What is a good
starter size for a water garden?
We have found, over the
years, that an 11 x 16 ft. pond (roughly 180 sq. ft.), 24 inches deep is a
good size to start off in most yards. this size will allow plenty of
room for fish and plants to be added over the years to come. Many pond
owners who thought the pond would be big enough for their needs later wished
they had made it bigger!
How small can you go?
Unless we are
constructing a pond in a confined space, our crew will typically not build a
pond smaller than 8 ft. x 8 ft. The reason is that it's difficult to
reach a depth of 24 inches, have separate shelves for your marginal plants &
lilies, provide space for fish and "rock-in" the pond, all in under 8 ft. of
width. the end result is a pit of rocks rather than a natural looking
How large can you go?
There is no limit to
the size of the pond. Larger ponds are built using the same rock solid
principles as the small ponds! The only difference when building a
larger pond is the quantity of rocks, size of the pumps and filtration system,
and the amount of labor and equipment required to build it.
How high should the
will be determined by the elevation of the property on which the pond is
installed. the waterfall should look as natural as possible. You
do not want to create an 8 ft. long waterfall on a flat piece of property.
Such an out-of-scale waterfall will end up looking more like a volcano than a
waterfall. The majority of the waterfalls we install are only 1.5 ft to
2 ft high. Higher waterfalls can be built on existing slopes, but the
pump may have to be larger to handle the extra height.
How deep does the pond
have to be?
Hardy fish, such as
Koi, will survive through winter in zone 5, in as little as 18 inches of
water. The majority of ponds we build here in zone 6 are 24 inches deep.
We can go deeper if you want, but keep in mind a few key factors in the
design. A deeper pond will require more digging, rock, and a bigger
liner. Bigger filters and skimmers, pumps and plumbing may also be
required depending on how deep you want to go and how much water is held in
Where is the best location for
Bring the pond up to the
residence instead of the you having to go to the pond. The ideal
location for a pond is near the house, adjacent to a hardscape, deck or porch.
We always take into account the views from outside the house, as well as from
Why should rocks and gravel be
set throughout the pond?
There are several reasons
we always "rock-in" ponds. Stones and gravel decrease maintenance,
extend the life of the liner, stabilize the ponds walls, provide ballast
against hydrostatic pressure and look more natural than a naked liner.
Fish waste, dead plant material and wind-blown debris combine
and decompose to form a smelly sludge that builds up to a few inches over the
course of a year. In a naked liner or concrete pond, these materials rot
and cause gases that are harmful to the ecology. A pond with a gravel
base will have substantially less sludge at the end of the season compared to
a bare liner base. Adding gravel over the entire pond allows sludge and
waste eating bacteria to colonize and break down these excess nutrients (just
like in a fish tank).
Completely "rocking-in" the pond floor extends the life of
the pond by protecting the liner from harmful UV light (sunlight), which will
degrade the liner over time. A liner that is covered with stone and
gravel is not exposed to UV light, greatly increasing the life span of the
A "rocked-in" pond will anchor the liner in place and create
structurally sound walls. Think of it as a boulder retaining wall inside
the pond. The weight of the stone will also provide a considerable
amount of ballast against hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure is
the pressure created beneath the pond's liner from water build-up.
Hydrostatic pressure can be so strong that it will create unsightly bubbles in
What is the difference between
high-efficiency and low-efficiency pumps?
High-efficiency pumps are
higher quality and will last longer and use less electricity.
Low-efficiency pumps are less expensive, but use much more electricity.
Most of our applications are specified for high-efficiency pumps because of
our warranty and significant electrical savings.
At what temperature should I
stop feeding my fish?
Once the water temperature
drops below 50 degrees F., stop feeding your fish. During the time of
year your fish will become dormant. Their respiration, metabolism, and
overall activity slows down as they prepare for their winter hibernation.
Feeding your fish this time of year can cause your fish to become sick or even
How does bacteria affect
Poor water quality is
caused by a variety of factors, including low oxygen levels and elevated
levels of nutrients (phosphorous & nitrogen). These nutrients are needed
by living organisms, but too much of them can lead to problems like green
water. Enlisting the help of bacteria serves a dual purpose. First
they break down waste. Second, they utilize the waste before the algae
can benefit from it. Simply put, the bacteria compete for the same
nutrients as the undesired algae.
At what temperature should
I start using the bacteria?
Water temperatures should be
greater than 40 degrees F., for bacteria to rejuvenate. The ideal water
temperature is between 60 and 95 degrees F.
What happens to my
water plants in the wintertime?
Hardy water lilies deeper
than 12 inches will survive the winter. Cut the dead lily leaves and stalks,
leaving approximately 2 to 3 inches of tuber at the base of the plant. Hardy
bog plants and marginal plants will need all of the dead laves trimmed down
just above the water level.
Tropical lilies and floating plants can be brought inside for
the winter or treated as an annual and replaced each season. Remove the
tropical water lily after the first frost. Cut the lily leaves and keep
only the tubers. Store the tubers in a greenhouse or basement.