The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Brown surface on pond water

United Kingdom Gb

I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice please.

Since April last year I have had a brown film/scum on the surface of my pond.

The fish and tadpoles are alive. The Lillies are stunted in growth, the leaves are small and brown and not green. The oxygenated weed is not growing and multiplying.

Please could you tell me what the problem may be and how I can rectify it.




I can only say that surely the fish are eating the plants young growth? If you had green algae on the top I would recommend barley straw. Sorry not to be of more help!

19 Apr, 2009


you can take the scum off [probably a type of algal bloom] using newspaper layed on the surface and folded back, or kitchen towel but depends on the size of the pond.
are the lilies too deep? different species grow at different depths. if it is a shallow species and it is too deep it cant grow adequately to the surface. so try bringing it nearer to the top. stand the basket on a ledgr or on stones/bricks. and some lilies do have bronze/reddish foliage.

it is still early in the year so the oxygenator might not be growing well yet. mine has only just started moving in the last week or so.

hope this helps.

19 Apr, 2009


i would give the pond a large water out the brown scum .i always put new young lillies high in the water till they take hold and dont say weather your pond is coverd or shaded bye anything.theres a lot of factors .we need more information to find a possible answer.higher plants should eat the nutreants that alge likes and block out the sun.theres no chance a kiddy has dropped something metal in your pond.have you got moving water ?

20 Apr, 2009


I agree with the suggestions to do a partial water change, although I would be careful to dechlorinate any incoming water.

I use a fine net to remove debris from the surface of my pond, but it takes ages when I have tadpoles as I have to check it all very carefully and put the caught tadpoles back!

If the scum is on top of the lily leaves it will kill your plants by blocking out the light they need to photosynthesise.

I have heard you need to cover about 1/2 to 2/3 of your pond's surface with water plants to remove the problem of algae blooms.

20 Apr, 2009


my ponds coverd with a pagoda with bamboo i get no realy does need a lot of sun to takes about 24 hours for clorine to leach out of the water.

22 Apr, 2009

How do I say thanks?

Answer question


Not found an answer?