Good quality water plays such an important role in a pond habitat---from fish and plant health, to the color of the water and even the things (like algae) growing in it. If you're new to ponding, however, not knowing how to get or keep ideal water quality can be challenging and discouraging right out of the gate. If your pond fish are not acting like you’re used to seeing but your pond water seems to be clear-- something might be a little off in your pond’s water! Testing water is a great REACTIVE measure to your fish being a little wacky-- but what about the PROACTIVE measures?
7 Tips to Maintain Clear Happy Koi Pond Water
1. Maintain a healthy fish population
If you read our blog about fish population, then you're up to speed. The general rule for thumb is to know your pond's magic fish number (i.e. 10" of fish for every 100 gallons of water). If you have more than 10” of fish for every 100 gallons of water, your pond is likely over-populated. Obviously the more fish you have, the more fish poop will exist in your pond. Excessive fish waste can cause an imbalance in pond water. Consider finding some of your fish a new home.
2. Don’t over-feed your fish
Fish will eat way past the point that they are hungry and afterall, the more you feed, the more they poop! Be careful not to feed your fish more than once per day, and no more than they can eat in 2 to 3 minutes because when you feed fish more than they can eat, the uneaten food is left to decay in the pond. Uneaten fish food sinks to the bottom of your pond or it gets caught in your skimmer box--ultimately becoming a mess and fertilizing algae growth. Remove all excess, leftover food by use of a net!
3. Create a proper balance of plants
There is a fine line between not having enough pond plants and having too many pond plants-- who knew? Pond plants remove toxins from water and they also compete for the exact same nutrients that algae does so it is important to make sure you have enough plants for your size pond. At season’s peak, however, you should have no more than 40% to 60% of the surface area of your pond either covered or shaded by plants because 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.
Pond Size Gallons of Water Marginal Plants Lillies
4x6 300 7 1
6x8 400 9 1
8x11 500 11 2
11x11 700 12 2
11x16 1000 14 2-3
16x16 1500 16 3
16x21 2000 17 4
4. Choose the right size pump for your pond
You should be circulating the entire pond’s water volume a minimum of 2-3 every hour. Make sure your pump’s flow isn’t restricted by debris and be careful not to pump water higher than it was intended. Every pump has its flow limitations. Refer to the chart on the outside of the pump’s box to make sure you’re making the right choice for your pond.
5. Clean debris from pond before it has a chance to decay
Decaying debris, combined with fish waste and leftover fish food, can cause ammonia levels to spike in your pond. Clean out your pond and add beneficial microbes such as Aquascape’s Beneficial Bacteria to help keep it healthy and clean. Beneficial Bacteria colonizes on your biomedia and on the rocks and gravel in your pond and it breaks down the dead organic matter in your pond.
6. Choose proper filtration for your pond
Your filter should match the size of your pond. Remember, most manufacturers rate their filters based on ideal circumstances, and if you exceed those, your filter becomes less effective. Always up-size your filter so that it can handle more than the capacity of your pond. Also remember to clean your filter according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
7. Keep your pond cool during the dog days of summer
When pond water exceeds 75º Fahrenheit, it has a more difficult time retaining acceptable levels of dissolved oxygen. This is why it’s important to have your pond shade from aquatic plants and landscape plants. An aerator or bubbler can also help with reducing the temperature.
So now what?
Dreamscapes carries a full line of pond supplies from water treatments and fish medications to pond pumps, heaters, fountains, plants and fish! If you think you need it, we have it!
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Dreamscapes Watergardens services koi ponds and waterfalls in the city of Lebanon, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Mechanicsburg, Camp Hill, Cleona, Cornwall, Fredericksburg, Indiantown Gap, Jonestown, Kleinfeltersville, Mount Gretna, Myerstown, Newmanstown Palmyra, Quentin, Reistville, Richland, Schaefferstown of Pennsylvania, PA