Before You Begin Building.
1. Safety: Always dig with caution. Call 811 or your local utility company before you begin digging to locate buried pipes or power lines on your property.
2. Location: Consider how the water garden will enhance your landscape.
3. Elevation: Your pond should not be built on a slope or grade. If it is located at the lowest elevation of the yard, you will have rainwater run-off that can muddy the water, wash away fish and destroy plants.
4. Sunlight: If you wish to include plants that require moderate to full sunlight, you will need to choose a location with a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight. Shade is good, but note that trees do drop leaves, which can fill up your pond and cause organic decay.
5. Integration: The size, scale and layout of your pond should complement the other features of your yard, including your landscaping and terrain.
If you plan on adding water lilies to your pond, the location you choose should receive a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight a day.
Ensure that there is easy access to water and electricity.
Choose the most level site available while avoiding low level areas where rain could carry in pesticides, herbicides and possibly flood the pond.
Also, try to avoid positioning the pond where it could catch falling leaves. Leaves will sink to the bottom, decompose and release toxins which may be harmful to fish and plants.
Try to avoid placing the pond in areas where the soil is prone to saturation. This can cause the liner to possibly float.
Try to place the pond in an area where it can be visible from the house where you spend most of your leisure time; either from the kitchen window or the deck, as an example.
Before digging, please consult your local building ordinance for codes and check for any under ground utility lines.
Also, it would be a good idea to make an electrician aware of your water gardening project and have him or her install ground fault interrupter outlets to ensure that the equipment runs safely.
The pond should be made as large as possible. Larger ponds are more stable ecologically, require less maintenance and are less costly per gallon. If you have the space available for a pond, then use it. The biggest complaint from first time pond builder is that they didn’t make their pond big enough. They are also safer for fish and can hold more lilies and other kinds of plants.
Usually depths range from about 18 inches to 36 inches for water gardens and 3 feet to 6 feet for koi ponds. You should always check local codes for depth allowance and any fence requirements. Ponds that hold plants require sunlight so they should be kept in shallow areas.
Use the following formulas. Measure in feet (ft).
For Circular Ponds: Diameter x Diameter x Depth x 5.9 = gallons of pond water
For Rectangular Ponds: Length x Width x Depth x 7.5 = gallons of pond water
You can spend as little as $100.00 for a small water garden with plants while spending anywhere from $1,000.00 to $10,000.00 for full size water gardens with filters, lights, waterfalls, plants, statuary and fish. A pond addition to the home is an investment that pays for itself. It not only provides enjoyment year round but can also possibly add property value. If desired, the home owner can also have a professional contractor install the water garden. You should discuss all budget and options with your contractor.
All About Pond Liners.
Preformed liners are compact and neat. These are very good to use if space is limited. On the other hand, if abundant space is available, then the flexible liner would be the way to go. This will give you the options of having a larger pond, more shape, depth and you can incorporate more shelf space for aquatic plants.
We recommend that the coarse side should face up. This will allow beneficial bacteria to grow in the pores of the liner.
It is a PVC liner with composite reinforcement web, resulting in a 14.5 mil thickness.
There are seaming tapes available as well as commercial grade glues. Extra care and precautions should be taken to prevent leaks and ensure the safety of your fish and pond life.
After determining the length, width, and depth of your pond, use this formula to help choose the right liner.
Length + (Depth x 2) + (2 ft, one foot overlap per side) = LINER LENGTH
Width + (Depth x 2) + (2 ft, one foot overlap per side) = LINER WIDTH
All About Pond Filters.
Yes, filters help minimize maintenance for the owner. There are two types of filters recommended for the water garden.
1. A pump filter to protect and hide the pump while removing dirt and debris from the surface.
2. A pond filter helps in keeping the water safe for plants and fish.
There are several types of filtration: pre-filters, mechanical, biological, pressurized, ultraviolet, and gravity.
Pre-filters remove debris from the water and protect the pump by housing it, thereby leading to a longer pump life and better performance.
Mechanical filters use filter pads and work with a pump to move the water and catch large and small pieces of debris.
Biological filters use beneficial bacteria to naturally break down organic decaying material.
Pressurized filters combine the power of mechanical and biological filtration. The pressure in these filters help keep the water moving quickly, not giving debris a chance to settle in your pond. The pump works with the filter to mechanically keep your pond clean. The filter pads catch debris from the water as it passes through the filter.
Ultraviolet (UV) Clarifiers use UV light technology to ensure water clarity and a healthy pond environment for plants and fish. Water is pumped through a carefully calibrated UV chamber at just the right speed to provide maximum exposure. The UV light helps clean the green out of the water. The results are a crystal clear and healthy pond you can enjoy all year round.
Gravity filters pump water from the pond into the filter and then flows back into the pond by gravity. These filters must be positioned slightly higher than water level to enable its return under gravity. Water is pumped in through the top of the filter, through the UV clarifier, which then trickles down through the various filter media and is gravity-fed back into the pond. As the water flows through the filter, air can enter the water causing the exchange of gases enabling the different species of bacteria to grow to help keep the pond clean.
This is a question that will have to be answered a little bit more extensively as this largely depends on what type of pond you have or planning to have. The question you have to ask yourself is: “Do I plan on stocking my pond with ornamental plants or ornamental plants with fish”?
The following should give you a better understanding of the different types and functions of filtration products available:
• Pump Filter – If your pond solely contains ornamental plants or if you are looking for a pre-filter for your pump, then the mechanical filter is what you most likely will need. Its primary function is to separate large particles and debris while also protecting the pump.
• Pond Filters – If you are going to incorporate fish into your pond and want to provide a safe healthy environment, then a biological filter is one of the best options you can use. These filters allow beneficial bacteria to gather and colonize which in turn help convert toxic nitrites into helpful nitrates. These nitrates are then used by plants. Biological filters typically clean the water using mechanical filtration as well as removing toxins from the water. They are very popular as being the sole filtration source because they serve both purposes.
Yes. The filter assembly can be submerged.
Ensure that all fittings are snug and that there is no blockage inside the filter. Also check the flow control setting on the pump. Trim the tubing adapters to maximize flow (see instructions).
It depends on the specific environment but usually you can see results between 3 to 7 days.
All About UV Clarifiers.
Ultraviolet clarifiers are not normally considered to be filters but are usually used in combination with or actually inside the filter itself. Ultraviolet technology is often used in ponds to eliminate microscopic organisms that end up becoming those dreaded algae blooms. The integrated UV bulb produces ultraviolet light at a wavelength of approximately 254 nanometers. The water infused with the bacteria passes around the bulb, positioned in a quartz sleeve, and is exposed to this wavelength. As the light penetrates the bacteria, it mutates its DNA preventing growth or reproduction of the organism. Having bacteria-free water prevents microorganisms from growing or spreading without producing by-products toxic to your water feature’s aquatic life. Don’t worry, UV will not harm fish or beneficial bacteria since not all of the water will pass through the UV in one circulation. For best results, UV bulbs should be replaced once a year.
Yes, the clarifier can be submerged in water. Be sure that the lamp holder has been secured to the light housing. The clarifier light housing cap should not break the surface of the water. Only the canister can be submerged up to the cap.
With the clarifier plugged in and the lamp holder secured to the light housing, remove the locking nut and tubing adapter on the outlet end of the light housing. If the clarifier is working, a blue light will be visible. If not, the light is not working.
The bulb life expectancy is 8,000 hours. It should be replaced at the beginning of every season to ensure its efficiency.
It depends on the specific environment but usually you can see results between 3 to 7 days.
No. String algae should be removed manually with a net or by hand with waterproof gloves.
No, UV clarifiers are not harmful to fish at all.
All About Pond Pumps.
Yes. Water movement in the pond maintains a healthy, well balanced environment. It also enables you to create an impressive water feature, i.e. fountain nozzles, waterfalls, streams, statuary, etc. The pump recirculates the pond water and insures that oxygen levels remain evenly distributed throughout the pond. Also, the pump will prevent stagnation which can lead to unpleasant odor and prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs on the surface.
There are quite a few different types of pond pumps. Pond pumps are usually categorized by the way they work. Some pumps are classified as magnetic or long life pumps which we will go through shortly. Also, pumps are classified by the way they perform, either submersible or external also known as in-line. Whichever pump(s) you choose for your pond, please make sure the pump is suitable and recommended for pond use. Pumps that are not designed for ponds usually are not efficient and can burn out quickly…sump pumps and aquarium pumps are widely used in place of pond pumps and usually do not stand up to running on a constant basis.
Magnetic driven pumps tend to be the best pump for maintaining pond functions. In a magnetic driven pump, the electricity from your outlet creates an electromagnet that drives an impeller and magnetic shaft. When the mag-drive pump is plugged in, the magnetic shaft and impeller will spin in the magnetic field created by the electromagnet to push water through the outlet of the pump. This method of pushing the water tends to be far more energy efficient than in other comparable pumps. Mag-drive pumps are perfectly safe for ponds stocked with fish as there is no danger of oil leaks and they are completely sealed and do not need oil for lubrication due to their innovative electromagnet-driven mechanism. The draw back however is, they are very limited to pushing water to significant head heights. In the event that a mag-drive pump was to stop working, replacement parts are commonly available and are easy to install. Most often, the only repair needed on a mag drive pump is the magnetic shaft and impeller as it is the only moving part.
These pumps offer efficiency, performance, and long life together in one package. Also known as “wet bearing / wet rotor” pumps, these pumps are a hybrid of mag-drive and direct drive pumps. They have the efficiency of mag-drives and exceed the performance of direct-drives; all without the drawbacks of either types of pump. The long life is attributed to the ceramic bearings & shaft, and cooler operating temperature. They work well for different sized ponds as well as waterfalls, and are also safe for fish.
The fountain pump is usually a magnetic-driven and designed to run on & off when desired by the fountain owner. The pond pump is usually a long life pump that is designed for more continuous operation and greater performance.
When choosing a pump for your pond, there is a relatively easy formula for you to use. Basically, what you are looking to do is turn half of the total water volume in your pond once an hour. So for example, if your pond has a total of 1,000 gallons of water, you would probably need to use a pump with a GPH (gallons per hour) rating of 500 gallons.
All pond boss® pumps are oil free.
No, this will not harm the pump.
No, this will not harm the pump as long as the pump’s intake is not blocked or obstructed.
No. All of our pumps are designed to be fully submerged in fresh water. Running the pump outside of the water will cause the pump to overheat and burnout.
To prevent chemical attack which could be harmful to the pump’s working components.
No. We do not recommend using the pumps in swimming pools for the reason that the pool chemicals could damage the working components of the pump.
Yes, in most cases, as long as the pond does not freeze over completely. See winterization tips. If the pond freezes over it may cause the water in the pump to freeze and expand breaking your pump. It is recommended you remove your pump if you are not planning to use a deicer.
All About Waterfall Pumps.
Knowing how to select the correct waterfall pump for your pond can be a difficult task. There are several variables to consider when selecting a waterfall pump: the width of the waterfall, the water flow you would like, the height the waterfall will sit above the rest of the pond, and the distance from your pump to the top of the waterfall. This blog will help make your selection simpler with 4 steps. Generally, it’s better to buy a larger pump than needed because the flow of the pump can be throttled down to the desired flow.
Choose a waterfall pump to match the height and width of your waterfall. The rule of thumb is for every 1 in. of weir width, you need 100 gallons per hour flow to achieve a “sheet” look.
For a "trickle" look, divide by two.
For a "Niagara" look, multiply by two.
Be sure to check the pump’s specification for the ideal pumping height of your pump at the head of your waterfall. Keep in mind, excessive bend or in-line filters will reduce the flow.
All About Aeration.
Aeration is the process of circulating air through, mixed with or dissolved in a liquid. It’s important to put oxygen back into the water for a healthy balanced pond environment as oxygen creates a healthy environment for fish and plants.
Some recommended ways to aerate include:
Aerators add oxygen to the pond using a special pump. The warmer the water, the more oxygen is needed.
Spitters are small statues that spit or pour a stream of water into the pond. They are usually placed on or near the edge of the pond.
Nozzle kits offer you a variety of water displays which you can adjust to varying heights depending on the power of your pump.
Waterfalls not only help to circulate the water, they help oxygenate the water as well.
All About Water Treatments.
You can clean and fortify your pond water with a variety of dependable water treatments. Be sure to always read the instructions on the bottle before using the product.
Algaecide – When: Use when green water or algae appear. Why: Prevents and stops algae growth.
Cold Water Bacteria – When: Use when shutting down your pond or water feature for winter. Why: Maintains the sludge layer all winter and reduces the spring clean-up process by breaking down residual deal material.
Warm Water Bacteria – When: Use when starting-up your pond and during the season when the water temperatures are warmer. Why: Digests sludge and organic matter naturally and efficiently reduces foul odors in ponds.
Water Clarifier – When: Use when you have cloudy water. Why: Quickly clears water and eliminates floating particles.
Sludge Remover – When: To help reduce maintenance and control sludge. Utilize when opening your pond, during the spring season and when closing your pond. Why: Improves filter efficiency, maintains a healthy eco-system and helps reduce organic build up on the bottom of the pond.
Barley Pond Clarifier – When: Use when pond water is murky. Why: Natural solution to help minimize the nutrient load.
Pond & Fountain Cleaner Tablets – When: Use when water is murky. Why: Keeps water clean, clear and healthy by reducing organic loads in the water.
Fountain & Birdbath Cleaner – When: Use when fountain has a limescale buildup. Why: Keeps fountains and pumps clean by removing limescale buildup.
Chlorine Remover – When: Use when adding water or introducing new fish to the pond. Also use when opening your pond in spring, during spring, and when closing in winter. Why: Removes chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals.
Chlorine Remover Plus Conditioner – When: Use when adding water or introducing new fish to the pond. Also use when opening your pond in spring, during spring, and when closing in winter. Why: Removes chlorine with natural botanicals extracts that also help with improving fish slime coat and reducing infections.
Pond Blue – When: As needed. Why: Creates beautiful blue water, hides fish from predators and shades water from harmful UV rays.
All About Fish.
No, you do not have to add fish to your pond but they are beneficial by eating mosquitoes and pond algae. They also add color beauty and personality to your pond.
It’s always a good idea to start small and add fish gradually. Here is a rule of thumb to use as a guideline to avoid overstocking and ensure the overall health of your fish:
For pond fish, 1 in. of fish for every 10 gallons of water. Koi fish have a faster growth rate, so you may have to remove a few of them at a certain point.
There are 5 things you should consider before adding fish to your pond. Learn more in this blog.
Basically, a good start and rule of thumb until you understand your fish’s eating habits would use this basic guideline: Provide enough food to be eaten within the first 1 to 3 minutes of feeding. Also, you should not feed the fish when the water temperature drops below 55 degrees Fahrenheit because the fish’s slower metabolism will not be able to process the food. Depending on what variety of fish you choose to stock in your pond, you should refer to manuals and consult with a fish specialist to arrange a specific seasonal diet feeding and schedule.
Check out our Fish blogs to learn more.
It is best to wait at least 5 days after the pond has been established with the pump and filter in operation. Before you start adding fish to your pond, it is best to let the water “cycle.” A “cycled” pond is one that has an established population of the good bacteria that convert ammonia to nitrite and nitrite to nitrate.
Here are some things to look for to see if the fish you want to purchase are unhealthy: raised scales, a swollen abdomen, bulging eyeballs, an enlarged head, ulcers, lack of movement, loss of balance, damaged fins and scales, fungus growths, or the fish is continuously scratching itself against rocks or other objects.
A few things to look for in healthy fish are: a lively disposition, erect fins, bright colors, good balance when swimming and a good appetite.
Yes, but only slightly. It is recommended that ponds containing fish should be at least 1.5 ft. deep. In areas with colder winters, 2-2.5 ft. deep would be more ideal. During Summer, fish require cooler water toward the deepest part of the pond. During Winter, the water is warmer at the deepest part of the pond.
All About Plants.
It is recommended that plants be added to a pond. One of the most important roles that plants play in a healthy pond ecosystem is oxygenation. The photosynthesis of plants during the day is one of the major ways that oxygen is released into the water.
Floating plants should cover anywhere from 50% – 70% of the pond surface at the peak of the summer. So it would be a good idea to start with 20% – 30% coverage and let them reach optimum level in the season. Bog plant varieties will also propagate as the season goes by. Submerged plants should be treated the same as the Floating Plants.
There are 3 basic types of plants that are commonly used in the pond. They include:
Floating Plants — This type of plant include Hyacinth, Lilies, etc. They are useful in the respect that they add beauty, block out sunlight keeping water temperature cool and help prevent algae growth. Floating plants come in all sizes from very small (duckweed) to over a foot in diameter (water hyacinth). Most have roots that hang in the water from the floating green portions.
Emergent Plants — Also known as emersed, this type of plant includes Cattails, Grasses, etc. These plants are rooted plants often along the shoreline that stand above the surface of the water. The stems of emergent plants are somewhat stiff or firm. They add a tall background to the pond landscape.
Submerged Plants — This type of plant includes Anachris, Hornwort, etc. These plants are rooted plants with most of their vegetative mass below the water surface. One discerning characteristic of submerged plants is their soft stems, which is why they do not usually rise above the water’s surface.They contribute oxygen and biological filtration to the pond as well.
Marginal Plants — This type of plant includes Iris, Lotus, Cattails, etc. Marginal plants are planted in shallow areas of the pond (about 2 ft below the surface) and are meant to grow more above the surface of the water than below.
All About Lighting.
No. The transformer is not designed to be submerged. Therefore, it should be placed in a dry discreet location outside of the pond.
Yes, the transformer is designed to be an outdoor transformer, and is able to withstand normal weather conditions. But to ensure its life expectancy, take measures to keep it dry and protected in cases of extreme weather conditions.
No, extending the power cord will compromise the insulation of the wiring and damage the light.
No, the LED’s cannot be replaced. Under normal conditions, the LED’s will have a much longer life expectancy than a normal halogen bulb.
All About Spring.
At a water temperature of 40°F, test it for high ammonia and nitrites. If you notice higher levels, perform a 25%-50% water change to help correct it. When re-filling the pond with tap water, consider using a Chlorine Remover to remove any harsh chemicals. Begin adding other necessary water treatments, such as a beneficial bacteria. Place the pump back in your pond; run for a few hours while checking on performance, ensuring there are no leaks.
If using an Aerator during the winter, leave it in the pond to continue oxygenating the water all season.
At a water temperature of 50°F, begin feeding fish a low protein food.
At a water temperature of 60°F, begin feeding fish regular food and add tropical plants. If necessary, perform a 50% water change. Always use Chlorine Remover when introducing tap water to your pond.
Inspect and re-establish plants. Plants that have been sitting on the bottom can now be cleaned up and placed accordingly throughout the pond. At a water temperature of 72°F, begin fertilizing plants.
All About Summer.
Any time you clean your pond, disturb the filter, or clean a filter pad, give it a shot of Sludge Remover to jump start the growth of beneficial bacteria.
Keep the water moving with an aerator, a nozzle kit, or a waterfall.
All About Fall.
At a water temperature of 70°F, clear out as much debris as possible, divide and repot plants. Replace 50% of the water in your pond and use a Chlorine Remover to remove harmful toxins from the tap water.
At a water temperature of 60°F, dispose of or bring in tropical plants, install pond netting, and start feeding fish food a lower protein diet.
All About Winter.
At a water temperature of 50°F, stop feeding your fish. Also, trim and move hardy lilies to deeper water.
At a water temperature of 40°F or below, remove your pump and install an aerator and/or de-icer. Leaving the pump running in that temperature will lower deep water temperatures, causing potentially fatal stress to fish.
When temperatures have begun to cool, be sure to add a Cold Water Beneficial Bacteria to your pond for additional beneficial bacteria.
Drain, remove and store anything that has glass or plastic inside, such as your ultraviolet clarifier, pressurized filter and all-in-one filter. Keep them in a bucket of water in your garage, basement or other indoor area that won’t allow the water to freeze.
In the northern U.S. and Canada when the temperature dips down into the freezing range, fish and plants can be left outdoors to hibernate naturally. The pond should have a recommended depth of at least 2 feet. You should try to clean out as much debris as possible before the pond ices over and install either an aerator, a de-icer, or a heater to keep a hole in the ice. Even the smallest of holes will suffice. This allows oxygen in for the fish and plants and also allows any toxins to escape.
By allowing your pond to completely freeze over during the winter months, the harmful gases produced by fish waste and plant decay cannot escape the ice, becoming deadly to your costly fish and plants.
All About Year-Round Pond Care.
Be sure to check the water levels in your pond regularly. Keep water levels consistent, adding fresh water when levels get too low. And always be sure to use a Chlorine Remover when doing so.
If you have an excess buildup of leaves or debris, do your best to get some of this out of the pond. You can do this by using our Skimmer Fish Net. Getting the excess debris out will help keep the water balanced.
Use a Sludge Remover to improve water clarity in your pond while also eating the organic waste and debris left behind by fallen leaves.
At least once a year, you should change the filter pads and UV bulbs in your filtration products.
To get rid of string algae quickly, use a fish net or remove it manually using waterproof gloves.