How to Keep Koi Pond Clear

How to Keep Koi Pond Clear

Koi fish are big, beautiful creatures, but, like many ornamental fish species, they can also be incredibly messy. 

Their diet and waste production, along with all of the other facets of their care can make their water rather murky, very quickly. 

Let’s explore how to keep koi pond clear and see if we can make increasing the cleanliness and visibility of your pond a little easier.

Why Do Koi Ponds Get Murky? (Plus Tips on How to Keep Koi Pond Clear)

As one of the most common complaints with pond owners, murky pond water can really impact the enjoyability of a pond and make it harder to see the koi fish that you have invested so much time and money into. 

This can be particularly off putting since it can be tricky to diagnose exactly what is causing the pond to look so cloudy.

How to Keep Koi Pond Clear


Dead algae is perhaps the most common cause. All ponds will have some algae growth; it is simply part of having an outdoor water feature. 

The water is hit by the sun and algae begins to grow and thrive. 

Called a planktonic algae bloom, it is often assumed that the growth of algae will result in a green color. 

Actually, if you use an anti-algae treatment or similar product, the algae will likely appear grey or white, clouding the water. 

This is because it is dying or dead, resulting in an intense color change within the water. 

Having a proper filter is essential when it comes to how to keep koi pond clear from algae.


Additionally, koi waste can also contribute to the murky appearance of pond waters. 

This is because koi waste has nowhere until it is filtered out, resulting in the water appearing dirty or muddy. 

Feeding your koi a diet that is easy to digest will help to prevent this, as their body will absorb more nutrients and create less waste. 

Only feeding them what they can eat in one feeding will help, too, as the leftover food will otherwise fall to the ground and become part of the water cloudiness problem. 

This will also work to stop overfeeding, too.

Debris from nearby trees and other facets can also contribute to waste build-up, too. 

If this is the case, having a good quality pond filter that is appropriately sized for your pond will help a lot. 

It will work to move through the water volume and clear out the waste quickly without stressing the fish, creating a clear water environment full of healthy, happy koi!

How To Keep Koi Pond Clear

Decor Problems In & Around The Koi Pond

Decorating your koi pond is super fun and exciting part of the process. 

Making it your own and create the exact look you want for your aquascape. 

There are so many different products and decor pieces to choose from and tons of different DIY projects to help you create the perfect space you have always envisioned.

These fun new decorations could also very likely be contributing to the murky, cloudy appearance of your pond. 

Many decor pieces that are made for ponds can leech dyes and pigments into the water or minerals from the material the pieces are made of. 

When this happens, the pigments and other agents make the water cloudy.

This also happens if you use things not specifically made for use in ponds. 

A lot of DIY projects use decorative garden rocks or other things that are not meant to be submerged in water; these items may contain dyes or pigments that can then get into the water, causing the same issue. 

Low-quality aquatic decor pieces or items not meant for water use can be the worst offenders and can even leech harmful chemicals into the water that can hurt or even kill your fish.

Due to this, it is recommended that you only use aquatic decor items that were intended for use in a pond setting. 

You should try and source out quality aquatic items from reputable brands to ensure your koi fish can be safe while you enjoy your decor pieces.

To prevent these pieces from clouding your water, you should first soak them in a separate tub of water. 

This will allow any dyes or pigments that may leech to do so outside of the pond and prevent them from clouding your water, making much less of a headache with your upkeep schedule.

How To Keep Koi Pond Clear

How to Keep Koi Pond Clear

When looking at how to keep koi pond clear, the biggest thing is filtration. 

Having a filter that is the right size for the volume of your pond is absolutely key. 

It will help to cycle the water through quickly and remove any debris, waste, and dead algae. 

This increases the viability of your pond and helps to ensure your fish can be seen and are happy and healthy.

As for the fish themselves, it might be worth considering whether or not you have overstocked your pond. 

Overstocking a pond means that you have too many fish for the volume of your given pond, creating a space that cannot support the amount of fish in the pond.

Having too many fish can create a lot of problems, cloudiness being one of them. 

On top of this cosmetic issue, though, it can also increase the stress levels of your fish, which lowers their immune response. 

Illnesses and parasites also spread much more quickly when the pond is overcrowded since the koi are in closer direct contact with one another, making a situation that can easily get out of hand.

If you suspect your koi pond might be overcrowded, it is a good idea to consider removing some fish. 

A rule of thumb is one inch of fish per ten gallons of water.

Keeping a koi pond clear is no easy task but it is certainly doable if you have proper filtration and can make an effort to continually maintain the water. 

It is just a matter of tweaking your care until things balance out. 

Find a routine that works and stick to it, then you’re all set! Good luck!