Healthy And Low Maintenance Ponds Have These 5 Elements

Your Colorado Springs Pond Should Have A Balance Of Fish, Plants, Aeration, Filtration, And Rocks
Elements of a healthy pond ecosystem

With these 5 elements your pond can basically take care of itself plus it’ll look more natural and beautiful. It starts with the filters and the rocks and gravel.

You can find out what the rest are and why they’re all important here-

What Makes These Ponds Special?

“We can have all the beauty and relaxation without the work and stress!”

Megan looks up from her book as Justin crawls into bed next to her. “Well, that sounds great! But what are you talking about?” Justin rolls his eyes and sighs. “Don’t you remember what we were talking about earlier?”

Ecosystem pond with spillway bowls and plants are a beautiful and natural outdoor living space idea

Megan’s book flops onto her lap as she thinks. “Oh yeah, getting a pond for our backyard! Will it really be as easy to care for as you think? Do you even know how to clean a pond?”

“If we get a pond that has the 5 elements of a healthy, low maintenance pond we will! I’ll show you what I mean,” Justin says as he unlocks his phone. He pulls up an article he read earlier.

Here is what he shows Megan.

The 5 Parts Of A Healthy Pond

  1. Filters
  2. Rocks and gravel
  3. Recirculation system
  4. Fish
  5. Plants

“And they do…?”

Before and after an ecosystem pond was built

Filters help keep the water clean and clear of small and large debris. Rocks and gravel make ponds look more natural and give a home to beneficial bacteria. The recirculation system keeps the water moving and aerates it for fish and plants. Fish eat algae and control plant growth. Plants filter, eat algae’s food source, aerate the water, and look amazing.

“Okay, but how, exactly, would they make our job easier?”

1. Filters

“Now this one makes perfect sense.”

There are a few different types of filters. Mechanical filters (called skimmers) catch larger debris like leaves and sticks. Pond owners need to check on them at least once a week to see if they need emptying.

“There’s the first bit of work we’ll have to do if we get a pond,” Megan points out. “True, but if they weren’t there we’d have to fish it all out ourselves,” Justin counters.

Waterfall that is also a biological filter

Biological filters give beneficial bacteria a home. Beneficial bacteria remove nutrients from the water that algae use to grow. These usually come as a waterfall (called biofalls).

“These filters do the cleaning for us, minus cleaning the skimmer filter,” Justin notes as he scrolls to the next pond element.

2. Rocks And Gravel

“I wanna ROCK! and gravel.”

Put in that good ol' alt text here

Rocks and gravel play 2 great roles. For one they make ponds look natural like your house was built around a pre-existing pond. The other is that they are home to beneficial bacteria, aka the natural pond cleaners. 

Backyard ecosystem pond with all 5 elements

Justin looks up at Megan, eyes shining. “Function AND beauty, it’s the perfect combination!” Megan smiles at his excitement as she scrolls down to the next element of a healthy pond.

3. Recirculation System

“This means the inner workings like pumps and plumbing and stuff.”

The recirculation system keeps the water moving towards the filters for cleaning. It also aerates the water, which means it adds oxygen to it for the fish and plants.

Megan frowns in thought. “Seems like everything in this pond helps keep it clean somehow.” Justin’s eyebrows pop up as he nods in agreement.

“Wow, now that you mention it, it really does. Let’s see if the next 2 do too!”

4. Fish

“Wait, won’t these add stuff for us to take care of?”

Father and son spending time together around a koi pond worth the cost of a koi pond

Fish are more like something you need to keep an eye on than care for. In ecosystem ponds, fish feed on algae, the pond floor, insects, and plant roots. You can also feed them most anything you eat. Just don’t feed them low-quality food or carbs.

Dog making friends with koi fish

Megan laughs for a second. “So they’re pets that keep their living space clean? I wish Luca was like that.” A smile touches Justin’s face. “Probably easier to train too.”

Megan laughs again as Justin goes to the last element of a healthy pond.

5. Pond Plants

“We could make water gardening a family activity!”

Water lilies make excellent koi pond plants

Or you can just have a few plants to make your pond look more natural. There are different types of pond plants, all of which add to the ecosystem. You can use these 5 pond plants to make your pond beautiful.

Floating plants filter the water and give fish some shade (and a place to hide from any predators). All pond plants eat the nutrients algae feed on too.

How All 5 Ecosystem Pond Elements Work Together

It’s a cycle:

The fish nibble on the plants and produce waste. This waste either falls to the bottom or gets swept into the filters by the recirculation system. Whatever hits the bottom is broken down by beneficial bacteria on the rocks. The broken down substances are then eaten by the plants. The plants are then nibbled on by the fish.

“So, what do you think?” Justin asks, somewhat nervously.

What’s Coming Next?

“I think we should look up the cost of a koi pond in Colorado Springs,” Megan whispers excitedly. Justin breaks out into a huge smile as he presses his thumb on the link to pond costs.