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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 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.

 

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!

 

5 Ways to Hire the Right Philadelphia Pond Contractor

Philadelphia Pond Contractor
Philadelphia Pond Contractor

Finding the Right Philadelphia Pond Contractor

What makes someone a reputable Philadelphia Pond Contractor?  We got a call today that broke my heart.  And it wasn’t the first call we have gotten like this.  The customer called and said a certain contractor started building a pond for him this summer, charged all the money and then has disappeared

The contractor has left this customer with a half-finished pond and little money left for the project.  I have heard this quite often about this contractor, who used to own a retail location as well.

Unfortunately, in this situation, there’s a not a lot we can do except rip out the pond and start over.  But the bigger question is, how do you avoid this in the first place?  Here are some 6 ways to hire the right pond contractor:

Step 1:   Check out their contact info

Do they have a website and FB page?  Are they updated?  Check the dateline at the bottom of the web page.  If it is from 2012, that is not a good sign.  How about FB?  Are there recent pictures and posts?  That shows you their level of customer involvement at this time.

Step 2:  Check out online reviews

Google, FB and even Yelp allow customers to say how they really feel.  AquaReale has 23 google reviews—all positive.  This is important—we can’t pay for these and ask for people to say what they did.  It goes a long way toward showing credibility as a company.  How are this Philadelphia Pond Contractor’s reviews?  How many do they have?

Step 3:  A realistic budget

The cost of a pond installed the right way by a professional is not cheap.  Beware of contractors who offer the lowest bids, as they are probably cutting corners and the results will not be the same! It’s fine to do some bid comparisons, but don’t simply choose the lowest bid. The money you save initially could be lost…and then some

Step 4: A Legal Business

Make sure the Philadelphia Pond Contractor you hire has worker’s compensation and business insurance for all their employees.  It is important that anyone you hire to work at your home has these qualifications.

Step 5:  Communication: Getting Along

The most import item for any business relationship is communication.  With communication, we know what you are looking for and you know we can build it. It is important for companies to get back to you in a timely fashion with reasonable information.  In addition, great relationships are built on trust.  When you trust someone and communicate effectively, great things can happen.

 

The number one way to hire the best Philadelphia pond contractor? Hire AquaReale to do the job for you!  Our reviews and reputation speak for themselves.  Contact us to see how we can help you build the pond of your dreams.

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!

Philadelphia Swim Pond Master Build

Philadelphia Swim Pond
Swim Pond

As part of our recent advanced training at Pondomonium,  the pond industry’s largest trade event of the year,  AquaReale had the opportunity to help build a large Spectacular Swim Pond in Illinois.

The customers originally wanted a big pond their kids could play in, but the more they learned about Swim Ponds, the more interested they were.

They also had storm water issues which would be helped by the pond.  Downspouts were included as part of the system, which incorporated an overflow that drained into a drainage system.  This allows to the pond water to fluctuate by as many as 8 inches, allowing there to be an additional 8000-gallon storm water runoff into the pond before it overflows.

The Swim Pond is a 30 x 50 swim pond with a 20 x 20 wetland filter and a steam connecting the wetland filter to the pond, all getting drawn into a 15 x 15 intake skimmer bay.  In addition, the pond takes runoff from four properties, harvesting rainwater which leads to a bubbling rock in the front of the house.

The pond uses wetland filtration to filter a large body of water where people can swim and they can have fish as well as a clean body of water.  Instead of salt or chlorine, they use beneficial bacteria instead of harsh chemicals to keep the water clear

AquaReale recently built a Philadelphia Swim Pond, which was a conversion we did from a pool to a Swim Pond.  Contact us to see how we can help you get the Swim Pond/Recreational Pond of your dreams.

Call 215.880.6811 for more information.

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.

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.

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.