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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 . This is by no means meant negatively, it only describes that such ponds integrate into the environment and get by without a lot of frills. The most important 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 native fish can also be found.
First we want to look at the “rough” factors such as the location, size and depth of the pond. In general, a lot of sun is important for most plants and therefore there is also a larger 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 interesting 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 large. 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 are in direct competition with the unpopular algae. So many plants generally mean less algae. You should therefore fall 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 greatest benefit for animals. When attaching the plants, you can either use plant baskets or you can use clay-containing sand on the terraces: the pond floor should be free of substrate as far as possible, this makes subsequent cleaning work and sludge removal much easier.
Your pond is a natural pond and works largely without technology, but you should still do certain maintenance work. Dead plant parts should be cut off, certain 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.
Here we come to a very exciting topic, which at a certain point generates controversial opinions among many pond owners. At first, however, everyone agrees that native insects and amphibians are useful, welcome residents. In 99% of all cases, they get into the pond without any action on your part, they either get there by accident or are attracted and stay if they like. Zooplankton such as water fleas are particularly useful 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 such a 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. This 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. This includes eating your own young and starving if you are overpopulated. This may seem cruel 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 own pond, you either have to leave out the fish or buy filter technology. By the way, you shouldn’t feed the fish additionally (without filter operation): Firstly, fish food is a great algae fertilizer, secondly, the fish then multiply more and there is an overpopulation.
Fish should only be used when the pond is well run in and enough “food” has accumulated in the pond. This can sometimes take a long time. Several months or even a year are ideal. Finally, you should refrain from bottoming fish: These dig up the bottom and so get more nutrients into the water, which can lead to algae growth.