Ponds

Natural pond without technology: is that possible?

Natural pond without technology
Natural pond without technology

A natural pond without technology: is that possible? A natural pond survives without a filter, pump, or skimmer. Often these ponds are cloudy and algae through and through. 

Find out here how you can implement a technically-free pond in your garden and still have no problems with algae.

Natural pond – back to the roots

The trend is now increasingly towards the “unspectacular” natural pond. It is by no means meant negatively. It only describes that such ponds integrate into the environment and get by without a lot of frills.

Essential features are densely planted areas and the natural character. Such a biotope “sustains itself”; This means that a biological balance is established without human intervention, which all pond inhabitants can cope with in the long term.

Above all, native amphibians and insects are often residents of such a pond, but You can also find native fish.

Basics

First, we want to look at the “rough” factors such as the pond’s location, size, and depth. In general, many suns are essential for most plants, and therefore, there is also a more extensive selection of sun-loving plants.

However, if the sun shines on the pond for 10 hours a day, excessive algae bloom quickly occurs. Around 6 hours, which do not necessarily have to include the blazing midday sun, are ideal.

There is still a large selection of beautiful and exciting plants for such “partially shaded” ponds, don’t worry.

Now to the dimensions of the pond. As I said, the aim of such a technology-free pond is that it is self-supporting and that the water does not fluctuate too much.

The easiest way to do this is when the amount of water is significant. The larger the pond, the easier it is to keep the ideal water values. The basic rule is that you should plan the pond as large as possible.

Plants in the pond

Natural ponds should be planted extensively. The plants function as oxygen producers and nutrient consumers, so they directly compete with the unpopular algae. 

So many plants generally mean fewer algae. Therefore, it would be best if you fell back on strongly oxygen-producing plants, and water lilies do well in natural ponds. When choosing plants, you should ideally stick to native species, as these are also of the most significant benefit for animals. 

When attaching the plants, you can use plant baskets or clay-containing sand on the terraces: the pond floor should be free of the substrate as far as possible. This making subsequent cleaning work and sludge removal much more accessible.

Maintenance

Your pond is natural and works primarily without technology, but you should still do specific maintenance work. 

You should cut dead plant parts, specific plant populations thinned out, and leaves fished out of the pond. If trees are close to the pond, you should consider installing a leaf protection net. 

Otherwise, there is a risk that too much organic material will rot in the pond in autumn and winter and that the whole pool will turn over in spring. Therefore ideally, remove mud from the pond floor in spring.

Animals

Here we come to a fascinating topic, which generates controversial opinions among many pond owners at a certain point.

At first, however, everyone agrees that native insects and amphibians are valuable, welcome residents. 

In 99% of cases, they get the pond without action on your part. They either get there by accident or are attracted and stay if they like.

Zooplankton, such as water fleas, is handy helpers when cleaning ponds.

Now to the point of contention: fish stock. Many pond owners find their pond beautiful and relaxing enough even without fish, but some insist on stocking.

If you belong to the last group, there are a few points that you have to consider. You should start with a few animals and leave them to their own devices for the time being.

It works best with native species such as mildew and minnow. When left to yourself, however, you have to be clear that the fish themselves are decimating the stock. It includes eating your own young and starving if you are overpopulated.

It may seem not kind to some, but it’s only natural, and the balance between the amount of fish and the food supply is self-adjusting.

If you do not want this “cruel” natural course in your pond, you either have to leave the fish or buy filter technology.

By the way, you shouldn’t feed the fish additionally (without filter operation): Firstly, fish food is an excellent algae fertilizer. Secondly, the fish then multiply more, and there is overpopulation.

Fish should only be used when the pond is well run-in and enough “food” has accumulated in the pond. It can sometimes take a long time.

Several months or even a year are ideal. Finally, it would be best if you refrained from bottoming fish: These dig up the bottom and get more nutrients into the water, leading to algae growth.

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