This simple trick will clear up a small, murky garden pond water within a few hours. With a few dollars’ worth of materials, you will have the equivalent of a very fast-acting biofilter without the use of any chemicals or additives. Have a look at what I came up with.
For updated instructions with a video see: How to Clean Murky Pond Water without Chemicals.
Clean Your Pond Water and Keep It Clear
- I’ve been using this trick for a few years now and it keeps the water in my small pond (450 gallons) nice and clear.
- You can use both clear up a cloudy pond and continue using it preventively to keep pond water from getting gunky.
- I do not use any chemical treatments or feed my fish. They dine on the natural habitat and stay in the pond year round.
For updated instructions plus a video of this method, see How to Clean Murky Pond Water without Chemicals.
How It Works
- The quilt batting is setup so it can filter the pond water before it goes through the recirculating pump (see the pump at Amazon.com).
- The batting is very good at collecting even super-fine gunk that a normal pump filter cannot grab.
- Once you’ve got the water clear, a new piece of batting can usually remain in the pond for weeks or months, continuously filtering the water, before the batting needs to be changed.
This video shows exactly how to set up your batting filter:
- Polyester quilt batting (see it at Amazon.com) Check thrift shops, yard sales, or any store selling sewing supplies. A twin size (72×90″) piece of batting provides enough material for several changes.
- Wire waste basket (see it at Amazon.com) (or similar container) Pick something larger than your pond pump. I got mine at a dollar store. The purpose of the basket is to maintain a distance between the pump and the batting so the batting doesn’t get sucked into the pump.
- Bungee cord (see one at Amazon.com) to hold the batting in place.
How To Set Up Your Batting Filter
- You want to surround the entire pump with batting so that no water can reach the intake valve without being filtered first.
- The key is, you have to create room between the batting and the basket so the pump does not struggle.
- I do this by wrapping the batting on the outside of a wire basket and placing the pump inside the basket.
- This way there is a gap of a few inches between the batting and the pump intake.
- The bungee cord helps keep the batting in place, although once it’s wet, it pretty much stays in place on its own.
- You will need a hose on the outtake valve of the pump to send the clean water back into the pond outside the wire basket/batting.
CAUTION Always turn off the pump and keep it off during any pond maintenance or setup.
- Place pond pump in wire basket. Decide where you will aim/direct the water output and place the electrical cord.
- Wrap exterior of wire basket in a layer of quilt batting. Every part of the basket that will be submerged in the water should be covered in batting.
- Secure the batting in place with a bungee cord.
- Submerge the entire unit in pond and run pump.
- The pond water should run clear within hours. At most it will take a few days.
- The white batting will soon change colour and blend in with the pond.
- Leave everything in place. It will keep cleaning the water on an ongoing basis.
- Change the batting every few weeks or months as needed.
- Some batting is machine-washable. You will need to test the batting you are using.
- You can also maintain clear water using barley straw, which combats algae—naturally. You can get all the details and how-to instructions here.
In the maintenance phase, you could use barley straw in addition to a quilt batting filter or instead of it. It all depends on how aggressively your pond produces algae.
“I would just like to say thanks very much for the information you supplied about the cotton batting for green water ponds. I followed your advice and it has solved the problem, so many thanks.”
“It cleaned my pond within an hour. Thank you so much. I’ve tried so many others ideas but this is the first one that worked.”
“I had given up on my pond and then I saw your method. It cleared the water within hours. Thank you so much.”
How to make a little garden pond