How To Keep Your Water Quality High in Water Gardens & Garden Ponds

How To Keep Your Water Quality High in Water Gardens & Garden Ponds

If you are searching for information on “How To Keep Your Water Quality High in Water Gardens & Garden Ponds” you probably have a backyard pond that could use some attention. Poor water quality can ruin the look, cause an odor, and even dramatically affect the health of your Koi or Goldfish. For the best pond equipment available in the Phoenix area call The Backyard Pond at 623-878-6695.

Water Quality Contents:

Whenever you think of water quality in garden ponds and water gardens, you think about two things: clarity and the ability to support aquatic life. Lack of clarity isn’t an issue for aquatic life, but it does limit the ability to enjoy and see our goldfish and koi. As a pond owner you should be concerned with both of these things.

Although it is true that you can keep koi and goldfish in ponds without filtration, it does limit the number of fish that you can have. When in the wild, fish have a lot of water that help keep toxins from their waste from building up to a dangerous level. Most hobbyists will want to have more fish than what their pond will support. Koi and goldfish will put waste into the water as ammonia, mainly through their gills. Adding the issues of organic compounds from plant matter, soil and fish feces that may be in the pond.

Garden Pond Waste Removal

To be able to get good water quality there needs to be a form of waste removal. There are two methods that are used in garden ponds and water gardens which are biological and mechanical filtration.

Mechanical Water Filtration

Mechanical filters will physically remove solids in the water by trapping the debris in some sort of sponge, mat, or brush. Mechanical filters are quite effective but often need to be frequently cleaned to remove the debris. Many biological filters are also considered a mechanical filter, depending on how they are used. For instance, the Signal in-pond filter 800 is both a biological and mechanical filter when used in a pond where this is the only filter. But, it is mainly used as a mechanical filter when you use it with another type of biological filter in larger water gardens or garden ponds. The mechanical filtration in many ponds comes in the form of a pond skimmer.

Biological Water Filtration

Biological filters are a very effective way of removing toxins from the water by breaking down ammonia into nitrates and nitrites. This is done by using naturally occurring bacteria that is called nitrobacter or nitrosomonas. Ammonia is broken down into the natural body of water, but because of the limited space around and in the pond, you will have to watch this. There needs to be an efficient place for bacteria to thrive and live. Inside of the biological filter is the place where there will be a material that the bacteria can be exposed to large quantities of oxygen and food. The best material for doing this is a fiber matting media that allows there to be a large surface area for the bacteria to colonize and also a void area that allows large amounts of water to go through carrying food for the bacteria.

Filter materials that are that are considered too dense will clog up the filter and not allow the water to go through. You are also able to increase the efficiency by adding concentrated solutions of enzymes and bacteria like Micro Lift NiteOut and Microbe Lift PL. Being able to provide plenty of oxygen to the bacteria by using air stones or towers in the filter help to increase the efficiency. There are other types of organisms like Blood Worms that will colonize in biological filters and break down organic compounds.

Biological filters in ponds need to run continuously during the seasons. If they have been down for more 3 hours, then the good bacteria will start to die. Biological filters need to be cleaned by using only chlorine free water to help avoid killing or removing the bacteria. Also the filter should not be over cleaned, rinse only the media that will let allow good water flow through the filter. The brown stain on the filter is actually the living bacteria.

Water Changes

The nitrates will be a result after the break down of ammonia and nitrites are food for the plants or food for algae if there aren’t plants available. If you plan to keep koi or goldfish and no plants, then you will need to do partial water changes to remove the nitrates and other types of compounds from the water. If you are able to keep plenty of aquatic plants, the large water changes aren’t really necessary, although the small water changes around every 5 weeks and about 20% of the water should be fine.

Ultra Violet Water Sterilization

There are certain times of the year or if the balance of biological filters, plants, or fish is off you could end up with green water due to single cell algae.

The best method of being able to guarantee clear water against this issue is using UV sterilizer. This device will use a germicidal UV lamp that will be placed in a pipe that allows water to pass around and will reduce algae by 99% when it is fitted in the right sized pond. Although, using a UV sterilizer doesn’t need to be used without the right type of biological filtration because the dead algae need to be broken down by the filter. UV sterilization doesn’t help with string algae. For that you should use OxyPond Cleaner, AlgaeFix, or Algaway and strive to have a well-balanced system that uses the methods below to keep the string algae lowered.

Types Of Algae

There are various types of algae. There are different textures and colors. The green velvet type that is found on the sides of ponds is beneficial that provides food and oxygen for koi and goldfish. This type of algae will help to give natural appearances to ponds. If you can’t tolerate this type of algae, you will have to get rid of your fish and use Fountec. This will remove this algae and is safe for all animals except fish and is safe for plants.

If you sometimes have issues with algae and other types of particles that interfere with the clarity of the water, then you may need to consider flocculants like AccuClear. This product works by causing particles to clump together and then fall to the bottom of the pond, where it can be removed by vacuuming or siphoning the bottom or having your mechanical filter remove the debris.

Another good product to use is packaged enzyme and bacteria combinations that will help to break down the sludge as well as other types of organic compounds.

Balancing pH In Your Pond

For your fish to be healthy and to help control the algae, the pH of your pond needs to be monitored by using a pH testing kit. The pH needs to be between 6.8-8.0 and the ideal being 7.0-7.8. If the pH is above 8.4 and below 6.6 then it is best to not try and adjust it.

If you have to adjust the pH of your water, then you will need a pH UP or pH down liquid that will raise or lower the pH.

How you can balance your pond water

A major concern for pond water is being able to maintain and achieving clear water. When a garden pond or water garden is first put in, there is normally a rush to fill them full of aquatic plants and fish, but it is vital that you consider the natural processes of the ecosystems. In nature, ponds will have a certain time for everything to adjust and interact while the pond evolves. Even though the suspended algae in water is to be expected many people want to keep it to a minimum. Constructed ponds will require a bit of help to avoid the issue of excess algae. One of these methods is to stock and then arrange the pond in this method:

  • Remove the dead organic stuff from your pond.
  • Add biological filtration and UV sterilizer.
  • Keep rain run off out of the water. It will carry soil, chemicals, and fertilizers which will prevent the pond from balancing.
  • If the pond is in full sun, there needs to be 50 to 70% shade of the pond surface. This needs to be done with floating plants such as water. If the pond is less than full sun, less coverage will be needed.
  • Use Anacharis for every square foot of the surface that are under 50 square feet and one bunch for every 3 square foot for ponds up to 200 square feet. For ponds that are over 200 square feet, use one bunch for every 4 square feet.
  • Use no more than one inch of fish for every square foot to begin with. After the pond has been fully established or with well filtered water, you may add more fish. Feed only what the fish are able to eat in 5 minutes. Uneaten food will lead to algae

Phoenix Area Pond Supply

If you are looking for live fish, live plants, pond filtration, pumps, or anything else you need to start or care for your water garden or garden pond The Backyard Pond has everything you need. We serve residents of the greater Phoenix area with the best selection of Koi, plants, and all the supplies you need. Stop by or give us a call at 623-878-6695 with your questions.

How To Maintain A Backyard Pond In Phoenix

 

how-to-maintain-a-backyard-pond-in-phoenix

Having a pond in your backyard is a great centerpiece of your landscaping. However without proper maintenance it can become the monster lurking in your yard. Here are a set of steps for how to maintain a backyard pond.

Elements of a Backyard Pond

The type of maintenance required for each pond is different, partly because different yards will have more or less trees, sunlight, and other variables. Even different styles and materials the ponds are made with will mean more or less cleaning. Most ponds share common elements, here are a few of them.

Pond Edge Materials – The edges of most ponds are lined with an edging material. Usually concrete pavers or even stones are lined between the water and the rest of your landscape. This isn’t just for a great aesthetic look, but helps prevent contamination. The water running off your lawn may be fertilized. The chemicals found in lawn fertilizer are not good for these ponds, especially if you have Koi fish.

Pond Liners – The soil in your yard is meant to drain water away from the roots of your plants. When you have a pond you generally want to keep the water where you put it, and a PVC or rubber liner is how we get the job done.

Pond Sand Bases – Before the liner goes down a layer of sand is laid. This is so that your liner has a soft even place to rest. Without this you might have sharp rocks that will pierce your liner and leak your water.

Seasonal Backyard Pond Maintenance Routines

Depending on the size of your pond you will require more or less often maintenance. It might seem crazy but the larger ponds are actually easier to take care of. This is because they can cope with changes to chemistry and ecology. Here we have listed out the ways to take care of your backyard pond in each season.

Spring Backyard Pond Maintenance

  • If your liner has more than an inch of debris or muck you are going to need to drain the pond and hose off the liner. Cleaning the bottom of the pond keeps your filters and pumps working, and makes them last longer.
  • While you have the pond drained it is a good chance to look for any potential leaks. Limbs or branches from trees can fall and pierce the liner of your pond. Pond liner repair kits are inexpensive and effective. This will prevent water from leaking out, or contaminants under your liner from entering your ecosystem.
  • Replace the filter and make sure the pump is working. Replace any piece of your pump or filtration system that isn’t working.
  • Top off the water level in your pond. Do so by placing the water trickling into the bottom of the pond. This helps stir up the minimum amount of debris.
  • Get rid of any debris or leaves from the pond. This debris as it decomposes releases harmful chemicals into ponds. The Nitrate levels need to be controlled for these close ecosystems.
  • Consider adding some plants to help increase the level of oxygen in the water. In addition to aeration of the water from falling water you can put oxygenating aquatic plants into your pond.
  • If you have potted plants you can divide them. This keeps them growing well and getting bigger.
  • Switch the feed you are using for your fish in the spring. You will want to make sure that you are using a high-carbohydrate type food. This will help them increase activity.
  • After all potential for frost has passed you can add any submerged or potted plants to your pond. If you install them too early you run the risk of algae getting out of control.

Summer Backyard Pond Maintenance

  • Stay on top of the water level. Letting the water get too long concentrates salt in the water and is harmful to the fish, pond, pump and filtration system. Try to add a little every week or two instead of having to add large amounts every month.
  • Plants grow best in the summer and can get out of control. It’s important to remove dead leaves to keep the water clean. Plants or flowers that are overgrowing should also be trimmed back. This will help keep the water cleaner and require less maintenance.
  • Keep an eye on your pump intakes and filters. A weekly check should be done and clean them out if they are starting to get clogged.
  • Watch The Water Chemistry. Kits should be bought to keep track of the water quality. Much like operating a hot tub the chemistry in the water dictates how safe it is. Pond chemistry sticks should be used that properly measure for chlorine, ammonia, and chloramines. High levels of any of these chemicals can be harmful to, or kill your fish.
  • Watch the fish for odd behavior or sores. It can be a sign of water chemistry being off.
  • Use aquatic-plant fertilizer tables on your potted plants each month of the summer. This helps keep them healthy and growing well.
  • If your yard is prone to pests on the plants use non toxic methods to control them. Algae can grow out of control if you don’t control it. Use a long-handled bristle brush, pole, or rake to get rid of your algae.

Fall Backyard Pond Maintenance

  • Fall is known for falling leaves, and decaying leaves in your pond raise ammonia levels. If you only have a few trees and can skim the leaves out of your pond with a net or skimmer you should be fine. If you have a lot of trees near the pond a net should be set in place. They can be bought inexpensively and secured in place with tent spikes, bricks or rocks.
  • Cut back on the feeding of your fish. Once the water reaches 50°F stop feeding your fish entirely. During the winter digestion in fish enters an almost hibernation like state. The amount they need to eat is more than supplied by bugs and other things they can find naturally in the pond.
  • Take any plants that won’t cope well with colder temperatures. Arizona rarely has serious freezes. But plants that won’t survive cooler nights should be brought in.

Winter Backyard Pond Maintenance

  • In Arizona freezes are not common. However if there is a freeze coming, clear your water lines and any pond fountains.

Welcome To The Backyard Pond Blog

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The Backyard Pond, LLC serve Phoenix and surrounding areas throughout AZ. We are a full service Japanese Nishikigoi Dealer that offers a wide variety of services and products. Since 1996 our family owned and operated pond company has maintained our reputation of excellence by not compromising on the quality that we provide.

Specialists in imported Japanese Nishikigoi, Goldfish, Water-plants, Pond Supplies, Pond Construction and Design. All prices are subject to change without notice. Let us create the backyard pond of your dreams. Loaded with plenty of koi fish for sale, water gardens, aquatic plants and other pond accessories.

A backyard pond with clear running water, floating plants and colorful koi fish can turn a bland space breathtaking. Keeping it attractive and trouble free takes work, but with a little extra care, planning and building stages you can create a pond that’s almost maintenance-free.

The Backyard Pond, LLC