Starting my pond over


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I have a small (UK) plastic pond that was doing very well on its own for a few years, we just cleared out the leaves as needed. The year before last the water went dark and murky and I added products to help clear it which didn’t work.

Later on we realised the lily in there had well outgrown its pot and the root ball had taken over 2/3rds of the pond so obviously was choking the pond up so we removed it totally and all the sludge that was left behind and cleaned the plastic liner.

We refilled it with tap water that we had let stand around outside in buckets for a few days but it kept turning green quickly once put into the pond. We added a small oxygenating plant which didn’t thrive at all, some product to help clear the green away and later a new lily which also seemed to die off quickly but it continued to go green and murky.

Life has got in the way and the pond is now awful, filled with leaves and all brown. We can’t devote a lot of time to reviving it but we’re also loathe to lose it as we do love the wildlife it attracts. I mean it’s really small but still brings joy.

What should we now to do recover it? We think we’ll have to completely empty it and start again. What plants / products will help get it back on track?

Thank you.
 
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addy1

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How small is small? Do you have a filter running? Every time you empty and refill you are doing a start over, the water has to cycle etc.
Could you add a small bog type filter? The plants suck up the excess nutrients and would help keep your pond water clean. I filter with only a bog, but mine is huge.

Products don't really help. Start by scooping out the leaves.
 
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Just letting tap water sit doesn’t always work for everything. Better to just use rain water or dechlorinator. I don’t think that is needed for plants, but if tap water killed your plants, it might help. Also, a small pump to move the water around will prevent misquitos. Plants need nutrients to grow well, did you have them planted in an aquatic soil? Just dropping a tuner on water that has no free nutrients or little nutrients won’t do much for them. Let your water cycle, just water in there till it clears up on it’s own. Then try a potted plant, like a lilly. Adding a few small fish like misquito fish, shiners caught at a creek, or even tadpoles will give the plants nutrients as they poo. Or if you don’t want fish of any kind, use a good fertilizer for your plant. Be sure it’s appropriate for that plant in water, typically it’s a tablet burried in the dirt.
 
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JBtheExplorer

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Do you have a filter running?
Could you add a small bog type filter?
That was my first thought as well, because I made the disastrous mistake many years ago of having a small unfiltered preformed pond. I can't believe my fish even survived. The water got murky and I tried adding chemicals to clean it, not realize that solving the actually problem would mean no chemicals were needed. Ten years and two ponds later, it's an obvious mistake, but I had no clue what I was doing when I started.


@Jeffina If your pond is unfiltered (and to be honest, even if it is), I'd highly recommend a bog filter. It's been keeping my 800 gallon pond crystal clear and healthy for 5 years now. If leaves are only a big problem around Autumn, consider putting a net over it. I have so many fewer leaves to remove since I started netting it during autumn.
 
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Thank you for the replies. No fish in the pond, it’s really quite small and we ‘inherited’ it when we bought our house 10 years ago. We were originally going to get rid of it but noticed all the frogs that used it etc and opted to keep it.

We can’t really spend a lot of money on it and up until a couple of years ago it was doing fine without much intervention. I will try and collect rain water in it instead this time around.

Do you need to add a filter if you don’t have fish? The frog spawn did usually survive quite well in previous years. We have always meant to put netting over it in the winter to collect the leaves but I could never quite figure out how to do it without blocking access for the frogs. We quite often have birds drinking from it too.
 

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