Reducing the amount of organic material in an Oklahoma pond has lots of benefits beyond reducing foam and improving water clarity. It can also help prevent algae, reduce maintenance and keep fish healthier.
Follow the seven tips below to get started:
1. Install a Pond Skimmer
A pond skimmer is a device you install at the edge of your pond to skim floating debris off the surface of the water before it has a chance to sink to the bottom of the pond.
Skimmers significantly reduce the nutrient load in the water, leading to a healthier environment for fish, less algae and a lot less maintenance for you. We install skimmers in every pond we build, and they’re the No. 1 improvement we recommend for anyone struggling with water quality issues.
Skimmers are relatively easy to install if you have a rubber-lined pond. If your can’t install a full skimming system (i.e. if you have a plastic pre-formed pond), floating skimmers are also available.
2. Feed Your Fish Less
Uneaten fish food is one of the many organics that can break down in your pond to create foam.
Only feed your fish about once a day, and only give them as much food as they’ll eat within a few minutes of you throwing it into the pond. Reduce feedings during cooler weather, and don’t feed at all when water temperatures are consistently below 55 degrees.
Using high-quality floating pellets will also help reduce the amount of organic material in the pond.
3. Check Your Fish Load
Having too many fish in your pond can lead to all kinds of problems, including excessive foam and organic build up.
So how many fish can you safely house in your Oklahoma pond? The answer depends on the quality of your filtration. A large pond with poor filtration can hold fewer fish than a small pond with excellent filtration. You’ll know you have too many fish if you have persistent water quality issues, high ammonia levels and/or unhealthy fish.
If you find yourself with too many fish, you have three options: give some away, expand your pond or improve your filtration.
4. Improve Your Filtration
A good filtration system will include two types of filters: mechanical and biological.
Your pond skimmer provides the mechanical filtration by physically removing about 90 percent of the debris that enters the pond before it has a chance to sink to the bottom.
A biological filter, meanwhile, will provide a place for beneficial bacteria to colonize. These bacteria play a crucial role in your ecosystem by breaking down organic materials, helping to keep water clear and fish happy and healthy. Biofilters usually take the form of a BioFalls in smaller ponds, or constructed wetland filter in large ponds. Small pre-formed ponds can alternatively use a MicroFalls or Pond Filter Urn to help increase biological filtration.
5. Add Regular Doses of Beneficial Bacteria
Beneficial Bacteria is the cornerstone of any pond ecosystem, and it’s the primary water treatment we use to keep water crystal-clear and fish happy and healthy.
Beneficial Bacteria consume excess nitrites in the water. These nitrites, if left unchecked, can go on to feed single-cell algae.
Add Beneficial Bacteria to your pond at least once per week, or use an automatic dosing system to do the work for you. The bacteria will help create a more balanced ecosystem, while also helping to reduce the amount of foam-causing organics in the pond.
Sludge Remover is another type of beneficial bacteria that specializes in reducing built-up muck in your skimmer and the bottom of your Oklahomapond. Use it in combination with regular Beneficial Bacteria as needed to keep your pond looking and performing its best.
6. Add Aquatic Plants
Plants help keep your Oklahoma ecosystem balanced by consuming excess nitrates in the water. These nitrates will feed string algae if allowed to flourish, and as string algae decays, it can contribute to pond foam.
Add a wide variety of plants for the best defense against string algae. Each color, shape and species of plant consumes a different kind of nitrate – so the more plants you have, the less string algae you’ll have.
7. Get A Yearly Pond Clean Out
No matter how meticulously you keep up with your pond, you’ll eventually end up with some amount of organic muck on the bottom of your pond.
Performing a full pond clean-out every year removes this muck, preventing the build-up of organics that can contribute to pond foam.