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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.

Low Maintenance Ponds: a True Ecosystem

 

Low Maintenance Ponds
Low Maintenance Ponds

Want a Low Maintenance Pond?

What makes an ecosystem pond a low maintenance pond?  There are five things that make an ecosystem pond run:

#1 Low Maintenance Ponds: Filtration

A biological filter, which provides an area for beneficial bacteria to colonize while removing excess nutrients from the water, is one of two types of necessary filtration for a koi pond. The second is a mechanical filter, like a skimmer. The skimmer will filter the water and also house the pump, it will also skim debris from the water’s surface to prevent organic material from accumulating.

#2 Low Maintenance Ponds: Rocks & Gravel

Rocks and gravel provide a large area for beneficial bacteria to colonize & break down excess nutrients. And the rocks and gravel added to your pond will protect your liner from UV rays.

#3 Low Maintenance Ponds: Pump

A system to recirculate water will keep the water moving and provide the necessary oxygen to keep fish and plants healthy. There are many types of pumps, so make sure you have the right size for your pond!

#4 Low Maintenance Ponds: Fish

Possibly the most exciting part of having a koi pond! Fish are one of the most important parts when it comes to an ecosystem pond, because they feed off of the algae. Pond fish are fun to watch and a big benefit to your pond.

#5 Low Maintenance Ponds: Aquatic Plants

Plants add beautiful color and texture to your pond…but they also are nature’s true filters. Aquatic plants thrive on excess nutrients and deprive algae of its food source.

 

Put together, these give things working together give you a Low Maintenance Pond, one that you will enjoy for many years to come.  Contact us to see how we can help you get a Low Maintenance Pond for yourself!

Montgomery County Pond Maintenance

Montgomery County Pond Maintenance
Montgomery County Pond Maintenance

How much Montgomery County Pond Maintenance does your pond actually need? While our ponds are low natural ecosystems and easy to handle, we want to make something very clear.  There is no such thing as “maintenance free”, everything requires some maintenance, including a koi pond or other water feature. Our ecosystem ponds  are not maintenance free– they are low maintenance. And the maintenance that we recommend is actually quite simple when compared to a pool or concrete bottom pond.

Ecosystem Elements

Make sure Montgomery County Pond  has all the elements of an ecosystem pond first; skimmer, biological filter, aquatic plants, rocks & gravel, and fish. These elements work in harmony together, creating the low-maintenance koi pond.

Montgomery County Pond Maintenance: Spring Pond Cleaning

 We highly recommend getting a spring pond cleaning, this gets out any debris that collected at the bottom of the pond over fall and winter, and washes all the gunk off the rocks.

Montgomery County Pond Maintenance:  Fall Pond Cleaning & Winterization

We also highly recommend a fall pond cleaning or winterization of your koi pond or other water feature. This will help prevent problems that could happen if your ran your waterfall over winter. And no, you don’t need to move your koi indoors during winter.

We also recommend as part of your Montgomery County Pond Maintenance program, you get an Ionizer.  These are great for string algae, helping string algae from ever starting.  If the algae is already there, you will need to work to remove it before the IonGen can take over.  You will need an algaecide, but don’t ever put in more than the recommended dosage—it could really hurt your fish.  You can also remove the algae by hand, or contact us to help you out.

Whatever your Montgomery County Pond Maintenance  needs are, AquaReale is sure to be able to take care of your pond.  Contact us today to learn how we can help you.

Montgomery, County PA Pond Installation

Montgomery, County PA Pond Installation
Montgomery, County PA Pond Installation

AquaReale specializes in Montgomery, County PA Pond Installations.  From small ponds and water features, we have done it all!

What kind of Montgomery, County PA Pond Installation are you looking for?

We begin each process by working with the homeowner, going over what exactly you are looking for with a Montgomery, County PA Pond Installation.

We look at the location of the pond—can you see if from your windows?  Do you want to see the pond from your kitchen?  Your living room?

Then we look at the benefits of ponds you’d like the most—is it fish, relaxation, enjoying wildlife?  We want to make sure your Montgomery, County PA Pond Installation  is everything you want it to be.

Think about your goals before you reach out and write them down.  Is it the sound of running water you are after or do you like the idea of hand-feeding koi every day?

Children and grandchildren play a part in the decision and design as well.  We leave room for children to stand on flat rocks and observe and appreciate the magic of a pond.  Our children love sitting by the pond for homework or observing and catching frogs.

Once we determine locations and goals of the pond, the design begins.   Matt Reale works with each customer on their unique pond design, making certain we are hitting all the areas that are most important to you, our customer.  We talk about depth, maintenance responsibilities and end goals of aesthetics.

After our design is created and approved, our highly-qualified team of pond experts come to build you your own pond paradise.  They are trained professionals who have built, maintained and renovated hundreds of ponds of the years.  We stay to the end—making sure each customer is completely satisfied with their pond.  Our goal is your complete satisfaction with your Montgomery, County PA Pond Installation

Main Line, PA pondless waterfall

Main Line, PA pondless waterfall

 

Main Line, PA pondless waterfall
Main Line, PA pondless waterfall

Main Line, PA pondless waterfalls

are a great way for people with minimal space or time for maintenance to enjoy the sounds and sights of water. There is no pool of water at the bottom, so this helps with safety concerns as well.  We have installed many Main Line, PA pondless waterfalls.

Working much like a regular waterfall, the Main Line, PA pondless waterfall variety directs the cascading water into a deep rock-and-gravel filled hole where the water collects and is pumped back up to the top of the fall. A pondless waterfall is less costly than a pond to build and operate, and its size enables you to place one almost anywhere in your yard.

Maintenance could not be easier. All you need to do is fill the reservoir every few weeks to compensate for water loss caused by evaporation. A Main Line, PA pondless waterfall which has been properly incorporated into such a system can also increase property value by as a beautiful addition to your yard.

The greatest thing about a pondless waterfall for many people may be that they can be made to fit in any size yard. They are a low maintenance, low cost water feature.

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 Pond Leak

So you think you may have a Philadelphia Pond Leak?

Philadelphia Pond Leak
Philadelphia Pond Leak

Leak vs. Evaporation

Before fixing the leak, make sure there really is a leak! Every water feature has splatters and evaporation.  Evaporation happens when atoms or molecules escape from the liquid and turn into vapor. Hot weather and wind are two factors that affect the evaporation rate of a pond or water feature.

Evaporation is inevitable and can be misleading. It’ s normal for a pond to lose anywhere from 1-3 inches a week in the Philadelphia area during summer.

Of course this varies from pond to pond. Water features that have a lot of surface area, big streams and multiple waterfalls tend to lose water faster due to evaporation and splatter out too. It is important to understand that some water loss is normal, but excessive water loss can mean problems!

Troubleshooting a Leak

Always start troubleshooting a  Philadelphia Pond Leak by narrowing down the causes.  You start by noting how much water loss there is when the system is up and running and then how much loss there is when the system has been off for 24 hours.

Turn off or unplug the pump.  Next, let the area sit for 24 hours (without rain)  If it’s hot and you have any fish, add an aerator to the pond to provide oxygen.  After the 24 hours mark off the water level if the level has dropped and then let sit another 24 hours. Repeat this until the water has stopped draining. If the pond continues to drain to dangerous levels for the fish they will need to be relocated to a separate holding tub. If the water never dropped at all, or dropped just a very small amount during the first 24 hour time period then the pond / basin is holding can be eliminated from the search.

You Have a Leak in Your Pond– Now What?

When the water level has stopped dropping check along that  level for the source of the Philadelphia Pond Leak (low edge, liner tear, concrete crack, failed skimmer seal, etc.). Always check first for the obvious: large rocks that may settle and weight down liner, wet mulch areas, wet gravel, even the skimmer to liner connection.

Low edges can be adjusted by the homeowner, but often anything like a tear, crack or failed seal most often needs to be serviced by a trained professional  Note that  your  water feature could be leaking in multiple areas. So just because one Philadelphia Pond Leak is fixed doesn’t necessarily mean the problem is fixed. Check the streams, waterfalls and all the hardware to be sure.

In a lot of cases water loss is simply a low edge or water diversions from leaves, debris, or overgrown plants.

In situations that aren’t so obvious it may be time to call a professional to have it looked at or fixed.

Contact a Professional

AquaReale is a professional pond company servicing the Greater Philadelphia County, including Bucks and Montgomery Counties.  Contact us with a photo to see how we can help you!

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!