At Ben Harris Gardens, we build ecosystem ponds, which mimic the ecological processes of natural water bodies with five key components: rocks and pebbles, plants, fish and bacteria, oxygenation and filtration. Here’s how they work together to keep your pond healthy:
- filtration is addressed in two ways – biological and mechanical: beneficial bacteria are the workhorses of the pond ecosystem, breaking down harmful ammonia to create nitrate that’s ready for use by plants, while the skimmer removes wind-blown leaves and reduces the organic matter that enters the pond ecosystem
- plants also use up the nutrients that come into the pond, competing with algae
- oxygenation: waterfalls and flowing streams capture oxygen from the air to replenish that which fish and water-borne bacteria use up
- fish eat insects and algae. They also provide a constant supply of ammonia to feed beneficial bacteria
- rocks, pebbles and gravel provide surface area for beneficial bacteria to colonise.
An ecosystem pond finds an equilibrium, where the nutrients that enter the pond system are used up by beneficial bacteria and plants. So rather than constantly trying to alter the pond environment with chemicals, an ecosystem pond is allowed to develop without unnecessary human intervention. Which means less maintenance!