An ecosystem is composed of a community that includes living organisms (plants, animals and microbes) and the nonliving components of their environment (air, water, mineral soil). All of these interact with one another creating a system. Below is a an example of an ecosystem pond in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
An Ecosystem pond is a pond with these components that works with Mother Nature to provide food, shelter, and safety to the wildlife around it. It also provides you with an all-natural, low-maintenance piece of paradise. As you may imagine not all ponds are constructed in the same way. However we have seen over and over again that the most successful ponds (low maintenance, beautiful in appearance, and healthy & thriving ecosystems) all share the same important features. Start eliminating any of these elements and the ecosystem is less likely to have a good healthy balance.
Recipe for Success: Mechanical filtration (skimmer with re-circulating motor), Biological filtration, Aquatic Plants, Rocks and gravel, and fish.
Mechanical Filter (skimmer) – A typical skimmer will have the motor located at the bottom of it. As the motor draws the water into the skimmer debris is collected from the pond before it can sink to the bottom or get passed into the biological filter. There is a basket or a net which collects the debris. A filter mat below the basket and above the motor also filters smaller particles from the water. The water that goes through the pump into the plumbing then travels to a biological filter.
Biological Filter – This type of filter is necessary to help keep the pond water clean. The filter typically has filter mats and biological media. The filter mats help to trap solids as the water rushes through them. The biological media (usually contained in mesh bags) colonizes bacteria, which breaks down pond waste products. These broken down wastes are then returned back into the pond where they can benefit the ecosystem.
Aquatic Plants – These are extremely important for a well balanced ecosystem! They help remove nutrients from the pond that would otherwise be food for algae. They provide food, shade, and protection for pond critters and they look beautiful and natural too.
Rocks and Gravel – Rocks and gravel provide lots of surface area for bacteria to grow which aids in the filtering of the water. They protect the pond liner from the suns harmful rays. Rocks and gravel look very natural in a pond.
Fish – Help control algae growth (by eating it). They add color and beauty. Finally as fish swim around they stir up stagnant water and help it flow to the filters.
R&A Water Features and Landscaping can add these items to just about any pond. So take a look. Does your pond have the elements for success?? If not, don’t hesitate to contact us!