Maintaining a Healthy Pond

Backyard ponds attract wildlife and beautify the yard. Manmade pond designs are sometimes small and simple and other times encompass most of a yard with a lot of detailed features to draw the attention of visitors. They do not need to be one giant round or oval watering hole but can be any shape and even include man-made waterfalls and streams. All pond owners must be careful to keep the water fresh and clean no matter what their finished size and shape may be. There are a number of ways to make this happen.

How do pond owners know if their water feature is healthy?

Observe the water carefully to determine its quality. Water tests exist, but stagnant or unhealthy water is easy to see. Unhealthy water is cloudy or contains algae blooms. Fish may surface frequently for air or begin to die off. The pond may be free of frogs, turtles or other animals abundant in the area. The water may even have an unpleasant smell.

What makes a pond healthy?

A healthy pond ecosystem includes plants and rocks where fish or other creatures can hide. There are a variety of plants around the pond, in the water and on the surface. It is protected from pesticides and lawn chemicals and has a mix of sun and shade to keep the water regulated. Oxygenation of the water is also needed.

How is water oxygenated?

Pond plants help to release oxygen into the water just as those on land release it into the air. Unfortunately, a lot of this oxygen does not reach the bottom of the pond. Aerators like waterfalls, fountains and equipment designed to cycle the water from the surface to the bottom of the pond help to balance oxygen levels. Visit for more information about aeration methods.

A pond that looks like a giant bowl of pea soup will not appeal to homeowners or their guests. Pool chemicals will help but could harm the plant and animal life in and around the water. Understanding the steps necessary for a healthy pond environment makes it possible to use only safe, natural solutions.