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.

What Is Koi

What Is Koi Phoenix AZ

Are you a koi fish enthusiast, fan or keeper? It won’t matter if you’re just starting with koi or a seasoned breeder, they always have something else to learn. Below are some interesting facts about koi, such as female koi’s are not only rounder, but larger than male koi fish.

Heritage of Koi

It is thought that the koi fish originated within China, later being used by Japanese as a food source, which started to breed koi during the 1800s for aesthetic appeal. Koi in their many beautiful varieties that we see today, are descendents of a black fish known as Magoi, better known as the common carp. They date back almost twenty five hundred years originating from Eastern Asia – in the Azov, Caspian, Aral and Black Seas – and from parts of China. Contrary to common belief Koi did not originate in Japan. Koi were brought to Japan with the invading Chinese approximately 200 BC.

Popularity Contest

The most popular koi fish in Japan is the Kohaku, which is a white and red koi, also known best as the koi you start with and the koi you end with. It is also the most popular in the U. S., as well as the Showa Sanke, and Taisho Sanke. Ogan Koi is more prominent even in inadequately filtered ponds because of their single color can be seen even in cloudy water.

Smarty Fish

When it comes to intelligence, the koi are rather smart. Similar to cats and dogs, a koi fish can be trained to eat from your hand, or some train koi to eat from their mouths. As koi are omnivores, they are known for eating pond plants. Some species of koi are also known to recognize their owners’ faces.

Body Works

A Koi fish is able to grow to great lengths, up to 3 feet in ideal living conditions, such as a pond. However, if a pond is not deep enough, they can get sunburnt, and they need plenty of shade. Females are bigger than males, and koi do not have teeth. Ogon Koi is also the most favored by breeders because it is known to have a longer lifespan than multicolored Koi.

The Great Mate

In the process of mating, it is common for koi to eat their recently hatched young, known as koi fry. It is important to separate the koi fish from the koi fry during mating season to ensure the fry is preserved. If breeders are raising koi that are highly sought, it can bring thousands of dollars per koi. For a prized koi, $250,000 is not unheard of. Koi, like many other types of fish, koi breed by spawning.

The Great, Great, Great Grandpa Koi

Most popular in Japan, the Kohaku is a variety of white koi with red patches.

The oldest known koi recorded was a legendary koi by the name of Hanako, which was hatched in 1751 and passed away in 1977, making it 226 years old. That means this koi survived through Industrial America, French Revolution, the United States formation, inventions of the automobile and electricity industries, World War I, World War II, and well into the Vietnam War. However, the average lifespan of koi is 30 to 40 years.

Showing Age

Although Hanako survived 226 years, the age of the koi could not be detected by the naked eye. The scales of a koi fish are covered by microscopic growth marks, similar to the rings on a tree. These marks indicate patterns of food shortage or rapid growth. Environmental factors also have a hand in how long your koi will live. In established koi ponds the quality of care is also a factor. The breed type may also determine lifespan.

Representations

Various virtues are symbolized by koi fish within Asian cultures. Koi are recognized as being symbols of endurance, perseverance, individualism and strength. In many cultures, tattoos representing koi are not uncommon, representing the overcoming of adversity. Koi are also associated with wealth and success. In Japan festivals are held for their positive qualities with family strength and development.

Rainbow of Ideals

As koi are able to develop a wide range of colors, there are no surprises that every hue developed connotation. Metallic koi symbolize business success. Gold koi represent prosperity and wealth. Blue koi represents serenity, while Asagi koi of red, blue and grey color represent positivity. Black koi are considered to have patriarchal symbolism, with blue belonging to the son, red to the mother, and pink to the daughter.

Do you know any interesting facts about koi fish you would like to share? Leave a comment or send us message using the contact form!

Choosing Koi Fish

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Koi fish have amazingly diverse patterns and colors. Personal preference is ultimately the deciding factor when you are choosing which Koi fish to choose to put in your backyard pond. Choosing Koi fish should follow a few guidelines to help make sure you are getting healthy fish. For people wanting to breed and sell Koi fish out of their backyard pond attention to color balance, body shape, and head shape become details that must be paid attention. Champion Koi conform to a list of elements that serious keepers, breeders, and judges look for.

Koi Body & Head Shape

This is the most influential of the 3 categories of attributes. The body, fins, and head should be free from any type of damage or deformities, such as scars, indents, bumps, or any element that throws off the overall symmetry of the Koi. The Koi fish head should be long and broad. The eyes should be set and equal distance apart and the same height. Koi fish symmetry is one of the most influential elements in selecting Koi fish.

Koi Color Quality

The color on the Koi fish should be consistent over the body of the entire fish. While Koi may have multiple colors, each of the colors should have consistent saturation and uniformity. For example if your Koi has a bright orange spots they should be equal brightness and saturation over the whole body of the Koi fish. It’s best if there is a good balance of color that supports the symmetry. Each color present on the fish should be the same shade. This means the blacks should be black, not black and grey. Keep in mind that as the Koi grow the colors will change over time.

Koi Fish Pattern

Balance is the key to visually attractive Koi fish patterns. Even distribution of pattern that is respective to the size of the fish is best. For example if a large Koi has a very small pattern it can seem as if there is something missing from the fish. In contrast a small Koi feels over whelmed if there is too much patterning present. Patterns that cover the entire fish evenly are sought after as they present a well balanced visual presentation. In addition when the nose and tail of a Koi fish are the same color it feels coordinated and the colors and pattern that exist between them feel framed.

The Choice Is Yours

These guidelines are ultimately for people interested in breeding, and competition. For your backyard pond you can choose to have whichever fish are visually pleasing to your eye. As we all know beauty is in the eye of the beholder and this is very true when it comes to fish. We all have our favorite colors and are attracted to different combinations of colors and pattern.


Koi Fish For Sale In Arizona

Phoenix’s best choice in Koi fish is located conveniently in Peoria Arizona. The Backyard Pond has everything you need to start, maintain, and upgrade your backyard ponds. From the liner and aquatic plants to the Koi fish themselves we can help you get your dream Koi pond started. Stop by our store or give us a call to get your questions answered.

 

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.

Phoenix Koi Pond Pumps

Phoenix Koi Pond Pumps

Fish ponds of any kind can not exist without a pond pump. To have a healthy Koi fish pond you need a pump, and you need one that is the right size for your pond. Without a pump and filtration your pond can go from the star of your backyard landscaping show, to the murky monster in your backyard. It can develop offensive odors and even be harmful to your Koi fish.

Stagnant water is never good, whether its a body of water in the wilderness or your backyard. A pond pump gets that water moving again and forces it through your filter. The filtration system removes the debris and harmful build up of ammonia that develops from regular feedings and the waste from your Koi fish in Phoenix.

Seven Types of Pond Pumps

Depending on the size and design of your Koi fish pond you will need one of the seven pond pump designs. To get the most out of your pond make sure you get the right kind that will be able to keep up with the demand of your pond. This can be calculated by the gallons of water, and the load of fish. More densely populated Koi fish ponds benefit from greater water filtration and higher gallons per hour from the pond pump. Talk to your local Phoenix Koi fish pond expert to help with the exact size of pond pump you’ll need for your pond.

Submersible Pond Pumps

Like the name suggests a submersible pond pump is submerged in the pond water. They are naturally the easiest to install because they are simply hooked up to the waterfall or directly to a submersible filter. Once you’ve got it hooked up to one of those two things, and it’s in the water you just plug it in and you’re off to the races. The gallons per hour can vary drastically. The range of gallons per hour for these pumps can range anywhere from 50 gallons per hour to 50,000 gallons per hour.

For most backyard Koi fish ponds the pump need not be so extreme. Generally a submersible pond pump that helps filter 350 to 4,000 gallons per hour is enough. This is a simple way for you to keep your Phoenix Koi fish pond healthy and clean.

External Pond Pumps

For larger ponds external pond pumps are a must for your Koi fish. The first consideration is the effective filtration of the water for the health of the fish. The second benefit of a external pond pump is your pocket book. Submersible pumps tend to take more amps to run and actually cost you more electricity per month. In fact anything drawing over 10 amps will end up costing you a significant amount of money per month, so be wary when you are installing something that runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Statuary Pumps

For small fountains, this is the ideal pump. It has a low head pressure, which means that water forced out will not rise more than 3 feet high. The statuary pump is mostly used for decorative purposes rather than to aerate the water inside the pond.

Debris Handling Pumps

Debris pumps are classified under the submersible category. The debris handling pump’s function is to rid the pond clear of debris and other materials, while also supplying water to any ornament inside the pond. As the inlet is larger than others, it is rare that the pump will be clogged by solid materials or other debris.

Solar Powered Pumps

In relation to more conventional pumps, solar powered pumps can be both submersible and external. One of the main differences from your typical pond pumps, as the name implies, is that they use the sun to power them. Thus they are environmentally friendly and safe to operate, as no electricity is involved. The one drawback with this type of pump is that it is limited to warm and sunny climates and if not supplied with a batter back, cannot operate on cloudy or rainy days.

Magnetic Drive Pumps

Magnetic drive pumps are pumps that are highly energy efficient. To circulate the pond’s water, the impeller uses electromagnetism, forcing the ponds water out. This type of pump is generally used for a waterfall effect or for pond ornaments and decorations.

Fountain Pumps

Purchase of these pump come as a set, which will contain the pump, the filter and the fountain itself. It is best to run fountain pumps for ornamental and display purposes only. Although they are long-lasting and very dependable, these pumps will wear out on occasion.

Phoenix Koi Pond Pumps
Phoenix Koi Fish Pond Pumps

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

The Backyard Pond623-878-6695

 

Welcome To The Backyard Pond Blog

pond

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