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5 Ways to Get Rid of Foam in a Pond (Without Hurting Fish)

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

No pond owner wants to walk outside in the morning to see their water features full of foam. The bad news is that there are many reasons that a pond might be producing foam. The good news is that it is not hard to determine what the cause of pond foam could be or to resolve the problem so the foam will go away for good. Here is how to get rid of foam in a pond without hurting your fish.

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1. Clean the Organic Materials Out

Organic materials, such as leaves, can create foam in your pond if it is not cleaned out regularly. So, the first thing to do when trying to get rid of pond foam is to simply clean the entire pond out as best as you can. Scrape the bottom to pull up gunk and any rotting debris that might be down them. Use a pool cleaning tool to skim the top of the pond and collect any leaves that are present. Then give your pond a few days to recover from the cleaning, and you should see the foam start to dissipate.

clean pond
Image Credit: Pixabay

2. Reduce the Amount of Feed Being Offered

If your fish are not eating all the food you offer them at each mealtime, the excess food settles in the pond and can create foam before long. Therefore, if you notice that your fish are not finishing their food rations, even just occasionally, and you find that your pond is full of foam, chances are that you are overfeeding the fish. Your solution is to stop feeding your fish as often or to feed them less at each meal until they start eating everything that you provide them with. Once all the food is eaten regularly, your foam problem should diminish quickly.

You might also be interested in: What Do Turtles Eat in a Pond? What You Need to Know!


3. Improve the Filtration System

One reason for foam development in a pond is a lack of proper filtration. Have a pond expert inspect your pond to ensure that your filtration system is sufficient. If it is not, your service provider can recommend the size and type of filtration system to use. If you must replace your filtration system, you can expect the foam in your pond to start disappearing as soon as the new system has been installed. Until the new system is installed, other efforts to get rid of the foam will likely fail.


4. Relocate Some Fish

Overcrowding can cause all kinds of problems in your pond, including the development of unwanted foam. Other problems that you could face are fish illness and fungus growth. You can eliminate many of your pond problems by fixing your overpopulation problem. You can dig another in-ground pond and relocate half of your fish stock to the new pond to alleviate the overcrowding, but this commitment and expense are not necessary. A less expensive and laborious option is to invest in a pop-up pool to use as a pond. It can be maintained and managed the same way that an in-ground pond can.


5. Utilize a Defoaming Agent

Many products on the market can be added to your pond to dissolve foam without harming any fish living in the pond. You can find these products at your local pet or garden shop, online, and through a pond contractor. Just make sure that any product you choose to use specifically says that it is safe for fish. This disclaimer should be printed somewhere on the package. If you can’t find a safe fish disclaimer, skip the product, and choose another that does offer such a disclaimer.

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Other Considerations to Make

Your pond may be suffering from more than one problem that is causing foam to develop. It is important to assess every aspect of your pond setup to determine which problems are present so you can address everything at the same time. If even one small problem is left unaddressed, you probably will not get the results that you want from the defoaming efforts you put forth.

If you address every problem that you identify and still cannot get rid of the foam, you may need to hire an expert to do a thorough, professional cleaning and treat the pond with different products to eliminate the foam once and for all. But hiring an expert should be your last resort because the process is costly.

koi fish pond water fall
Image Credit: MelissKeaneArt, Pixabay

You might also be interested in: What’s the Ideal Temperature for Goldfish in a Tank or Pond?

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Final Thoughts

Pond foam is unattractive and can harm a pond’s ecosystem as time goes on. Luckily, getting rid of unsightly foam does not have to be hard or expensive. You just have to figure out what the problem is that is causing the foam and then focus on that problem until it is resolved. Most problems can be resolved for free or at little cost.


Featured Image Credit: Pipipan, Shutterstock

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Rachael has been a freelance writer since 2000, in which time she has had an opportunity to research and write about many different topics while working to master the art of fusing high-quality content with effective content marketing strategies. She is an artist at heart and loves to read, paint, and make jewelry in her spare time. As a vegan, Rachael is obsessed with helping animals in need both in her community and anywhere in the world where she feels she can make a difference. Animals also happen to be her favorite topic to write about! She lives off the grid in Hawaii with her husband, her garden, and her rescue animals including 5 dogs, a cat, a goat, and dozens of chickens.