Yard Ponds: Do I Have the Right Ecosystem?
For many, a backyard is meant to be an enjoyable and relaxing space in their home. Homeowners often look for ways to improve the landscape, making it more inviting and welcoming. One common way to create a serene backyard is by adding a yard pond. Yard ponds offer many benefits and are great additions to a landscape. The key to seeing the benefits of a yard pond is picking the right ecosystem.
What is an Ecosystem Pond?
An ecosystem pond includes a body of water, plants, fish, and other living organisms. Other key components that impact the pond include soil, debris, chemicals, and air. All of these elements work together to create an active ecosystem. Whether you already have a pond or you’re considering adding one to your backyard, choosing the right ecosystem is vital. Creating an economically balanced system is the best way to reap the benefits of the pond.
Creating the Right Ecosystem
Some homeowners think they don’t have time to add a pond in their backyard because it requires daily maintenance. The good news is, with an initial investment in proper attention and care, ponds don’t need as much ongoing work as you think. Follow these steps to create the right ecosystem pond in your backyard.
- Location matters.
Before you begin creating a pond system, consider the layout of your yard. Ponds need a good mixture of sunlight and shade for peak performance. Sun encourages plant growth, and shade discourages too much algae growth, making both equally important. If your yard is full sun or full shade all of the time, you may want to make adjustments by adding shade or cutting back trees. Don’t place your pond in a low section of the yard to avoid runoff of fertilizer and pesticides that can harm the living organisms.
- Add the right plants.
The right plants create a healthier pond, which also means the pond will require less work and attention in the long run. There are three types of plants that all play an important role. Floating plants are beneficial for ponds that receive more sunlight because they shade the water and fish underneath, preventing overheating. By removing extra nutrients, they also keep the water clean. Submerged plants and marginal plants also play an essential role in keeping the water clean, by naturally filtering waste and unnecessary nutrients.
- Some bacteria are good.
We naturally try to avoid bacteria, but in some cases, bacteria can be beneficial. While bacteria occurs naturally in all ecosystems, occasionally it is helpful to add bacteria to improve water quality. Bacteria breaks down debris and unwanted matter that finds its way into the pond naturally. Before you clean off those slimy green rocks, remember that it may be beneficial to the overall system.
- Buy a filtration and circulation system.
While a well-kept pond will naturally filter and circulate air and water, there are times when natural components of the ecosystem can’t keep up with the ever-changing weather and hot days of summer. Install a filtration system now so you can help the pond when needed and minimize the potential for sickly fish and plants.
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