Taking care of your koi pond is demanding. Learning how to get crystal clear koi pond water can be challenging, especially in the beginning. But luckily, you’ve come to the right place.
The good news is that most backyard pond problems have simple answers. But you have to learn what’s causing said problems before joining the winners club. Pay attention, and that pond will be transparent in no time.
Possible Problems Blocking Your Koi’s Shine
Lack of Aquatic Plants
If your pond is starting to resemble Oscar the Grouch, then you have an algae problem. Algae is nature’s way of dealing with an overabundance of nutrients. But too much algae will harm or kill your fish and is, arguably, a bit ugly.
The solution, you ask? Introduce a variety of plants and create space in your pond to house beneficial bacteria. We’ll talk more about bacteria later, but we’ll focus on the pretty plants for now.
Aquatic plants serve the purpose of competing with algae over excess nutrients like nitrate and nitrite. A mistake to avoid is only getting a few plants in your koi’s home. Get plants that bloom at different times in the year and plants that grow in and around the water.
If you have a large variety of aquatic plants absorbing nitrates, algae won’t be able to propagate. The more, the merrier, but don’t go overboard when it comes to vegetating your pond.
The Filtration System Is Weak
Another way to get your koi’s pond water crystal clear is to inspect your filter. A mucky pond with green water filled with single-cell and string algae indicates that your filtration system is severely lacking.
If your filter can’t do the job, order a new one and help your current filter in the meantime. Manually remove any algae build-up and clean your filter daily until your new filter arrives.
You’re likely experiencing this problem if you’ve recently set up your koi pond. New ponds are like newborn babies, and sadly, your baby has to mature first.
Your pond could take weeks or months before it finishes its cycle, establishes an ecosystem, and clears up. In the meantime, keep testing your water quality. Don’t add your koi until the water quality can support them.
You Don’t Properly Clean Your Pond
Rinse any dirty objects like rocks with water from your pond. Scrubbing these items may remove beneficial bacteria from the ecosystem. Cleaning your pond too often or too roughly can disrupt its ecosystem, so be as gentle as possible.
Avoid cleaning with anything harsh, like a pressure washer or a scrubber. Cleaning too roughly will cause your pond to be less efficient until the bacteria regrows.
Most pond owners in Charlotte hire a pond contractor to handle their pond maintenance.
Create Space for Beneficial Bacteria
Now we’ll touch on your ecosystem’s star pupil, beneficial bacteria. These strains of bacteria need plenty of surface area to grow and do their jobs. Like aquatic plants, these bacteria will help handle the excess nutrients in your pond, including your fish’s waste.
Having a one to two-inch layer of gravel on the floor of your pond is the perfect place to house bacteria. Also, installing biofilters will create plenty of areas for necessary bacteria to grow and remain untouched. Once again, the more space, the better. But with this one, it’s hard to go overboard.
Poor Water Quality
Testing your water quality to ensure a healthy pond is essential. Nasty-looking water can indicate a change in your pond’s pH or a sudden increase in ammonia. Use testing kits to check your water whenever you feel the need.
You can’t visually spot every problem. So be on the lookout for irregular PH, ammonia, or nitrite levels that could cause harm if left alone. And continue checking your water quality even after learning how to get crystal clear koi pond water.
How To Keep Your Koi Pond Clear
You’ve most likely found what’s holding your pond back, but the white flag isn’t up yet. There are a few things to note when instilling habits in yourself that keep your pond clear.
Learn About Your Ponds Ecosystem
It’s helpful to learn about the life that is your koi pond. Like the beneficial bacteria previously mentioned, a large part of your ecosystem goes unseen. But there are also insects, fish, and plants that play an essential role.
If you treat everything like a vital community member, your pond will become a thriving ecosystem in no time.
Take care of your plants, create space for beneficial bacteria, and together they’ll prevent algae growth. Your koi will move stagnant water around while creating waste to feed bacteria. Keep your filters in check, and they’ll maintain clear, healthy water.
Learn what your pond’s ecosystem likes and dislikes before making the necessary changes to accommodate it. You don’t have to become an expert or dedicate every waking moment to your pond. Play your role, learn as you go, and let your koi pond take care of the rest.
Remove Debris and Excess Sludge
You’ll have to manually collect debris if your pond doesn’t have a skimmer. If left unchecked, debris such as leftover fish pellets and leaves will cause sludge to form at the bottom.
Excessive amounts of sludge will have your koi gasping for air at the pond’s surface. Sludge prevents the ecosystem you worked hard to build from producing the oxygen necessary to support your fish.
The best way to remove sludge is to vacuum the bottom and use sludge-killing products. A small amount of sludge is ideal. But to prevent a build-up of sludge, remove organic debris as soon as possible.
As with anything in life, you get what you give. Treat your pond with respect, put in the effort, and over time, you’ll learn how to get crystal clear koi pond water. Remember that we all start at the bottom, no matter how stressful or complicated it seems.
You’ll need help at some point, and when you do, contact Charlotte Backyard Ponds by filling out our contact form. We’re here to ensure your koi pond continues to thrive.