Ecosystem Ponds


Backyard Ponds

Just Add Water’s ecosystem ponds are designed and installed to be a complete aquatic ecosystem. They include biological and mechanical filtration, fish, and plants. We also focus on a natural looking waterscape and view each project as a piece of art. At the end of the project, you will have a beautiful and working water garden.

All ecosystem ponds work with Mother Nature to provide food, shelter, and safety to the wildlife around it. The pond also provides you with an all-natural, low-maintenance piece of paradise. It’s important to remember, however, that every piece of the ecosystem puzzle must be present in order for a true ecosystem to be in place. Eliminate one of these elements and you’ve got an unbalanced pond that won’t be so low-maintenance anymore. These ecosystem ponds can be easy to understand if you have a good grasp of what components go into a basic, functioning ecosystem. All the components are explained below.

pond side profile


Circulation System: This is really just a fancy way of saying “pumps and plumbing.” The proper size pump and pipe diameter are extremely important for the aesthetics of a water garden, and they vary depending on the size of your pond. The most important factor of an efficient circulation system is that it keeps the water moving and provides the necessary oxygen levels for healthy fish and plants in your pond.

Proper Filtration System: A complete filtration system includes the use of two different types of filters, a biological and a mechanical filter. A biological filter provides surface area for beneficial bacteria to colonize and removes excess nutrients from the water. A mechanical filter will only pre-filter the water and house the pump; it will also skim debris from the pond’s surface to prevent the accumulation of organic materials on the pond floor.

Hansen's Negative EdgeThis pond uses a more natural looking vanishing edge skimmer for it’s mechanical filter. Water simply flows over the waterfall to a pondless waterfall basin taking the debris off the surface of the pond. This basin also serves as a water source to compensate for water lost from the pond system due to evaporation.

One of Just Add Water's display ecosystem pondsThis pond uses both a biofalls filter and a wetland filter for it’s biological filter. The biofalls filter is located behind the initial waterfall in the top right portion of the photo. The wetland filter is the shallow pool of water. Just Add Water focuses on natural looking ponds, so a great deal of time and energy are used to hide the filters.

Aquatic Plants: Plants are Mother Nature’s true filters for water gardens. Plants are great for adding character to a pond by providing color and texture, but from a filtration perspective, they are second to none. Thriving from the excess nutrients in a pond and depriving algae of its food source, the aquatic plants in a water garden, given proper coverage, are critical for the overall health of the ecosystem.

You can not have a water “garden” without plants. Plants in this pond naturalize the setting and help keep the pond clean

Clear Koi Pond










Fish: Unfortunately, fish are often seen as creating a maintenance nightmare. Contrary to popular belief, fish are an integral part of any pond ecosystem and will actually reduce pond maintenance, as they graze on string algae and bottom feed from the pond floor.

Rocks, Gravel, and Bacteria: These have been a controversial element in the hobby for many years. Many enthusiasts have steered away from rocks and gravel out of fear that their system will become a maintenance nightmare. On the contrary, rocks and gravel will not only make your pond look more natural, they will also protect pond liners from UV light degradation and they provide tremendous surface area for beneficial bacteria to break down excess nutrients in the water and dissolved organic debris on the pond floor.

Just Add Water uses river rock, granite boulders, native field stone boulder, and many other types of stone. Rocks come in all different shapes and sizes, just one more way all of our ecosystem ponds unique!

Image showing the construction process










Having all these things in place makes all the difference in the health and success of your water garden. Use them and work with Mother Nature, not against her, for a chemical-free wonderland of water! The truth is that most people opt for the ecosystem way of water gardening because it’s easier and it just makes sense. A low-maintenance ecosystem pond provides you with more free time to enjoy friends and family … while gathered around your pond, of course!


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