Category Archives: Pond and Fish 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!

Summer Pond Care

Summer Pond Care
Summer Pond Care

Summer Pond Care

Why is Summer Pond Care so important?  Your summer pond’s water temperature might feel just right to you as you dip your toes into it after a long day of work. But once the water temperature rises above 80 Fº, you may run into problems. An obvious sign of an undesirable issue is noticing your fish gasping for air close to the water’s surface or near a fountain or waterfall.  This and many other problems may occur as it gets very warm for your fish.

What can you do for Summer Pond Care?

Warm water has a low capacity for holding oxygen, while cooler water can hold large amounts of oxygen. Warm water and increased activity in the pond go hand and hand. That increased activity means your fish require more oxygen when less oxygen is available, thus creating a vicious cycle. Stressed fish often begin to develop diseases, and no pond owner wants to see that happen.

Summer Pond Care Tips

Here are some Summer Pond Care preventative measures you can take to keep your pond from becoming a warm, unhealthy mess:

  • Stock your pond with plants that provide shade. Water lettuce or the leaves of a waterlily are perfect in accomplishing this goal.
  • Aim to cover one-third to one-half of your pond’s surface with plants.
  • Add oxygen to your pond with an aerator or small fountain,
  • If you feed your fish, do so in the morning and be careful not to overfeed. Uneaten food decays faster in warmer water and can pollute the pond.
  • Remove dying leaves and flowers before they have a chance to decay in the warmer water.

Summer Pond Care is as easy as that. Enjoy your pond during the summer months, and keep it healthy by following our easy tips. Your fish and plants will thank you!  Contact us to see how we can help you with your Summer Pond Care.

10 Tips for Buying Healthy Pond Fish

Healthy Pond Fish
Healthy Pond Fish

Healthy Pond Fish

Adding Healthy Pond Fish to  your pond provides a whole new element to the overall experience of owning a water feature. In fact, many pond owners decided to install a pond for the sole purpose of fish-keeping.

When purchasing new fish, there are certain things that you should look for and ask about to make sure that you are receiving healthy fish.  

Cleanliness

Look at the cleanliness of the store. If the store is not clean and well cared for, more than likely, the retailer does not care about their fish either. You may not be getting Healthy Pond Fish.

Dead Fish

If you see any dead fish floating in the tanks – even just one – stay away. This can be an indication of a poorly maintained, diseased tank.

Quarantine

Does the retailer quarantine their fish and for how long? It is very important that all fish are quarantined for at least 14 to 21 days for salt treatments to ensure the fish are not carriers of disease or parasites.

Water Testing and Changes

Find out how often the water is tested and changed. Testing the water monitors ammonia and pH levels, as well as nitrites and nitrates indicating when the water should be changed.

Sick Fish

Look to see if any of the fish are hanging out alone, with clamped fins. This is a good sign that the fish is sick. Again, sick fish are not good to be around Healthy Pond Fish.

Parasites

Ask if new fish are tested for the presence of parasites with a microscope. Doing so indicates whether the fish are carriers of parasites and can be treated accordingly before they are sold.

Net Sharing

Make sure the clerk uses a different net for each tank. Using the same net for all tanks can spread disease from one tank to another.

Clear Skin

Look for fish with no marks, missing scales, sores, or broken or missing fins. Any of these are signs of a bacterial infection or parasite.

Sizes

You need to take the size of the fish into consideration so you don’t overstock your pond. Remember, 1” for every square foot of surface water or five gallons.

Knowledgeable Staff

You want to purchase fish from a knowledgeable and honest merchant that can help educate you about your pond pets. This is the best way to ensure Healthy Pond Fish.

Don’t be shy about asking a few questions. In the end, you’ll be glad you took the time to purchase the right fish for your pond.

Whatever type fish you choose to add to your pond, first and foremost you want to make sure they’re healthy. Contact us for more information on ponds and Healthy Pond Fish.

Philadelphia Spring Pond Maintenance

Philadelphia Spring Pond Maintenance
Philadelphia Spring Pond Maintenance

Philadelphia Spring Pond Maintenance time is upon us!

The maintenance tasks listed below can help prevent future problems from arising throughout the pond season. Some pond enthusiasts enjoy performing their own maintenance, but you can always hire a professional to take care of it for you.

Do a Philadelphia Spring Pond Maintenance Cleanout

whether that means a full cleanout or just picking up a bit and rinsing things off. Enjoy our easy-to-follow instructions on how to clean out our own pond.

Check your pump 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 pump maintenance.

As part of your Philadelphia Spring Pond Maintenance , 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.

 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.

Add plants to control algae when you do your Philadelphia Spring Pond Maintenance.

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.

DO NOT overfeed your fish.

Fish food that is not eaten will add more nutrients to the pond, helping feed the algae. See our What to Feed Fish in the Spring article for more information. 

Contact us for more information on Philadelphia Spring Pond Maintenance.

Types of backyard pond fish

Backyard pond fish– What are the most popular?

Let’s be honest– one of the best reasons to get a backyard pond is for the fish!  Even if that is not your first thought when building a pond, the backyard pond fish will soon be the family favorite!

Most of the ponds AquaReale work with are well suited for backyard pond fish and a full ecosystem. And remember– fish do better in ponds with proper balance and filtration.

Here are some of the most popular types of backyard pond fish:

backyard pond fish koi
backyard pond fish koi

Koi Fish

The most well known and popular type of backyard pond fish is Koi Fish.  Koi are a domesticated version of common, not so colorful carp. Over time they have become selectively bred to get the awesome colors and patterns they have today.  The Japanese are the masters of developing koi to have the best colors and patterns.  Koi come in all colors and sizes and can grow up to three feet, depending on their living conditions.

Koi really begin to thrive in ponds of around 1000 gallons or more. The more water for them the better.  They are very friendly and they eventually are able to be hand fed.  They develop personalities and you’ll ending up falling in love and even naming them.

 

backyard pond fish-- butterfly koi
backyard pond fish– butterfly koi

Butterfly Koi (A.K.A. Dragon Koi)

Butterfly Koi are known for their unique look and beautiful longer fins. .  They originated in the mid-20th century as a result of an attempt to increase the hardiness of traditional koi. Japanese breeders interbred traditional koi with wild Indonesian longfin river carp.  Their body shape is more slender than regular koi which are more oval.

Backyard pond fish-- Goldfish
Backyard pond fish– Goldfish

Goldfish

The small sized goldfish is very common for backyard ponds and they make great starter fish.  They resemble Koi, but don’t require nearly as much space as Koi do, so they are great for smaller ponds.

Goldfish as they look today were developed in China over 1000 years ago and are known to be very resilient. Comets are plain orange and white goldfish.  Shubunkins are goldfish that usually have black, orange and bluish coloring.

Backyard pond fish -- Calico (Fantail)
Backyard pond fish — Calico (Fantail)

This fish is also a member of the carp family.  The fish have black, orange and red markings against a pearl white background.  This fish is easily recognized by a forked caudal fin (at the tail part), which forms a symmetrical pair that looks like butterfly wings. All of its fins are well proportioned and slightly rounded.

Backyard pond fish-- Golden
Backyard pond fish– Golden Orf

Golden Orf

Golden Orfes are long, slender, bright orange fish.  They range to dark silver in color.   They are fast growing and fast swimming.  They like to swim together in groups which is great for encouraging other fish to join them .  Although not as popular they do very well and add excitement and character to any pond.

What backyard pond fish will YOU get??

The fish you put in your pond is completely up to you!  Have fun.  Enjoy your pond and your fish.  Be sure not to overdo it with too many fish– the right balance is the key to happy pond life. Contact us to see which fish are best for your pond!

 

Philadelphia Spring Pond Cleaning

 

 Philadelphia Spring Pond Cleaning
Philadelphia Spring Pond Cleaning

Philadelphia Spring Pond Cleaning

So it’s spring time and you are wondering what maintenance is needed for your backyard pond.  Every pond is unique and will look different.  A few questions to start…  How do you want your pond to look?  Some people prefer pristine while others prefer a more rustic, natural look.

Spring is the best time to clean your pond or have your pond professionally cleaned.  A Philadelphia Spring Pond Cleaning will ensure your entire pond ecosystem is healthy and looking great for the months ahead.

We recommend full pond cleanings, whether we do it or you do it yourself.  A Philadelphia Spring Pond Cleaning full cleaning would involve storing the fish, draining the pond and power washing the rocks.  During this time, it’s easy to check for loose edges as well as check the pumps and filters for debris and any potential issues.  This is now a good time to cut back dead plant matter as well.

Philadelphia Spring Pond Filter Cleaning

If you greatly prefer the rustic look, you may prefer not to do a full Philadelphia Spring Pond Cleaning.  if that is the case, we recommend at least cleaning the filters and filter media.  It’s usually possible to clean the filters without draining down the pond.  However, without draining down the pond you won’t be able to do the other important things like cut back plants, check lights, make rock adjustments, etc.

If your pond does not have a filtration system, we highly recommend one.  Contact us to explore the possibility of adding one to your pond.

 

Ready to Enjoy to Pond

No matter what level of Philadelphia Spring Pond Cleaning pond you choose, a little pond maintenance in the springtime goes a long way to enjoying your backyard paradise in the warm months to come.  Contact us to see how AquaReale can get your pond up and running into the pond of your dreams.