Balanced Ponds

Written by Michael O'Brien
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What are balanced ponds? The goal with any habitat, natural or artificial is to maintain an ecological balance. This is especially true when plants and animals will inhabit a particular pond. Both life forms depend on each other, and both should have the means to provide the other with a means of sustenance and growth.

Balanced Ponds: Ecological Symbiosis

Stocking artificial ponds with the right kind of plants is an essential first step in helping to establish the kind of balanced ponds we are talking about here. Grasses and floating plants will oxygenate, purify water, and add shelter for fish and their offspring. The roots will also provide them with food. It's best to let the fish feed from the plants and matter which naturally inhabits a pool, rather than feed them. This should be, after all, a self sustaining eco system, not an aquarium.

Fish will in turn feed the plants with the waste material they leave behind. This not only applies to solid waste, but gaseous waste in the form of carbon dioxide. Fish breathe oxygen too, and like land animals, exhale carbon dioxide. The only difference is, they get and expel such gases through the water with their gills. Just like land based plants, water plants need carbon dioxide to survive.

Too Much Versus Not Enough

When stocking a pond, make sure not to have too much of one thing or another. If there are too many fish and not enough plants, there won't be enough food, and too much waste material will accumulate. Too many plants will also choke a pond and consume too much. Balance is always the goal.

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