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nmguy's avatar

How do I maintain a clean pond?

Asked by nmguy (528 points ) May 17th, 2014

I recently moved into a place that has a small, fishless pond with a functioning filter. My problem is that the water is beginning to turn murky. How do I keep the water clear? TIA for any suggestions.

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9 Answers

pleiades's avatar

Hypostemus Plecostemus

LuckyGuy's avatar

I have a similar situation A coupe of year s ago I needed to use a backhoe to tdo some work around my property. To learn how to use it I dug a hole as deep as I could go without moving. The hole is 7 ft deep 7 feet wide and about 8 ft long in clay soil. 500 gallons. I did not line it. . It is just a hole.
This season it filed in with water. . The water is cloudy with silt I plan to sprinkle four 50 pound bags of Bentonite clay on top of the water to hopefully seal it. I will do this at one bag per day. I also put in a small fish bubbler .
There are no fish nor plants in the water.

I will let you know what happens next week.

downtide's avatar

One thing I know offhand is water snails. They eat algae which is one cause of murkiness. Keep the pond well-aerated too, you may want to invest in a small pump. I’ll ask my father for any more advice next time I speak to him; he breeds koi carp for a hobby and he knows just about everything there is to know about outdoor fish-ponds.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Adding hyacinth plants help

LuckyGuy's avatar

I noticed my pond water is murky from fine sediment. I scooped some into a jar and let it sit on the kitchen counter. After couple of days the water slowly turned clear as the dirt settled to the bottom.
Filtering does not seem to be an option.
Is there a magic way to make clay sediment clump?

downtide's avatar

@LuckyGuy your best option is to dredge the sediment out completely and replace it with sand, and a good layer of gravel on top. If you have fish, rescue them first and keep them in a tank (use the pondwater). Don’t put the fish back in the pond until it’s all settled. You won’t get clay sediment to clump in water.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@downtide Dredge out the sediment?! You are killing me! That means I have to borrow the backhoe again, and that is not going to happen. I am willing to get 2 cubic yards of sand and 2 yards of crusher run gravel, 3 ton, delivered and will spread it around the outside of the pond for about 3 to 4 yards in all directions, I will also dump some into the water. Would 6 inches of sand topped with 6 inches of crush and run be reasonable in the pond? I know this is a tough question.

I already have the bentonite coming and will put that in anyway. This will be a slow process. A 50 pound bag of bentonite every couple of days to let it settle. Then I will slowly add the sand and top it with the crusher run gravel.
This can be a relaxing project that will give me a little exercise. (I am already 4 years ahead on wood so there is no point firing up the chainsaw.)

There are no fish and no plants. I forgot to mention this is in the woods in complete shade, at the intersection of a couple of deer paths. Apparently they have been coming here to drink.
I think I will move the trail camera and get some pictures of the visitors.

downtide's avatar

I wasn’t aware that this was a “wild” pond, and no of course you wouldn’t be able to dredge that, you’d be dredging it for ever. I thought you were talking about a small garden pond.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I got the bentonite on Saturday. and sprinkled in 50 pounds the first night and let the bubbler run. The water turned cloudy. Sunday I threw in another 50 pounds and let the bullber run for about 12 hours Then I turned it off. The water has been sitting for about 24 hours and I can see it slowly starting to clear. The suspended particles are slowly settling. I scooped out some water into a tall glass jar and am watching it gradually settle. This means I am faced with a dilemma. If I turn on the bubbler it will bring up the silt. But if I don’t turn it on, the water will stagnate. (Another “first world” problem.)
I’ll keep experimenting. It costs nothing and I get exercise. I put down an additional 400 pounds of drainage rock around the outside of the pond. It is easy to walk around it now without getting muddy.

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