A clear garden pond always looks cleaner and tidier than a pond with cloudy water. Here are 8 tips for clear water in the garden pond.© aotearoa - Fotolia.com
The garden pond is something for lovers of fish but also for every other garden owner something like the heart of every beautifully landscaped garden. No wonder, because the rippling of a well-placed pond pump is a sound that is wonderfully suited to relaxing and conveying a good bit of holiday flair in the garden at home. A seating area or a few loungers near the pond and nothing stands in the way of absolute relaxation in good weather outdoors.
But the work with a garden pond is not finished with the creation of the pond. A pond also needs to be taken care of so that it looks clean and tidy. Because when the water turns cloudy and green, it quickly becomes dirty and unkempt for visitors and other observers. Then the piece of idyll quickly becomes a moldy eyesore in the garden. Proper care can be easy. There are only a few important points to consider and thus pave the way for an easy-care and consistently beautiful garden pond.
Why does water in the garden pond become cloudy?
The clouding of the water in the garden pond can have various causes. For example, it is enough if there are fish in the pond and they are churning up sandy soil deposits to have a cloudy water pattern for a while. However, what is by far the most common cause of water cloudiness is floating algae, which provide a greenish color in the water. So in order to ensure clear pond water, it is particularly important to remove algae or to ensure that these do not occur in the first place. We have put together 8 tips for the quickest possible elimination and good prevention of algae for you.
How to ensure clear water in the garden pond
❶ Location selection:
Whether you will regularly have problems with algae and whether the water in your pond threatens to tip over, you can have a significant influence on the choice of location. If possible, your pond should not be exposed to the sun all day. If you want to use deciduous trees as shade, you should rethink this - because the foliage from these trees can lead to more work if it falls into the pond. A house wall, on the other hand, is perfect as a shade - or a very tall tree, which is a little further away and whose falling leaves do not reach the pond. Otherwise, the garden pond should not be overgrown with bushes or other plants, apart from classic lawn, since this also allows additional biomass to be introduced into the pond.
❷ Shape and size of the pond:
Basically, when creating a pond, it should be noted that one of the best ways to prevent algae growth is to keep the water temperature as low as possible. The larger the pond, the more water there is in the pond, the slower the water heats up. However, this also includes a certain depth. A large but very shallow pond warms up faster than a smaller but deep pond. A water depth of 1.20 meters ensures that the water heats up very slowly when the pond is in the correct position. In addition, a larger pond has the advantage that you have more opportunities to bring aquatic plants into your pond.
❸ Remove algae regularly:
Many people like to forget what sounds like a matter of course. Or they simply don't dare to skim the algae out of the pond with the landing net, even if fish are kept in the pond. This is the easiest way to ensure that the amount of floating algae in the water does not take over. When the water starts to turn greenish, you should definitely go through it several times with a fine net and remove as much algae from the water as possible.
❹ Keep the nutrient content in the pond as low as possible:
Algae thrive where there are many nutrients. Heat, nitrogen and various nutrients in the water can literally fuel algae growth. In addition, if water evaporates at high temperatures, the nutrients unfortunately do not go away - they are only distributed to less water, which increases the nutrient concentration. For this reason, you should replenish evaporated water regularly to keep the nutrient concentration in the water as low as possible.
In addition, you can reduce the nutrient concentration in pond water by planting pond plants in the water. Depending on the nature of your pond, you should pay attention to which plants are best suited. Before doing so, you should consider exactly what standing height individual plants have and what water level is necessary. Water lilies, for example, which are actually perfectly suited to extract a lot of nutrients from the pond, get an extremely large number of leaves when they are in too low water, but do not flower. The many leaves can lead to new biomass and thus enrich the nutrients in the water. In general, the following applies: If you do not keep an aquatic plant properly, it will wither and enrich the water with nutrients rather than extracting it from the water. In this respect, planning and professional implementation are very important to actually achieve the goal of planting aquatic plants.
By the way:
Deposits of silt or mud on the ground also contain nutrients that need to be removed regularly. A wonderful possibility here is a mud sucker that specifically sucks up mud accumulations on pond bottoms. Reading tip: Sludge in the garden pond - Instructions and tips for sludge reduction.
❺ Filter water sufficiently and keep it moving:
Stagnant waters quickly become cloudy and often tip over within a short time. For this reason, you should keep the water in your pond moving. Depending on the shape of the pond, it may happen that individual areas of your pond are not reached by the water circulation, which is triggered by a pump. In this case, you should consider whether you want to use a second pump, a small fountain in the pond or a similar decorative element to ensure the necessary circulation here.
Of course, it is also important that the pond water is filtered regularly. To do this, you need a pump that pumps the water from the pond into the filter and then releases it back into the pond. When choosing the filter, you should get advice from a specialist store which filter is necessary to keep your pond clean. Because the requirements for a filter vary, depending on parameters such as pond size, amount of water and depth of the pond. It makes sense to choose a filter that is equipped with a UVC clarifier. This clarifier shoots the water that runs through the filter with UV rays, which kills and removes the algae in the water. This will make your filter even more effective against floating algae in the water.
❻ pay attention to the water quality:
Based on the water values, you can see early on whether the nutrient cycle in a pond is optimal. Only those who regularly check the water values are able to react early, before it is too late and fish die in the pond or algae start to turn the water cloudy. You can check the water quality wonderfully with appropriate test packages, which you can buy anywhere in the pond specialist trade. In any case, the pH value and the carbonate hardness in the water should be checked regularly. If fish are kept in the water, it also makes sense to regularly check the water for the decomposition products nitrite, nitrate and ammonium, as these are toxic to fish and can lead to fish death.
If the values do not correspond to the norm, there are appropriate means in the specialist trade to regulate the values in the water again, without, however, becoming dangerous to the existing plants or even the fish. When purchasing the appropriate care products for the first time, it makes sense to seek advice from a specialist.
❼ Protect the pond from negative external influences:
Such negative external influences are, for example, falling leaves or other biomass that is introduced into the pond from the outside. This increases the nutrient values in the pond again. If the leaves start to rot, the water will also start to tip very quickly. Apart from that, rotting biomass in the garden pond is very harmful to most ornamental fish. If you have deciduous trees in the garden, you should protect your garden pond with a leaf trap in autumn. This saves you the work of removing leaves from the pond every day.
❽ Bread drink works miracles in the garden pond:
In most cases, a certain amount of algae will still accumulate over time. If you follow the above points, the amount of floating algae will be limited. And you can keep this small amount in check with a very simple means: namely with a bread drink. After cleaning the pond, simply add a little bread drink to the water and you will no longer have any problems with the few remaining floating algae in the next few weeks and months. Because the bread drink, available in sufficient quantities in the water, connects with the floating algae and ensures that they sink to the bottom. So the water remains clear despite a few algae.
Clean the garden pond once a year
All of the above measures are good ways to avoid clouding of the water. And yet algae always collect on the bottom and on the pond walls as well as silt and other deposits. In general, the pumps should be switched off in late autumn and the fish should be left alone. In this respect, it makes sense to completely clean the pond and the entire filter system with the awakening spring and to let fresh water back into the rest of the old water. Here is a reading tip: Pond care in spring: How to make your pond fit.