Creating Balance in You Pond
By Josh Spece
The easiest pond to take care of is one that has a natural balance. You can usually get away without filter on a properly balanced pond. A balanced pond contains both plants and fish and the water should be clear and free of mosquitoes. However, a healthy pond will not be crystal clear and completely free of algae…that is a swimming pool! A coating of “slime” algae on the liner and plant pots is a sign of a healthy pond and provides food for many small animals like baby fish and tadpoles. Creating a balanced pond is not difficult, but it may take some time. The key elements to a balanced pond are:
- One bunch of oxygenating plants (Anacharis) for every 2 square feet of water surface. (Compete with algae for nutrients.)
- Cover 50%-75% of the water’s surface with floating leafed plants such as water hyacinths and water lettuce (also compete with algae for nutrients), water lilies, parrot’s feather, and floating heart. (Shades the water from the sun to limit algae growth.)
- Using beneficial bacteria early in the spring will help achieve a balance quicker.
- Stock fish very lightly. No more than 1” of fish per 10-15 gallons of water. (Help control mosquitoes.)
- Remove debris and dead plant matter from the pond before it decays and adds nutrients to the water.
- Patients!!!!!!!!!!!! A balanced pond doesn’t happen over night!