Four Easy Tips for a Healthy Pond
Ponds are living ecosystems and provide much enjoyment to our lives. It is very important to keep your koi pond healthy, both for the fish and the plants. A healthy pond also is much prettier to look at than one filled with muck and debris!
Most koi pond owners are aware of the importance that good quality water plays in a pond habitat. But not knowing how to get or keep water quality can prove challenging to some pond owners. We’re here to break the mystery down to four basic elements so you can rest assured your pond is in good hands.
The Right Pump for Your Pond
Pumps are the heart of any water feature, continually circulating water and providing aeration to create the basis for a stable ecosystem. Proper pump sizing is critical to the health and function of your water feature and you want to be sure you’ve selected the correct pump.
To provide optimal water quality, you want to circulate the entire pond’s water volume a minimum of once every hour. If your pond contains 1,000 gallons of water, you need a pump that will push a minimum of 1,000 gallons per hour. Other variables come into play when choosing the proper pump, like the height of your waterfall and the length of pipe that runs from your pump to the waterfall.
Clean Debris from Pond Before It Decays
Decaying leaves and debris, combined with fish waste and leftover fish food, can cause ammonia levels to spike in your pond. High ammonia levels can stress your fish and cause illness. Be sure to remove dying leaves and plants, and remove uneaten fish food before it has a chance to decay. During the summer months, you shouldn’t find a lot of leaves and plant debris in your pond, but be sure to trim any dying leaves from aquatic plants
Create a Proper Balance of Plants
Plants absorb excess nutrients in the koi pond and help filter the water. In addition, plants like waterlilies and water lettuce help to shade the pond and keep the water cooler during hot summer months. During the peak pond season, you want to ensure that 40% to 60% of the surface area of your pond is covered or shaded by plants. On the flip side, too many plants can cause oxygen deficiencies at night due to the photosynthetic process, when the plants take in oxygen and give off carbon dioxide.
You’ll enjoy the beauty provided by a wide range of pond plants, which fall into four basic categories.
Waterlilies are a favorite for the beautiful color they add to a pond. Hardy lilies return every year if properly over-wintered. Tropical waterlilies will die during winter months in most climates and are typically treated like annuals. Marginal plants thrive in shallow water near the edges of the pond. They include both flowering and non-flowering options and help to soften rock edges while providing filtration benefits. Floating plants such as water lettuce and water hyacinth, float on the surface of the pond with their roots dangling in the water. Finally, oxygenators are planted at the bottom of the pond and help provide hiding places for fis
Plants absorb excess nutrients in the pond and help filter the water. In addition, plants like waterlilies and water lettuce help to shade the pond and keep the water cooler during hot summer months. During the peak pond season, you want to ensure that 40% to 60% of the surface area of your pond is covered or shaded by plants. On the flip side, too many plants can cause oxygen deficiencies at night due to the photosynthetic process, when the plants take in oxygen and give off carbon dioxide.
A Balance of Filtration
The most effective way to filter water is to pair a good biological filtration system with a mechanical filter (like a skimmer) to remove solids before the water enters the biological filtration unit. Designing and implementing an efficient circulation and filtration system ensures that the water is oxygenated and pond debris (including leaves, floating algae, and anything else that’s blown in) will be swept from the pond’s surface and deposited into an easily emptied skimmer basket.
We recommend a biological filter that serves as the start of the pond’s waterfall. The waterfall activity adds much-needed oxygen to the pond. Ideally, your skimmer should be placed on the opposite side of your pond. Aquascape skimmers provide room to house your pump, along with a basket that catches leaves and debris for easy clean-up.
Enjoy Your Best Pond Ever
Following the above guidelines helps ensure that your koi pond is naturally balanced, thereby requiring less maintenance. When water in a pond is murky and unattractive, it’s usually due to one (or more) of the previous tips not being followed. You’ll be surprised how easy it can be to enjoy clean and clear pond water throughout the season. And less work, means more time you get to spend enjoying your beautiful water garden!