Muddy pond water affects the pond’s look and makes it uncomfortable for the fish to live in. It can also cause fish death. If you’re a pond owner this can be a nuisance for you.
Water becomes muddy for reasons either biological, chemical and even because of wildlife.
In this article, I will discuss why pond water becomes muddy. I will also show you how to clear muddy pond water.
Why Pond Water Becomes Muddy & Murky
Excessive Mud and Clay In The Pond
Extra mud and clay particles can be in the pond bottom or they might enter the pond from the sides. These mud and clay particles will make the pond muddy and musky when they are suspended in water. It doesn’t take a whole lot of particles for this.
Rainwater is the vehicle for these particles. Rainwater brings these particles from the edge of the pond into it and makes the water muddy.
In some cases, temporary rivulets bring particles that are far away from the pond edge also makes the water muddy.
The bottom-feeding fishes also cause the pond water to go muddy as they stirrups the settled mud in the pond bottom.
Clay can carry differently charged particles that repel each other. For this reason, clay particles are tend to stay suspended in the pond water. This makes the pond water murky.
Fish, duck and other animals can cause water to go muddy in a pond. Also having extra fish, especially the bottom feeder might also be a reason for this.
Their frequent movement stirs up the bottom soil and makes a suspension of clay in water.
Because of this mud extracts. And the water gets muddy and murky.
Improper filtration can be a cause of cloudy pond water.
There can be two scenarios. Whether you are using an undersized filter or the filter media isn’t efficient enough to filter out the clay particles.
Due to lack of filtration of clay particles, the water becomes muddy and murky.
Runoff From Heavy Rainfall
Heavy rainfall can cause water to go murky and muddy in one pond. Because of heavy rainfall mud and clay which are far away from the pond find a route to come in the pond. This will happen every time after a heavy rainfall if there is no arrangement to stop the runoff from entering the pond.
This issue can be seen mostly in the country having an excess amount of rain over the calendar year. Extra rainfall might change the balance of the pond. Making it difficult for the fishes to live in it.
Clay Insertion From Soil Erosion
Soil erosion is another reason for pond water to go cloudy and murky. Erosion on the bank of the river soils causes this scenario.
Many chemicals, used in the pond can loose the soil. Clay particles from loose soil move in the water make it cloudy.
The chemical imbalance in the pond sometimes causes the color of the water to go murky. And it leads to an uncomfortable condition for the wildlife that has to survive in the pond.
Different chemical agents like ammonium, carbonate, nitrate and the right amount of pH should be present in the water. If any of this is not in proper ratio then you can say that the pond is chemically imbalanced and that will assist in pond water becoming muddy.
Factors Governing Watersheds
Watershed activities are also a reason for pond water going muddy. If the watershed area is built up with excessive clay particles, the pond is prone to be muddy.
This type of scenario is often seen in the ponds which are near any agricultural farms. Another cause is allowing livestock into the pond water also causes it to go muddy.
Construction sites near the pond can also causes clays to run into the pond water and have their effects on it. This also turns the pond water muddy.
How to Clear the Muddy Pond Water
Try to Filter Away Mud and Clay
Using a good filter system is very important to clear clay from pond water. The filter will clear the mud and clays that are in your pond. Mechanical filter is much more efficient for this purpose.
You have to make sure that the filter that you are using is in the right size for the fish load and water load of the pond.
If you already have the right size filter check the filter media to ensure whether it is working properly. If not, replace the filter media.
If your filter is undersized, get a new one that can take the load. Hopefully, this will clear muddy koi pond water.
Test Your Pond Water And Take Necessary Measures
To find the exact problem, you have to test the quality of pond water. There are some test kits available for testing pond water. I always recommend the API POND MASTER TEST KIT. You can do 500 tests with this pack.
These can give quite quick and accurate results regarding the pond water quality and you can identify the reasons for the water getting murky from the result obtained.
Most test kits give the range of pH, nitrate level, ammonia level, and KH also.
From this, you can easily determine if you will be able to have fish in our pond. Fish prefer a narrow range of pH in water. The range of pH should be 6.5-8.5.
When you find that the pH level is not up to the mark you can add household vinegar to lower the ph in our pond to make things balance again.
Presence of appropriate amount of bicarbonate ions in the pond water is important for the water to have their normal color and not go muddy.
So by testing the water, you can determine what is causing the problem and take the necessary measures to deal with it.
Create Barrier for the Wildlife
A strong barrier can defend the pond from the wildlife. Don’t keep any animals that may harm the ecosystem of the pond in it. You can build a fence around your pond to prevent wildlife from entering the pond.
Animals will leave extra animal wastes. This extra wastes will become food for algae after decomposing. To be safe from birds you can use netting over the pond.
Add Plants That Clears Murky Pond Water
There are some plants that can clear murky pond water naturally. Most of these plants are floating pond plants. Their root system is developed in such a way that they can extract mud and clay particles through them. They can also remove heavy metal from your pond.
For clearing muddy pond water, water hyacinth, water lettuce, duckweed, coontail are effective . Add them to your pond to clear murky pond water without chemicals. But make sure they don’t cover all the water areas of your pond.
Select a Good Place For Your Pond To Offset Of Watershed Issue
To Get rid of the watershed issue select your pond place carefully.
If you don’t find any suitable place where there will be no effect of a watershed, create a good bank around your pond so that the runoff from these places doesn’t enter into the pond.
Maintaining the Filter
It is quite common that your pond has the right filter, yet the water is muddy for no reason. In that case, you should check the filter media. Most probably, the media isn’t working properly because it has lost its efficiency. If that happens, change the filter media.
You should also backwash your filter regularly for effective removal of clay particles.
Aerate Your Pond To Reduce Sludge And Muck
Aeration induces Oxygen in water. It also reduces sludge and muck. Therefore, there will be less nutrition in the pond water. This can help to a great extent to make the pond water clean again.
You can use the Natural Waterscapes Muck Remover Pellets for removing muck quickly.
Last Few Words
Don’t just jump into a solution when your pond water gets muddy. First, try to understand the reason behind it. Then take the necessary measures regarding that issue.
If you have a completely new pond and the water is muddy, don’t panic. Give the water some time to rest, run the filter afterwards and hopefully the water will be clear.
I have covered all the reasons why pond water becomes muddy and murky. I have also given a solution to each of them.
If you still have any queries about muddy pond water, you can ask me in the comment box.