A Philadelphia Area Pond Senior Center Respite…

AquaReale had the recent pleasure of building a Philadelphia area pond as part of the landscaping at a new Philadelphia area retirement facility.

Here Eric guides us through the project…

A Swim Pond Story

 

 

Swim Pond After
Swim Pond After

Swim Pond Story

Alice H. has had a  Swim Pond in Haverford, PA for the past 15 years.  Alice’s husband had turned their pool into a pond himself .   He cut the filters, added an aerator and added plants to change the pool to a pond. They did not do much to keep up the Swim Pond and over the years it became very dirty.

Alice’s husband passed away about two years ago and she decided to fix up the pond in his honor. She knew how much the pond had meant to him and she wanted it restored to glory.

The Swim Pond was pretty much falling apart by the time AquaReale visited in October, 2015. The water was green, and the pool coping crumbled and broke every time it was touched. The swim pond had become a safety hazard.

We quickly determined that the pond needed a thorough cleaning, a wetland filter, new lights and new coping.

Swim Pond Process

It was important to both AquaReale and Alice that the pond look as it did before. Anything new we added or changed had to completely match the aesthetic of the swim pond as it had been before.

We used cut red argillite for both the wetland filter area and the coping, matching what was already there. AquaReale also redid the waterfall, creating an updated waterfall that turned on and off as wanted by Alice. This gives her control on the pond ambiance, allowing her to kick it up while outside or entertaining.

Swim Pond Challenge

Our biggest challenge was the access. The pond was in a challenging location, up a hill in the backyard. Everything had to be hand-wheeled up hills. The access also made it challenging to work on two parts of the project at one time– everything had to be completely done before the next step was started.

Swim Pond Results

AquaReale employee Tom  had talked to Alice about the swim pond and her husband. He knew how much a certain frog statue had meant to her. Hers was in bad shape. As a surprise, he ordered her a new statue and placed it in its place of honor. The dedication to her husband was now there for her.

Alice cried and thanked Tom and all of AquaReale. She loves her updated swim pond and feels that she has done her husband’s memory justice with this beautiful swim pond.

Want to see what we can do for you? Contact us today!

Swim Pond Before
Swim Pond Before

 

Swim Pond During
Swim Pond During

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Pond Ecosystem: Working with Nature

Pond Ecosystem
Pond Ecosystem

What is a Pond Ecosystem? A Pond Ecosystem is a pond that works with and for nature.   A Pond Ecosystem  works with the natural environment to provide food, shelter and protection to the wildlife around it.

HOW DOES A POND ECOSYSTEM WORK?

 

  • The fish nibble on the plant life (and everything else), including the algae.
  • In turn, the fish produce waste that, along with other forms of natural debris, fall to the pond’s bottom.
  • Debris is broken down by the aerobic bacteria and the other microorganisms colonized on the rocks and gravel all over the pond bottom.
  • Once broken down, these substances are absorbed as nutrition by the plants.
  • The plants grow and are once again nibbled on by the fish … ’round and ’round it goes, infinitely.

It’s important to have certain elements, however, and to use them together so that the system won’t become unbalanced.   There are five main elements needed by the pond for a low maintenance ecosystem.

Here are the five elements considered necessary for a low maintenance pond ecosystem:

1. Pond Ecosystem Filtration System

AquaReale installs a two part filtration system: biological filter and a mechanical filter.

  • A BioFalls® (biological filter) provides surface area for beneficial bacteria to colonize and remove excess nutrients from the water.
  • A Skimmer (mechanical filter) will not only pre-filter the water and house the pump; it will also skim debris from the water’s surface to prevent the accumulation of organic materials on the pond floor.

2. Pond Ecosystem Rocks and Gravel

Rocks and gravel protect pond liners from UV light degradation. They also provide a large surface area for beneficial bacteria to break down excess nutrients in the water and dissolved organic debris on the pond floor. This is a important step in an ecosystem pond.

3.Pond Ecosystem Recirculation System

This is just another term for what we call the pumps and plumbing

The proper size pump and pipe diameter are extremely important for the aesthetics of a water feature. More importantly, an efficient circulation system will keep the water moving and provide the necessary oxygen levels for healthy fish and plants.

 4. Pond Ecosystem Fish

Fish are a huge part of any natural pond ecosystem. They eat algae and other items on the pond floor, helping ponds stay healthy and clean.   Fish are also very fun; Koi fish can even be trained to take food from your hand! Fish are exciting for children and can be a great introduction for kids and nature.

5. Pond Ecosystem Aquatic Plants

Plants act as nature’s true filter, doing many services to your pond. They add character, color and dimensions to a pond, as well as help with filtering. Plants are crucial to an ecosystem pond. They thrive on excess nutrients, naturally filtering the water to help keep algae to a minimum.

 

So, in a naturally balanced water garden, you have this never-ending aquatic circle of life where all parts complement the others, and play critical roles in the pond’s natural born harmony.

Contact us for more information and to see how we can help you create your own natural pond ecosystem.