Water Feature Maintenance

Our pond systems require little maintenance.  They use natural, biological systems to create a contained eco-system that keeps itself balanced and clear.

You will need to periodically check the skimmer filter net and brushes and clean them out.  Usually once every two weeks is sufficient.  In the fall when the leaves are falling heavily, you may have to clean the skimmer net every few days.

Pull out the biological media in the bio-falls about every 3 months and wash the media and filter pads off to remove excess sediment.  It is best to use pond water or well water to do it since all municipality water contains chlorine which will kill any beneficial bacteria colonies on the filter pads or media.

Once a year, preferably in the month of February, it will be necessary to perform a pond cleaning.  Most ponds can easily be drained, the fish staged in a holding tank, and cleaned.  If the pond is too large to drain and clean, you can use a bottom sweeper to remove most of the debris settled on the bottom and then replenish the water, then apply sludge eating bacteria to consume any remaining debris that was not removed.  If using municipal water to refill the pond, you will need to add dechlorinator to the water.

Since all of our ponds and waterfalls use biological filtration systems.  They depend on aquatic plants and bacteria to consume excess nutrients and organic waste in the confined system and keep the water clear.  If you have a pond with fish, it is important to add beneficial bacteria every month to your pond to help consume the excess nutrients from the fish waste.  If you have a build-up of excessive nutrients in the pond, and the nutrients are not consumed by the aquatic plants or bacteria, then mother nature will import a system to handle it for you by creating an algae outbreak in the form of string algae or plantonic alage.  String algae is a bright green algae that grows like flowing hair on the rocks in the pond.  Plantonic algae are small platelets of algae that are suspended in the water to make it turbid and look like pea soup.

If you get an outbreak of string algae, there are there a few ways to control it:

  1. Check the PH of the water first thing in the morning.  If the PH is way above 7, slowly lower the PH of the water by carefully integrating a highly acidic additive such as distilled white vinegar.  Once you get the PH down around 7, the algae will not be able to grow as well.
  2. Turn off the pumps and apply an algaecide powder comprised of sodium percarbonate to the string algae.  Try to avoid applying the powder to the aquatic plants.  After the powder sits on the algae for about 15 minutes, you can turn the pumps on again.  The powder will kill the algae on contact.  It will have to be applied to any re-occuring algae every few weeks during the summer.
  3. We can purchase and install an iongen which will use electrolysis to dissolve trace elements of natural algae retardant metal ions into the water to deter string algae growth.  It is our experience that the iongen will not control most types of planktonic algae.  The probe will probably need to be replaced every year.

 

If you get an outbreak of planktonic algae, there are there a few ways to control it:

  1. Check the PH of the water first thing in the morning.  If the PH is way above 7, slowly lower the PH of the water by carefully integrating a highly acidic additive such as distilled white vinegar.  Once you get the PH down around 7, the algae will not be able to grow as well.
  2. Turn off the pumps and apply an algaecide powder comprised of sodium percarbonate lightly over the water surface.  Try to avoid applying the powder to the aquatic plants.  As the powder percolates through the water, it will dissolve and kill the algae.  It may have to be applied again to any re-occuring planktonic algae outbreaks, should they occur later in the summer.
  3. We can purchase and install a UV sterilizer which will kill all living organisms that pass through the intense UV light like the planktonic algae.  The bulbs would need to be replaced about every year or two.