5 Tips on How to Keep Your Pond Water Clean
Good quality water is one of the most important factors towards a healthy and thriving pond habitat.
And while we recently talked a little about collecting clean and fresh rainwater to encourage wildlife in and around your pond, today we are going to look at the best way to keep that water clean.
This issue becomes all the more vital if you are keeping sensitive fish or even trying to breed species within your pond.
Clean your pond in the wrong way and you can seriously jeopardize the health of those fish. Worst case scenario, you start seeing them floating belly-up on the surface.
Here’s how to prevent that by keeping your pond clean the correct way, with our top 5 tips.
1. Maintain the correct balance of plants
Your pond plant life should be correctly balanced, both in terms of how many you have, and the split between plants natural to the habitat and those that are not.
A simple rule of thumb is to look at your aquatic plant life during the blossoming spring and summer months.
At this time, no more than 40% to 60% of the surface of your pond should be shaded or covered by plant life.
A sure-fire way of diminishing oxygen levels in the water at night is an abundance of plant life. During the nocturnal photosynthesis process, plants take in oxygen and give off carbon dioxide.
That’s oxygen that your fish need but are not getting.
Too much plantlife also increases the amount of silt and dead vegetation that ends up sinking to the bottom of the pond. A process that is also detrimental to your fish and wildlife in and around the pond.
2. Have the right filtration for the size and type of pond
It is extremely important that the pond filter you choose matches the size of your pond.
If the gallon capacity of the filter is not up to the task, the water will be dirty as a result. It is a simple equation, a small-capacity filter will less effective on a large body of water.
Check your filter to ensure that it is the right size, (and if not, it is time to upgrade).
While you’re there taking a look, give the filter a clean (according to the manufacturer instructions, as filters do differ in terms of how they should be cleaned).
3. Don’t over-feed the fish
This is another simple way of keeping your pond clean; don’t overfeed the fish.
If you provide more food than they need, the leftovers will only drop to the bottom and decay. This eventually builds up, adding to the dirt and filth in the water.
Most breeds of fish should be fed only once a day, in a feeding session that lasts 2 to 3 minutes. A good fish food will sit on the surface rather than sink (if not eaten), meaning there is a chance that leftovers will be eaten well after mealtime.
4. The right amount of fish for the size of the pond
The video above provides a formula for determining the correct fish population size for every 1000l of water. As you will see, there are a few variables involved.
A common belief among experts is that you should have no more than 0.5″ of fish per 10 gallons of water. However, the conditions and type of fish all play a part. Some owners may have up to 3 inches of fish per 10 gallons and encounter no problems.
All that said, too many fish means a lot of waste, which will put a lot of strain on your filter. And while you might not see the effects of fish waste in the water with your naked eye, the pond water can certainly become unhealthy as a result.
If you feel your pond is over-populated, it might be time to give a few up.
5. Install the correct pump for the size of the pond
As with the filter you choose, the pump needs to be adequate enough to service the size of your pond.
That means the pump should have the capacity to circulate the pond’s entire water volume once every hour (as a minimum).
The specifications of the pump will provide you with this information, and hopefully, you did pay attention to this when you purchased your new pond pump.
If upon checking you find the capacity is wrong, you will need to upgrade.
If the capacity is good, but you still feel you have problems, check that the pump’s flow isn’t restricted by debris that has gotten inside the skimmer or biological filter.
You should also ensure that the pump is submerged to the correct depth in line with what the manufacturer recommends.