What do you need to know when you have problems with your pond?

We show how to recognize problems with your pond and provide clear step-by-step solutions for these problems.

  • Combating and preventing thread algae
  • Combating and preventing floating algae
  • Heron at the pond
  • Pond plants do not grow
  • Non-growing pond plants
  • Green or turbid pond
  • Leaking pond
Van der Velde Waterplants

Get all the tips when you need to do something about your pond.

- 5 tips from Simon on pond problems -

1. Oxygen plants against algae

It's what many pond owners fear: green water or green strings in the water. In both cases, you're dealing with algae. Fighting them is possible, but prevention would be better. Simon swears by placing a generous amount of oxygen plants in your pond. Especially in the shallower areas (zones) where it warms up faster, it's good to plant them. Oxygen plants consume all the food (CO2) present, so there is nothing left for algae. In return the plants give off oxygen to the water and help keep your pond clear.

2. Keep out heron? Help your fish

Very nice that all kinds of animals come to your pond, just what you had in mind. Except for that greedy heron. Keeping a heron out is a challenge; it's easier to give your fish some help. Place a piece of PVC pipe that your fish can fit into at the bottom of the pond, and they will disappear into it as soon as the heron appears at the water's edge. Another good idea: grow water lilies in your pond. The fish - and frogs - can then hide nicely under the lily's leaves.

3. No clear water in the pond


It can happen that the water in your pond is no longer clear. There are several possible causes that lead to this. One is that the water does not contain enough nutrients. The water is too acidic and there is little CO2 present. You can fix this very well by adding new oxygen plants to the pond and/or by boosting pond bacteria. You can try one of two first, or both at the same time. After this, be patient, as it will take several days to weeks before you see results.

4. Choose a mix of pond plants


Anyone building a pond can choose from many different plant species. They can be divided into groups: oxygen plants, marsh plants, aquatic plants, floating plants and water lilies. Simon advises every new and existing pond owner to make a nice mix of all these pond plants. It is precisely the diversity that will allow your pond to keep itself in biological balance. Of course, within each category you choose the species you like, especially in water and marsh plants there is plenty of choice. If you choose too many plants of one species or miss another - for example, many oxygen plants but no marsh plants - this can cause your pond to fail to find the right balance.

5. Poorly growing pond plants


It's a common problem in new ponds in particular: the aquatic plants don't want to grow properly. Simon's motto? Be patient. Especially when a pond has just been constructed, it is working hard to find a good balance. The growth of pond plants is related to this. However, especially with an existing pond, you can go through this checklist: pond bacteria have been added, the plants are at the right depth (or possibly slightly shallower), there is sufficient light, and the pond plant clay has been applied. If you've done all this, your pond plants will soon start growing again.

Wire Algae

Combating and preventing thread algae

No one is waiting for a green stringy mass in the pond that overgrows aquatic plants and animals. Still, there's no need to set off alarm bells when you see some string algae forming in your pond water.

floating algae

Combating and preventing floating algae

It is the fear of many a pond owner: the clear water in the pond turns green. If you don't find this out until late, the view can already be quite cloudy and bright green.

Heron in your garden near the pond

Do you have a heron by the pond?

That a pond attracts animals is usually one of a pond owner's wishes. But there are animals that he would rather not see coming. The heron is one of those.

Pond plants do not grow

Pond plants do not grow

Are your pond plants not growing well? This may have several causes. For each cause Simon has a solution, so your pond plants will grow and flourish again.

Non-growing pond plants

Probleem:

I potted up my pond plant pennywort according to the instructions in the pond baskets and placed it in the marsh area (-15 cm) of our little pond. It seems, several weeks later, that the plants are rotting away. The leaves turn brown and it looks like they are dissolving. Unfortunately, there is not much left.

Oplossing:

The plants need to acclimate, nature will solve this itself. What helps is placing this plant a little higher. Higher placement means more light and heat, which in turn provides more power for the plant to grow.

Probleem:

A month ago I placed new pond plants in my existing, old pond, but they don't seem to be growing and blooming.

Oplossing:

It sometimes helps to add an extra dose of minerals to your pond. You do this by putting pond planting clay at the base of the pond plants. This clay contains minerals that will give your pond plants a boost. In addition, existing ponds require maintenance from time to time. Read on about water plant maintenance.

Probleem:

By now I have had a pond in my front yard for several years, but it seems like the aquatic plants don't want to grow anymore. What is going on here?

Oplossing:

It is quite possible that over time the water contains less nutrients than the pond plants need. You can easily solve this by adding pond plant food to the soil. In addition, it may be a good time to prune your pond plants, just when you have added extra nutrition to the pond.

Probleem:

The leaves on my water lilies look like they are being eaten away. Three leaves have already disappeared completely. I have no fish in the pond, but I do have a few tadpoles. What can I do about it? Will the plant still bloom?

Oplossing:

Eaten leaves can have several causes. There are several insects that eat the leaves of the water lily. We recommend to place (ample) water plants in the pond, this ensures that insects cannot eat them all. Nevertheless, your water lily will certainly still bloom. If you place the plant higher in the pond, this will promote faster growth and also flowering.

floating algae

Green or turbid pond

Probleem:

I have installed a new pond since a few weeks and the water has now turned completely green. How can this be? And what can I do about it?

Oplossing:

This often happens in the beginning when setting up the pond. The pond is still working to achieve biological balance and combat floating algae. Nature will straighten this out itself, provided there are enough pond plants present and bacteria have been added to the water. They ensure that the pond becomes clear and will remain so.

Problem:

Winter is almost over and I see that my pond has green water. What can I do?

Solution:

This can indeed occur after the cold winter months, but also if there are some warm days and it was cold before. The pond awakens from its winter rest, plants are still lagging behind but the bright sun does warm the water. This encourages floating algae that color the water green. Nature will correct this itself. Once the water plants wake up, they get more sun and start growing again, they will - if there are enough - ensure that the pond becomes clear again.

Probleem:

I have a koi pond in the garden, but the water keeps getting cloudy. How can this be?

Oplossing:

Cloudy pond water in a koi pond can be due to the koi carp turning the aquatic plants upside down. They are real root eaters. One solution is a bottom without plants or pond substrate. Do you think this is too bare? Then a floating plant island might be a good idea, where the fish can no longer eat the plants.

Probleem:

In my pond, I have a pump on the side below the water surface to keep the pond healthy, but the water keeps getting cloudy. How can this be?

Oplossing:

Cloudy pond water can be caused by the filter pump working too hard and blowing through all the plants. They lose plant parts that float through the water and make the water cloudy. This can also occur with a fountain in the pond. In both cases we recommend first turning the device down a notch and see if this helps. If this is not enough, you can turn off the pump or fountain. Read more about a pond without a pump.

Leaking pond

Leaking pond

Probleem:

We lined our pond with foil years back when it was constructed, but we think it is slowly draining. How can I detect the leak?

Oplossing:

This is a nasty problem. The first thing to do is to find the leak.

  1. If the water level remains at a lower but the same level, the hole in the wall will sit above the current water level. This is beneficial. Refill the pond by a few inches and now look along the pond edge to see if the leak can be found. You do this, for example, with a colored liquid like milk, so you can see where the water is flowing as it were; this will be at the leak. You stick the leak just like an air mattress using a repair kit available at the store.
  2. If the hole is in the bottom then the pond will drain evenly to completely. You will have to wait for this before the leak can be found. Is the pond almost empty, you can try the same tactic with the milk again in the bottom of the water that is still there.
  3. Finally, with older ponds it can happen that the liner is worn out and water slowly seeps away. This is more often the case with ponds with PVC pond liner because it has a shorter life span than rubber liner; about 5 to 10 years versus at least 30 years. In this case, the entire pond will have to be emptied and re-lined. See the step-by-step plan for (re)constructing a pond.

Frequently asked questions about pond problems

It may happen that the water of your pond becomes increasingly green in color. Most likely you are suffering from floating algae. To make the water clear again, you can do three things:

  1. Place more oxygen plants in the water. They purify the water by releasing oxygen and absorbing nutrients.
  2. Get more aquatic plants in your pond such as pikeweed or yellow iris. They releaseCO2 into the water, an important nutrient for oxygen plants.
  3. Add additional minerals in the form of pond planting clay. Minerals are also a nutrient for oxygen plants.

Did the pond water become cloudy due to a lack of biological balance? When you have added new oxygen plants (and possibly other pond plants) and you have given a boost through an extra dose of pond bacteria, it may take a few days to several weeks before the water becomes clear again. The plants and bacteria need time to do their work.

You keep a small pond clear the same way you keep other pond types clear: you can't have enough pond plants. Choose a nice composition of oxygen plants, marsh plants, water plants and water lilies plus a bottom of pond substrate and you will help your small pond quite a bit. Suitable plants for a small pond are yellow iris, a small water lily and hornwort. Simon put together special plant kits for both small and large ponds.

As soon as the pond water turns greener and greener, you have floating algae that have made an appearance. Intervene as soon as possible, because if you wait too long your pond plants will be beyond saving. Read on to find out what you can do about floating algae.


Request our free e-book.

Especially for you the most important do's and don'ts for maintaining your pond, in a handy e-book.

Request our free e-book.

Especially for you the most important do's and don'ts for maintaining your pond, in a handy e-book.

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