Category Archives: Pond and Fish Care

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.

Koi Pond Fish: What to feed in spring?

What should I feed my Koi Pond Fish in Spring?

 

Koi Pond Fish
Koi Pond Fish

Koi Pond Fish Diet in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware

Fish often are a big part of your pond and they provide a beautiful connection to nature and animals.  Just like people, Koi Fish  thrive with the right diet. Should you feed them the same Koi Fish food in the fall as you do in the spring?

What to feed your Koi Pond Fish in Spring

So now that you have a pond with fish you may be wondering how often and what do you feed them?  Does it matter what kind of food they eat?  Do you feed them the same food in the spring as in the fall?  Will the goldfish eat the same food as Koi Pond Fish?

If your pond is designed properly and is a well balanced ecosystem you may not need to feed them at all.  Fish in a well designed backyard pond can live off the nutrients in the ecosystem without ever having to be fed by the pond owner.  They can survive and thrive off of nutrients in the pond by eating foods like plankton, floating pond plants, aquatic plant roots, larvae of insects, worms, and even small animals.

But admit it– one of the main reasons you have fish is to interact with them.  It’s amazing to throw Koi Pond Fish food into your pond and watch the fish rush over to gobble the food up.  Since Koi Fish are often larger than goldfish, they eat more as well!

In general. feeding food products should only take place when the pond water ranges between 50° to 85°F.  So if you do decide to go out and purchase fish food here are some helpful tips.  Lately, fish  food manufacturers have come a long way in producing foods that take consideration to seasons and temperature change.  Koi Pond Fish food also come in different sizes to accommodate different sized fish.

Koi Fish
Koi Fish

Feeding in the Spring (cold temperature formula food) 

Each season brings its own nutritional requirements.  Spring is no exception.  Fish are coming out of their seasonal hibernation into 50ºF  water and they cannot metabolize all of the ingredients of the all season formulas.

As it gets warmer (maybe between 50-55ºF) in the spring, the fish will start eating more and they need food they can easily digest. You don’t want to overfeed your fish at this point, since they will fill the pond with waste.  Your Koi Pond  Fish are not yet operating with a full system as they ease into the warmer weather.   This makes it harder for them to digest food, leaving to more pond waste

Good luck with your fish  For more personalized information, contact us any time!

Healthy pond plants

First off, plants are a huge part of the pond ecosystem and need to be there to make sure everything lives harmoniously. Pond plants also enhance the beauty of any water feature. So, when your pond plants aren’t healthy, you know it. One sign that there’s something wrong is yellowing leaves. Here are some of the more common reasons why your pond plants are turning yellow.

Healthy Pond Plants
Healthy Pond Plants

Healthy pond plants love fertilizer!

Be sure to fertilize your pond plants. If your plants are potted (which is what we recommend) poke a hole in the soil and push the fertilizer down inside, then carefully close the soil over the hole. Fertilizer should also be added whenever re-potting your plants is necessary. For floating plants, remove them from the pond and place them in a container that will hold water. Add your favorite water-soluble fertilizer according to the directions. Do not add more than the recommended amount. Too much fertilizer can cause plants to turn yellow too.

Healthy pond plants and Insects

Aphids

Inspect your pond’s plants just like you do your other plants. Pond plants are not immune to insects, especially in the winter if you bring them in the house.

Spider mites love the dry winter environment our homes have. Any insecticide that you can use on houseplants is safe to use on water plants inside the home. Aphids are sometimes problems in the house, but mites are more prevalent.

Aphids are usually the main insects to attack pond plants. Depending on the plant, you may be able to wash them off in the water where they will become yummy treats for your fish. Floating plants like hyacinths, water lettuce and lily pads and their flowers are good candidates for this. When you do water changes or add water to your pond due to evaporation, spray the water on the plants. This will wash the insects off too.

Too Much Sun

Healthy pond plants can burn just like us. A sunburned plant will have a bleached look or brownish cast to the leaves, sometimes they will yellow. When moving pond plants outside, if they have spent the winter inside, do it gradually. Move them first to a shady spot. Set the pot in a larger container that will hold water. Gradually over a 2-week period expose the plants to more sunlight. Do this in the spring when the weather begins to warm so that they also get used to the cooler nighttime temperatures.

 

For more information, reach out to us! 

Philadelphia Koi Pond Myths

Philadelphia Koi Pond Myths
Philadelphia Koi Pond Myths

Philadelphia Koi Pond Myths

Philadelphia Koi Pond Myth #1:  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.

Philadelphia Koi Pond Myth #2It’s necessary to drain and clean your pond regularly.

Reality: If you decide to work in harmony with Mother Nature, then draining and cleaning your pond should take place only once a year (at most). Clean-outs should occur in the spring, before the weather gets warm and the bacteria has an opportunity to set up.

Philadelphia Koi Pond Myth #3The 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 #4You 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 #5The 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. 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 #6: 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 #7:  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 #8:  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!

Pond Plants in the Fall

Pond Plants in the Fall
Pond Plants in the Fall

What do you with Pond Plants in the Fall?

Here on the east coast, the seasonal change from summer to fall is apparent by the beautiful, multi-colored leaves and the dip toward cooler temperatures. How will that chill you feel in the air affect the plants in your aquatic paradise?

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.

Tropical Marginals

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.

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.

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.

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