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Water Gardens 101

A healthy pond doesn’t just happen. It’s created and maintained by you. Imagine seeing your fish thrive, your plants flourish, and your pond water turned crystal clear! We know ponds, and we’re here to help you be the best pond owner you can be. You can achieve that kind of pond by understanding the five elements of a healthy pond: filtration, aeration, aquatic plants, healthy fish and beneficial bacteria.

There’s more to keeping your garden looking great than spending plenty of time in it during the spring and summer months. If you can dedicate more time and focus on your garden when the temperature begins to drop, then you can improve your chances of having a livelier and vibrant yard when spring rolls around again, you will find more tips at and keep your garden healthier.

Filtration – Keeps water clean, healthy and safe.

There are two types of filtration: mechanical and biological. Mechanical filtration involves removal of visible solids like leaves, floating debris and fish waste. Mechanical filtration is often done by skimmers, filter brushes, foam pads and other tools. Biological filtration eliminates invisible waste (excess nutrients) by introducing a living tool – aerobic bacteria. Aerobic bacteria attaches itself to surfaces (rocks, plants, filter media, etc.) and eats away excess nutrients.

Aeration – Promotes pond and fish health.

Waterfalls and fountain sprays alone cannot product enough oxygen but aeration systems like the Airmax® KoiAir™ and PondAir™ can. Subsurface aeration works from the bottom up, circulating water and increasing dissolved oxygen levels. When the sun goes down, fish and plants both use dissolved oxygen in your pond water. By providing subsurface aeration, oxygen levels stay high all day and night. Aeration is also great for freezing climates. Running an aerator and a deicer together cuts your electricity costs and keeps a hole open in your pond.

Aquatic Plants – Natural algae control.

Aquatic plants are a key part of a balanced pond. They feed off “processed” fish waste and help reduce algae blooms. Fish waste (before it goes through filtration) can be toxic to aquatic life. However, once filtered, fish waste becomes fertilizer, which can be consumed by plants and produce exceptional plant growth. Approximately 40-60% of your pond’s surface area should be covered in plants. This is extra important if your pond is in direct sunlight most of the day.

Fish – Add color and excitement.

It’s critical that your filtration system is the proper size to handle your fish population. Fish naturally multiply and grow. The more fish, the more waste, so fish loads must be controlled. General rule? With standard filtration and 60% plant coverage, allow 1-2 koi or 2-3 goldfish per 200 gallons of water. If you need help figuring out how much filtration your fish need, give us a call!

Beneficial Bacteria – Natural treatments for a balanced pond.

Using natural treatments, such as those found in The Pond Guy DefensePAC®, aid in keeping your pond balanced and happy. The DefensePAC is designed to keep a pond’s ecosystem perfectly balanced by breaking down waste, removing excess nutrients and maintain clear water.