frequently asked questions…
Pond & Water Feature Misconceptions
There are MANY pond and water feature misconceptions that are floating around.
We’ll in this F.A.Q. we debunk those myths!
I want my pond located in the lowest part of my yard! 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 after a hard day at work.
You can use a timer on your pond! Not true! Your pond is a living, breathing ecosystem that needs constant oxygen, just like the human race. If you shut your system down at night, then you can never have sufficient growth of beneficial bacteria to fight algae blooms, and your finned friends will have a hard time breathing. You can shut down a Pondless® Waterfall system, however, whenever you’d like because plants and fish are not depending on the circulation for oxygen and nutrients.
It’s necessary to drain and clean your pond or water feature regularly. If you decide to work in harmony with Mother Nature, using the five-part recipe, instead of doing battle with her, then draining and cleaning your pond should take place only once a year (at most). Pond Cleanings should occur in the spring, before the weather gets warm and the bacteria has an opportunity to set up.
The more filtration,the better the pond. 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, not eliminate them.
You can’t be a koi hobbyist and a water gardener. 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!
Predators in my area will eat all of your fish!Raccoons generally won’t swim. That’s not to say they never swim, or couldn’t stand on the side of your pond and take a paw swipe or two at your fish. Fortunately, most fish will swim to a deeper, more protected part of the pond when a predator is threatening them. The one predator with legitimate credentials is the blue heron. The Scarecrow, a motion-sensing sprinkler that can be set up alongside your pond, ready to fire a steady stream of water at a heron, has had some degree of success in warding off these curious critters. Plenty of lily pads give them some protection and will work to minimize attracting a heron in the first place. Other protection measures include a cave-like structure that can be built in during the pond’s excavation, or if you already have a pond, they can be added with a little pond remodeling. Crevices, or miniature caves, can also be created within the rock walls of your pond.
The presence of rocks and gravel make it difficult to clean your pond or water feature. 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.
UV lights such as those in the UltraKlear™ UVC are the best way to keep your pond water clear. UV clarifiers are one of the ways to keep your pond water clear, but certainly not the only way, and arguably not the natural way. The fact of the matter is that if you have a pond that’s naturally balanced, in which the aquatic circle of life is rotating the way that Mother Nature intended, you don’t need UVC at all. A naturally balanced pond is a low maintenance pond because Mother Nature is doing the maintenance work for you.
Your pond must be at least three feet deep in order to keep koi in cold temperatures. 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.
Koi can’t be kept in a pond that also contains plants. 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.
You have to bring your fish inside for the winter. 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.
Your pond water must be tested on a daily basis. Mother Nature never tests her water, and her ecosystem does just fine. A well conceived, naturally balanced water garden normally requires no testing either.
A pond or water feature in your backyard means you will have a lot of mosquitoes. Mosquitoes will generally only lay their eggs in still, stagnant water. If the mosquitoes happen to lay eggs in your pond and the mosquito larvae hatch, the fish in your pond will consider them a treat and will pick them off the water’s surface with great enthusiasm.
You cannot have a pond in an area where there are a lot of trees. Yes, you will have more leaves in your pond in the Fall but, by the same token, the shade provided by the tree(s) will help minimize the algae bloom in the summer. Furthermore, if you have a skimmer sucking the top quarter inch of water off the top of your pond, it will pull most of the leaves and related debris into the skimmer net.
Having a pond or water feature may decrease the value of your home! Everyone knows when it comes to the resale value of your home, a swimming pool can be deadly. However, in the opinion of some real estate agents, ponds can be a great addition to your home that might even pay dividends. With water features becoming more and more popular, you can bet that the demand for them will get even bigger!
I have liability or safety concerns! It’s natural to have these thoughts and concerns, but it is important to remember that a professionally-installed water garden has steps leading into the pond. The first shelf is only ankle high once the gravel is laid down. The next shelf is up to your knee, while the smallest area in the bottom is just above your knee, so it is not constructed like a swimming pool. We do recommend that you make your neighbors aware of the water garden and educate your own children and friends about the safety of any body of water. If liability is a true concern, consider the option of a Pondless® Waterfall.