Should I remove leaves from my pond?

Yes you should remove any fallen leaves that enter your pond and in this article I discuss the reasons why and what you can do to prevent it.

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Should you remove leaves from my pond - or is it good for the water?

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Any pond owner will tell you that ensuring your pond remains as "natural" as possible is absolutely key to its long term success.  However, as leaves fall in the Autumn time I often get asked if leaves should be scooped out, or left to decay "naturally".  

The short answer is... remove them, and I cover the reasons in this article along with preventative measures you can put in place to keep those falling leaves out of you water.

The Impact of Leaves on Water Quality

When leaves accumulate in a pond, they begin to decompose, which can lead to several issues. First, the decomposition process consumes oxygen, reducing the overall oxygen levels in the pond. This can be particularly problematic for fish, as they require a sufficient amount of oxygen to survive. Low oxygen levels can also lead to increased stress for fish, making them more susceptible to diseases and parasites.

Additionally, decomposing leaves release excess nutrients into the water, which can lead to the growth of algae, particularly the dreaded green water algae. This not only makes your pond water appear dirty and murky, but it can also have adverse effects on your fish and plants. Discover more about green water algae at Why is My Pond Water Green?.

Preventing Leaves from Entering the Pond

Taking a proactive approach to leaf management can help minimize the time and effort required to keep your pond clean. Start by placing a pond net or cover over the pond, particularly during autumn when leaf fall is at its peak.

This will prevent the majority of leaves from entering your pond in the first place. For more tips on autumn pond preparations, visit Autumn Pond Preparations: My Free 4-Part Guide.

Removing Leaves from the Pond

To remove leaves from the pond, use a pond skimmer or net to scoop out any floating leaves. For those that have already sunk to the bottom, use a pond vacuum or rake to remove them. Regularly removing leaves will help maintain water quality, oxygen levels, and keep your pond looking clean and healthy.

The Importance of Pond Maintenance

Keeping leaves out of your pond is just one aspect of maintaining a healthy pond ecosystem. Regular pond maintenance, including cleaning the pond filter, checking UV lamps, and monitoring water quality, is essential for the wellbeing of your fish and plants.


Removing leaves from your pond is an essential aspect of pond maintenance that helps maintain water quality, oxygen levels, and the overall health of your pond ecosystem. By taking a proactive approach and regularly removing leaves, you'll enjoy a cleaner, healthier pond for your fish and plants to thrive.