Muddy pond water is definitely no fun. It looks bad, it can smell bad, and it is admittedly a pain in the butt to clean. However, you cannot just leave the pond water all muddy, as it will hurt, suffocate, and probably kill your fish given enough time.
Muddy water also tends to harbor a lot of bacteria, bugs, and other insects that you don’t want around. So, how to clear muddy pond water is what we are here to help you with today.
1. Perform A Water Change
Perhaps the best and easiest way to clear up muddy pond water is not actually to get it to clear up, but just to replace it altogether. You can safely change up to 30% of the total water volume in your pond per week without affecting the plants or fish too much. In essence, this means that simply by doing water changes, you can remove up to 30% of the dirt and mud in the pond every week.
Ok, so you cannot change all of the water at once, which does make this a slower and long term process. However, quite honestly, you should be performing weekly water changes either way, so this is really no big deal. You won’t be able to remove all of the mud at once, but 30% per week is a whole lot.
If you keep doing this every week, your pond should be cleared up within the month. Get the proper equipment, make sure to treat the new water for chlorine, and perform the change.
2. Clean The Pond
If you have really muddy pond water, it is probably because of all of the decaying organic matter at the bottom of the pond. Stuff falls into ponds. That is just the way it is. There is nothing you can do about that. Animal feces, old uneaten fish food, decaying pond plants, leaves, and just sand and dirt from mother nature, all make their way into your pond.
These things settle at the bottom for the most part, but they can also get stirred up in the water, especially when you have a lot of fish. Therefore, one of the best ways to get rid of muddy pond water is to clean the pond, especially the walls and the bottom of the pond. You can use a net, you can use your fingers, or you can use special pond cleaning equipment too.
If you need help cleaning and removing Algae, then see this article for help.
You need to manually remove as much of the sludge and mud from the bottom of the pond as you can. In fact, to help make things easier for you, there is a special kind of pond bacteria that you can buy which is specially designed to eat through decaying organic matter.
No, these bacteria won’t actually eat dirt, sand, and mud, but they will eat away at that nasty organic sludge. On a side note, it is also a good idea to clean plants, rocks, and other decorations, as mud and dirt tend to settle on those things. The point here is that a good cleaning job will go a very long way in clearing up muddy pond water (the right plants can also help keeping the water clean).
3. Increased Filtration
Another thing that you can do in order to clear up muddy pond water is to ramp up the rate of filtration. If you have a 500 gallon pond, and your filter can only handle 500 gallons per hour, or maybe less, it might be time to step things up. Some ponds require the total water volume in the pond to be turned over around twice per hour.
Simply put, the more times the same water passes through the filtration unit per hour, the more sediments and dirt will be removed. In other words, you need to make sure that the mechanical filtration unit you have is up to the job. Generally speaking, it should be able to handle the total water volume in the pond every single hour, or ideally even more.
Moreover, you need to have a really good filtration unit. If your water is muddy, chances are that the filter is not doing its job to begin with. So, you will want to invest in a bigger and better filter, one with a whole lot of mechanical filtration media.
You need as much mud, dirt, and sediments to be taken out of the equation by your filter as possible. You might just need to get a newer, bigger, and better filtration unit. Also, be sure to regularly clean and change media as needed, because dirty media is inefficient and ineffective.
4. Get A Skimmer
The other thing that you can do is to get a protein skimmer. Protein skimmers are more or less just specialized mechanical filters that are designed to remove all kinds of solid debris from ponds and aquariums. If you have a bigger pond, you will need to invest in a pretty big skimmer, but they do help a whole lot.
They do have media that needs to be changed and cleaned, but they work really well. If you have muddy pond water, a protein skimmer will help get it clear and clean much faster than any of the other methods on their own.
Clearing up muddy pond water is honestly not all that hard. Yes, it takes a fair amount of time and work. This is especially true if the water is really muddy and you have not done anything about it for quite some time. However, with some hard work, effort, and a bit of time, you can definitely clear up muddy pond water without having too many issues. Realistically, you should use all of the 4 methods we talked about above if you want the pond water to clear up as fast as possible.