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Posts Tagged ‘Animal Life’

Building A Balanced Ecosystem

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

In yards where there is sufficient space, backyard ponds have become a very popular addition. Even if a manicured lawn has no garden area in site, many residents are choosing to add small ponds, where a mini ecosystem of plant and animal life can live. These outdoor garden ponds are beautiful and relaxing to be around, providing a natural habitat in your own backyard. The most difficult part of having a pond is keeping it clean and clear. The pond can become more like a smelly, still swamp if it is not maintained properly, or designed properly in the first place. The following information will explain to you how to design and maintain your pond to keep it clean and inviting.

One of the most important goals in designing your pond is to create an ecosystem that is balanced and as natural as possible. If you succeed in doing this, the pond will always be working to clean itself, and your time spent on maintenance will reduce drastically. You want to spend your time enjoying your pond, not cleaning it, right? Without creating a balanced ecosystem, excessive algae can become a major problem. The water will become murky and have a foul odor, and mosquitoes will be attracted to the still water. The best way to avoid this, so you will be comfortable being around your pond, is to put enough plants and animals in your pond when you make it. Plants and animals will regulate the pond as they do in natural ecosystems.

Besides creating shade to deter algae growth, adding fish to the pond will help keep it clean. Fish eat algae, so anything that grows despite the shade created by the lilies will be regulated. Whatever algae is still present will feed on the dead leaves and other decaying plant matter in the pond. To avoid this, you should clean the dead leaves out of the pond regularly, and/or put plants in and around the pond that feed on the decaying plants themselves. These plants need the mineral salts that are produced by the decaying plants. If the plants feed on the decaying plant matter before the algae can eat it, the algae will starve and will die.

Part of the balanced ecosystem you create when you make your pond extends past the shoreline itself. By putting plants on the land outside of the pond, wildlife will be attracted to the area and will help to naturally regulate the ecosystem. The plants will create shade, plants and fish will eat any algae that grows, and the birds and frogs will be attracted to the area and eat any pesky bugs that may be around. The end result is a clean, natural, beautiful backyard pond one you will be happy to spend time around.