1. Do I need aeration in my pond?
The answer is yes!! Oxygen is one if the major keys in keeping a pond clean and healthy. Ponds without aeration systems become stratified and a situation of little or no oxygen occurs at the bottom of the pond. This situation kills off bottom dwelling animals that help keep the pond clean.
Another reason that air is needed at the bottom of the pond is for decomposition. Over the years leaves and weeds gather at the bottom of the pond and turn into muck. Air speeds up this process of decomposition therefore having much less muck. Air in combination with beneficial bacteria can save a pond owner from having to dredge out a pond which is very expensive and messy.
An air diffuser systems are the best way to aerate ponds deeper than 6 feet. A compressor sits on shore and pumps air through tubing to the bottom of the pond were the air escapes out a manifold. For shallow ponds the aeration can come from a waterfall feature or in a linearization system. These processes puts air directly into the bottom of the pond and also creates an uplift effect forcing the bottom water to the top and hence pushing the top water to the bottom in a circular motion aerating the entire pond. When this occurs your pond will tend to be the same temperature throughout the pond. In most situations this is not a problem. However in spring fed ponds or at warm times of the year a pond could be warmed up too fast if the aeration system is installed and left running. We recommend running the system only at short intervals the first few days to slowly warm up the pond. This way your fish will not be harmed from a temperature shock.
After initial start up is done we recommend running the aerator 24 hours a day year around.
Keep in mind if you live in an area that ice forms on your pond running aeration will cause the pond to not freeze through and the pond will not be safe to walk on. If you like ice skating please turn of the aerator to allow the pond to properly freeze.
2. Is it really necessary to identify weeds in my pond in order to treat them?
Yes, most chemicals out there are weed specific and will only kill off certain weeds. So do your homework first. You can go to the earthen pond FAQ to see pictures of some of the most common types of pond
Some people like to rake out their weeds and that is great as long as you know what you are raking. Some weeds, like Milfoil, if raked out can make your weed problem worse. Fragments of the weed can float away and replant themselves leaving you with more weed than before raking. Keep in mind not all weeds will do this and raking is a good way to remove weeds as long as you know what you are removing.
3. What type of liner should I use?
Flexible pond liners are by far the best choice for water gardens. Flexible liner allows you to make your pond any shape you want. It is easier to work with and very puncture resistant. Lining larger ponds we recommend a polyethylene material because it is light weight and cost less than rubber. Polyethylene liners can be made up to 60,000 sq. ft. in one piece.
4. How do I know what size liner I will need?
For a water garden, add the depth twice to both the length and width, then add at least 1' to both numbers for liner overhang. Example: 10' L x 10 'W x 2' D = 15' x 15' piece of liner.
For a large pond add the depth at the deepest point to the length plus width. Then add 5' to each figure to allow for burying edges. Example: pond size 20' W x 40' L x 10' Deep
Width: 20' plus 10' (depth) plus 5' (burying) = 35"
Length: 40' plus 10' (depth) plus 5' (burying) = 55' 35' x 55' piece of liner needed
5. Where should I put my water garden pond?
You should put your pond where it can be enjoyed, say by a window or a deck. Do not place the pond in a low spot in the yard. Runoff will cause high nutrient levels, something you don't want. Do not build a pond too close to a tree. Building inside a tree's "drip zone" can damage tree roots. Locate your pond in an area that landscaping can be added around it. Try to blend your pond around surrounding landscapes and try to make your pond look natural using irregular shapes.
6. How do I know what pump to choose?
With each water pump we sell we include gallons per minute (GPM) with foot of head. Water is heavy 18.3 pounds per gallon. The higher the pump has to push the water the less volume it will provide. To create an average looking waterfall or stream, it takes 30 GPM for every 1' of width. To determine GPM needed multiply width in feet of the waterfall or stream by 30. Example: a waterfall 3' wide and 10' high above the pond. Multiply 3 (width) x 30 = 90 GPM @ 10' of head. You need a pump that pumps 90GPM @ 10' of head.
*Always use the same size hose or even one size larger as the discharge port on the pump.
*Each fitting in your plumbing system creates resistance and can slow your flow. We recommend using flexible PVC pipe which eliminates most fittings.
7. Do I need to filter my garden pond?
Yes. In most cases filtration is the only way to get a crystal clear pond. Filtration involves two parts, the first is mechanical. This step removes solids such as leaves, grass clippings, etc.. Pond skimmers are by far the best way to remove solids. Second is a biological filter and it is very important. This keeps water healthy and clear. Filter media inside the biofilter collects beneficial bacteria which cleans the water as it passes through the filter.
Filters should be sized to filter an entire pond volume every hour. ( a 1000 gallon pond would need at least a 1000GPH filter) it is generally advised to always oversize your filter because flow rates for a filter pump tend to be done on crystal clear water with clean filter mediums.
8. Is is necessary to run my water pump 24 hours a day?
Yes. It is very important to run your pump 24 hours a day. This ensures the pond water is being circulated and being put through a filter. It is very important to filter the entire volume of water in your pond every hour. Doing this is the best way to assure that you will have clear water.
9. How do I determine how many gallons of water my pond can hold?
Takes Length x width x average depth= Cubic feet of pond water
Cubic feet of pond water x 7.5gal (there are about 7.5 gal of water per cubic foot)
10. Why do I have green water?
The answers to this question could be a number of things. Is this a new pond that was just put in? In some cases a pond that has just been filled up may need to be drained to clean off the rocks. Secondly, it is very important that the pump and filter are adequate for your pond. We cannot emphasize enough that the volume of pond water needs to be filtered every hour. If your pond is 800 gallons then your pump needs to pumping water at least 800 gallons every hour into a filter that is large enough to filter 800 GPH. Another reason could be the pond's location. If the pond sits in full sun all day then chances are you will have to fight this problem. Increasing the filter size will help - and the use of an algaecide will probably have to be used.
11. What is the best way to introduce aquatic plants into my pond?
Always use baskets or pots when planting aquatic plants so you can control there spread. When pots are not used plants can take over and are hard to control. Pots with slots are the best to allow water to pass trough. The Media used in the pots should not be ordinary garden soil. Garden soil will cause higher nutrient loads in the pond and may cause poor clarity
12. How often should I feed my fish?
It is hard to say how much to feed your fish. It all depends on the size of the fish and the quantity of the fish. The one thing that is important is not to over feed your fish. If a pond is over fed clarity issues can become a problem due to uneaten food and higher level of fish waste. In smaller garden ponds feed koi small amounts twice a day, and in situations that you want the koi to clean up some of the algae in your pond only feed them once a day. In large ponds it may not be necessary to feed your fish at all. If you want them to grow fast then by all means you should feed them once or twice a day. Keep in mind that they should eat all the food you give them in about three minutes. If they don't you are just adding unwanted nutrients to the pond. In large pond there usually enough food in nature to feed a normally populated pond.
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