If you're a pond owner, you know that cloudy water can be a pesky and persistent problem. While it's often a mere nuisance, there can sometimes lie larger issues beneath the surface. There are a number of issues that can contribute to murky water. Fortunately, you can also take simple, chemical-free measures to clear things up.
About Murky Pond Water
The water in your pond will become cloudier as particles of organic and inorganic matter increase over time. There's actually a measurement of the murkiness of pond water known as "turbidity." With more suspended materials comes higher levels of turbidity.
There are a number of harmless causes for turbidity to increase, particularly in the summer months as the aquatic life becomes more active. Fish are busy feeding and producing excrement. Other water creatures such as turtles or frogs dislodge debris at the pond's bottom as they forage for food.
Then, there are other turbidity issues that are more problematic. Algae blooms are one of the most challenging culprits. They can quickly grow out of control. It can be even more of a problem with newer ponds whose ecosystems are just beginning to develop.
Tips to Clear Cloudy Ponds
Though mucky water is usually a harmless aesthetic issue, it's good practice to determine the cause so that you can combat it in the future. The first step you should take is to test your pond's water. You can buy a pond testing kit that will measure a variety of factors, including KH, ammonia concentrations, nitrate levels and pH. A pond management company can help you to determine the best levels for your particular goals.
A common cause of murky water is sludge and debris. Sludge is the organic matter that typically settles on the bottom of the pond. For example, leaves are a large source of sludge. They end up on the bottom and gradually decay. Oxygenating plants in the water can usually control sludge accumulation. However, when there is too much sludge, a vicious cycle can occur. It becomes a food source for harmful organisms, allowing them to propagate. You can greatly reduce the debris that causes pond sludge with pond netting and using skimmers to remove large pieces. A pond vacuum can also help.
Having a well-working filtration system is also key to managing murkiness. It can remove many of the particles before they build up and lead to high turbidity. If your pond is high in ammonia, optimizing your filtration system can help. Your filter should be the right size for your body of water. Also, consider your biological filter media. A fine medium like poly wool is efficient at filtering extremely murky water.
Removing excess algae is another step you can take to clear your pond. If there is a thick buildup on the surface, it can disrupt the aquatic life in your pond by blocking the light, which can negatively affect pH levels and remove nutrients from food sources. UV clarifiers can work to clear overgrown algae blooms.
Keep these steps in mind when addressing murky pond water. These are only a few of the ways to deal with this problem. Enlisting the assistance of a qualified pond management company is your best bet for tackling more problematic ponds.
At Crosscreek Environmental, we believe in providing a comprehensive, environmentally friendly approach in creating solutions to maintain the beauty and health of Florida's ponds, lakes, wetlands, and shorelines. We use the B.E.S.T.™ geo-tube solution and are one of the best geo-tube solution providers in the state of Florida.