Does your pond have foam on the surface? It may be a sign of something wrong! Luckily, it can be easy to investigate and treat.
If you see your pond suffering from constant white foam on the surface of the pond, it may be a sign of a serious underlying problem that needs to be treated quickly. When treated early, there won’t be any long-lasting effects. However, if left to get worse, this can result in an increase in fish diseases and fish deaths.
The foam is normally caused by a build up of protein in the pond; this is from organic matter that is decaying at the bottom of the pond; this can build up from overfeeding, a build up of fish waste or decaying plant material.
The foam is harmless in small amounts and may disappear on its own over time, however a big build up of foam needs to be addressed as soon as possible. The foam stops Carbon Dioxide from leaving the pond and Oxygen from getting into the pond; this could be a major problem for your fish.
Test your Water
We cannot recommend this enough. But always test your water whenever you see there is a problem. The underlying problem can be caused by a spike of Ammonia, Nitrites or Nitrates. It is normal to have a small amount of these chemicals, but you may need to re-adjust the ecology of your pond when these chemicals increase too much. Great testing kits include the Blagdon Pond Health Test Kit or the Tetra Pond Test 6-in-1 Kit.
If you are experiencing problems with these chemicals, then the PondXpert Gel Balls will treat the Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates while clarifying your water and releasing healthy bacteria into your pond. Alternatively, increasing the number of plants in your pond, like Oxygenators and Elodea Densa, can vastly improve the quality of the water.
Is your Pump and Filter appropriate for your pond?
If your pump and filter set are too small, they will not be able to filter your pond effectively. That means dirt and debris will build up and affect the balance of your water. Your filter should have some biomedia at the bottom; these are normally just plastic balls where healthy bacteria can thrive and revitalise your pond. If your filter is too small, you won’t have enough biomedia to manage the chemicals in your pond.
If your filter is too small for your pond, it is worth either upgrading your system or adding an extra filter to your system. This will add an extra layer of UV, mechanical and biological filtration which can help to remove debris, control algae and manage the chemicals in your pond.
If you are experiencing a lot of sludge on the bottom of your pond, it is recommended either manually clearing this with a heavy-duty net, using an electric vacuum or by using a chemical treatment like the PondXpert Sludge Eliminator.
Is your pond heavily stocked? Are you overfeeding your fish?
A heavily stocked pond will almost certainly impact the chemical balance in your pond. The fish will need feeding a lot which may result in overfeeding; the fish will also produce a lot of waste which may not be picked up by your filter. This increases the decaying matter at the bottom of your pond and can cause foamy water.
If your pond is heavily stocked, you should check whether your filtration systems are suitable. Often, a pond will be stocked without the consideration that the fish will breed over time. What may start as a lightly stocked pond can become heavily stocked within a few years.
If you are feeding your fish a high-protein food, then it may be time to change the food to a meal that contains less-protein or reduce how often you feed your fish.
Are your Fish spawning?
If your fish are hatching from their eggs, this may result in a temporary foam on the surface of your pond. Occasionally, Koi can flail when they spawn; this can cause waste from the bottom of your pond to become unsettled and alter the chemical balance in your pond. It's always worth just checking for any factors which may cause a disturbance. If your pond is experiencing spawning fish, then the foam will go away on its own.
A quick solution to treating foamy water is to increase the number of partial water changes you do on the pond. You may need to commit to a partial water change once a season, or once a month depending upon the severity of the problem; though this may not be possible depending on your water bill or your location.
If you do a partial change, please do not forget to remove the chlorine from any water that you put back into the pond; this is particularly important when using regular tap water. You can use the PondXpert Dechlorinator on a hose to remove any chlorine or you can use the PondXpert Tap Tonic when the water has already been put into the pond.
The foam should also disappear naturally over time; while this is free and very easy to do, it may take months for the foam to disappear. It really depends on the cause of the foam. So please test your water.
Waterfalls or Fountains
It is perfectly normal for foam to appear around a fountain or at the bottom of a waterfall. At the point where the water crashes into the water and mixes with oxygen, this can create bubbles which then forms a light foam on your pond. If this is the case, then the foam will disappear on its own.
If you need any further assistance, please contact us.