Most water garden enthusiasts understand the important role optimal water quality plays in the environment of a pond. New pond owners might not be as cognizant at first, but there’s plenty of time for you to understand what your water garden needs to stay clear and healthy. Here are some pro tips to help you achieve and maintain clean pond water!

Don’t Buy Too Many Fish!

Make sure your pond isn’t over-populated; the rule of thumb is to have no more than 10 inches of fish for every 100 gallons of water. Disproportionate amounts of fish waste can cause an imbalance in your pond’s water quality. If you have too many fish, consider finding them a new home with a pond retailer or contractor.

Take it Easy on the Fish Food!

You always want to keep track of how much food your koi can eat in a 2 to 3-minute span. After that, all the leftover food sinks to the bottom and decays in the pond, so avoid feeding your koi more than once per day.

Make Sure You Have Enough Plants!

Ideally, you want around 40 to 60 percent of your water’s surface area either covered or shaded by aquatic plants. These plants act as natural filters by thriving off the excess nutrients that would otherwise cause algae growth.

Find the Right Size Pump!

Make sure you buy a pump that can circulate the entire water volume of your pond at least once every hour. Keep a close eye on the pump’s flow to ensure it isn’t blocked off by debris or flowing water higher than intended. All pumps have flow limitations. Examine the chart on the back of the pump’s box so you know you’re getting the right one for your pond.

Clean Your Pond!

Decaying debris, fish waste, and uneaten fish food accumulate quickly on your pond’s floor. Make sure you clean out your pond regularly to avoid a spike in your water’s ammonia levels. Adding beneficial microbes, like Aquascape’s Beneficial Bacteria, helps your pond maintain a balanced ecosystem.

Filter Your Pond Properly!

Find a filter that matches your pond’s size. It’s important to note that most manufacturers rate their filters based on ideal circumstances. If you surpass those, you need to get a bigger filter! You always want to size-up your filter, so it’s suited to handle more than the capacity of your pond. Also, don’t forget to clean your filter in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

Watch Your Water Temps During the Summer!

Once your pond’s temperature reaches 75° Fahrenheit or above, it struggles to retain the necessary levels of dissolved oxygen. Aquatic plants help prevent this by providing shade and cooling the water’s surface (see tip #3). During extreme heat, you might see your fish gasping for air at the pond’s surface. Adding an aerator helps them receive the oxygen they need in those hot temperatures.