Keeping A Pond Clear: All-Natural Options

While a pond can be both useful and decorative, a pond covered in pond scum or emitting four odors is definitely not a thing of beauty. At Healthy Ponds, we can help you keep your pond clear and in good shape without the use of harsh chemicals. Let’s take a quick look at some common pond issues and how to solve them.


The Stagnant Pond

If your pond is heavily matted and covered with organic green floating material this is a serious issue. If possible, we recommend skimming off as much of this pond scum as possible and then treating the pond with our Rush® product, which is meant for use in ponds with moderate to severe problems.

Rush® improves water quality in stagnant ponds by eliminating heavily matted, floating organic matter on the surface of the pond. Rush® also can be used in ponds with cloudy water.

While Rush® is an effective treatment, you likely will need to apply more of this product every 7 days until the water quality has improved. Stagnant ponds also need to have a source of aeration installed as quickly as possible. Aeration systems circulate the water, help ensure that oxygen levels remain steady and keep water temperatures down. These aerators also help circulate Rush® and other natural products throughout the pond water.

A source of aeration is especially important if your pond is stocked with fish. If your pond has low oxygen rates and has fish, we recommend installing an aeration system and reducing the dosage of Rush® by 50% and then treating the affected area every 2-3 days rather than every 7 days.


Thick Pond Sludge

Pond sludge is slimy and gross and if you swim in your pond, it can make recreation unpleasant. However, this pond muck also threatens the overall quality of the water and reduces oxygen levels. This is especially serious in shallow ponds where oxygen levels can drop more easily. Pond muck removal, therefore, is an important step you need to take.

With a small pond, such as a decorative garden pond or koi pond, you often can vacuum out much of the sludge at the bottom of your pond. With larger ponds and small lakes, you have a couple of options. You can hire someone who provides pond cleaning services to come out and dredge the pond or you can use our beneficial bacteria products.

Your pond’s sludge layer contains everything from decomposed leaves to fish waste and other debris, which contain large amounts of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus. Beneficial bacteria for ponds consume excess nutrients in your pond ecosystem.

We have two beneficial bacteria treatments – our AquaSpherePRO® and Natural Blast®. The AquaSpherePRO® is a monthly treatment option and these biodegradable spheres sink to the bottom of your pond and begin releasing beneficial bacteria and that includes reducing the sludge layer in your pond. Each sphere releases bacteria for 30 days, and then you can simply toss in new spheres.

For ponds with a sludge layer, we also recommend adding a dose of Natural Blast®. This provides an additional dose of beneficial bacteria that can accelerate the consumption of nutrients in your sludge layer.

Both AquaSphrePRO® and Natural Blast® are all-natural and chemical-free. These two pond care products are veterinarian-approved and safe for fish and plants as well as wildlife, pets and people.

Again, we do suggest the installation of a quality aeration system and, if your pond is stocked with fish, a filter system should be added to remove excess fish waste and other debris.

Once you improve the water quality with aeration, filtration and beneficial bacteria, continue to treat monthly with AquaSpherePRO® and get out there and skim off the top of the pond to remove leaves and other debris as this will just sink to the bottom and create a new layer of pond muck. Cleaning your pond just a few minutes each day can go a long way toward keeping your pond clear and healthy.

We also recommend bagging up grass clippings and autumn leaves. The leaves will blow into the pond and decompose. With the grass, not only will the clippings add to your sludge layer, if your grass is treated with pesticides, these chemicals contain excess nutrients that can upset the balance in your pond ecosystem.


Mild-To-Moderate Pond Issues

If you are just starting to notice the buildup of floating green organic matter or your pond is emitting a foul odor, these issues often can be resolved with a few applications of Natural Blast®.

With a smelly pond, we recommend adding several three doses of Natural Blast®, with each dose 15 days apart. When adding that third dose of Natural Blast®, you also should go ahead and add AquaSpherePRO® to the water. In some cases, you might need to treat again with Natural Blast® one or more times until the problem resolves.

You cannot overtreat the water with beneficial bacteria, but you can undertreat, so make sure you are adding the recommended dose of both Natural Blast® and AquaSpherePRO® to your pond water. In general, with a smelly pond, a pea green pond or a pond with floating green organic matter, it can take several weeks and several treatments for problems to resolve.


Keeping Your Pond Clear – Monthly Maintenance

Once you’ve improved the pond water quality, your pond maintenance tasks can be relatively simple. Keep treating the pond with AquaSpherePRO® every 30 days and make an effort to get outside and skim off the surface of the pond every day or every few days.

Keep a dose of Natural Blast® on hand, as well. We recommend adding Natural Blast® to your pond at the start of the warm season as this ensures your pond has a healthy dose of beneficial bacteria in place to counter the effects of rising water temperatures. Natural Blast® also can be added anytime the temperature spikes or after a large rain event or whenever you begin to notice a buildup of floating green organic matter.

Adding pond dye also can be a great idea, especially during the warm summer months. Pond dye enhances the beauty of your pond and also can help keep water temperatures a bit lower during the warmest months of the year. We don’t recommend adding pond dye until you’ve solved any current pond issues, but once your pond is clear, our natural pond dyes can be a great addition to a backyard pond, community pond or golf course pond.


Healthy Ponds – All-Natural Products For All Water Features

We have natural water treatments for any size water feature. While our AquaSpherePRO® and Natural Blast® are suitable for koi ponds, backyard ponds and small lakes, we also have products suitable for bird baths, fountains, rain barrels and small water features. Whether you have a one-gallon fish tank or large golf course pond, we have products to help you keep the water clear and clean.

If you have any questions about how to keep a pond clear or about our all-natural pond cleaners, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of the Healthy Ponds team. We also offer free personalized treatment plans for any size water feature at

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