Frequently Asked Questions
- How big is a typical pond?
- How much does the average pond cost?
- How long does it take to install a pond?
- Do you use bottom drains?
- Do you use ultraviolet (UV) lights?
- Why do you put rocks and gravel on the bottom of the pond?
- What is the recommended amount of fish to put in the pond?
- What is the recommended amount of plants to put in the pond?
- How often do you want to turn the water over in the pond?
- How deep should the pond be?
- What do you do with fish in the winter?
- Do you plant the plants in pots or directly into the gravel?
- How often should you feed the fish?
- When should you start/stop feeding the fish?
- Where do I put the bacteria in the pond?
- At what temperature should you start putting the bacteria in?
- What is the difference between liquid and dry bacteria?
- What happens to the plants in the winter time?
- How soon can I start putting fish in my new pond?
- How do I deal with string algae in the pond?
- Can I mix Koi and goldfish?
- How do I keep predators from eating my fish?
- What is the difference between a tropical and a hardy plant?
- How do I save my tropical plants over the winter?
- Where is a good place to put a pond?
- Should I be concerned about mosquitoes?
The typical pond is approximately 10' x 15' with a waterfall.
Many factors come into play when estimating water garden installation. However, a typical 10' x 15' pond will cost approximately $8,500. Of course, plants, fish, and water treatment products are additional.
It takes approximately 4 days to install an 10' x 15' pond.
No, we don't use bottom drains. We feel that with rocks and gravel on the bottom of the pond, the bottom drains are unnecessary. The bacteria in the rocks and gravel will break down any debris that gets down to the bottom of the pond. Also, there is enough aeration coming from the BIOFALLS© and the waterfall to aerate the entire pond.
No, we don't use UV lights either. Again, we feel that they are unnecessary. If you follow all of the steps of the Aquascape Ecosystem and get enough plants, rocks, gravel, not too many fish and are putting the Aquaclearer bacteria, you won't need the UV light. We rarely ever have green water in our ponds that we build, and most of the time it clears up with in a couple of weeks. UV lights will do nothing but get you into a cycle that works against nature instead of with it. We install copper ionizers to prevent algae growth in the first place.
We put rocks and gravel on the bottom of the pond for a couple of reasons. The number one reason is for filtration of the pond. The rocks provide a huge amount of surface area for the bacteria to colonize on. This bacterial breaks down the fish waste and other organic debris that fall to the bottom. The second reason is to help lock the liner in place so that the water weight doesn't bring it down. The third main reason is aesthetics. The ponds with rocks and gravel on the bottom of the pond is much more natural looking than having a black liner with nothing but algae covering it up.
Our rule of thumb for amount of fish is to have 1" of fish for every 1 sq. ft. of pond surface area.
The recommended amount of plants is to have approximately 50% of the surface covered. You want to have a good mix of plants. You don't want to have all of one type of plant. Put in a mix of marginal, oxygenators, and lilies. You'll want to have more of the first two types of plants more than the lilies.
Once every hour is the ideal turn over rate in smaller ponds. For larger ponds, we try to turn the water over once every 30-60 minutes.
Average size ponds don't need to be more than 2' deep for fish and plants.
You can leave them in the pond. Make sure that there is something keeping a hole open in the ice and the water moving. A pond aeration system also works well. We will put a temperature controlled heater and a small fountain pump in the pond near each other. When the air temp drops below 10 degrees above zero the heater kicks in and helps to keep the water moving. Never break the ice because the shock waves are harmful to the fish. In our area we rarely get more than 8" of ice because the ground temperature keeps the pond insulated.
This is a personal choice. Both pots and gravel have their advantages and disadvantages. When pots are used, over-growth is easier to control. When planted directly into gravel, the roots are able to extract more nutrients from the water.
This is a debatable question and also depends on how many fish you have in the pond. We usually recommend not feeding fish more than two to three times a week. The fish have plenty of things to nibble on in the pond, and the more you feed the fish, the more waste they will produce.
Don't feed the fish when the water is under 55 degrees. The fish metabolism is slowed down and won't be able to process the food.
Sprinkle the Bacteria in front of the skimmer. This will make sure that the bacteria gets into the BIOFALLS© and every where else in the pond.
Wait until the water temperature is above 50 degrees to start putting the bacteria in. The bacteria starts to really take off in temperatures above 65 degrees.
The dry bacteria is freeze dried and concentrated. It takes 3-4 days in the water before it really starts to become active. The liquid bacteria is already alive and starts to work as soon as it is in the pond. It is not as concentrated, but faster acting. The liquid bacteria is recommended for spring start up and for combating green water, the dry bacteria is recommended for maintenance during the season.
Most hardy plants will die back and go dormant during the winter. The tropical plants need to be brought inside, or treated as annuals.
You can add fish the day after it is filled and running.
A copper ionizer prevents string algae from growing. That said, string algae can occur even in ponds with clear water. It usually grows on waterfalls or close to the surface, and can be removed by pulling it off by hand. We recommend S.A.B. (string algae buster) as a preventative step to eliminate string algae. String algae can be easily removed with a natural powder called EcoBlast.
You can mix Koi and goldfish, if the pond is suited for both. You can also mix other types of fish, depending on your climate.
Provide lots of hiding places for your fish. Do not have a shallow or beach-like area in the pond where predators may wade in close to the fish. Use decoys or scaring devices if necessary. We install built in fish tunnels. They work great! Fishing line is another popular option.
A tropical plant is a plant that dies in the winter in your climate zone (like annuals). A hardy plant is one that would come back year after year (like a perennial).
There are different ways to save different plants, however most can be saved by putting them in a container of water in a sunny window or under good grow lights.
We love to build our ponds up close and personal. Consider building your pond close to the patio where it can be enjoyed on a daily basis. A pond near a window provides year-round visibility - especially during the winter months. Build your pond where you can enjoy the sight and sound of it every day of the year.
Aquatic plants attract dragonflys, the mosquitoes enemy. Fish eat mosquito larvae. Additionally, mosquitoes prefer not to lay their eggs in moving water.