Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Clear Pond Water Naturally

Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images

Adding barley straw is a handy way to keep pond water clear naturally. Barley straw releases a chemical as it decays that interferes with the growth of algae. Regularly raking out visible algae and vacuuming the bottom will also keep the pond from getting too murky.

Place netted barley straw, a quarter pound per 100 gallons of water, in your pond in very early spring. Placing it in the water too late will not help keep water clear.

Rake or scoop any visible algae out of the pool. Not only is it unsightly, but under the right conditions it can kill your fish.

Replenish your barley straw in mid-July, as the first dose will have completely rotted away by this time.

Vacuum the bottom of the pond in late fall when you remove the fish for the winter, or before they become dormant in a warmer climate. Removing mud and debris will greatly improve clarity.

Duck Pond Clean Naturally

A duck pond is a great addition to any backyard. Having ducks spending time and essentially living right outside your back door is a peaceful arrangement for anyone lucky enough to have the space for a duck pond. As ducks live and eat at the duck pond, they also leave their waste in the water. This waste releases nitrates into the water. Despite the fact that ducks don’t seem to mind green water or blanket weed, it’s not the best environment for them to be in, as it can reduce swimming areas in the water and make it hard for other animals living in the pond to breathe. Typically, this would be built based on a duck pond design that would involve creating a body of water with a drain or a biofilter attached. Installing a waterfall or pump can also help aerate the water. Both these processes will not harm the ducks. If you’re having a hard time finding barley straw, you can also look for barley straw extract, which is a liquid that’s a concentrated form of barley straw, or barley straw pellets. One solution is to grow plants around the water that provide decent shade for the pond. For instance, one way to reduce algae growth is to shine a UV light over the pond water. But this option would kill the algae, which can then take a toll on the food chain in the pond, thereby impacting the livelihood of the ducks. That said, you should take a walk around the pond at least once a week and remove any blanket weeds that may have formed or anything that could throw off the balance of the pond water, such as fertilizer runoff from your lawn. And, speaking of balance, one way to keep your duck pond clean is to regularly check the pH level of the water with a pH testing kit. The normal pH of a duck pond should be between 6.8 and 7.8, but between 6.0 and 8.5 is also OK.


Remove fish before vacuuming.

Garden Guides