Relaxing by cool, clear, shimmering water as you watch fish swimming lazily about and drink in the serene beauty of water lilies is one of the joys of landscaping your garden. The upkeep is difficult and often but rewarding. Let City Floral take one more thing off of your mind: keeping your pond water clear. Though it seems easy, adding the proper ingredients and keeping the filters clean need your absolute attention.
First, you must distinguish between the basic types of algae. The moss-like algae which grows on the sides of ponds is actually beneficial and not a type that clouds the water. To prevent excessive growth of this algae, scavengers such as snails can be used to graze it. The algae that are characteristically long and stringy is filamentous algae and it can be removed by using a long stick. The most common type of algae is unicellular and is the culprit of “pea soup” green or cloudy water. If the algae is extremely bubbly, it is a sign of decaying organic matter (sludge). This sludge can be a breeding ground for disease-causing bacteria and should be removed quickly. A quick and easy method of removing algae and waste is by using an inexpensive hand vacuum to regularly clean the bottom of your pool.
Now for cleansing ingredients: patience, plants, scavengers, and an optional filter system. The most important factor is patience. A new pond (or one just cleaned) will turn cloudy and have some algae. DO NOT DRAIN THE POND. The water must age and the microorganism and plant populations much establish themselves. An algaecide can be used during this period to keep the algae growth under control. Remember: an algaecide only acts on existing algae and treatment will not keep a pond clear indefinitely. It is a temporary control and will not change conditions in the pond that cause algae to grow.
Plants are the secret to clearing up a pond and keeping it clear. The submerged grasses (oxygenators) are especially effective in controlling algae. They starve the algae by absorbing the carbon dioxide and mineral salts essential for algae to grow. Water lilies are helpful because their pads block out a good amount of sunlight, which is also needed for algae to grow. A good rule of thumb for stocking submerged grasses is to stock one bunch of grasses per 1-2 square feet of pond. Several bunches can be potted together. Water lily pads should cover 50-60% of the water surface.
Scavengers graze on the hair-like algae and eat the leftover fish food. This is important because fish will not finish their leftover food. Feed fish only what they will eat in 5-10 minutes. The remaining food will rot and foul the water.
Careful selection of natural materials mentioned above can lead to a clear pond. However, a filtration system is a great time-saver in cleaning pool water and keeping it clear. Filters remove algae, fish wastes, and any particle matter clouding the water. Because a filter is so efficient, it is less likely the pond will become cloudy at all one it’s installed.
There are several factors in what causes cloudiness like overfeeding and bad weather but utilizing the above-mentioned tools will keep your pond healthy especially during times of year that plants and animals are less active, and algae are not in check. Please feel free to ask us any questions you may have. We want to ensure you have a gorgeous garden!