Archives for February 2008

Is Your Concrete Too Rough Or Too Smooth? – Fix Your Concrete The Easy Way

8Sometimes concrete ponds are constructed and virtually no thought is given to how the surface should be in regards to it being able to accept a waterproofing coating later.  Sometime the surface is either too smooth or too rough and needs to be corrected prior to applying the coating.

I have seen people use brick in the ponds also.  Now brick is a funny material.  It is either too porous or ultra smooth.  Porous brick is not usually an issue because the pore can be filled, but ultra smooth brick can cause future delaminating if it is not properly surfaced prior to coating.  The techniques to handle this type of brick would be the same as with concrete to be explained here.

I find that one of the easiest ways to make a smooth surface more rough is to sand blast it.  Of course sand blasting has its pros and cons.  For one thing, it most certainly will clean a surface pretty well and give a nice texture to accept a coating, but it also makes a serious mess.  You’ll end up with sand everywhere and it will be there until your surrounding yard assimilates that which couldn’t be cleaned up.

Also with sand blasting, you’ll have to hire someone to do it.  It’s not likely you own the equipment necessary and probably do not have the skills either.  That is ok though, because there is at least one other way to accomplish this.

My favorite way is to use a large 8” angle grinder.  Suit up in protective eyewear and a face mask and you can go to town with a tool like this and either smooth out the concrete or rough it up as needed.  They work wonders.  Let me explain.

Flexible Grinder DiscIf you use a flexible sanding disc on an 8” angle grinder it allows you to cut away imperfections in the concrete while at the same time protects the concrete from you accidentally gouging to some degree.  This means you can float the grinder over the surface and follow the natural contours more closely without cutting away too much concrete.

Use a 24 grit sanding disc for the process as it will leave a more desired surface afterwards.  Not to mention it will last longer since it is coarser.  Be sure to aim the spin of the grinder away from yourself.  There’s no sense in directing debris right at yourself.  It not only hinders your sight but the flying debris can injure you as well.

Take Gunite for instance.  Usually a Gunite installer will assume that you plan to apply a plaster coating to the new pool or pond and he or she will normally apply a broomed finish to the Gunite surface.  That is fine and dandy for a plaster surface, but no good for applying a coating.  If you apply the coating to a surface like that, you are likely to waste a bunch of material just trying to fill in-between the broomed gaps.

Finally, as I said before, this scenario works fine for smooth brick too.  If you can just give the brick a new surfacing, it will give the coating much more to grab hold of during the application process, which will give you a longer life with the coating.

Keep in mind that this process will also be helpful when smoothing out mortar joints too.  Sometimes masons can get a little slopping with their joints and there’s no reason to just coat over them as is.  Clean them up first.

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Pond Volume and Square Footage – Simple Calculations You Need To Know – Part 3 Ellipses

Oval PondAn ellipse?  What the heck is an ellipse?  Simple.  Ellipses are circles.  Ok, did that confuse you?  Think of ellipses as special instance of a circle, meaning if you have an oval shape, it’s still considered a circle, but a special case of a circle.

If you have an oval shaped pond, you need to perform calculations for ellipses in order to figure out square footage and volume.  So, when we spoke about circles and some of your calculations were based off of the circle’s radius, it will be the same with an ellipse, but we’ll use the radius measurement just a little differently.

Major axis – The measurement that consists of the longest radius length from the center of the ellipse to the outer edge.

Minor axis –  The measurement that consists of the shortest radius length from the center of the ellipse to the outer edge.

Take a look at these pictures:

EllipseEllipse

With an oval shaped ellipse, you will have two radius measurements.  One is longer and will be referred to as the major axis, while the other is shorter and will be referred to as the minor axis.  Remember when you calculated the area of a circle, you multiplied the radius by the radius and then by Pi?  This works the same.

For an ellipse, you multiply the major axis by the minor axis and then by Pi.  So if the pond was a 20 feet long and 10 feet wide oval shape, you would calculate,
20 (major axis) x 10 (minor axis) x 3.14 (Pi) = 628

Do not forget that you will have to measure the circumference (perimeter of the pond) in order to have the total square footage of the walls of the pond.  This is where it gets a little scary.  Because an oval is essentially a squashed circle, there are a lot of variables that would have to be taken into account in order to calculate the circumference.

First let me say that I will show you the varying calculations and you are free to follow along if math is your thing.  However, you may find that simply walking a tape measure around the perimeter of you pond is much easier.  Ok here we go for the mathematic enthusiast.

The first calculation you can do in order to find the circumference is an approximation only.  This means that you have to be sure that your major axis is no more than three times longer than the minor axis and your resulting calculation will be within 5% of being true.  That is the approximation part.  Your calculation could be as much as 5% incorrect.  But hey, let’s look at it anyways.

You are first going to multiply the major axis by itself and the minor axis by itself, and then add those two products together.  Then divide that answer by 2.  Take that total and divide it by the product of Pi multiplied by 2.
20 (major axis) x 2 = 400
10 (minor axis) x 2 = 200
So now you have 600 /2 = 300
Now, 3.14 (Pi) x2 = 6.28
The divide 300 by 6.28
30 / 6.28 = 47.77 feet

Now again, I stress that this formula is an approximation and can be off, up to 5%.  So let’s just assume you wanted a formula that calculated the circumference of the oval shape almost exactly.  Well all I am going to do is just show you the formula because it is nothing short of horrific!

Circumference = Pi(3.14) x (major axis + minor axis) / 4 x [ 3 x (1+L) + 1 / (1-L) ]
And that’s assuming L = h/4 = (major axis – minor axis) x 2 / [2 x (major axis + minor axis)] x 2
As well as assuming h = (major axis – minor axis) x 2 / (major axis + minor axis) x 2

Now do you see why I say that it is probably just easier to walk a tape measure around your pond?  There is just no way I even care to calculate the circumference when it would take less time to physically measure it.  I certainly do not expect you to either.  So save yourself the time and headache and just tape measure the circumference.

Now that you have the circumference measurement, you need to multiply that by the height of the pond, like this (assuming the height or depth is 3 feet):
47.77 (circumference) x 3 (height) = 143.31 square feet

So the floor area square footage plus the wall square footage would be:
628 (floor area) + 143.31 (walls) = 771.31 total square feet

Again, to calculate how much Pond Shield epoxy you would need to coat this pond, you divide the total square footage by 60 square feet.  Remember 60 square feet is the amount of coverage a quart and a half kits gives you at a minimal thickness of 10 mils.
771.31 / 60 = 12.8 (rounded up to 13 total quart and a half kits)

To calculate volume of a oval (ellipse) shaped pond, you multiply Pi (3.14) by the major axis and multiply that by the minor axis and then multiply that by the height or depth and divide the total by 4.like this,
3.14 x 20 x 10 x 3 / 4 = 471 cubic feet

Then on to my obsession with water weight.  How much would that weigh?  3,956.4 pounds.  That is quite a bit of water for a small elliptical shaped pond.  Oh, I almost forgot.  Not that we have talked about elliptical shaped ponds, remember Part 2’s question at the end?  Have you figured it out yet?

I will see you when we discuss triangular shaped ponds in part 4.

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Pond Volume and Square Footage – Simple Calculations You Need To Know – Part 2 Rectangles

Rectangle PondOK, here are moving on to rectangles.  FYI – all of these particular calculations will work for those of you with square ponds too.  As I said in part 1 of this series, you’re going to eventually need to know the total square footage of your pond as well as the volume.

The square footage will assist you in calculating how much of any construction material you’ll need to actually build the pond and the volume will allow you to calculate the needs of water that your pond holds.

Squares are pretty simple to calculate too.  Unlike circles, there are only three measurements you’ll need to take in order to get the information you need out of your calculations.  There is length, width and height.

  • Length – This measurement is the longest extent of the pond, measured from end to end.
  • Width – The measurement is the longest extent from side to side on the pond.
  • Height – The measurement that is the longest extent from top to bottom of the pond.  You’d also refer to it as depth of the pond.

RectangleRectangle

When we calculated the square footage of the walls of a circular pond, there was only one wall.  So keep this in mind when calculating the square footage of a rectangular pond.  It has four walls and all need to be accounted for.  Let’s assume that the length of the pond is 24 feet, the width is 14 feet and the depth is 4.5 feet.

To calculate the total square footage of the floor you would multiply the length by the width like this,
24 (length) x 14 (width) = 336

So the floor has 336 square feet.

For the walls, you would multiply the length by the height for each wall and then add them all together.  So,
24 (length) x 4.5 (height) x 2 (walls) = 216
14 (width) x 4.5 (height) x 2 (walls) = 126

So for this rectangular pond, add the floor square footage to both wall square footage totals and you will end up with a total square footage for the entire pond.
336 (floor) + 216 (walls) + 126 (walls) = 678

Again, to calculate how much Pond Shield epoxy you would need to coat this pond, you divide the total square footage by 60 square feet.  Remember 60 square feet is the amount of coverage a quart and a half kits gives you at a minimal thickness of 10 mils.
678 / 60 = 11.3 (rounded up to 12 total quart and a half kits)

Now because we already know the length, width, and height, it will be very easy to calculate volume.  As a reminder, it is important to know the total volume of water your pond contains for purposes of water chemistry or how many fish you can safely house.  You know, that sort of thing.

To calculate volume of a rectangular shaped pond, you multiply the length by the width by the height of the pond like this,
24 (length) x 14 (width) x 4.5 (height) = 1512 cubic feet

Do you know how much all that water weighs?  12,700.8 pounds!  Yes, I make a big deal out of the total weight of the water.  I will tell you why.  If you are planning some sort of holding tank, something indoors, something on a pedestal of sort, weight becomes a serious issue and you need to know what that will be in the end.

Next time we will talk about ellipse shaped ponds and how to calculate square footage and volume for those.  I will give you a hint.  They are similar in nature to a circular pond, but do you know what the difference is?  I will let you know in part 3.

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Pond Volume and Square Footage – Simple Calculations You Need To Know – Part 1 Circles

Round PondNow that you’ve gotten your pond built, it might be a wise idea to know both the total pond square footage and the pond volume.  Sure you can find an automatic calculator online somewhere, but it pays to have the calculations referenced and at least understand how they work.

Let’s talk about square footage first, since that’s probably going to be the first piece of information you might need to know.  It does not matter whether you are lining your pond with a rubber liner, Polyurea, or you plan a structured pond that can be waterproofed with Pond Shield epoxy.  In any of those scenarios, you will still need to calculate the total square feet of the pond.

There are some very basic shape categories that almost any pond shape will fall into.  Circles, ellipses, rectangles, polygons, general triangles and right triangles.  If you have trouble deciding, picture your pond as though you were floating above and looking down at it.

One point I would like to bring up before we move forward is the actual volume of a single cubic foot.  One single cubic foot will hold 7.48 gallons of water.  As a side note, one gallon of water weighs 8.4 pounds.  So, on cubic foot of water volume would weigh almost 63 pounds.  That does not sound like much now, but just wait until you see how many cubic feet of volume your pond ends up being!

So today, I would like to talk about calculating square footage and then we’ll move onto calculating volume for circular ponds.  These are pretty basic shapes and the formulas are pretty simple.  Typical terminology for circles would be radius, diameter and circumference and for volume you’ll use height.  Of course then there is also Pi.

  • Radius – The radius of a circle is measured as exactly one half of the diameter.
  • Diameter – The diameter of a circle is measured as the length from one side of a circle to the other side, using the center as an intersection point.
  • Circumference – The circumference of a pond is the measurement of the outside shape or outline of the circle.
  • Height – This is simple, it is the measurement of how high the walls of the circle are.
  • Pi – This is my favorite.  It even has a symbol   It represents the ratio of any circle’s circumference in relation to its diameter.  Confused yet?  Not to worry.  For the most part, it will be represented as a number in our calculations.  That number being 3.14.

So with that said, let’s see what we can do with that information.  If you plan to calculate the total square footage of your circular pond, you have to know the radius, the circumference and the height.  So let’s say that your pond has a radius of 10 feet, meaning that from side to side it is 20 feet (diameter).  Knowing this will enable you to figure out the circumference.  Let’s say that:

Height = 3 feet

Radius = 10 feet

Radius x 2 = Diameter (20 feet) Just showing you this so that you see how radius and diameter relate to one another
10 x 2 = 20

Circumference (62.8) = Pi (= 3.14) x Diameter (20)  So you multiply the radius times two in order to find the diameter and then multiply the diameter times Pi and you will have the circumference.
62.8 = 3.14 x 20

So to calculate the square footage of the walls of the circle, you multiple the circumference by the height.
62.8 x 3 = 188.4

The floor of the pond would be calculated by multiplying the radius by the radius and then multiplying that total by Pi.
10 x 10 x 3.14 = 314

Finally the total square footage of the circular pond would be the total area of the floor added to the total square footage of the walls.
188.4 + 314 = 502.4 square feet

Now to figure out how many kits of Pond Shield epoxy you are going to need to coat the project, divide the total number of square feet a kit will yield by the total square feet of the pond.

A quart and a half kit yields 60 square feet of material at a thickness of 10 mils.  10 mils is the recommended minimal thickness that the epoxy should be applied.  So,
502.4 / 60 = 8.37 kits (round that up to 9 total quart and a half kits)

Fortunately, the volume of this type of shape is simple.  You already have all of the components to calculate square footage and some of those will allow us to calculate volume.  In doing so, we’ll multiply the radius by the radius, and then multiply that by Pi, and finally multiply that by the height.  So,
10 x10x 3.14 x 3 = 942 cubic feet

The over-all weight of the water is simple too,
942 cubic feet x 8.4 pound per gallon = 7,912.80 pounds.  I told you it would be a lot!

Check back tomorrow and we’ll look at another shape and its calculations.

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Pond Algae – Six Ways To Control Pond Algae Growth

Filamentous AlgaeOh yeah!  This is my favorite part of pond maintenance.  Not!  That darned pond algae, I just hate it.  It is always a mess to deal with.  Fortunately there are some ways to control it so that during your pond maintenance phase, the task of cleaning it up will be much easier.

By the way, did you know that there are thousands of species of algae?  Though you may never notice, over a period of time you may never have the same dominant species of algae in your pond more than twice.

Do you know that long, thin algae that is referred to as string algae?  That type, along with black algae is a filamentous type of algae.  You will find them attached to something in the bottom of the pond.  They usually float to towards the surface where the process of photosynthesis can occur.

Sometimes you might notice floating particles in the pond water.  While some of those particles can simply be dirt or pollen, some of them can also be planktonic algae.  This is the type of algae that actually changes the color of your water.  You know what I mean.  Has your pond water ever turned pea soup green before?  That is caused by planktonic algae.

Some algae will be attached the walls of the pond, small rocks and even your waterfall.  This periphyton type of algae will resemble a slimy, green layer on those surfaces.  Of course all of these algae have one thing in common.  They all thrive very easily in a pond environment.

Your task is to keep their growth in check so that they do not overwhelm the filtration system of your pond.  Here are six ways you can make the task of controlling algae in your pond much easier.

Physical Removal – You can easily remove filamentous algae (string algae) with a small algae rake or fork.  Just like twirling up spaghetti on a fork, your twirl up the algae.  Pull it out and throw it away.

UV Lighting – By sterilizing the returning water after it has been through the main filtration process, you can effectively disrupt the reproductive process of planktonic types of algae.  This will help keep the water crystal clear.

Lighting – If you have the ability to control the amount of sun light your pond gets, you can effectively retard the growth process of algae too.  Using trees, or some sort of shading mechanism will not only be a deterrent in algae growth, but your fish will enjoy it too.

Nutrient Rich Water – This is about the hardest way to control algae growth.  The problems is that your pond water is almost always nutrient rich and algae loves nutrient rich water.  They thrive on it.  Well in reality, they thrive on the phosphorus portion of those nutrients.  That is the part you can attempt to control.  If you use phosphorus removing agents in the water, you will deny the algae one of its main supplies of food.

Barley Straw – This is a good organic way to prevent algae in your pond too.  Floating a bag of barely straw will help increase the oxygen level in the pond and we all know algae is a plant and plants do not like oxygen.

Algaecides – In my opinion, these are the last resort in algae control.  I only feel this way because you are in essences adding a chemical agent to the pond that will kill the algae, and if you are not careful, you can kill other plant life in the pond as well.  Of course the downside of a chemical treatment is every time you change water, the algae can bloom again because the chemical has been dissipated.

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Have You Ever Considered An Indoor Pond? 4 Things To Consider With An Indoor Pond

When you think of a koi pond, you usually imagine something in someone’s backyard.  Maybe a waterfall with a small stream leading to a bigger pool where all of the fish are kept.  Lots of nice plants surrounding it, giving it a natural look that blends in with the outdoor décor.

Well what if you do not have room in a backyard for a pond?  Maybe the inside of your home can actually house something nice, but have you given any thought as to the needs of an indoor pond?  Here are 4 things to consider with an indoor pond.

The filtration system – Well if you’re going to have a pond, you’ll need to keep it clean right?  Keep in mind that just because the pond will fit indoors, you may have to squeeze your filtration in somewhere too.

Give the actual plumbing some thought too.  You will have pipes that will need to get to the filtration system as well as the rest of the equipment used to keep your pond clean.  You may have to get creative in how any of the plumbing is run.

Heating – This really depends upon where you might actually have the pond.  Some people put their indoor ponds in the basement where it can be quite a bit colder.  Because the pond is not out under direct sunlight, it will not be heated naturally.

If you have ever paid attention to an outdoor pond’s water temperature, you’d see that even though the ambient outside temperature fluctuates quite a bit, the water temperature will not change as much.

Water Changes – You will still need to perform water changes on your indoor pond just like one outdoors.  This means you will have to take into account any water that may be spilled during the process.

Like the rest of the pond’s plumbing, you should also consider special plumbing needs for this sort of maintenance too.  Back flushing a bead filter can be a messy process that you just take for granted when you’re outside.  Who cares if water and muck splash around a little?  But you sure do not want any of that on furniture or other indoor accoutrements.

Escaping Animals – You know, one thing I have learned about turtles is that you may give them the Taj Mahal as far as a living environment, but if they don’t like it, they’ll just simply leave.  Turtles can be funny like that.  They seek their own solitude.

Think of that in the house.  You might not want to spend your days looking for Scooter the turtle under all of the furniture.  Oh and what about those fun loving Koi?  Yes Siree!  Some of them like to breech.  When that happens, you may find one hopping around on the floor.
Those are just a few of the things one ought to keep in mind with and indoor pond.  That is certainly not the end all be all of lists, but some of the more important things to keep in mind.

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Pond Aeration – Oxygenating Your Pond Equals Great Pond Health

Did you know that when oxygen levels in the pond drop, that the biggest Koi are effected first?  It is a fact.  Their massive bodies in comparison to the smaller fish in the pond consume much more oxygen.  The lack of therefore, causes them problems first.

Some of the key components that assist in the decrease of the Koi pond’s oxygen level are:

  1. Higher Temperatures – When water temperature rises, it simply cannot hold the gasses that are usually trapped in it.  This is not only true for oxygen but for all gasses like nitrogen and carbon dioxide.
  2. Contaminants – Any sort of contaminant including an over abundance of fish waste will also cause a decrease in oxygen levels.  This is why it is so important to monitor water chemistry on a regular basis.
  3. Poor Water Circulation – If you are not moving enough water in and out of the pond to be filtered, the lack of circulation will cause contaminants to build, which in turn decrease the oxygen level.
  4. Salt – Yes, salt is used in certain quantities to help aid in the fight against parasites and such, but the salt level will also assist in decreasing oxygen levels.

Aerating the water is as simple and providing a way for the atmosphere and the water to mix.  Water flowing from a waterfall into a pond or the use of air stones or other devices will make this mixture happen.

You might think that the mixing occurs when the bubbles are under the surface of the water, but this is not true.  The actual mixing process happens when the bubble burst on the surface of the water.  So having not enough bubbles or bubbles that are too large only make the transfer suffer.

This is why it is preferable to have the air to water exchange happen with an aeration system from a device like and air pump rather than just rely on the exchange made by a waterfall.

More oxygen in the water will also aid in the growth of good pond bacteria.  This is especially true at the beginning stages of creating a pond.  At that point you want to encourage a lot of bacteria (good) growth for your biological filter media.

Have you ever noticed that some pond keepers have their aeration system set just on top of the drains in the very bottom of the pond?  Because the water is being drawn from the bottom, this aeration system will circulate the pond’s total water column better.

You should never think that just because fish can breathe in water that they actually have enough oxygen to breathe.  This is a mistake.  Fish need oxygen.  Good bacteria need oxygen.  It is your job to make sure that they always have it.

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Enhancing Your Pond With Faux Stone

Faux Stone - Click for a closer lookWhen I first heard of faux stone, I pictured those funny plastic rocks you get at a big box store to hide a set of keys under.  Those are great!  I mean what burglar would ever think to look under one of those babies and check for your extra house keys?  They look so real. Not!

Over the years faux stone has gained in popularity as well as realism.  I am surprised by the quality of product one can purchase today.  Take amusement parks for instance.  I know that last time I visited one of those places; I was amazed at how I actually felt like I was in another world.  Those guys are artists.

Now you have these artists opening their own businesses and creating all kinds of realistic stone features that you can stand right in front of and be in sheer awe of the size of the piece.  All the while not even knowing that it probably weighs one tenth of what the real item might weigh.

The other day I was speaking to a faux stone artist and he had me looking at pictures of his creations.  He was interested in sealing them up with Pond Shield Clear epoxy, which would suit him perfectly.  In any event, the structure he made for one of his clients was massive.  It was a complete waterfall that was incorporated right into the coping of the pond.

Faux Stone - Click for a closer lookIn our chat he wanted to know if it might be a good idea to seal the underside of the piece as well as where the water would be on top.  I remarked that I thought it was a little late for that and he told me it wasn’t a problem.  He could just lift the piece off of the pond if he had to.

Simply amazing!  And how convenient!  Consider this.  That particular pond was made with a rubber liner.  When ever the pond develops a leak, all the rock that is incorporated into the pond structure would have to be dismantled.  Think of all of the rock that would be destroyed in the process.

Now with this faux stone structure there instead, a couple of people could remove it easily and render repairs.  The whole process might only take a day instead of the better part of a week.  Not to mention your fish wouldn’t have to be out of the main pond for very long.

Faux Stone - Click for a closer lookClick on any of the images that are embedded in this article for a closer look.  This particular guy definitely has his act together and knows what he is doing.

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Pond Maintenance – How To Prepare A Pond For Spring

Let’s talk about pond maintenance and preparation for spring.  Some of you might not be ready for this, like up in the North East, but others may already be rolling up their sleeves and girding themselves for the pleasures associated with getting pond things up to snuff.

Well where do you begin?  I would have to say that a cursory look at everything is probably the best way to start.  Take a notebook and pen with you so that you can jot down notes about things that need attention.

I would probably take a peek at all of my plumbing fixtures and make sure something has not developed a leak anywhere.  Sometimes they do and you notice it early on, but being a small issue it might be put off until now.  Take a look at all the fittings that might contain O-rings too.  O-rings tend to dry out over time and can become brittle.  Of course brittle equates to leaks at some point in time.  It is better to know now than when they go out completely and you’re not there to catch it in time.

You might want to give everything a good wipe down too.  Dust and dirt that accumulates on things like pumps can cause issues too.  You want to turn them off and unplug them if you need to use any spray cleaners near them.  Typically though, spray cleaners are usually used on them, but you shouldn’t take chances with electricity.

It’s also a good time to check filters in your air pumps too.  Dust and debris can clog those over time just like the air filter in your car.  Your air pump will run at a lower efficiency rate without a clean filter.  If you have a diaphragm air pump and depending upon the age of the pump itself, you might want to check the diaphragm for wear and tear too.

Make sure your UV lighting is in good working order as well.  It will be irritating later when it starts to warm up and the sun shines all day long and you see a huge bloom of algae in the pond.  The bulbs are moderately priced, so you might consider having an extra one on hand.  Speaking of the bulbs you should always wear gloves when handling them.  The oil from your finger tips can create a hot spot on the bulb which will eventually work towards the bulbs untimely demise.

Untimely demise?  Who talks like that?  I should have said, you will rue the day that a bulb goes out early, but that sentence is probably just as corny.  But I digress.

Check the quality of your water too.  If the pond has remained full, with or without fish, it’s a good idea to know what state the chemistry is in.  This way when your fish do get moved back in you know they are going into a healthy environment.

If you had to drain the pond over the winter, now is a good time to check the entire interior surface out.  Make sure you see no cracks in your concrete or holes in your rubber liner.  Repairing them now will be easier and less costly than after you have filled the pond back up.

If your pond had gone through winter with water in it, you may have to manually clean varying debris out of the water.  This could be anything, from leaves to other solids.  Scoop them out and it will mean less work for the filer itself.

Finally, if you have plants, you should trim them up some.  Make sure all the pots are at the proper levels in the water as well.  A general squaring away of the plant life will make the pond look fresh again too.

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Pond Liner Replacement – 5 Tips to Make Replacing a Pond Liner A Breeze

Removing An Old Rubber Pond LinerWell the time has come to look at replacing your pond liner.  It has been in there almost a decade and is really starting to show its age.

You probably have a few patches that you’ve put on it.  Some may have worked, while others only sort of did their job.

So what are you going to do in order to replace this beast without having to break your neck doing it?  Without the right forethought, you might find yourself in the middle of a great big mess.  Certainly you have better things to do with your time.  I know I would!

Ok, let’s evaluate this.  How many fish do you have in your pond?  Do you have a place to put them while you replace your pond liner?  Keep in mind this might take longer than a day to complete.  In fact, you may expect items you need to arrive on time and they might not.

Then you will find yourself storing all of your Koi a lot longer than they should be stored.  This can effect their health so you have to be on your toes.  So let’s talk about storage.

Number one, storing your Koi can be tricky, but as long as you follow some simple rules for doing so, they should survive the temporary time they are in a holding tank.  Aerate the water.  You need to supply them with air.  This is essential!  Filter the water.  This is also essential.  Just because they are in a holding tank does not mean they do not need filtration.

Change a portion of the water regularly to assist in filtration.  Cut down on feeding your fish.  A few days without food will be ok for the fish.  They will survive.  The extra waste they would create in a smaller environment would only serve to over work the filtration system.

If the tank you are holding the fish in is shallow, put a net over it.  This will keep stressed out fish from jumping as well as keep predators out of the water in search of a free meal.

Secondly, take pictures of your pond before you start disassembling anything.  You probably have a lot of rocks and plants all around the pond that give it that natural look.  The last thing you want to do is try and remember what it looked like before.  You know how it goes right?  You take something apart and put it back together again, only to have a handful of extra parts.  That is no fun.

Third, now is the time to evaluate any plumbing issues you might have.  Remember when you first put the pond in?  You got everything done, filled it with water, put your fish in and you saw that one darned pipe!  Yep, that one darned pipe that should have been there instead of here.  Now is the time to do something about that.

You will also want to inspect all of the plumbing for any sort of wear and tear.  It is amazing what freeze/thaw cycles can do to plastic pipes.  Check all of the visible joints and repair if necessary.

Number four, check that underlayment.  You may find that you not only need a new liner, but the underlayment is deteriorated as well.  Since you’re replacing the pond liner, you might as well replace the underlayment too.  Avoid using old carpet as u8nderlayment.  Not only is it not the right product for the job, but it’s messy and unprofessional.

Finally number five, do not shortcut anything.  For instance, the rock that holds the outer edge of the liner in place should be removed so that the new liner can be installed properly.  A task like this is not done all that often, but if you cheat yourself and the pond by shortcutting or skipping steps, you will soon find yourself back out in the yard fixing what you should have done properly in the first place.

Take pride in your work and know that it will be something that you enjoy day to day.  Doing it right now will keep you in that lawn chair longer, instead of toting a shovel later.

I would also advise that you enlist the help of a friend or two.  Any time you need to haul liner material around, it’s always much easier to do with help.  Not to mention friends are just fun to have around.

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