If your pond or lake looks a bit stagnant and water isn’t sparkling and beautiful, you might be tempted to use pond colorant to improve the look of your water. But, is this your best option? In some cases, a colorant can help, but it’s not the only solution to consider.

What Is Pond Colorant?
Pond colorant or pond dye typically is sourced from the same ingredients as the dyes that are used to color various food products. When you add colorant, this can improve the aesthetics of your pond or lake, but it also can reduce the water temperature, which is an important benefit.

We all love the look of a beautiful pond, but the water temperature control is even more important. If your water temperatures are too high, this can reduce the oxygen levels in your pond, which can cause green organic matter to grow to quickly and can harm your fish population.

With small ponds, such as a small decorative pond or koi pond, adding plants or a small shade tree can be a good idea, as well as aerating the pond. With larger ponds and lakes, adding plants and trees might not be an option, so aerating and using colorants can help to keep temperatures in check. Lower temperatures can inhibit the growth of green organic matter and keep oxygen levels healthy for aquatic life.

Additionally, pond colorant also works as a kind of protective barrier that blocks the view of any predators that might want to grab one of your fish. So, if you’ve been plagued by a pesky bird that loves to enjoy your fish as a snack, the colorant can reduce the likelihood of these attacks.

Keeping Water Healthy
While a pond colorant definitely can improve the look of your pond and may help lower the water temperature, it’s definitely not the only step you can take nor should it be the only step taken. If your water is already having issues with floating organic matter or has a green murky appearance, it can be wise to start treating that issue first as a colorant can reduce some issues but it doesn’t really completely solve this problem.

There are products that use a proprietary mix of beneficial bacteria that can be used to improve water quality quickly and safely. These bacteria eat away at excess nutrients in the water. Adding beneficial bacteria once per month to your pond often can prevent these nutrients from building up in the first place, and make pond maintenance much easier.

In some cases, you might need to use a monthly dose of beneficial bacteria as well as supplements to really get the pond under control. This can take a few weeks and it’s not uncommon for the pond to look a bit worse before it looks better. This is because these excess nutrients will fight to the death, so to speak, and they throw quite the bon voyage party.

After the nutrients have been consumed by the beneficial bacteria, you should notice an improvement in water quality and clarity. We recommend that you continue using a monthly dose of beneficial bacteria and occasionally treating it with a supplement, especially if the temperature spikes or it is particularly hot.

If you then further want to improve the look of your water, by all means, add some pond colorant. Some products include pond colorant as well as a pond water cleaner, and these 2-in-1 products can make pond maintenance easier. In some cases, it is recommended that you add a second dose of pond colorant after about 24 hours, as this will increase the dramatic effect of the colorant.

Is Colorant Safe?
Pond dyes should be safe for all fish and wildlife, just make sure that you purchase products that are labeled and natural and safe for animals and humans. For humans that might swim in the pond or lake, it is recommended that you wait 24 hours or so after adding colorant before swimming so that the dye can fully dissolve. Otherwise, it can stain your skin.

When adding pond colorant to the water, we recommend that you wear protective gear on your eyes, hands and arms, as the concentrated dye will stain your skin and can irritate the skin or eyes. If it does come into contact with your skin or eyes, flush these areas with plenty of water.

Which Color Should You Choose?
Pond colorants come in two colors – blue and black. The blue pond colorant will alter the water and give it a pleasing blue ocean-like appearance. The black colorants create a beautiful reflective surface, and are very popular as a colorant choice at golf courses, as it creates a lovely natural look.

If you have any questions about pond colorant, we can help. You can look under the Our Products tab on our homepage to find out more information about colorants or contact us via phone, email or live chat, the latter of which is available from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. (CST) Monday-Friday. We also can answer any questions you might have about our pond maintenance products and supplements.