Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Winterizing Your Pond

Putting your pond to bed for winter doesn’t need to be an arduous process. Sure, it’s sad to say goodbye to your finned friends for a few months, but following a few simple tips will ensure that your fish joyfully greet you again in the spring.

Remove leaves and debris
Putting a pond net over your water feature before leaves start falling from trees is the easiest way to contain and manage leaf control. Once all the leaves have fallen, simply roll up the net, discard the leaves, and put the net away until the next time it’s needed.

If you didn’t install netting, you’ll probably have a build up of leaves and debris that need to be removed. A long-handled pond net makes an easy job of scooping the debris from the bottom of the pond. If you leave the debris on the bottom of the pond, you’ll be creating a bigger mess to face in the spring.

Monday, June 28, 2010

It's Not Cool to Have a Hot Pond

Your pond doesn’t need to reach the boiling point or feel too hot to you in order to cause stress or irreparable harm to your pond life. In fact, the temperature might feel darn pleasurable to you as you dip your toes into it after a long day of work. Once the water temperature rises above 80 FÂș, you may have problems. Your fish might appear stressed out, gasping for air close to the water’s surface or especially close to a fountain or waterfall.

Warm water has a low capacity for holding oxygen, while cooler water can hold gigantic amounts of oxygen. Warm water and increased activity go hand and hand, and that increased activity means the fish require more oxygen when less oxygen is available, thus creating a vicious cycle. Stressed fish often begin to develop diseases, and soon enough you’ll have a domino effect.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

When Your Pond Awakens in the Spring

Now that spring is here, you’re probably noticing some changes in your pond - your fish are coming back to life and you may even be able to see some plant growth. Some changes that are taking place, however, aren’t so desirable, like that excess algae growth that you’ve noticing. Understanding the transition that your pond makes from winter into spring and summer is essential in maintaining a healthy pond ecosystem.

You may have just spent your weekend cleaning your pond – or having your pond contractor do it for you. A couple of days … weeks pass, and you notice an incredible growth of string algae. “Not again,” you screech to yourself. “I thought my pond was clean!” Well, my friend, cleanliness does not necessarily mean algae-free, especially in the cool water of the early spring.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Nitrogen Cycle - Demystified!

You’ve got a pond and you know it’s important to include a good balance of aquatic plants and fish in your water garden. You also know some basic maintenance is important too, like removing decaying leaves in the fall or cleaning the pond in the spring. But you may not fully understand why these things are important to maintain water quality and clarity.

Fortunately, you don’t need a degree in environmental science to understand the cycle of nature that can influence the health of your pond.

The nitrogen cycle might be one of the most important cycles on earth because it’s the building block of all organic life forms. This is an important cycle to know and understand because it can help answer a lot of unanswered questions you might have regarding fish health and the water quality of your pond.

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Primer on Pond Plants

Aquatic plants are a very important step in achieving a truly balanced ecosystem pond. Regardless of why you got into the water gardening hobby, adding aquatic plants to the pond is an important part of the water garden. They provide beauty and naturalization with a huge array of plant choices.
Most importantly, they help balance the pond’s ecosystem and provide valuable biological filtration that removes nitrogen, ammonia, nitrates and other minerals from pond water. These excess nutrients are often the cause of unsightly water conditions. The end result helps to minimize pond maintenance, leaving more time to enjoy your pond. Without aquatic plants, your pond would not be able to function as a complete ecosystem.
Aquatic plants can be classified into a few main categories: water lilies, marginal plants, floaters and submerged (also known as oxygenators). Plants can also be put into two basic types known as “tropical” and “hardy.” Hardy plants will over-winter in colder climates and tropical plants are more suited to warmer climates, although tropical plants are often used as annuals in colder climate zones.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

When Your Pond Begins to Thaw

Depending on where you live, your pond might be showing the first signs of thawing … or it may be another month or two before that happens. No matter your geographic location, here are some tips for when your pond begins to thaw.

You may see lots of string algae. That’s okay since nothing is taking the nutrients out of the water at this time and the bacteria is not yet active. Don’t panic! It’s the only green plant growing so leave it alone.

Once your pond is cleaned out, some algae may grow again. Remember, it will probably still be cold and the above information is still relevant.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Recipe for Container Water Garden

1 part love of gardening
2 parts love of water
A dash of creativity
A pinch of imagination

Mix together in a barrel, bowl, tub, or other receptacle and enjoy a gorgeous container water garden that was invented by the best designer in the world – You!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Pond Ice Sculptures

Keeping your pond running during the frozen months of winter will allow you to enjoy the beautiful ice sculptures that form in the stream and waterfall. Although beautiful, it’s possible that the ice buildup can form dams that could divert your pond water out of the pond. Check on the waterfall and stream and monitor the water level periodically throughout the winter. If you see an ice dam forming or the water level dropping at a high rate, your pond might be losing water because of the frozen sculpture and it might be time to turn off the pump for the winter. If you decide to leave the pond running until warmer weather however, your main concern is to ensure there is enough water for the pump(s) to operate properly.

Fall Maintenance for the Water Garden

Every autumn falling leaves are inevitable, so it’s best to be prepared and minimize the maintenance you’ll need to do in the late fall and early spring. You may want to cover your pond with Aquascape Pond Netting until the bulk of the leaves have fallen. This is the time of year when you also need to make a decision about your water feature. Should you shut it down or leave it running through the winter?

Option #1: Keep Your Pond Running

A pond can be a beautiful addition to your winter landscape. The waterfalls create beautiful ice sculptures, as well as create a natural water hole for wildlife. If you choose to keep your pond running, please keep these factors in mind:
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