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How to Structure a Swim Pond Filter Shelf

Swim ponds are a major rising trend as an alternative to pools due to their natural beauty and low maintenance requirements. In place of chemicals and massive, complex filtration systems, natural swim ponds use a variety of plants and healthy organisms to keep the water clean. The plants require very little maintenance but they do need to be installed properly in order to ensure that they are able to do their job of cleaning the water. At Fontana Ponds & Water Features, we understand how important it is to know how to structure a swim pond filter shelf properly.

What is a Swim Pond Filter Shelf?

In any natural swim pond, the filter shelf is the area that houses the majority of the plant life that will be used to clean the water. Other aquatic plants can be set up in deeper water and around the edges of the pond, but the shelf is where the main filtration work takes place. Water is pumped through the filter shelf in order to keep the nutrients flowing throughout the entire pond.

What to Consider When Designing a Swim Pond Filter Shelf

Swim pond filter shelves need to be planted properly in order to function. It is important to consider a variety of things when structuring the shelf, including:

Filter Shelf Location

The swim pond’s filter shelf should be located in an area of the pond that allows for the plants to receive just the right amount of sunlight. Make sure that you consider the types of plants being used when setting up your swim pond. It is also important to make sure that the shelf will not receive too much runoff from the surrounding landscape and that it is not in a high-traffic area for people to get in and out of the water.

Plant Density

The aquatic plants on a filter shelf should be installed at the right density to ensure that they all get the proper amount of nutrients and do not compete with each other. For most medium-sized plants, the proper density is about nine plants per square metre.

Types of Plants Used

There are many options for the plants that can be installed on a filter shelf. Although native pond plants will have better success and survival rates, it is possible to use some exotic plants to add a splash of colour and beauty to your natural swim pond. Make sure to use a good balance of tall, structural plants, rafting plants, and oxygenators.

If you are interested in learning more about how to structure a swim pond filter shelf, or if you would like to learn about our range of pond services and products, please connect with us by filling out a contact form on our website and we will get back to you, or call us at 778-990-9773.


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