Natural/Retention Pond Care 101

  1. Figure out the size in gallons of your pond. 

(Area of a circle =π rxr):_________________________ (r= radius)

Multiply area by the average depth of your pond:__________________

This gives you cubic ft.  Multiply cubic feet by 7.48 to get gallons:_____________

  1. Observe what type of plants you may have.  Here is a good picture library of common aquatic species. Make a list along with the date on your phone or tablet.
  2. Decide how you want to use the pond.  For water run-off? To attract birds and wildlife?  To swim or fish in?

To keep your water clear, it will need the nutrients broken down.  Algae LOVE nutrition! So, if you remove the nutrition, algae won’t grow as much. For more info, read this from the MN DNR.

  1. Treat the pond for excess plant growth. If done at the beginning of the season, plant growth can be controlled with fewer pesticides.  Greater amounts are needed later in the growing season. Plant removal can be mechanical or herbicidal. Neither are permanent solutions but help slow down the growth.
  2. Begin a routine program of adding beneficial bacteria and aeration to the water to keep nutrition levels low.  This takes time, up to several growing seasons, to create a healthy system but it is well worth the time.  Beneficial bacteria can be easily added by tossing in the packet once a week! (It looks like a laundry tab.)
  3. Monitor the system- look for ways nutrition may be coming in. Run-off from streets? Run-off from lawns?  Springs of water? Downspouts on a house? If you struggle controlling algae, diverting some inputs can reduce nutrients. Heavy rain years also bring additional nutrients.  You may have to increase bacteria treatments to handle the load.
  4. If in doubt, ask!  You want to enjoy your pond and we are here to serve you to that end!
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