Dirty pond water can be a pain and ruins the fun of seeing the fish, is it actually murky, cloudy, turbid or dirty water is the first to figure out. A newly built pond will be cloudy as the rain washes clay particles and dirt into the pond. Once the pond is full and grass has grown around the pond, including the watershed the water will continue to be cloudy.
Another look that a pond can have is a brown, maybe tea sort of tint when you look out across the water surface but looking down into the water the water is clear. Most likely there are a lot of trees surrounding the pond and fallen leaves can produce a tint to color the pond this way.
Green colored water can tell us we are having an algae bloom, not too bad of a thing for the fish but but generally not the goal most of us pond owners want. Algae blooms can be green, brown even reddish depending on the pond location and type of algae. And you’ll notice decreasing water clarity. Water Clarity can be monitored using a Compact Secchi Disc.
Then there are the times the water is clear once the ice melts and looks good for a while. Then almost overnight it will become cloudy. Discovering the source is difficult but a couple ideas come to mind. Once the water temp. get’s warmer the fish become more active even spawning activities could cloudy the water. Another possibility is a spring pushing thru clay or loosening clay to be put out into the water column.
A rain or thunderstorm event can also change the clarity of the water. From the incoming nutrients, the pounding action along the shore line even changing the water chemistry whether by dilution or the rain could be acid rain.
Good news about dirty pond water, cloudy or turbid pond water is most all situations can be cured. A new pond will settle out over time but first the watershed needs to have vegetation growing to slow the rain from washing in more clay. If it doesn’t clear after a winter check the next paragraph.
For the green water, algae blooms and tea colored water Pond Dye can be used to color the water and reduce sunlight from the algae that need it to live. Adding beneficial bacteria, will help to eat up the decaying debris (muck) and the nutrients the decaying debris releases into the water column.
Back to the clay not steeling out of the pond. There is a product called the Pond Log that is design to take out the clay particles and up to 75% of the nutrients from the water column. We have used them and they do work, the only thing is you’ll need a source of water movement whether by fountain or aeration. More detail and video on the Pond Log for dirty pond water.