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Keeping Pond Water Clean And Clear Without Chemicals

July 26, 2019

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Struggling to keep your pond water crystal clear without using chemicals?

Try this one time quick and easy trick to remove the algae once and for all.

And get reacquainted with your fish.

Backyard pond with goldfish and floating plants

In my opinion, summer is the best time of the year. 

There's sun, surf and sand to enjoy and of course, my lovely backyard. It's my little cottage style sanctuary.

There's nothing better than relaxing back there, surrounded by flowers, the sound of water flowing and all the critters that happen to be passing through.

Their presence is what really makes me smile...which is why it used to bug me to no end when I couldn't see the fish in my pond.

The season always started with crystal clear water, but two weeks in and the water was a murky mess.

Not a pretty sight.

If you look really close at this photo from a post I did back in 2015, you can see that the water is green.

I used to complain to my husband about it every year, but without chemicals there really wasn't any way to combat it.

How To Make A Fountain From A Cement Statue words over picture of backyard fish pond

Frankly, he wasn't thrilled about it either.

He used to clean the filter and the entire pond out several times a month so we could catch a glimpse of our pond residents, at least for couple of days until the algae took over again.

And let me tell you, it was a ton of work.

He used to take all the fish out of our tiny pond and put them in a tank. Then he'd use a shop vac to remove the water and rinse it all down.

He also cleaned out the filter. Then he'd fill the pond back up again and put everyone back inside.

It was an hour long process that didn't really get us a great view for very long.

We investigated different ways to keep it clear, but everyone recommended chemicals and for us, that was a no.

Until my husband found the light. And I don't mean that metaphorically.

UVC CUV- 118 Clarifying Pond Light

It's a uv light designed for outdoor water features that kills the free floating algae in the water.

The pond water gets diverted out of the pond and goes through the pump, past the uv light fixture and then goes back into the pond.

Clean and clear.

Our light/ pump is mounted to the pool cabana behind the pond, just a few feet away.

We bought this one- the Sunsun CUV-118 which is an 18watt pump.

It was the right size for our small pond, but works on very large ones, as well. There are tons of them out there though. 

You just need to choose one that fit your size pond.

Sunsun UV Pond Light attached to side of house

It's our first season with the light, but so far, so good.

The fish are completely visible. I can watch them pop up to the surface when I feed them.

Update! Third season now and the water is just as clear. Success!! 

I can also see their bright orange bodies swimming around from my kitchen window and, best of all, my husband doesn't have to completely empty the pond anymore.

We spend our weekends enjoying the scenery and creating more pond fountains, instead of working to to clear away the ick. 

Pond with clear water and swimming goldfish

I have to say I was a little worried about the fish being so visible to everyone else in the yard...raccoons, birds, kitty cats...but so far, so good.

My scaly friends still have plenty of cover from our aquatic plants and from the greenery that hangs over into the water.

I honestly don't think we've lost even one yet.

Which is good, because now that I can see them, I've started to name them.

A dangerous prospect with outdoor fish, I know.

Backyard pond with frog fountain, petunias and fish

But way too cute to resist.

Bubbles, Goldy, Clementine, Cheeto.

Amber, Tangerine, Finn.

Pumpkin, Peaches.



Would you name your fish?

Chemical Free Clean Pond Water

Kim Signature

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  1. We don't have a water feature at our house, but if we did I'd be looking at this light - you pond looks amazing!
    When our kids were younger we had 2 goldfish. They named them Skipper and Gilligan. :)

    1. Thanks Mari. The pond was literally a Kmart special! It came in a kit and was so easy to install. I wasn't sure about it at first, but it's become my favorite feature in the yard. And Skipper and Gilligan??!! I love that!! 😊

  2. I love ponds, but we do not have one. I plan on having one soon at the next house and will save this for the future.

    1. Betty, I think that’s a great idea! We love ours…

  3. How lovely to have a pond with fish. They are so entertaining to watch. It sounds like a great idea to get the pump that you got.

    1. They really are very relaxing to watch, Angela. I was never a big fish fan before, but now I'm hooked!!

  4. It’s so nice that you found a solution for keeping your pond clean and clear for the fish without using chemicals. I love summer too and so glad we have another month of it.

    1. Me too, Julie, I'm just starting to sink into it now!

  5. We used the UV light in our pond in our old house. Worked like out great and were always able to enjoy our fish.

    We had very frisky fish. We had a ton of babies. Our fish were so big. When we moved we sold them to the place we bought them.

    They were worth a couple hundred dollars. That's how healthy and large our 20 year old original fish got. They went to great homes. We loved them very much. They ate from my hand.

    We don't have the room here because it was a large pind.

    Enjoy them.


    1. Wow, Cindy, it sounds like you had koi. They are amazing fish. We pass by the tanks with the hundred dollar fish at the nursery all the time. They are very impressive. It sounds like you treated them very well and they responded to your kindness and care.

      We have tiny goldfish that we buy at the local pet shop. Our pond is very small and I'm not sure it would house large koi properly....or even very large goldfish for that matter!! The do get pretty big though, some are as big as your hand and have been with us for years. I definitely get attached.

  6. Cheeto is the best name for a goldfish/koi! Made me giggle a bit. It must be hard to maintain an outdoor fish pond. Our home came with a custom build fishpond that the owners gave up on. They filled it with concrete and now we have a fire pit. Theres doesn't appear to have any place for greenery around the edges like yours. Maybe that's why it didn't work.
    Glad you found a solution for clear water! Your fish are so fun! Enjoy your pond!

    1. Fish are fun, Audra! I was never a big fan (more of a puppy/ kitten gal here), but I do love watching them and they really are very interactive...especially when there's food involved! Big surprise. And yes, it's work to maintain it, not a ton of work - less now - but it really is just another thing to take care of...

  7. What a great invention. We use to have a pond when we lived in Florida years ago and the lily pads helped get the water clear, but it was a huge pond.

    1. It sounds like a huge pond, Penny! We have a lily pad in our pond, but just one!! Too tiny for anymore.

  8. Yeah, I'd name my fish too. I miss the sound of pond water gurgling. But I don't have electricity on my patio. I do have a solar fountain in one of the bird baths though and it works as long as there is sun. Many aquatic plants clean the water too. Have you ever read the blog Digging by Pam Penick? She has big galvanized tubs for her ponds and she's a garden designer. She has a most lovely yard complete with owls in owl houses in Austin, TX. Check her out.

    1. I haven’t read that blog, Brenda, thanks for the tip! We do have some algae fighting plants in there, but it’s so tiny and the sun beats on it all day long, it’s hard to control. However, if she can do it in tubs, it should work for us, too. Off to peek!!

  9. I'm sure I would name my fish if I had some. Cheeto is a great name. They look so pretty swimming around and I don't blame you for wanting to see them. My experience with naming pets is that our newest little addition, Robin, who came to us already named, was introduced the other morning to Robin, the bird. As she was attending to her morning duties, the bird flew down and landed on the lawn next to her. I introduced them: Robin, meet Robin!..Happy Weekend..xxoJudy

    1. That's hysterical, Judy!! We have a few other animals that run though our yard regularly. Usually, I just say, Hello Mr. Squirrel or Good Morning Mrs. Bunny Rabbit...except when I see the chipmunks, then I say Hello Chip, Hello Dale!! The Disney vibe is a hard one to fight!! 😉

  10. Looks like Cheetos is the perennial favorite but Doreen gets my vote. Go figure 😉

    1. Doreen gets my vote, too! She is the most colorful, active and friendly fish in the pond. Clearly my favorite, but don't tell Cheeto! 😉❤️

  11. brilliant! and I laughed when I saw 'Doreen.' it's comforting to know there's a beloved goldfish named after you. they probably like to show off for her. the boy gold fishes I mean. LOL!
    I knew Doreen above would like it. :D
    this post has probably helped a ton of people! not to mention their fish. love your back yard sanctuary. xo

    1. Thanks so much, Tammy! Doreen is a lovely name and of course, she is the most personable and lovely of all!! xoxo

  12. Hi Kim, we have two ponds. We also used a UV light in the back pond. They do work, however they can get clogged. My husband like yours has worked on pour ponds for years. Glad to hear you can now enjoy your fish. Cute names too.

    1. Two ponds! You lucky lady!! And yes, he has maintained the light, good point. Very worth it to see our scaly friends.

  13. Hi,
    I am putting in a little whisky barrel pond this week. I plan on putting in a few fish too.
    Great post Kim!

    1. Ooh!! I think you need to share it when it's done. I can't wait to see your new fishy friends.

  14. OMG too cute!!! I love your little fish pond, and that's a great tip for anyone who has one! I would love to someday.....but today is sadly not that day!

    1. Trust me, Debbie, if it weren’t for my husband and his vision and drive, we wouldn’t have one!