Clean & Clear
by Curt Nuenighoff
June 1, 2009
Retailers can help customers come to the realization that regular pond maintenance doesn’t have to be a dreaded chore.



Maintaining a clear, healthy pond can be a challenge. But taking care of a pond doesn’t have to be a chore. Retailers can offer products and solutions that make pondkeeping fun and pleasurable for the whole family.

It is important to begin with filtration. Pond filters have become much more sophisticated over the past few years, and it is important for retailers to know the options available and to stock the filters that meet their customers’ needs. 

A filter must be kept clean to ensure it does not stagnate and prevent the nitrifying bacteria from converting ammonia and nitrite into nitrate. Poorly maintained filters will quickly deprive the biological media of oxygen, leading to a build up of dissolved waste (nitrite is particularly likely to rise). Regular cleaning of mechanical filter media is recommended. Remember, if cleaning the filter is difficult, messy and time-consuming for customers, they probably will not do it. Therefore, stock products that will make this task as simple as possible.

UV clarifiers eliminate suspended microscopic algae that causes green water and destroy its reproductive ability. Remind customers that it is simple to connect a UV clarifier to an existing filtration system. Place the UV clarifier where it won’t be flooded or fall into the pond. There are also many filters available that incorporate a UV clarifier inside the filter itself without having to install a separate piece of equipment.


Pumping the Pond
The pump is the heart of the pond. Its main purpose is to circulate water and maintain the overall health of the ecosystem. During the spring and summer months, pumps are running constantly. Pumps should circulate the entire water volume of the pond every hour, including waterfall spillover. When choosing a pump size, take into consideration the pump’s ability to power the filter and UV clarifier. If there is any question about size, suggest a slightly more powerful one–over-filtration is not harmful, but under-filtration leads to poor water quality, extra work and overall frustration.

Water quality can also be improved by adding a water feature, such as a fountain, waterfall or spitter. These aid in circulation in an aesthetically pleasing way. Waterfalls also provide surface area for beneficial bacteria to colonize and help turn harmful ammonia into harmless nitrates.

 To help with algae problems, stock an algae-control treatment that combats algae blooms (green water), string hair algae and blanket weed algae.


Curt Nuenighoff is TetraPond director.