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AZPonds Frequently Asked Questions and Pond Help

Air Pump FAQ

Answer:

One of the best ways to keep your fish happy and your pond from not freezing over is a pond de-icer. In other cases people also use a pond air pump to allow for a hole to be open in the pond and for the harmful gases to escape. Although when your pond is not quite deep enough where it won’t freeze solid using a submersible de-icer is always your best bet. Farm Innovators 1500 watt submergible pond de-icer is great people whose pond is 18″ or shallower. It allows for the water to be heated to the point where a area in the top wont freeze and the water stays warm enough to allow the fish to hibernate but also to no freeze into the ice. The submergible de-icer is also available to use with an air pump so that as you are heating the water below the air pump is helping in the process of pushing out the bad gases in your pond.

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Answer:

If you’re planning any kind of change to your pond that involves removing the fish from the pond for an extended period of time, it is best to provide some sort of housing for the fish that causes the least amount of stress on them. What I suggest doing is to take a large Rubbermaid tub or small plastic kid pool to house the fish and fill that up with pond water. Be sure to place this tub in a shaded area and place a net over the pool to keep the fish from jumping out.

Be sure to provide something to aerate the water, I would suggest taking a small water pump and placing that in the holding tank so that you have plenty of circulation. Don’t feed excessive amounts of fish food while the fish are in the holding area, limited the food to a small amount and only what they will eat in five minutes. Feed them only once a day as too much food will cause all sorts of health issues. When you are ready to move the fish back to the pond, make sure that the temperatures of the holding tank and the pond are about the same. If they are, you will want to slowly re-introduce your fish back into the pond.

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Answer:

Running an air pump year round on your pond is an excellent idea as it will supply plenty of dissolved oxygen for your pond fish. Having a healthy level of oxygen in your pond will help reduce stress on your fish and at the same time increase how active your pond fish are! Next to a water pump, I feel an air pump is a important necessity for a pond. An air pump should be allowed to run 24 hours a day and your best bet is to run one large size diffuser (air stone) in the deepest part of your pond. I suggest elevating the air stone off the bottom of your pond by about 8 inches. An easy way to do this is to use a terracotta pot that is flipped upside down with the diffuser placed on top. It is best to place the air pump about 6 to 10 feet from the pond and to place some sort of housing over it to protect it from the elements.

This doesn’t answer your question? email us at faq@azponds.com

Air Pump FAQ

Answer:

One of the best ways to keep your fish happy and your pond from not freezing over is a pond de-icer. In other cases people also use a pond air pump to allow for a hole to be open in the pond and for the harmful gases to escape. Although when your pond is not quite deep enough where it won’t freeze solid using a submersible de-icer is always your best bet. Farm Innovators 1500 watt submergible pond de-icer is great people whose pond is 18″ or shallower. It allows for the water to be heated to the point where a area in the top wont freeze and the water stays warm enough to allow the fish to hibernate but also to no freeze into the ice. The submergible de-icer is also available to use with an air pump so that as you are heating the water below the air pump is helping in the process of pushing out the bad gases in your pond.

This doesn’t answer your question? email us at faq@azponds.com

Answer:

If you’re planning any kind of change to your pond that involves removing the fish from the pond for an extended period of time, it is best to provide some sort of housing for the fish that causes the least amount of stress on them. What I suggest doing is to take a large Rubbermaid tub or small plastic kid pool to house the fish and fill that up with pond water. Be sure to place this tub in a shaded area and place a net over the pool to keep the fish from jumping out.

Be sure to provide something to aerate the water, I would suggest taking a small water pump and placing that in the holding tank so that you have plenty of circulation. Don’t feed excessive amounts of fish food while the fish are in the holding area, limited the food to a small amount and only what they will eat in five minutes. Feed them only once a day as too much food will cause all sorts of health issues. When you are ready to move the fish back to the pond, make sure that the temperatures of the holding tank and the pond are about the same. If they are, you will want to slowly re-introduce your fish back into the pond.

This doesn’t answer your question? email us at faq@azponds.com

Answer:

Running an air pump year round on your pond is an excellent idea as it will supply plenty of dissolved oxygen for your pond fish. Having a healthy level of oxygen in your pond will help reduce stress on your fish and at the same time increase how active your pond fish are! Next to a water pump, I feel an air pump is a important necessity for a pond. An air pump should be allowed to run 24 hours a day and your best bet is to run one large size diffuser (air stone) in the deepest part of your pond. I suggest elevating the air stone off the bottom of your pond by about 8 inches. An easy way to do this is to use a terracotta pot that is flipped upside down with the diffuser placed on top. It is best to place the air pump about 6 to 10 feet from the pond and to place some sort of housing over it to protect it from the elements.

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Fall/Spring Maintenance FAQ

Answer:

Deicers will not increase the temperature of your pond. A deicer’s purpose is to keep a hole in the pond so toxic gasses can leave the pond and oxygen can enter the pond. A deicer combined with an air pump is the best combination to ensure a hole in the ice.

Answer:

One of the best ways to keep your fish happy and your pond from not freezing over is a pond de-icer. In other cases people also use a pond air pump to allow for a hole to be open in the pond and for the harmful gases to escape. Although when your pond is not quite deep enough where it won’t freeze solid using a submersible de-icer is always your best bet. Farm Innovators 1500 watt submergible pond de-icer is great people whose pond is 18″ or shallower. It allows for the water to be heated to the point where a area in the top wont freeze and the water stays warm enough to allow the fish to hibernate but also to no freeze into the ice. The submergible de-icer is also available to use with an air pump so that as you are heating the water below the air pump is helping in the process of pushing out the bad gases in your pond.

This doesn’t answer your question? email us at faq@azponds.com

Answer:

Once your pond’s water temperature falls below 48 degrees fahrenheit, it’s a good time to get it ready for winter. If you have a pressurized filter or UV sterilizer, I suggest taking them off line and storing them away for winter. Since you have to put them away, I suggest using a silicone lubricant on any o-ring or gasket that the filter or UV may have as to prevent dry rot. I also suggest cleaning the quartz sleeve in any UV so that it will be ready to go come spring. It’s also a very good idea to purchase replacement inserts and UV lamps now for next spring as the availability of these items will be in short supply next spring.

Click Here to view filter parts by manufacturer

Click Here to view UV parts by manufacturer

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Answer:

When water temperatures start to fall below 65ºf, then it’s time to consider bring your UV Sterilizer in for the winter. Since your bringing your UV in for the winter, it’s a good idea to get it ready for next spring. I suggest taking out the quartz sleeve and cleaning that off with CLR (found in your grocery store).

Then take a silicone lubricant and apply that to any rubber o-rings or gaskets on you UV. Applying a lubricant will prevent the rubber from drying out. Next, clean out the UV vessel and get rid of any dirt that may be present. Finally, consider replacing the lamp now. The reason why I suggest replacing a lamp now is that you can avoid shortages on bulbs come spring time.

Click Here to view UV parts by manufacturer

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Answer:

Most pond skimmers will winter over without a problem if water freezes inside the unit. The reason is that most skimmers have tapered sides is so that when water freezes inside the skimmer it will expand and travel up the sides. Two examples of skimmers with tapered sides are ones from Atlantic Water Garden skimmers and Easypro Pond Skimmers. While we are on the subject of skimmers, if you are thinking about installing one on your pond, make sure that you place two to three inches of sand underneath the skimmer as well as about two to three inches of sands along the sides of the skimmer.

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Answer:

the reason why your UV is not working this year could be due to the fact that the quartz sleeve is dirty. If the sleeve is not taken out and cleaned, it will not allow the UV rays to pass through and effectively treat the water. What you need to do is gently remove the quartz sleeve and clean it with CLR (calcium lime remover) as this will effectively remove any mineral deposits on the sleeve.

Then when you place the sleeve back into the unit, I suggest placing a silicone lubricant on any rubber o-rings or gaskets so that it seals properly. Before you turn the unit on, I always suggest water testing the UV for a few minutes just to make sure there are no leaks. Now that you have done this, your UV will once again destroy the green water!

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Answer:

The answer is no, it is not covered under pumps warranty. All manufacturers of magnetic driven style pumps have the same policy. The reason for this policy is that impellers usually break because the pump was operated without the pump sock or pump bag over the inlet or the impeller was not taken out and cleaned. When a magnetic driven pump is operated with the protective sleeve off and a large object gets caught in the opening, it can easily break the impeller shaft which will then render the pump useless. The most common cause of impeller damage is pumps that are not maintained properly. When an impeller is not removed and cleaned each season, waste and minerals can build up on the impeller. This can then cause the impeller to seize up and eventually results in the impeller shaft breaking.

It’s real easy to remove an impeller and clean it. To start, you remove the impeller cover and then gently pull out the impeller. Then take the impeller and use Pondmaster Pump Guard Pond Pump Cleaner. After the impeller is cleaned, rinse it off with tap water. Next, you want to take a single edge razor and gently scrape the magnetic portion of the impeller to remove any minerals that may be left behind. Once you’re done with that, rinse again and place the impeller to the side. Now you want to clean out the impeller cavity. To do this, you will want to fill the cavity with Pondmaster Pump Guard Pond Pump Cleaner. Then take an old tooth brush and scrub out the cavity real well for a few seconds and when you’re done, rinse out the cavity with tap water.

You have finally completed cleaning the impeller and now it’s time to put everything back together. When placing the impeller back into the pump, you want to take your time and gently place the impeller back into the impeller cavity. Once the impeller is in, place the cover back on the pump and your ready to go. Doing simple maintenance like this will prolong the life of the pump’s impeller and will save you money in the long haul.

Click Here to view all pump parts by manufacturer

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Answer:

There are two types of pond vacuums available on the market today and they are electrical and gravity. Let’s start out with electrical since these are probably the most powerful of pond vacuums. The most common ones that you see offered are what I call the “R-2-D-2” units, like the Matala Muck Vac. These pond vacuums are great for ponds that are around 24 inches deep. I don’t really recommend them for ponds that are deeper than 30 inches as they generally lose their effectiveness at a depth of 30 inches. A new style electrical pond vacuum that is new to the US market that seems to have some power in deeper ponds is the Matala Cyclone Professional Pond Vacuum.

The reason why this vacuum can pick up at deeper depths then the other units is that it has 2 separate pumps, one for suction and the other for discharge. This feature allows for continuous vacuuming.

The other group of pond vacuums is gravity vacuums. This type of vacuum uses under water pressure from a hose outlet. These vacuums are only as good as the water pressure coming out of the hose outlet. Probably one of the best and easiest of these would be the Lifegard Pond Mini Vac because this vac literally pushes the waste out of the pond. (NOTE: Pole sold separately)

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Answer:

yes you need to clean your bio falls every four to six weeks. If you don’t clean your bio falls, then the mechanical part of your filtration (filter mat) will become clogged with waste and will create back pressure on your pond pump as well as poor circulation in your pond. The first step is to rinse the biological media off with pond water. Then while you’re doing work on your bio falls, place the biological media in a Rubbermaid container fill with pond water so that it does not dry out. Next, take the filter mat that sits below the bio media and hose that off with a garden hose.

Then take some paper towels and clean out any waste that may be present on the bottom of the tank. Once you completed all that, place the mat and bio media back in the pond filter and turn it out… your ready to go! If you are currently using lava rock in your bio falls and would like to make cleaning easier, I suggest switching from lava rock to something that is re-usable like bio-balls. Plus, bio-balls have more surface area then lava rock and they weigh a lot less too making them the best choice for biological media. If you get tired of replacing the filter mat that sits at the bottom, consider upgrading to the coarse Matala media (black one) as that is re-usable.

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Answer:

As the days get longer and warmer our thoughts turn our backyard pond. You’re probably wondering where to start with getting your pond ready for spring time. Let’s start off by skimming as much waste as we can from the bottom of the pond. You want to get rid of those nasty dead leaves that might have blown into your pond last fall as they can really reek havoc on your pond’s chemistry and be harmful to your pond fish’s health. To get your pond ready for spring, I suggest starting out by skimming as much waste as possible out of your pond using a pond skimmer net or pond vacuum. Next, you will want to remove about 20% of the ponds volume and add fresh water. When doing this don’t forget to use some kind of heavy mental neutralizer and dechlorinator. Then you want to get your pond filter going, I suggest new inserts for any pond filter as using old inserts will effect how effective the filter is in treating the water.

If there is a UV in the filter, be sure to remove the quartz sleeve and clean that with CLR so that the UV will be effective. Last, place a silicone lubricant on any rubber gaskets on your filter so that it prevents any kind of leakage. It’s always a good idea to add your beneficial bacteria additive and use as directed. Lastly, if you have a pond filter that backwashes, I suggest performing a backwash at least twice a week for the first two weeks. Then only backwash once a week for the rest of the season.

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Answer:

Running an air pump year round on your pond is an excellent idea as it will supply plenty of dissolved oxygen for your pond fish. Having a healthy level of oxygen in your pond will help reduce stress on your fish and at the same time increase how active your pond fish are! Next to a water pump, I feel an air pump is a important necessity for a pond. An air pump should be allowed to run 24 hours a day and your best bet is to run one large size diffuser (air stone) in the deepest part of your pond. I suggest elevating the air stone off the bottom of your pond by about 8 inches. An easy way to do this is to use a terracotta pot that is flipped upside down with the diffuser placed on top. It is best to place the air pump about 6 to 10 feet from the pond and to place some sort of housing over it to protect it from the elements.

This doesn’t answer your question? email us at faq@azponds.com

Answer:

I would suggest feeding when the water temperature is 42ºf and higher. I really don’t like feeding below this temperature as the fish’s metabolism is slow and the time to digest the food will take longer and may lead to health issues for the fish. Some manufacturers will suggest as low as 39ºf water temperature, but I’m just not convinced that it would be safe to do. You also want to make sure the temperature is stabilized, in other words it has to stay at 42ºf or higher for several days and does not run the risk of falling below that temperature for the next several days thereafter. Be sure to also monitor your water quality, mainly nitrites, ammonia and oxygen levels with a test kit. I suggest reliable liquid test kits to do this. I would also advise using BioSafe’s Pond O2 Plus as this will work in cold water and will help aid in the breakdown of waste while at the same time increasing the oxygen level.

 

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Filter Media FAQ

Answer:

yes you need to clean your bio falls every four to six weeks. If you don’t clean your bio falls, then the mechanical part of your filtration (filter mat) will become clogged with waste and will create back pressure on your pond pump as well as poor circulation in your pond. The first step is to rinse the biological media off with pond water. Then while you’re doing work on your bio falls, place the biological media in a Rubbermaid container fill with pond water so that it does not dry out. Next, take the filter mat that sits below the bio media and hose that off with a garden hose.

Then take some paper towels and clean out any waste that may be present on the bottom of the tank. Once you completed all that, place the mat and bio media back in the pond filter and turn it out… your ready to go! If you are currently using lava rock in your bio falls and would like to make cleaning easier, I suggest switching from lava rock to something that is re-usable like bio-balls. Plus, bio-balls have more surface area then lava rock and they weigh a lot less too making them the best choice for biological media. If you get tired of replacing the filter mat that sits at the bottom, consider upgrading to the coarse Matala media (black one) as that is re-usable.

This doesn’t answer your question? email us at faq@azponds.com

Answer:

As the days get longer and warmer our thoughts turn our backyard pond. You’re probably wondering where to start with getting your pond ready for spring time. Let’s start off by skimming as much waste as we can from the bottom of the pond. You want to get rid of those nasty dead leaves that might have blown into your pond last fall as they can really reek havoc on your pond’s chemistry and be harmful to your pond fish’s health. To get your pond ready for spring, I suggest starting out by skimming as much waste as possible out of your pond using a pond skimmer net or pond vacuum. Next, you will want to remove about 20% of the ponds volume and add fresh water. When doing this don’t forget to use some kind of heavy mental neutralizer and dechlorinator. Then you want to get your pond filter going, I suggest new inserts for any pond filter as using old inserts will effect how effective the filter is in treating the water.

If there is a UV in the filter, be sure to remove the quartz sleeve and clean that with CLR so that the UV will be effective. Last, place a silicone lubricant on any rubber gaskets on your filter so that it prevents any kind of leakage. It’s always a good idea to add your beneficial bacteria additive and use as directed. Lastly, if you have a pond filter that backwashes, I suggest performing a backwash at least twice a week for the first two weeks. Then only backwash once a week for the rest of the season.

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Answer:

It’s pretty easy and I have outlined seven steps for you to follow along on setting up your Professional bio Pond Filter.

STEP ONE: If your filter does not include media or you need to replace the media you will want to choose a bio media that is light weight and will not stick together. This media must have a lot of surface area for the bacteria to grow on as well. Probably the best bio media to do the job would be Bio-Cell Media and that can be found on our website under filter media. While it can be expensive to buy, it is important to keep in mind that it has a long life to it (at least 7 years) and provides a lot of surface area too. Plus, it will not stick together and works great in filters that backwash.

STEP TWO: Make sure the laterals inside you filter are installed properly so that the bio media will not pass through and clog up your filter’s return.

STEP THREE: You only want to fill the Professional bio Pond Filter up half way with the bio-media. You do not want to go over half as that will effect the backwash mode. To find out how much media you will need to purchase, I suggest emailing us at mail@azponds.com and asking a salesperson for assistance here. When you email, you will need to have the make and model number of the Professional bio Pond Filter you are using available so that they can figure out how many cubic feet of bio media you will need.

STEP FOUR: When you hook up your Professional bio Pond Filter to your pump, I suggest making a by-pass system so that you can regulate the flow of water through the filter. The reason why you want the ability to regulate the flow is so that you can slow the flow rate down when running the filter in biological mode and then increase the flow through the filter when performing a backwash. If you happen to have a PSI meter on your Professional bio Pond Filter , you want to make sure that it always reads 0 PSI when running the filter in biological mode. As far as figuring out flow rate for your sand filter, it is recommended that you email or call is at mail@azponds.com so a sales person so can calculate this for you.

STEP FIVE: These filters are kind of like a septic system for your pond, so it is important that you supply a beneficial bacteria additive (ie Microbe-lift HC) on a daily basis. This will aid your filter with breaking down waste.

STEP SIX: Your filter should be back washed once every week. To do a proper backwash, I suggest starting out by placing the filter in the backwash mode for one to two minutes. Then switch to the rinse mode and run that until the water coming out of the exhaust is clear.

STEP SEVEN: It is important to do a complete cleaning of your bio filter once a year. You want to physically remove the bio media from the tank and clean it with pond water and then clean the inside of the tank with pond water as well. Then return the media back to the filter right away. The media cannot be left out to dry as that will kill the bacteria that is already on it. If you have any additional questions on making your bio-filter, please feel free to give us a call or email is at mail@azponds.com as we will be more than happy to help you.

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Answer:

When it comes to pressurized sand filters, you don’t want to use sand because it will require a much larger pump to operate which can result in higher energy usage. The bead media requires less energy to operate; it’s easier to maintain; and it has more biological surface area then sand.

When you convert a pressurized sand filter to a bio unit, you only want to fill the tank up half way with biological filter media (I recommend using Easypro Ultimate Floating Media). Next, you want to watch your flow rate through the filter, if the water goes through the filter to fast, the filter will be ineffective biologically. I don’t advise hooking a pump up directly to the filter, instead you want to use a flow regulator so that you have control of the flow. The water should go through slower when running in filter mode and the flow should be increased when backwashing. For flow rates, I suggest emailing us at mail@azponds.com and asking for some guidance as far as what you will need to push. Before you call in, please have the following information available: tank diameter and height.

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Answer:

bioforce_2000_pad_new

It depends on the filter pad’s purpose is. If it is being used as part of your biological filtration, then no you do not want to use tap water to clean them. The way you would clean your biological filter inserts would be to use pond water. What you do is take a 5 gallon bucket of pond water and take each insert and clean it in that bucket. You will want to squeeze the insert several times and then discard that water in a garden or drainage area. You want to do this 3 times for each insert.

Now if the insert is strictly being used mechanically (just collect waste), then you can wash that insert with tap water. I would also like to mention that if you see a lot of muck in or on your inserts, you may want to consider using a beneficial bacteria additive like Microbe Lift PL or Biosafe Xtreme as this will help aid the beneficial bacteria that is growing on your inserts breakdown organic waste. Lastly, I suggest changing your inserts each pond season with a fresh new insert parts from the manufacturer so that you can get the most out of your pond filter.

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Fish food and fish feeding FAQ

Answer:

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When it comes to choosing a pond filter for your pond, you want to consider the amount of fish you will have in the pond as well as the size of the pond. A lot of the pond filters on the market today are basically geared up for a pond with a minimal amount of fish. It’s always best to start at the beginning, so let’s start with how big your pond is. If you have yet to build your pond, and want to know exactly how many gallons your pond is and should happen to have a water meter on your house, then you’ll love this. Simply write the number on your water meter down and then go and fill your pond up. When your pond is filled up, go back to the water meter and write the number down again. Now subtract the first number from the second number and that is how many gallons your pond is! For those of you who already have your pond filled, I suggest doing the following:(LENGTH x WIDTH x AVERAGE DEPTH) X 7.48

It is important to use your average depth and not the deepest point as that will give you more gallons then you actually have. I also suggest taking 15% off of this figure to get an even better idea of how many gallons your pond is.

Now that you know how many gallons your pond is, the next step is to figure out your pond fish population. The normal rule of thumb is to add one inch of adult fish to every five gallons of pond water. For example, let’s say you buy some comets for your pond; they will reach an adult size of 12 to 14 inches in length. So, you will want to provide about 70 gallons of water for just one comet. So, let’s say your pond is 1000 gallons in size, I would suggest say 14 to 15 adult comets would be fine for your pond and any pond filter that is rated for a 1000 gallon pond will do. Let’s say you decide to have 40 adult comets in you 1000 gallon pond. Then you will need a much bigger pond filter, probably something that is rated for a 3000 gallon pond will work well.

I like to think of pond filters as septic systems for your pond, so you will want to choose a filter that offers a lot of biological surface area. The bacteria that grow in this area will gradually feed on the organic waste and break it down naturally. Just like a septic system, you will also need to use a biological additive that will help aid the filter with the breakdown of waste. Common bacteria additives that are sold on the market are Microbe Lift PL or BioSafe’s Xtreme.

Selecting your filter, to buy a pond filter with UV  or  pond Filter without a UV, that is the question that I get a lot. If you have a balanced pond that has 50% pond plant coverage, you won’t need a filter with a UV as the pond plants will work with your filter in controlling the nutrients that cause green water. If your pond is going to have very little pond plant coverage, then you really want to consider a filter with a UV. UV Sterilizers can be tricky and it’s important to have the proper one sized up for your pond. I see a lot of manufacturer’s that inflate their UV’s abilities and it can be real frustrating at times as to why they do this. The two important things to keep in mind is, (1) matching the right wattage up to the amount of water you are going to treat and (2) providing the proper flow rate through the UV. My favorite UV manufacturer is Emperor Aquatics UVs and the reason for that is, they use EPA guide lines to come up with their flow rates. That’s how they can make the clear water claim in 3 days. I wish everyone followed this as it would make things so much easier.

The best set up that I can recommend on ponds up to 5000+ gallons in size would be the one of our Professional Filters hooked up to an Emperor Aquatic’s Smart UV Sterilizer. This set up would require the least amount of maintenance and would last for many years.

Wrapping it up, I also suggest watching how often you feed fish food to your fish. So many pond food manufacturers tell you to feed your fish 2 or 3 times a day. In reality, you only need to feed your fish once every other day. If you notice a surface algae outbreak in your pond, you want to stop feeding all together and allow your fish to feed on the algae. When the algae subside, you can go back to your regular feeding. Also, watch the type of foods you feed, you want to use a fish food that will produce a minimal amount of waste. Look at the ingredients, you want one that starts off with fish meal and has a low amount of cheaper fillers (i.e. corn).

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Answer:

I would suggest feeding when the water temperature is 42ºf and higher. I really don’t like feeding below this temperature as the fish’s metabolism is slow and the time to digest the food will take longer and may lead to health issues for the fish. Some manufacturers will suggest as low as 39ºf water temperature, but I’m just not convinced that it would be safe to do. You also want to make sure the temperature is stabilized, in other words it has to stay at 42ºf or higher for several days and does not run the risk of falling below that temperature for the next several days thereafter. Be sure to also monitor your water quality, mainly nitrites, ammonia and oxygen levels with a test kit. I suggest reliable liquid test kits to do this. I would also advise using BioSafe’s Pond O2 Plus as this will work in cold water and will help aid in the breakdown of waste while at the same time increasing the oxygen level.

 

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General Pond FAQ

Answer:

The answer to this question is these little brown worms are called blood worms and they are harmless to both plants and animals. In fact these little worms serve a purpose. When these worms are in your pond filter they help break down organic waste within the filter. The second purpose for these blood worms are they make nice treats for your fish.

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Answer:

Bull Frogs are not entirely bad for a pond as they play a role in insect and rodent control. I basically describe any frog as a disposal unit that will eat anything that comes in front of them. If you don’t want bull frogs because of their size, then try wood frogs or chorus frogs as these guys only get about 5 to 6 inches in size and they too will winter over just like a bull frog. Probably the best way to keep them at your pond is to buy them in the tadpole stage, that way they grow up around your pond and they are more than likely not so inclined to wonder off.

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Answer:

When you transport fish it’s best to place them in a large plastic bag that will not leak. You want enough water in the bag so that the fish(s) will be able to move about comfortably. Half the bag should be filled with oxygen (you do not want to blow into the bag to fill it up as that is a bad idea). Then place the bag in a cardboard box which will help reduce stress while you transport the fish. Be sure to keep the fish in a cool area while you are transporting them as you do not want them to overheat. When you get your fish to their new home, you want to float the bag in the pond water for about 15 minutes. Then open the bag and add a couple of cups of pond water from the pond to the bag. Then tie the bag shut again and let it continue to float for another 15 minutes. When the 15 minutes has passed, use a pond net and remove the fish from the bag and place them in their new home. Then discard the old water in the bag.

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Answer:

The answer to this question would be yes provided the pond only has a very scarce population of pond fish and has a 50% pond plant coverage. One thing to think about though, if there is no pond pump circulating the water, it is an open invitation to pests like mosquitoes. I would suggest using a beneficial bacteria at least in your pond as that will help break down waste. I would personally at least consider running a small fountain so that you do not have any mosquito issues. If you do I would recommend some kind of biological mosquito control.

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Answer:

I wouldn’t suggest using an excessive amount of pond salt because this may effect the health of you koi as you could actually burn them and cause tissue damage. To the best of my knowledge, there is no effective leech treatment sold. Years ago I was told by another pond keeper to try a piece of red meat in a coffee can that has the plastic top with a 1″ hole on it. The red meat will act as a lure and will draw the leeches in without effecting the fish. I have actually used this method and found it to work, but you have to be patient and it does take some time. I would suggest checking your “LEECH TRAP” each day and to change the red meat out daily.

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Answer:

I would suggest cutting your plant coverage down to 50% to 60% and the reason for this is that plants can affect your oxygen levels at night as they are pulling in oxygen during the night time. As far as safely removing excessive ones, the only thing I can suggest is going into the pond and physically removing the unwanted lilies.

If these are in pots, it would probably be best to remove the pot from the pond and then take the lilies you don’t want out on land. By doing this you will cut down on clouding the water with the pond plant soil. If the water does cloud up from removing the lilies, I would suggest using a water clarifier like OASE AquaActiv Water Clarifier or Pond Care’s AccuClear as this will clump up any free floating materials.

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Answer:

If the pond water is turning the color of ice tea, it may be turning this color due to run off or there may be pond plants in your pond that are planted in potting soil. Either one of these can lead to reddish brown water. If the water turns this color after a heavy rain, then the cause is run off and you will need to divert the water away from the pond. If you just placed pond plants in your pond and the water has turned brown, then that would be from the soil that was used to pot the plants and you will want to consider re-potting your plants in a clay soil instead.

If the water has free floating particles in the water and it has a brown tint to it, then there is a good chance that your fish are digging in your pond plant’s pots. The way to solve that one is to use a clay pond plant soil, such as Aquascape Pond Plant Potting Media and then to add at least 2 inches of gravel over the potting soil. I would also suggest doing a water change of about 25% once a week for the next two weeks to help clear up the pond.

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Answer:

This is a common question that I get often regarding pond water treatments. What I can say is that ponds treated with barley or beneficial bacteria’s are generally harmless to pets when applied properly.

As far as algaecides are concerned, I would suggest being careful here. I don’t think that these would be harmful when used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. I would try and discourage your pets from drinking water that was just treated to be on the safe side.

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Answer:

One of the most common misconceptions out there in pond land is that a UV Sterilizer will help control surface algae (aka Filamentous Algae). The truth of the matter is, a UV only kills off green water (aka waterborne algae) as the algae has to pass through the UV in order to be effectively treated. The two most common forms of surface algae are Blanket Weed and Hair Algae. Blanket weed is free floating and as it grows it will start to resemble a blanket and usually forms in clumps. Hair Algae resembles hair and attaches to just about everything in the pond. Because this algae is attached to rocks and plants, it can be a real nightmare to clean up and can affect your pond plant’s health (especially lilies).

So what causes surface algae you ask? Well it is mainly caused by a couple of things, like excessive amounts of organic waste and high levels of minerals like iron in your pond. To control surface algae, it is recommended that you do the following steps:

STEP 1. Provide a reliable biological filter that is properly sized for your pond. It is always a good rule of thumb to provide more biological filtration then what your pond calls for as you can never have too much filtration. The other thing that is important when it comes to biological filters is how they are maintained. You should never clean the biological media in your pond filter with tap water as that will kill off the beneficial bacteria that is living on the media. This goes for both well water and water from a municipality water source. What you should use to clean biological media is pond water. If you have a filter that uses foam inserts like the Laguna Pressure-Flo Series Filters, what you would want to do is take a 5 gallon bucket of pond water and squeeze each insert in that bucket several times to release the waste that is trapped on it. You want to repeat this process three times. Any biological media that is loose or in bags should be placed in a Rubbermaid container that is filled with pond water and moved around for at least two to three minutes so that you can loosen any waste that may be trapped on it. When you are finished cleaning, take the dirty water and discard. Do not pour the dirty water back into the pond.

If you have a bio  waterfalls, it’s a great idea to clean these (with pond water) every six weeks. A common misconception is to leave your bio falls alone and not to disturb it. The problem with that idea is that (1) sludge builds up under mat that is being used for the mechanical filtration and will create restriction on waterfall’s output. (2) Waste can gradually build up on the biological media and choke off the nitrifying bacteria. It’s a great idea to take the biological media in your biofalls and rinse it real well with pond water. If you’re using lava rock in your biofalls, it’s a good idea to replace it each season with fresh lava rock. Using the same lava rock year after year is a bad idea as it will harbor dead organic waste. An excellent biological media to use in a biofall are bio spheres as they are easy to clean and are re-usable. To get the most out of your biofalls, it’s a great idea to hook up an air pump to your biofalls by running an air line with an air stone under the biological media. Doing this will increase the oxygen level to the media and that will increase the bio filter’s effectiveness.

STEP 2. Watch how often you feed your fish as this is a big contributor to the surface algae nightmare. Feed only fish foods that are high in fish meal and low in fillers as this will produce less waste. If you have a surface algae problem, it’s best to stop feeding your fish all together and allow your pond fish to feed on the algae. Once the surface algae subsides, then begin feeding your pond fish again. When it comes to feeding your fish on a daily basis, it’s recommended that you feed them once every other day and only what they will consume in five minutes. It’s even a better idea to use a feeding point so that you can remove any uneaten food.

STEP 3. Consider using a beneficial bacteria (i.e. BioSafe’s Xtreme) in your pond as that will aid your pond filter in the breakdown of organic waste. If you have a real bad algae issue, consider using a sludge reducer (i.e. BioSafe’s Pond O2 Plus or Microbe Lift’s SA) and that will quickly digest the sludge that the surface algae is feeding on.

STEP 4. Small water changes once a month are a good thing. Simply remove 15% to 20% of your ponds volume and then add fresh water to your pond. If you have a pressurized pond filter with backwash, it’s a great idea to perform a backwash once a week for about 30 to 45 seconds.

STEP 5. When adding water to your pond, we suggest using a dechlorinator that will also help neutralize heavy metals. Even if you have well water, it’s a great idea to do this as we are trying to neutralize metals like iron. One dechlorinators that do this is the PondCare Pond Chlorine & Heavy Metal Neutralizer.

STEP 6. Try and provide up to 50% pond plant coverage on your pond. Pond plants are more than just decorations, they too will also feed on the organic waste in your pond.

STEP 7. Test your water daily with a pond test kit! When it comes to algae, you want to watch Nitrates and Phosphate levels.

If you follow these seven steps, surface algae will not be a problem in your pond!

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Answer:

Spring into summer is the time of year where your pond maybe turning a little green or cloudy from all the sunlight and rain. With these problems occurring there always a quick and easy way to get rid of algae and cloudy water, so you and your family can enjoy the pond almost as much as the fish do! One of AZPonds leading water clarifiers called Acurel E. It easily helps with green or cloudy water, and allows for debris to settle to the bottom of the pond making it easy to vacuum or filter out. It’s made with extracts of renewable resources making it safe for fish, pets, plants and wildlife.

When it comes to the nasty hair algae that forms on the sides of your pond, in the waterfall, and may even be floating in patches on the surface nothing works better than Aquascape EcoBlast Contract Granular Algaecide. Aquascape Algaecide eliminates unsightly algae and debris from waterfalls, fountains, streams, and rocks on contact.

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Answer:

You can add a pond skimmer too your pond and it’s not really that hard to do when you follow these simple steps:

STEP 1. You want to make sure that you position the skimmer where it is opposite your waterfall so that you are able to get the most out of the skimmer as far as circulation.

STEP 2. Now that you have a location selected, you will need to drain your pond about half way so that you are able to pull the pond liner away from the area where the skimmer will go. Next, measure your skimmer and then dig out the area for the skimmer to fit into, add about 3 inches to the depth of the area where the skimmer is going to go so that you can add sand. Adding sand will help you level the skimmer and at the same time protect the unit from damage in the future.

STEP 3. Now that we have the skimmer in place, we will want to attach the pond liner. You want to make sure that the liner is clean on both sides with UltraClean PVC and EPDM Liner Cleaner where it is going to attach to the skimmer. On the face of the skimmer where the door is, you will want to place a bead of silicone sealant around the door. I would place the bead of silicon about an inch from the edge of the door’s actual opening. Then place your pond liner over the face the skimmer and then apply pressure to the liner so that the silicone spreads out evenly. Now attach the skimmer’s weir door and then cut out the pond liner that is blocking the door. This part is optional, but I suggest going around the weir door on the skimmer and placing a bead of black silicon on the inner lip of the door so that it is water tight. It also doesn’t hurt to place a bead of silicone over each one of the screws that holds the door in place.

STEP 4. On the outside of the pond you will want to back fill around the skimmer with sand and near the top you will want to place topsoil or mulch.

STEP 5. Install your pond pump and fill the pond back up. When you fill the pond, you want to make sure that the water level is about 1.5″ from the top of the skimmer’s weir door. You don’t want the skimmer door under water as that will not allow floating waste to effectively enter the skimmer.

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Answer:

I always recommend a waterfall filter for a pond as they make great biological pond filters. This type of filter is commonly referred to as a “Bio-Falls” by most pond keepers. They are very simple filters as they usually consist of a filter mat of some sort and a biological media (i.e. lava rock, bio balls, etc). Each bio-falls filter will have a pond size rating assigned to it so that you will be able to match up what filter works best for your pond. You want to make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s suggested flow rate so that you get a nice sheet of water coming off the filter’s spillway. To get the most out of one of these filters, I suggest replacing the nylon filter mat with a piece of coarse Matala media as this is re-usable and will not have to be replaced. For the bio media, I would suggest loading up a media bag with bio balls as they can be re-used and offer a lot of surface area for the beneficial bacteria to grow on. To get the most out of any bio-falls filter, I suggest using an air pump and running an air stone under the biological media. Doing this increases the bacteria’s activity, thus making the filter more effective. I also recommend cleaning the bio-falls every 4 to 6 weeks. When you clean these filters, it is important to clean the bio-media with pond water and to hose the mats off with tap water. By cleaning these filters on a regular basis you will be able to get the maximum performance out of them without creating back pressure on your pond pump!

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How to Eliminate Algae in you pond FAQ

Answer:

One of the most common misconceptions out there in pond land is that a UV Sterilizer will help control surface algae (aka Filamentous Algae). The truth of the matter is, a UV only kills off green water (aka waterborne algae) as the algae has to pass through the UV in order to be effectively treated. The two most common forms of surface algae are Blanket Weed and Hair Algae. Blanket weed is free floating and as it grows it will start to resemble a blanket and usually forms in clumps. Hair Algae resembles hair and attaches to just about everything in the pond. Because this algae is attached to rocks and plants, it can be a real nightmare to clean up and can affect your pond plant’s health (especially lilies).

So what causes surface algae you ask? Well it is mainly caused by a couple of things, like excessive amounts of organic waste and high levels of minerals like iron in your pond. To control surface algae, it is recommended that you do the following steps:

STEP 1. Provide a reliable biological filter that is properly sized for your pond. It is always a good rule of thumb to provide more biological filtration then what your pond calls for as you can never have too much filtration. The other thing that is important when it comes to biological filters is how they are maintained. You should never clean the biological media in your pond filter with tap water as that will kill off the beneficial bacteria that is living on the media. This goes for both well water and water from a municipality water source. What you should use to clean biological media is pond water. If you have a filter that uses foam inserts like the Laguna Pressure-Flo Series Filters, what you would want to do is take a 5 gallon bucket of pond water and squeeze each insert in that bucket several times to release the waste that is trapped on it. You want to repeat this process three times. Any biological media that is loose or in bags should be placed in a Rubbermaid container that is filled with pond water and moved around for at least two to three minutes so that you can loosen any waste that may be trapped on it. When you are finished cleaning, take the dirty water and discard. Do not pour the dirty water back into the pond.

If you have a bio  waterfalls, it’s a great idea to clean these (with pond water) every six weeks. A common misconception is to leave your bio falls alone and not to disturb it. The problem with that idea is that (1) sludge builds up under mat that is being used for the mechanical filtration and will create restriction on waterfall’s output. (2) Waste can gradually build up on the biological media and choke off the nitrifying bacteria. It’s a great idea to take the biological media in your biofalls and rinse it real well with pond water. If you’re using lava rock in your biofalls, it’s a good idea to replace it each season with fresh lava rock. Using the same lava rock year after year is a bad idea as it will harbor dead organic waste. An excellent biological media to use in a biofall are bio spheres as they are easy to clean and are re-usable. To get the most out of your biofalls, it’s a great idea to hook up an air pump to your biofalls by running an air line with an air stone under the biological media. Doing this will increase the oxygen level to the media and that will increase the bio filter’s effectiveness.

STEP 2. Watch how often you feed your fish as this is a big contributor to the surface algae nightmare. Feed only fish foods that are high in fish meal and low in fillers as this will produce less waste. If you have a surface algae problem, it’s best to stop feeding your fish all together and allow your pond fish to feed on the algae. Once the surface algae subsides, then begin feeding your pond fish again. When it comes to feeding your fish on a daily basis, it’s recommended that you feed them once every other day and only what they will consume in five minutes. It’s even a better idea to use a feeding point so that you can remove any uneaten food.

STEP 3. Consider using a beneficial bacteria (i.e. BioSafe’s Xtreme) in your pond as that will aid your pond filter in the breakdown of organic waste. If you have a real bad algae issue, consider using a sludge reducer (i.e. BioSafe’s Pond O2 Plus or Microbe Lift’s SA) and that will quickly digest the sludge that the surface algae is feeding on.

STEP 4. Small water changes once a month are a good thing. Simply remove 15% to 20% of your ponds volume and then add fresh water to your pond. If you have a pressurized pond filter with backwash, it’s a great idea to perform a backwash once a week for about 30 to 45 seconds.

STEP 5. When adding water to your pond, we suggest using a dechlorinator that will also help neutralize heavy metals. Even if you have well water, it’s a great idea to do this as we are trying to neutralize metals like iron. One dechlorinators that do this is the PondCare Pond Chlorine & Heavy Metal Neutralizer.

STEP 6. Try and provide up to 50% pond plant coverage on your pond. Pond plants are more than just decorations, they too will also feed on the organic waste in your pond.

STEP 7. Test your water daily with a pond test kit! When it comes to algae, you want to watch Nitrates and Phosphate levels.

If you follow these seven steps, surface algae will not be a problem in your pond!

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Answer:

Spring into summer is the time of year where your pond maybe turning a little green or cloudy from all the sunlight and rain. With these problems occurring there always a quick and easy way to get rid of algae and cloudy water, so you and your family can enjoy the pond almost as much as the fish do! One of AZPonds leading water clarifiers called Acurel E. It easily helps with green or cloudy water, and allows for debris to settle to the bottom of the pond making it easy to vacuum or filter out. It’s made with extracts of renewable resources making it safe for fish, pets, plants and wildlife.

When it comes to the nasty hair algae that forms on the sides of your pond, in the waterfall, and may even be floating in patches on the surface nothing works better than Aquascape EcoBlast Contract Granular Algaecide. Aquascape Algaecide eliminates unsightly algae and debris from waterfalls, fountains, streams, and rocks on contact.

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Answer:

the reason why your UV is not working this year could be due to the fact that the quartz sleeve is dirty. If the sleeve is not taken out and cleaned, it will not allow the UV rays to pass through and effectively treat the water. What you need to do is gently remove the quartz sleeve and clean it with CLR (calcium lime remover) as this will effectively remove any mineral deposits on the sleeve.

Then when you place the sleeve back into the unit, I suggest placing a silicone lubricant on any rubber o-rings or gaskets so that it seals properly. Before you turn the unit on, I always suggest water testing the UV for a few minutes just to make sure there are no leaks. Now that you have done this, your UV will once again destroy the green water!

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Answer:

What is causing the surface algae growth is an abundance of organic waste in your pond. I would not suggest using any sort of algaecide on a pond this time of year as these treatments reduce the dissolved oxygen levels in your pond and that can harm your fish. If the pond has the possibility of freezing over, I suggest the use of an aerator of some sort instead of running a water pump as that will provide a lot more dissolved oxygen then say a water pump that is being used to just push water. There is an easy way to find out if your oxygen levels are okay in your pond by using an oxygen test kits. The only quick fix I can suggest for the surface algae for now is the use of some sort of enzyme packet like UltraClear Oxy or BioSafe’s Pond O2 Plus.

My advice for next season is to start prepping your pond for fall early (around late August) by using a fall program like Microbe-Lift Autumn Prep Winter Treatment and to also pull a water change of 30% and make sure that you have some pond netting over your pond so that leaves are prevented from blowing into the pond.

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Koi and Goldfish Care FAQ

Answer:

The answer to this question is these little brown worms are called blood worms and they are harmless to both plants and animals. In fact these little worms serve a purpose. When these worms are in your pond filter they help break down organic waste within the filter. The second purpose for these blood worms are they make nice treats for your fish.

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Answer:

When you transport fish it’s best to place them in a large plastic bag that will not leak. You want enough water in the bag so that the fish(s) will be able to move about comfortably. Half the bag should be filled with oxygen (you do not want to blow into the bag to fill it up as that is a bad idea). Then place the bag in a cardboard box which will help reduce stress while you transport the fish. Be sure to keep the fish in a cool area while you are transporting them as you do not want them to overheat. When you get your fish to their new home, you want to float the bag in the pond water for about 15 minutes. Then open the bag and add a couple of cups of pond water from the pond to the bag. Then tie the bag shut again and let it continue to float for another 15 minutes. When the 15 minutes has passed, use a pond net and remove the fish from the bag and place them in their new home. Then discard the old water in the bag.

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Answer:

If the scales look like a pine cone, then this is referred to as DROPSY and it is not contagious, but the conditions that caused it are and you may want to test your water quality with a test kit. We would recommend the PondCare Pond Master Liquid Test Kit. This could be a sign of either a congenital heart, kidney failure or possibly an internal bacterial infection.  This is very hard to treat and it is recommended to isolate the infected fish and to treat with an anti bacterial medication.

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Answer:

I would suggest testing your water quality with a test kit for starters to make sure that your ammonia and nitrite levels are low. If those check out fine, I would then check your oxygen levels by using an oxygen test kit. It’s always a very good idea to use an air pump over the winter months so that your dissolved oxygen levels are always high. It also does not hurt to use an enzyme to control dead leaves and waste over the winter months and I would suggest using either Pond O2 Plus from BioSafe or UltraClear Oxy.

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Lake Maintenance FAQ

Answer:

It’s pretty easy and I have outlined seven steps for you to follow along on setting up your Professional bio Pond Filter.

STEP ONE: If your filter does not include media or you need to replace the media you will want to choose a bio media that is light weight and will not stick together. This media must have a lot of surface area for the bacteria to grow on as well. Probably the best bio media to do the job would be Bio-Cell Media and that can be found on our website under filter media. While it can be expensive to buy, it is important to keep in mind that it has a long life to it (at least 7 years) and provides a lot of surface area too. Plus, it will not stick together and works great in filters that backwash.

STEP TWO: Make sure the laterals inside you filter are installed properly so that the bio media will not pass through and clog up your filter’s return.

STEP THREE: You only want to fill the Professional bio Pond Filter up half way with the bio-media. You do not want to go over half as that will effect the backwash mode. To find out how much media you will need to purchase, I suggest emailing us at mail@azponds.com and asking a salesperson for assistance here. When you email, you will need to have the make and model number of the Professional bio Pond Filter you are using available so that they can figure out how many cubic feet of bio media you will need.

STEP FOUR: When you hook up your Professional bio Pond Filter to your pump, I suggest making a by-pass system so that you can regulate the flow of water through the filter. The reason why you want the ability to regulate the flow is so that you can slow the flow rate down when running the filter in biological mode and then increase the flow through the filter when performing a backwash. If you happen to have a PSI meter on your Professional bio Pond Filter , you want to make sure that it always reads 0 PSI when running the filter in biological mode. As far as figuring out flow rate for your sand filter, it is recommended that you email or call is at mail@azponds.com so a sales person so can calculate this for you.

STEP FIVE: These filters are kind of like a septic system for your pond, so it is important that you supply a beneficial bacteria additive (ie Microbe-lift HC) on a daily basis. This will aid your filter with breaking down waste.

STEP SIX: Your filter should be back washed once every week. To do a proper backwash, I suggest starting out by placing the filter in the backwash mode for one to two minutes. Then switch to the rinse mode and run that until the water coming out of the exhaust is clear.

STEP SEVEN: It is important to do a complete cleaning of your bio filter once a year. You want to physically remove the bio media from the tank and clean it with pond water and then clean the inside of the tank with pond water as well. Then return the media back to the filter right away. The media cannot be left out to dry as that will kill the bacteria that is already on it. If you have any additional questions on making your bio-filter, please feel free to give us a call or email is at mail@azponds.com as we will be more than happy to help you.

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Answer:

The Pond Logic ClearPAC Plus ends the guesswork of pond management by combining essential pond maintenance products into 1 complete pond care package. The Pond Logic ClearPAC Plus allows pond owners to eliminate algae, improve water quality, reduce pond muck, promote fish health and maintain crystal clear water in a few simple steps.

Got Muck? The Pond Logic ClearPAC Plus includes Pond Logic MuckAway to combat excessive pond muck. Eliminate pond muck from high traffic beach areas and lake shorelines so you can spend more time enjoying your pond and less time wading in muck.

Designed for Golf Courses The Pond Logic ClearPAC Golf includes everything you need to keep your golf course pond looking its best. Pre-measured Pond Dye Packets simplify dye application while PondClear and MuckAway keep your water clear and shorelines clear of muck.

Your Season Long Pond Care Package Along with our essential pond maintenance products, the Pond Logic ClearPAC Plus comes complete with easy-to-follow instructions and is guaranteed to work or your money back! Live in a state that restricts algaecides? Not to worry, the Pond Logic ClearPAC Plus is available without Algae Defense so you can enjoy a crystal-clear pond regardless of where you live.

All-In-One Pond Care Package

  • Kill algae, eliminate pond muck and clear water all in one convenient package
  • Treats ¼ acre pond for up to 6 months. ½ acre pond for up to 3 months
  • End the guesswork of pond management

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Pond Construction FAQ

Answer:

You can add a pond skimmer too your pond and it’s not really that hard to do when you follow these simple steps:

STEP 1. You want to make sure that you position the skimmer where it is opposite your waterfall so that you are able to get the most out of the skimmer as far as circulation.

STEP 2. Now that you have a location selected, you will need to drain your pond about half way so that you are able to pull the pond liner away from the area where the skimmer will go. Next, measure your skimmer and then dig out the area for the skimmer to fit into, add about 3 inches to the depth of the area where the skimmer is going to go so that you can add sand. Adding sand will help you level the skimmer and at the same time protect the unit from damage in the future.

STEP 3. Now that we have the skimmer in place, we will want to attach the pond liner. You want to make sure that the liner is clean on both sides with UltraClean PVC and EPDM Liner Cleaner where it is going to attach to the skimmer. On the face of the skimmer where the door is, you will want to place a bead of silicone sealant around the door. I would place the bead of silicon about an inch from the edge of the door’s actual opening. Then place your pond liner over the face the skimmer and then apply pressure to the liner so that the silicone spreads out evenly. Now attach the skimmer’s weir door and then cut out the pond liner that is blocking the door. This part is optional, but I suggest going around the weir door on the skimmer and placing a bead of black silicon on the inner lip of the door so that it is water tight. It also doesn’t hurt to place a bead of silicone over each one of the screws that holds the door in place.

STEP 4. On the outside of the pond you will want to back fill around the skimmer with sand and near the top you will want to place topsoil or mulch.

STEP 5. Install your pond pump and fill the pond back up. When you fill the pond, you want to make sure that the water level is about 1.5″ from the top of the skimmer’s weir door. You don’t want the skimmer door under water as that will not allow floating waste to effectively enter the skimmer.

This doesn’t answer your question? email us at faq@azponds.com

Answer:

I always recommend a waterfall filter for a pond as they make great biological pond filters. This type of filter is commonly referred to as a “Bio-Falls” by most pond keepers. They are very simple filters as they usually consist of a filter mat of some sort and a biological media (i.e. lava rock, bio balls, etc). Each bio-falls filter will have a pond size rating assigned to it so that you will be able to match up what filter works best for your pond. You want to make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s suggested flow rate so that you get a nice sheet of water coming off the filter’s spillway. To get the most out of one of these filters, I suggest replacing the nylon filter mat with a piece of coarse Matala media as this is re-usable and will not have to be replaced. For the bio media, I would suggest loading up a media bag with bio balls as they can be re-used and offer a lot of surface area for the beneficial bacteria to grow on. To get the most out of any bio-falls filter, I suggest using an air pump and running an air stone under the biological media. Doing this increases the bacteria’s activity, thus making the filter more effective. I also recommend cleaning the bio-falls every 4 to 6 weeks. When you clean these filters, it is important to clean the bio-media with pond water and to hose the mats off with tap water. By cleaning these filters on a regular basis you will be able to get the maximum performance out of them without creating back pressure on your pond pump!

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Answer:

To keep rocks and stones in place on a waterfall, I suggest the use of black waterfall foam. This is safe to use and will hold rocks firmly in place. You can also use this to control the direction of water on your waterfall as well. I do not suggest the use of mortar to hold stones on your waterfall because of the lime content that is found in mortar. The lime will increase your pH levels greatly and will affect your fish and plants. The other problem with mortar is that in colder environments, it will tend to crack and come apart.

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Answer:

If you’re planning any kind of change to your pond that involves removing the fish from the pond for an extended period of time, it is best to provide some sort of housing for the fish that causes the least amount of stress on them. What I suggest doing is to take a large Rubbermaid tub or small plastic kid pool to house the fish and fill that up with pond water. Be sure to place this tub in a shaded area and place a net over the pool to keep the fish from jumping out.

Be sure to provide something to aerate the water, I would suggest taking a small water pump and placing that in the holding tank so that you have plenty of circulation. Don’t feed excessive amounts of fish food while the fish are in the holding area, limited the food to a small amount and only what they will eat in five minutes. Feed them only once a day as too much food will cause all sorts of health issues. When you are ready to move the fish back to the pond, make sure that the temperatures of the holding tank and the pond are about the same. If they are, you will want to slowly re-introduce your fish back into the pond.

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Answer:

It’s important to know the size of your pond so that you can provide the proper equipment as well as be able to apply water treatments with the right dosage. There are several ways to go about it and most folks follow the example of LENGTH times WIDTH times DEPTH then multiplied by 7.48. That rule is a bad one to follow because it tends inflate the ponds volume. Instead, I suggest my rule which is LENGTH times WIDTH times AVERAGE DEPTH multiplied by 7.48. Then take that number and deduct 15% from the original number. I do this to factor in uneven sides so that I get a more realistic number. This will give you a better idea of how many gallons your pond is.

If you have a round pond, I suggest doing the following: TOP DIAMETER times BOTTOM DIAMETER times AVERAGE DEPTH Multiplied by 0.785. Then take 15% off of that number to get a better idea of your ponds volume. Now, if you are just starting out or you’re just refilling your pond and you happen to have a water meter on your house, then you’re in luck because here is an easy approach that is very accurate: (1) Go to your water meter and write down the number that is on the meter. (2) Go fill your pond. (3) When your pond is filled, go back to the meter and write down the number that is on it. (4) Now take the first number and deduct that from the second number and that is how many gallons your pond is!

If you don’t have a water meter on house, here is another simple way to figure out pond volume: (1) take a five gallon bucket and time how long it takes to fill up that five gallon bucket. (2) If a five gallon bucket takes thirty seconds to fill then your flow rate is 600 gph. If it takes 15 seconds to fill, then your flow rate is 900 gph. Now that you know this, simply go and fill up your pond, but be sure to keep track of your start time and end time. Let’s say your flow rate is 600 gph and that it took 3 hours for your pond to fill up, then you would have 1800 gallon pond.

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Answer:

Pond diagram

Pond Installation

The most common materials with which to build your pond are flexible pond liners or solid preformed ponds. Whichever you select, we recommend you always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation. However, this guide provides a brief description for installing a preformed pond or flexible pond liner.

Remember, ponds should be placed in a sunny location (with a minimum of six hours of sunlight a day) and away from trees and bushes, if possible. You may want to place the pond within easy view from your most used outdoor space. Your pond should be accessible to a garden hose and electrical line. Consult your electrician for proper electrical requirements.

Calculating the Volume of Your Pond

It is important to know the volume of water in your pond. Knowing the volume of water can help you determine the number of fish the pond can hold. Knowing the volume is most important when calculating partial water changes and using pond maintenance and feeding products. The easiest method to calculate the volume of your pond is to measure the amount of water used to initially fill your pond. Before you fill your pond, for the first time, note the time in seconds it takes to fill a five U.S. gallon (20 L) bucket with tap water at a constant flow rate from a garden hose. Then, fill the pond at this same constant flow rate, using the garden hose. Record the time (in seconds) that it takes to fill the pond. Then use the following formula to determine the volume of your pond.

Volume of pond
(in gallons or liters)
Time required to fill pond
(seconds)
     x     Volume of bucket
(Gal/L)
=
Time required to fill bucket (seconds)

If the pond is already filled, the volume can be calculated using one of the following formulas. Then, convert volume to gallons or liters.

 

Square And Rectangle Ponds
Length x Width x Average Depth (in feet or meters) = Volume of Pond

Example:

9’ (2.74m)L x 6’ (1.83m)W x 2’ (.6m)D = A pond volume of 108 cubic feet
(3 cubic meters)

 

Round Ponds

Top Diameter x Bottom Diameter x Height (in feet or meters) x 7.85 = Volume of Pond

Example:

(3’ (.9144m)TD x 3’ (.9144m)BD x 2’ (.6m)H) x .785 = A pond volume of 14.13 cubic feet
(.39 cubic meters)

 

Converting Volume to Gallons/Liters

Cubic feet (ft-3) x 7.48 = Gallons

Cubic Meters (m-3) x 1000 = Liters

Multiply 108 ft-3 x 7.48 = 807 Gallons or 3 m-3 x 1000 = 300 Liters

Note : 1 UK Imperial Gallon = 1.2 US Gallons or 4.5 liters. Use the above formulas to figure US gallons. Then divide that answer by 1.2, which will give you the UK Imperial Gallons.  (  __US Gallons / 1.2 = __ UK Gallons)

 

How to Build a Pond

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Pond Filter FAQ

Answer:

Once your pond’s water temperature falls below 48 degrees fahrenheit, it’s a good time to get it ready for winter. If you have a pressurized filter or UV sterilizer, I suggest taking them off line and storing them away for winter. Since you have to put them away, I suggest using a silicone lubricant on any o-ring or gasket that the filter or UV may have as to prevent dry rot. I also suggest cleaning the quartz sleeve in any UV so that it will be ready to go come spring. It’s also a very good idea to purchase replacement inserts and UV lamps now for next spring as the availability of these items will be in short supply next spring.

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Answer:

The answer to this question is these little brown worms are called blood worms and they are harmless to both plants and animals. In fact these little worms serve a purpose. When these worms are in your pond filter they help break down organic waste within the filter. The second purpose for these blood worms are they make nice treats for your fish.

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Answer:

yes you need to clean your bio falls every four to six weeks. If you don’t clean your bio falls, then the mechanical part of your filtration (filter mat) will become clogged with waste and will create back pressure on your pond pump as well as poor circulation in your pond. The first step is to rinse the biological media off with pond water. Then while you’re doing work on your bio falls, place the biological media in a Rubbermaid container fill with pond water so that it does not dry out. Next, take the filter mat that sits below the bio media and hose that off with a garden hose.

Then take some paper towels and clean out any waste that may be present on the bottom of the tank. Once you completed all that, place the mat and bio media back in the pond filter and turn it out… your ready to go! If you are currently using lava rock in your bio falls and would like to make cleaning easier, I suggest switching from lava rock to something that is re-usable like bio-balls. Plus, bio-balls have more surface area then lava rock and they weigh a lot less too making them the best choice for biological media. If you get tired of replacing the filter mat that sits at the bottom, consider upgrading to the coarse Matala media (black one) as that is re-usable.

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Answer:

As the days get longer and warmer our thoughts turn our backyard pond. You’re probably wondering where to start with getting your pond ready for spring time. Let’s start off by skimming as much waste as we can from the bottom of the pond. You want to get rid of those nasty dead leaves that might have blown into your pond last fall as they can really reek havoc on your pond’s chemistry and be harmful to your pond fish’s health. To get your pond ready for spring, I suggest starting out by skimming as much waste as possible out of your pond using a pond skimmer net or pond vacuum. Next, you will want to remove about 20% of the ponds volume and add fresh water. When doing this don’t forget to use some kind of heavy mental neutralizer and dechlorinator. Then you want to get your pond filter going, I suggest new inserts for any pond filter as using old inserts will effect how effective the filter is in treating the water.

If there is a UV in the filter, be sure to remove the quartz sleeve and clean that with CLR so that the UV will be effective. Last, place a silicone lubricant on any rubber gaskets on your filter so that it prevents any kind of leakage. It’s always a good idea to add your beneficial bacteria additive and use as directed. Lastly, if you have a pond filter that backwashes, I suggest performing a backwash at least twice a week for the first two weeks. Then only backwash once a week for the rest of the season.

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Answer:

It’s pretty easy and I have outlined seven steps for you to follow along on setting up your Professional bio Pond Filter.

STEP ONE: If your filter does not include media or you need to replace the media you will want to choose a bio media that is light weight and will not stick together. This media must have a lot of surface area for the bacteria to grow on as well. Probably the best bio media to do the job would be Bio-Cell Media and that can be found on our website under filter media. While it can be expensive to buy, it is important to keep in mind that it has a long life to it (at least 7 years) and provides a lot of surface area too. Plus, it will not stick together and works great in filters that backwash.

STEP TWO: Make sure the laterals inside you filter are installed properly so that the bio media will not pass through and clog up your filter’s return.

STEP THREE: You only want to fill the Professional bio Pond Filter up half way with the bio-media. You do not want to go over half as that will effect the backwash mode. To find out how much media you will need to purchase, I suggest emailing us at mail@azponds.com and asking a salesperson for assistance here. When you email, you will need to have the make and model number of the Professional bio Pond Filter you are using available so that they can figure out how many cubic feet of bio media you will need.

STEP FOUR: When you hook up your Professional bio Pond Filter to your pump, I suggest making a by-pass system so that you can regulate the flow of water through the filter. The reason why you want the ability to regulate the flow is so that you can slow the flow rate down when running the filter in biological mode and then increase the flow through the filter when performing a backwash. If you happen to have a PSI meter on your Professional bio Pond Filter , you want to make sure that it always reads 0 PSI when running the filter in biological mode. As far as figuring out flow rate for your sand filter, it is recommended that you email or call is at mail@azponds.com so a sales person so can calculate this for you.

STEP FIVE: These filters are kind of like a septic system for your pond, so it is important that you supply a beneficial bacteria additive (ie Microbe-lift HC) on a daily basis. This will aid your filter with breaking down waste.

STEP SIX: Your filter should be back washed once every week. To do a proper backwash, I suggest starting out by placing the filter in the backwash mode for one to two minutes. Then switch to the rinse mode and run that until the water coming out of the exhaust is clear.

STEP SEVEN: It is important to do a complete cleaning of your bio filter once a year. You want to physically remove the bio media from the tank and clean it with pond water and then clean the inside of the tank with pond water as well. Then return the media back to the filter right away. The media cannot be left out to dry as that will kill the bacteria that is already on it. If you have any additional questions on making your bio-filter, please feel free to give us a call or email is at mail@azponds.com as we will be more than happy to help you.

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Answer:

When it comes to pressurized sand filters, you don’t want to use sand because it will require a much larger pump to operate which can result in higher energy usage. The bead media requires less energy to operate; it’s easier to maintain; and it has more biological surface area then sand.

When you convert a pressurized sand filter to a bio unit, you only want to fill the tank up half way with biological filter media (I recommend using Easypro Ultimate Floating Media). Next, you want to watch your flow rate through the filter, if the water goes through the filter to fast, the filter will be ineffective biologically. I don’t advise hooking a pump up directly to the filter, instead you want to use a flow regulator so that you have control of the flow. The water should go through slower when running in filter mode and the flow should be increased when backwashing. For flow rates, I suggest emailing us at mail@azponds.com and asking for some guidance as far as what you will need to push. Before you call in, please have the following information available: tank diameter and height.

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Answer:

95054_UltraKlean3500_Angle_sm

When it comes to choosing a pond filter for your pond, you want to consider the amount of fish you will have in the pond as well as the size of the pond. A lot of the pond filters on the market today are basically geared up for a pond with a minimal amount of fish. It’s always best to start at the beginning, so let’s start with how big your pond is. If you have yet to build your pond, and want to know exactly how many gallons your pond is and should happen to have a water meter on your house, then you’ll love this. Simply write the number on your water meter down and then go and fill your pond up. When your pond is filled up, go back to the water meter and write the number down again. Now subtract the first number from the second number and that is how many gallons your pond is! For those of you who already have your pond filled, I suggest doing the following:(LENGTH x WIDTH x AVERAGE DEPTH) X 7.48

It is important to use your average depth and not the deepest point as that will give you more gallons then you actually have. I also suggest taking 15% off of this figure to get an even better idea of how many gallons your pond is.

Now that you know how many gallons your pond is, the next step is to figure out your pond fish population. The normal rule of thumb is to add one inch of adult fish to every five gallons of pond water. For example, let’s say you buy some comets for your pond; they will reach an adult size of 12 to 14 inches in length. So, you will want to provide about 70 gallons of water for just one comet. So, let’s say your pond is 1000 gallons in size, I would suggest say 14 to 15 adult comets would be fine for your pond and any pond filter that is rated for a 1000 gallon pond will do. Let’s say you decide to have 40 adult comets in you 1000 gallon pond. Then you will need a much bigger pond filter, probably something that is rated for a 3000 gallon pond will work well.

I like to think of pond filters as septic systems for your pond, so you will want to choose a filter that offers a lot of biological surface area. The bacteria that grow in this area will gradually feed on the organic waste and break it down naturally. Just like a septic system, you will also need to use a biological additive that will help aid the filter with the breakdown of waste. Common bacteria additives that are sold on the market are Microbe Lift PL or BioSafe’s Xtreme.

Selecting your filter, to buy a pond filter with UV  or  pond Filter without a UV, that is the question that I get a lot. If you have a balanced pond that has 50% pond plant coverage, you won’t need a filter with a UV as the pond plants will work with your filter in controlling the nutrients that cause green water. If your pond is going to have very little pond plant coverage, then you really want to consider a filter with a UV. UV Sterilizers can be tricky and it’s important to have the proper one sized up for your pond. I see a lot of manufacturer’s that inflate their UV’s abilities and it can be real frustrating at times as to why they do this. The two important things to keep in mind is, (1) matching the right wattage up to the amount of water you are going to treat and (2) providing the proper flow rate through the UV. My favorite UV manufacturer is Emperor Aquatics UVs and the reason for that is, they use EPA guide lines to come up with their flow rates. That’s how they can make the clear water claim in 3 days. I wish everyone followed this as it would make things so much easier.

The best set up that I can recommend on ponds up to 5000+ gallons in size would be the one of our Professional Filters hooked up to an Emperor Aquatic’s Smart UV Sterilizer. This set up would require the least amount of maintenance and would last for many years.

Wrapping it up, I also suggest watching how often you feed fish food to your fish. So many pond food manufacturers tell you to feed your fish 2 or 3 times a day. In reality, you only need to feed your fish once every other day. If you notice a surface algae outbreak in your pond, you want to stop feeding all together and allow your fish to feed on the algae. When the algae subside, you can go back to your regular feeding. Also, watch the type of foods you feed, you want to use a fish food that will produce a minimal amount of waste. Look at the ingredients, you want one that starts off with fish meal and has a low amount of cheaper fillers (i.e. corn).

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Answer:

bioforce_2000_pad_new

It depends on the filter pad’s purpose is. If it is being used as part of your biological filtration, then no you do not want to use tap water to clean them. The way you would clean your biological filter inserts would be to use pond water. What you do is take a 5 gallon bucket of pond water and take each insert and clean it in that bucket. You will want to squeeze the insert several times and then discard that water in a garden or drainage area. You want to do this 3 times for each insert.

Now if the insert is strictly being used mechanically (just collect waste), then you can wash that insert with tap water. I would also like to mention that if you see a lot of muck in or on your inserts, you may want to consider using a beneficial bacteria additive like Microbe Lift PL or Biosafe Xtreme as this will help aid the beneficial bacteria that is growing on your inserts breakdown organic waste. Lastly, I suggest changing your inserts each pond season with a fresh new insert parts from the manufacturer so that you can get the most out of your pond filter.

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Pond Liner FAQ

Answer:

It’s important to know the size of your pond so that you can provide the proper equipment as well as be able to apply water treatments with the right dosage. There are several ways to go about it and most folks follow the example of LENGTH times WIDTH times DEPTH then multiplied by 7.48. That rule is a bad one to follow because it tends inflate the ponds volume. Instead, I suggest my rule which is LENGTH times WIDTH times AVERAGE DEPTH multiplied by 7.48. Then take that number and deduct 15% from the original number. I do this to factor in uneven sides so that I get a more realistic number. This will give you a better idea of how many gallons your pond is.

If you have a round pond, I suggest doing the following: TOP DIAMETER times BOTTOM DIAMETER times AVERAGE DEPTH Multiplied by 0.785. Then take 15% off of that number to get a better idea of your ponds volume. Now, if you are just starting out or you’re just refilling your pond and you happen to have a water meter on your house, then you’re in luck because here is an easy approach that is very accurate: (1) Go to your water meter and write down the number that is on the meter. (2) Go fill your pond. (3) When your pond is filled, go back to the meter and write down the number that is on it. (4) Now take the first number and deduct that from the second number and that is how many gallons your pond is!

If you don’t have a water meter on house, here is another simple way to figure out pond volume: (1) take a five gallon bucket and time how long it takes to fill up that five gallon bucket. (2) If a five gallon bucket takes thirty seconds to fill then your flow rate is 600 gph. If it takes 15 seconds to fill, then your flow rate is 900 gph. Now that you know this, simply go and fill up your pond, but be sure to keep track of your start time and end time. Let’s say your flow rate is 600 gph and that it took 3 hours for your pond to fill up, then you would have 1800 gallon pond.

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Pond Plants FAQ

Answer:

I would suggest cutting your plant coverage down to 50% to 60% and the reason for this is that plants can affect your oxygen levels at night as they are pulling in oxygen during the night time. As far as safely removing excessive ones, the only thing I can suggest is going into the pond and physically removing the unwanted lilies.

If these are in pots, it would probably be best to remove the pot from the pond and then take the lilies you don’t want out on land. By doing this you will cut down on clouding the water with the pond plant soil. If the water does cloud up from removing the lilies, I would suggest using a water clarifier like OASE AquaActiv Water Clarifier or Pond Care’s AccuClear as this will clump up any free floating materials.

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Answer:

If the pond water is turning the color of ice tea, it may be turning this color due to run off or there may be pond plants in your pond that are planted in potting soil. Either one of these can lead to reddish brown water. If the water turns this color after a heavy rain, then the cause is run off and you will need to divert the water away from the pond. If you just placed pond plants in your pond and the water has turned brown, then that would be from the soil that was used to pot the plants and you will want to consider re-potting your plants in a clay soil instead.

If the water has free floating particles in the water and it has a brown tint to it, then there is a good chance that your fish are digging in your pond plant’s pots. The way to solve that one is to use a clay pond plant soil, such as Aquascape Pond Plant Potting Media and then to add at least 2 inches of gravel over the potting soil. I would also suggest doing a water change of about 25% once a week for the next two weeks to help clear up the pond.

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Pond Pump FAQ

Answer:

The answer is no, it is not covered under pumps warranty. All manufacturers of magnetic driven style pumps have the same policy. The reason for this policy is that impellers usually break because the pump was operated without the pump sock or pump bag over the inlet or the impeller was not taken out and cleaned. When a magnetic driven pump is operated with the protective sleeve off and a large object gets caught in the opening, it can easily break the impeller shaft which will then render the pump useless. The most common cause of impeller damage is pumps that are not maintained properly. When an impeller is not removed and cleaned each season, waste and minerals can build up on the impeller. This can then cause the impeller to seize up and eventually results in the impeller shaft breaking.

It’s real easy to remove an impeller and clean it. To start, you remove the impeller cover and then gently pull out the impeller. Then take the impeller and use Pondmaster Pump Guard Pond Pump Cleaner. After the impeller is cleaned, rinse it off with tap water. Next, you want to take a single edge razor and gently scrape the magnetic portion of the impeller to remove any minerals that may be left behind. Once you’re done with that, rinse again and place the impeller to the side. Now you want to clean out the impeller cavity. To do this, you will want to fill the cavity with Pondmaster Pump Guard Pond Pump Cleaner. Then take an old tooth brush and scrub out the cavity real well for a few seconds and when you’re done, rinse out the cavity with tap water.

You have finally completed cleaning the impeller and now it’s time to put everything back together. When placing the impeller back into the pump, you want to take your time and gently place the impeller back into the impeller cavity. Once the impeller is in, place the cover back on the pump and your ready to go. Doing simple maintenance like this will prolong the life of the pump’s impeller and will save you money in the long haul.

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Answer:

If you’re planning any kind of change to your pond that involves removing the fish from the pond for an extended period of time, it is best to provide some sort of housing for the fish that causes the least amount of stress on them. What I suggest doing is to take a large Rubbermaid tub or small plastic kid pool to house the fish and fill that up with pond water. Be sure to place this tub in a shaded area and place a net over the pool to keep the fish from jumping out.

Be sure to provide something to aerate the water, I would suggest taking a small water pump and placing that in the holding tank so that you have plenty of circulation. Don’t feed excessive amounts of fish food while the fish are in the holding area, limited the food to a small amount and only what they will eat in five minutes. Feed them only once a day as too much food will cause all sorts of health issues. When you are ready to move the fish back to the pond, make sure that the temperatures of the holding tank and the pond are about the same. If they are, you will want to slowly re-introduce your fish back into the pond.

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Answer:

Choosing the proper pump for your pond or water garden can be a confusing and misleading process. Many retailers and dealers themselves are often unsure of how to make a proper pump recommendation. This often leads to incorrect information and the possibility of buying a pump not well suited for your unique water feature. Choosing the proper pump does not take much time, and is well worth the energy you put into selecting it. Among other things, the proper pump can save you money by consuming less energy, creating a healthier waterscape, and are often times less expensive and less maintenance than most people imagine. Factors to consider when choosing a pond pump are as follows.

  • Total pond gallons
  • Total dynamic head pressure
  • Width of spillway on waterfall (if you will have a waterfall)
  • Fish load
  • Voltage / Energy Consumption
    Total pond gallons can be figured out by using the following formula:
    Rectangular or Square Pond:
    Length x Width x Average Depth x 7.5 = Approximate Gallons

    Circular or Oval Pond:
    3.14 x Radius x Radius x Average Depth x 7.5

    It is important to know the approximate number of gallons in your water feature to be sure that insufficient circulation does not occur. Insufficient circulation can cause areas of stagnant water, unacceptably low oxygen levels, lack of proper filtration, and many other things, which will eventually lead to an unhealthy pond. Unhealthy ponds are not good habitats for fish and plants, and will become an unpleasant addition to the backyard. By choosing the proper pump, many of these harmful conditions can be prevented. Rule of thumb is to circulate the pond water a minimum of once every two hours. Generally, the more circulation the better, with exception to biofiltration.

    Total dynamic head pressure is the amount of total pressure put back onto the pump while the pump is in operation. The greater the head pressure, the less your pump will circulate water. Dynamic head pressure encompasses many things including the amount of tubing the water needs to be pushed through, the height from the top of the water level to the top of the push for the pump (eg: waterfall), the tubing diameter, any special bends or adapters including ball valves and gate valves and other special fittings. To make it simple and to find an approximate head pressure, calculate the following for your situation:

    A = The vertical height (in feet) from the top of the water level to the top of the water push. (e.g. waterfall)
    B = Total distance of tubing (in feet) the water needs to be pushed through.
    C = Number of 90 degree bends and reducers.
    D = Number of miscellaneous adapters such as ball valves and bulkheads.

    A + (B / 10) + (C / 2) + (D / 4) = Approximate Head Pressure

    For Example:

    A = Vertical Height = 4.5’
    B = Total Distance = 28’
    C = Number of 90 degree bends and reducers = 2
    D = Number of misc. adaptors = 12

    4.5 + (28 / 10) + (2 / 2) + (12 / 4) = Total Dynamic Head Pressure
    4.5 + 2.8 + 1 + 3 = Total Dynamic Head Pressure
    11.3’ = Total Dynamic Head Pressure

    Now that an approximate total dynamic head pressure is determined, you are better able to make a pump selection. The higher the number, the more pressure the pump is going to be under, which means it will pump less. Most pumps have a “flow chart,” indicating such specifications as Gallons Per Hour and energy consumption at certain head heights. For example, you have 12 feet of dynamic head pressure. You calculate the proper pump for the pond would need to push 5200 GPH at this head pressure. A recommended pump for this situation would be the Dolphin AmpMaster ES8500 External Pump. After referring to the flow chart, at 12 feet, this pump will push approximately 5220 GPH.

    Width of spillway on waterfall is the width of the sheet of water, which will be needed by the waterfall. If there is a stream, that can also be used as your spillway measurement. An example would be if there is a flat rock on top of the falls, the entire rocks width should be full of water spilling over when the pump is turned on. This is your spillway width. The width of the spillway should be figured in inches for the following equation. Once you know approximately how many inches wide the spillway will be, you can now obtain how many gallons the pump will need to push in order to achieve the desired look. The formula for GPH needed per inch is as follows.

    1 inch = 125 GPH

    If the spillway is going to be around 22”, a pump capable of at least 2750 GPH at that specific head pressure is needed. If a heavier flow is desired, increase the flow needed per inch to 150 or 175 GPH.

    Fish Load is the total inches of fish per gallons of water. There is no true definition on how to figure this value out, however, the more fish you have, the more filtration and circulation the pond will require. Generally speaking, it is acceptable to have five inches of fish per five gallons of pond water. It is valuable to keep the fish load below the accepted equation. If the pond is solely for fish, more flow and circulation is required than a pond that is filled with plants and fewer fish. Excluding bio filtration, the more flow the better, especially if there is a high fish load. Keep this in mind when choosing the right pump for your application.

    Voltage / Energy Consumption is the current of electricity your pump requires in order to operate correctly. Most pumps designed for ponds are wired for 110V, which can be plugged into any GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlet in the USA. If you intend on having a 230V pump, the principle explained later will apply. For energy consumption, a pump with the lowest wattage possible is the most appropriate. Each additional watt helps to build on the electric bill, which may be surprising when a pump is running 24/7. Generally, external pumps use less energy than submersible pumps when you get to the 3000 – 4000 GPH range and up. Also, most external pumps last much longer than submersibles. A good 6000 GPH external pump should be capable of running properly using no more than 450 watts, where as a standard submersible pump can use anywhere in the 750 – 1200 watt range. Just remember when making a selection to consider energy consumption. Remembering this can easily save hundreds of dollars per year on electricity.

    Conclusion:

    There are many pumps available in the industry today. It is wise to consult with a pond professional from www.AZPonds.com before making a pump selection. Choosing the right pump can be complicated, but in the end, the time you spend selecting the most suited pump for your pond is well worth it for the safety of the fish, the beauty of the pond, and cost of the electric bill.

    If you are still confused or need some extra assistance, please call us at 1-800-722-8877 to speak with an experienced pond technician. While speaking with us, we can quickly and effectively select the best pump for the water feature, as well as explain how we came to our recommendation.

View Our Inventory of Pond Pumps

 

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Pond Skimmer FAQ

Answer:

Most pond skimmers will winter over without a problem if water freezes inside the unit. The reason is that most skimmers have tapered sides is so that when water freezes inside the skimmer it will expand and travel up the sides. Two examples of skimmers with tapered sides are ones from Atlantic Water Garden skimmers and Easypro Pond Skimmers. While we are on the subject of skimmers, if you are thinking about installing one on your pond, make sure that you place two to three inches of sand underneath the skimmer as well as about two to three inches of sands along the sides of the skimmer.

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Answer:

You can add a pond skimmer too your pond and it’s not really that hard to do when you follow these simple steps:

STEP 1. You want to make sure that you position the skimmer where it is opposite your waterfall so that you are able to get the most out of the skimmer as far as circulation.

STEP 2. Now that you have a location selected, you will need to drain your pond about half way so that you are able to pull the pond liner away from the area where the skimmer will go. Next, measure your skimmer and then dig out the area for the skimmer to fit into, add about 3 inches to the depth of the area where the skimmer is going to go so that you can add sand. Adding sand will help you level the skimmer and at the same time protect the unit from damage in the future.

STEP 3. Now that we have the skimmer in place, we will want to attach the pond liner. You want to make sure that the liner is clean on both sides with UltraClean PVC and EPDM Liner Cleaner where it is going to attach to the skimmer. On the face of the skimmer where the door is, you will want to place a bead of silicone sealant around the door. I would place the bead of silicon about an inch from the edge of the door’s actual opening. Then place your pond liner over the face the skimmer and then apply pressure to the liner so that the silicone spreads out evenly. Now attach the skimmer’s weir door and then cut out the pond liner that is blocking the door. This part is optional, but I suggest going around the weir door on the skimmer and placing a bead of black silicon on the inner lip of the door so that it is water tight. It also doesn’t hurt to place a bead of silicone over each one of the screws that holds the door in place.

STEP 4. On the outside of the pond you will want to back fill around the skimmer with sand and near the top you will want to place topsoil or mulch.

STEP 5. Install your pond pump and fill the pond back up. When you fill the pond, you want to make sure that the water level is about 1.5″ from the top of the skimmer’s weir door. You don’t want the skimmer door under water as that will not allow floating waste to effectively enter the skimmer.

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Pond Vacuum FAQ

Answer:

There are two types of pond vacuums available on the market today and they are electrical and gravity. Let’s start out with electrical since these are probably the most powerful of pond vacuums. The most common ones that you see offered are what I call the “R-2-D-2” units, like the Matala Muck Vac. These pond vacuums are great for ponds that are around 24 inches deep. I don’t really recommend them for ponds that are deeper than 30 inches as they generally lose their effectiveness at a depth of 30 inches. A new style electrical pond vacuum that is new to the US market that seems to have some power in deeper ponds is the Matala Cyclone Professional Pond Vacuum.

The reason why this vacuum can pick up at deeper depths then the other units is that it has 2 separate pumps, one for suction and the other for discharge. This feature allows for continuous vacuuming.

The other group of pond vacuums is gravity vacuums. This type of vacuum uses under water pressure from a hose outlet. These vacuums are only as good as the water pressure coming out of the hose outlet. Probably one of the best and easiest of these would be the Lifegard Pond Mini Vac because this vac literally pushes the waste out of the pond. (NOTE: Pole sold separately)

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UV Sterilizer FAQ

Answer:

When water temperatures start to fall below 65ºf, then it’s time to consider bring your UV Sterilizer in for the winter. Since your bringing your UV in for the winter, it’s a good idea to get it ready for next spring. I suggest taking out the quartz sleeve and cleaning that off with CLR (found in your grocery store).

Then take a silicone lubricant and apply that to any rubber o-rings or gaskets on you UV. Applying a lubricant will prevent the rubber from drying out. Next, clean out the UV vessel and get rid of any dirt that may be present. Finally, consider replacing the lamp now. The reason why I suggest replacing a lamp now is that you can avoid shortages on bulbs come spring time.

Click Here to view UV parts by manufacturer

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Answer:

This is a question I get a lot and the answer is no, you want to leave your UV sterilizer on 24 hours a day in order for it to keep your pond crystal clear. If you were to turn it off, it would take about 3 or 4 days for the water to turn green again. Since we are talking about UV’s, another popular question that I get is this one, “is it okay to put the UV on a timer” and the answer to that one is the same, no, it must be left on 24 hours a day. The only time a UV would be turned off is if you are using a biological additive (i.e. Microbe Lift PL) to treat your pond.

In that case, the UV would be left off for 24 hours so that the additive has a chance to do it’s job in your pond. Some final suggestions on UV’s I would like to leave you with: (1) always keep the quartz sleeve clean; (2) use a fresh UV lamp each season or as directed by the manufacturer; and (3) make sure your o-rings and gaskets are lubricated!

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Answer:

One of the most common misconceptions out there in pond land is that a UV Sterilizer will help control surface algae (aka Filamentous Algae). The truth of the matter is, a UV only kills off green water (aka waterborne algae) as the algae has to pass through the UV in order to be effectively treated. The two most common forms of surface algae are Blanket Weed and Hair Algae. Blanket weed is free floating and as it grows it will start to resemble a blanket and usually forms in clumps. Hair Algae resembles hair and attaches to just about everything in the pond. Because this algae is attached to rocks and plants, it can be a real nightmare to clean up and can affect your pond plant’s health (especially lilies).

So what causes surface algae you ask? Well it is mainly caused by a couple of things, like excessive amounts of organic waste and high levels of minerals like iron in your pond. To control surface algae, it is recommended that you do the following steps:

STEP 1. Provide a reliable biological filter that is properly sized for your pond. It is always a good rule of thumb to provide more biological filtration then what your pond calls for as you can never have too much filtration. The other thing that is important when it comes to biological filters is how they are maintained. You should never clean the biological media in your pond filter with tap water as that will kill off the beneficial bacteria that is living on the media. This goes for both well water and water from a municipality water source. What you should use to clean biological media is pond water. If you have a filter that uses foam inserts like the Laguna Pressure-Flo Series Filters, what you would want to do is take a 5 gallon bucket of pond water and squeeze each insert in that bucket several times to release the waste that is trapped on it. You want to repeat this process three times. Any biological media that is loose or in bags should be placed in a Rubbermaid container that is filled with pond water and moved around for at least two to three minutes so that you can loosen any waste that may be trapped on it. When you are finished cleaning, take the dirty water and discard. Do not pour the dirty water back into the pond.

If you have a bio  waterfalls, it’s a great idea to clean these (with pond water) every six weeks. A common misconception is to leave your bio falls alone and not to disturb it. The problem with that idea is that (1) sludge builds up under mat that is being used for the mechanical filtration and will create restriction on waterfall’s output. (2) Waste can gradually build up on the biological media and choke off the nitrifying bacteria. It’s a great idea to take the biological media in your biofalls and rinse it real well with pond water. If you’re using lava rock in your biofalls, it’s a good idea to replace it each season with fresh lava rock. Using the same lava rock year after year is a bad idea as it will harbor dead organic waste. An excellent biological media to use in a biofall are bio spheres as they are easy to clean and are re-usable. To get the most out of your biofalls, it’s a great idea to hook up an air pump to your biofalls by running an air line with an air stone under the biological media. Doing this will increase the oxygen level to the media and that will increase the bio filter’s effectiveness.

STEP 2. Watch how often you feed your fish as this is a big contributor to the surface algae nightmare. Feed only fish foods that are high in fish meal and low in fillers as this will produce less waste. If you have a surface algae problem, it’s best to stop feeding your fish all together and allow your pond fish to feed on the algae. Once the surface algae subsides, then begin feeding your pond fish again. When it comes to feeding your fish on a daily basis, it’s recommended that you feed them once every other day and only what they will consume in five minutes. It’s even a better idea to use a feeding point so that you can remove any uneaten food.

STEP 3. Consider using a beneficial bacteria (i.e. BioSafe’s Xtreme) in your pond as that will aid your pond filter in the breakdown of organic waste. If you have a real bad algae issue, consider using a sludge reducer (i.e. BioSafe’s Pond O2 Plus or Microbe Lift’s SA) and that will quickly digest the sludge that the surface algae is feeding on.

STEP 4. Small water changes once a month are a good thing. Simply remove 15% to 20% of your ponds volume and then add fresh water to your pond. If you have a pressurized pond filter with backwash, it’s a great idea to perform a backwash once a week for about 30 to 45 seconds.

STEP 5. When adding water to your pond, we suggest using a dechlorinator that will also help neutralize heavy metals. Even if you have well water, it’s a great idea to do this as we are trying to neutralize metals like iron. One dechlorinators that do this is the PondCare Pond Chlorine & Heavy Metal Neutralizer.

STEP 6. Try and provide up to 50% pond plant coverage on your pond. Pond plants are more than just decorations, they too will also feed on the organic waste in your pond.

STEP 7. Test your water daily with a pond test kit! When it comes to algae, you want to watch Nitrates and Phosphate levels.

If you follow these seven steps, surface algae will not be a problem in your pond!

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Answer:

the reason why your UV is not working this year could be due to the fact that the quartz sleeve is dirty. If the sleeve is not taken out and cleaned, it will not allow the UV rays to pass through and effectively treat the water. What you need to do is gently remove the quartz sleeve and clean it with CLR (calcium lime remover) as this will effectively remove any mineral deposits on the sleeve.

Then when you place the sleeve back into the unit, I suggest placing a silicone lubricant on any rubber o-rings or gaskets so that it seals properly. Before you turn the unit on, I always suggest water testing the UV for a few minutes just to make sure there are no leaks. Now that you have done this, your UV will once again destroy the green water!

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Answer:

As the days get longer and warmer our thoughts turn our backyard pond. You’re probably wondering where to start with getting your pond ready for spring time. Let’s start off by skimming as much waste as we can from the bottom of the pond. You want to get rid of those nasty dead leaves that might have blown into your pond last fall as they can really reek havoc on your pond’s chemistry and be harmful to your pond fish’s health. To get your pond ready for spring, I suggest starting out by skimming as much waste as possible out of your pond using a pond skimmer net or pond vacuum. Next, you will want to remove about 20% of the ponds volume and add fresh water. When doing this don’t forget to use some kind of heavy mental neutralizer and dechlorinator. Then you want to get your pond filter going, I suggest new inserts for any pond filter as using old inserts will effect how effective the filter is in treating the water.

If there is a UV in the filter, be sure to remove the quartz sleeve and clean that with CLR so that the UV will be effective. Last, place a silicone lubricant on any rubber gaskets on your filter so that it prevents any kind of leakage. It’s always a good idea to add your beneficial bacteria additive and use as directed. Lastly, if you have a pond filter that backwashes, I suggest performing a backwash at least twice a week for the first two weeks. Then only backwash once a week for the rest of the season.

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Answer:

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When it comes to choosing a pond filter for your pond, you want to consider the amount of fish you will have in the pond as well as the size of the pond. A lot of the pond filters on the market today are basically geared up for a pond with a minimal amount of fish. It’s always best to start at the beginning, so let’s start with how big your pond is. If you have yet to build your pond, and want to know exactly how many gallons your pond is and should happen to have a water meter on your house, then you’ll love this. Simply write the number on your water meter down and then go and fill your pond up. When your pond is filled up, go back to the water meter and write the number down again. Now subtract the first number from the second number and that is how many gallons your pond is! For those of you who already have your pond filled, I suggest doing the following:(LENGTH x WIDTH x AVERAGE DEPTH) X 7.48

It is important to use your average depth and not the deepest point as that will give you more gallons then you actually have. I also suggest taking 15% off of this figure to get an even better idea of how many gallons your pond is.

Now that you know how many gallons your pond is, the next step is to figure out your pond fish population. The normal rule of thumb is to add one inch of adult fish to every five gallons of pond water. For example, let’s say you buy some comets for your pond; they will reach an adult size of 12 to 14 inches in length. So, you will want to provide about 70 gallons of water for just one comet. So, let’s say your pond is 1000 gallons in size, I would suggest say 14 to 15 adult comets would be fine for your pond and any pond filter that is rated for a 1000 gallon pond will do. Let’s say you decide to have 40 adult comets in you 1000 gallon pond. Then you will need a much bigger pond filter, probably something that is rated for a 3000 gallon pond will work well.

I like to think of pond filters as septic systems for your pond, so you will want to choose a filter that offers a lot of biological surface area. The bacteria that grow in this area will gradually feed on the organic waste and break it down naturally. Just like a septic system, you will also need to use a biological additive that will help aid the filter with the breakdown of waste. Common bacteria additives that are sold on the market are Microbe Lift PL or BioSafe’s Xtreme.

Selecting your filter, to buy a pond filter with UV  or  pond Filter without a UV, that is the question that I get a lot. If you have a balanced pond that has 50% pond plant coverage, you won’t need a filter with a UV as the pond plants will work with your filter in controlling the nutrients that cause green water. If your pond is going to have very little pond plant coverage, then you really want to consider a filter with a UV. UV Sterilizers can be tricky and it’s important to have the proper one sized up for your pond. I see a lot of manufacturer’s that inflate their UV’s abilities and it can be real frustrating at times as to why they do this. The two important things to keep in mind is, (1) matching the right wattage up to the amount of water you are going to treat and (2) providing the proper flow rate through the UV. My favorite UV manufacturer is Emperor Aquatics UVs and the reason for that is, they use EPA guide lines to come up with their flow rates. That’s how they can make the clear water claim in 3 days. I wish everyone followed this as it would make things so much easier.

The best set up that I can recommend on ponds up to 5000+ gallons in size would be the one of our Professional Filters hooked up to an Emperor Aquatic’s Smart UV Sterilizer. This set up would require the least amount of maintenance and would last for many years.

Wrapping it up, I also suggest watching how often you feed fish food to your fish. So many pond food manufacturers tell you to feed your fish 2 or 3 times a day. In reality, you only need to feed your fish once every other day. If you notice a surface algae outbreak in your pond, you want to stop feeding all together and allow your fish to feed on the algae. When the algae subside, you can go back to your regular feeding. Also, watch the type of foods you feed, you want to use a fish food that will produce a minimal amount of waste. Look at the ingredients, you want one that starts off with fish meal and has a low amount of cheaper fillers (i.e. corn).

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Water Treatment FAQ

Answer:

This is a question I get a lot and the answer is no, you want to leave your UV sterilizer on 24 hours a day in order for it to keep your pond crystal clear. If you were to turn it off, it would take about 3 or 4 days for the water to turn green again. Since we are talking about UV’s, another popular question that I get is this one, “is it okay to put the UV on a timer” and the answer to that one is the same, no, it must be left on 24 hours a day. The only time a UV would be turned off is if you are using a biological additive (i.e. Microbe Lift PL) to treat your pond.

In that case, the UV would be left off for 24 hours so that the additive has a chance to do it’s job in your pond. Some final suggestions on UV’s I would like to leave you with: (1) always keep the quartz sleeve clean; (2) use a fresh UV lamp each season or as directed by the manufacturer; and (3) make sure your o-rings and gaskets are lubricated!

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Answer:

The answer to this question would be yes provided the pond only has a very scarce population of pond fish and has a 50% pond plant coverage. One thing to think about though, if there is no pond pump circulating the water, it is an open invitation to pests like mosquitoes. I would suggest using a beneficial bacteria at least in your pond as that will help break down waste. I would personally at least consider running a small fountain so that you do not have any mosquito issues. If you do I would recommend some kind of biological mosquito control.

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Answer:

I wouldn’t suggest using an excessive amount of pond salt because this may effect the health of you koi as you could actually burn them and cause tissue damage. To the best of my knowledge, there is no effective leech treatment sold. Years ago I was told by another pond keeper to try a piece of red meat in a coffee can that has the plastic top with a 1″ hole on it. The red meat will act as a lure and will draw the leeches in without effecting the fish. I have actually used this method and found it to work, but you have to be patient and it does take some time. I would suggest checking your “LEECH TRAP” each day and to change the red meat out daily.

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Answer:

I would suggest cutting your plant coverage down to 50% to 60% and the reason for this is that plants can affect your oxygen levels at night as they are pulling in oxygen during the night time. As far as safely removing excessive ones, the only thing I can suggest is going into the pond and physically removing the unwanted lilies.

If these are in pots, it would probably be best to remove the pot from the pond and then take the lilies you don’t want out on land. By doing this you will cut down on clouding the water with the pond plant soil. If the water does cloud up from removing the lilies, I would suggest using a water clarifier like OASE AquaActiv Water Clarifier or Pond Care’s AccuClear as this will clump up any free floating materials.

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Answer:

This is a common question that I get often regarding pond water treatments. What I can say is that ponds treated with barley or beneficial bacteria’s are generally harmless to pets when applied properly.

As far as algaecides are concerned, I would suggest being careful here. I don’t think that these would be harmful when used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. I would try and discourage your pets from drinking water that was just treated to be on the safe side.

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Answer:

One of the most common misconceptions out there in pond land is that a UV Sterilizer will help control surface algae (aka Filamentous Algae). The truth of the matter is, a UV only kills off green water (aka waterborne algae) as the algae has to pass through the UV in order to be effectively treated. The two most common forms of surface algae are Blanket Weed and Hair Algae. Blanket weed is free floating and as it grows it will start to resemble a blanket and usually forms in clumps. Hair Algae resembles hair and attaches to just about everything in the pond. Because this algae is attached to rocks and plants, it can be a real nightmare to clean up and can affect your pond plant’s health (especially lilies).

So what causes surface algae you ask? Well it is mainly caused by a couple of things, like excessive amounts of organic waste and high levels of minerals like iron in your pond. To control surface algae, it is recommended that you do the following steps:

STEP 1. Provide a reliable biological filter that is properly sized for your pond. It is always a good rule of thumb to provide more biological filtration then what your pond calls for as you can never have too much filtration. The other thing that is important when it comes to biological filters is how they are maintained. You should never clean the biological media in your pond filter with tap water as that will kill off the beneficial bacteria that is living on the media. This goes for both well water and water from a municipality water source. What you should use to clean biological media is pond water. If you have a filter that uses foam inserts like the Laguna Pressure-Flo Series Filters, what you would want to do is take a 5 gallon bucket of pond water and squeeze each insert in that bucket several times to release the waste that is trapped on it. You want to repeat this process three times. Any biological media that is loose or in bags should be placed in a Rubbermaid container that is filled with pond water and moved around for at least two to three minutes so that you can loosen any waste that may be trapped on it. When you are finished cleaning, take the dirty water and discard. Do not pour the dirty water back into the pond.

If you have a bio  waterfalls, it’s a great idea to clean these (with pond water) every six weeks. A common misconception is to leave your bio falls alone and not to disturb it. The problem with that idea is that (1) sludge builds up under mat that is being used for the mechanical filtration and will create restriction on waterfall’s output. (2) Waste can gradually build up on the biological media and choke off the nitrifying bacteria. It’s a great idea to take the biological media in your biofalls and rinse it real well with pond water. If you’re using lava rock in your biofalls, it’s a good idea to replace it each season with fresh lava rock. Using the same lava rock year after year is a bad idea as it will harbor dead organic waste. An excellent biological media to use in a biofall are bio spheres as they are easy to clean and are re-usable. To get the most out of your biofalls, it’s a great idea to hook up an air pump to your biofalls by running an air line with an air stone under the biological media. Doing this will increase the oxygen level to the media and that will increase the bio filter’s effectiveness.

STEP 2. Watch how often you feed your fish as this is a big contributor to the surface algae nightmare. Feed only fish foods that are high in fish meal and low in fillers as this will produce less waste. If you have a surface algae problem, it’s best to stop feeding your fish all together and allow your pond fish to feed on the algae. Once the surface algae subsides, then begin feeding your pond fish again. When it comes to feeding your fish on a daily basis, it’s recommended that you feed them once every other day and only what they will consume in five minutes. It’s even a better idea to use a feeding point so that you can remove any uneaten food.

STEP 3. Consider using a beneficial bacteria (i.e. BioSafe’s Xtreme) in your pond as that will aid your pond filter in the breakdown of organic waste. If you have a real bad algae issue, consider using a sludge reducer (i.e. BioSafe’s Pond O2 Plus or Microbe Lift’s SA) and that will quickly digest the sludge that the surface algae is feeding on.

STEP 4. Small water changes once a month are a good thing. Simply remove 15% to 20% of your ponds volume and then add fresh water to your pond. If you have a pressurized pond filter with backwash, it’s a great idea to perform a backwash once a week for about 30 to 45 seconds.

STEP 5. When adding water to your pond, we suggest using a dechlorinator that will also help neutralize heavy metals. Even if you have well water, it’s a great idea to do this as we are trying to neutralize metals like iron. One dechlorinators that do this is the PondCare Pond Chlorine & Heavy Metal Neutralizer.

STEP 6. Try and provide up to 50% pond plant coverage on your pond. Pond plants are more than just decorations, they too will also feed on the organic waste in your pond.

STEP 7. Test your water daily with a pond test kit! When it comes to algae, you want to watch Nitrates and Phosphate levels.

If you follow these seven steps, surface algae will not be a problem in your pond!

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Answer:

Spring into summer is the time of year where your pond maybe turning a little green or cloudy from all the sunlight and rain. With these problems occurring there always a quick and easy way to get rid of algae and cloudy water, so you and your family can enjoy the pond almost as much as the fish do! One of AZPonds leading water clarifiers called Acurel E. It easily helps with green or cloudy water, and allows for debris to settle to the bottom of the pond making it easy to vacuum or filter out. It’s made with extracts of renewable resources making it safe for fish, pets, plants and wildlife.

When it comes to the nasty hair algae that forms on the sides of your pond, in the waterfall, and may even be floating in patches on the surface nothing works better than Aquascape EcoBlast Contract Granular Algaecide. Aquascape Algaecide eliminates unsightly algae and debris from waterfalls, fountains, streams, and rocks on contact.

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Answer:

As the days get longer and warmer our thoughts turn our backyard pond. You’re probably wondering where to start with getting your pond ready for spring time. Let’s start off by skimming as much waste as we can from the bottom of the pond. You want to get rid of those nasty dead leaves that might have blown into your pond last fall as they can really reek havoc on your pond’s chemistry and be harmful to your pond fish’s health. To get your pond ready for spring, I suggest starting out by skimming as much waste as possible out of your pond using a pond skimmer net or pond vacuum. Next, you will want to remove about 20% of the ponds volume and add fresh water. When doing this don’t forget to use some kind of heavy mental neutralizer and dechlorinator. Then you want to get your pond filter going, I suggest new inserts for any pond filter as using old inserts will effect how effective the filter is in treating the water.

If there is a UV in the filter, be sure to remove the quartz sleeve and clean that with CLR so that the UV will be effective. Last, place a silicone lubricant on any rubber gaskets on your filter so that it prevents any kind of leakage. It’s always a good idea to add your beneficial bacteria additive and use as directed. Lastly, if you have a pond filter that backwashes, I suggest performing a backwash at least twice a week for the first two weeks. Then only backwash once a week for the rest of the season.

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Answer:

If the scales look like a pine cone, then this is referred to as DROPSY and it is not contagious, but the conditions that caused it are and you may want to test your water quality with a test kit. We would recommend the PondCare Pond Master Liquid Test Kit. This could be a sign of either a congenital heart, kidney failure or possibly an internal bacterial infection.  This is very hard to treat and it is recommended to isolate the infected fish and to treat with an anti bacterial medication.

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Answer:

As far as adding Pond Salt to your pond, it is recommended that you distribute the salt around the perimeter of the pond. I also suggest making sure that you have a good idea of how many gallons your pond holds. The way I figure out gallons on a pond is to use the following formula:

(LENGTH x WIDTH x AVERAGE DEPTH) x 7.48 = Gallons

Then I deduct 15% from the total gallons as I factor in the pond is not a perfect square and that the sides are tapered. If you have pond plants in your pond, you want to use a lower dosage of salt. It is suggested that you add 1 1/4 cup of salt to every 100 gallons of pond water. If you do have pond plants in your pond, then you can increase the salt level by adding 2 1/2 cups of salt to every 100 gallons of pond water. To figure out what your pond’s salinity level is, I suggest the use of a digital salinity meter. Just to re-cap, always remember that once salt is added to your pond, it will not evaporate and cannot be filtered out by a pond filter. Only add salt when you physically do a water change and watch the amount you add!

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Answer:

I would suggest testing your water quality with a test kit for starters to make sure that your ammonia and nitrite levels are low. If those check out fine, I would then check your oxygen levels by using an oxygen test kit. It’s always a very good idea to use an air pump over the winter months so that your dissolved oxygen levels are always high. It also does not hurt to use an enzyme to control dead leaves and waste over the winter months and I would suggest using either Pond O2 Plus from BioSafe or UltraClear Oxy.

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Answer:

As the warm summer months come to an end, our most common question is, “What do I do with my pond now?”. Winterizing your pond is an important step to ensure a safe and healthy start-up next spring. Here are some easy tips to help you on your way:

  1. Netting – As the leaves fall it is important to make sure they don’t accumulate in the bottom of your pond. You could skim them by hand every day, but to make things easier, simply place a large net over the entire pond. Clean it weekly to prevent the net from falling or from leaves slipping through and discoloring your water.
  2. Fish Food – As the days get colder, your fish will continue to go deeper into their dormancy state. Gradually reduce the amount of food the fish receive and when the water temperature falls below 60°F, feed your CrystalClear® WheatGerm. CrystalClear® WheatGerm contains wheat germ which is a natural vegetable and plant based food that is easily digested in the cold months when the fish’s digestive tract is slowing.
  3. Bacteria – Those of you who have been following our EcoPack™ schedule know the importance of keeping bacteria in the water column. Continue as the water temperature reaches below 55°F with our Spring & Fall Prep. This natural bacteria accelerates the decomposition of leaves, scum, and sediment that build up during the fall and winter months. In the spring, it replenishes winter bacteria loss, jump starts the filter and breaks down unwanted waste, making your pond water ready for a clean spring and summer.
  4. Oxygen Exchange – As organics decompose, they produce toxic gases. Normally these gases will escape out the pond’s surface, but if your pond freezes over in the winter, they will stay in the water column and could eventually kill your fish. It is important to keep a hole in the ice so these toxic gases may escape. You can do this by either running a pond aerator, or floating a pond de-icer. In some cases it is necessary to have both a pond aerator and a de-icer. Note: It is much less expensive to operate a pond aerator, like the PondAir™ or the KoiAir™, than to operate a pond de-icer. Another big advantage is that you pond aerator can be used during the warm summer months
  5. Equipment Maintenance – You may choose to run your system all winter, but be aware that circulating large amounts of water in the cold months can super cool the water. Water in motion can reach temperatures well below 32°F without freezing. Although colder water has more oxygen, your fish may not handle the freezing temperatures and parish. If you choose to shut down your pump system, be sure to drain all water from your pipes, skimmers, and waterfall boxes and/or filters. Remove your pump, wash it thoroughly, place it in a five gallon bucket of water (this keeps the seals moist), and store it in your garage or basement.
  6. Plant Maintenance – Every type of plant needs to be taken care of in a different way. To keep it simple, trim all hardy and submerged plants to six inches above the root system and submerge at least three feet deep. Treat tropical lilies and lotuses as annuals or bring inside to store in a heated aquarium with imitation sunlight. Use aqua gloves to keep arms and hands completely dry, thus avoiding muck stains on hands and nails.
  7. Fall Cleaning – AlgaeOff® will help remove string algae, attached debris from waterfalls, streams and rocks in seconds. AlgaeOff® kills string algae, cleans debris and helps bring dead leaves to the surface for fast and easy cleanouts. AlgaeOff® is a reliable and fast acting personal pond cleaner that saves you hours of time and effort and saves your fish the stress of being removed from the system while it is cleaned.
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Waterfall Spillway FAQ

Answer:

I always recommend a waterfall filter for a pond as they make great biological pond filters. This type of filter is commonly referred to as a “Bio-Falls” by most pond keepers. They are very simple filters as they usually consist of a filter mat of some sort and a biological media (i.e. lava rock, bio balls, etc). Each bio-falls filter will have a pond size rating assigned to it so that you will be able to match up what filter works best for your pond. You want to make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s suggested flow rate so that you get a nice sheet of water coming off the filter’s spillway. To get the most out of one of these filters, I suggest replacing the nylon filter mat with a piece of coarse Matala media as this is re-usable and will not have to be replaced. For the bio media, I would suggest loading up a media bag with bio balls as they can be re-used and offer a lot of surface area for the beneficial bacteria to grow on. To get the most out of any bio-falls filter, I suggest using an air pump and running an air stone under the biological media. Doing this increases the bacteria’s activity, thus making the filter more effective. I also recommend cleaning the bio-falls every 4 to 6 weeks. When you clean these filters, it is important to clean the bio-media with pond water and to hose the mats off with tap water. By cleaning these filters on a regular basis you will be able to get the maximum performance out of them without creating back pressure on your pond pump!

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Answer:

To keep rocks and stones in place on a waterfall, I suggest the use of black waterfall foam. This is safe to use and will hold rocks firmly in place. You can also use this to control the direction of water on your waterfall as well. I do not suggest the use of mortar to hold stones on your waterfall because of the lime content that is found in mortar. The lime will increase your pH levels greatly and will affect your fish and plants. The other problem with mortar is that in colder environments, it will tend to crack and come apart.

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Answer:

yes you need to clean your bio falls every four to six weeks. If you don’t clean your bio falls, then the mechanical part of your filtration (filter mat) will become clogged with waste and will create back pressure on your pond pump as well as poor circulation in your pond. The first step is to rinse the biological media off with pond water. Then while you’re doing work on your bio falls, place the biological media in a Rubbermaid container fill with pond water so that it does not dry out. Next, take the filter mat that sits below the bio media and hose that off with a garden hose.

Then take some paper towels and clean out any waste that may be present on the bottom of the tank. Once you completed all that, place the mat and bio media back in the pond filter and turn it out… your ready to go! If you are currently using lava rock in your bio falls and would like to make cleaning easier, I suggest switching from lava rock to something that is re-usable like bio-balls. Plus, bio-balls have more surface area then lava rock and they weigh a lot less too making them the best choice for biological media. If you get tired of replacing the filter mat that sits at the bottom, consider upgrading to the coarse Matala media (black one) as that is re-usable.

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