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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.

 

What do Philadelphia pond fish do in the Winter?

Philadelphia pond fish
Philadelphia pond fish

What do Philadelphia pond fish do in the Winter?  It’s the question we get asked the most, so here are some answers:

The warm weather is obviously the best time to be able to enjoy Philadelphia pond fish. During this time, pond fish and koi are active, lively, and highly visible. Many pond fish and koi become downright interactive with their keepers and will follow them around the pond, stick their faces out of the water or practically climb out of the pond to celebrate feeding time.

During this time, we all know exactly what is going on with our fish and all it takes is a quick peek into the pond.

Then the cold weather sets in and we slowly lose our ability to see what’s happening with our pond fish. Their activity slows down, they tend to keep themselves concealed, and once the ice and snow come; well, we lose touch with our fish. So what’s going on underneath those layers of ice and snow? What do pond fish do in the winter?

Well, What do Philadelphia pond fish do in the Winter?

In short, not too much. But pond fish not being up to too much is an interesting behavior all the same, given that they are so lively throughout the rest of the year. Koi and pond fish are poikilothermic animals, a fancy way of saying cold-blooded.

This basically means that their body temperature is regulated by the surrounding temperature of the water, and their body functions respond and change according to the water temperature. The activity and metabolism of koi and pond fish is greatly reduced which is why they do not feed during the cold periods.

What do Philadelphia pond fish do in the Winter? : Fish Hibernation

Koi and other pond fish go into a state of torpor.  https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/torpor.   Torpor is not quite full hibernation, because it is of a shorter duration than hibernation, but otherwise it is a very similar state of being: reduced body temperature, slowed metabolism, slow reaction times, reduced breathing rate and primary body functions.

Torpor allows the animal to save the energy that would otherwise be needed for higher levels of activity. Because of the state of being in torpor it is a very good idea to keep things as calm as possible around the pond. If you need to open the ice in the pond find a quiet way to do it like using boiling water to open a hole, don’t chop it open with a pick ax!

Even using a hand-held drill with a hole saw is actually pretty quiet compared to other methods, and if the ice is too thick to open with boiling water the hole saw is a great tool to have. To maintain an open area in the ice try using a floating de-icer or an aerator. This open area in the ice will allow noxious gases, like ammonia, to escape from the pond.

Contact us for more information or to get a de-icer for your pond.

 

Philadelphia Koi Pond Myths Debunked

Philadelphia Koi Pond
Philadelphia Koi Pond

Philadelphia Koi Pond Myth #1The presence of rocks and gravel make it difficult to clean your pond.

Reality   Rocks and gravel offer a natural place for aerobic bacteria to colonize and set up housekeeping in your Philadelphia Koi Pond.   This bacteria breaks down the fish waste and debris that would otherwise accumulate in the pond and turn into sludge. Regardless of your pond’s location (i.e. close to trees and loads of leaves), or how many fish you have in it, you’ll find that having rocks and gravel in your pond not only makes it look better, but it makes it healthier as well. So contrary to the myth, having rocks and gravel on the bottom of your pond actually allows Mother Nature to clean up after herself.

Philadelphia Koi Pond Myth #2The more filtration, the better the pond.

Reality   Believe or not, you can over-filter a pond. Tight filter pads in your skimmer pick up the smallest particles of debris, causing you to be cleaning the filtering mechanism out constantly. Fish in the wild certainly don’t swim around in bottled water. If you can see a dime on the bottom of the pond, then the water clarity is just right for your fish and filtering past that create headaches instead of eliminating them.

Philadelphia Koi Pond Myth #3:  Koi can’t be kept in a pond that also contains plants.

Reality   In a naturally balanced ecosystem, Koi and plants complement and need one another. In nature, fish feed on plants. As a result, the fish produce waste, which is broken down by aerobic bacteria on the bottom of your pond, which, in turn, is used as fertilizer by the plants to grow and produce more natural fish food.

Philadelphia Koi Pond Myth #4: Your pond must be at least three feet deep in order to keep Koi.

Reality   There are thousands of two-foot deep ponds around the country, full of happy and healthy koi. The water in a two-foot deep pond will generally only freeze eight inches down, even in the coldest of climates, because of the insulating qualities of the earth that surrounds the pond.

Philadelphia Koi Pond Myth #5You can’t be a koi hobbyist and a water gardener.

Reality   Not true! You can raise koi and have a beautiful water garden. The koi can grow up to be just as beautiful and just as healthy as they are in traditional koi ponds – and you’ll love them just as much!

Philadelphia Koi Pond Myth #6:  You have to bring your fish inside for the winter.

Reality   Fish do fine during the coldest of winters as long as you give them two feet of water to swim in, oxygenate the water, and keep a hole in the ice with a de-icer, allowing the naturally produced gasses to escape from under the ice.

For more answers or to see what we can do for you, please contact us!

Philadelphia Koi Pond Myth #7:  I should locate my pond to the lowest part of my yard.

Reality:   This is probably the worst location for your investment because of the run-off that can creep its way into your pond. When your pond is positioned near your house, you can take in the beauty and tranquility of your pond when entertaining friends or lounging on your deck.

For more answers or to see what we can do for you, please contact us!

 

Main Line, PA Pond Plants

Pond Plants!

Main Line, PA Pond Plants
Main Line, PA Pond Plants

What to do you with your Main Line, PA Pond Plants in the fall? Falling leaves and cooler temperatures tell us that fall is here.  How will that chill in the air affect your pond plants?

Main Line, PA Pond Plants: Lotus

As with the marginals in your pond, the foliage of your lotus plants will need to be trimmed back after they have died back and turned brown. It’s important not to cut the leaves while they are still green because the freshly cut, hollow stems are susceptible to disease which can spread to the plant’s tuber, possibly killing the plant. Lotus tubers will not withstand freezing, so any plants that are growing in the shallow areas of your pond should be moved to the bottom, away from freezing water.

Main Line, PA Pond Plants: Hardy Marginals

As with terrestrial, perennial plants, dropping temperatures signal your hardy aquatic plants to prepare for their winter dormancy. At this time, you should stop fertilizing them as you see leaves begin to yellow and brown. It’s OK to leave these plants where they are in your pond to weather the cold of winter, just be sure to trim the dying foliage of your marginal plants down to 2” above the water level/  Most tropical marginals will do well potted in heavy garden soil in a sealed clay pot with no drainage holes. When kept wet, the plants do well in a sunny window or sunroom.

Main Line, PA Pond Plants: Waterlilies

Waterlilies will also begin to show their dislike for the cold with yellowing leaves and fewer flowers. When this happens, the leaf and flower stems of hardy water lilies should be cut back to about 2 to 3” above the base of the plant.

In areas where freezing is likely, plants should be overwintered indoors. This can be a difficult task; therefore, many gardeners choose to simply buy a new plant each season.

Caring for your Pond Plants in the fall will mean less work and healthier plants come spring.  Contact us for more information

 

Bucks County, PA Fall Pond Care

 

Bucks County, PA Fall Pond Care
Bucks County, PA Fall Pond Care

Bucks County,  PA Fall Pond Care

It’s time for Bucks County, PA Fall Pond Care !  Shorter days, shedding leaves and a nip in the air means one thing—Fall is here!  Pond owners know this is the time to start getting their pond ready for the colder weather.  Water features require some special attention when putting your pond to bed for the winter.   Below are some basic guidelines to help plants and fish get through until next spring

1.Bucks County,  PA Fall Pond Care —leaves

Decaying leaves and foliage produce toxic gases that can harm your fish so you want to remove this debris before winter rolls into town. You don’t need to remove every single last leaf, but try to remove the majority.

2. Netting

If you put protective pond netting over your pond before the leaves started to fall, your job is easy. Carefully roll up the net and discard the leaves that were caught.

3. Leaves

If you didn’t use a net over the surface of your pond, you’ll need to remove the build-up of leaves from the bottom of the pond. Use a long handled pond net to scoop them out. Check your skimmer basket and remove any leaves that are still caught inside.

4. Bucks County, PA Fall Pond Care —Beneficial Bacteria

Add Cold Water Beneficial Bacteria to the pond once the temperature drops below 50 degrees. Use twice weekly for two weeks, and then once per week until the water starts to freeze.

5. Fertilization

Stop fertilizing your aquatic plants after the first frost.

6. Trim Back Aquatic Plants

Trim back hardy marginal aquatic plants to 2″ above the water to keep the dead foliage from drooping over into the pond.

7. Trim Back Waterlilies

Trim back waterlily leaves and stems to 2-3″ above the base of the plant. This keeps dead foliage from decomposing in the pond.

8. Bucks County,  PA Fall Pond Care —Additional Waterlily Care

If you left hardy waterlilies in their pot, drop them into the deepest part of the pond to over-winter. Do not bring them indoors as they need a period of dormancy.

9. Fall Pond Care—Bring Plants Indoors

Bring tropical waterlilies indoors if you want to over-winter them. Keep the pot in 50-degree water or take them out of the pot and store in sand. Be advised, even trained horticulturists lose a lot of tropical waterlilies when storing them indoors, so you might simply want to treat them as annuals.

10. Fish Feeding

Once temperatures drop to 50 degrees, stop feeding your fish. They need to get ready to hibernate and you’ll want to avoid any metabolic complications. You can feed them Cold Water Fish Food until the temperature drops below 50 degrees.

Contact us for more information about our maintenance program  or to schedule a shutdown.

10 Popular Philadelphia Pond Plants

Philadelphia Pond Plants
Philadelphia Pond Plants

10 Popular Philadelphia Pond Plants

Everyone has their favorite collection of Philadelphia Pond Plants , but there might be some varieties that you haven’t yet added to your water garden. We invite you to consider the following list of popular Philadelphia Pond Plants that make a welcome addition to any pond!

1. Creeping Jenny

Often used as a ground cover in terrestrial gardens, Creeping Jenny fares excellently when used in water gardening applications. Growing approximately 2 inches in height, it’s a great filler to soften edges of rocks.

2. Pickerel

Available in blue, white, and pink lavender spiked flowers, Pickerel is a great choice for Philadelphia Pond Plants with its shiny, green heart-shaped foliage. The blooms are long lasting and create a beautiful display when planted in masses.

3. Horsetail

Horsetail Reed provides a striking architectural presence in your pond with its segmented reeds, growing to 24″in height, while the dwarf version grows to 8″.  In the fall, cut the plant all the way down to the ground to keep the spores from spreading.

4. Taro

Several varieties of Taro are available for your pond and do well in full to part sunThis impressive, leafy water lover grows to about 48″ and always makes a striking appearance in the water garden.

5. Cardinal Flower

Plant this pretty flower along the shallow edges of your pond and watch the birds flock to it. Deep burgundy foliage sets off the vibrant red flowers. The leaves are up to 8″ long and the plant can grow as tall as three feet. -9.

6. Water Lettuce

Water Lettuce produces fuzzy, lime-green rosettes of leaves that look like little floating heads of lettuce. Super easy to grow, you simply let this plant float on the surface of the water with its roots dangling below.

7. Mosaic Plant

The beautiful Mosaic Plant consists of red and green diamond-shaped leaves in 3-6″ wide rosettes. In the summer, this floating plant produces sunny yellow cup-shaped flowers. Easy to grow, the plant provides a place for your finned friends to hide underneath.

8. Blue Iris

Many water gardeners enjoy the elegant splendor of the aquatic iris, which is among the first plants to bloom in the spring. Aquatic irises comprise such a large and diverse group – there are literally hundreds, if not thousands of cultivated and natural hybrids.

9. Sweet Flag

Also known as golden Japanese sweetflag (Acorus gramineus ‘Ogon’), these Philadelphia Pond Plants are ideal for containers and water gardens alike. It’s extremely flexible, as it can be grown with its toes in the water or partially submerged.

10. Waterlilies

Waterlilies are stunning creatures in the water garden and often the reason why many gardeners add a pond to their landscape. These beauties are characterized by amazing flowers representing all colors in the light spectrum … red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet (including the collective white), and a number of shades in between.

 

Contact us to see which Philadelphia Pond Plants are best for you.

5 Ways to Hire the Right Philadelphia Pond Contractor

Philadelphia Pond Contractor
Philadelphia Pond Contractor

Finding the Right Philadelphia Pond Contractor

What makes someone a reputable Philadelphia Pond Contractor?  We got a call today that broke my heart.  And it wasn’t the first call we have gotten like this.  The customer called and said a certain contractor started building a pond for him this summer, charged all the money and then has disappeared

The contractor has left this customer with a half-finished pond and little money left for the project.  I have heard this quite often about this contractor, who used to own a retail location as well.

Unfortunately, in this situation, there’s a not a lot we can do except rip out the pond and start over.  But the bigger question is, how do you avoid this in the first place?  Here are some 6 ways to hire the right pond contractor:

Step 1:   Check out their contact info

Do they have a website and FB page?  Are they updated?  Check the dateline at the bottom of the web page.  If it is from 2012, that is not a good sign.  How about FB?  Are there recent pictures and posts?  That shows you their level of customer involvement at this time.

Step 2:  Check out online reviews

Google, FB and even Yelp allow customers to say how they really feel.  AquaReale has 23 google reviews—all positive.  This is important—we can’t pay for these and ask for people to say what they did.  It goes a long way toward showing credibility as a company.  How are this Philadelphia Pond Contractor’s reviews?  How many do they have?

Step 3:  A realistic budget

The cost of a pond installed the right way by a professional is not cheap.  Beware of contractors who offer the lowest bids, as they are probably cutting corners and the results will not be the same! It’s fine to do some bid comparisons, but don’t simply choose the lowest bid. The money you save initially could be lost…and then some

Step 4: A Legal Business

Make sure the Philadelphia Pond Contractor you hire has worker’s compensation and business insurance for all their employees.  It is important that anyone you hire to work at your home has these qualifications.

Step 5:  Communication: Getting Along

The most import item for any business relationship is communication.  With communication, we know what you are looking for and you know we can build it. It is important for companies to get back to you in a timely fashion with reasonable information.  In addition, great relationships are built on trust.  When you trust someone and communicate effectively, great things can happen.

 

The number one way to hire the best Philadelphia pond contractor? Hire AquaReale to do the job for you!  Our reviews and reputation speak for themselves.  Contact us to see how we can help you build the pond of your dreams.

Philadelphia Fall Pond Care

Philadelphia Fall Pond Care
Philadelphia Fall Pond Care

Follow our simple Philadelphia Fall Pond Care tips to ensure a healthy pond next spring

 

Philadelphia Fall Pond Care : Remove leaves and debris

 

Putting a pond net over your water feature before leaves start   falling from trees is the easiest way to contain and manage leaf control  and an important part of  Philadelphia Fall Pond Care.  Once all the leaves have fallen, simply roll up the net, discard the leaves, and put the net away until the next time it’s needed.

If you didn’t install netting, you’ll probably have a build up of leaves and debris that need to be removed. A long-handled pond net makes an easy job of scooping the debris from the bottom of the pond. If you leave the debris on the bottom of the pond, you’ll be creating a bigger mess to face in the spring.

 

Philadelphia Fall Pond Care: Trim dead or dying foliage

 

Trimming dead foliage helps remove excessive organic debris that would otherwise decompose in the water. Cut back hardy waterlilies just above the base of the plant and cut back marginal plants that could droop over into the water.

Philadelphia Fall Pond Care : Add cold water bacteria

 

Add cold water bacteria to help keep pond water clean and clear. Cold Water Beneficial Bacteria contains concentrated strains of beneficial bacteria designed to work in temperatures lower than 50 degrees.

Regular use of Aquascape Cold Water Beneficial Bacteria will help maintain water quality and clarity, as well as dramatically reduce spring maintenance by digesting debris that may accumulate over the winter months

For More Information

 

Contact us for Philadelphia Fall Pond Care of your own.  We’re always happy to help!

Philadelphia Swim Pond Master Build

Philadelphia Swim Pond
Swim Pond

As part of our recent advanced training at Pondomonium,  the pond industry’s largest trade event of the year,  AquaReale had the opportunity to help build a large Spectacular Swim Pond in Illinois.

The customers originally wanted a big pond their kids could play in, but the more they learned about Swim Ponds, the more interested they were.

They also had storm water issues which would be helped by the pond.  Downspouts were included as part of the system, which incorporated an overflow that drained into a drainage system.  This allows to the pond water to fluctuate by as many as 8 inches, allowing there to be an additional 8000-gallon storm water runoff into the pond before it overflows.

The Swim Pond is a 30 x 50 swim pond with a 20 x 20 wetland filter and a steam connecting the wetland filter to the pond, all getting drawn into a 15 x 15 intake skimmer bay.  In addition, the pond takes runoff from four properties, harvesting rainwater which leads to a bubbling rock in the front of the house.

The pond uses wetland filtration to filter a large body of water where people can swim and they can have fish as well as a clean body of water.  Instead of salt or chlorine, they use beneficial bacteria instead of harsh chemicals to keep the water clear

AquaReale recently built a Philadelphia Swim Pond, which was a conversion we did from a pool to a Swim Pond.  Contact us to see how we can help you get the Swim Pond/Recreational Pond of your dreams.

Call 215.880.6811 for more information.