My pond looks terrible this winter! What do I do?
If it's late fall or winter, and your pond looks like the one above, then it might make you feel a little better to know that this is one of our display ponds! That's right: our actual display pond looked this cruddy in winter of 2019. Yuck.
What did we do about?
We waited. And in early March, we cleaned it.
Why does your pond look so bad?
There are several reasons your pond can look gross in winter time. If you've removed your pump for winter time, your mechanical filtration has stopped. For the record, we suggest most people DO remove their pumps for the winter, so loss of mechanical filtration is just to be expected.
If tree leaves have fallen into your pond, that's a recipe for a dark water disaster right there. As those leaves break down, tannins are released. You can prevent this from happening by putting up a fall leaf net. Keep your net on as long as leaves are still falling, and clean the leaves from your yard before you remove the net.
And lastly, biological activity is negligible in winter. Those thriving bacteria colonies we work so hard to cultivate during the year goes dormant. But string algae thrives! There's little to stop the string algae from gobbling up nutrients in your pond and going nuts.
Is it harmful?
It freaks a lot of people out when they can't see their fish. We get that! But keep this in mind: if your water is so dark that you can't see your fish, that means predators can't either!
Dark water and rampant string algae growth is not harmful. The only thing you need to keep an eye on is if you're still running your water feature in the winter, make sure string algae doesn't dam up your waterfall and cause water to flow out of it.
What can you do?
Prevention is always best, so make mark your calendar for next fall to install a fall leaf net. We sell leaf nets and we also have a professional netting service too.
Add Spring and Fall Prep. This cool weather bacteria can help break down wastes in the pond.
Plan for a spring cleaning. If your pond looks as bad as ours did, a full pond cleaning is in order! March through May is the ideal time to clean your pond. We've got tons of resources for doing so: our pond cleaning video, pond cleaning FAQ, and even professional pond cleaning services.
Overall -- don't worry. You're in very good company!