A Natural and Low Maintenance Water Feature
There are 2 basic types of filtration in an ecosystem pond: mechanical and biological. These two types of filtration work in conjunction with each other to keep the pond healthy and clear as natural processes take place. Let's look a little closer at how each of these work.
Skimmer Filter Diagram
ROCKS AND GRAVEL
If you've already looked at pictures of ecosystem ponds, then you have already noticed that rocks and boulders are a crucial part in making a pond look natural. What you may NOT know is that the rocks and gravel in the water also play a critical role in the ecology of the pond. The smaller rocks and gravel on the bottom of the pond (or in other places actually in the water) provide surface are for beneficial bacteria to grow on. These bacteria are crucial in converting harmful waste byproducts into usable nutrients. The rocks and boulders also help protect the pond liner from UV radiation that can make the liner brittle or crack.
The recirculation system is simply referring to the pumps and plumbing. There are a wide variety of pumps that are suitable for ecosystem ponds of all sizes. Having the proper water flow is important to keeping the water sufficiently oxygenated.
It is a common misconception that having fish in your pond means more maintenance. On the contrary, fish are a key part of any pond's ecosystem. The fish will bottom feed or graze on string algae, helping keep your pond clear of unsightly blooms. Even if you're not a "fish person", you may come to enjoy having fish like many other pond owners often do!
Aquatic plants can almost be considered part of a complete biological filtration system in an ecosystem pond. They thrive on the nutrients produced by beneficial bacteria and can starve unwanted algae of a precious food source. In addition to helping balance a healthy ecosystem, aquatic plants can help to add color and beauty to your water feature.