The Impact Phosphate Has On A Pond

Feb 7th 2022

Phosphate and Pond Management Problems

Phosphate is one of the most critical nutrients for plant life.  It is also one of the triggers for poor pond health.  

Do you know where phosphate comes from? You may think its not in your pond, but after reading this article you may think differently.

What is phosphate? It is a nutrient found in pond water.

Some of the most common sources:

  • Waste from fish, waterfowl, and wildlife
  • Run-off from agricultural areas
  • Fertilizers for lawns and farm fields
  • Fish food
  • Muck (organic sediment from dead vegetation)
  • Ground water with phosphorus rich soils

There are so many contributors! Farm ponds and ponds near heavily fertilized lawns often have the highest phosphate levels. Ponds with low phosphate inputs from fish waste and muck accumulation are still impacted.

How does phosphate impact a pond?

Phosphate acts as a fertilizer. Even levels as low as 0.1 mg/L can trigger an algae bloom. Phosphate also clouds water. Although phosphate itself is not toxic to fish or humans, the ripple effects can be. High nutrients in water is one of the contributing factors to cyanobacteria blooms. Cyanobacteria release cyanotoxins which can be deadly to fish, wildlife and humans.

How can I manage phosphate?

Nutrient Management and vigorous aeration improve water conditions. Managing phosphate inputs can be rather difficult. Phosphate removal doesn't have to be as difficult. Application of Phosphate Eliminator safely reduces phosphate levels from water without harming fish. Regular application is recommended to manage new inputs. Aeration reduces new muck accumulation, reduces new phosphate releasing into the water column, and takes away the environment needed for cyanobacteria to bloom.