While pond maintenance is crucial for any type of pond or small lake, farm ponds can face a unique set of issues that make water maintenance a bit more complicated. Fortunately, if you were wondering how to keep a farm pond clean, we have a few suggestions.
Before we dive into how to keep a farm pond clean, let’s discuss the issues that cause farm pond water to become cloudy, smelly and overrun with weeds and floating organic matter.
In general, all pond water will be affected by issues such as a large amount of rainfall or sudden temperature spikes. Farm ponds, however, also face additional difficulties. Two common problems include agricultural runoff and animal waste. Both of these tend to contain high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus, which can promote the rapid growth of floating organic matter in your farm pond.
When learning how to keep a farm pond clean, the steps you take include many preventative measures to help keep nitrogen and phosphorus from becoming a problem in the first place. It’s not always possible to eliminate runoff or animal waste, but you can develop a strong defense system for your pond.
- Add Some Vegetation
Vegetation barriers along the edge of your pond can help your water in several ways. Vegetation barriers prevent grass and other types of debris from entering the water, and these plants will soak up some of the runoff water and reduce the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus that make it into the pond water. As an added bonus, vegetation barriers also can prevent erosion at the edge of your pond.
- Buffer The Edge With Rocks
Large rocks can be placed along the edge of your farm pond, as well, which will limit debris and some runoff from entering your pond. These rocks also can be quite attractive, although rocks definitely can be more expensive than adding vegetation barriers. A combination of rocks and vegetation can be an attractive and more cost-effective option.
- Rethink Your Fertilizer
Many types of fertilizers contain high levels of phosphorus, and while you might be using this on your crops, consider using a non-phosphorus fertilizer on the grounds and grass around your pond. While there still might be runoff from crop areas, you still will be reducing the overall amount of phosphorus that might be introduced to your pond.
If possible, we also recommend removing grass clippings around your pond as soon as you mow. These clippings can be used to make compost for your garden or perhaps shared with neighbors or donated to a local nursery for their own composting needs.
- Rake Your Pond
When leaves, grass clippings and other debris get into your pond, these eventually decompose and settle at the bottom of your pond, creating muck and sludge. This muck reduces oxygen levels which can lead to the growth of organic floating material, weeds and fish kills.
Invest in a quality pond rake and get out there and rake around the edge of your pond to remove debris, leaves and grass clippings. This is especially important after a big rainfall and at the beginning of the warmer season. Once spring has sprung, it’s important to get rid of excess debris, as this debris combined with warmer water temperatures can cause many problems in your pond water.
- Invest In A Bottom Diffusion Aerator
There are two types of aerators, surface aerators and bottom diffusion aerators. The goal with both is to help maintain healthy oxygen levels in your pond. Healthy oxygen levels definitely can keep a farm pond clean and prevent fish kills. However, a surface aerator is not as efficient and it’s more expensive to run, which is why a bottom diffusion aerator usually is the best option, unless you have a very shallow pond.
- Treat Your Water With Beneficial Bacteria
It can be difficult to eliminate fertilizer and animal waste runoff from a farm pond completely, but one way to reduce the nitrogen and phosphorus is through the use of beneficial bacteria. At Healthy Ponds, we have a variety of bacteria products that can eat away at sludge and floating organic matter.
Using beneficial bacteria can be one of the easiest ways to improve water quality and clarity. For instance, with our AquaSphere®PRO product, you simply toss in these biodegradable spheres into the water and they sink to the bottom of the pond and begin releasing bacteria. Each sphere works for up to 30 days, and then you simply add more spheres.
In some cases, you might need additional bacteria, such as after a sudden spike in temperature or a large amount of rainfall. These issues can cause floating organic matter to grow quickly, and products such as Natural Blast® can be used in conjunction with AquaSphere®PRO to ensure that your water quality remains consistent.
These tips can help you keep a farm pond clean, but if you are already dealing with severe water issues, such a stagnant pond, an excess of sludge, organic matter or weeds, give us a call or contact us via email and we can suggest some products that can help you eliminate these issues.
Learning how to keep a farm pond clean doesn’t have to be difficult, a few preventative measures and some bacterial treatments can go a long way toward improving and maintaining the quality of your farm pond.