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How to Have Clear Backyard Fish Ponds Without Using Chemicals

By Izzy McPhee | Updated September 26, 2017

Art Wolfe/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Items you will need

  • Oxygenating plants

  • Waterlilies

  • Reeds

  • Irises

  • Floating plants

  • Native clams

  • Long plastic container

  • Pond filter

  • Rocks

  • Sand

  • Clay

  • Compost

  • Clam food

Algae-infested water can be identified by the green cast it leaves throughout the water table, slime on rocks, hairlike organisms within plants and ornaments and the surface of your pond. While some algae growths are perfectly safe and needed for good pond health, an overgrown pond can be dangerous and nasty looking. Keeping a pond or aquarium clear from algae can be a daunting prospect if you are not prepared for the undertaking. Luckily, with a bit of studying and preparation, you can keep algae under control.

Mix enough clay, sand and compost together to form a heavy potting mix. Pot irises, waterlilies and any other rooted plants in the clay mixture in pots made for ponds. There should be open places throughout the pots to allow water flow so the plants can cleanse the water.

Top off each pot with a layer of sand and small pebbles. Insert a fish-safe fertilizer tab in each pot, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Place the plants at their correct planting depth throughout the pond.

Place floating plants such as duckweed in the pond. At least one-third of the water’s surface should be covered with plants. This will shade out algae, and also give fish shelter.

Fill the plastic container with clean sand and soak it with pond water. Leave a rim above the sand level to keep the clams contained. When it is saturated, place several clams end down in the sand. Put the container in a bare area of the pond out of direct light. Avoid planting in the sand.

Install a pump and filter that is large enough for the size of your pond. Avoid placing obstructions like plants or rocks in front of the intake because they may clog the pump.

Photo Credits

  • Art Wolfe/Digital Vision/Getty Images