Contrary to the myth, having rocks and gravel on the bottom of your pond will actually help, not hurt, the cleanliness of your pond. Rocks allow Mother Nature to clean up automatically, saving you headaches and hours of work trying to keep the bottom of your pond muck-free.
How do rocks help?
Rocks and gravel offer a natural place for aerobic bacteria to colonize and set up housekeeping. This bacteria then breaks down fish waste and debris that would otherwise accumulate in a thick, gooey sludge on the bottom of the pond. Regardless of whether your pond is close to trees or how many fish you have in it, you’ll find that having rocks and gravel not only makes it look better, but makes it healthier as well.
On the other hand, a smooth-bottomed pond will collect a remarkable amount of slime and muck on the bottom. If you currently have a pond without rocks, you might wonder how different it could be. Don’t be surprised. Yes, the algea on the rocks will seem slimy but it isn’t nearly as bad as the sludge you collect on a flat-bottomed pond. The cycle of nature at work greatly minimizes the buildup of grime. Also, don’t forget that rocks also help give fish a place to hide from predators.