What else lives in my pond besides fish?
James – Ida, MI
If you were scientifically inclined, you could spend a lot of time considering the complexities of a backyard pond. Despite their apparent simplicity, there’s a lot more going on in your pond than you might suspect.
The water in most ponds is stratified into different layers. While this effect is more pronounced in ponds with depths of eight feet or greater, even a shallow pond will demonstrate some degree of layering. The layers are generally defined by differences in temperature. In summer, the stratification is at its most pronounced, with lower temperatures and dissolved oxygen levels at the lower layers. In fall, the levels tend to equalize. In winter, the layering reverses, with cold water on top and warmer water at the bottom. Spring mirrors fall, with temperatures equalizing again before summer turns the entire process on its head once again.
Because dissolved oxygen levels vary according to water temperature, different layers are more attractive to different organisms. Some plant life, including algae, thrives in warmer, more oxygen-rich waters. Fish prefer consistency, and will gravitate toward water that balances cool temperature and an adequate supply of oxygen. Different types of bacteria – both beneficial and otherwise – will choose their own level. And frogs, cold-blooded creatures that they are, seek out warmth all year ‘round.
External conditions can significantly impact stratification. A heavy rain or an extended period of unseasonably cool weather, for example, can temporarily cool upper layers during summer months. This process can stress fish stocks.
Fortunately, aeration solutions like our Airmax® Aeration Systems go a long way toward reducing the impact of layering in a backyard pond. When water is aerated, temperatures and oxygen levels stay uniform – making the pond safe and healthy for fish, beneficial bacteria and friendly plant life.
While they’re invisible to the eye, beneficial bacteria are a form of life every pond needs to stay clean, clear and healthy for fish and plants. With the regular use of Pond Logic® MuckAway™ Pond Muck Reducer and Pond Logic® PondClear™ Beneficial Bacteria, you’ll enhance the natural decomposition process that eliminates pond debris and fallen leaves – and increase the healthy oxygen levels necessary to sustain fish and plants all season long.
Pond Talk: Have you noticed different layers of water (with varying temperatures) in your pond?