How to Clear Brown Pond Water? Causes & Solutions

Brown Pond Water Causes and SolutionsBrown pond water looks unpleasant. It is also unsuitable for the fish living in it. Therefore, making it clear again is a must for you as a pond owner.

Pond water can be brown for many reasons, chemical, biological, etc.

Don’t worry. There is a solution to each of the causes.

In this article, you will learn why pond water turns brown. I will also talk about some of the effective ways to clear brown pond water.

So, let’s get started.

What Makes Pond Water Brown

Mud From Erosion

Muddy Brown Pond Water

One of the main reasons for pond water to grow brown is the erosion of the bank. If you have a mud pond you will often face this problem. Eroding soil at the bank of the pond creates mud and when that goes into the pond the water becomes brown. Clay particles are mainly responsible for brown water as they don’t settle easily and keep themself in suspension.


Tannin stained brown pond Water

Tannin-stained is another reason of pond water becoming brown. If your pond water is tea color brown then you can easily tell this is a tannin-stained related problem.

Among all the reasons, this one is chemistry-related. The abundance of organics causes this kind of problem.

This creates a disturbance in organic compounds of the pond and leads to a chemical imbalance. As a result, not only the color change but it also leaves the fish in a bad condition.

Problem With Sediment

If you can’t find any natural problem then either its tannin-stained or sediment issue. Sediment generally settles in the pond bottom. When they are disturbed by fish or any other means, the pond water turns brown.

Extra Brown Algae Growth

Brown Pond Algae in Water

The presence of algae can also turn the pond water brown. Brown algae are responsible for this.

It also causes an imbalance in the ecology of the pond. Brown algae grow at a high rate when nutrition is abundant in water.

Microscopic Plants

The color of our pond water may also be affected by the amount of microscopic plant that we have in the pond. These microscopic plants tend to keep the organic compounds balanced and the color of water clear. But the addition of leaves of trees in the pond just might change the color. This will just discolor the pond and leave brown water in it.

Leaves of plants

If there are trees beside the pond and leaves fall on the pond the water may turn brown. This happens when the leaves rotten and decomposes.

The Wildlife

Wildlife can cause our pond water to go brown. Nuisance species fishes such as goldfish carps can cause these it if they are in a great number in your pond. If you stock bottom feeder fish in your pond, they can cause this problem by disturbing the pond bottom.

Ducks and Geese can also cause a similar kind of problem. If you have a mud pond, ducks will search for food near the bank and erode the soil. This will make the water brown. They also dive into the bottom and disturbs the sediment and that can turn the water brown.

Not Maintaining The Pond  Regularly

If you don’t do the maintenance work in a routinely manner the water, is bound to get brown. You should regularly remove the scums from the pond and clean any unwanted things. You should also change some of the pond water regularly.

After getting to know about the problems now we will discuss how we can solve these issues.

How to Clear Up Brown Pond Water

Use Pond Nettings For  Preventing The Leaves

Trees are necessary for good landscaping. Therefore, we can’t cut all the trees surrounding the pond just for the shake of the pond. Therefore, we have to take a preventive measure so that the leaves don’t reach pond water. Using pond netting is the best solution to this problem.

AlpineRench pond netting
AlpineRench Pond Netting | Click image to check price ar Amazon

You can use this pond netting from AlpineRench to prevent leaves falling into pond water. This is available in three different sizes. Another good one is available from Rainleaf (Link To Amazon) that costs less than it.

Reduce Tannin & Stain

To get rid of tannin and stain issue first, we have to clean the pond. You have to rid the bottom of the pond of that debris.

Then you have to remove muck, leaves, etc. With the help of a pond vacuum net. Also, if necessary, drain the hole pond.

For the brown water, we can also use activated carbon in a channel of a pond where water is flowing. It will work as a filtration, drain the brown color and finally make the pond water clean again.

Remove Sediment

For the sediment issue, we can add beneficial bacteria. These bacteria will digest any accumulated organic debris and leave the pond water clean for you. This particular solution works well for both small and large ponds.

You can also use a pond vacuum to collect the sediments from the pond bottom. This is an effective and fast solution for your garden pond. For this you can use the OASE 032232 Pondovac 4 which is the best pond vacuum available right now.

OASE 032232 Pondovac 4
OASE 032232 Pondovac 4 is the most effective pond Vaccum | Click Image to Check Price at Amazon

But if you are looking for a budget option you can choose their OASE 602401853010 Pondovac Classic Pond Vacuum Cleaner which costs almost half of the above one.

OASE 602401853010 Pondovac Classic Pond Vacuum Cleaner
OASE 602401853010 Pondovac Classic Pond Vacuum Cleaner | Click Image to Check Price at Amazon

Remove Extra Algae From Water

There are three ways to remove brown algae from your pond.

You can use some selective fish species that will eat brown algae or diatoms.

For a faster solution and small pond, run the water through a mechanical filter.

But if you have a large pond, you can use an Algaecide. Most of them are safe for fish. But make sure you maintain the dose properly.

Algaecides from API is my favorite choice. This is available in two different sizes.

  • For Large Pond: API Pond ALGAEFIX Algae Control Large Container (Link To Amazon)
  • For Small Pond: API ALGAEFIX Algae Control Small Bottle (Link To Amazon)

Remove Or Kill The Microscopic Plants

A very finely meshed net can be used to collect the microscopic plants if your pond is small. They can also be cleared by filtering.

But if you have a large pond you can use aquatic herbicide to deal with this problem.

Prevent Wildlife From Entering The Pond

A pond Fence
A fence around the pond can prevent wildlife from entering the pond. Click Image to check it on Amazon

Any wildlife that is not compatible with the environment and habitat of the pond should be kept away.

Apart from disturbing the water, the extra animal wastes might group with the pond and eventually discolor the pond. They also damage the ecological balance of the pond.

You can build a barrier to prevent wildlife from entering the pond.

For fencing your garden pond, you can use the Amagabeli Decorative Garden fence. It looks nice when placed around the pond and gives good protection from wild animals.

For Water Birds, you can use pond nettings.

Prevent Erosion

You can solve the erosion problems by planting shrubs and grasses in the bank pond. This will hold up the soil and it will be free from erosion.

Another solution can be an erosion control blanket. This can also help us to get rid of soil erosion.

As a result, the muddy soil won’t get into pond water and our pond water will remain clear.

Change The Water

Whether you have a brown pond water problem or not, you have to change the pond water routinely. This keeps the water fresh.

When you have a brown pond water problem you can change a considerable amount of water in your pond. This will dilute the concentration of pollutants that made the water brown.

Final Thoughts

Every pond owner wants their ponds to be clear and clean. A pond with clear water looks more attractive and it makes the environment comfortable for the fish to live in.

But if the water is brown, fish and other living animals won’t be able to survive. Thus it is necessary to have clear water for the pond in the backyard.

For clearing up brown pond water first we have to identify what caused the problem.  As you have read this far, you can now identify the problem in your pond yourself.

After we have found out our problem then you should apply the proper solution. I have stated the best solutions for the problems. Hopefully, you won’t face any problem.

If you have any further queries about the brown pond water problem, feel free to ask me in the comment section. Happy fish keeping.

6 thoughts on “How to Clear Brown Pond Water? Causes & Solutions”

    1. You should allow the water to let in the pond in five to six points and install screening on these points so that the debris is separated from the water. I will also recommend you use some pond plants and beneficial bacteria.

  1. We just had your pond cleand about 3 weeks ago. After about 2 weeks our water started turning brown, We have done the alagefix and the pond clear, Could poted plants cause our problem?

    1. If the potted plants contain organic matters, that can make the water brown. Also, there may have been organic matter deposition in the pond bottom that you have overlooked. Keep recirculating the water through the filter and observe the result.

  2. My water is turning brown , from the dirty rocks that the pond builder used because of the
    Rain from the muddy construction, I have back flush it many times , no I have just a light
    Cloudy brown water, is their a product that will cause the solids to go to the bottom, so I can vacuum them up,

  3. I may have the same issue that Gene has with brown water caused by construction. I think the guys who built the pond cut patio stone nearby too close to the pond. the pond was built in June and it is still brown water. What can I do to clear it up?

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