Are you thinking about adding a pond to your yard but have a dozen questions and concerns? Or are you perhaps absolutely certain that you don’t want a pond because of all the reasons you think it’s a bad idea?
If either of those sounds like you, we challenge you to read through these common pond myths and see how you feel by the end. We’re about to debunk a whole lot of misconceptions that may be standing in between you and the joy-filled pond-owner’s lifestyle that should be yours!
Myth 1: Ponds Breed Mosquitoes
We put this one right up front because it’s so prevalent and so completely untrue.
Here is what does breed mosquitos: still, stagnant water. And your pond should be anything but.
A healthy pond isn’t just a puddle in the ground with a couple of plants. It is a breathing, thriving ecosystem that should include movement, aeration, filtration and a balance of plant life and wildlife.
If any of that sounds complicated, it isn’t. The addition of beautifying elements like waterfalls or fountains, floating plants like the beloved water lily or lotus, and other natural components go most of the way to keeping your pond healthy. A good filter or aerator will help with the rest.
Plus, healthy ponds invite frogs and dragonflies, as well as support koi and other fish, all of which are natural predators of mosquitoes. So if you’re worried about mosquitoes in your back yard… you may want to consider adding a pond to help get rid of them!
Myth 2: Ponds Are A Lot Of Work
Do you know what’s a lot of work? Mowing a lawn every week. Fretting over temperamental ornamental plants that require just the right amount of sun, shade, water and fertilizer. Watering and weeding, pruning and edging. And did we mention mowing the lawn every week?
Here’s what’s not a lot of work: caring for a well-balanced pond.
There are five key elements to a healthy, well-balanced, and self-maintaining pond. They are: filtration, circulation, plants, fish, and rocks. These elements work together in perfect synchronicity to keep water clean, avoid algae blooms, support plants, fish and other wildlife, and bring beauty and joy to your space.
You will need to do some maintenance of course, but nothing as dramatic as you may imagine. You won’t need to constantly drain and clean your pond, though you may choose to do a once-yearly cleaning in spring. Nor do you need to stand outside with a net and skim the surface like you may be used to doing with your pool.
In fact, pond maintenance is fairly routine, so if you’ve got a healthy setup and you take regular simple care steps, maintaining a pond is quite a bit easier than keeping up with the lawn it will replace.
Myth 3: You’ll Have To Bring Fish Inside During Winter
Absolutely not! Fish will be just fine in as little as two feet of water, as long as you keep the oxygen flowing and keep the surface from completely freezing over.
Both of these things can be easily accomplished with basic pond equipment. An aerator will move oxygen in, and dangerous gases – like those that are released as organic matter decays – out. And a de-icer will ensure that there is always an opening in the surface to keep water and oxygen circulating.
You can even use a waterfall or a bubbler to perform both of those functions, as long as they are not frozen over. And fish will slow down and wait out the cold weather near the bottom of the pond where the water is warmer – and if you’re worried about temperature, there are options for underwater heaters, too. None of which require you to relocate fish or share your bathtub with them!
Myth 4: All Those Rocks And Gravel Means Algae And Grime
If you have recurring nightmares about trying to vacuum out the gunk in your pond only to be thwarted by tiny bits of gravel, or are haunted by visions of green-slicked rocks, then you’re misunderstanding a fundamental fact of pond design. Rocks and stones actually help keep your water cleaner.
If you’ve had experience with smooth-bottomed ponds or container gardens, you may be visualizing all that grime and slime accumulating on top of rocks and gravel in your pond, making cleanup and maintenance just that much more horrifying.
But that’s actually the reverse of what happens. The nooks and crannies between rocks and gravel provide plenty of surface area for beneficial bacteria to colonize. This bacteria breaks down fish waste and decaying organic matter so that it doesn’t accumulate as sludge in your pond.
Plus, rocks also offer surface area for algae to grow. But don’t freak out, because you actually want some algae in your pond. Not the overwhelming blooming kind, but some algae is perfectly natural and an excellent food source for fish – so they won’t be munching on your prized plants!
Myth 5: Predators Will Snatch Up All Your Fish
Sure, if you have fish then you’re likely to have predators who want to make a snack out of those fish. But that doesn’t mean your swimming friends are doomed.
There’s quite a lot you can do to protect pond critters from hungry ones, and most of it is beautiful. Lining the edges of your pond with bamboo is one way to keep herons from gaining footing and stalking precious koi.
Faux hollow logs, fish caves, and crevices between stones add character as well as hiding spots for fish. There are also plenty of decoys that can add charm and deter predators, like faux herons, alligators, owls, swans and more.
You can also try a motion detecting “scarecrow” which is simply a small piece of equipment that you can tuck into surrounding landscaping, which will squirt a harmless but startling burst of water when triggered.
Myth 6: A Pond Will Need To Be Shut Down Most Of The Year, Anyway
For shame! Anyone who has a pond that they don’t enjoy through all four seasons is missing one of the biggest benefits of getting this beloved water feature in the first place.
A pond should be a source of changing, evolving joy – from glimmers of greenery and the stirring of fish and tadpoles in spring, to the lush foliage, blooms and butterflies of summer, through the changing colors of fall and right into the sparkling ice sculptures of winter.
Each season should bring something new, whether in the surrounding landscape, the landscape or underwater lighting, or the beauty of the water itself. In fact, there’s no reason you can’t run your accompanying waterfall, fountain, or bubbler all winter. It will add sound and motion to an otherwise still landscape, and you’ll be delighted by the incredible ice formations that appear on the coldest days.
We hope that we’ve dispelled some of the myths preventing you from becoming part of a happy family of pond-lovers who enjoy the sights, sounds, scents, wildlife and beauty that ponds bring all year long.
Is there something that’s still stopping you from exploring the potential of a pond in your space? We’d love to know! Contact us for a consultation and we’ll answer all of your questions, plan the perfect pond for your space and lifestyle, and show you just how incredible a pond can be.