Keeping the water crystal clear, literally, is the major challenge faced by most of the water gardeners. Generally, what looks like crystal clear water, is not so pure. It normally consists of numerous chemicals and mineral pollutants that are harmful for the water garden. The ideal color of water should either be green or little brown.
On the first occasion that you will fill up your pond, you will see maximum clarity in water. However, as mentioned earlier, it’s only a visual illusion and you must call up your local municipal supply authorities to find out which all chemicals and minerals have been added to the water.
The most commonly added chemical to the tap water is chlorine. Allowing the water to stand for a couple of days will let this chlorine dissipate easily, however, you may still require certain chemicals to get rid of the chloramines and chlorine dioxide. There are different types of kits available with most of the garden stores, pet stores and pond supply dealers which help in conducting tests on the crystal gardening water to determine the presence of such undesired substances.
The dealers normally have good knowledge and can advise you well on treatments. In most cases, you must avoid the use of chemicals as much as possible. You must also ensure that your crystal gardening water is absolutely free of chloramines before you put the plants and fishes into it.
Once cleared of the unwanted chemicals, you can introduce plants to the water. They will produce the essential food and oxygen for the survival of fish and other aquatic species and will also prevent the growth of algae. The water may turn green for a few days but will clear up gradually within weeks as the plants get settled. It is then you will start seeing crystal clear unadulterated gardening water. It will be time then to add snails, fishes and whichever water dwellers you may want.
Algae growth in a water garden is a pretty natural phenomenon and such mossy algae on the sides of the pond are actually beneficial to the garden as they filter out harmful toxins from the crystal gardening water. However, some balance needs to be maintained as excess of algae is also bad for the water garden. It will deprive the plants of essential nutrients and further cause death of fish and other aquatic species that are dependent on the plants for their survival. Algae presence can also take the sheen off your water garden as it looks pretty ugly.
Algae growth can be checked by putting water lilies and a few floating plants in the water. They deprive the algae of the essential nutrients and also block the sunlight essential for algae growth. Even snails and some specific kinds of fish can be employed to eat up algae.
Whatever means you choose to get rid of algae, you must ensure they are natural and non-harmful to the water garden. You can also simply skim off the algae from the water surface by using a mesh net, rake or a brush. Filters may also be installed to remove the algae.