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I'm buying a house with a half-acre pond. What do I need to know?
Ask Our Pond Experts
Ask Our Pond Experts

I'm buying a house with a half-acre pond. What do I need to know?

Asked By: Vernon of Tolono, IL

A: A pond is a great resource that’s even better when it's filled with clean water that supports a thriving ecosystem. A well-maintained pond or lake can increase property values and further your enjoyment of your backyard space. To keep it functional and balanced, you'll need to do a few clean-up and maintenance chores. Here's what we recommend.

Check Regulations

While waiting for move-in day, contact your city, county, and state government offices for information about chemical use and pond safety regulations. Depending on where you live, you may not be able to use certain algaecides or herbicides, or you may need to install a fence around your pond for safety.

Install Safety Gear

Speaking of safety, you should install safety gear, like a Life Ring, rope, and first-aid kit, in a conspicuous and accessible place near the pond for emergencies. You never know when you'll need them, so it's better to be safe than sorry!

Assess Aeration

Ask the current owner or realtor three important questions: Does your new pond have an aeration system installed? Does it work? Is it included in the sale of the property?

An aeration system, complete with a diffuser, compressor, and airline, is an essential piece of pond equipment. It circulates the water column and delivers life-giving oxygen to your pond's inhabitants. If there isn’t a functional air pump for pond aeration on the property, consider investing in one. Otherwise, you will have a stagnant pond that could be unpleasant for recreation.

Do you know how big your pond is and what size aerator it requires? To find out, measure the length, width, and depth, then plug these dimensions into our handy pond calculator. Once you know the overall size, call 866-POND-HELP for advice on selecting the right system.

Check Power Supply

Unless you choose a solar aerator, your new system must be plugged in, so ensure your pond has electricity within 1,000 feet. Determine what voltage the nearest outlet runs. If you plan on buying a new hard-wired aeration system, Airmax Aeration comes in 115- and 220-volt options.

Manicure Weeds

If your pond hasn't been tended in a while and the weeds have taken over, you can regain control by identifying and eliminating the unwanted vegetation. Start by using a Weed Control Guide or email a photo to, and we will help you select the right products for the job.

Once the weeds are dead, mechanically remove them from the water with a Pond Rake so that they don't become algae fertilizer next spring. Before you apply any pond-care products to your pond, find out what kinds of critters live in it. Some common fish, including trout, carp, and koi, are sensitive to chemical pond treatments.

Start Maintenance Routine

Your last to-do item: Start a maintenance routine using a series of beneficial bacteria products like those found in the ClearPAC Plus seasonal care package. The microorganisms will break down pond muck buildup and clean the water year-round.

What About Water Testing?

You may have heard other pond owners talk about testing pond water. This is typical for pools and drinking water, but most large waterbodies are stable. If you are experiencing extra weed or algae growth or are concerned about swimming, there are analysis tests that can be performed to put your mind at ease.

  • pH: Ideally between 6.5 and 8.5. A reading outside this range may indicate an environmental factor, such as too much limestone or a high concentration of pine needles in the pond.
  • Temperature: Indicates when to start or stop feeding fish and applying chemicals or natural bacteria.
  • Nitrites, Nitrate & Phosphorous: Key elements in excessive algae growth, possibly stemming from lawn fertilizers or excess muck accumulation.
  • Carbonate Hardness: This may need to be done before treating with copper-based algaecides and herbicides if you have sensitive fish like trout, koi, and goldfish.
  • Dissolved Oxygen: Measures your pond's ability to sustain aquatic life. This test is done onsite but may require assistance due to the testing equipment.

Note: Due to normal fluctuations in water quality parameters, it is crucial to take repeat readings at the same time each day, usually in the morning or late afternoon.

Everything Pond Maintenance and Care

Whether you are inheriting an established pond or building one from scratch, our pond techs are here to help every step of the way. Contact us online or by phone at 866-766-3435 for tips and advice.

Check out these guides to learn more about pond care for beginners and experts alike:

Difference Between a Lake and a Pond
Benefits of a Pond or Lake
What is the Best Pond Tool
Measuring Your Pond
Spring Start-Up for Ponds & Lakes

Last Updated: May 1, 2024