Go Wild With A Wildlife Garden

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Wildlife gardens have gained a lot of popularity as general sentiments have shifted towards conservationism, endangered bird and insect species and the recreation of ecosystems to help their survival.

Wildlife gardens can be immensely satisfying, and they are projects that the whole family can get involved in with weekend projects for the kids and longer term strategies that you can develop together to attract particular insect and bird species into your garden.

The birds and the bees

Apart from planting native plant varieties that local fauna can feed off, a good wildlife garden needs various constructions and contraptions that insects, birds and animals can use as refuges and dwellings. Many garden suppliers will have things like feeders for birds and small, wooden “hotels” for insects, but you can also quite easily make enclosures using objects and materials you can find around the home or garden.

One very clever example is filling an unused pot with old sticks and twigs, which you lay vertically inside the pot. This is, of course, so simple that even the youngest of children will be delighted to help you with it. You can make a few of these and distribute them around shaded areas of your garden for perfect refuges which insects will happily occupy and lay their eggs in.

Small ponds are also much appreciated, especially by birds. You can cut old oak or plastic barrels in half, or check out what your local garden supplier has got in terms resin basins.

Rudimentary, untreated log benches, while not specifically for animals, look great in wildlife gardens; they are attractive in their own right and you can place them strategically so you and your family can sit down and watch the birds and insects that come to visit.

Plants and flowers for your wildlife garden

When you get down to the fine details, every bird and insect species has its own preferred variety of plant, so there’s no accommodating all of them. You can, however, plant a range of perennials that many species will respond to.

The butterfly bush is, by name and by nature, an excellent species for attracting butterflies, as is the aromatic honeysuckle. But any species which produces an open, easy to access flower will generally win the approval of visiting butterflies and bees and other insects.

For birds, you should look at berry producing plant varieties that birds can feed off. Ivy is an excellent choice because it produces nectary flowers for bees and small berries that birds love.

You can, and should, also add plants to your pond. A couple of small water lilies are a nice addition, as well as any pond weed varieties that your supplier can furnish which will help oxygenate the water; rushes are also a very handsome final touch.

Wildlife gardens have a rustic and wild kind of look and feel that can be very different to the more meticulously kept gardens that you may have seen and admired in the past. They do, however, have their own unique appeal, and your kids are sure to love your very own take on Mother Nature’s grand designs.

Featured images:

Howard Dobson caught the gardening bug from his father at a very early age. His motto is ‘learn and inform’ and for this reason he regularly writes about his gardening experiences. His greatest achievement is a fire pit built from scratch and assembling an alfresia parasol.

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Closing Down Your Pool for the Winter

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When the weather starts to cool down and the sun sets earlier in the evening it is a sure sign that it is that time of year once again. It is time to close down your source for summer fun, your swimming pool. The time for enjoying warm weather activities is over and you need to close your pool down properly so when the warmer weather returns you do not discover issues related to staining, corrosion, or buildup in your pool.

Without a doubt, swimming pool closing can be a stressful experience for some people, but with the right plan and tools set in place, it can be done quickly and stress free. The first step in any plan involving swimming pool maintenance is to have the right tools in place. These are the key items you will need to ensure that you close your pool down correctly.

Tools Needed for Shutting Down a Pool

  • Pool cover
  • Winter air pillow
  • Various tools for touching up the coating
  • Winter Skimmer guard
  • Winterizing chemicals (which chemical depend on your specific pool needs)
  • Slow release winter chemical ball
  • A pump on the pool cover (used to help keep any rain or melted snow off the cover)
  • Various screwdrivers and channel locks
  • Air compressor

Depending upon the specific needs of your pool, you may need other items to shut down your pool.

Once all of the tools are gathered, the process of shutting down your pool begins. The first thing that needs to be done is the breaking down of any ladders or diving boards that do not need to remain up all winter. For those items that are not removable, wipe them down with a product such as Vaseline, to prevent rusting during the winter months. Your next step is to remove any pool toys or other debris that may be sitting in the pool. You can use your skimmer to help remove these items.  With the pool free of all toys and debris, give the sides of your pool and the floors a good brush down; follow this with vacuuming the same areas.

At this point, inspect the coating for any visible signs of wear and tear.  These areas can be touched up with Pond Shield epoxy simply by sanding the affected area and applying the epoxy right to the spot that needs repair.  Pond Shield is not only safe for fish and plants, it is also very chemical resistant and can be used in a chlorinated environment.

The next step involves winterizing your filter system.  Carefully remove jet eyeballs and fittings then remove your skimmer. Start with the lid, then the basket, and clean out. You want to ensure to remove any debris trapped there by your skimmer basket.  Removing, cleaning, and drying your cartridge filter, sand filter, and DE (Diatomaceous Earth) filter are the next steps. Check your chlorine basket and remove any tablets remaining and discard, putting the cap back in place once done.

Next in the process is to remove and clean out any debris in the pump basket.  Remember to shut the valve off or water will flood.  Clean the area of any debris, replace the lid, and turn your pump back on. Blowing out the pipes and your returns is the next step in closing down your pool. After all of these items have been completed, disconnect any pool equipment that requires winter storage, this includes pump and filter systems.

The last steps in the process of closing down your pool for the winter include treating your pool with chemicals and covering it. First, you’ll need to use a basic shock treatment, followed by a winter algaecide, and a rust and scale remover.  Once completed put the winter chemical ball in your pool and place the pool cover over your pool. You have safely shut down your pool for the winter.

Ameline Clerk is a writer specializing in both interior and exterior design. She is a keen swimmer and loves everything related to swimming pools.

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How To Choose The Right Pond Liner?

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For those who are serious about aquatic wildlife, it makes sense to capture that enthusiasm with your very own piece of nature. What better way to do so than having your own pond? Like any peaceful body of water, this can become a place where you can lose your thoughts. Whilst your imagination is running wild, you have to remember the practical requirements of a pond in order for it to be habitable for wildlife. Your first thought should be a pond liner.

What Is A Pond Liner?

Before building a house you have to dig the foundations in order for the structure to stand and be capable of withstanding the test of time. Imagine a pond liner as the foundation for your pond. A pond liner or equivalent, such as a Pond Shield, should be installed in all ponds as they prevent water from soaking in to the ground. They also act as a barrier for plants and weeds growing around the edges. This should ensure that no greenery breaks through, leaving your pond’s water crystal clear.

Pond Liners For Different Needs

Before installing your pond, you have to consider some very important factors. First of all comes size. Determining the size of your pond will enable you to decide on which form of pond liner to choose; for example, some pond liners are better designed for smaller ponds. Secondly, budget. The budget you have to spend on your pond will ultimately determine everything with regards to size, shape and what sorts of aquatic wildlife you’ll be able to attract.

PVC Pond Liners

Flexible and easy to move, PVC pond liners are sometimes chosen by those with a small to medium sized pond. If your pond is free of flora and fauna, this lining might be suitable for you. However, there are negatives. PVC pond liners have been known to become brittle as time passes. This is a factor you must consider before introducing fish to your pond as you may need to carry out repairs frequently, which would mean disturbing or removing them. PVC liners can also look a little unsophisticated.

Rubber Pond Liners

Rubber pond liners are very durable and can easily adapt to changing temperatures without breaking, making them a superior choice when compared to PVC competitors. They would certainly be a better option if, for instance, you had a wide range of aquatic wildlife situated in and around the pond.

Epoxy Coatings

Non-toxic epoxy is the best way to seal a pond made of a solid constructed surface like concrete, stone or steel for example. Pond Armor products, such as Pond Shield non toxic epoxy, offer all the protection of PVC or rubber liners whilst lending your pond a much more attractive look and minimizing ongoing care.

Pond Essentials

Whether choosing a PVC, rubber or epoxy pond liner, it is essential that you don’t forget to install two crucial elements. Firstly, you should ensure that your pond is fitted with a pond liner underlay. Pond liner underlay and preformed ponds will prevent weeds or roots penetrating the liner. Once your pond is full it can be a tricky task repairing such damage. The underlay also keeps subsoil compressed and stable. Secondly, it’s important to check whether your liner is U.V. stabilized. Over a period of time, exposure to the suns rays can have a detrimental effect on the pond’s liner.

Stephen Adamson is a landscape gardener who enjoys blogging about his passion in his spare time.

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Build a Backyard Waterfall and Stream

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Nature is beautiful. Everything that projects this wonderful serenity of nature is also great. Waterfalls and green growth around are spectacular. Now it is possible for us to build a backyard waterfall and stream in our home. It complements other features and also provides a good place to sit and to forget the whole day’s stress. The water rippling sound as it hits the rocks and water clarity gives us the feeling that we are in the woods having adventure. Now in this article you will read how to build a back yard waterfall stream.

Materials needed-
There are few tools and materials required to complete the project. The tools include a wheelbarrow, spade, level, rubber mallet and utility knife. The required materials include, waterfall pump, horse kit, connections, gravel, clamps and ball valve, cement, PVC primer, EPDM pond liner, saw bits, waterfall foam sealant, sewage basin, lid, field and decorative boulders and an underlayment fabric.

Step by step instructions:

Step 1: A project overview-
The end result of this program is to have a stream that flows into a gravel bed, it stays clean with little maintenance. Gravel will filter the water, which is then collected by the pump at the end of the stream. The pump takes the water to the top again. The stream is gentle sloping with multiple falls as it goes down. There is also a liner and catch basin. The area around the fall needs landscaping to create a serene environment.

Step 2: Location-
As the owner, it is good to study and visualize the best location for the waterfall. It could be behind trees or at the deck. There are a few areas points that you should consider when selecting the location of the waterfall. To start with, it is good to study the soil, if it is hard to dig; a pond above the ground on the stones is advisable. However, if the soil is easy to dig, a shallow pond can be dung below the ground level. A gentle slope is needed to facilitate the flow of water. The waterfall needs a height of 4 to 6 meter to create a bubbling sound. The higher the fall, the higher the sound it produces. Above all these, the location will also depend on your preference.

Step 3: Get stones-
Various stones with different shapes will be the key to add beauty to the stream. Seek around and ask for the prices. Select a colorful, flat and oddly shaped stones both in small and big sizes. Do the same for gravel but avoid limestone as it encourages algae to grow.

Step 4: Mapping and digging-
Put the stones and boulders around the site. Mark the location of the waterfall and the stream. Likewise, mark the location of upper and lower basins. Use chalk or paint to mark the areas. Dig a hole to place the lower basin. Put stones alongside it. You can use dirt and gravels to keep the stones in place. Dig a hole 2 ft wider than the basin and of 6 ft in depth to place the basin. Prepare the upper pool as the lower one together with the stream tracks.

Step 5: Place the basins-
Starting with the lower basin, drill two holes and attach the adapter to the basin. Cement it firmly. Lay the rubber liner and fabric to the holes. Put the pump and attach the hose. Put the lid and stone layers. Remove sharp objects underneath the basin.

Step 6: Lay liner stones and water-
Lay the fabric from lower to upper basin with slacks at the bottom of each waterfall. Lay decorative stones around the pool. Make sure to put a spillway and small stone around it. Make a staircase and put gravel to invite people and birds. Spay the entire stream area with water. Put water until it rises past the layers of stone in the lower basin. Pump up the water and see it falling. Sit back and enjoy the waterfall.

Author Bio- This article is written by Tressy Jones. She writes about Home Improvement. She works for W A Air Conditioning. They provide best air conditioning services.

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How to Open a Pool after Winter Season

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If you want to know how to open a pool then you’ve come to the right place. With spring around the corner we all want to get back to our pools, but we feel unsure about how this should be done. Luckily, we’ve listed a complete routine for you to make sure that the only thing you need to worry about is enjoying the season.

1.     Check chemical levels-
Make sure that you have proper inventory for your pool cleaning ready in your hand. If any of the chemicals were not stored properly or they are in low supply, then you will have to buy replacements. Chlorine for example, if left open over a prolonged period may decay and cause harm to your pool.

2.     Remove debris over the pool cover-
Over the winter dead branches, leaves and debris build up that need to be cleaned up before you remove your pool’s cover. Clean the area around your pool and do the same on the surface of your pool cover, doing this step diligently it will save your lot of time. Finally, remove the pool cover and wash it with a mild detergent to get rid of any bacteria before you move it to storage.

 3.     Inspect your pool-
If your pool is vinyl-lined, you will want to search around the edges for any rips or tears caused by rocks and other debris. If you find any torn parts this can be repaired with a patch kit available at local department store near your house. If there is something that you are unsure of then call the company representative who installed the vinyl for you.

 4.     Plugs & skimmer baskets-
You will want to remove any freeze plugs from water inlets. If you used antifreeze, than drain your pool till it is below the inlets and doing the same for the antifreeze. Next, remove winter plates from the skimmer box with care. Fit the hose from the skimmer and turn jets leading to the pump & filter.

5.     Equipment and plumbing
Reconnect the filter, pump and heater with attention to any rust or decay, if needed make necessary replacements. Check valves to see if they are open and start filling pump with water to test for priming and lubricate O-rings and gaskets.

 6.     Fill & start filtration-
Once everything is in working order, start pumping water into your pool carefully to prevent any debris from falling in. Switch on the power to the pool system and look for any type of malfunctioning, if needed contact a mechanic for repairs.

 7.     Test water
After 1-2 days use your pool water test kit to take a sample for a local pool professional to examine and make necessary adjustments. If you use a mesh cover make sure to add 2-3 gallons of liquid shock and open your pool early in April or May to let the shock treatment to settle in for about 2 weeks.Finally once everything is complete, you and your family can jump in and enjoy a clean and refreshing pool. We hope you found this article helpful on how to open a pool after winter season?

Author Bio- This post has been written by Tressy Jones. She loves to write about Home Improvement. She works for MSMechanical.com. They provide best air conditioning services.

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Pool Maintenance Essentials

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Pool maintenance is very important and cannot be ignored. You should clean your pool regularly as they are open water systems that are prone to rain, snow, insects, debris and insects among others. Moreover, fallen leaves as well as other organic matter inside the pool ultimately decay and attract bacteria. Unclean water pool can lead to spread of waterborne diseases like amoebic dysentery, typhoid, cholera, gastroenteritis and salmonellosis. Some of the problems commonly associated with pools include pool discoloration, cloudy water, sharp chlorine smell, algal upsurge and itchy eyes. You can avoid these problems through proper maintenance of your pool.

1. Two times a Week:

• pH Level-
Retaining the correct water balance is vital. The pH level which refers to the level of acidity or else alkalinity should be tested two times in a week. The pH level should be a little alkaline, about 7.2-7.6. This is the pH level in which chlorine is most efficient. In addition, this pH level is the same as that of our skin. You can control this pH level by either adding an acid, like muriatic acid, or else an alkali like baking soda or soda ash depending on if the water is excessively acidic or excessively alkaline. Wrong pH levels can cause damage of pool and equipment.

• Chlorine Level-
Disinfecting the pool involves destroying bacterial as well as algal forms. Poorly sterilizing the pool makes it a procreation ground for bacteria. You can use chlorine or bromine to get rid of these bacteria as well as algae forms. Your pool water must have a 1.0-3.0 ppm level of chlorine. You can get chlorine in the form of tablet, granular or else liquid. Because a chlorine level is not constant, it is recommendable to super chlorinate the pool regularly, especially during the night while the pool is not being used.

• Check Skimmer Basket-
You must check the skimmer basket and clear of debris in order to maintain a fresh and flowing pool water. Debris like leaves, insects, bird dung and other filthy substances should be removed from the pool’s surface by means of a surface skimmer or else leaf net. Moreover, the pool tiles should be cleaned, to remove rings and froth lines, using liquid or pounded tile sanitization agents.

2. One time per Week:

• Shock Treatment-
The best method to destroy chlorine compounds I through shock treatment. It is advisable to shock the pool during the evenings as this increase the amount of chlorine in the swimming pool as well as destroys bacteria, leaving the pool shining and beautiful.

• Algaecide-
You should treat your pool every week with algaecide to control algal toxins. You must preferably do this in the morning following the shock treatment. Look for high-quality algaecide that kill the algae without destroying the pool tiles.

• Metal out-
Metal Out is a substance that gets rid of metal particles inside the water. To get rid of small metal particles that often suspend on the surface of the pool water add metal out every week.

• Clarifier-
To clear the irritating cloudy water adds a quantity of clarifier to the pool water. The clarifying agents remove particles which are very small to be trapped in the sieve. Clarifying agents make the small particles to collect together, to create bigger particles that may be discarded through vacuuming or filtration.

3. Monthly:

• Check calcium Level-
It is important to check the level of calcium in the pool water as water with very low calcium can be corrosive whereas water with high calcium can lead to scale formation. You can simply take a sample of the pool water to your nearest pool store for test.

• Alkalinity-
Right total alkalinity can prevent rapid changes of pH levels in the pool water. The right total alkalinity is 80-120 ppm, which may be adjusted by adding baking soda.

4. Mid-Season:
It is important to once in a while clean pool filters with filter cleaner degreaser as they are prone to get accumulated with oil and grease.

 

Author Bio: this article has been written by Well Back. He loves to write about Home Improvement. He is evangelist at CrossvilleHeatingandCooling.com. They provide best air conditioning services.

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Tips for Planning Your Pool

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Though planning and building a pool can be an exciting experience for the people who know how to tackle the things but if you are not familiar with the things then you should read out tips planning pool provided in this article. You should be aware of the ways of building a pool in your backyard if you are ready for it.

Creating photo-book:

A photo-book containing various ideas for planning your pool can be a good attempt in this direction as you can get the idea of types and styles of pools to choose for your place. You can search on social networking sites and various other websites to find these photos. You can share the information collected from online search with your pool builder to start the pool building work according to the plan settled between you and your builder.

Establishing the budget:

The construction of pool is costly affair so its budget should be considered while planning your backyard pool. You should first of all fix a budget of building pool so that you can start the construction work accordingly. Though you can extend the budget if needed but initially it is necessary to ascertain the budget for it.

Choose the right building materials:

Because this project will ultimately be a water containment unit, it is important not to take an short cuts with choosing the building materials.  Choosing quality materials will make the poll last longer with minimal care.

Using the trusted resources:

You should contact the reliable pool builders and designers after consulting your family and friends who had recently built up pools in their homes. You can also read out the reviews provided on the pool builders’ site to decide in this respect.

Wisely select the location:

The location of your pool is next essential part of pool planning. Before building the pool in your backyard you should think over various aspects that can affect its suitability like soil quality, surrounding views and privacy.

Consider the frequency of use:

The frequency of using the pool is one of the necessary tips planning pool which can be helpful in planning its construction in much better way. You can add various other facilities like landscape lighting, water heaters, slides etc. if you are going to use it very frequently.

Know the rules:

You should go through local pool building rules and regulations before starting the pool construction at your home as there may be some restrictions from local authorities as per the situation of your home.

Green environment:

Building an eco-friendly environment around your pool will not only save your money but also provide a green and attractive look to the location. You can also avail various incentives from the local authorities for your green thoughts.

Maintenance of pool:

It should also be essential part of your planning before building it. The balancing of Ph and cleanliness of the pool water should be easy. You should also consider while planning your pool whether you can maintain it yourself or want to engage some service providing company for this purpose. The pool building contractor can help you in contacting some reputed service provider for the proper maintenance of your pool.

Insurance for the pool:

Insurance cover is also an essential part of your pool planning for the safety of the users and the pool itself. You can contact an insurance agent for this kind of services.

Safety of the users:

Safety of the children, animals and other guests around the pool is another important issue among the tips of planning pool. You can put alarms, fencing and various other safety covers at different layers to ensure this issue.

Author Bio: This post has been written by Well Back. He loves to write about Home Improvement and Technology. He is recommends AireCentral.net for heating and cooling service.

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Six Tips For Natural Looking Water Features

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By Ben Bowen

All water features have similar “bones”. How you flesh them out makes the difference.

Koi Fall LandscapingIn the last two decades the landscape water feature has become a common element in residential designs. As a result, more and more landscapers and homeowners are trying their hand at designing and installing them. In the past, just knowing how to build a water feature set you apart as a landscape contractor. Not anymore. Does that mean the opportunity is gone?

Not at all. Many of the ponds and fountains built in the last decade are low quality. They are built by landscapers following a “water-feature-by-numbers” approach learned at a one day class taught by a supplier. These features have running water, perfect cascades, and no leaks- all good things. But what do they look like? Do they resemble nature at all?

Herein lies the way to differentiate yourself: design and craft naturally beautiful water features. With a portfolio full of stunning falls and cascades you will sell more water features, and be able to get more for them. It takes practice and dedication to master this, but these tips will get you started in the right direction.

  1. Control your ambitions. Your client wants falls. Big falls, as many as possible. You don’t have a lot of room to work with, but you go for it. You build a retaining wall, pile up the soil, and get rolling. Now you have a mound of soil as big as your truck and no way to hide it. You may not even be able to camouflage the retaining! Avoid this trap. Take the stream only as high as you reasonably can. You need space to work with if you are going to convince people that the stream is cascading down a natural slope.

  2. Natural stone falls. Streams and rivers, in nature, are unruly. They do not have perfect sheets of water spilling over flat rocks. Neither should your water features. Use rough, natural stone for your waterfalls and cascades.

  3. Hide the bones. Skimmers, pumps, filters- all are part of a quality project. Take the time and care to hide all of these. It should be difficult for the average person to look at your pond and locate the pump. Use rocks, plants, and terrain to keep all of these invisible.

  4. Go big. Wait, didn’t I say to control your ambitions? Not when it comes to the size of rock you use. Use the biggest boulders you possibly can. This may mean using a tractor or crane to set the largest in place. Once the water and plants are in place they will not look nearly so large. Whatever you do, don’t build the whole thing out of basketball-sized rocks.

  5. Bring the green. Your design should include an abundance of places for plants. Obviously you will be able to plant around the feature. Allow for plantings in the water feature too. Create planting pockets in the stream, at the base of larger rocks, and in the pond. This will allow you to soften all the stone you have to use and you won’t just be setting plants in pots under the water.

  6. Be a copycat. Become a water feature critic, an expert. Look at every pond, waterfall, and fountain you can. Observe how other landscapers build great features. Look to mother nature as well. Be inspired by the real thing and do your best to emulate it.

Use these 6 tips as a starting point. Plan on taking enough time to do your next water feature project right. You will soon have your own list of tools, materials, methods, and principle that you can deploy to create naturally stunning water features.

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All You Need to Know Regarding Pond Ecology

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Maintaining the proper ecology of a pond is of utmost importance as it plays a pivotal role in overall eco-system of a particular place. Keeping a pond free from algae is the most daunting task that one has to deal with. It not only has a pungent smell and impart an untidy look, but also damages the entire eco-system of the pond. Hence if you find that your pond has been affected by algae, you can resort to the use of copper, which has been proven useful for many. However, it has been found that copper also damages some useful bacteria apart from algae. Recent studies have also shown that algae have developed a resistance against copper.

NOTE: Be advised that it is not advisable to use copper whenever fish are going to be present in the water.

How good bacteria Help

There are quite a few ways in which certain bacteria can help in maintaining the correct ecology of a pond. Following are some of the ways in which it helps:

  1. The beneficial bacterium gets combined with enzymes and help in preventing the formation of sludge. Besides this it can also help assimilating leaves and other such organic materials that fall in the pond.
  2. Such microorganisms are the best way of keeping away the formation of algae and maintaining pond ecology.

A detailed study on Pond Algae and ways to deal with it

  • Plankton – Planktons are known as pea soup or suspended algae. It is because of this substance that the color of the pond seems green. It is a common type of pond algae and are not harmful. The ones that are found on the rocks at the side of the pond are very helpful as they provide oxygen to the pond. Fish in the pond also benefit from these algae.
  • Filament – This is another common found type of algae and commonly termed as string algae, hair algae or pond scum.

Let us no go through some effective ways of controlling pond algae and have a detailed study on its benefits.

Supplementing beneficial bacteria in the pond

One can easily find beneficial bacteria in the market. They are available in the market in various forms like liquid and powder form. The prime function of supplement bacteria is to remove the pond algae quite effectively. Supplementary bacteria are mainly used in ponds that lack the requisite amount of organic compounds.

However, those in charge of pond should remember that different ponds have different reaction to a particular form of treatment. Hence whatever you do should be in a trial basis in the first place.

Pond aeration

The primary reason of adhering to pond aeration is to provide and excess supply of oxygen in the pond. It helps in increasing the organic compounds in the pond. It increases the amount of dissolved oxygen in the pond.

This method is a necessity as it helps supplementary bacteria to do the job properly. Hence a combination of dissolved bacteria and pond aeration will be beneficial for your pond.

These are some of the effective ways of maintaining the organic nature of your pond and preventing harmful algae from breeding in it.

Author’s Bio: James Pattrick  is known for writing informative articles on Home Décor,Green Home and Home Security related issues. He contributes his article on HomeAlarmMonitoring.org.

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How to Apply Waterproof Paint for Ponds

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A concrete pond can provide an attractive addition to your home. Good maintenance and care enhances the life of your pond and makes it easier for maintenance. Ponds are small when compared to oceans and lakes, which makes them calmer and more peaceful. However, the life of a pond relies on how well you maintain it. Among the very many determinants of good pond maintenance is the quality of the waterproof paint. Good waterproof paint adds depth and personality to the pond. You may have been wondering which paint to apply to your pond. This article should answer some of the questions.

Ponds need to be waterproofed before you fill them with water, plants and fish. This means applying a waterproof paint for ponds that will seal the surface completely. You also want to make sure that the coating you choose is safe for both the fish and the plants that you plan to keep in the pond.

Qualities of a Good Waterproof Paint for Ponds

If you have a structured pond like a concrete pond, you need a paint that can bond to the surface being applied to and stay there. The surface preparation and application process will be directly related to how well the waterproof paint will adhere to the surface.

VOC or the volatile organic compounds are hazardous gases emitted by most epoxy paints. Be sure that you choose the correct pond paint because VOCs can have a direct effect on the environment as well as the finished pond. The lower the VOCs the better the waterproof paint will be for this sort of project.

Storage of the Waterproof Pond Paint

It is advisable that you store your paint in a cool, dry place. In addition, ensure that the paint is protected from freezing. A good pond paint will last a long time if stored properly.

Preparing to Paint the Pond

Clean your pond to provide a sound surface for the waterproof paint application. Follow all instructions provided with the materials you have purchased.  If you do not understand anything, do not be afraid to ask questions.  A good manufacturer will always be available to assist you.

After Application

Once the waterproof paint has been installed, you will need to make sure that any flaws are fixed before the pond is filled with water.  Unlike painting anything else, the new surface should be touched up as needed to ensure no possible leaks or problems in the future.

Choosing a waterproof pond paint is a very important step in creating a new pond or repairing and old one.  You should take your time and gather all available information before you get started.  Ask the manufacturer as many questions as you need in order to make the correct decision.

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Fish Safe Pond Sealant for Health and Happy Fish

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A pond will not only be a beautiful addition to a garden, it can certainly be a source of tranquility and therapy; a place to retreat to from the mad rush of everyday life. Before you place any fish or plants in your pond, you will want to make sure that everything you have used is safe. There are many things to consider to ensure your pond and its inhabitants remain constantly healthy and happy.

Ponds built with concrete or bricks will eventually develop leaks so they should be waterproofed to avoid this. Fortunately for you, engineers have researched and developed products perfect for the task that have been designed to safely seal and protect ponds in all kinds. They understand that effective waterproofing will only be possible when you use the correct products.

Which Fish Safe Pond Sealant do I use?

There is a wide variety of products available for waterproofing but not all of them will provide a fish safe environment.  Nor are they designed for under water use.  In fact even if they are, they can still have failings such as being prone to peel like rubber products.

Pond Armor manufactures an excellent product known as Pond Shield, and this is a completely fish safe pond sealant. The beauty of it is that it is ideal for both new or old ponds. The sealant will form a completely safe and waterproof barrier in your pond and you can have peace of mind that your beautiful aquatic environment can now thrive.

What Can I use Fish Safe Pond Sealant on?

The best surfaces to use the sealant on is something that is a constructed surface.  Surfaces like concrete or wood are perfect because they will not flex as easily as trying to apply the sealer to a rubber liner.  Metals, fiberglass, hard plastics, stone and rock are also great surfaces to work with.

Sometimes those small plastic preformed pond liners can get damaged.  A fish safe sealer like this can also be used to repair those too.  If you are not sure how to best accomplish this be sure to read all of the instructions and ask as many questions as you need to.

There are different options which can be used to seal a pond; some of them more effective and convenient than others. Choosing a liquid fish safe pond sealant is however one of the most popular choices simply because it is highly effective, easy to use and durable. It also makes your piece of nature the tranquil, healthy and happy area it is supposed to be.

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Are Pond Liners Toxic?

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The above question is very important especially when you are building a pond to hold plant or animal life. If the liner turns out to be toxic, you cannot successfully keep aquatic plants or animals in it. This therefore means that you will not achieve your objective of having the pond constructed in the first place. In an effort at helping readers understand the true situation on this matter, you need to get some information on the composition of the liner before you can get an answer to the question; are pond liners toxic.

For starters, the answer to this question could be either positive or negative depending on the kind of pond liners you are talking about. With so many designs and a wide variety of brands in the market to choose from, the answer to the question will depend on the choices you make.

Often construction materials are made out of certain chemicals that are aimed at making them more durable and resistant to attacks from insects and other possible causes of damage. The problem then becomes making sure that any of these chemicals are not part of what makes up your new pond liner.

Are Pond Liners Toxic? Here Are Tips for Choosing Non Toxic Pond Liners

The first thing that should come to mind when looking for pond liners is the effect it will have on the animal or plant life that may be introduced into the pond. With this in mind, you need to try and make sure you avoid products that are not designed for housing aquatic life in the pond.

Retailers that carry product may already know the answers to your questions and you should ask them.  If they are not familiar enough about the product you can always move up the chain to the manufacturer of the product.

Talking to the manufacturer can be of great help. They can provide you with technical data sheets that will allow you to see how a product has been tested and what the results were.

It is important to remember that any pond liner you chose will be in direct contact with the water that the fish and plants live in.  Making sure it is safe before applying it is very important to their health and well being.

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Water Filtration: Keeping Your Aquarium Clean and Healthy

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As an aquarium owner, you’ve got a bit of a balancing act to perform whether you’ve got a freshwater or saltwater aquarium – keeping temperatures at the right level, managing pH levels and attending to the specific needs of the inhabitants, whether they’re coral or clown fish. Not to mention, keeping the water free of pollutants and bacteria is vital to the health of your aquarium. You can make sure the substrate is clean and sterile, see to it that you use a non-toxic lining material for the base and take various other safety measures but even the cleanest-looking aquarium will need water filtration to keep things on an even keel over time.

Common Aquarium Water Quality Problems

pH Imbalance: The pH is particularly important since fish can easily die off or become ill with even a slight shift. Various factors like water hardness and waste from fish can readily cause a pH shift.

Nitrites and Nitrates: Nitrites and nitrates can cause health problems or even kill fish if not kept under control, whether due to bacteria breaking down fish waste products or due to the water introduced into the tank.

Phosphates: While phosphates aren’t dangerous to fish directly, they serve as a source of nourishment for algae in the aquarium which can lead to algal blooms that consume the oxygen in the tank, leaving little or none for the fish.

Bacteria: Some bacteria are beneficial to the health of your tank, but others introduced via the water supply can be potentially dangerous.

How Water Filtration Keeps Your Aquarium Healthy

Depending on the water quality in your area, you have a range of options to help prevent problems with your water before it even enters the aquarium.

Reverse Osmosis: Reverse osmosis systems have become an increasingly popular choice with aquarium owners since reverse osmosis removes a wide variety of contaminants, rendering the water very safe for use in an aquarium. However, reverse osmosis also removes minerals and other trace nutrients that may be needed by fish and other aquarium dwellers, necessitating additives to your aquarium to restore them. It also is not totally effective against phosphates, often necessitating the use of a deionization filter as well.

Deionization: Deionization operates similarly to a “standard” water softener – it neutralizes phosphates, producing water that is free of these ions that can contribute to algae growth. Deionizers are often paired with reverse osmosis since the two methods combined can produce almost 100% pure water that simply needs some additives to restore lost minerals that are essential to aquarium health.

Water Softening: Hard water can cause pH shifts and harm your fish – making water softening via a deionizer particularly important if your water contains high levels of calcium and magnesium.

Ulraviolet Treatment: While medications and additives can prevent bacterial growth, they can also cause added stress to the fish or even discolor lining materials. Ultraviolet filtration passes aquarium water over a UV emitter, killing bacteria naturally without the use of additives.

Justin Krutz writes about a variety of water filtration solutions for use in the home including reverse osmosis systems and water softeners for aquarium use.

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Why Pond Sealer is Better than a Pond Liner

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If you are contemplating a backyard pond or water fountain, it is important that you spend some time evaluating the various methods available for lining your pond. After all, you cannot simply dig a hole and fill it with water; you need some type of liner to ensure that the water stays in place and that you can create the beautiful pond you have envisioned. There are a variety of options available and choosing the one that is right for you will depend on the type of pond you want to create, your budget and, of course, your own personal preferences. There are pre-formed pond liners that can be purchased to use as a pond enclosure; however, if you want something that will last for a longer period of time and that will also provide more flexibility, consider using a liquid pond sealer. These sealers are simply brushed on and form a waterproof barrier that can be used to create a beautiful pond or water fountain in just about any environment.

Fortunately, a liquid pond sealer can be an easy and affordable solution when you are looking for the best pond liner. This type of sealer can be applied to almost any material and will form a barrier that is not only waterproof, but flexible and durable. These benefits will certainly help to ensure that your pond looks great and remains intact for many years. Additionally, the liquid sealer used to create this barrier is completely safe for plants and fish, which makes it an excellent choice for any water pond or fountain.

The use of a pond sealer is certainly an effective way to line any type of pond; however, there are some people who prefer to use an alternative method. For example, you can purchase a pre-made form that can simply be placed in the ground and is ready for you to fill. These pre-made molds are available in numerous sizes and shapes and can be an excellent alternative for anyone who does not want to go through the trouble of applying a liquid sealer to the surfaces of their backyard pond. Another excellent solution would be to use a special liner that is designed to be used in a pond. These liners are similar to a sheet of plastic and are applied to the surface of the pond prior to filling. They can provide a waterproof barrier that is as simple as lying down a sheet of special film designed for this purpose. This method has the added benefit of being extremely affordable.

While there are certainly a variety of different solutions that can be used to seal a backyard pond, not all of them are as effective or convenient to use. For example, liners that come in a sheet can be extremely difficult to fit properly into the contours of your pond. Additionally, pre-formed pond liners can limit your design creations and are not as durable as a liquid sealer. There are certainly many advantages in choosing a liquid pond sealer over other types of liners. When installing your own backyard pond, seal it with the convenience and durability of a liquid sealer.

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Why I love Colored Pond Liner

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When creating the perfect pond for your yard, it is important to take a number of factors into consideration. First of all, you need to decide where you want to place your pond, how large it will be and what you will use for its construction. There are many pond liners that can be purchased in preformed shapes and sizes that are ready to be placed in the ground and used to create a beautiful pond; however, for anyone looking for a little more flexibility and the ability to truly create the most dramatic and beautiful pond, the use of concrete or Gunite offers many more options.

These ponds can be built in just about any shape or size you want and can be customized to fit your specific location. Once you have the pond built, it is a simple matter to seal it with a colored pond liner. This liquid sealer is an excellent choice for ponds and fountains because it creates a virtually impenetrable barrier that will help keep water in while offering a safe environment for plants and animals.

I love using liquid colored pond liner because it is easy to use and can be applied to almost any surface. The non-toxic epoxy is not only easy to apply to any shape or surface, but it is extremely durable, as well. Of course, another one of its advantages is that it looks incredible once it is complete. Other types of pond liners either limit the shape or size because they are already preformed or you can choose a flat liner that you must somehow conform to the curves and angles of your pond. This certainly is not easy to make look attractive because wrinkles are inevitable. Fortunately, with a liquid liner, you can easily apply it to any shape pond or fountain and it will always look superb.

Another reason why I love using a liquid colored pond liner is that it requires no special equipment. This makes application extremely easy because just about anyone can take a brush and apply the liquid to create a custom liner that actually bonds to the surface. When considering the various types of pond liners that are available, the liquid liner seemed to be the most efficient and cost-effective. The liner stays flexible to help accommodate shifting soil conditions, but is permanently bonded to the substrate to ensure longevity. It seems to be a perfect combination of durability and beauty. Additionally, the epoxy is available in several colors to help you achieve the pond of your dreams.

Finding the right colored pond liner was certainly important and even though cost was a major consideration, I also wanted to ensure that it would be something that would last for many years. I love the fact that these liquid liners are so easy to apply and can create a long-lasting and beautiful liner that is safe for all types of animals and plants.

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What is the Difference Between an External Pond Pump and a Submersible Pond Pump?

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A person just getting into ponds may be confused at the terminology and types of pond pumps, particularly when trying to determine the type of pump they need for their pond. The most common questions is “What is the difference between an external pond pump and a submersible pond pump?”

The easiest and most simplified answer is to say that one is used outside of the pond (external) and the other is used inside of the pond (submersible). However this really does not fully answer the question.

It is true that an external pond pump is placed on dry ground outside of the pond, but there are other things to note about an external pump. External pond pumps. are going to be best for larger ponds due to the fact that they are more energy efficient and are capable of moving larger volumes of water. Usually ponds over a couple of thousands of gallons will benefit more from an external pump or ponds with larger water features may also need a larger external pump due to the distance that the water is going to travel to supply water to the water feature as in the case of a large waterfall. It is also important to note that some external pumps may also need to be hardwired and are not simply “plug and play” like the submersible units.

Speaking of submersible pond pumps. Submersible pumps are going to be best used in small ponds or when powering smaller water features or equipment like a small filter. Submersible pond pumps are very easy to install. Basically they are placed in a desired location in the pond and plugged in and that is it. Furthermore, many submersible pumps come with fountain and spray attachments so that they can easily be utilized as a small fountain feature.

Remember to effectively choose the correct pond pump for your pond, pay attention to the gallons per hour (gph) that the pump move and select the pump that will move the entire volume of water at least once in an hour. So a 5000 gallon pond will most likely need an external pond pump with a rated GPH of at least 5000.

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Pond Liners: the Hole Story

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Sometimes I get calls from people who have purchased a new home with an old pond that has a big problem. The number one complaint is that it will not hold water; second is that the water is green; third is that the rock work is ugly – an eyesore!

At that point I ask if their waterfall and pond are constructed with a pond liner, and they are surprised that I knew that. However, eighty percent of all these types of calls pertain to a liner pond and waterfall. We have replaced over $80,000 worth of defective liner ponds. One customer in Rancho Bernardo, California, had spent $14,000 to have a koi pond and waterfall built by a large and well respected local pond liner supply company. They complained of needing to add water daily since the liner pond was constructed over a year ago.

The pond liner installer’s response was that the loss of water was from evaporation. The liner pond was fitted with a manual auto fill system and they discovered the solenoid was turning on every 15 minutes to replenish the loss. In addition to the annoying water loss, they could not enjoy their fish for half the year because of murky green foul-smelling water. They reported the pond liner company came out dozens of times dumping various concoctions in the pond with a promise of startling results. The results were startling all right – our client sued the pond liner store and contracted with us.

The first thing I discovered was that the volume of the liner pond was 8,000 gallons and the waterfall pump was only 1,000 gallons per hour. It was taking eight hours to run the total pond volume through the filter. Secondly, the filter was rated for a 2,000 gallon pond, not 8,000. (Filters are usually overrated by their manufacturers as it is.) Third, the ultraviolet light was also rated for a 2,000 gallon pond, making it only one-quarter effective (according to its ratings) at controlling suspended algae growth. Fourth, because the pump was only 1,000 gallons per hour, it was not strong enough to properly backwash the filter, which requires four times the flow to be back-flushed properly.

Consequently, the filter was overloaded with rotting waste material that was contributing to additional pollution of the liner pond. The fifth defect in design was caused by the pond’s large surface area, which was surrounded by several deciduous trees that were dropping their leaves into the liner pond. Needless to say, there was no skimmer installed. So all this debris ended up rotting on the bottom of the pond, contributing to the nitrate and ammonia overload.

The sixth discovery was that the suction drain on the bottom was at the same end of the liner pond as the waterfall. Consequently, the water was only circulating between the water returning to the pond and the water leaving it (from waterfall to drain). Half the liner pond was not circulating properly and was stagnating because the nitrifying bacteria were not receiving adequate oxygen to do their job of breaking down the nitrites.

NOW LET’S DO IT RIGHT

We were asked to assess the condition of the liner pond and determine the cost to correct the problems found. We turned off the waterfall in the liner to test the evaporation theory and discovered (with the falls turned off) that the pond was losing 25 to 30 gallons per day, or 750 gallons per month! Installing a larger pump filter and UV was not going to solve all their problems.

I suggested that since a reputable pond builder and store owner was involved, he should get a second opinion. He was confident that, with our reputation of 22 years and 1,800 ponds under our belt (at that time), we knew what we were doing.

After finding a temporary home for the fish, we drained the liner pond and quickly made two discoveries. As the water was being pumped out of the pond, there was a small waterfall developing from the water that poured back through a hole in the liner created from a tree root. Also, water was leaking back through a loose seal around the bottom drain as fast as we could pump it out. (This continued for some time, revealing there were hundreds of gallons of water being stored in the sandy soil surrounding the perimeter of the liner pond due to the ongoing leaks.)

We offered to repair the faulty drain and patch the punctured liner and refill it, but the owner insisted we do it right, using rebar plus 3500 PSI concrete and skimmer. Unfortunately, not one single item in the entire system could be reused in

the new construction. Even the PVC piping had to be scrapped since it was undersized for the pump.

In the final analysis, because this project was not thought out or designed properly, the initial $14,000 spent was entirely wasted. Replacing everything and installing it correctly cost the customer $17,000. The new pond was constructed of 3/8” and ½” rebar, 10” on center with 4 ½” of 3500 PSI concrete and fiber mix added. The ugly fiberglass waterfall was removed and replaced with a natural looking waterfall constructed of concrete real granite rock.

A skimmer was installed on the opposite side of the pond from the waterfall. The bottom suction drains (two anti-vortex drains in series to prevent turtles or fish from getting ****** against the drain) were placed on the opposite side of the pond from the waterfall to maximize circulation.

Next, a Venturi valve was installed to add additional oxygen and create a circular current in the pond. This delivers oxygenated water to all areas. A 6000-gallon biofilter was installed with two 180-watt ultraviolet lights. The high efficiency filter pump, which runs 24 hours a day, and is rated at 4,800 gallons per hour.

We installed a second pump of the same rating to allow for twice the flow volume off the waterfall on demand. It is also operated by a timer that comes on twice a day for one hour. This keeps sediment stirred up in the waterfalls and pond to aid the filter in removing it. The skimmer now removes 90 percent of all debris falling into the pond before it can become waterlogged and sink to the bottom.

The electronic water level control we installed in the previous pond at the owner’s request was the only item that was reused in the new system. It is designed to add water to the pond automatically as needed due to normal water loss through evaporation and wicking around bog planters into adjacent soil.

This story has been repeated dozens of times over the past few years. Fortunately, most of them were on a much smaller scale.

Most of our business is word of mouth, so I imagine there are many people who, not knowing whom to call, simply gave up and turned their water feature into a rock garden. Think twice before investing too much money into a liner pond. Ask the contractor specific questions about the precautions he takes against leaks caused by roots and critters. Also, get several bids on concrete and rebar constructed ponds, they usually only cost 20% more and can be expected to last for decades.

My last word of advice, be patient, take your time and thoroughly investigate the contractor and his claims.

An ounce of prevention…

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How to Build a Garden Fish Pond

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Building a pond is a big undertaking that involves a fair amount of hard work and, as it will be a permanent feature of your garden, it is worthwhile spending some time in the planning stage.

So before you rush into the garden with a shovel, pause for a while and think about your fish pond design and the type of pond that you want …

Natural Pond – follows the curves and forms of nature and may include an outcrop of stone or a natural beach. This will often allow planting at the edge of the pool and can create the impression that the pond was there long before the rest of the garden or the house were constructed.

Formal Pond – a geometric design works best when there is a relationship in design and materials with the buidings that are close by. It will usually be symmetrical in design and could be rectangular or square in shape and may have a paved edge. Formal ponds are often planted but usually with artfully chosen plants rather than the wilder plantings of a natural pond.

Raised Pond – a formal pond can also be construced above ground from bricks, blocks or stone. There will be less waste to carry from the site, however the cost of the construction materials will be higher than an in-ground pond.

Once you’ve decided on the type of pond spend some time working out possible locations and mark out the locations with a garden hose or a length or rope. Take into consideration the amount of light in different locations. If you want to grown water lilies you will require four to six hours of direct sunlight on the pond during the day. Shade is fine for fish-only ponds. Check the overhanging trees as these could also be a source of pond pollution. If you must build a pond beneath a tree at least try to avoid deciduous trees – the leaves will create a lot of pond waste.

When deciding on the location of your pond avoid the temptation to locate the pond in the lowest point in the garden. The low point can be subject to flooding in heavy rain and will often collect runoff from the garden. This may carry fertilizers and organic debris into the pond.

A pond for goldfish or aquatic plants need only be around two feet deep although more depth may be required in very cold areas to prevent the pond freezing in winter. If you want to keep koi in your pond it will need to be at least three feet deep or more.

The biggest mistake that water gardeners tend to make is to build a pond that is too small. Your finished pond will appear much smaller than your original layout!

If your pond is to be dug out rather than raised consider how you will remove the excavated material. It may be possible to use it in another part of the garden, alternatively you may need to have it removed which can be difficult and expensive.

Assuming you are going to build a sunken pond the next step is to start digging! Dig the pond to the desired shape and dig a shelf around the perimeter of the pond about one foot deep and one or more feet wide. Dig the remainder of the pond. If you are planning a waterfall dig the pond with a slight slope away from the waterfall.

Line the excavated pond with underlay. This is to stop the flexible liner from being pierced by sharp stones. Pond underlay can be made from geotextile or old carpet, providing it is non-organic and non-rotting can be used to save money. A butyl rubber pond liner is laid on top of the underlay. Position to liner evenly in the pond and try to minimize the folds and wrinkles. Leave an overhang of at least six inches. Avoid walking on the newly laid liner as much as possible. If you must walk on it wear socks!

Fill the pond and try to ease the wrinkles out of the liner while the pond is filling. Arrange coping stones around the edge of the pond and fold the liner up behind the stones ensuring the edge of the liner is above the water level. A more natural edge can be created by planting shallow-water plants around the edge of the pond. You may need to consider cementing the coping stones in place if the pond edge will be subjected to much foot traffic.

Now sit back and enjoy your new garden pond!

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Pond Liners: 7 Reasons Why I Don’t Use Them

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1. Liners will eventually leak.Manufacturers have varying warranties, ranging from 15 to 30 years, with a 75-year life expectancy. In reality, it will definitely last as long as the guarantee claims as long as you leave it in the box, and store it in your garage.Once you place it in the ground, nature’s forces begin a contest to see which will break its water-tight integrity first. Vying for the title of culprit are gophers, ground squirrels, chipmunks, rats, moles, roots from trees, plants and weeds, sharp rocks, heavy rocks, sharp objects, and moose (if you live in Alaska).

If a leak does develop, it is next to impossible to locate it without removing all the rocks covering the liner, draining the pond, spreading the liner out on the ground, and inspecting every square inch. A tiny pin hole can lose five gallons every 24 hours.

2. Bottom drains cannot be utilized with liners. Liner advocates discount the use of bottom drains primarily because they would rather not, since approximately one half the sources for leaks in liner ponds are from bottom drains. When the liner is cut to install the drain, sealants are used along with pressure rings to make a water-tight seal. The sealants dry out or break down and seal collars warp, resulting in time-consuming, costly repair.

3. You cannot use out-of-pond pumps. Since liner advocates don’t use bottom drains, they can’t use above-ground pumps, which leave no other choice but to use sump pumps. These pumps were originally designed to pump water from sump pits in basements and cellars. They are not designed to save energy; in fact, they are the greatest consumers of energy per horsepower of all pumps. The largest retailer/wholesaler of liners, pumps and accessories sells a sump pump which produces 4200 gallons per hour at 704 watts for $339.00. This pump needs to be pulled from the pond to clean debris from its intake screen. It is a potential shock hazard to fish and humans and is filled with oil, which has the potential of leaking out and covering the surface of the pond.

In contrast, an above-ground pump that supplies 600 gallons more per hour (4,800) for less than half the energy cost (348 watts) and costs over $100 less. Running this pump 24 hours per day will result in a savings of over $500 per year over the sump pump. In other words, the energy savings would pay for the above-ground pump and put an additional $270 cash in your pocket the first year alone.

If that isn’t enough incentive, a second reason to use the above-ground pump is that there is never a need to worry about it clogging since we install two 8″ anti-vortex drains on the bottom. The only maintenance required is to occasionally remove the lid from the leaf basket on the pump and dump the debris from the catch basket. Because this is a high-efficiency pump, it is extremely quiet, and standing right next to it you can barely hear it running.

With liner ponds the sump pump is located at the outside edge of the pond, not in the middle as in professional concrete and rebar constructions. We place two 8″ anti-vortex drains in the middle of the pond, 24″ apart. As fish waste and other suspended particles and algae spores settle to the bottom, they are drawn into the drains and taken out by the filter. An ultraviolet light is placed in series between the filter and pond return in order to kill pathogenic bacteria which can cause disease and turn the pond green.

In deeper ponds that use liners, all the waste material settles and collects on the bottom and rots, creating ammonia that is toxic to fish and other aquatic life. Because a sump pump is located near the outer edge of the pond and not in the middle on the bottom, maximum efficient circulation cannot be reached. This creates toxic cloudy areas in the pond’s bottom. Most liner ponds I’ve seen are only 24″ deep, and circulation is not an issue in these cases. However, koi fish are not recommended in these kinds of ponds; koi experts recommend a depth of at least 3 feet.

4. You cannot use a high pressure maintenance free biofilter with a liner pond. When using a sump pump, you have to use a gravity feed bio-falls, down-flow or upflow filter. All of these are inefficient and result in high maintenance costs. They need to be cleaned often by removing all the waste-laden filter media. To say the least, this is a filthy, stinky, messy job which neither my female clients nor most of my male clients expect to perform.

Aqua Ultraviolet’s high pressure filter contains state-of-the-art technology enabling it to simply be back washed with a turn of the handle. The discharge hose can direct the fish waste and particulate debris down the drain, or it can be used to water the garden or lawn. The high pressure filter is designed to handle five to ten times the volume of water that a gravity flow unit or bio-falls can handle.

In addition to all this, the patented bead design of this filter allows for maximum surface area in which nitrifying bacteria can live and break down nitrites. The “Liner Guy” wants you to use his messy, dirty, stinky inefficient filter because it is his filter, and it costs very little to manufacture compared to the professional bead filter. My opinions about filters come from many years of experience, and trying nearly every one that is on the market. I even jumped on the “filter bandwagon” for a couple of years and used my own design.

Why? Because of the unbelievable profit margin! When I discovered the Aqua Ultraviolet filter advertised in several pond magazines, I gave it a try. I’ve been using it for over ten years with no problems whatsoever. My clients clean the filter with the turn of a handle and stay clean themselves. A great side benefit to this filter is that you can have twice the number of fish in your pond than when using the inefficient gravity filters. By the way, this is not a paid endorsement of their product!

5. Safety is a concern when pond liners are used. After a hole is dug, a pond liner is placed in the hole and then it’s filled with water. Rocks are then placed around the perimeter of the pond to cover up the edge of the pond liner, and more rocks are piled up on a mound of dirt covered with another liner to create a waterfall. From my 26 years of experience, I’ve learned that many adults are just like kids when it comes to ponds and waterfalls.

They inevitably climb on the rocks of the waterfall and the pond’s edge. Since the rocks are all loose, they can move, tilt or shift on the pond liner, resulting in someone falling and getting hurt or, worse, drowning. With professional concrete and rebar construction, all the rocks are cemented in place, providing a secure foundation to walk or climb on.

6. Pond liners limit pond shape and configuration. Why are most liner ponds circular or oval in design? Because pond liners are dispensed on rolls and therefore available only in square or rectangular shapes. If an L-shaped pond was designed, you would need to bunch up an inordinate amount of pond liner into the inside corner. Not only is it wasting expensive square feet of pond liner material, it makes it difficult to stack rocks on top of the bunched up liner so as to cover it up.

Oh sure, “Liner Guy” you’re thinking, why doesn’t he mention that special shaped pond liners can be custom made? Okay, I’ll mention it! Custom pond liners can be made to order. And now I’ll mention that this customized pond liner is going to cost you as much as constructing a professional pond with rebar and concrete that will last a lifetime. There, I mentioned it!

7. Last but not least, Integrity. When I read articles written by “the Liner Guy’s” disciples, bragging about the ungodly profits derived from pond liner construction, I can’t help but wonder how they sleep at night. The profit derived from one day’s work — digging a hole, dropping in a pond liner, covering its surface and perimeter with loose rock, and plugging in an energy-sucking sump pump — equals what I made in four or five days of labor. One big difference: their warranty is one year, if you’re lucky; but one built with concrete and steel is for a lifetime!

I’m the person that the past customers of “the Liner Guy” called two or three years down the road, asking me to fix the leak in their stinky green liner pond. A client in Poway, California paid $6,500 for a liner pond with a necklace of rock around the perimeter and a 3 x 4 foot fiberglass waterfall at its edge. I actually had to suppress a laugh when I saw it out of respect for my client’s grief.

This pond had a bottom drain that leaked; however, the major loss of water stemmed from a tree root puncture. In addition, it was obvious that this “Liner Guy” disciple did not have his customer’s long term financial well being in mind after I discovered a cheap, 7- amp energy-sucking “Jacuzzi pump. We replaced it with a 3.6 amp high-efficiency pump that supplied nearly twice the flow.

Next, we pulled out the liner, reconfigured the pond’s oval shape to serpentine, and constructed the pond and waterfall shell using rebar (8″ on center) and 3500 psi concrete with stealth fiber added. We installed two 8″ bottom drains, added a professional skimmer, a Venturi air supply valve, a natural rock waterfall, a turtle island that supported a 25 foot bridge spanning the pond, an “Ultima II” high pressure, back-washable filter, ultraviolet light, lighting in the pond and waterfall. plus an electronic AquaFill pond water leveler. All this took us eight days from start to finish and cost only $2,000 more than the client originally paid.

In Conclusion: Is it any wonder why I despise the “get rich quick” scheme of pond liner construction? The “liner guy” hates hearing me refer to concrete and rebar ponds as “professional construction.” They insist their liner ponds are professional construction. And if so, why do they sell the very same kits to do-it-yourself homeowners as to the construction business people for hire?

I am proud to claim over 1,900 satisfied customers over 26 years. Ninety-five percent of my clientele comes from referrals by satisfied customers. I don’t have to wonder why that is so.

Is there a place for liner ponds? Yes, if you’re renting and expect to move in two or three years. Or if you’re setting up a temporary display. No, I’m not totally against liners. They’re great for truck beds and cheap swimming pools! Actually, I have made thousands of dollars over the years from pond liners – by replacing them with concrete and steel!

An ounce of prevention is worth a [pond] cure. Happy koi, peace and joy.

By Douglas C. Hoover; CEO of Aquamedia Corp, freelance writer and author. Designer, architect, engineer and builder of over 1900 waterfall and ponds in California for the past 26 years. Inventor and manufacturer of several water feature related products such as the “AquaFill” T.M., electronic float control system for ponds, pools, fountains and hot tubs.
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What Are The Best Pond Filters?

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Although a natural pond does not require the use of a pond filter a man made pond can only benefit from its use. Pond filters are designed to break down toxins within the water usually caused by decaying organic particles, if a pond filter is not used to remove this physical dirt your pond could be at risk of having poor pond water which could result in health problems for any fish living within the pond.

Depending on the size of your pond and how many fish you have will determine the type and size of the pond filter you need. Once installed the pond filter will keep both the water free from particles that can cause the water to be murky, smelly and even toxic, your fish and pond plants will also benefit from the pond filter as they will be healthier.

Pond filters not only optimise the viewing of your pond by cleaning the water for enhanced viewing of the fish, plants and inhabitants pond filters also conserve water by cleaning and recycling the ponds original water, When the water is pumped back into your pond it keeps the pond water which also helps to reduce the risk of the pond becoming stagnant.

There are several different types of pond filters to choose from all of which will produce a noticeable difference to any garden pond.

External Filters

External pond filters are usually the largest type of pond filter available. They are situated outside of the pond but close to it. They are usually filled with large sheets of foam with porous or plastic stone biological media underneath.

The biggest advantage of external pond filters is the improvement of the water quality it is also possible to add different filer media to serve other purposes should you have a specific problem with your pond. Having the pond filter outside of the pond makes the unit a lot easier to clean also the external pond filter supports the largest fish load.

The only disadvantage is the size and visibility however it is quite easy to disguise the pond filter behind pond plants making it less visible.

Submersed Filters

These pond filters are extremely versatile and are filled with a mixture of filter media for different types of filtration including chemical, mechanical and biological filtration. The advantages of this type of pond filter is not only the cleanliness of the water but the pond filter can also be used for other purposes such as water fountains, pond spitters and many other water based pond feature.

The only disadvantage is this type of pond filter is submersed in the water which may mean that you will need to stand in the pond to retrieve it depending on where it is situated when you decide to clean it.

When purchasing pond filters you will find that pet shops are always happy to help you chooses the right filter to suit your pond, take the time to ask someone in the shop and explain what sort of pond you have it is also wise to have a rough idea of the size and how many fish reside with it to make sure the best pond filter is selected.

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