How To Clean A Pond

How to clean a pond

If you are searching for “how to clean a pond“, this post by The Backyard Pond can help! It doesn’t matter how hard you try, you will have to clean your pond at some point. Cleaning your pond can greatly increase the lifetime of your pond (and your Koi fish, if you have them) and let you enjoy it for years to come.

Cleaning Your Pond

There will come a time that you will need to clean your pond. You may be preparing your pond for the summer or winter, or maybe you been a little lax on the upkeep and maintenance. There are steps you can take to clean your pond and make it look “newish”.  A clean pond gives a new environment for the bacteria in your biological filter and fresh water for the fish. The amount of cleaning required will usually depend on the size of your pond and location of it.

Remove Your Koi Fish From Your Pond

This is far from a clean job, so you shouldn’t wear your Sunday best. Take into account you’re going get dirty, the smell may be unbearable and it might be a bit cold. You’re going to need a fine mesh aquarium net, a garden hose with a spray adapter, and a holding tank (if you plan on removing your fish) big enough to store your fish while cleaning out your pond. You also may need to use a pond vacuum, pond cleaning gloves, if you have access to them.

If your pond is a smaller one, you can simply scoop your Koi out with the aquarium net to transfer them into the holding tank. If you have a larger Koi pond, it might be simpler to just let the fish be. If you do plan on removing them, fill the holding tank with pond water from you pond so an abrupt change in water temperature or water quality won’t shock your fish.

 Get Rid Of Surface Debris

More often than not you’re going to see an assortment of sticks and leaves floating on the surface of the pond. Use the net to scoop out all of the debris. This is an easy part but don’t think this is it, you’re far from done. You’re going to get messy soon enough.

Drain The Koi Pond

Use a pond pump to drain the water out of the pond. If you leave your fish in the pond, you clearly don’t want to pump out all of the pond water.

Draining will expose the sides of the pond and makes it a lot easier to remove the algae and other gunk. Depending on the type and strength of your pond pump and the size of your pond, it could take a couple of minutes or in some cases longer than an hour.

Make sure to send the pond water to an area in your yard that has really good drainage. Also try and take at least an hour-long break after you drain the pond and let the sun to dry out the newly revealed algae.

Remove Any Pond Plants and Any Accessories

Remove the pond pump, pond plants and anything else that can be removed. Remove any water lilies and other pond plants in autumn, if you still have plants in your pond at the beginning of spring, take them out too. Use the garden hose and an old toothbrush to really clean all the accessories and their hard to reach places. This is an ideal time to clean or replace the filter on your pond pump. Some pumps have a mesh bag, I yours does simply spray it off with your hose.

Clean the Pump

Now is a great time to clean out your pond’s pump. There are various different types of algae that can thrive in your ponds’ ecosystem. While some of it is valuable for the pond and a natural part of its ecosystem, while string algae is not. You’ll know when you are seeing string algae if it’s stringy, clearly, and if you are capable of just pulling it out of your pond. It tends to stick to bottom of ponds and grow upwards in long strands. They get caught up in your pump and other mechanical systems very easily, and the best and easiest way to clean it is to take the pump out and physically clear away the algae. You can use a brush to scrub any growth on the outside of the casing, but if any sting algae has gotten inside, you will need to take out the pump from the pond altogether.

 Get In There And Clean Your Backyard Pond

Use a hose with a spray attachment and forcefully spray away the algae growth on the sides of the Koi pond. Be sure to spray the waterfall and the rocks that line the outside of the pond.

Then, use the net to scoop out the muck and sludge that’s been sitting at the bottom of the pond. This is going to be the messy part. You’re likely to come across a lot of smelly slime, partially decayed plant material and maybe even an incidental lizard or fish.

Once you are done cleaning the pond, it’s time to put the pond back together. Connect the pond pump back up, and replace all of your pond plants and accessories.

Fill The Pond Back Up

Use the garden hose to refill the pond to the desired water level you like. Once the pond is full, turn on the pump and let the water to circulate for a couple of minutes. Most likely you’re going to use tap water. Tap water has chlorine in it, so you may have to add a dechlorinator to safeguard the fish.

Add Your Fish

The new, fresh water in your pond is more likely colder than the water in the holding tank, so give your fish a little time to acclimate. To protect your fish you will want to dump some of the water out of the holding tank and replace it with the new pond water, and repeat the process a number of times.

Phoenix, Arizona Koi Pond

If you already have a Koi pond or if you are thinking about installing a pond and would like a little help or advice with budgeting and design considerations, talk to the Phoenix Koi Pond Experts in Peoria, AZ at The Backyard Pond. Call us today at 623-878-6695 and see what we can do for you.

Koi Pond Filters

Koi Pond Filters Phoenix

If you are searching “koi pond filters” you are most likely looking for basic information on which pond filter best suits your pond needs. Your pond’s filter keeps the water clean, clear and manages the overall health of the pond whether or not you have koi fish, a water feature and any pond plants contained in it. Ponds of any kind simply cannot exist without a pond filter. To have a healthy pond or if you have koi fish, you’re going to need a filter, and you need to find one that is the right size for your pond. Without a pump and filtration system your pond can go from the star of your backyard, to the cloudy green monster in your backyard. Your filtration system gets rid of the debris that gets in your pond.

There Are 3 Basic Types of Pond Filters

There are many types of pond filters, which one you choose to use depends on a couple of factors. The size of your pond, where it is located, how much you want to spend, and if you are going to have fish, all will determine the type of filter you will need. Although there are many different types of pond filters; in this post we will cover the 3 basic ones.

Waterfall/ Skimmer External Pond Filters

Comparable to common swimming pool overflow filters this type of design skims debris from the surface as the pond “overflows” into a recessed skimmer basket. The pond water is then pumped to the opposite end of the pond, where it pours back into your pond over a waterfall bio-filter. Well designed landscaping will hide the entire system so you will see only an appealing water feature.

This type of filter is best suited for medium to large ponds with koi fish. They cost around $470-$1200 for the filter and pump. There is minimal maintenance and installation is moderate. On of the benefits of this filter system it is low in maintenance with easy debris removal. Another benefit about this filter it is hidden by landscaping.

Submersible Pond Filters

In this set up, the filter sits at the bottom of the pond. A submersible pump creates suction to draw water through the filter; it then forces the filtered water to a waterfall or fountain where it re-circulates the water back into the pond.

This system is best for small to medium ponds with small amounts of koi fish or no fish at all. This cost of this filter is around $85-$300 for an entire filtration system. Installation is easy and maintenance is reasonable (depending on the filter location accessibility). Another benefit about this filter it is completely submerged under the water.

External Pond Filters

If you need life-supporting filtration for koi fish or other types of fish in nearly any size pond, think about an external filtration system. In this set up, a pump with an optional pre-filter or skimmer takes water from the pond to a chambered “flow through” filter near the pond at a higher level. Filtered water then pours out of the filter plumbing downward to your pond. The flow can also be directed over a waterfall or streambed.
These filters are for small to large ponds with or without fish. The system costs about $90-$2150 for the filter and pump. Installation is just some easy plumbing. Landscaping may be necessary to hide the filter. It is easily maintained. The filter is accessible on land, but the amount of time to clean it will depend on the filter design. A few pressure filters just need you flip a switch. This system has the best configuration. This system also has widest choice of design and equipment options.

Phoenix, Arizona Koi Pond Filter Systems

If you already have a koi pond or you are considering installing a pond and would like some help or advice with budget and design considerations, talk to the Phoenix Koi pond experts in Peoria, AZ.

The Backyard Pond623-878-6695

 

 

 

How To Remove Algae From Your Pond Without Harming Fish

How To Remove Algae From My Pond Without Harming Fish

If you are searching “how to remove algae from my pond” or “how to clean algae from my pond without harming fish” this post should help send you in the right direction.

Algae or string algae is a filamentous species that attaches to plants, hangs from rocks in waterfalls, or hangs on the surface of the water. The long strands tangle together and form thick mats. Excessive string algae will reduce oxygen content, but it doesn’t mean bad water. New ponds often develop green water, but this usually clears within 90 days as plants grow and use up excess nutrients.

  1. Remove Algae
  2. Remove Debris
  3. Free Floating Aquatic Plants
  4. Use Barley Straw
  5. Utilize Beneficial Bacteria Tablets

1.  Remove Algae

Rake out as much algae as possible with a pond or garden rake, taking care not to damage the pond liner by accidentally tearing it.

2.  Remove Debris

Remove fallen leaves and dead plant foliage from the pond. Siphon plant debris and silt from the bottom of the pond with a pond vacuum, working slowly and carefully to avoid stressing your fish.

3.  Free Floating Aquatic Plants

Plant enough floating aquatic plants so that around 50 to 70 percent of the pond surface itself is covered. Place free-floating plants directly into the water. Cover the soil in aquatic plant containers with heavy gravel and place them at the pond level that allows their foilage to float on the surface. If needed place bricks in the pond to stand container plants at the correct level.

4. Use Barley Straw

Place a bundle of barley straw on a large upside-down plastic pot in the pond, so that the bundle is just submerged underneath the water. One 8-ounce bundle treats around 1,000 gallons of pond water. The algae will slowly disappear as the barley straw breaks down when exposed to sunlight and oxygen.

5. Utilize Beneficial Bacteria Tablets

Place a tablet of beneficial pond bacteria in your pond, on a plant or rock, every two weeks. One 1-ounce tablet usually treats around 1,000 gallons of pond water.

Supplies You Will Need

  • Aquatic Plants
  • Beneficial Bacteria Tablets
  • Bricks (Optional)
  • Bundle Of Barley Straw
  • Pond or Garden Rake
  • Heavy Gravel
  • Large Plastic Plant Pot
  • Pond Vacuum

Tips For Your Pond

Anchored and also free-floating water plants shade out algae and can absorb excessive nutrients. Water lilies grow in water from 1 foot, up to 4 feet deep and can spread 5 to 6 feet wide. Bearing 5-inch summer flowers that open yellow and turn coppery-bronze, this low-maintenance plant is hardy. Fanwort which bears white flowers May through September and has branching stems of tiny, fan-shaped leaves spread 1 foot to 3 feet wide.

Warnings For Your Pond

Don’t oversupply your pond with fish. One hundred gallons of water is enough for one 6-inch fish or ten 1-inch fish. To determine the amount of water in your pond, multiply its average length, width and depth. Multiply the total by 7.5. This will give you the number of gallons in your pond.

Don’t over feed your fish. Give them as much as they can eat in two minutes, at least up to four times a day. Stop feeding as soon as food is left uneaten, and don’t feed your fish when temperatures are consistently below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Backyard Pond Offers Pond Mainteance & Cleaning

We are specialists in imported Japanese Nishikigoi, Goldfish and Waterplants. We also offer Pond SuppliesPond Construction and Design. All prices are subject to change without notice. Let us create the backyard pond of your dreams. Loaded with pleanty of koi fishwater gardensaquatic plants and other pond accessories.

Koi Pond Maintenance Tips

Koi Pond Maintenance Tips

When you are searching for “Koi Pond Maintenance Tips” near you in Phoenix, Arizona, The Backyard Pond can help! Call us at 623-878-6695 for more information.

Koi Fish Pond Maintenance

Having a Koi pond in your backyard or garden can help you find a quiet and serene corner in your yard where you can spend some time among nature and get some fresh air. Keeping up with the application of beneficial bacteria, checking your pond pump for debris, and changing your UV bulb on a regular basis are only part of the upkeep. Utilizing pond tools such as scissors & pliers, collapsible skimmers & fish nets, a heavy duty pond net, and a pond water test kit to name a few.

Some Tips to Maintain Your Koi Pond

Maintaining your pond is important not only for the ponds’ sake but also for the benefit of your Koi fish. Below you will find a small list of some of the key factors in maintaining your Koi pond. This is not a dedicated list, there are other considerations to take in account for your pond not only to last a long time but to keep your Koi fish happy, and more importantly healthy.

Perform Consistent Water Checks To Avoid Common Problems

    Check your water levels daily as evaporation can fluctuate the water levels, and fill as needed. If you find that you are losing more water than you should, you should check for any leaks, this is not only bad for your pond but also for your wallet. Repair any tears in the liner with a patch from a scrap of liner. Fix any cracks in your pond with a readily available fiberglass repair kit.

Maintain The Right Temperature

Even though your Koi can manage temperatures between 35 and 85 F degrees, it’s a good idea to keep your fish in water that ranges somewhere between 65 and 75 F degrees. Because we live in the Valley of the Sun, it is best to find a way to shade your pond from the brutal summer heat.

Create Shade Over the Pond

You may need to create a shade over the pond, not only to keep temperatures down, limit algae growth, but also to protect the Koi themselves. There are several types of shades you can use to shade your Koi pond. Try to avoid placing your pond near trees, as roots and debris can compromise your pond. A couple of examples you can use are pergolas and shade sails. There are also dedicated pond covers available.

Avoid Over Feeding

Over feeding your Koi fish is not only expensive, but can actually harm your fish. Overfeeding can also be bad for the health of you pond itself. Chemical balances in the pond need to be carefully monitored as some are good for the pond and some are bad. Uneaten food can cause low oxygen levels, algae bloom, cloudy water and worst of all mold. Food that has not been eaten can also get caught in your pond filters and clog them.

Properly Maintain All Your Koi Pond Equipment

Make sure all of your supplies and equipment are up to date and in properly working condition. These should, but not always include the filtration system, the high powered pond pump, the ultraviolet sterilizer, and the aeration system. With proper care, you’ll have a greater chance of keeping the water sparkling clean and your Koi happy. It is also a good idea to check your filters also as they can get clogged and not flow correctly.

Invest In A Filtration System

A good filtration system will greatly benefit your Koi pond. Koi live their entire lives in the pond, it is where sleep, eat and do their business. Mechanical filters are like vacuum cleaners, they clean unwanted debris from the water. Biological filters, on the other hand, use bacteria to detoxify the water. Both of them work, but it is up to you to choose the best one for your pond. You also have to factor in the size of your pond when choosing a filter. It is a good rule to double the size of your filter according to the size of your pond. A 1000 gallon pond should have a 2000 gallon filter. The filter is ultimately there for the benefit of the Koi, so also take into account your Koi population.

Keep Your Koi Population Under Control

Keeping your Koi population under control is vital to your Koi, the more the merrier is not always the case.  Some Koi can get out of control during breeding season and it can soon get out of hand. To many Koi can disrupt the natural balance in the pond, putting your Koi in jeopardy. One method of population control is to re home the Koi you do not want. You might think that is too much effort and would rather take them down to a nearby pond or community watering hole and letting them go. Please don’t do this, these bodies of water contain their own ecosystem, and entering new species will disrupt it. The best way to re home your Koi is to find a local club or chapter, they can give you advice and you can make new contacts and friends as a result.

Cleaning Items Within The Pond

Cleaning your pond will keep it looking nice and also help keep your Koi healthy. You will need some supplies to clean your pond such as a small brush as you will be scrubbing the rocks or tiles, a sizeable bucket (if you are removing the Koi to clean the pond), a pond skimmer net, scissors & pliers, fish nets, and a pond water test kit. Another good idea is to get a leaf net as this will keep bigger debris from falling in the pond itself. They are a little more expensive, but some Koi enthusiasts use a pond vacuum.

Remove Harmful Debris

Debris entering your Koi pond, not only makes you work twice as hard to keep the pond clean, but it is also harmful to your Koi. Debris in the pond can also cause poor water quality. Small particles can make your Koi sick when eaten and larger particles could get caught in the filter reducing water flow.

Caring for Your Pond

Maintaining your Koi pond not only keeps your Koi fish healthy, but also keeps your pond looking great throughout the year. By beginning with the right set-up, your Koi fish will prosper and bring you joy for many years to come.  Koi fish are clearly one of the best fish types for your backyard pond.

Taking  Care of Your Koi Pond in Phoenix

When you are interested in purchasing pond supplies or pond accessories in Peoria, Phoenix or anywhere else in the Valley, stop by our store today. We can also install, service and maintain your Koi fish pond, give The Backyard Pond a call at 623-878-6695.

Fundamentals of Koi Pond Design

If you are searching “how do i design a koi pond” you are most likely looking for basic information on designing your own pond. Ponds add color and life to your landscape and it is a project that adds beauty and value to your home.

There are 3 fundamentals for the design of a koi pond that all koi enthusiasts will agree on and then debate about how to accomplish it.

Koi Pond Design Fundamentals

Remove the solid waste such as fish poop, uneaten fish food, pine needles, leaf debris, and windblown debris from the pond using pond skimmers, bottom drains and even mid-water drains.

Settle Solid Waste as it is removed in a pre-filter. This is normally done in separate tank or removed physically with new technology through a pond sieve before biological filtration.

Nitrify or Filter your pond water, this is where you convert ammonia to nitrite and nitrite to nitrate and then add it back to the pond through waterfalls and it returns to circulation jets below the water level.
These fundamentals are the foundation of the koi pond design. It is from this that you can begin planning. The depth, length and width of the pond will determine the gallons of water. It is from here that we can add the equipment selection by using pumps with matched speed limits for skimmers, UV filters, bottom drains, biological filters, pre-filters, and more. Every pond design is subjective to your goals and can be influenced by your budget and landscape.

Design Tips for your Koi Pond

Your koi pond needs to be designed properly for your fish to thrive. Many professionals will recommend that your pond meet set criteria to be able to provide the best situation for your fish. Normally koi ponds are larger than a fishless pond.

Size Requirements:

• No less than 1000 gallons
• 3 or more feet deep
• 25 square feet of pond for each koi

It is vital that you know that fish will need to have some sort of shade. If the pond happens to get direct sunlight, then you should consider floating plants such as water lilies. Most of the pond surface needs to be shaded to give your koi a comfortable place to escape the sun. Another benefit of plants is that they give them a place to hide from predators.

Water plants are essential. Aquatic plants will help to balance the ecosystem which helps to create a natural home for your fish. There are some plants that are oxygenators which mean that they put oxygen in the water, which the fish can breathe. Koi also eat many types of water plants. Fish don’t need to be fed as long as the pond isn’t over stocked as they can live off algae, insects and other food in the environment. Certain plants can be included as a food source.

Filtration

Good pond filters will help to keep your pond clean and clear. Koi provide a lot of waste which means that a filter is needed. There are 2 types of filtration: biological and mechanical. Mechanical filtration will trap fish waste and debris. Skimmers, pump baskets, and bottom drains are great for mechanical filtration. Biological filters use beneficial bacteria to turn toxins into harmless substances.

Aeration

Fish will need oxygen to survive. Based on your pond size, the amount of plants that are growing and how many fish you have may cause you to need aeration. This is a process of circulating oxygen into the pond water.

Fountains and waterfalls are pleasing ways to aerate a pond. The water motion will allow natural circulation of oxygen. You may even begin to consider adding equipment to aerate your pond. These jets or pumps are great if you have large fish or live in hot climates.

Water Quality

Your pond water quality will impact your fish health. You will want to keep an eye on the pH levels and water temperature. The ideal temperature for your koi is between 39 F to 68 F. The deeper the water is, the easier it is to regulate the pond temperature. The best pH for your pond is between 7.0 – 7.8.
You should be aware that chlorine will hurt your koi, it burns the gills of your fish and leads to death. It is for this reason that you need to wait more than a week after putting chlorine in your pond before you stock it with fish. If you don’t want to wait, you can purchase a dechlorinator.

Hybrid Koi Pond Designs

If you want to challenge yourself to make these changes to their ponds the results are healthier, and happier koi fish and better clarity and quality of water than ever before.
We can learn from the koi pond debate on how to remove solids out of our ponds, settling them, and then making the water safe by nitrifying it. The biggest debate is how to accomplish the fundamentals of pond construction is a big interest. This is about the maintenance, care, well-being of the fish and upkeep. In the last 10 years, the ongoing care for koi has turned out some great technology that hasn’t really become a common practice among pond contractors.

What has been turned out and implemented in the last few years is quite exciting. You can see a big growth rate for koi ponds and making hybrid eco-system ponds within the next few years. The latest and greatest technologies will become mainstream and a new approach for education on installation of koi ponds will help to mold and shape the future for all koi ponds. If you are looking to design and then build a koi pond or are considering pond upgrades, let us help you to find the best technologies for your needs.

Koi Pond Design in Phoenix

For Koi Pond Design give us a call today at (623) 878-6695 or stop store and take a look at our wide selection of koi services and products.

Best Pond Plants for Koi

If you’re searching “Best Pond Plants for Koi” you’re either planning a new Koi pond or thinking about how to make your existing pond better.  Either way choosing the right plants for your Koi pond in Arizona will make it more visually stunning and preserve the health of the Koi fish.

Koi Pont Plants

When introducing plant life into your koi pond, it can assist with improving the pond life of koi’s. In addition, it can provide aesthetics to your pond.

Owners of koi must ensure that the correct aquatic plants are chosen for the koi pond to co-exist harmoniously with koi’s. Also, make sure that the plant placement is properly conducted and use vegetation which the koi will simply eat.

Benefits of using aquatic plants within a koi pond

When it comes to aquatic plants, they are thought to be a great part of a koi pond. Aquatic plants can assist with increasing the production of oxygen in water, maintaining the pond with proper aeration for koi’s. In addition, just their presence can help keep water cooler as it provides the koi a shaded area. The submerged plants also act as an important surface during spring breeding season for female koi, as they attach fertilized eggs to the plants.

Keeping Water Cleaner

Meanwhile, the plants can prevent spreading of algae, helping to keep it under control. The shade that plants provide lowers the light that reaches the pond, thus limiting the photosynthesis of algae. Plants provide a natural filtration for preventing string algae, known as blanket weeds to form. This is done mostly by absorbing the nitrates that can be harmful and result in the formation.

Tips to introduce plant life to koi

When it comes to introducing your koi and plants, is by using a plant shelf. Plant shelfs can be installed on the edge of a pond. It is a container which you can plant water plants. It is suggested that plants are weighed down with large rocks or stones so it creates a barrier between the plants and base, and the koi to prevent risks of plants being ate by koi. Also, it is important that pond owners are aware that shelves are used by predators such as raccoons, to feed on the koi.

Although, you can position aquatic plants directly in the pond. When choosing the aquatic plants to place in your pond, there are many options available. There are three main categories that pond plants can be categorized as, discussed below:

  1. Floating plants
  2. Shallow water marsh plants
  3. Submerged Plants

An alternative for introducing aquatic plants to a pond is vegetative filters. Using this system, plants grow in a different containment area, which connects to the main pond. The purpose of the plants is to provide a natural filtration system when water from the pond travels into and out of the contained region. Therefore, providing the benefits of filtration of an aquatic plant system, without the risks of koi dislodging or eating pond plants.

Floating Plants

This form of pond plant is able to be free floating with the main vegetation being on the surface and roots hanging below, unattached or there can be plants where roots attach to muddy bottoms. The overall benefit is that they are easier to take care of, providing enough shade for the koi while competing with algae for the needed nutrients and reduce sunlight that assists in algae growth. In addition, the plants remove nitrogen that exists in the water, along with phosphates which makes them a great filtering system.

Water Hyacinth in a Koi Pond

Water Hyacinth in a Koi PondThe water hyacinth are popular options for floating plants. It is a species that’ annual in colder areas of North America, but in warmer regions it is perennial. They can produce blue or purple flowers, with roots forming a ‘nest’ compacted under them. They provide an excellent filtering system to remove excess nutrients.

Water Lettuce in a Koi Pond

Water Lettuce in a Koi PondThis is another free floating plant that is popular. Water lettuce is more warm/tropic climate plant which develops compact leaf clusters above the surface, while developing compact root mass under the plant.

Water Lilies in a Koi Pond

Water Lilies in a Koi PondWith floating plants that have attached roots, water lilies are the most popular option for a koi pond owner, and can be the best option from any type of aquatic plant. The water lilies do good in nearly any region of North America, no matter the season and are able to be potted and positioned at the bottom of ponds. Above the surface, pond owners get a view of pleasant leafy coverage that produces beautiful flowers to accent any pond design.

Lotus in a Koi Pond

Lotus in a Koi PondWith a similar appearance to water lilies, a lotus is among the oldest aquatic plants cultivated, making an excellent part to a koi pond. Usually, their leaves are large, and can measure up to 18-inches across. This provides a great amount of shade for koi during summer months. Commonly confused with the water lilies, a lotus flower is fragrant and beautiful. Although, it needs to be noted that lotus flowers do have substantial growth rates, and best for a larger koi pond.

Water Poppy in a Koi Pond

Water Poppy in a Koi PondThe water poppy produces smaller oval leaves with yellow flowers. They are a good option for a koi pond and grow rather fast during summer. It can provide a nice yellow accent to ponds, while providing a filtering system.

Shallow Water Marsh Plants

These plants can be planted partially submerged in the shallow march water at the edge of your pond to give your backyard pond a more natural look.

Umbrella Plants

These aquatic plants are tropical and do god in shallow water. If you live in a colder climate, they should be kept inside during the winter months. Umbrella plants have leaves with an umbrella shape on the end of longer stalks.

Water Iris in a Koi Pond

Water Iris in a Koi PondAnother favorite for koi pond owners is the water iris, as there are several pieces to choose from. They provide a long sharp leaf, and based on the species can produce different color flowers, from white, blue, or yellow. Typically, these plants are placed in pots which are submerged in the water. The majority of water iris will survive in partial or full sun, which is good for those that have tree coverage.

Horsetail in a Koi Pond

Horsetail in a Koi PondThis is aplant that is quick to grow and produces slender green stems. It’s best positioned on a peripheral section of a pond, doing best in partial shade.

Submerged plants

Generally submerged plants are grown within pots that are placed on the bottom of a koi pond. These are called the oxygenating plants in an aquatic plant class, which do amazing with removing extra nutrients, such as CO2 and nitrites from the water, while adding oxygen. However, it is good to know these type of plants is commonly uprooted by grazing koi, then eaten. They require great care to ensure they are protected.

Fanwort in a Koi Pond

One type of submergible plant is the fanwort, which is quick to grow and requires a good amount of light. This oxygenator plant I able to grow an inch daily. Using cuttings, it can be propagated.

American Waterweed (Elodea) in a Koi Pond

This species of plant does decent with silty pond substrates. With an exception of a small white flower which blooms above the surface, they are fully submerged. This plant is great with using dissolved CO2 while providing koi with cover, especially smaller koi. There is time when the leafy stalks break and will float off, and take root in another area of the pond. They do well with a milder climate.

Water Purslane (Ludwigia) in a Koi Pond

The Ludwigia family has many species, but Red Ludwigia is a nice option for koi ponds, as it grow quickly and works as an oxygenator. Pond owners can plant it for a submerged plant or allow it to float on the surface. With reddish or purple leaves, they produce small flowers. Usually they do well with plenty of direct sun light.

Phoenix Valley Pond Plants For Sale

 

How To Build A Pond In Your Backyard

If you’re searching for “How to build a pond in your backyard” this article will help you understand what it will take.  The Backyard Pond offers pond design and installation services to take care of the project for you.  Ponds add color and life to your landscape and it is a project that adds beauty and value to your home.

Picking a location for your pond

  • Install your pond on well-drained, level ground.
  • Plan a direct line between the pond and your home for electrical wiring.
  • Ensure that the pond site isn’t over pipe, sewer lines, septic fields, or cables.
  • The more sunlight your pond has, the more choices for your water plants. If you add fish, balance the sun with shade during the hottest parts of the day by adding lotus pads, shrubs, plants, water lilies, or portable shade screen.
  • Small ponds will benefit by having partial shade because high water temperatures can cause excessive algae and water evaporation.
  • Avoid placing your pond near trees or in areas of high winds. Falling needles and leaves will contaminate the pond which can clog the pump and filtration system.
  • Pick at least 2 alternative sites in case the location your picked won’t work.

Caution – Before you begin digging, call 811 to check for any underground utilities.

Option 1: Using a flexible liner

Putting in a liner only takes 4 steps. Digging a hole, putting the liner down, filling the pond, and adding edging or stones around the pond.

Step 1:

Use flat shovels to remove strips or patches of sod in the pond area. Remove the grass about 6-12 inches away from the pond so you will have a flat surface.

Step 2:

Beginning at the edge, dig a trench for your edging of about 1 foot deep. Then remove the dirt in layers within the pond area by starting in the center. Dig 2 inches deeper than actual depth to allow for sand underlayment. Create an area for overwinter plants and fish. In colder areas, you will need to find an area that doesn’t freeze. It needs to be 3 feet wide and 3 feet deep. Do not add a pump or fountain in this area. Dig about a 12-inch shelf for plants that like shallow water. Position the shelf so that the plants will frame the water garden. Dig a ledge that is as deep as the edging minus 1 inch and less wide. Top off the edging with at least 1 inch above the terrain to prevent runoff from entering your pump. When you dig, ensure that you are angling the sides slightly, and ensure that the edges of the pond are level with the sides. If it isn’t level, then the liner will show. You can check this by placing a leveler on a board across the hole.

Step 3:

Inspect the hole for any sharp roots or stones carefully and remove them. Flexible liners are prone to punctures from gravel, rocks, broken roots and sharp objects. Cushion your liner with sand underlayment. Use about 2-3 inches of sand or newspaper. Many water garden suppliers will offer a tough underlayment material made just for pond liners. Put your material in the bottom of the hole and on the shelves on the pond. Pack damp sand into holes on the sides where rocks and roots were removed.

Step 4:

Pick a sunny, warm day to install the liner. You can make the liner flexible by laying it on warm pavement for half an hour. Don’t drag the liner to keep it from being punctured.Have help to drape the liner into the hole with an even overlap on the sides. Weigh down the edges with some smooth bricks or flat stones. Once you have the liner in place, start filling the pond. When it fills, adjust the liner to make it fit the sides of the pond, and smooth out creases and wrinkles. While it is filling, slowly ease the stones off the liner to prevent overstretching. When it is full, trim the excess off. Leave enough liner around your pond to extend under and a few inches behind the edging stones.

Step 5:

To keep your liner in place when adding your edging, use 20d nails through your line and into the ground every foot around the rim. If you are using natural stone, then experiment with different arrangements until you find the one that looks most natural. Although, flat stones can be placed directly over the liner, you need to position them so they won’t fall into the pond. To keep stones from moving simply mortar them in place. Mortar is premixed and is cheap.

Option 2: Using a Shell Liner

The ground for these liners need to be free of sharp objects, stable and firm. Keep in mind that the shell when filled can be more than 100 pounds. Any empty spaces or bumps can cause the shell to buckle or crack. In sandy or lose soil, ground water may cause erosion which create empty spaces and weaken the liner. Freezing and thawing during winter seasons can cause the shell to buckle. Backfilling helps to prevent these types of issues.

Step 1:

Flip the shell upside down in your pond area and mark the outline on the ground. You can also have it upright and use stakes to outline the shape of the shell. Outline the shell with a garden hose, flour or paint. Use stakes about 12 inches apart to keep the rope or hose in place.

Step 2:

Dig your hole to fit the shell, and allow an extra 2 inches around the pond and about 3 inches in the bottom of the hole. If the shell has any shelves, then ensure to cut ledges at the right areas to support the shell. The shell needs to be supported everywhere. Remove any sharp objects and rocks then add 3 inches of damp sand to the bottom of the hole. Smooth the sand using a board and pack the soil firmly to provide a strong base for the shell. Ensure that the bottom of the hole is level in all directions by using a level on a board on the sand.

Step 3:

Using help, set your shell into the hole and check the height of your rim. It needs to be 1 inch above the ground to prevent runoff from going into the pond. Remove or add soil. From the bottom of the hole to get the right height. Place wood on the rim and check with a level in different areas, and pull the shell out to relevel as needed.

Step 4:

Ensure that the pond is level before you begin to fill it. When the water rises, begin to backfill using damp sand and pack it gently with the end of your shovel. Ensure that you are filling the empty spaces, especially around the shelves. Ensure it stays level as you fill. Don’t allow the water to go above the backfilled area outside of the rim or it will bulge outwards. Try to make the pressure equal while you backfill it.

Step 5:

When the shell is full, you can conceal the rim with rocks, or overhanging plants. If you are using flagstone, allow them to overhang the edges by about 2 inches. The weight of the edging could damage or deform the walls, so don’t add the full weight on the rim.

Maintaining your Pond

There are a lot of treatment products to keep the pond clean for your animals and plants including:

  • Pond tint
  • Lime scale remover
  • Sludge remover
  • Chlorine remover
  • Barley pond cleaner
  • Algaecide

Maintaining the pond fountain

  • If you have green water, use a UV sterilizer or algaecide. If there aren’t animals in the water, treat it aggressively. UV sterilizers work to stop algae growth and prevent green water.
  • If you have string algae, remove as much of it as possible before your treat it. This keeps the string algae from decomposing and clogging the pump.
  • Lime scale remover will be able to remove lime scale deposits. Read the instructions that are with your fountain to make sure that there isn’t a special coating or treatment that can be harmed during treatment.
  • Maintain the pump by making sure that your fountain has plenty of water. Sometimes when the pump isn’t submerged, the motor will keep spinning and this causes the motor to burn out.
  • Pond tint (blue dye) may be used, but it could stain fountains. Test in an unnoticeable area before using. Pond tint is great for keeping algae away from the sunlight.

Backyard Pond Design & Installation

If you live in Arizona in the Valley of the Sun The Backyard Pond is your source for high quality ponds, pond accessories, and Koi fish.  We can help with your backyard pond design including the size, layout, and look of your backyard pond and help you with installation.  We also can help maintain your pond and care for the health of your Koi. If you have questions about how to get your backyard pond project started or would like to schedule an appointment please call us today 623-878-6695.

Why Is My Pond Green?

Why Is My Pond Green?

If you are searching “why is my pond green?” you are most likely looking for information about why it happened and how to fix it. This post covers

The only reason that a pond would turn green is because of algae that is growing in it. Firstly, algae in a pond isn’t always a bad thing. A thin, healthy algae layer on the surface is a vital part of having a good pond. It can prevent high levels of nitrates by consuming nitrates as food and putting off oxygen.

When Algae Is A Problem

  • Whenever the healthy algae blooms, it will turn the water cloudy to green to where the water is so green that you can’t see into the water.
  • Whenever you have the bad type of algae, called filamentous algae, it doesn’t always affect the color of the water, but it can grow in stringy masses or clumps to where it can overtake the pond.

In the situation where healthy algae has bloomed and turned your clear water green, here is what happened. The healthy algae that collects on the sides of the pond and never grows more than a fourth of an inch has decided to reproduce. Similar to a flower giving pollen, this algae will release millions of single cell algae. These cells are too small for a filter to pick up.

Controlling Algae Reproduction

So, how can you control the reproduction of algae? The best and efficient way is to install an UV light on the filtration system. The way that a UV light works is easy. As the water goes through the UV light it will be exposed to the light inside of the unit. The light waves are harsh enough that is destroys algae DNA, and kills it. Once the algae have died and starts to decompose it will begin to stick to each other. After the algae collects together, the mass becomes large enough for the filter to collect them or they go to the pond bottom. Once you have installed a UV light, the process takes about a week before the water is clear.

Stringy Algae

In the other situation, the pond water is clear but there are stringy algae all over and is rapidly growing throughout the pond. Algae becomes a problem when it breaks loose and floats around. Additionally, these algae will fill the basket and it will need to be cleaned constantly or it will stop the filter. This is due to filamentous algae. These algae introduced to a pond whenever you add plants. If a single spore is on a plant, it will create a problem.

The stringy algae can come in many forms. Some will grow slowly but some are fast growing and invasive. Some may not be obvious at first, but it will grow about 3 inches long on the pond walls. This type of algae will line your basket quickly to where it will affect the water flow but the basket has little debris in it. It is impossible for good algae to plug a basket as it is so small.

How can you control filamentous algae?

UV lights will have little effect on it because the algae grows on pond walls and never reaches the light. In mild cases, you can get the algae off the walls by hand when it gets ugly looking. In severe cases, it is best to use an algae control liquid. Algae Control is a great product that works well. It is a herbicide or weed killer. When dosed right, it is effective but you have to know how many gallons your pond is to use it properly. If you overdose the pond by 20% can kill your fish. It is suggested that you under dose the first couple of times that you use it, if you are unsure of how many gallons your pond is. 1-2 doses will normally kill the algae. It is recommended to use the half the dose every 2 weeks, instead of once a week as a maintenance. Keep your filter running to provide oxygen to your pond while treating because as the algae begins to decompose, it will take a lot of the oxygen out of the water. You have to pay attention when you use this product, but it is the most effective and easiest way to remove filamentous algae.

Tips about UV Lights

  • Ensure that you have plenty of circulation in your pond. Is it circulating together? If you have dead areas in the pond where the water doesn’t move, then those areas will grow algae and as the water moves in the pond, it will cloud the water.
  • Ensure that the UV light is sized for your pond. A light that is too small will not clear your water.
  • Ensure that your filter system is going 24/7. If you are only using it part of the time, you could see that keeping the water clear is hard.
  • The right sizes UV light with a good filter will clear your water all year without any real effort besides changing the lamp yearly. They work so well that it is recommended to never have a pond unless you have a UV light.
  • Ensure that you don’t exceed the recommended water flow through the unit. If you send fast moving pond water through it, it shortens exposure time, which reduces the ability to kill algae. You may need to install a bypass for the lamp. This allows you to control how much water goes through the unit. Proper water flow is
  • Ensure that you are changing the UV lamp yearly. After a year, many lamps are only work about 60% of capacity. The lamp could be on, but it may not have the ability to kill algae.

Pond Maintenance & Supply in Phoenix

If you have a green pond and need to get it under control we can do it for you, or help you choose the right products and tools to get the job done. We are a full service pond and koi pond company serving the entire Phoenix valley.  We will help you maintain your pond, get rid of unhealthy levels of algae, and promote the overall health and beauty of your pond.

Call Today – 623-878-6695

What Do Koi Fish Eat?

What Do Koi Fish Eat?

If you’re searching “What Do Koi Fish Eat?” you are either starting a new pond or taking over a pond.  This guide is meant to help you understand what they eat and how you can develop a successful and well balanced diet for your prized Koi.

Goldfish and Koi (carp) are considered non-aggressive omnivores. They will eat just about anything that won’t eat it first such as algae, worms, snails, insects, plants, etc. This is because they get their nutrition from various food sources, and it isn’t surprising that Koi and goldfish in the wild will rarely have nutrition related issues. Their natural environment has a lot of food sources to meet their dietary needs for growth, reproduction, and developmental maintenance.

Koi Fish Nutrition and Diet

The basic requirements for goldfish and Koi are not much different from other fish. They need protein for growth, maintenance and development. Fats such as lipids are the major energy source. Vitamins and minerals are essential for their metabolic performance. Read more below for details on Koi fish food.

The dietary proteins will provide essential amino acids that fish need by can’t synthesize. The natural diet for fish is rich in proteins. So as a pond-keeper, you have to make sure that protein requirements are met. Failure to do this is obvious. A deficiency in just one amino acid can stop growth, and then the fish will begin to waste away.

Koi Fish Feeding Factors & Variables

There are many factors that will influence protein needs for goldfish and Koi. Age is important, as a young fish needs more protein than older fish due to the fact that growth demands amino acids than maintenance of the fish body.

Temperature

Water temperatures will affect protein requirements. When the temperatures are below 60 degrees Fahrenheit the growth will be slow and protein demands are lower. Protein makes up about 25% of all fish in cooler waters.

Protein Content

The feeding rate will also affect the need for protein. If the food quantity is less than the fish’s appetite, then higher protein will be needed. If the food has a lot of starch or fiber, net protein intake will be reduced. Again a high protein content will be needed.

Amino Acids

The content of amino acids and the ability to digest other proteins and sources of protein will vary. So the exact protein source is vital. Fish meal and soybean meal do provide easy to digest proteins while animal meats and corn meal have a lot of hard to digest proteins.

Dietary Fat

Dietary fat will be the main source of energy for a fish. In the wild, the lipid percentage in the diet varies between 10% to 40% dry weight. Energy requirements depend on the activity level of the fish and in general Koi are more active in the wild than in a pond. So 5% to 10% of the diet for goldfish and Koi needs to be fatty acids.

Linolenic Acids & Oils

Koi in particular need linolenic and fatty acids. Fish oils such as cod liver oil will be the best sources of essential fatty acids which make up about 25% of the fatty acids but only 2.5% are linoleic acids. In contrast, vegetable oils are low in fatty acids but high in linoleic acids. A proper diet for goldfish and Koi need to contain about 1% of both types of oil. Linseed oil is a good source which provides both types of fatty acids.

Koi Vitamins

Vitamins, in small quantities, are great for fish health. For instance, thiamin deficiencies can be confused with insecticide poisoning, which cause body curvatures, instability, equilibrium loss, and eventually death. Biotin deficiencies can look like a parasite infection which causes blue slime, convulsions, poor growth and skin lesions.

Koi can synthesize some vitamins like B12 which reduces the need for dietary foods, but many vitamins need to come through its diet. Minerals are also a big part of fish health. They help to form tissue and basic metabolic functions especially osmotic balance between water and the fluids in a fish’s body. Osmotic diffusion helps fish to satisfy their mineral needs if the water contains minerals such as iodine, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, sodium, sulfate, carbonate, and chloride can be gained from diffusion. But zinc, iron, magnesium and copper need to come from their diet.

Koi & Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are not an important part of the diet for goldfish and Koi. Most ornamental fish suffer from diets that are rich in carbs. Liver enlargements, heart and kidney failure, severe liver degeneration, and excessive glycogen deposits on the liver can be caused from overfeeding of carbs. A safe practice is to make sure that the carb consumption is below 10% daily.

Fiber

Fish also do not need fiber. When fiber is more than 10% daily, food evacuation from the digestive system is sped up. This reduces the absorption of nutrients in the intestinal tract.

Koi Fish Feeding Options

Goldfish and Koi evolution has seen that the proper running digestive systems need dietary more in the long run. A single food diet is fine where the fish are removed early in life, but ornamental fish need natural lifespans which need various foods.

There isn’t a single food type, no matter how nutritious is right for a long term diet for goldfish or Koi. There aren’t any manufacturers of premium food that would claim that their products need to be the only thing in your fish’s diet. So you need to make the effort to give your fish a varied diet which doesn’t mean switching from flakes to pellets but various types of food like insects, vegetables and more.

It is important to think in terms of a supplemental and base diet for fish. The base diet gives the needed proteins, fats, and vitamins while the supplementary diet gives additional minerals and vitamins plus fats proteins, and variety.

Cost Of Koi Food

Not to mention, your finances are important too. Food costs can really increase over time, and you may end up spending more than needed to provide for their diets. That is why this article starts with looking at the basic needs of the goldfish and Koi. It will also look into the physiological characteristics of digestion and ingestion that are part of the feeding process of goldfish and Koi, which will affect the food and feeding. With this information, you can then get suggestions on feeding.

A Micro Ecosystem

It is in respect that the regular ornamental pond fish will fail to reproduce nature. The fish load of these ponds or the weight of fish when related to the volume of water is 100% greater than in the wild. It is the diversity and quantity of the aquatic flora and fauna in these ponds, especially a Koi pond, that is limited and never balanced with the fish population except where the pond is devoted to plants instead of fish. The average hobbyist can’t expect fish in an ornamental pond to be able to satisfy their needs with pond food alone.

Koi Pond Keeping

This is where pond-keeping comes into play. As a pond-keeper, you are standing in for mother nature to provide the basic diet for animals through daily feeding. It is vital that the daily ration of food will meet the nutritional needs in both ingredients and quantity. At the same time, proper nutrition and diet depends on how your fish feed themselves. The correct feeding process is very important for goldfish and Koi.

Although, it is easy to list what may be considered the best foods for your fish, and how they need to be fed, but that advice would have little effect without giving you the background about this process. There are so many alternatives and options out there, and there is more coming.

Koi Fish Services & Products in Peoria, Arizona

For Koi Pond Design give us a call today at (623) 878-6695 or stop by our store and take a look at our wide selection of Koi services and products.

 

How to Fix Green Pond Water (Algae)

How to Fix Green Pond Water Phoenix AZ

Are you searching for “How to Fix Green Pond Water“? If so this article is for you. We have prepared this guide to help pond owners understand what might be causing the green water, and what they can do to solve it.

Green Pond Water Causes

A single-cell free floating algae is what causes green pond water. It happens to be the most common issues that people have in their pond and it can be hard to deal with. If you follow the directions on the Controlling Algae in the Pond webpage, then you should be able to take care of this situation by making a biologically balanced ecosystem. To find out what plants are best to help you clear your water on the Clear Water Pond Plants webpage.

Although, sometimes algae have ways of making a pond cloudy even if all the things to make it clear are met. This could be caused by various things, like heavy fish load, water source, or organic matter in the pond.

Green Pond Water: How you can clear it

You can reduce your green by cleaning the debris called detritus from the bottom of the pond with a pond vacuum or long handled net. This is usually done in Spring and then in Fall. There is a new trend that has become quite popular for pond owners, that is owning a pond skimmer with an optional bottom drain. This takes away the need to clean the bottom of your pond because it does it for you by skimming debris and leaves from the pond before it sinks to the bottom. It also makes pump and filter maintenance easier. Another way to reduce organic matter in your pond is to add bacteria like Microbe Lift PL with a sludge reducer. These bacteria help to seed the bio filter and eat the sludge that lands at the bottom of the pond.

Heavily Loaded Fish Ponds

Having a heavy fish load or a lot of pond fish can cause green pond water because fish waster is being broken down by good bacteria through different steps until it becomes nitrates, which is what eaten by algae and plants. Even if you have a large amount of plants in the pond that are consuming the nitrates, and you still have too many fish, there will be algae. Reducing how many fish you have will help to get back to a natural balance.

City Water Quality

There are some water sources such as well water or city water that will have high phosphates. Phosphates will contribute to your algae growth being that it is a main nutrient that plants need to be able to grow. There are various brands of phosphate removers on the market, but in a large to medium pond that will be pretty expensive because it needs to be replaced often.

Additional UV & Chemical Water Treatments

If you have tried basically everything and still have a green pond, don’t worry. There are a few more solutions left. There is D-Solv-9. This is an algaecide that will clear your green pond water, but it also removes string algae. This is very concentrated, and just a 16-ounce bottle will treat around 9,600 gallons of water. If you have a really large pond, then they have 1 gallon bottles to treat around 76,800 gallons of water. It normally works with just one treatment, but there may be times where it takes 2-4 treatments. Then you have UV or Ultraviolet light. We have various types of UV Clarifiers that will work for your pond. If everything else fails, then these will work. If you get the right UV light that is matched to your pond size, and you have plenty of water running through it, then within 2 weeks, you will have clear water guaranteed.

Phoenix Pond Supply

If you live in the Phoenix valley and want the best products, knowledge, and guidance for having the best water for your pond contact The Backyard Pond. Our pond and Koi experts will help you understand what it takes to have a backyard pond to be proud of. You can stop by our location or give us a call at 623-878-6695.