fish in your pond gives the pond life. They’re fun to watch, and they possess a tranquil nature. Caring for water is vital to their wellbeing, but they also have other needs.
If your pond is not cleaned regularly, the fish are susceptible to disease. Fish need to be fed every day, so choose a food based on the type of fish you have for the best results. Overfeeding can lead to stray food particles and produce algae.
While watching the fish swirl around the pond is a great benefit, avoid overloading your pond with too many fish. A crowded pond means the water won’t be as clean, and the waste fish leave behind create algae.
Need ideas for stocking your pond? check out our recommendations for the Top Hardy Fish For Your Small Pond
How to Combat Algae
Algae is a common problem for pond owners and one that will need to be addressed over and over.
Here are steps to prevent algae overgrowth.
1. Use chemicals like water treatments. These products are used to inhibit algae growth or take care of it altogether. A one-time-and-done treatment is not enough, as algae are continually trying to reproduce.
Follow the directions the product before you put any chemicals in your pond. If you have any pets, you’ll need to ensure that it’s safe if your pet happens to gulp pond water.
2. Plants such as lilies can help fight algae. These floating plants consume space on the surface of the water where algae like to accumulate. If you add plants to the bottom of the pond, they create oxygen which keeps algae away.
It’s important to remember that too many plants could harm the pond, so make sure that no more than 60% of your pond has plants.
3. If you prefer a more natural method of managing algae, try using barley straw. There is a chemical in barley straw that protects against the algae. Barley straw is easily accessible, comes in a liquid form, and it won’t harm fish.
4. It’s vital to stay on top of algae control. Otherwise, it will multiply and cause more significant problems. If the algae growth becomes too much for you to manage, cleaning companies make house visits
Steps For Pond Longevity
Having a pond on your property is an investment, so adding some long-term features to it helps protect its value.
Like algae, muck or sludge and scum are common issues. Collections of debris lying on the bottom of the pond lead to other problems. Use calcium sulfate to break up muck and other sludge. Calcium sulfate is safe for pond plants and fish.
Consider adding a waterfall to your pond! The moving water is a perfect way to prevent the formation of algae. Still, water attracts mosquitos that carry disease and could infect and harm your pond or fish.
Over the summer the temperature of the pond should be kept cool, no higher than 75 degrees Fahrenheit. As the sun heats the water, the pond could become overheated, making it difficult for the fish to breathe. An aerator produces more oxygen to allow a better environment for fish.
Steps For Deep Cleaning
Spring is a great time to start grilling, camping, and other outdoor activities. It’s also a prime time to deep clean your pond!
Once a year you’ll want to give your pool a deep clean to keep it working well throughout the year. Follow these steps to get your pond squeaky clean.
1. Remove all the sludge at the bottom of the pool before emptying the water. You can do this using a pond vacuum.
2. Using a water pump, drain all the water from your pond. If you have fish, pump some water into a container or small pool so you can transfer the fish there while you continue cleaning. Make sure the pump travels to the bottom of the pond, so it properly removes all the water.
Don’t waste water! Use it to water your lawn or other surrounding plants on your property.
3. Fish should be gently lifted out of the pond using a net and placed in the water you’ve set aside for them. Fish tend to get spooked easily, so cover the top of the next briefly to ensure their safety.
4. Take out all your plants and rinse them if they have excess muck, slime, sludge, or grime. Toss out dead plants and make sure living ones have water.
5. Rinse out the pond using water pressure. If you have rocks surrounding your pond, rinse them as well, starting from the top and traveling downward.
Resist the urge to clean all the algae! Some algae are beneficial when you add water back into the pond. Chemicals such as bleach are discouraged.
6. Don’t forget to rinse out the filter as well. Manually remove any large pieces of debris and check the filter to make sure it’s working well.
Putting Fish Back Into The Pond
It’s time to put water back into the pond! Filling the pond back up takes a bit more time and attention.
Fish cannot tolerate chlorine, and they will die if chlorine is present in the water. When using house water to fill your pond, you’ll want to do dechlorination. Dechlorination means you use a de-chlorinator or detoxifying solution that takes the chorine out of the water.
Once your pond is set, you’ll need to introduce your fish to the new pond environment. To do this, you will gradually add fresh pond water to the tank where you placed them.
Wait about 15 minutes before adding any water to the tank. Once the temperature has adjusted, take a gallon of tank water out, and replace it with the new pond water. Repeat this every 5 minutes for a half-hour, then return the fish to the pond.
Keeping A Pond Clean: It’s Worth It
Having a home pond is a wonderful way to improve the look and feel of your outside space. By keeping your pond clean and well-maintained, you’re sure to enjoy the benefits for years to come.
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