Category Archives: Pond and Fish Care

Why use AquaReale as your Main Line, PA Pond Cleaning Service?

Main Line, PA Pond Cleaning Service
Main Line, PA Pond Cleaning Service

How to pick your Main Line, PA Pond Cleaning Service

How do you choose a Main Line, PA Pond Cleaning Service?   There are quite a few pond companies you can use, and some we recommend, but here we want to tell you about us and what makes us special.  There are many things that make AquaReale a great pond company, but we asked some clients why they thought we were so special.  Here are their (and our) top three reasons to go with AquaReale for your Main Line, PA Pond Cleaning Service.

We are a family run company with strong values

It’s critical to us, so we hope it matters to others as well.  We are honest small business owners who live locally in Jenkintown, PA.  We are fair with our employees and offer good wages and excellent benefits.  It’s important for us to treat our employees as we’d want to be treated.

It’s the same when it comes to our customers—we will treat you like we want to be treated.  We will call you back, we will show up when we say we will and we will charge what we say we will charge.  We pride ourselves on these things.

We are a small company with large skills

When you work with us, you know who you are getting.  Company owners Matt and Laura Reale, along with AquaReale Foreman Eric Naylor take pride in our work and are involved in each project.

We know who we are working for and you are never treated like a number.    But don’t be mistaken—being small does not mean we are not knowledgeable.

We are highly accomplished professional pond builders

We are skilled pond builders with years of training and experience.  AquaReale is a Certified Aquascape Contractor, which means we are among the most qualified and informed water feature installers in the industry.

CACs are trained and educated by Aquascape experts to not only install beautiful low-maintenance water features, but also to provide quality workmanship, outstanding customer service, and knowledgeable assistance to their customers and each other.

So very many landscape companies and other companies say they can build ponds, but how many of them are pond builders?  It’s a big difference when you think about it. Ponds and water features are what we do and we do them right.

We hope you consider us for your Main Line PA Pond Cleaning Service or any of your pond needs.  We do everything from pond design and installations to renovations and cleanings.  Contact us today to see how we can help your pond dreams come true!

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 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,

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.

 

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.

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!