- Fish consume plant life and algae, and other organic matter like insects and worms.
- That creates waste that sinks to the bottom, along with other debris such as decaying plant matter. This debris is broken down by the beneficial bacteria and other microorganisms colonized on the rocks and gravel spread over the bottom of the pond.
- Once broken down, these substances are absorbed as nutrition by the plants.
- The nourished plants continue to grow and be fed on by the fish… and the cycle continues.
This system is low maintenance, but it does have a few requisites to maintain proper balance. Here are the five things your ecosystem pond will need to thrive with minimal effort:
Here at Landvista Aquascapes we use a two part filtration system: biological and mechanical.
A BioFalls® (biological filter) provides a chamber where the beneficial bacteria will colonize and act to remove excess nutrients from the water that would otherwise contribute to algae growth.
A Skimmer (mechanical filter) will remove leaves and debris from the surface, pre-filter the water, and house the pump. This will keep excess debris from mucking up the bottom of the pond.
2. Rocks and Gravel
In addition to looking good, rocks and gravel protect pond liners from UV light degradation. They also provide increased surface area for beneficial bacteria to colonize and break down excess nitrites and dissolved organic debris. This is essential in an ecosystem pond. A gravel bottom also provides much more habitat for invertebrates that serve as food for fish, frogs and birds.
3. Recirculation System
This is the system of pumps and pipes that circulate water through your pond.
It is important that these be the proper size to accommodate the volume of water in your pond. You want a steady flow, not a leaky faucet or fire hose. More importantly, an efficient circulation system will keep the water moving and provide the necessary oxygen levels for healthy fish and plants.
Fish are a major part of any natural pond ecosystem. They eat algae and insects off the bottom of the pond, contributing to the health and cleanliness of the pond. They can also add considerably to the enjoyment of pond, and are fun and educational for children.
5. Aquatic Plants
Plants are nature’s filter; they are crucial to an ecosystem pond. They thrive on excess nutrients, naturally filtering the water to help keep algae to a minimum. Aesthetically, they are a major component of the pond, bringing color, depth and texture to the pond.
These components work together in harmony to naturally balance the pond ecosystem. In a naturally balanced water garden you have a perpetual cycle where each part plays a critical role in the health and vitality of the habitat.
For more information, there are a couple links below. If you prefer the personal touch, give us a call to learn how we can help you create your own backyard paradise with a natural pond ecosystem!
Benefits of Water Features
Video: The Ecosystem Pond Approach