How Can Ultraviolet Light Bulbs Help You Take Care of Your Pond?

Koi Pond

With Spring finally here in most of the United States, one concern of many homeowners is pond maintenance. Having a pond in backyard can be a great addition to a property’s landscaping, especially if there are Koi and other colorful fish in the pond. A pump/filter system usually includes a UV lamp which serves two functions: sterilizing and clarifying the water.

1. Disinfect Your Pond with UV Light

Any pathogens in the water may infect the fish. Bacteria can easily multiply in a pond, even to the point of completely taking over the pond environment. When this happens, an entire fish population can easily be decimated. A germicidal UV bulb emits wavelengths in the range that will kill most pathogens in pond water.

2. Control Green, murky water with UV Light

Algae can become a problem in ponds as they feed off of organic nutrients and thrive in warm weather. As Spring turns to Summer, the problem can continue to grow, making a pond begin to emit bad odors. It is far easier to deal with this before it becomes a larger problem.

In fact, algae is the bane of many backyard ponds. The slightly green water may look pretty, but algae consume oxygen and nutrients in the water, making it much more difficult for fish to survive. The stink of the algae is just the most offensive problem to humans.

A UV germicidal bulb helps control the growth of algae, particularly the algae floating on the surface. The increased water clarity improves fish viewing and it also improves the health of the fish.

3. Use UV as Part of an Overall Pond-Health Strategy

By implementing a UV system, green water from algae and pathogens either in the water supply or introduced with new fish can be controlled without producing any harmful effects.

4. Preserve the Life of Your Ultraviolet Bulb

In general, ultraviolet pond lights should last for a year to a year-and-a-half. Many pond owners will replace the bulb once a year, usually in the spring when it is getting warm enough to clean the pond thoroughly. It may be possible to use the same UV bulb for up to two years by turning it off in winter when algae are dormant anyway.

5. Get the Right Size UV Light

The size of UV bulb you need depends on the size of the pond and the capacity of the pump. The specific type of pathogens in your pond will also determine the UV radiation dose. In most cases your pump/filtration system should be sized for your pond. That simplifies UV bulb selection because you have the old bulb to consult for replacement or the manual which will list the correct bulb part.

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Nick Heeringa

Nick is a writer, publisher and editor for the Topbulb blog. Check back often for more of his writing on lighting applications and announcements for the Topbulb website and blog!