5 Ways You Can Avoid Green Pond Water

Why Is My Pond Water Green?

5 Ways You Can Avoid Green Pond Water

green pond with lilly padsA small amount of weekly maintenance is usually all that is needed to keep your garden fish pond clear and clean. Every now and then, it is possible that pond conditions will go bad for no obvious reason. One of the more alarming changes that can happen in your pond is for the water to turn green. If it does, don’t panic. A few steps will typically put everything back on track. Let’s take a look at what turns garden pond water green and what you can do about it.

 The most common cause of green pond water is algae bloom. This usually occurs in spring when water gets warmer and the amount of daylight increases. Single-celled algae reproduce very quickly. When conditions are right, they can take over your pond before you know it. The result looks like pea soup in your pond.

 Algae needs nutrients to grow. If single-celled algae have taken hold in your pond, too many nutrients are present. Fortunately, there a few easy ways to reduce excess nutrient levels in your garden pond water.

1. Aerate Your Pond

Use aeration devices to increase the amount of oxygen in your pond water. This will help bacteria to break down organic waste materials; the decrease in carbon dioxide levels also means less food for algae. During spring, it is best to have the aerators located close to the pond surface, not deep in the water.

2. Are You Overfeeding Your Fish?

green pondOverfeeding fish is one of the most common causes of excess pond nutrients. Reduce the amount of food you give your fish and switch to a cold water food as weather cools. Stop feeding all together once the temperature stays consistently in the low 40s. In warmer conditions, don’t feed any more than your fish will eat in a few minutes. Once the food sinks, it turns into waste products.

3. Clean Your Pond

Organic material can build up in your pond over the late fall and winter months. It’s easy to skip pond cleaning when the weather is freezing! If you have an accumulation of leaves in your pond, it’s time to scoop them out. If you don’t have a pond net, think about getting one to put in place for fall and winter. A net is an effective way to keep falling leaves out of your garden pond and will also deter predatory birds during winter when sight lines are clear.If you would rather leave this to a professional, discover our pond service here.

4. Add More Plants

pond and lilly padsNot having enough plants in your pond will contribute to poor water conditions. Aquatic plants help to break down the nutrients in your pond. There are no set guidelines as to the right number, but submerged plants and floating plants both use pond water nutrients and help to improve water quality. Strangely enough, it is also good to have some algae in your pond. Algae attached to rocks or the bottom of your pond is helping to keep your water clear, so resist the temptation to scrape it away.

5. Use Filtration and Clarifying Systems

Hopefully, your pond already has a biological filtration system. Keep it clean and in good condition to make sure it is filtering free-floating algae and taking care of excess nutrients. An ultraviolet (UV) clarifier will also reduce the potential for green water, essentially working like sunlight to keep water clear. You will want to install a UV clarifier before single-celled algae becomes an issue; early spring is the best time.

It is usually a combination of factors that causes pond water to turn into a green soupy mess; don’t rely on just one method to try and fix the problem. If you are careful and attentive about all the steps listed above, you are likely to have clear, clean garden pond water throughout the year.

If you have any questions about pond maintenance, contact us today.

Photo 1: credit to Susanne Hupfer under cc2.0
Photo 2: credit to Andrea_44 under cc2.0
Photo 3: credit to Derek Bridges under cc2.0