5 Ways to Help Your Pond Function Better

You love your pond... If only it wasn't as much work.

Clear water, algae under control, blooming plants, happy fish... that's not asking too much is it?

Absolutely not. Your pond should have all of that! So how do you get that without working on your water feature constantly? Well read on for the answer.

Of course before we get started, the best option is to have a properly built, low-maintenance water feature from the get. For some that's just not possible. Maybe you've had your pond for years, maybe you bought a home with an existing pond, maybe you just don't have the budget for a professionally installed pond (a professionally installed pond built properly). This list is for you!

Add Aeration
You may think you have enough aeration, but most ponds are very under aerated. A fountain, a spitter, or even a waterfall is not enough. You need supplemental aeration with an external aerator. Additional aeration boosts the natural and supplemental beneficial bacteria in your pond keeping the water clear and clean. Your fish will be happy with the extra oxygen as well!

Have Enough of the Right Kind of Aquatic Plants
You need marginal plants. What are marginal plants? Marginal aquatic plants are shallow water plants that grow with their roots in the water but with all of the plant upright above the water. Common examples of marginal plants are Iris and Cattails. (Make no mistake -- I'M NOT RECOMMENDING CATTAILS). 

Marginal plants thrive on nutrients in the water. They consume the nutrients (organic waste such as uneaten fish food, fish waste, decaying plant material, leaves) which otherwise would feed algae. You get beautiful plants which in turn starve the algae. This works for both string algae and single-celled algae that makes your water look like pea-soup. 

The best part is you can choose hardy plants that you can leave in your pond over winter and they come back year after year! Cool Ponds has a great selection of aquatic marginal plants from May through August each year.

This photos shows gravel on the bottom, marginal plants in the background,
and a healthy fish population.

Make Sure You Have Enough Surface Area for Beneficial Bacteria to Colonize
Say what? As mentioned above you need beneficial bacteria for your pond to stay clear and clean. Well that bacteria needs a surface to grow on.

There is no better surface for beneficial bacteria than a 1" to 2" layer of river rock in the bottom of your pond.

We are talking about smooth gravel that is quarter to half dollar size. DO NOT use pea gravel and do not put more than a 2" layer.

Balance Your Fish Load and Feed Properly
You should have fish. They will consume algae and mosquito larva.

You should not allow your fish to over populate. We recommend 1" of fish per every 10 gallons of water. Fish overpopulation leads to excessive waste in the water leading to algae blooms and muck on the pond bottom. Koi reproduce less than goldfish. And keep in mind when purchasing fish that they will reproduce.

If you feed your fish, feed only what they will eat in a couple minutes no more that three times a week. Yes, they will beg for more. But every time you put fish food in your pond you contaminate it. There is plenty of food for them that we can't see.

Finally use high protein food. Cool Ponds fish food is high protein that will put very little waste into the pond.

Cool Ponds fish food, BioClear and Clean, 
and Remove Away Plus.

Use Natural Water Treatments Regularly
Don't wait until there is a problem with your water clarity or with string algae. Use products to keep those issues from happening. We just can't preach this enough. 

For us, we don't want any chemicals in our water features. Our products are natural enzymes and bacteria that boost what is already in the pond. 

Remove Away Plus and BioClear and Clean used weekly are the only products most ponds need. We use this regimen at our store, at our maintenance program clients ponds, and at our homes. They work.

So there you have it. Try these steps to help your pond function better and provide you an easier work/pleasure balance with your water feature!


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