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What are the bubbles coming from my pond?

Dear Sir/Madam:

We live north of Dallas and have a small horseshoe shaped pond, about 1/3-1/2 acre. We have wonderful fish and enjoy our pond very much. Unfortunately, now that we're into the 100 degree days, the water level is dropping and will continue to do so until our next major rains. I always worry about our fish during these hot spells, but in the 14 years we've lived here and several drought years, they survive.

Lately, I've noticed, though, as it gets hotter, almost continuous bubbles coming up from the pond bottom. Sometimes it is a single bubble or it can be a stream of many. In looking at the water surface, these bubbles are so frequent, it almost looks like rain hitting the water.

What is causing this?

Thanks in advance for your help.


asked by anonymous

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1 Answer

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Hello Barbara,

Thanks for writing. The heat of summer can cause all sorts of issues in ponds and the bubbles you see rising in your pond is almost certainly gases being released from decaying organic materials in the pond. It is almost always a question of too much protein in the water. Fish waste, leaves, grass, or any sort of organic material builds up at the bottom of the pond and when the conditions are right (hot weather, stagnant water etc.) there can be reactions that occur!

An excess of proteins in pond water can be the culprit causing chemical reactions when conditions are right that almost look like soap bubbles in the pond. They are usually milky white and you will often see the bubbles under water falls or over the diffusers or airstones as the rising bubbles movement seems to ride across the surface tension of the pond. If you have koi or goldfish then maybe you are feeding them too much; that can be one cause of over-proteinization...did I just invent a new word?

Probably the simplest way to deal with organic build-up in a pond is to treat with natural bacteria. These safe and harmless bacteria will not harm fish, plants or pets or people but what they do is reduce the muck and sediment so that your pond is cleaner with less potentially armful residue on the bottom.

The bubbles are gases from decaying matter and when the days are warm the reaction is increased and it often looks like "boiling water" or...as you said...it looks like rain actually falling on the pond. The bubbles are not really dangerous but are more a sign that perhaps the organic load in your pond is increasing faster than the natural state of the pond can handle...this is why adding bacteria to reverse this process is helpful and can help keep the pond from aging prematurely.

We recommend a bacteria mixture than consumes organic waste in ponds as well as helping to prevent issues like algae which can also occur when the organic load is too high. There are liquid blends and dry blends that work in small ponds or large ponds and different types for lined or earth ponds. There is more information on the bacteria and you can order directly online at this webpage:

You are lucky to have had your fish survive. I work a lot with clients in Northern USA and up in Canada and they like to stock trout which are really not fond of warm waters. I have seen trout ponds with lovely rainbow trout suddenly lose the entire stocking because the water temperature rose above 76 degrees.  I'm glad to hear your pond is doing well and the fish are happy and healthy. Hope this answers your question about the bubbles.

Best Regards,

The Pond Report.

answered by TPR
edited by TPR

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