Category Archives: Pond and Fish Care

Aquatic Plants in the Fall

Aquatic plants in the fall
Aquatic plants in the fall

Aquatic Plants in the Fall

The seasonal change from summer to fall is the most beautiful time of the year, but not for Aquatic plants in the fall. The leaves turn beautiful colors and create an array of amazing colors. However, with fall comes cooler temperatures. How will the cool air affect aquatic plants this fall?

Aquatic plants in the fall: Waterlilies

Waterlilies will 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 warm climates, tropical waterlilies are happy in the pond year round, as long as the water temperature stays above 60°F. 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.

Aquatic plants in the fall: Hardy Marginals

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 okay 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.

Aquatic plants in the fall: Lotus Aquatic Plants

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.

Aquatic plants in the fall:Tropical Marginals

In warm climates, tropical marginals will keep growing and will require fertilizer as usual. Water gardeners who live in Zones colder than 8 or 9 will need to treat these plants as they would any garden annual by replacing them each season.

A fun alternative to this is to treat them as tropical houseplants and bring them in for the winter. 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.

Caring for your aquatic plants in the fall will mean less work and healthier plants come spring. Contact AquaReale for help with your Aquatic plants in the fall.

Tips for a Healthy Philadelphia Koi Pond

Philadelphia Koi Pond
Philadelphia Koi Pond

Tips for a Healthy Philadelphia Koi Pond

Want a Healthy Philadelphia Koi Pond this summer?  Ponds have a joy and beauty that make your summer even more relaxing and enjoyable.

You want to make sure your water feature is healthy and functioning at 100 percent during the warmer months.  And when the temperatures rise above 80 degrees, there are some things you can do to help.   Here are our recommendations:

Health of Your Philadelphia Koi Pond Fish

Keep an eye on your fish. Do your fish seem stressed out, gasping for air close to the water’s surface or especially close to a fountain or waterfall?

Increased activity and warm pond water go hand and hand, and that increased activity also means your fish require more oxygen when less oxygen is available, thus creating a vicious cycle. Stressed fish often begin to develop diseases, and soon enough you’ll have a domino effect.

We recommend adding oxygen to your pond by placing an aerator or AquaForce® pump in your pond. You can also install a fountain with a pump if your pond doesn’t have a waterfall or stream. Make sure all areas of the pond are skimmed and the water circulated. And keep in mind that waterfalls, streams, and even fountains play a huge part in the oxygenation of the water in your pond.

Philadelphia Koi Pond: Beat the Heat

There are certainly some preemptive measures you can take in order to keep your pond from becoming a warm, unhealthy mess. It all starts with a well-designed water feature. Depth, plant coverage, shade, and circulation should all be considered when designing and building a pond. A minimum depth of two feet is suggested; the bottom of the pond will remain cooler.

Of course, you’ll also want to stock your pond with a lot of plants to provide shade for the fish. A good rule of thumb is to provide plant coverage of approximately 1/3 to 1/2 of the pond’s surface area.

And finally,  one of the most important parts of pond design is circulation. If possible, you’ll want to place your biological filter and mechanical filter across the pond from each other, so that your pond receives optimal circulation.

Additional Philadelphia Koi Pond Summer Tips

  • If you feed your fish, feed them in the morning and be careful not to overfeed. Uneaten food decays faster in warmer water and can pollute the pond.
  • Be sure to remove dying leaves and flowers before they have a chance to decay in the warmer water.

Each season has its own challenges and summer is no exception. The bottom line is that you need to keep an eye on your pond and let your fish and plants do the talking.

If you have a balanced ecosystem, you’ll find it much easier to maintain the health of your pond, fish, and plants. Contact us for more information or with any questions.

Bucks County pond fish

 Bucks County pond fish
Bucks County pond fish

It’s finally pond season,which means time for fish health for our  local Bucks County pond fish.

Does your pond promote the health of your fish? Several factors influence whether a pond is good for Bucks County pond fish  to live in  So before you add some new fish, take a few minutes to look at where your Bucks County pond fish  will be living and see if the space is healthy enough.

For Bucks County pond fish,  size does matter

 

The size of your pond is very important to fish health.  It needs to be large enough to support your fish and allow them to grow.  Pond fish generally need 10 gallons of water for every inch of their length, and you have to be ready for them to grow larger, so be careful not to overstock, no matter how tempting this may be.  Some pond pros even recommend only ½ inch of fish per every 10 gallons of water, for maximum space for Bucks County pond fish.

You may see ponds with a lot more fish—even as many as two or three inches per 10 gallons of water and the fish were OK.  Even if it looks OK for now, the ecological strain and density of this fish overload turns the pond into a fragile system.  This is not good for fish.  When the pH sags, the fish grow slower and there is much more chance of disease.

If you have too many fish in your pond and they get sick, there is nothing you can do.  Your fish will probably cull themselves to the best amount for the pond, so reduce the overstocking now to prevent fish loss later.

A sunny morning is great for  Bucks County pond fish.

Ponds (and Bucks County pond fish) benefit from sunlight, as it provides valuable vitamins.  Sunlight also reduces nitrates in the water and helps pond plants grow.  Don’t worry if your pond is in the shade.  We recommend adding some shade-loving plants to help balance the water.  Bucks County pond fish health is also dependent on aquatic plants.

Pond plants that tolerate shade include Taro, Papyrus, Horsetail, Cardinal Flower, Lizard’s Tail, and Water Forget-Me-Not.

How deep does your pond go?

 

Bucks County pond fish aren’t picky when it comes to pond depth.  The pond just needs to be deep enough to allow the fish to hide from predators as well as give the fish a place to go into Torpor (hibernation) for the winter.

Proper Balance is Everything!

 

Your water garden needs to be balanced for optimal fish health.  Your ecosystem needs the proper mix of plants, filtration, fish, rocks and gravel and circulation,  When you learn to work with Mother Nature instead of against her, you’ll spend less time maintaining your pond and more time enjoying it1

Consider adding the Aquascape Automatic Dosing System to keep your pond water balanced and your fish healthy throughout the season.  For more information on Bucks County pond fish health or any other ecosystem pond questions, please call us at 215.880.6811 or contact us here. 

Montgomery County Pond Cleaning

Montgomery County Pond Cleaning
Montgomery County Pond Cleaning

How much Montgomery County Pond Cleaning do you need? While we do visit some ponds monthly, most of the ponds we work with are serviced three times a year.  For our Montgomery County Pond Cleaning (as well as the entire Philadelphia area), the spring opening, summer checkup and fall shutdown are our most used services and keep our company busy for months.

AquaReale prides itself on getting to know each customer and developing a maintenance plan that is best for their pond.  Here are each of our maintenance services and what we do for each service:

Montgomery County Pond Cleaning Spring Opening

We recommend each client get a spring opening each year. This is  when we check everything in the pond.  Depending on the pond, our services may include:

  • clean skimmer net
  • clean skimmer filter mat
  • check pump for proper flow
  • check and adjust automatic water fill valve
  • trim and remove any dead plants and water lilies
  • trim and remove any debris
  • replace any gravel and rock as needed
  • apply bacteria or S.A.B. as needed.

Montgomery County Pond Cleaning Summer Check Up

Perform a brief visual checkup to make sure the pond is running smoothly. Bacteria and algae fix will be added as needed.

Montgomery County Pond Cleaning Fall Shut Down Service

Mid to late fall is a good time to winterize your water garden. We ensure an easy startup int the spring b doing the following (not all tasks are applicable to all ponds):

  • check the pump and filtration media
  • check edges
  • bleed out auto-fill lines
  • rim back your aquatic plants
  • net the pond
  • return for net removal

Here are some tips on what you need to do for a Spring Montgomery County Pond Cleaning

  1. Clean out your pond, whether that means a full cleanout or just picking up a bit and rinsing things off
  2. Check pond pumps to make sure that it’s clean and functioning correctly. Your pump is the heart of your water feature and needs to be in tip-top shape at all times. Learn more about water feature pond pump maintenance.
  3. Fix any leaks in your water feature. Constantly adding tap water to make up for a loss of pond water means the constant addition of nutrients which will eventually promote algae growth.
  4. Remove algae, leaves and other debris left over from the season before. This is crucial because an excess of decaying debris will add to the nutrient levels and the algae in the pond.
  5. Start adding beneficial bacteria treatments and continue to do so regularly throughout the season. It competes with the algae for available nutrients, starving the algae of its food
  6. Add plants to control algae. Since plants directly compete with algae for nutrients, they are the most important addition to the pond. Using a wide variety of plants will not only add to the natural look of the pond but will reduce algae growth as well.
  7. DO NOT overfeed your fish. Fish food that is not eaten will add more nutrients to the pond, helping feed the algae. See 5 Tips for Feeding Fish article for more information.
  8. Last but not least, have fun with your water feature! Spruce it up with new landscaping, add a fountain within your feature, add lighting or just change up some of the rock work! Get creative because after all, your water feature is your masterpiece to enjoy and show off to others.

Contact AquaReale for all of our pond maintenance needs.  We’re always happy to help!

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!

Four reasons You Need a Philadelphia Exploratory Pond Cleaning

 

Philadelphia Exploratory Pond Cleaning
Philadelphia Exploratory Pond Cleaning

Why an Philadelphia Exploratory Pond Cleaning?

An Philadelphia exploratory cleaning is a lot like a traditional Philadelphia Pond Cleaning – it’s just more detailed and we offer more information at the end.

Exploratory Philadelphia Pond Cleanings are done for quite a few reasons.  Usually, one of these four:  Your pond has not been serviced regularly; you purchased a house with a pond and don’t know much about it; there is a leak in the pond; or you don’t really know what your previous person did.

Reason #1 for needing a Philadelphia Exploratory Pond Cleaning– Your pond has not been serviced regularly.

You may have had your pond for quite a few years or built it yourself.  Whatever the reason, your pond has not been cleaned in quite a while.  There is a lot of sediment at the bottom of the pond at this point, and it is going to take longer than regular to get it all out. Regular pond service is best for optimum pond health, and without it, an exploratory is usually in order.

Reason #2 for needing a Philadelphia Exploratory Pond Cleaning: You purchased a house with a pond.

Whether you purchased the house because of the pond or in spite of it, you are now the proud owner of your very own water garden ecosystem!  While you may have been told your pond was “maintenance free” all water features benefit from yearly maintenance.  An exploratory will give you all the information we can find on your pond—how old it is, what brand equipment it has and if everything is in good working order.

Reason #3 for needing a Philadelphia Exploratory Pond Cleaning: there’s a leak in the pond.

Unfortunately, it is very challenging and potentially expensive to fix a leak.  A lot of times, there is more than one hole or problem with the liner.  There are a few issues that could be causing a leak, and with an exploratory cleaning, we are able to look at the liner and rock placement and liner edges to see if we can find the problem.  This does not always solve the issue, if there is a larger problem, but it is a good start to finding out what is causing your pond to leak.

Reason #4 for needing a Philadelphia Exploratory Pond Cleaning?  You don’t know what services the previous service person performed.

Your pond may have been serviced in the past, but there are no good records.  You are not sure what the company or person did or what type and age of equipment you have.  Without an understanding of what we are getting into, an exploratory cleaning is often needed.

If you have one of the four issues mentioned above, it is likely you need a Philadelphia Exploratory Pond Cleaning.  The cost of the service runs from $1000 to $1500 and up, depending on the size and condition of the pond.  Send us a photo of your pond and we can let you know exactly what type of cleaning we recommend.

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!