4. Create a Proper Balance of Plants
Plants absorb excess nutrients in the pond and help filter the water. In addition, plants like water lilies and water lettuce help to shade the pond and keep the water cooler during hot summer months. During the peak pond season, you want to ensure that 40% to 60% of the surface area of your pond is covered or shaded by plants. On the flip side, too many plants can cause oxygen deficiencies at night due to the photosynthetic process, when the plants take in oxygen and give off carbon dioxide.
You’ll enjoy the beauty provided by a wide range of pond plants, which fall into four basic categories.
Waterlilies are a favorite for the beautiful color they add to a pond. Hardy lilies return every year if properly over-wintered. Tropical waterlilies will die during winter months in most climates and are typically treated as annuals. Marginal plants thrive in shallow water near the edges of the pond. They include both flowering and non-flowering options and help to soften rock edges while providing filtration benefits. Floating plants such as water lettuce and water hyacinth, float on the surface of the pond with their roots dangling in the water. Finally, oxygenators are planted at the bottom of the pond and help provide hiding places for fish.
5. Clean Debris from Pond Before It Decays
Decaying leaves and debris, combined with fish waste and leftover fish food, can cause ammonia levels to spike in your pond. High ammonia levels can stress your fish and cause illness. Be sure to remove dying leaves and plants, and remove uneaten fish food before it has a chance to decay. During the summer months, you shouldn’t find a lot of leaves and plant debris in your pond, but be sure to trim any dying leaves from aquatic plants. During the fall season, install Aquascape Protective Pond Netting over your water feature before leaves begin to drop from the trees, to make leaf control easier. Beneficial microbes such as Aquascape Beneficial Bacteria can also be added to your pond on a continual basis to help keep pond water healthy and clean.
Enjoy Your Best Pond Ever
Following the above guidelines helps ensure that your pond is naturally balanced, thereby requiring less maintenance. When the water in a pond is murky and unattractive, it’s usually due to one (or more) of the previous tips not being followed. You’ll be surprised how easy it can be to enjoy clean and clear pond water throughout the season. And less work means more time you get to spend enjoying your beautiful water garden!