• Archives

  • Categories

  • Pages

My water is brown, what should I do? | Decorative Ponds & Water Gardens Q&A

My water is brown. What should I do?

My water is brown. What should I do?
Andrew – Memphis, TN

Before we can answer that question, you’ll have to do some sleuthing. Why? Because water that looks brown many not actually be brown. Fortunately, there’s a simple way to figure it out – and there are simple ways to clear up the issue – regardless how the test turns out.

The test, of course, is highly scientific, so pay careful attention to the following steps:

Get a clear glass from your kitchen cabinet.
Take the glass to your pond, and scoop it full of pond water.
Look at the water in the glass.

Whew. Good work. Now that you’ve completed the heavy lifting, consider the water you’re observing. If it’s clear, you’ve learned that the brown you’re seeing is nothing more than the decaying leaves and debris at the bottom of your pond. To remedy that problem, you’ll want to introduce the natural bacteria in Pond Logic® Muck Defense® and Pond Logic® Nature Defense® to your pond. These safe, hungry and beneficial bacteria will expedite the breakdown of pond bottom debris, leaving the bottom of your pond as clean as your water is clear.

If, however, the contents of your glass are brown, you’re facing a high concentration of tannins, which are released into pond water by decomposing leaves. Fortunately, our Pond Logic® Activated Carbon does a terrific job of absorbing pesky tannins, leaving your water crystal clear. Simply place Activated Carbon in a mesh bag close to a high-flow area (like a skimmer or a waterfall), and wait for it to absorb the offending discoloration.

When the water clears, you might just find that the tannin-rich water has been hiding a collection of leaves and debris at the pond bottom. But with a dose of Muck Defense or Nature Defense, you’ll have things cleared up in no time at all.

Pond Talk: Have you noticed brown water forming in your pond?

Activated Carbon

6 Responses

  1. I have just had this happen with the start of spring.All the debris from pollen and buds has been falling in the pond especially these brown “cases” about 3/4 of an inch.Not sure what caused it ,there are so many factors when getting a pond ready in the spring.Have no idea what to do or how to treat it.I am worried about all my goldfish.I live in NC.Thank you.

    • Hi Ann- Pollen generally won’t cause harm to the pond just give it an unsightly appearance. If the “cases” fall straight to the bottom and are not collected by a skimmer then physical remove such as a net or vacuum may be needed if they become a nuisance. Here is an article regarding Spring Cleanouts (full cleanouts and quick fix light cleaning). If the water is turning brown than some activated carbon may be all you need to remove the discoloration.

      • I was so worried about my fish I went outside and just emptied it all out and started anew.The fish seemed fine,there was no smell ,and when I did the sample in a glass it looked clear not muddy.In the pond it was so dark I could not see the bottom(2 ft).All I found was the a coating on the things in the pond and a bunch of dead Anacharis on the bottom.I would still like to know the cause in case it comes back .Thank you for your response,Ann

      • Hi Ann- I’m not sure what the cases are from but if the water is clear in a glass and only dark when you look into the pond, than chances are the darkness is just coming from the reflection of the dead Anacharis and other debris on the rocks which causes the pond to look dark.

  2. i live in indianapolis indiana ,what water plants will survive during the winter months in the pond. i know i will have to cut them back

    • Hi Kim,

      Plants with a zone hardiness around zone 5 will be considered hardy for your area. Many sedges, grasses and lilies will fall into this category. Floating plants such as hyacint and lettuce will need to be removed and purchsed again next year.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 161 other followers

%d bloggers like this: