Whether you have a pond or are still dreaming of one, you may have come across a few myths along the way. If you believe some of them, you can really throw your pond out of balance and do more harm than good. And some of them may deter you from ever deciding to install a pond in the first place.
Here are just a few common myths about owning and caring for a pond and the truth about them instead.
Myth 1: You Need To Drain And Clean Your Pond Regularly
This sounds like a lot of work! If you buy into this myth you may wonder why anyone owns a pond. But the truth is that a balanced, healthy pond can just about take care of itself.
Now, that doesn’t mean you can ignore it – having the right mix of plants, feeding fish properly if you have them, and generally maintaining your pond is always recommended. After all, a pond full of decaying leaves, for example, is neither pretty nor healthy!
But if you work with Mother Nature and your pond’s natural ecosystem, you can have a healthy, beautiful pond and skip the thought of perpetually draining and cleaning.
Ponds should be drained – at most – once a year during spring cleanout, and you can always have a professional do that for you.
Myth 2: A Pond Means You’ll Have A Lot Of Mosquitos
This is a common fear, especially when you start thinking about insect-borne diseases. But even without that anxiety, you probably just want to sit outside and enjoy dinner on your patio – not be dinner for a host of mosquitos.
But the fact is that mosquitos lay eggs in stagnant, still water, which your pond should never be. And even if they do manage to lay eggs on your pond, your fish will gladly enjoy their freshly delivered snacks and keep those mosquitos from ever bothering you!
Myth 3: Algae Is Bad For Your Pond
The thought of green-coated water can send shivers down the spine. And when algae is in full bloom it certainly can be a pest.
But in a balanced pond, algae is just one of many vital and interconnected components. It is a food source for fish, it produces oxygen and reduces nitrites and should never be completely eliminated from your ecosystem.
There are actually two different kinds of algae and myriad reasons for its overgrowth, but with a bit of knowledge and some preventative measures you can take advantage of its benefits but still keep it in check.
Want to know more about the different kinds of algae and how to control it effectively? Read more here.
Myth 4: You Have To Bring Your Fish Inside For The Winter
Admittedly not every single type of pond fish will fare equally well in cold months. But koi, goldfish and most common varieties will do just fine.
There are certain things you’ll need to do to winterize your pond, though, so be sure to take precautionary measures against intense cold, snow and ice.
Start with a deicer – that will keep the surface of your pond from freezing over, which will help maintain healthy oxygen levels. You may also want to consider adding a heater, and be sure to close your pond properly in the fall to prevent leaves and other debris from collecting at the bottom and upsetting the natural balance.
Here are a few more tips for caring for your pond fish during the winter.
Myth 5: You Can’t Put A Pond In An Area With A Lot Of Trees
A pond near trees can actually be a good thing. One of the biggest dangers to a pond in the summer is the beating heat of the sun and many pond owners go to lengths to shade their ponds. Trees provide the perfect natural shade environment, which helps make it easier to maintain proper oxygen levels and contain algae outbreaks.
Some people worry about leaves falling into the pond, and it’s true – you’ll have more leaves! But that only becomes a problem if you ignore the leaves and let them sink to the bottom of the pond to decay where they will accumulate and upset the balance of your pond.
A skimmer will keep most leaves from becoming a problem and in the fall you can add a protective netting over your pond to prevent them from falling in entirely.
Myth 6: Koi Will Eat And Destroy Your Plants
Fish and plants go together like peanut butter and jelly. They compliment each other well and actually do better together rather than separately.
And while it’s true that fish eat plants, there’s a difference between eating plants and destroying them. If your fish have a regular supply of food – whether plants, algae, a bit of lettuce or some commercially prepared food – then they will munch on plants in a wholly beneficial way.
Here’s how a balanced pond works: fish eat plants and then produce waste, which breaks down and is used by plants as fertilizer to help them grow. A perfect symbiotic circle.
Myth 7: You Can’t Put Koi And Goldfish In The Same Pond
Koi are omnivorous, which means they’ll eat both plant and animal material, so it may seem dangerous to plunk an unsuspecting goldfish beside a predator.
And while koi may try to dine on very small fish, they will leave larger fish alone.
Besides, koi enjoy a wide variety of food, including plants, algae, insects, vegetables and more. So if you choose goldfish that are more than a mouthful, they should be perfectly safe sharing space with your koi.
These are just some of the top myths about ponds but they’re ones that come up over and over again. Do you have any concerns or questions about ponds? Let us know and we’ll help dispel the myths – and give you the facts you need to enjoy your pond year after year.