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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

2 Responses

  1. 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.

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