We all want clear pond water. Not only is it healthier for the fish, but it also allows us to see them, which is the entire point of having the pond.
Keeping a fixed body of water clear is a challenge every pond owner has to face. It’s also one that has an easy way and a hard way to achieve it.
The easy way is to use chemical cleaners. This is less work for you but poses more risk to fish and pond life.
The harder way is to use plants, natural balance and a pond filter and clarifier to maintain clear water. More work but a more natural process.
We would strongly recommend going with the latter method.
Here are the key ways to help keep your pond water clear.
Dead plants, leaves, and fish increase nutrient levels in ponds. This can encourage the growth of algae, which can discolour the water.
Keep the pond clean and clear, remove dead foliage regularly and you minimise this effect.
Use a pond net to clear leaves from the surface and use a pond vacuum or a long arm to clear sludge from the bottom of the pond.
A pond filter will not keep your pond water clear but a clarifier will. The pond filter removes dirt and debris from the water and the UV clarifier will handle algae and other organisms that can discolour your water.
Used together, these two can help keep your pond clean, clear and healthy, which is what we all want.
Make sure to use the right size pond pump and filter for your size pond. Install into your pond, check it every few weeks, and leave it to do its work.
An aerator increases oxygen levels in the pond. This helps fish survive but also encourages the growth of ‘friendly’ organisms in the water.
An aerator can be a fountain, waterfall or pond spitter and provide visual appeal as well as oxygenating the water.
Like a pond pump and filter, use the right size aerator for the size of the pond and the right size pump for the aerator.
Fish can reproduce rapidly. Even if you start slow and build up gradually, you could still find an excess population that is creating a lot of waste.
This waste will discolour the water and upset the nitrate levels, which is unhealthy but will also encourage algae growth.
Monitor your fish stock periodically and clear out any excess to sell or rehome.
This will help maintain that delicate balance that’s so essential in pond management.
As well as too many fish, there’s also the matter of too much food.
Fish are pretty good at managing their intake and tend to not overeat. Any excess food will be left in the water and will decompose.
That decomposition will add nutrients to the water and turn it cloudy. It can also encourage algae growth which will impact the clarity of your water.
Begin by using floating fish pellets. Monitor if any is left and reduce, or increase, according to what you see.
Pond plants are vital for maintaining oxygen levels, absorbing nutrients from the water and providing shade.
They can also consume nitrate and phosphate, both of which encourage algae growth.
Pond water can quickly become warm in summer months so add plants for shade or use some kind of shade for the water.
Not only does warm water hold less oxygen, potentially suffocating the fish, it can also cause algae growth to accelerate.
Neither of which will do anything for your water clarity!
Pond water will never be as clear as tap water but it should be relatively clear with no green tinge or murkiness.
A filter, clarifier and aerator will do a lot of the work, but so will pond maintenance and your pond plants.
It may take a while, but it is entirely possible to build a harmonious pond that achieves its own balance!