This is a common question asked by new pond owners and people planning to install a pond. Nobody wants their new pond to look like a bowl of slime, and there are different schools of thought regarding the best way to keep a pond looking nice. We have been building ponds and water features for 15 years, and we go with a rock bottom every time. Here's why:
These are the reasons we do full-rock-coverage on our water features. It is a proven technique that works for pond builders around the world. It is a key element of the aquatic ecosystem and allows for greater harmony in the pond, ultimately leading to a cleaner, nicer, safer pond with less regular maintenance.
A pond without plants is a little more than a pool for fish. To create a balanced aquatic ecosystem, you also need plants. There are many suitable plants for growing in or around a pond. Click the gallery below to see these plants and their flowers up close, along with notes about their size and how deep in the pond they should be planted.
Each of these plants is typically available for purchase in-season at our Pond Store in Atco, NJ. If you have any questions about these or any other pond plants, give us a call!
Pumpkins on front porches and cornstalks on the lampposts, these are universal signs that summer is over. For pond owners, this means that our days of getting a tan while lounging by the pond are on hiatus for the next six months. It'll be a while until we resume our evenings of outdoor dining by the water and watching the sunset after dinner.
Despite the downsides of our off-season, the dawn of winter brings new joys for a pond owner. With the night coming on before most of us are even home from work, there is new opportunity to enjoy the dancing glow of underwater lighting. If your pond isn't illuminated, you're missing out. A well-lit pond becomes the focal point of your evening landscape. Picture yourself glancing out the window as you sip from a mug of hot cocoa and you catch a glimpse of your koi's shiny scales flashing gold in the spotlights. Imagine the dancing reflections on the water ripples as the wind whispers. Add some spotlights pointing up from beneath the trees and you'll have a magical atmosphere that will warm your soul on a cold night. And with the new color-changing lights by Aquascape (coming out in early 2019), you'll be able to dress your pond in any combination of colors to suit your spirit, whether it's red and green for Christmas, orange for Thanksgiving, or Eagles Green for Philly's reigning Super-Bowl champions.
Let's not forget the fish! When the leaves are falling and it's starts getting dark outside before Jeopardy begins, you'll know it is time to switch their food to a cold-water formula. This kind of fish food is lower in protein to accommodate the slower metabolisms of a cold-blooded animal in cold weather, and higher in wheat germ to help your fish bulk up before their winter torpor. Pay attention to your pond thermometer and your fishes' feeding habits. We recommend switching to the cold-water food when the water drops below 65°F. Continue feeding them until the water descends into the low 50's, as that's when they will simply stop eating. Any uneaten food in the water after that point will just sit and rot, but if you feed up until that point you can maximize your quality time with your koi and get the pleasure of knowing they are going into winter in optimal condition.
Another fun way to enjoy your pond beyond flip-flop season is spice it up with some seasonal decorations. Jack-o-lanterns and gourds along the waterfall, mums and hay bales around the pond, maybe a spooky scarecrow in a patio chair... Whatever tickles your fancy! The fun doesn't have to stop at thanksgiving, either. Hang up strings of lights from the trees and create the perfect backdrop for a snowman. Replace the spooky scarecrow with a jolly Santa Claus or Jack Frost.
Lights and decorations are lots of fun, but we can't forget about my favorite part of winter ponds: the stunning ice formations! To get them you'll need to have falling water, preferably from a fountain. A freezing waterfall will do some cool stuff to the ice now and then, but a freezing fountain will be a continually morphing piece of art. Living art. Check out these videos to see the kinds of beauty you might discover forming on your fountains in the winter...
To all of the pond owners that are in the path of a hurricane, our thoughts are with you. Having lived thru a few big hurricanes, here are some things we've learned regarding preparing your pond for a storm:
Finally, be safe. The next few months might be a challenge. We can't control mother nature, but we can do our best to minimize the impact of extreme weather events.
A backyard pond is a lovely thing to enjoy, especially when it is full of colorful koi fish. Watching them swim around your pond is one of the best parts of having a pond. In order to admire the fish, however, it is important to have good water clarity. We get a lot of calls from people who are unhappy with the green water in their pond. Fortunately, we are very familiar with this and have learned how to efficiently deal with it.
As we've said elsewhere, the easiest way to avoid green water is to set up your pond correctly from the start. To see what we mean by that, read this article. If you are well-beyond the initial set up, read below for some tips on what you can do today to clarify the water in your pond.
Before we begin making adjustments to our pond, we must first determine the cause of the green water. It could either be single-celled algae, or it could be tiny particulates (dead string/carpet algae) suspended in the water.
(This part is very important) Take a sample of the pond water in a clear container and place it against a white background:
As you can see here, you don't need a backyard or even a patio to enjoy a water feature, this one is inside our store!
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It's a beautiful time of the year when the leaves are beginning to fall. But did you know that keeping leaves out of your pond is an important preventative in keeping your fish healthy thru the winter? Landvista Aquascapes services the South Jersey area to help you take care of your treasured gems of the pond. Call us today for your netting supplies or to schedule this service.
What occurs during a fall pond service and netting:
Note: I took the ‘Before’ picture after having already blown the leaves off the edge rocks and the surrounding planting beds, making my ‘before’ photos a bit less dramatic in these photos than it was in person.
Using Wetland Filtration on Your Backyard Pond
Does your pond have sparkling clear water? If so, does it require a lot of effort to keep it that way? Thanks to the benefits of a properly-built wetland filter, it doesn’t have to!
What is a wetland filter?
A wetlands filter is an advanced form of natural filtration. Think of it as a big hungry sponge that feeds on the waste from fish and plants. Like a sponge, it is porous, allowing water to slowly pass through. Like a sea-sponge, it is alive, and it literally has an appetite for the stuff that clouds your pond water. Unlike a sponge, a wetlands is a complete ecosystem, populated by of trillions of individual bacteria, and usually, a handful of plants and invertebrates. These organisms colonize on the bottom of the pond and feed on particulates suspended in the water.
When you look at an established wetland in a backyard pond, it just looks like a shallow area with slow-moving water over fine gravel. Maybe there’s some grasses or thalia plants growing there. What you won’t see, however, is what’s going on beneath the surface that allows it to clean your water so efficiently.
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All koi are not created equal. If they were, there wouldn’t be such a thing as koi shows and koi competitions!
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You may not ever see them, but there does exist a happy population of river otters here in our area of New Jersey. They are clever and cautious creatures, and are quite adept at staying hidden. Otters avoid contact with people, and quickly dive out of sight when they see us, but they aren't shy about leaving behind signs of their presence if you know what to look for.
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Landvista Aquascapes provides Pond & Water Feature Design, Installation & Maintenance -Repair services for South New Jersey Homeowners