How to achieve a naturally balanced pond
Biological vs Mechanical
Filtration is very critical to pond maintenance. Not only does it help in removing excess nutrients from the water but it also provides beneficial bacteria for the pond.
There are generally two types of filtration system, biological and mechanical.
Mechanical Pond Filter System
Mechanical filters primarily filter the water outside of the pond. Some skim the debris off of the pond surface for removal and captures debris that gets washed out periodically. Most mechanical filter systems do also include a biological aspect as well. They would include a high pressured aggressive mechanical filter filled with a bio-media for optimum biological interaction.
Biological Pond Filter System
A completely biological filter is a more passive system. This would include barrel filters or in-pond gravel filters or even box filters in the top of a waterfall. They not only provide a space for beneficial bacteria to grow but it also catches all the waste inside the pond and traps it for removal.
Biological filtration also includes a “pond plants” only option. In this case a pond that is not in full sun all the time and not full of too many Koi or other pond fish can be filtered in a more natural way, with aquatic plants. Without other filtration you would need about 75% coverage of plants to achieve a completely naturally balanced pond.
Most pond builders know the best option for a Koi pond is a mechanical filter. A mechanical filter with bio-media will need nothing else to keep the pond completely happy and healthy for their Koi.
For the backyard pond or water garden a more passive biological approach works very well and is more cost effective.
Regardless of the filtration you choose fish and plants are very important elements to the ecosystem. The fish help in removing algae in the pond and they also graze off of the waste in the pond. They also have another benefit in that their waste matter helps in nutrients for the plants. Aquatic plants are very important in the balance of a pond. Not only are they nice to look at but they are very important in helping to remove excess nutrients in the pond and they also help in filtering out bad bacteria. The plants use up all the excess nutrients so the algae has nothing to grow from and will starve. No more algae!
Having and maintaining all of these things in place will help in keeping your pond in balance and will provide a more ecofriendly pond for your family and friends to enjoy.
Pond Talk: How to achieve a naturally balanced pond: Biological vs Mechanical
Filed under: Pond Maintenance
Author: Jacklyn Rodman