While many people choose to treat their ponds with chemicals, natural pond maintenance can be just as effective and much more eco-friendly. At Healthy Ponds, we are dedicated to helping pond owners find the best pond solutions for common water issues.
Use Beneficial Bacteria
While you might be tempted to use chemicals to treat pond water, beneficial bacteria for ponds can be a much better option. At Healthy Ponds, we have several all-natural pond maintenance treatments that can improve water quality and mitigate issues with sludge and floating green organic matter.
Our all-natural pond products contain a proprietary mix of beneficial bacteria. The bacteria consume excess nutrients in your water. Bacteria treatments are one of the easiest and safest ways to maintain a healthy pond.
Our AquaSpherePRO® is an easy-to-use natural pond maintenance treatment. You simply toss the biodegradable spheres into your pond and they sink to the bottom. Our time-release formula consumes excess nutrients over the next 30 days, which reduces sludge and floating organic matter.
A large rain event or a spike in temperature can accelerate the growth of the floating organic matter, and when this occurs, we suggest keeping a supply of our product, Natural Blast®, on hand. Natural Blast is our strongest formulation of bacteria that jump-starts a solution to the problem and lasts for 7-10 days. This product also contains all-natural beneficial bacteria and can be used in conjunction with the AquaSpherePRO®. To use Natural Blast®, you simply toss the water-soluble bags into your pond and they will begin releasing beneficial bacteria.
If your pond is already heavily matted with floating organic matter, stagnant, we recommend that you use Rush®.. Multiple treatments of Rush® may be needed to resolve your pond water issues.
Once the problems are resolved, continue to treat the water each month with AquaSpherePRO® and perhaps with occasional treatments of Natural Blast®.
Provide Some Shade
When water temperatures climb, oxygen levels can drop, and this leads to serious problems. Temperature issues are particularly serious issues for smaller and more shallow ponds, as well as koi ponds. We recommend that you monitor how much direct sunlight your pond receives during the day and check water temperatures frequently, especially if you have fish.
Providing some shade can help keep the temperatures in your pond manageable, even on the hottest summer days. We sell two different colors of pond dye, blue and black. Using a pond dye can help to keep water temperatures cooler and improve the aesthetics of your pond.
Add Beneficial Plants
There are many excellent reasons to create a plant buffer around your pond. This plant barrier helps to block runoff from your lawn, which reduces the amount of pesticide or fertilizer that might enter the water. Pesticides often contain phosphorus or nitrogen, and these elements can accelerate the growth of floating organic matter in your pond and cause oxygen levels to drop.
Beneficial plants also prevent shoreline erosion, and, if you select plants that attract beneficial insects, these can provide you with natural mosquito control. For instance, dragonflies are attracted to swamp milkweed and they love to eat mosquito larvae, so planting swamp milkweed can be one option to consider.
Keep in mind, that an overabundance of any plant species can disturb the balance in your pond, and you need to do some research to select plants that are considered beneficial for ponds. Fortunately, there are many beneficial plants that are ideal for pond barriers, such as pickleweed and blue flag iris.
Remove Weeds, But Carefully
There are many types of pond weeds, and it’s smart to learn how to identify these weeds so you can minimize the growth. While some floating pond weeds, such as duckweed can be gently skimmed out of your pond, pond weeds with roots need to be removed very carefully, or they will simply continue to propagate.
When you remove pond weeds, you need to remove the entire plant, including the root system, but you need to be gentle with this process or plant parts can simply float to other areas of the pond, take root and start to grow.
While we always want to rely as much as possible on natural pond maintenance, in some cases, weed management may require spraying the weeds first with chemicals and then removing the dead weeds. But it’s always best to try and find natural ways to either remove the weeds or prevent them from growing in the first place. Healthy Ponds does carry a line of algaecides and herbicides, that effectively kill algae and aquatic weeds.
Check Your Fish Population
Fish pond maintenance is always a bit trickier than maintaining an unstocked pond. An overpopulated pond can cause oxygen levels to drop and quickly. If you have too many fish, it’s crucial that you rehome them to keep the oxygen levels healthy. In a crowded pond, you face two issues. One, the fish have to compete for oxygen to breathe. Two, excess fish create excess waste which adds to your sludge layer and further reduces the oxygen levels.
Clean Away The Debris
If you have a small garden pond or koi pond, skimming out leaves and debris daily can be an important part of natural pond maintenance and probably will just take a few minutes each day. Even with a larger pond, if you can skim out some of the leaves, this can keep debris from sinking to the bottom of the pond and adding to the sludge layer.
We recommend that you bag up autumn leaves so that they don’t end up in your pond, and bag up grass clippings. Grass can be a big problem, not only because the clippings will sink to the bottom of the pond, but also because the grass often is treated with chemicals that can alter the balance in natural ponds.
At Healthy Ponds, we believe in opting for natural pond maintenance whenever possible. Natural ponds are a beautiful addition to any landscape, and our beneficial bacteria products can help make pond maintenance easy and safe. To discover which products might be the best fit for your situation, head to our homepage and click on the “Start Your Treatment” tab.