By Kit Knotts - Click images to enlarge

About Pond
Filters, Skimmers,
UV Sterilizers and Pumps

You don't need them.

That's right. You simply don't need any of the above to have a healthy pond. Regardless of your location, climate, and pond size, it's easy to have a beautiful pond with crystal clear water and NO hardware by creating natural balance. Here are a few simple steps to achieve balance:

Photo taken through
14" of clear water
1. Put several inches of dirt, preferably something dug from your own yard, in the pond or container. Don't ever clean it out. This will provide a home for the beneficial bacteria necessary to pond balance.

2. Add plants to cover 40% of the water surface in the cool months, 70% in the warm months. Fertilize the plants regularly with aquatic tablets as directed on the package.

3. In a new pond, add some decaying foliage from another pond or even from your compost pile. This debris will bring with it beneficial bacteria to jump-start the balancing.

4. Add a few small fish, preferably native varieties, and small snails, preferably ramshorns.

5. Introduce some algae, preferably the mossy type that grows on the sides of ponds or the more advanced rooted types like Nitella.

6. Don't remove anything natural that falls in the pond. Leaves and other debris will decompose and help create an even better environment for balance.

Ramshorn snails

Now leave it alone. In a matter of days, the water will be clear. If it isn't, add more plants.

If you are trying to balance a problem pond, turn off all your devices and resist resorting to chemicals. The more you do to interfere with nature, the more you will have to do. Any improvement would be short-lived anyway.

Using a pump to recirculate pond water isn't necessary to pond health, but many people want a waterfall, fountain or spitter. If you use a pump, be sure to elevate it above that wonderful sludge you are creating on the bottom or you will be recirculating the sludge instead of the water.

We realize that these recommendations are contradictory to many sources of pond information, but we only ask that you try natural balance first. If it doesn't work (and it will), you can still invest in expensive hardware.

For more detailed information, see Clear Water.

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