While the winter winds still may be howling, it’s never too soon to think about preparing your pond for the warmest months of the year. Preventing a stagnant pond doesn’t have to be difficult, and Healthy Ponds has products that make pond care as simple as possible.
Dangers Of A Stagnant Pond
While a stagnant pond looks unattractive, the view is the least of your problems when dealing with stagnant water. There are several serious issues related to stagnant water, including:
1. Mosquito Issues
Stagnant ponds are breeding grounds for mosquitos, and these dangerous insects carry and transmit an assortment of serious (and sometimes fatal) diseases such as West Nile Virus, Zika virus and malaria.
Mosquitos can breed in as little as a few teaspoons of water, so while improving the conditions in a stagnant pond is crucial, it also is recommended that you check around your entire property for any stagnant water and keep buckets, pails and other potential water vessels free from any standing water.
2. Increased Organic Matter
Ponds typically become stagnant during the warmer months of the year, and this warm stagnant water is the ideal breeding ground for floating green organic matter. An excess of floating organic matter reduces the oxygen levels in the pond which can be harmful to fish and other aquatic wildlife, and, in some cases, this organic matter can be toxic to humans, livestock, pets and other animals.
3. Loss Of Biodiversity
When a pond becomes stagnant, the dissolved oxygen levels decrease, and this can lead to fish kills. Stagnant water also doesn’t attract beneficial insects such as dragonflies and can cause an abundance of pond weeds. Beneficial plants and fish need healthy water to survive.
4. Reduction In Air Quality
A stagnant pond is usually a smelly pond. Stagnant water produces gases such as hydrogen sulfide and methane, both of which are contributors to air pollution and can be harmful for humans to breathe.
5. Debris Accumulation
When a pond is stagnant, it can accumulate debris such as leaves, sediment and other items. Not only is this unsightly, but it also can contribute to the decline in water quality and, eventually, the debris sinks to the bottom of the pond to form a thick layer of pond muck.
How To Prevent Stagnant Water
While stagnant ponds can be dangerous and unsightly, fortunately, there are several ways to prevent stagnation and keep your pond water as healthy as possible.
1. Install An Aeration System
Aeration systems are one of the best lines of defense against a stagnant pond. These systems keep the water in your pond circulating, but you do need to ensure that the system you install is powerful enough to circulate all of the water in your pond at least twice in 24 hours.
A bottom diffusion system is typically your best bet as these grab water from the cooler areas in the bottom of your pond and pull it toward the surface which can keep water temperatures down. This is especially important during the hottest months of the year as increased water temperatures cause oxygen levels to drop which can lead to the rapid accumulation of floating organic matter and fish kills.
While aeration is crucial, adding beneficial bacteria can be just as important. Your aeration system will help to spread beneficial bacteria throughout the pond and these bacteria consume excess nutrients in the pond water. These nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus reduce oxygen levels in your pond.
Our AquaSpherePRO® product is a safe, easy-to-use biodegradable sphere filled with beneficial bacteria for ponds. To use this product, you simply toss the spheres into the pond water, and they immediately begin releasing beneficial bacteria. AquaSpherePRO® is a monthly pond maintenance treatment, and you will need to add new spheres to your pond every 30 days to keep maintain water quality.
If you are already dealing with a stagnant or smelly pond or your pond has a thick layer of pond sludge, we also recommend adding Natural Blast® to your pond water. This pond bacteria product can and should be used in conjunction with AquaSpherePRO® and can provide an extra boost of beneficial bacteria for your pond.
You cannot overtreat pond water with beneficial bacteria, but you can undertreat, so adding both Natural Blast and AquaSpherePRO® can be a great, easy way to quickly improve a pond with low water quality or ensure that your pond has enough beneficial pond bacteria on hand to handle spikes in temperatures or changes in water quality due to a significant rain event.
As a side note, we also have beneficial bacteria products formulated for other types of water features, such as rain barrels and bird baths. These products are easy-to-use, safe and can help prevent water from becoming stagnant and smelly.
3. Add Rocks & Beneficial Plants
Adding a buffer of plants or decorative rocks along the shore of your pond can both prevent erosion and block some runoff from entering your pond. Plants, rocks and small trees also provide some shade which can help reduce water temperatures.
For koi ponds and small water gardens, it also can be smart to add a pond shade to ensure that the water stays cool during the hot summer months. For larger ponds and small lakes, using pond dye can be beneficial, as the dye will block some of the UV rays and may help reduce water temperatures.
4. Remove Debris Quickly
After a storm or during the autumn months when trees are shedding their leaves, it is recommended that you skim this debris off the surface of your pond as quickly as possible. Eventually, this debris will sink and add to your sludge layer, which reduces water quality. With small ponds, you can add pond netting during the autumn months to prevent excess leaves and other debris from entering the pond.
At Healthy Ponds, we are committed to providing our customers with safe, effective and easy-to-use pond management products that can improve pond water quality and prevent a stagnant pond. If you have any questions about our beneficial bacteria for ponds or any of our products, don’t hesitate to contact us at any time. We also offer free personalized treatment plants for any size water feature at https://healthyponds.com/free-pond-plan/.