Both manmade and naturally occurring ponds and lakes have a finite lifespan. All ponds will undergo a natural succession and this succession, or aging process, can range from 25 - 100 years. The rate of succession is influenced by many factors. Some of these factors are beyond your control, such as size, location, soil type, or annual range in water temperature to name a few. The good news is that you can influence a number of other factors that will improve the health and longevity of your pond through annual pond management planning, such as water quality, vegetation control, and population management.
Managing pond succession
Just as ponds and tanks may be naturally occurring or manmade, so it is with pond succession. Naturally-caused succession describes the aging process of a pond that will happen even in environments devoid of human influence. In such a scenario, the aging process begins with plan succession and sedimentation. Left unchecked, this will result in your pond becoming overly enriched with minerals and nutrients causing excessive growth of plants and algae. Then, when winter comes, the plants die, sink to the bottom, and decay, eventually forming a deep layer of smelly, black, organic muck. While aquatic vegetation provides important cover for the fish living in your pond, if this process isn’t managed, it can deplete the oxygen levels in your pond, contributing to the potential for a fish kill.
Human alteration of the environment refers to succession caused by pollution, such as fertilizer run-off, or sewage discharge. As with naturally occurring succession, this is problematic because it affects oxygen levels by introducing excess nitrogen and phosphorous to a waterbody producing unsightly algae blooms, foul odors, reduced fish growth and ultimately a total fish kill. This can be managed by adjusting the pH, alkalinity, hardness, and dissolved oxygen levels of your pond.
Proactive pond management: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
Proactively managing your pond will have associated costs, whether you do it yourself, use the handy Pond King Pond Maintenance App, or contract with a service provider, like Pond King, to do it for you. However, as the Benjamin Franklin quote suggests, you’re better off with small, planned expenses than the inevitable costly, ecologically devastating events … like a fish kill. Use our “Pond Maintenance Contract Estimator” to tell us more about your goals for, or issues with your pond to get an estimate of what it will cost for Pond King to maintain your pond, so you can just sit back and enjoy it.