Steps of the Pond Nitrogen Cycle

Did you know that manmade ponds rely on the same ecosystem principles that natural ponds do? Yes, for any manmade pond to thrive it must mirror the ecosystem of the natural world. One aspect of this is a pond nitrogen cycle. Understanding how this cycle works is invaluable for maintaining a pond’s overall life.

To an untrained or inexperienced eye, a natural pond seems like little more than a natural “tub of water”. That is, water – mostly from rain or runoff – collects into a small body of water. This then “magically” turns into an acceptable ecosystem for plant and animal life to live in.To an average person, the need to know how a pond regulates itself is relatively useless information. However, when someone wishes to duplicate a manmade pond on their property, the passive witnessing of nature may not be enough. Instead, it becomes important to understand the cyclical process that maintains the pond’s aforementioned ecosystem. This includes understanding the pond’s nitrogen cycle.

And what is a pond’s nitrogen cycle? A ponds nitrogen cycle is a series of steps that take place in a pond that helps to keep the pond clean and cycle out organic waste. Here is a simple break down of it.

In a fish pond, fish will release waste into the water. As the waste breaks down, ammonia is produced. Ammonia can be toxic if it builds up. To keep ammonia levels from getting to dangerous levels, beneficial bacteria called Nitrosomonas will break down ammonia and convert it into Nitrite, which is still toxic if it builds up, but less so than Ammonia. After the Ammonia is converted to Nitrite, another group of beneficial bacteria called Nitrobacter will in break down and convert Nitrites into Nitrates, which are far less toxic than Nitrites. This Nitrate is then utilized by the plant life in the pond as a source of nourishment, which helps to keep the Nitrate level low and can also help with controlling algae. So, the nitrogen cycle is essentially the amazing way a pond’s ecosystem cleans itself of harmful toxins and creates sustaining nourishment within its environment.

This natural process was developed over many years of evolution and is the way it should work in a naturally balanced pond. However, manmade ponds sometimes require assistance from pond products to tip the ecosystem odds in favor of pond life survival. Pond filters can help filter out extra waste and also provide a safe breeding ground for beneficial bacteria to grow and thrive. There are also bacteria inoculants on the market that can be added regularly to ensure that proper levels of beneficial bacteria are present to help break down waste and to help convert ammonia and nitrites. Additionally, pond plants can be purchased and added to a pond to help with the utilization of un-necessary nitrates to prevent its availability to nuisance plants like algae. All of these products can assist a small fish pond environment with establishing a proper and efficient nitrogen cycle.

Over time, the need to take special steps to maintain a pond’s nitrogen cycle will decrease. This is because the pond will become self-sufficient and able to produce and feed adequate amounts of bacteria that fish waste ammonia is no longer a threat. As the saying goes, nature eventually takes care of itself.

Creating Koi Fish Garden Pond – Important Tips

Are you thinking of building a koi pond in your garden? Bringing these gorgeous fish in your garden is an interesting hobby and it is not as complicated as you might think. With the proper pond maintanance decorative koi fish have a long life span and some can become almost a meter long. Follow these tips to build your garden pond for fish properly so your beautiful fish will live long and happy life.

Make your pond deep

Depth of your pond is very important. You pond should be at least 4 feet deep, however it is best to provide for your fish six or even 8 feet deep pond. This will ensure that your fish are protected from raccoons, cats and other animals who can empty your pond. Deeper fish pond also helps to maintain water temperature in the middle of summer

Koi really love a lot of room to swim

Small ponds are no good for koi. Remember, with time they can grow quite large and they will need a big space. Also there are so many color variations of koi, that as time goes you will probably want to add more fish to your pond. So it is better to create a large garden pond from the start than rebuild it later. About ten thousand gallons is a good size for a garden fish pond, bigger would be even better.

Provide some heating in colder months

Unlike tropical fish, koi don’t suffer much from cold; however you should never let your pond freeze completely. Installing a proper heater for backyard ponds will always keep an opening in the ice. Also keep in mind, that like most fish koi only grow when the water is warm, so with a heater your fish will grow faster

Plan some shade for your koi

When selecting where to place your pond, make sure it is out of direct sunlight. Also keeping water plants like water lilies in your pond makes sence – not only they add beauty to the overall look of your pond, but they also provide shade for the fish. However, you should avoid building your pond under trees. Cleaning a garden pond of fallen leaves is a nightmare.

Plan to install a bird net

There are many birds of prey that will enjoy eating your koi. Don’t give them the opportunity; plan your pond location so it is possible to protect it with a net.

Keep insecticides away from your pond

When planning your pond keep in mind that you should not use any insecticides or herbicides near the water. Even a small amount of common garden poison can destroy your beautiful fish.

Pumps, filtration systems and other fish pond accessories

Several accessories are nessesary for healthy garden fish pond. Ideally you should get a water pump, filtration system, pond water aerator and an ultraviolet sterilizer. If the water in your pond is still, your pets might feel unwell. Koi pond filtration systems are pricey, so as an alternative you can make your own homemade filters.