Garden Pond Care Instructions


Garden ponds are spectacular additions to any landscape, but they require quite a bit of care at times. Whether you have a pond filled with plants, fish or both, you'll need to keep your garden pond healthy and free of harmful bacteria or debris. Toxic buildup of harmful algae can kill your fish and plants, and your garden pond will need some special care to keep the water balanced and clean. With some regular cleaning and maintenance, however, your garden pond will thrive.

Step 1

Clean out your filter pads and skimmers once each month and as frequently as once each week during the fall. Rinse the filter pads with a gentle stream of water from a hose and empty out the leaf basket in the skimmer.

Step 2

Add commercially-available pond bacteria to your water garden once each month to keep the beneficial bacteria levels high, especially if your garden pond has fish like koi or goldfish. Follow the dosage instructions on the pond bacteria's label.

Step 3

Clean out string algae when you find it growing in your garden pond. You can remove the string algae from the sides of your pond by hand, or you can add barley straw "mini bales" to the pond to control algae growth.

Step 4

Control plant growth in your garden pond by pruning the water plants or removing some of them. Keep about a third of the pond surface clear of plant coverage so that enough sunlight can reach the fish and plants beneath.

Step 5

Keep a hole open on the garden pond's surface in the winter, if the pond freezes over. This will allow oxygen to get into the water. You can also use a pond heating device during the winter to keep the water warmer.

Tips and Warnings

  • Add dechlorinator tablets when you change out the garden pond water. When you first construct and fill a new pond, wait about one to two weeks before adding the fish so the water can stabilize. Don't try to clean out the algae that grow during the first four to six weeks of the spring or after you first build the pond. This algae growth is normal and will correct itself.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose
  • Pond bacteria
  • Barley straw mini bales (optional)
  • Pond heater (optional)
  • Dechlorinator tablets


  • 5 Tips for Taking Care of Your Water Garden Pond
  • Canadian Country Woman: Water Gardens
  • Meadows Farms Nurseries: Pond Care

Who Can Help

  • The Water Garden: How to Build a Water Garden or Fish Pond
Keywords: garden pond care, water garden maintenance, clean garden ponds

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.