Looking over a pond to see how the water flows through the babbling stream and over the waterfall is exciting. Seeing the beauty in flowering water lilies, watching the antics of koi or gold fish, or admiring the rock work laid out by the artist is inspiring. Being able to admire all of this with crystal clear pond water is amazing! Ponds get a bad reputation for being dirty and smelly in Plymouth, MN. That doesn’t have to be the case if they’re built right.
Dirty water is typically caused by extra nutrition in the water. That nutrition comes from various sources. Water runoff can flow into your pond water from nearby landscaping and lawn areas bringing extra nutrition. Fish are very beneficial to a balanced working ecosystem but fish waste is also a source of nutrition. All this nutrition is eaten by something: Plants, Algae, and Bacteria! Make way for a filtration system!
How Filters Clear Pond Water
Adding the proper filtration to a pond is the secret to keeping your water clear. To filter your pond, oxygen-rich water is pumped from the pond through a mechanical filter that removes large debris, then through a biofilter that houses beneficial bacteria. The beneficial bacteria lives in the bio filter, and eats harmful nutrients. The beneficial bacteria converts the harmful nutrients into clean water and things plants can use. Below are some types of filters:
Custom Wetland Filters, Rock And Reed filters, Bog Filters
Experience has shown that a properly sized Constructed Wetland filter gives the best results in creating crystal clear pond water. Wetland construction is a bit technical: The wetland is built with an access panel, water distribution matrix, gravel for beneficial bacteria to grow on, and plants to naturalize the area. The filter size will need to be customized for your Minnesota pond size.
Using A Preformed Pond Water Filter
There are many varieties of premade filters for creating clear pond water. Preformed filters are a great way to start when building your first few ponds and will give you years of service. They are generally formed with plastic and include a water inlet, filter media, and a waterfall outlet. To select the right bio filter, review the “specs” to make sure it is a good fit. You will need to consider the total gallons of the pond, surface area of the pond, and water flow. Each filter comes with manufacture recommendations on minimum and maximum water flow and how many gallons it will filter efficiently. If you have a soft spot in your heart for fish you should consider oversizing, or getting bigger filters. This will clear up the water more efficiently.
Constructed Statutory Filters
There are also self-contained filters that are decorative in nature. These provide a small feature that accents your garden. They are generally compact in size, and use a small pump to operate. Consider the flow and requirements of the unit when selecting. These are great for that little bit of extra filtering in quiet spots in your pond that may not have the best flow. When you strategically place the pump, it will create flow across the pond and improve your water quality.
Underwater Filter In The Pond
Some filters can be installed in the pond water. These are great for placing on a pond shelf where they can begin the filtering process. These filters can remove big, clumpy debris via mechanical filtration. They also biologically filter the water with beneficial bacteria which colonizes in the filter groves. They are generally black, and will easily be disguised on the pond bottom.
Jeff Chudek has been building ponds and waterfalls professionally since 2005. As a kid, his favorite time of year was spring, because the spring thaw created so much mud and puddles, and all the trees and plants were waking up. He loves figuring out the best way to use something, and fixing things that are broken. He's good at coming up with ideas, and helping choose the best idea for you.