11 Tips for Clear Water in the Garden Pond

With our 11 tips, you will succeed in ensuring clear water in your pond.

Clearwater is the be-all and end-all in any garden pond. Fish and other animals, but also the water plants, do not like cloudy water. If the water is dirty, algae can quickly accumulate and significantly deteriorate the water quality in a short time. Muddy water can soon be a death sentence for fish in the summer months when temperatures are high. The water can tip over and cause the fish to suffocate. Therefore, you should regularly check the water quality. With our 11 tips, you will succeed in ensuring clear water.

Already During the Creation of the Pond, Some Things to Consider

Once you have created your garden pond and stocked it with plants and fish, you must ensure that the water is clear. Especially in the summer months, your pond requires a lot of attention. You must check water quality, and you must remove the algae. You can make the work more manageable if you already pay attention to a few things when creating the pond. The shape and size of the pond play a role as well as the correct location.

The pond becomes an oasis of calm and is the heart of your garden. It is a biotope for animals and plants. They only feel comfortable in clear water. If the water is clear, it is fun to watch the pond. If the pond pump is splashing, it can give a pleasant feeling of relaxation.

To enjoy your pond, you should think about regular maintenance. With a pond mud vacuum and with a pond pump, you can make your work easier. At least once a year, but better twice, you should clean your pond thoroughly.

If the water is murky and the pond is heavily polluted, it is no longer fun to be there. The pond is no longer a place to relax if the water is murky and smells terrible. Once a thick layer of mud has formed, it isn’t easy to clean the pond. You can then only hire professional pond cleaning to bring ground back into your pond.

If you follow some essential points, pond maintenance is quite simple. The water in the pond will then not cloud up so quickly.

Why the Water in the Garden Pond Becomes Cloudy

Water in the pond can become cloudy for some reasons:

  • Leaves that fall into the pond attract algae and decompose
  • If you feed your fish too much, the food is not eaten and forms sludge
  • Fish excrement clouds the water
  • Algae settle quickly at high temperatures

Suspended algae form, especially in summer, and cause a greenish coloration of the water. You should remove algae regularly, especially during the summer months. Fish feeding at the bottom will stir up the debris and make the water cloudy.

How to Ensure Clear Water

With the following 11 tips, you will succeed in avoiding the turbidity of the water.

1. Think About the Shape and Size

During the pond’s planning, you can ensure that the water does not cloud up so quickly. You should consider the shape and size of the pond. The water temperature should be as low as possible to prevent algae from settling and growing. The native fish do not like warm water. The water warms up more slowly, the more water is in the pond and the larger the pond is. The pond can regenerate itself to a large extent if it is appropriately large and deep. The water depth should be at least 4 feet ( 1.20 meters). Not only the size but also the depth is significant. A smaller but deep pond will warm up more slowly than a large, very shallow pond. If the pond is not only deep but also appropriately large, you can use many aquatic plants.

2. Choose the Right Location

Once you have planned your pond to the appropriate depth and size, it comes down to choosing the correct location. It would be best to avoid intense sunlight so that the water does not heat up as quickly. Deciduous trees are suitable for shade, but you should remember that leaves falling into the pond can significantly affect the water quality. You must permanently remove the leaves. You can use a leaf net to protect your pond from the leaves, but it can dull the appearance of your pond. A wall of a house is a good source of shade. A very tall tree some distance away will also provide shade. Shrubs and perennials around your pond offer a nice look, but make sure they are a sufficient distance from the pond so that the foliage does not provide additional biomass in the pond.

3. Check Water Quality Regularly

You can tell early on if something is wrong with your pond by looking at the water values. You should therefore check the water values regularly. In summer, you should check the water values at least once a week. This way, you can react quickly and replace part of the water before the water quality deteriorates within a short time and the water tips over. In this way, you will prevent a massive fish kill. With test kits, you can measure the different water values. With test strips and a pH scale, you can determine the pH value. The measurements become more reliable with a drop test. Besides the pH value, you can also measure

  • Carbonate hardness
  • Total hardness
  • Nitrate content
  • Chlorine content
  • Ammonium content

The control of nitrite and nitrate levels and ammonium is essential if fish live in your pond. These substances can quickly lead to the death of fish if the concentration is too high. You can obtain various means to balance the values. Often it is also sufficient to exchange a part of the water.

4. Ensure Sufficient Movement of the Water and Filter Water

A stagnant body of water quickly becomes cloudy and tilts within a short time. Therefore, you should provide enough movement of the pond water. Even if there is a pond pump, some areas may not be reached by the water circulation triggered by the pump due to the size and shape of the pond. It would be best to consider a second pump or incorporate a small fountain into your pond to ensure adequate circulation.

The pond water must be filtered regularly. It would be best to have a pump that will pump the pond water into the filter and then release it back into the pond. Filters come in numerous designs. You should choose your filter depending on the size and condition of your pond. The requirements for the filter depend on various parameters:

  • Size of the pond
  • Depth of the pond
  • Water volume

The filter should have a UVC pre-cleaner. With the pre-cleaner, the water passing through the filter is bombarded with UV rays. This kills and eliminates the algae. This makes the filter even more efficient against floating algae.

5. Keep Nutrient Content as Low as Possible

Where there are many nutrients, algae thrive. Algae growth is really boosted by nitrogen, heat, and various nutrients. If the water evaporates at high temperatures, the nutrients are not reduced. The nutrient concentration becomes even higher. You should regularly replenish the evaporated water. In this way, you will ensure that the nutrient concentration is as low as possible.

With pond plants, the nutrient concentration is reduced because the plants produce a lot of oxygen. You should select plants depending on the nature of your pond. You should make the selection depending on the depth of your pond. Plants have different standing heights and need different water heights. Water lilies can take a lot of nutrients out of the pond. They get an extraordinary amount of leaves at a shallow water depth, but they do not form flowers. The many leaves provide new biomass and can enrich the water with nutrients. An aquatic plant that is not appropriately kept will atrophy and improve the water with nutrients rather than remove nutrients.

Silt and mud on the bottom contain many nutrients. Fish can stir up this debris and cause cloudiness in the water. You can use the silt vacuum to remove such deposits.

6. Remove Algae Regularly

Even if you use a mud vacuum and regularly check the water values, you cannot prevent the formation of algae. If you ensure as few nutrients as possible in the pond, you can counteract the formation of algae. However, algae is unavoidable in the summer. To prevent turbidity, you should remove algae regularly. You should do this daily if possible during the summer months. You can fish off the algae with a fine landing net. You can also remove filamentous algae with an algae brush or with a stick that you turn in the water. The algae will then wrap around the stick like spaghetti.

7. Cure With Bread Drink

You can keep the growth of floating algae in check if you control the water values and ensure good water quality, remove the algae and avoid nutrient enrichment. You can use simple remedies to ensure that algae do not multiply rapidly. A bread drink is a simple remedy. It is available at health food stores. After cleaning the pond, add some bread drink to the water. In the following weeks and months, the remaining algae will no longer cause problems. The Brottrunk combines with the floating algae and prevents them from sinking to the bottom. The water thus remains clear for a long time.

8. Protect Pond From Negative External Influences

Protect your pond from harmful external influences, prevent the formation of nutrients and turbidity of water. Leaves are a negative influence. You should remove leaves and other things that do not belong in the pond as soon as possible. If the leaves are already rotting, the water can quickly tip and lead to the death of the fish. Use a leaf catch net to protect the pond from falling leaves in the fall.

9. Pond Cleaning Twice a Year

At least once, but better twice a year, you should clean your pond. Spring cleaning is essential to rid the pond of debris and dead plant matter. It would be best if you used a mud vacuum for this purpose. During the cleaning, you also check your pond plants. You remove dead parts and divide the plants if they have grown too large. You can make your work more accessible if you clean your pond before winterizing it in the fall. You can then already remove leaves and dead plant parts and prevent a lot of debris from forming over the winter.

10. Use Algaecides

The new, modern algaecides do not kill algae with chemical mace. They consist of natural substances with which the biological balance is not disturbed. Essential ingredients are monolinuron and copper sulfate. Copper is a crucial ingredient in many foods such as meat, fish, fruits, and vegetables. Fish feed often contains copper to prevent deficiency symptoms in the fish. Other essential ingredients of algaecides are calcium and bicarbonate. It would be best if you used the algaecides according to package instructions to ensure clear water.

11. Use the Right Fish Food

For clear water, it also depends on the right fish food. You should not use cheap food, because you need to dose more of it. High-quality food is more expensive, but you will need less of it. It would help if you were careful not to give too much, as the food that is not eaten will quickly sink to the bottom. The choice of food also depends on the type of fish. Some fish species eat at the bottom and need sinking food, while others dine at the water surface and need floating food.


The water in your garden pond can become cloudy due to various influences. To enjoy your pond and for the plants and animals to feel comfortable in it, you should ensure good water quality. If you take our tips to heart, the pond water will remain clear. Your pond will then really be a gem in your garden.

Florian Egert

I am Florian Egert, the owner of pondlovers.com. I live with my wife and two children in Germany in a small village in the countryside.

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