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What else lives in my pond besides fish? | Ponds & Lakes Q&A

What else lives in my pond besides fish?

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?

Airmax® Aeration

7 Responses

  1. What you left out is one of the most important inhabitants, insects.
    Larva of many insects start out life as aquatic organisms, including dragonflies, midges, mayflies and many others. These form important components of the web of life. They often eat decaying matter in the pond and, in turn, are food for frogs and fish. A healthy pond will have healthy insect life.

  2. Where can I get frogs like the one you have on the front page?

    • Hi David,

      Many places sell bull frog or other tadpoles but if you provide the proper habitat friends like these will welcome themselves to your pond on their own.

  3. how deep do I need to put my aeration system

    • Hi Robert,

      Aeration plates are usually placed at the average depth of the pond and spaced out evenly to ensure aeration in all areas of the pond.

  4. Why not answer the question? Tell us about insects, larvae, leeches, beetles, skimmers, shrimp, cephelopods,tadpoles, newts, efts, salamanders, etc., etc. Some ponds have waterfalls, fountaind, streams, plants, rubber bottoms, concrete, stone, etc., eachfavoring different flora and fauna. You’re an expert; provide some of your expert knowledge as wee as selling aerators. Jim

  5. I have 3 kinds of turtles in my pond, including a snapping turtle as big as a garbage can lid. I have bullfrogs, too; big as a dinner plate. They can keep you awake at night if you’re not used to them. I have catfish & bream also. Once I put 100 koi in there but 4 foot herons came and ate them all because they were so easy to see. The pond is about 60 by 180 feet, and in my side yard. It is fed by 7 natural springs, and is about 20 feet deep in the middle. It is not aerated because I don’t think it needs it due to the surface area and constant flow of water. The only thing I use on it is PondClear. I believe it is a successful pond.

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