How To Keep Pond Water Clear

Clean, clear pond water is something that all backyard pond owners strive to achieve, but keeping the water clear can be a challenge.

There are many ways to clear pond water naturally, so you don’t have to resort to using dangerous chemicals that can harm your fish.

Here are some easy ways to clear your backyard pond water naturally.

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Clear pond water


Clear away debris

One of the most important pond maintenance jobs is to remove any plant matter that falls into the pond before it sinks to the bottom and starts breaking down.

A pond scooper will make it easy to remove leaves, twigs and dead plants from the pond.

If your pond is located underneath a deciduous tree, you may want to install a pond net to catch the leaves or use a pond skimmer.

If there’s a thick layer of sludge or muck on the bottom of your pond you can scoop it out with a long handled fine net or suck it out with a pond vacuum.

Clean pond

Install a filter

Using a pond filter will make it so much easier to keep the water in your pond clean.

Filtration helps to remove debris, dirt and algae in the pond water.

crystal clear pond water


Adding aeration to your pond helps to infuse the water with oxygen, which increases the growth of beneficial aerobic bacteria that help to remove built-up waste in the pond.

You can increase the aeration in your pond by adding a fountain, waterfall or pond spitter.

Pond aeration

Use a UV clarifier

UV clarifiers use ultraviolet light to destroy algae that is suspended in the pond water.

Installing a UV clarifier in your pond is an easy way to remove algae overgrowth and keep your pond free of algae blooms in the future.

Don’t overstock your pond with fish

Many new pond owners buy too many fish for the size of their pond, not realizing that fish reproduce rapidly.

It doesn’t take long for a small backyard pond to become overpopulated with fish, so it’s a good idea to sell or give away some of the fish when the pond starts to get crowded.

Keeping the fish numbers to a manageable level means that there won’t be a large build up of fish waste, which breaks down to produce sludge and provides food for algae.

koi fish in a pond with clear water

Don’t overfeed your fish

If you’re overfeeding your fish, the uneaten food will rot and produce nutrients for algae to thrive.

Try using floating fish pellets, which will allow you to see if the food is being wasted.

Scoop out any uneaten fish pellets and reduce the amount of food if it’s being left uneaten.

Feeding your fish less will also encourage the fish to eat some of the algae in the pond.

Feeding pond fish

Add pond plants

Pond plants like water lilies and lotus help to reduce algae blooms in backyard ponds because they consume nitrates and phosphate in the water, which leaves less nutrients available for the algae to flourish.

clean pond water

Keep the pond water cool

Backyard ponds can heat up quickly during the summer months, increasing evaporation, algae overgrowth and making the pond uncomfortable for your fish.

Warm water doesn’t hold oxygen as well as cool water, so if you see your fish gasping for air at the surface of the pond or looking distressed, it may be a sign that the water temperature is too warm. [1]

Consider installing a shade sail or add more floating pond plants like water hyacinths and water lettuces to help keep the water cool during summer.

Winterizing aquatic plants

So there are my tips for keeping pond water clean and clear.


What methods do you use for keeping your pond water clear? Let me know in the comments below.

Are you on Pinterest? I have boards dedicated to Garden Ponds and Pond Tips that you may find helpful.

Don’t forget to pin this post so you can come back to it later.

clean and clear pond water
a beautiful garden pond with clear water

Kelly Martin

Hi, I'm Kelly Martin, a landscape gardener with a special interest in ponds and water gardens. For over a decade, I've been designing and creating beautiful gardens that feature stunning water features, from small garden ponds to large water gardens. Read more