Pond substrate

Foundation of the pond

Why and how do you apply it?
pond substrate

Pond substrate

If you want to keep your pond biologically well balanced, the use of pond substrate is half the battle. This bottom layer is namely the foundation of your pond. Pond substrate consists of coarse, porous grains of stone, which after construction of the pond first added to the soil. There are also substrates that consist of lava split or lava rocks. These look slightly different, but have the same function. We explain why and how much pond substrate you need and which aquatic plants are suitable for it.

Is pond substrate necessary?

Yes, we think so. In fact, a layer of pond substrate in the pond offers a warm welcome to the right bacteria, which attach themselves to the stone grains or lava rocks. These bacteria have a water purifying effect, so the water naturally remains clear. A filter or pump is therefore not necessary and that saves costs. Immediately after construction you can add these good bacteria. In addition, a layer of pond substrate on the bottom gives plant roots the opportunity to establish themselves properly, without them rotting. So you doubt whether or not pond substrate; for a natural filter it is indispensable.

Pond substrate in the swamp plant filter
Pond substrate in the swamp plant filter

The benefits of pond substrate:

  • Substrate gives your pond a natural and stable base;
  • It attracts good bacteria that keep the water clear;
  • Plant roots can easily take root in a layer of pond substrate;
  • Pond substrate is low maintenance and will last a lifetime;
  • Substrate, both stone and lava, supports good water quality;
  • The stone pellets are environmentally friendly.
Pond substrate in the pond
Pond substrate in the pond

Frequently Asked Questions

A good starting point is a layer of pond substrate 8 to 10 cm thick. We recommend at least 1.5 bags of 20 liters of substrate per m². In our assortment pond substrate is available in 5 liters, 20 liters and 1000 liters.

If you have just added pond substrate, all kinds of things float through the water. It becomes cloudy. Don't worry, because after about three days, swirling organic matter and sand will have settled and you'll have clear water again.

You may find that the pellets float when you just add them. The substrate will sink as soon as it has filled up. If you don't want to wait for this, it is recommended that you wash the pellets beforehand.

A layer (about 8 cm) of pond substrate is an ideal soil for a healthy pond. Bacteria, which releaseCO2 into the water, attach themselves between the grains and pond plants also benefit. After all, they can root better and more firmly in the layer of stones or lava grains, whether they are in a basket or not.

It is not required, but it can be done. Washing means: rinse well with tap water without adding soap or other agents. The advantage of washing the substrate pellets is that they immediately sink to the bottom as soon as you add the wet pellets to the pond.

Pond substrate will last for many years. In order not to lose its effect, it is important that the grains do not get too thick a layer of silt or rotting plant remains. In a healthy pond, where you trim the pond plants once a year and where there are many pond plants, this will not happen quickly. Has a dirty layer formed that seals off the substrate? Read on quickly to find out how you can clean it.

After the pond is lined with liner, substrate is the first thing you add. You apply a layer of about 4 inches over the entire bottom of the pond. Then let water flow in, up to a few inches above the layer of pond substrate. Then place the pond plants (in baskets or loose) on the substrate and then add another layer (up to 8 cm) of stone gravel or lava split. The plants will be firmly placed between the substrate grains. Only then fill the rest of the pond to the desired level with water.


How long does pond substrate last?

A nice thing about pond substrate is that it is low maintenance. As long as you place enough pond plants in the pond, the substrate will do its job. If desired, you can add lava or stone granules over time. Only when a silt layer of organic waste forms can the functioning of the substrate decrease. This can happen if your pond is out of balance.

pond substrate
Pond substrate is durable and gives a natural look to the pond.

The right aquatic plants

Once the substrate has settled and calmed down after three days, it's time to plant your pond. A plant filter helps keep the water clean and clear. For an optimal plant filter, choose a mix of water lilies, oxygen plants, marsh plants, aquatic plants and floating plants. The placement of aquatic plants in pond substrate is easy with our pond plant plugs, which can be placed directly between the pellets.

Plant filter

Tips for a plant filter

Plant filter

Order filter plants


Prevention is better than cure.

Simons pond advice book

Simon has written a pond advice book. Through his practical experience, he knows the pitfalls that come up in everyone's path when it comes to setting up a pond properly and creating a biological balance so that the water in a natural pond stays clear.

By purchasing the book, you can save hundreds of Euros by following Simon's many tips when you are considering constructing a pond. This 120+ page book discusses all the facets that are important to making your dream pond a reality.

Should you wish to purchase Simon's book, you will receive, through his 35 years of experience, a lot of valuable information that will allow you to save a nice amount of money when constructing and planting your pond.

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