Is Your Pond Healthy?
There are several obvious signs that pond water isn’t healthy. If you notice an abundance of floating green organic matter, for instance, this is a clear sign that your pond needs help. A thick layer of pond sludge or pond muck is another sign that your pond isn’t healthy, and if your pond water is murky and green or emits foul odors, this also indicates that your pond water is unhealthy.
You might even notice a change in the creatures that frequent your pond. A healthy pond tends to attract animals such as dragonflies, mayflies and bluebirds, while an unhealthy pond attracts horse flies, deer flies, flatworms and other undesirable creatures. Even if your pond looks fine, if the water temperature is too high, this could cause oxygen levels to drop and lead to the rapid accumulation of floating organic matter.
What Causes Unhealthy Pond Conditions?
There are many reasons why pond water can become unbalanced. In some cases, a sudden spike in temperature can cause water temperature to rise. If your area has experienced a significant rain event, this can alter the balance in your pond. Runoff from lawns treated with fertilizer also can cause problems. If your pond is overstocked with fish, this also can cause oxygen levels to drop.
Preventative Pond Care
There are several pond management steps you can take to prevent issues from occurring. For instance, you can alter the type of fertilizer you use on your lawn. Runoff from lawns treated with fertilizers high in phosphorus or nitrogen alters the natural balance in your pond water. You can switch to a different type of fertilizer, or you can stop applying fertilizer about 15-20 feet from the pond’s shoreline. Creating a buffer of beneficial plants also can help prevent excess runoff from entering your pond.
Additionally, if your pond is stocked with fish, it is smart to consult with an expert to ensure that you have the ideal number of fish for the size of your pond. Fish produce waste which can alter the balance of your pond water and these animals also need oxygen, so if the population is too high, the combination of waste and animals competing for oxygen can cause dangerous conditions in your pond and lead to fish kills.
Adding beneficial bacteria for ponds to your water is another easy way to prevent many common pond issues. Our pond care product AquaSpherePRO® is an easy-to-use, all-natural pond treatment option to consider. The AquaSpherePRO® is a biodegradable sphere filled with beneficial bacteria. When you toss a sphere into your pond, the bacteria are released and consume excess nutrients in your pond, such as sludge and floating organic matter.
The AquaSpherePRO® is meant to be a preventative, monthly treatment. Each sphere releases beneficial bacteria for 30 days and then you simply add more spheres. We have several different sphere sizes to accommodate small to large water features. The bacteria are veterinarian-approved and safe for fish, wildlife, livestock, pets and people.
It also is recommended to invest in a pond aeration system. Circulating your pond water can keep temperatures down and help to prevent the rapid accumulation of floating organic matter. A bottom diffusion system typically is the best option to consider as this does the best job of circulating the water. A surface aerator, such as a fountain, can be a good option for a shallower pond, but if you have a deeper pond, bottom diffusion is the best option.
In some cases, you will need to increase the number of beneficial bacteria in your pond beyond what the AquaSpherePRO® can provide. We several products easy-to-use products that can be added to support the AquaSpherePRO® and remediate serious pond water issues.
If you have a stagnant pond, a pond emitting foul odors or a pond heavily matted with floating organic matter, we advise treating with RUSH®. RUSH® accelerates decomposition of floating organic matter. It is the ideal product to use with a stagnant or heavily matted pond. It can take a few treatments of RUSH® to produce the desired effects.
For less serious issues, our product, Natural BLAST®, is an excellent pond care treatment to consider. This product also uses natural beneficial bacteria to consume excess nutrients in your pond’s water. Natural BLAST® is an ideal treatment to add at the beginning of your warm season and we also recommend adding Natural BLAST® after a large rain event or when a significant temperature spike is forecasted.
To use Natural BLAST®, you simply toss in enough water-soluble bags to accommodate the approximate number of gallons in your pond. With RUSH®, you simply spread the product over any area with heavy matting. You should continue to treat your water with AquaSpherPRO®, even while using Natural BLAST® or RUSH®. Both Natural BLAST® and RUSH® also are safe for fish, wildlife, livestock, pets and people.
With all three of these natural pond care products, it’s always best to add a bit more product than you might need. You cannot overtreat the water, but you can undertreat. So, for example, if you have a pond with 450,000 gallons, you will simply use our AquaSpherPRO® dispenser that accommodates up to 500,000 gallons of water. Keep in mind, we have pond treatment products suitable for small water features such as a decorative garden pond or koi pond up to large golf course ponds that contain millions of gallons of water.
Adding Pond Dye
Once your pond water is balanced and healthy, you can further improve the aesthetics of the pond with the addition of pond dye. Our pond dyes are safe for fish, pets and people, and not only will they improve the look of your pond water, but these also can help reduce the water temperature. But again, we don’t recommend adding pond dye until you notice a significant improvement in your pond’s water quality.
If you aren’t quite sure which pond care products and amounts you need, we offer free personalized water treatment plans for any size water feature at https://healthyponds.com/free-pond-plan/. If you have any questions about our pond bacteria products, please don’t hesitate to contact us at any time.