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Pond Algae Removal in Bucks County, PA

Pond Algae Removal in Bucks County, PA
Pond Algae Removal in Bucks County, PA

Pond Algae Removal in Bucks County, PA seems impossible at times.  Algae is the most basic plant on the planet and can seem like the biggest problem to many pond owners. Algae is particularly heavy in the spring, when temperatures are warming, nutrients are plentiful, and the days are lighter and longer. Add those factors with the fact that plants like water lily or water iris, have not really “woken up” from their winter slumber so they are not challenging for those nutrients and you have the recipe for a lot of algae!

Steps for Pond Algae Removal in Bucks County, PA

1. Physically Remove String Algae

This is your best method for removing string algae. Though it may seem dirty, it is essential to do before treating so you can reduce the amount of decay. Pull the biggest bits of string algae near the base, pull hard, and put it into a bucket. It can sometimes be difficult to pull out a lot at one time since it is soft and malleable. Physical removal is the fastest way to get algae out of your pond and take the next step to crystal clear pond water. Winding around fingers/hands is the best approach aside from a toilet or long lint brush to roll it up with. The hand approach is easier because the thin strands are difficult to clean away from brush bristles. Wearing gloves are not required but may keep you cleaner. Use a long handled brush to pull out the algae at depth.

2. Treat Water and Kill Off Remaining Algae

Some sources suggest using a pond algaecide for Pond Algae Removal in Bucks County, PA, but we never recommend unnatural chemicals even if the labels state they are safe for fish and plants. We stick to natural solutions for algae control and recommend a combination of Aquascape products with bacteria/enzymes to speed up the process. Normal green hair-like or carpet/blanket algae which grows on pond walls and some rocks is best left untouched and completely acceptable.

3. Add Extra Plants and Remove Decay

Place quick growing and reproducing plants in your pond to increase oxygen content. Make sure you take out the decaying plants first, as they will not help your fight against algae. Choose plants that will grow larger, consume a lot of nutrients, and will not require a lot of upkeep. We recommend Water Lettuce, Irises, and Cattails for the spring and summer. You can solve many problems as a pond owner by placing plants to out-compete algae and suspend algae for excess nutrients. Just be careful to not add in any plants that already have string algae attached!

4. Find the Cause of the Algae Growth

– Look for potential causes of string algae by testing your water quality. If algae is growing at a problematic level than it is time to look beyond the algae and mat and deeper into the pond chemistry. High pH and Phosphorous levels are the leading cause of string algae. Examples of what can cause high pH are the clearing of algae blooms, excessive plant growth, overstocking of fish, and the introduction of foreign materials (untreated concrete, rocks containing limestone or calcium/granite). The most common cause of high phosphorous is from fertilizers that have leaked into the pond water. Iron is also a major contributor as well as grass clippings that find their way into the pond after mowing the lawn. Scoop green grass blades out immediately.

5. Feed Koi & Fish Less to Reduce Excess Nutrients

One of the most common errors by fish pond owners is to overfeed their fish, thus adding excess nutrient to the water. If there is any food left in the pond uneaten, you’ve fed your fish too much. By feeding less you also increase the fishes’ appetite for other substances in the pond. Like algae!

If you can’t (or don’t want to) take care of your Pond Algae Removal in Bucks County, PA, we certainly can. AquaReale specializes in pond algae removal as well as all other water features items in the Philadelphia area. Contact us to see how we can help you.

The Top Pond Builders in the Philadelphia area

The Top Pond Builders in the Philadelphia area
The Top Pond Builders in the Philadelphia area

The Top Pond Builders in the Philadelphia area

So who are the The Top Pond Builders in the Philadelphia area:and why would we recommend companies besides ourselves to build ponds?  Because we can’t do them all and these are the best companies around!  There are quite a few Top Pond Builders in Philadelphia we would recommend, along with some we would not.  AquaReale is not the best fit for each consumer, and we want to give you viable options.

There are many landscapers and others who present themselves as pond builders.  A true pond builder will have experience and certifications in pond building.  It’s a whole different thing then landscaping.  Most of the ponds we repair were put in by landscapers

Before hiring anyone, we recommend you ask them how many ponds they have built, what their certifications are and how often they are trained and educated in pond building techniques.   You should also ensure they hire a legal workforce and have all the appropriate insurances they need.

Here are the Top Four Pond Builders in Philadelphia that we recommend (in alphabetical order)

The Top Pond Builders in the Philadelphia area: Across the Ponds Aquascapes

This company is run by Chris and Diane Baker and they do beautiful work.  According to their website, “We believe that when you have passion for what you do it shows in your work. We are not a “do it all” landscape company for whom water features are but a small part of our business.”

The Top Pond Builders in the Philadelphia area: Cedar Run Landscaping

Cedar Run is owned by Alden Zove, an all around great guy.   According to their website, “Cedar Run Landscapes is a design-build residential and commercial North Wales landscape designer. With more than 30 years of experience, our landscape design principals embrace the concept of sustainability and the long-lived relationships between the landscape and their users.”  Alden and his team are very involved in stormwater management in the Philadelphia area.

The Top Pond Builders in the Philadelphia area:  Turpin Landscape Design Build

This company is run by the Turpin Family; two sons and their mother.  Their work is exceptional, and they are a true full-service firm.  According to their website “Turpin Landscaping is a full-service landscaping company dedicated to creating outdoor lifestyles…. Our specialties include design and installation of water features, masonry, landscaping and lighting, which we incorporate into beautiful custom projects.”

The Top Pond Builders in the Philadelphia area:  Pezzotti Brothers

Paul Pezzotti is one of the nicest people we have ever met, and an excellent landscaper and pond builder.  According to their website, “We are a third-generation company located on the Main Line, just west of Philadelphia. Quality is our landscape theme! We have passed on an old school work ethic that demands high quality. Contact us today to schedule your consultation. “

All of the above companies are exceptional pond builders are people we highly recommend.  Remember to make certain your pond builder has the proper certifications.  All of the people mentioned above ( as well as AquaReale) are part of the Aquascape Contractor network and are all Certified Aquascape Contractors.

No matter which Top Pond Builder in the Philadelphia area you choose, we wish you luck and success.  If we can be of further help, please contact us. 

How much is a Philadelphia pond cleaning?


Philadelphia pond cleaning
Philadelphia pond cleaning

Do you need a Philadelphia pond cleaning?

Do you need a Philadelphia pond cleaning?  Does your pond have green or murky water? Is the algae taking over?  Is there a buildup of sludge or mulch?  Are your fish being eaten or sick?

Ponds of all sizes need to be cleaned at least once a year.

How much is a Philadelphia pond cleaning?

We get asked that a lot.   The true answer is—it depends (we have average pricing listed at the bottom.) Pond cleanings are a vital part of the maintenance process.    The more time you wait between cleanouts, the more time, effort and money it will cost to clean.

The pond cleaning in Philadelphia cost depends on three main factors:


#1—The size of the pond.

#2—The condition of the pond

#3—How long it has been since your last cleanout.

#1:  Pond Size.

The larger the pond, the more expensive it will be to perform a Philadelphia pond cleaning.    Larger ponds also can be retention ponds or mud bottom ponds, which need to be dredged and have a whole different cleaning process. Most ponds run from between 8 x 8 feet to 11 x 16 feet.  Ponds can be much larger as well.  We work on smaller ponds as well, some as small as 2 by 2 feet.

#2: Pond Condition

Aside from size and regular maintenance, the overall condition of your pond will be an important factor in determining how much your Philadelphia pond cleaning will cost.  Certain physical characteristics of your pond can factor in as well, including the type of filtration and whether you have a bog, wetland or negative edge environment.

#3: Time since last cleaning

Pond cleaning prices also vary depending on when you last had maintenance on your pond.   The better a pond is maintained, the less work it will take to do a full clean out.

Anything cleaned longer than a year ago will be charged a higher price to account for the extra time and materials needed to clean the dirty pond.

 Philadelphia pond cleaning cost

Philadelphia pond cleanings start at $700 for an 8.5 x 11 pond that was cleaned the previous year and increase from there.  Most cleanings are in the $850 range.

No matter when you choose to do your clean up, the important thing is not to wait too long.

Remember, starting your water garden season with a clean slate will cut down on in season maintenance down the road.

Contact us to schedule your pond cleaning and start enjoying your pond or water feature today!

Philadelphia Pond Fish: How many is too many?

Philadelphia Pond Fish
Philadelphia Pond Fish

Philadelphia Pond Fish Ratios

Most Philadelphia ponds include Philadelphia Pond Fish.  Do they say water or wooder?  (Philadelphia humor).  In fact, fish are often the reason people get a water garden in the first place!  Fish are fun to watch.  Many kids, including our own, name their fish.  It did make for an awkward experience when our daughter named our fish for our neighbors and then a fish died and she proudly told the neighbor her namesake was dead!

While Philadelphia Pond Fish create a memorable experience, they can also bring headaches to water quality if you go overboard when stocking fish. Too many fish in the pond creates an imbalance in water, so you’ll want to make sure you’re smart about the number and size of fish that you place in the water garden.  If you have too many fish, they won’t be healthy.

How much water per Philadelphia Pond Fish?

Philadelphia Pond Fish typically need 10 gallons of water for every inch of their length, but keep in mind they will grow larger over the years. So no matter how tempting it might be to add just a few more fish, be careful not to overstock! Some pond experts even go so far as to recommend only ½ inch of fish per 10 gallons of water as a maximum stocking density.

If you’re a fish fanatic, you may find yourself with a pond containing 2 or even 3 inches of fish per 10 gallons of water and the fish seem to be fine. However, the density and ecological strain of this loading can turn your pond into a fragile system. The pH tends to sag, the fish tend to grow more slowly, and disease can become a common occurrence.

Too many Philadelphia Pond Fish

It’s very difficult to salvage sick fish in a pond that’s overcrowded. Most likely, Mother Nature will sadly pick off your favorite fish to achieve her ideal stocking density based on the system the fish are in, and then the remainder may recover.

So before adding another fish to your koi collection, make sure you have ample space so that all your fish are ensured a happy, healthy home! Contact us for more information.


Main Line Fish Pond Aerator and Heater

 Main Line Fish Pond Aerator and Heater
Main Line Fish Pond Aerator and Heater

Do you need to install a Main Line Fish Pond Aerator and Heater?

Let me begin by saying if you don’t have fish in your water garden it is not necessary to install a Main Line Fish Pond Aerator and Heater. An argument can be made that one is more important than the other;  however, both can keep an area of the pond surface free from ice.

During the winter months your fish are still producing waste and CO2. Decomposition of the fish waste and any organic material during the winter produces harmful compounds that will rob the water of oxygen causing stress to the fish. If water toxicity levels get too high the fish could die.  When the pond is not frozen the gasses escape through the surface. Thus it is essential to keep an area in your pond free from ice. Both a fish pond deicer and a pond aerator pump have positive and negative points, so let’s take a closer look at both.

Main Line Fish Pond Aerator and Heater: De-Icer

 This is the easiest way to keep your pond free of ice. The electric pond heater is designed to heat the area around it, not the whole pond. It will not change the overall temperature of the pond water. Most electric pond heaters are thermostatically controlled therefore it can be plugged in and it will work. The negative side to heaters for a pond is if it gets really cold or windy the space around the fish pond water heater can freeze over creating a dome. It’s important to protect the fish pond heater from the wind, and if it gets really cold, check it often to see if it is frozen.

Main Line Fish Pond Aerator and Heater:What is Aeration?

The pond air stones do a good job of keeping a space open in the ice. Exactly what is pond aeration? A pond aeration system adds oxygen to the water column. As the air is moving through the water it allows the organic compounds that are in the water to attach and when the bubble hits the surface the gasses break apart releasing them safely into the atmosphere.

The negative to pond aerator pumps is the potential for the cool air to super cool the water. During winter months, keep the air stone a foot above the bottom of the pond keeping the warmer water just below the air.  If the air compressor is out in the cold air it is transferring that cold air to the pond water. This could cause the fish to die. Consider covering the winter pond aeration system with an insulated cover or put it in a heated building.

In winter, oxygen & gas exchange is crucial for the survival of your fish. If you don’t have a  Main Line Fish Pond Aerator and Heater yet, it’s not too late. Contact us today to get a pond aerator or a pond heater, your fish will thank you!

Philadelphia Indoor Pond Design

Philadelphia Indoor Pond
Philadelphia Indoor Pond

Do you have or want a Philadelphia Indoor Pond?

You can put a pond anywhere, especially if you have a Philadelphia Indoor Pond!  With winter here now, it’s time to think about a Philadelphia Indoor Pond.  Lots of people have indoor ponds– businesses, greenhouse owners and in actual homes.  We even built a pond in our client’s basement!

Indoor Pond Options

Indoor ponds can be extravagant and elaborate requiring significant space, planning and equipment or they can be very simple and easy to manage. Depending on the space you have available and the desired effect of the water feature, there are many options for type of water feature.

In large entries, foyers or atriums, large ponds or layered fountains may be appropriate.  In small office spaces, hallways and meeting rooms a simple wall or tabletop fountain may be enough. Water in indoor spaces has benefits regardless of the size.

Benefits of a Philadelphia Indoor Pond

A Philadelphia Indoor Pond does more than soothe the soul and well-being by making a contribution to interior spaces, that is both wonderfully aesthetic and to a significant extent, textural. With a little imagination, you can build an attractive and beauty pond that will be easy to maintain and add interest to the area where it’s built. The indoor aquatic pond combines the best features of an aquarium and an outdoor garden pond.

An indoor pond has more health benefits than you may realize. One benefit is the relaxing, calming effect of both the sight and sound of moving water. There are other psychological benefits like promoting calmness, focus, creativity and better sleep quality.

In addition, water, in all forms, releases negatively charged ions into the air, which combats free radicals and purifies the air of dust mites, pollen, germs, allergens and pollutants, and in turn keeps your body healthy. These negative ions are also believed to boost serotonin levels, which relieve stress and depression, and help to increase energy, alertness, and concentration.

During the winter months, low humidity in your home can become an issue, leading to worsening allergies, dry skin, static electricity and increased susceptibility to colds and flu. Indoor pond naturally add moisture to the room in which it is in. Not only is this beneficial for you and your family, it also is good for the plants in the room.

Where to put a Philadelphia Indoor Pond

An indoor pond could fit anywhere in your home, but there are obviously some rooms that are better suited than others. You can use them as art or sculpture in prominent spots, or place them in an area that would otherwise not be utilized such as underneath a staircase. No matter what type of water feature you choose, you are sure to reap all the benefits it provides for your home and family. Contact AquaReale for more information on maintenance or design of a Philadelphia Indoor Pond.


Philadelphia Winter Pond Care


Winter Pond Care

How should you handle Winter Pond Care?

Some people shut their ponds down for Winter Pond Care, while other keep them going,  If you keep yours running, be sure to follow our handy winter pond care tips.

Check for Ice Dams

Winter Pond Care is important as you keep your pond running during the frozen months of winter to allow you to enjoy the beautiful ice sculptures that form in the stream and waterfall. Although beautiful, it’s possible that the ice buildup can form dams that could divert your pond water out of the pond. Check on the waterfall and stream and monitor the water level periodically throughout the winter. If you see an ice dam forming or the water level dropping at a high rate, your pond might be losing water because of the frozen sculpture and it might be time to turn off the pump for the winter. If you decide to leave the pond running until warmer weather however, your main concern is to ensure there is enough water for the pump(s) to operate properly.

Add Water to Your Pond

During the winter months, the usual water supply options are not available.  Outdoor water spigots and automatic water fill valves should be turned off to prevent pipes from freezing and cracking.  Therefore, pond owners who run their systems during the winter will have to find an alternate water source to replenish their pond.  Water can be supplied via a hose run from inside the house or by making multiple trips with a five-gallon bucket.  Generally speaking, it’s not uncommon to have to go out a few times a month during the winter to “top off” the pond.

Check the Circulation of Water

Pump size is important when determining a waterfall’s ability to operate during the winter.  A pump that provides at least 2,000 gph can be operated throughout the winter without a problem, as long as it runs continuously. Moving water will usually keep a hole open in the ice around the waterfalls and in front of the circulation system. However, repeated days in sub-zero temperatures may lead to excessive ice build-up and can cause the system to operate improperly. If the flow of water into the circulation system is unable to keep up with the pump because of ice build-up, it may be necessary to shut the system down. The system can be run again once the ice is melted and normal water flow is restored.

Be Assured of Filters and Pipes

Most good filters are constructed out of rotational-molded polyethylene, and are designed to bow and bend with the freezing and thawing effects of winter. The PVC flex pipe is reinforced and will also not crack unless water is left in the pipe over the winter and allowed to freeze. If you decide to keep the pump running all winter long, there will still be a constant flow of water traveling through the pipe, and the moving water will not freeze.

The Bottom Line for Winter Pond Care

The bottom line for winter pond keeping is maintenance. Roughly 70 percent of pond owners in the colder climates decide to shut down their system because they don’t enjoy tending to their water garden during the bitter months of the winter.

The aesthetic rewards of the winter pond are absolutely worthwhile, so by all means; don’t be afraid to keep the system running as long as possible. Shutting down a pond during winter is also an option. Just be sure you take precautionary measures to preserve fish, plant, and pump life.

Contact AquaReale for advice on how to handle your Winter Pond Care,

How to Find a Philadelphia Pond Leak

Philadelphia Pond Leak
Philadelphia Pond Leak

While some water loss in a water garden is normal due to evaporation and sometimes splash out, significant loss can be a problem and is often due to a Philadelphia Pond Leak. The first, and usually most difficult, step in fixing a leak in a pond is to actually find the leak. Follow these steps to make the job of finding a pond leak little more efficient.

Step A in Finding a Philadelphia Pond Leak
Turn off the pump. If the water level continues to drop skip to Step C to continue the search for your pond leak. If the water level stays the same see Step B.

Step B in Finding a Philadelphia Pond Leak
You have now determined that the leak is not in the main basin pond. Now you need to narrow it down a bit further. The pond leak is either in the plumbing or in the waterfall / stream. Closely inspect your plumbing, particularly at any joints, make sure there is no leakage here. Next, inspect your waterfall and stream for leaks.

Most of the time, the problem is caused by plant matter or other obstructions raising the water level behind the weir and causing an overflow over the liner. Perhaps a stone has settled, or your pond liner has slipped below water level in an area. If it hasn’t rained in a few days, check around the perimeter for a wet spot. If you find one, you have a good idea of where to look closer for the source of the leak. If you still have not found the problem, use the ideas in Step C in the stream bed.

Step C in Finding a Philadelphia Pond Leak
At this point, you have determined that the leak is in the pond itself. Leave the pump off and allow the pond to continue to leak until it stops. If it does not stop before reaching a level dangerous to fish and plants, you will need to temporarily remove them from the pond. While the water level is dropping check around the edges to make sure that the pond liner has not sunken down or rocks have not been displaced.

When the water reaches the point where it is no longer dropping it will be necessary to closely inspect the liner all along this water level to find the source of your pond’s leak. You should be looking for any irregularity in the pond liner from a large gash or a tiny pinprick. For fast leaks you can try putting some milk in a squirt bottle and spraying into the water at the edges of the pond. The milk will cloud the water where there is no hole. It will flow toward the hole, if there is one. This method will not work for slow leaks.

Once you have found the source of your pond leak it is time to make repairs. If it was just a displaced liner, move everything back into place. If a hole was found in the pond liner, you can try to patch it yourself or reach out to AquaReale to get a new liner put in.  We often find when there is one liner hole, there are many more.



Philadelphia Winter Pond Maintenance

Philadelphia Winter Pond Maintenance
Philadelphia Winter Pond Maintenance

Need help with your Philadelphia Winter Pond Maintenance questions?  We have answers.  Have you ever noticed that your pond water is clearer in the fall?  This is typically due to cooler temperatures and full, lush plants. To keep your pond looking its best throughout the fall and winter season, follow our helpful, easy-to-follow Philadelphia Winter Pond Maintenance tips.

Philadelphia Winter Pond Maintenance

  • Prune yellowing leaves off all of your plants. Your lilies – tropical and hardy – should still be going strong, at least until the first heavy frost.
  • Stop fertilizing plants when the weather becomes cooler. This lets the plants know the season is coming to an end.
  • When the water temperature is around 50 degrees F, stop feeding your fish. If you continue to feed them, you might create health problems for your finned friends, since their digestive systems are beginning to slow down for the winter.
  • As leaves falls from nearby trees, you’ll need to empty your skimmer’s debris net every day to keep up with the influx of leaves. Some leaves will undoubtedly sink to the bottom of the pond; try to remove as many as you can. However, a few left in the pond will give insects and frogs a place to over-winter.
  • If you leave too much organic matter in your pond, the water may turn brown. If this happens, remove the excess debris and add activated carbon to clear the water.
  • As the temperature gets colder and your plants expire, cut back the dead plant material and remove the tropicals. Cut back the cattails above the water level, or better yet, leave them up to see how magnificent they look in the winter.
  • If you’re fortunate enough to live where it stays warm all year-round, you’re set for the winter.

Philadelphia Winter Pond Maintenance—Shutting Your Pond Down

  • To shut your pond down, first unplug your pump and pull it out of the water. The pump should be stored in a frost-free location, submerged in a bucket of water to keep the seals from drying.
  • If you have fish, a small re-circulating pump or pond aerator that bubbles at the water surface is necessary to oxygenate the water. In all but extremely low temperatures, the bubbling of the pump will also keep a hole open in the ice to allow for a gas exchange, keeping your fish alive. It is not necessary to oxygenate the water or keep a hole open in the ice if you don’t have fish.
  • If your area experiences long periods of extremely cold weather, you may consider adding a floating pond heater and de-icer. Controlled by a thermostat, the unit only runs when the water temperature is at or below freezing, heats the water to just above that, and then shuts off again. Ask your installer or local supplier for products to help your pond during the winter.
  • If you use a floating de-icer, place it away from the bubbler. The movement of the water from the bubbler can move the heated water away from the de-icer, making it run more than necessary.
  • You can also choose to keep the waterfall running. This will require a little babysitting to make sure an ice dam does not form, which could cause water to run out of the waterfall’s basin. You will also still need to replace water loss so the pump can continue to function properly. This extra effort during the winter will reward you with the most beautiful ice formations and patterns around the falls and stream beds.

The most important thing is to have fun with your water feature all year long. Keep some of these key maintenance issues in mind, and it will be smooth sailing.  For more information or any questions, reach out to us today.

Philadelphia Fall Pond Maintenance

Philadelphia Fall Pond Maintenance
Philadelphia Fall Pond Maintenance

Bright bursts of gold, orange and red in the trees signify an important event for your pond–  It’s time for some Philadelphia Fall Pond Maintenance.   Preparing your pond for the winter greatly reduces the amount of work you need to do in the spring to get your pond in tip-top shape.

Fall’s lacy, colorful leaves look pretty floating on your pond’s surface, but eventually they’ll sink to the bottom where they’ll decay and wreak havoc with your water quality. As leaf matter decomposes, the balance of your water changes and can become toxic for your fish.

Philadelphia Fall Pond Maintenance Option: Netting your Pond

Netting your pond is an easy, obvious choice for addressing leaf control. It doesn’t take much time to set the net up over your water garden, and the hours of future work it saves you is priceless. AquaReale can net your pond for you, as part as your Philadelphia Fall Pond Maintenance.

Philadelphia Fall Pond Maintenance Options: Checking the Skimmer Basket

If you choose not to net your pond, you’ll need to make sure that you’re checking the pond’s skimmer basket every couple of days to remove the pile-up of leaves. Luckily, this is an easy task and doesn’t take much time. Once you pull the leaves out of the basket, be sure to toss them in your compost pile.

Philadelphia Fall Pond Maintenance Options: Clean the Debris from Your Pond

Finally, if you failed to net your pond and all those colorful, floating leaves have found their way to the pond’s bottom, you’ll want to remove them before they decay into ugly sludge that has to be cleaned out in the spring. Grab a long-handled pond net and scoop the debris from the floor of your water garden. Or if you don’t mind getting your feet wet, wade on into the pond and fish them out by hand.

Whatever your strategy to combat the onslaught of beautiful fall foliage that floats into your pond, you can rest assured that your efforts to control it now, will be well rewarded come springtime. With some Philadelphia Fall Pond Maintenance, you will have all the help you need to head into a beautiful spring season with your pond.

For more information on Philadelphia Fall Pond Maintenance, contact AquaReale.