I recently picked up my dogs from Karen, the dog groomer, and we started talking about gardening. Karen has been steadily adding shrubs and trees to her property for several years now. She has a small pond, and two years ago, had it repaired because of a leak, but the pond still has cloudy water.
First of all, I am not a pond expert, but I have been closely observing my pond for the past seven years. In 2008, I wrote a piece for Kaatskill Life about the problem of pond algae. See Kaatskill article:
A Blooming Pond, for a more in depth discussion.
Karen also mentioned she had tried numerous brands of natural pond bacteria, but none of those products helped with the cloudy water. Her pond is stocked with koi fish, and after a quick search on the internet, I discovered that sometimes the cloudiness may be a result of over feeding the fish. The unconsumed food breaks down and clouds the water. I also suggested to Karen that she create a buffer zone between her lawn & the pond edge. By planting plants, or as I did by just letting the wild flowers arrive- the plants will act as a filter system to the grass clipping that break down into acidic runoff. I think most healthy ponds have plenty of vegetation both in the water and around the pond.
Please see below the series of photographs showing the development of my pond over the years and how the “Buffer area” which is so practical, has become a beautiful part of the garden.