The Aquascape Ecosystem Pond; Your 5 Part Recipe for Success!


The five parts of a beautiful pond recipe are the foundations of an Aquascape Ecosystem Pond. Not only are the five elements the cornerstone of an ecosystem pond, understanding how and why they go together is the basis for successful pondering.

(1) Rocks & Gravel:

Historically, water gardens were built with bare bottoms presumably to facilitate the removal of fish and plant waste. However, when used properly (as is true with all the components of an ecosystem pond), rocks and gravel lining the entire pond’s bottom is an essential element to a healthy water feature. Organic material that sinks to the bottom of a bare bottom pond without circulation becomes a dead zone and needs to be physically removed. In a rock and gravel filled pond, beneficial bacteria colonize on the surface of the stones and instead break down this waste, minimizing its accumulation. By adding bacteria periodically to your water feature you will help this process along by replenishing the bacteria that lives on the rock and gravel as well as the filters. By using rock and gravel on the pond’s floors and sides, and adding beneficial bacteria to supplement its growth, rocks and gravel become a vital part of lowering a pond’s maintenance.

Aquatic plants prove important to the health of an ecosystem pond, plus they help its looks.

(2 & 3) Plants & Fish:

The plants and animals you put in a water garden are also vital to its overall health and function. Besides greatly adding to the pleasure of owning a water feature, plants and fish have a symbiotic relationship that when kept in balance, are part of the beautiful pond recipe. Fish consume algae and insects that inhabit a pond, and your aquatic plants use fish waste as fertilizer to grow. Keeping the right amount of fish and feeding them properly will contribute to the lower maintenance of an ecosystem pond. Aquatic plants also absorb the nutrients from the water that contribute to algae growth. A pond filled with lush aquatic vegetation will be much less likely to accumulate algae than one void of plants or fish for that matter.

Fish are not just there for fun: they play important roles in the balance of an ecosystem pond.

(4) Filtration, Mechanical, & Biological:

Filtration is a vital and necessary piece of any ecosystem pond. A mechanical filter, like a pond skimmer, is necessary to capture wind blown debris before it sinks to the bottom of the pond and possibly overloads the system. Biological filtration, usually handled with an external source,  allows the pond’s water to flow through, creating additional biological capacity to that already in the pond, which will break down the harmful waste. By properly handling surface debris and having the right amount of biological filtration for the pond’s needs, your ecosystem pond will function at its optimal levels.

A BioFalls® Filter (left) and mechanical skimmer (right) work together to filter the water in your ecosystem pond.

(5) Recirculating System, Pump, & Plumbing:

Not only do you need the right sized pump, but you also need the proper sized pipe to handle an ecosystem pond’s recirculating needs. The entire body of water should be circulated a minimum of one time per hour to properly function. Not only does moving the water in an ecosystem pond draw surface debris to the catch area in the skimmer, it passes the water through the biological filtration material where the bacteria can do their job. Getting the water flow back into the pond over rocks aerates it, adding oxygen back into the water.

Aquascape’s line of energy-efficient pumps provide the necessary circulation to breathe life into an ecosystem pond.

Every pond and water feature performs differently because each one is in a different setting with different environmental factors and differing plant and fish loads. However, every water feature will perform better when all five parts–rocks and gravel, fish, plants, filtration, and recirculation–are properly sized and installed, creating an ecosystem pond for maximum function and enjoyment. To learn more, visit our website.