How to Maintain Clear Water in Backyard Ponds

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Backyard ponds are often a source of relaxation and escape right outside your home; they can be small oases that are soothing to listen to and wonderful to look at, especially during the warmer months when flowers bloom and animals thrive. However, the heat also brings a very common problem found in outdoor ponds: the pea-soup syndrome. When temperatures rise, algae in ponds tend to grow uncontrollably, thus resulting in murky green waters.

Enjoy crystal clear water in which you can admire your plants and fish by taking care of a few tasks that will help control algae growth. Don’t wait until your pond looks like pea soup; take action with the following steps and never worry about green water again:

  • Add Plants

Including the right plants in your pond could also help control algae growth. They will help shield your pond from sunlight, and provide shelter, food and oxygen for animals and bacteria. Choose emergent plants such as water lilies and cattails that will provide shade and shelter in their roots; choose submerging species that will use carbon dioxide to make oxygen, such as waterweed and anacharis; and choose floating plants that will also provide shade and shelter, such as duckweed and water lettuce.

  • Oxygenate Water

A great an easy way to increase the quality of your pond’s water is to aerate it in order to help bacteria better process organic waste and reduce the carbon dioxide levels that help algae thrive. Make sure the device is placed near the surface, since agitating the water in the bottom can trouble your fish and bring cold water down.

  • Install a Filter

There are mainly two kinds of filters you can apply to your outdoor pond. Mechanical filters can be installed in your pond that will trap debris and algae, but will need constant and regular cleaning to be effective. Biological filters are highly more efficient, since they provide environments in which good bacteria can grow and will naturally help control algae growth through the breakdown of toxins that are released by the living organisms in your pond. A great option when it comes to biological filters is installing a fiber matting media, which will provide an optimal space for bacteria to reproduce and gather food.


  • Replenish Bacteria


Since good bacteria are essential to maintaining clear and healthy water, it is important you replenish your pond with a good dose, especially after cold weather in which most bacteria colonies die or greatly reduce. You can purchase a product that packages the right combination of bacteria and enzymes that will break down sludge and help efficiently filtrate the water. Apply it according to manufacturer’s directions once the cold temperatures are gone and the water has thawed completely.


  • Install a UV Clarifier


Another very good option to consider is installing a UV clarifier, which is essentially an ultraviolet lamp that emits a germicidal light that will quickly clarify green water due to free-floating algae. UV clarifiers won’t work for string algae. When temperatures rise, get your UV clarifier working alongside a mechanical filter, which will get rid of the dead algae and offer proper biological filtration.


  • Use Barley Straw


If your problem is mostly string algae, barley straw products can be highly effective in removing it after a few weeks of adding them to your pond. Make sure you remove rotting barley straw after it has done its job to prevent further decaying parts that will only add to the murky water.

Having a pond in your backyard should always be a pleasant experience for you to connect with nature. Murky waters will only bring funky smells and unpleasant sights, which is why you should be on top of the cleaning and maintenance tasks your pond needs year round to stay healthy and clear. Properly prepare your pond’s plants and fish for cold weather, and take the necessary actions to get them back in shape so they can thrive during the spring. Keep you water clean and you will never have to look into that dark pea soup again.



This article was written by Guizmo