Cattails are ubiquitous residents of aquatic habitats. They are hardy, fast-growing, and excellent filters of pollution. They will also overcrowd a small pond if given the opportunity. They do release a chemical into the water that will signal the plants to restrict growth as that chemical reaches a high enough concentration, however, your idea of 'enough cattails' is likely to occur quite a bit sooner.
A question that many new pond owners have is how to determine the right number of fish for their pond. Like any system, a backyard pond ecosystem has an ideal ratio of elements that will best promote balance and harmony. As you might imagine, a big 20'x30' pond is not necessary to keep five or ten little goldfish happy. Likewise, a small 6'x8' pond is much too small to support the 24" trophy koi that you've been dreaming about. Common sense will guide you from such extremes, but finding the sweet spot will require a few calculations. Click 'Read More' to learn how you can identify that sweet spot...
Aquatic plants are one of our favorite subjects. These beautiful additions to your landscape are do more than just look good with their vibrant flowers and unique shapes, they also play a vital role in the natural balance of your pond's ecosystem.
There are many types of pond plants you can choose for your water garden. They can be grouped into four main categories: water lilies, floaters, oxygenators, and marginals.
Springtime is when we start spending more time outdoors, and for water feature owners, this means you are probably looking at dark water full of the past season's leaves and muck. This is the best time for a little maintenance on your pond or waterfall. An annual spring cleaning not only beautifies your water feature, it can also prevent problems from arising later in the season. For those of you who are the hands-on type, read on for tips on a successful pond clean-out.
If you're in the South Jersey area and would like to leave it to the professionals, pick up the phone, and call your premier team of local pond technicians: Landvista Aquascapes at 856-768-9404.
If you don't live in SJ, but still want a professional to take of your pond, click here to find your local Certified Aquascape Contractor.
Beautiful backyards increase and enhance the living space on your property. You may have added a deck or a patio to your backyard for outdoor dining and entertaining; why not take your outdoor living space to the next level by adding the soothing sights and sounds of water to your landscape?
Our job at Landvista Aquascapes is to enhance your living space - be it installing a relaxing waterfall or revamping your landscaping to create a relaxing retreat - we’re called in to make things pretty. Of course, that also means that we need to actually spend time in your space while we do that: in an effort to make that process as easy on you as possible, we thought we’d outline the steps taken once you contact us.
*** Steps described in detail below***
For those of you who are outside the South Jersey area, you will find a local Certified Aquascape Contractor to service your pond by clicking here.
1. Clean your pond. This can be as thorough as full cleanout or as basic as just washing the dirt off the rocks. However you do it, the perfect time is in early Spring before water temperatures climb above 55º.
2. Check the pump. Your pump is the heart of your water feature and it is vital to keep it in good working order. Take it out of the skimmer/vault and wash it off, then inspect the impeller and any other moving parts for excessive wear or damage. The pumps we use usually just need a good rinse and they're ready for the season.
3. Fix leaks. If your pond is constantly losing water, it never gets the chance to become completely established as an ecosystem because the fresh water being added throws off the balance of the ecosystem. Repairing leaks now will contribute to clearer water, less algae, stronger beneficial bacteria, and ultimately a more enjoyable water feature.
4. Remove leaves/debris. Use your hands and a net to pick out whatever doesn't belong in the pond. This is important because that stuff will decompose into sludge that in turn feeds algae blooms.
5. Add bacteria. Beneficial bacteria treatments are essential to a healthy pond ecosystem. These good bacteria compete with the algae for available nutrients, starving the algae of its food source. The Automatic Dosing System we use and install makes this task as easy as changing your socks.
6. Add plants. Plants are an important part of a well-balanced ecosystem. They have the magical ability to transform dirty fish waste into beautiful flowers, and in doing so they reduce the amount of nutrients that would otherwise be feeding the algae you want to limit. .
7. Go easy on the fish food. We all want big, beautiful koi in our ponds, but it is important to have patience with their growth. There is a limit to how much they can eat at any one time; more than that is not just wasteful, it also creates a secondary problem by becoming food for algae.
8. Have fun with it! Your pond is alive, and like you, it enjoys a new look from time to time. Maybe you want to introduce some new aquatic plants and add some different marginals around the water. Maybe you want to add some accent lights and make it into your own special backyard evening retreat. If plants and lights aren't getting you excited, maybe you want to have a stream or a waterfall designed to expand the feature beyond its current borders. Even just moving some rocks around can bring new life to an old pond. If you'd like some help with ideas, or to discover what is possible, come visit our Outdoor Design Center in Atco, NJ and our team of certified pond experts will get to work transforming your visions of the perfect backyard oasis into reality.
Need more information on getting your water feature ready for the season? Check out this short video below:
Although you wouldn't know it by looking out the window, we are merely five days from the start of Spring. This means it is nearly time to do some annual pond cleaning. Even if your pond was just cleaned last year, leaves and debris have most likely been falling in throughout the winter and decaying into muck on the bottom. Performing a spring cleaning can help prevent future problems from arising throughout the pond season. Some pond enthusiasts are happy to handle their own maintenance, but you can always hire a professional to take care of it for you. For our neighbors in the Camden/Burlington/Gloucester area, Landvista Aquascapes has a team of pond experts that are trained by the best in the world to properly care for your ponds and water features.
Koi and goldfish are the two most popular fish among backyard ponds here in New Jersey. These two species are very closely related to each other; they are both in the cyprinidae (carp) family, but they do have a few key differences. This article will teach you what separates koi from goldfish and common carp, and help you determine which kind of fish is best suited for keeping in your pond.
For koi living in South Jersey, the feeding months run from roughly mid-April through mid-October. This is the time of the year when the pond water is over 55-degrees, and koi metabolisms are breaking down food. The first few weeks you should only feed them a small amount once every other day. When water becomes warmer than 65-degrees you can begin feeding them every day. Knowing how much food to give the fish per session is easy, just give them whatever they will eat within five minutes. Once per day will be plenty. In fact, don't do multiple feedings per day until June or when the water is safely into the 70's.
It is better to underfeed than to overfeed. Koi are foragers, and if your pond is the ecosystem variety, there will naturally be lots of food for your fish to eat among the plants and rocks. To keep the system in balance, a good rule of thumb is to stay at 3" of fish for every 100 gallons of water in the pond. Adhering to this rule will ensure that you don't have more fish waste being created than the filtration can process.
Now, if you would like to learn more and go in depth about feeding koi, I suggest reading the following page by our go-to fish expert, Dr. Erik Johnson. He has written a very thorough article all about koi food, koi eating habits and recommended feeding practices.
Everything you need to know about feeding koi, by Dr. Erik Johnson.
As you might imagine, there are a handful of animals here in South Jersey that given the chance would instinctually treat your koi pond as their private food stash. This is not too surprising considering this is a fish whose beginnings were as a humble food fish, farmed by people in Eastern Asia. As far as we know, the modern ornamental koi has only been around for one or two thousand years, barely a blip on the grand scale of evolution. Its existence here in the pinebarrens is a recent development, brought about by the fascination with Japanese koi ponds in the minds of American soldiers returning from WWII. Even the koi's ancestor, the common carp, has only been in the waters of NJ for since the mid-late 1800's. This means that the wild animals in our backyards have not evolved alongside these fish, something that is both a blessing and a curse for koi-keepers. On the positive side, not having lived among carp/koi means the predators are not accustomed to considering them as a food source; when they get hungry there is no instinct telling fill their belies with carp. On the negative side, it means that when one of those animals discovers a novel and untapped food source in your pond, it will likely exploit it for all its worth.
Landvista Aquascapes provides Pond & Water Feature Design, Installation & Maintenance -Repair services for South New Jersey Homeowners