The Pond Country Ecosystem
The 5 Elements
Ecosystem ponds can be easy to understand if you have a good grasp of what components go into a basic, functioning ecosystem.
A proper pond ecosystem is a low-maintenance piece of paradise that works with nature to provide food, shelter, & safety for wildlife.
Every element must be present or the ecosystem can become unbalanced and cause headaches later. These are the 5 elements needed to maintain a healthy pond.
1. Proper Filtration System
Includes the use of both a biological and a mechanical filter. The filter provides surface area for beneficial bacteria to colonize and remove excess nutrients from the water. It will also skim debris from the water’s surface to prevent accumulation of organic materials on the pond floor.
2. Rocks, Gravel, & Bacteria
For years, enthusiasts steered away from gravel out of fear that their system will become a maintenance nightmare. False! On the contrary, rocks & gravel not only make your pond look more natural, they protect liners from UV light degradation. They also provide surface area for beneficial bacteria to break down excess nutrients in the water and dissolved organic debris on the pond floor.
3. Circulation System
This is just a fancy way of saying “pumps & plumbing.” The proper size pump & pipe diameter are extremely important for the aesthetics of a water feature. An efficient circulation system keeps water moving and provides necessary oxygen levels for healthy fish & aquatic plants.
They are an integral part of any ecosystem. Unfortunately, fish are often seen as creating maintenance troubles. Not so! Fish will actually REDUCE pond maintenance, as they graze on string algae and bottom feed from the pond floor.
5. Aquatic Plants
Plants are nature’s true filters. They are great for adding character by providing color and texture. From a filtration perspective, they’re second to none. Thriving on excess nutrient in a pond and depriving algae of its food source, the aquatic plants in a pond, given proper coverage, are critical for the overall healthy of any ecosystem.