Improving your water quality - OASE - David Domoney
All about keeping your water crystal clear and keeping your pond healthy.
For a stunning pond, it can take some effort to ensure that it’s looking its best all year round. Not only is it for the visual appeal, but the water quality is important for the wildlife or fish that see the pond as their home.
All about algae
Algae is largely unavoidable and is part of a balanced and healthy ecosystem within ponds. However, large amounts of it in any pond can have a negative effect. It can cause a blanket that shields the rest of the pond, making it hard for oxygen to mix into the water.
Adding barley straw helps to limit algae growth by absorbing the excess nitrogen that causes algae to grow. After around six months, the straw may have turned black, so it should be removed and replaced. Fortunately, algae can be kept under control using Oase AlGo Direct that kills it off in just a few hours using active ingredients to decompose common types such as string algae and brown algae.
Adding plants to your pond can help to achieve clearer water, whilst also supplying more oxygen for animals. When planting in fishponds, ensure you section off new plants until they’ve grown new roots, so they don’t get eaten by the fish.
Pond plants are categorised into moisture loving, marginal, oxygenators, deep-water or floating plants. Choosing a mixture of the different types is a great way to increase the stock of plants that are growing in your garden. Myosotis scorpioides (water-forget-me-not) are great when planted in an aquatic basket, hiding the edge of pond liners, making them both pretty and practical. With dainty blue-purple flowers blooming from March to May, they add a sprinkle of colour to the pond. Throw bunches of Ceratophyllum demersum (hornwort) into the pond where it will sink below the surface. This is an oxygenating plant that doesn’t need planting, because this will lead to the roots rotting.
Floating plants are a good addition to reduce direct sunlight that leads to algae growth. Hydrocharis morsus-ranae (frogbit) is a floating perennial with rounded leaves that are joined by white flowers in summer. Then, as a finishing touch, soften the edge of your pond by adding some evergreen interest with moisture loving plants like Hostas and ferns.
With rainwater naturally getting into the pond and tap water being added to keep levels stable, it’s also important to keep the level of minerals and elements balanced too. Oase OptiPond stabilises the hardness of the water, keeping it at a suitable pH to protect the pond from becoming too acidic.
When changing water, ensure you do partial water changes, only replacing a maximum of 30% of the pond water at once. This can be done for a few reasons, for example if there is discolouration from leaves, green water due to algae, or high levels of toxins.
Though adding tap water is a convenient way to fill the pond, it can have an adverse impact on fish. Therefore tap water can be treated beforehand with Oase Safe&Care which binds chlorine and neutralises heavy metals to make it safe. It’s a fast-acting treatment, so can even be used in the pond whilst the most sensitive fish are in situ. It’s ideal to check the values of your pond water regularly with the QuickSticks of the Water Analysis Set. This handy piece of kit shows results of the six most important water values in just one minute.
Clean and clear
Specialised pond vacuums are an easy and convenient way to remove debris that builds up within the pond. For example, the Oase PondoVac 3 effectively clears sludge and plant residue with the dual chamber that allows continuous suction. Suited for garden ponds, pools and swimming ponds, it’s a worthy bit of kit to keep your pond in prime and pristine condition.
The purpose of pumps in a pond is to increase circulation, therefore decreasing the amount of harmful bacteria. Choose the right size pump for your pond to ensure it works most effectively. When picking a pump, it’s important to know how much water your pond holds because the pump should turn over the water once every hour.
For a fantastic looking pond that provides the right nutrients and minerals for fish, these treatments, plants, and tools will set you on your way. By choosing the right equipment and embellishments to suit your pond size and garden style, you’ll have a pond that brings much beauty to your space.