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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 Koi Pond Myths Debunked

Philadelphia Koi Pond
Philadelphia Koi Pond

Philadelphia Koi Pond Myth #1The 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 in your Philadelphia Koi Pond.   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 #2The 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 #3:  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 #4: 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 #5You 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 #6:  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!

Philadelphia Koi Pond Myth #7:  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.

For more answers or to see what we can do for you, please contact us!

 

Bucks County Fountain Installation

Bucks County Fountain Installation
Bucks County Fountain Installation

Want water without the responsibilities of  a pond?

You need a Bucks County Fountain Installation.   Fountains are the perfect way to add a splash of water to your landscape.  They come in a variety of styles and sizes and help bring peace and beauty to your landscape.

If you love the sound of water in the garden, a fountain is your perfect introduction to water gardening   Fountains come in a variety of styles and sizes and can also be custom created.

There have been numerous studies on the benefits of water. The sound of water relaxes and calms you, while the beautiful sight makes quite a visual appeal.  Water fountains are especially great for children with special needs and older individuals

Bucks County Fountain Installation Options

There are a variety of fountains available, from bubbling urns and basalt columns and formal fountains to natural boulder water features

Bucks County Fountain Installation Single Urn
Bucks County Fountain Installation Single Urn

 

Bubbling Urns and Basalt Columns

Some beautiful water fountains are created with bubbling urns and basalt columns.  Both these items can be installed as just a single, or as a triple, for a more dramatic effect

Bucks County Fountain Installation Triple Basalt Columns
Bucks County Fountain Installation Triple Basalt Columns

 

Formal Features

We design and renovate formal fountains as well, focusing on each customer’s tastes and styles to develop something perfect.  Some people prefer formal gardens and fountains and we are happy to oblige.

Bucks County Fountain Installation Formal Fountain
Bucks County Fountain Installation Formal Fountain

Custom Features

If you can dream it, we can build it.  We can help create water features out of many items, from rocks to Buddhas.

Fountain Installation Custom Feature
Fountain Installation Custom Feature

Call us at 215.880.6811 or visit our website for more information.

 

Your Bucks County Pond Renovation

Planning your Bucks County Pond Renovation

Bucks County Pond Renovation
Bucks County Pond Renovation

Time for a Bucks County Pond Renovation!!  Now that summer is officially here, it’s time to start thinking about what you might want to do to change and improve about your pond.  And if you’re still dreaming of your first pond, this too is a great time to plan for that!

Many people view ponds simply as an addition to your house – when you build it you are done. While that is true that a pond is indeed another room to your house, you’re never really done with this addition! In reality, it’s actually more like a living thing that is always evolving, so don’t be afraid to add on and change it as often as you want!

Whether your Bucks County Pond Renovation is to simply move a couple rocks, forcing the water to fall in a completely different direction, or maybe you’ll go all out and add a 50-foot stream, a bog filter, or a bubbling urn in another part of your yard, the possibilities for growing your water feature are almost infinite.

Your Dream Pond

Right now – when your thoughts, ideas, and mental plans for your dream garden and pond are still fresh in your mind – is the time to get them on paper. Dreaming is always the first step to planning your Bucks County Pond Renovation.  In your mind, what would be the perfect backyard paradise? Here are some questions to ask yourself as you search for your perfect pond makeover.

  • What do you enjoy most about water gardening – the plants, fish, frogs, turtles, birds, or terrestrial landscaping? Build your dream pond with that as your emphasis.
  • What places have you visited that look and feel “perfect” to you? A stream in the mountains?  A spring in the woods?  Recreate aspects of these places on a smaller scale.
  • Where do you spend most of your time when you’re at home?  Will you spend more time outside or inside?  Plan with that in mind.
  • What would make your yard a “paradise?”
  • Would you like to be able to swim with your fish in a natural swimming pond?
  • What do you like (or dislike) about your existing pond?
  • Do you like the tropics? Find some rare plants and bring them into your own backyard.

Your Own Paradise

Hopefully you’re well on your way to dreaming about creating or enhancing your own personal paradise and your Bucks County Pond Renovation. The possibilities are limitless and you can always grow and expand with each addition you make.  Now’s the time to start your wheels turning.

Contact us at AquaReale to get the ball rolling. Whether this is your first pond or an addition or renovation, we are always ready to help!

Rydal Natural Pond Renovation

Check out this video of AquaReale co-owner Matthew Reale explaining how we are handling a Rydal Natural Pond Renovation.  “The hard part of doing a Natural Pond Renovation is figuring out what to do with the muck,” says Matt.

“There is no room on the property to store the muck so we need to take it by trashcan back to our workshop where we will wait for it to dry out.”  Once it dries out, it becomes a great soil enhancer to use as fill as or blended with soil to create a nutrient- rich type of mulch.

Villanova large pond repair, part two

How to handle a Villanova large pond repair? Join part two of Tom’s explanation of the work we are doing in Montgomery County, at the Inn at Villanova.  Tom rows through the large pond at Villanova and talks about the pond depth and next steps. as well how to handle Villanova large pond repairs  in general.  If you did not get to see Tom before he goes into the water,  here’s part one

Tom explains that a Villanova large pond repair is a unique fix, taking into account size and condition of the large pond.  He needed to know the exact depth of the large pond before he could determine which large pond repair solutions are needed. He knows we will need monthly treatments, but we also need an aerator to help move water to help handle our repair.

AquaReale handles large pond repairs in the greater Philadelphia area, including Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County and Montgomery County.

 

Here are the fountains we created for another part of the Inn of Villanova.

Villanova large pond repair
Villanova large pond repair

Bucks County Pond Renovation

Bucks County Pond Renovation
Bucks County Pond Renovation

Time for a Bucks County Pond Renovation!

Why a Bucks County Pond Renovation? Maybe you built it yourself. Maybe you hired a landscaper to build it. It may have even been there when you bought the house. But it is not the pond of your dreams.

We specialize in Bucks County Pond Renovations and pond installations. We can fix your current pond and make it into the pond you have always envisioned.
Regardless of how it got there you have pond or water feature in your yard and it needs help. There are things you love and possibly a few things you hate about your existing pond.
Our team has handled many Bucks County Pond Renovations over the years. The renovation can be as simple as adding more stones around the pond to redoing the waterfall you’ve never been satisfied with.
We can also expand your pond, creating streams or waterfalls to give the pond a whole new look. From a trickling stream to a bubbling waterfall, we have your Bucks County Pond Renovation covered. We can put large urns and basalt columns in the pond to invigorate the look as well.
AquaReale has also added fountains, streams, waterfalls, large urns and basalt columns to ponds over the years to help create a new look.
Lights are always a great way to brighten and lighten the pond. Lighting adds a new element to your pond and allows for beautiful. Lighting can accent certain areas of your pond, highlighting your stream or waterfall.
We can help you turn your existing pond into the pond you have always dreamed of. A low maintenance water feature brings your yard to life and will have all of your neighbors talking!

Reach out today to see how we can help your Bucks County Pond Renovation dream come true.

Villanova Large Pond Renovation

What goes into planning a Villanova Large Pond Renovation?

Join AquaReale pond specialist Tom as he explains the ongoing Villanova Large Pond Renovation we are doing for the Inn at Villanova.

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!