Keeping pond clean
We want to install a small pond with a waterfall and fountain. It will be in the sun and only used in the summer months (northern michigan). How do you keep the water clean and healthy, in case birds drink and bathe in it? Are goldfish necessary?
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

A balanced ecosystem that includes fish, plants, and microorganisms (algae and bacteria) will keep your pond clean. Yes, algae are in every pond, but with the right balance of fish, plants and bacteria, the algae population will stay in check naturally. It’s all a part of the pond’s nitrogen cycle.

When building your pond, include a pump (for your waterfall and/or fountain), mechanical filtration, biological filtration, plants and fish. Pumps circulate water through the filters and the splashing water pulls in oxygen. Mechanical filters catch large debris. Biological filters offer vast surface area for beneficial bacteria, which break down toxins. Plants consume nitrates from the water. Also, surface plants shade the water and submerged plants convert carbon dioxide to oxygen. Fish consume insects, algae and plants. Stock no more than six inches of fish for every 100 gallons of water.

I wrote a book called “All About Building Waterfalls, Ponds and Streams” that is available at Lowes. It is the most concise and thorough pond building book on the market right now.

Answered by BHGgardenEditors
Community Answers (2)

I had a shovel, some black plastic and a sump I have a pond and waterfall...No fish, No plants..I use a big fish or butterfly net (dollar store)to remove leaves every few days..when it gets too green..I pump it out..hit it with the power washer and fill it again...sometimes I put about 1/3 cup of bleach in for the dog to drink and swim may be mor work that way...but we enjoy it so much...its worth it
Submitted by joy.bittner