The CICY Project – From Orchids to Cenotes

It all started at the IWGS Symposium, in an orchidarium in a salt mine one hundred feet below 20150813_110344-1Kansas City. I was chatting with a lovely couple, Porfi and Beatriz, long time members of the International Waterlily and Water Garden Society, IWGS or I-Dub for short. We chatted as we ogled the 10,000 or so magnificent orchids at Bird’s Botanicals that flourished in the controlled temperature and humidity of the vast underground caverns. (If orchids in salt mines sound pretty cool to you, consider joining – the IWGS and its members are very interesting indeed.)

The subject was the artificial ponds and lakes of the Yucatán Peninsula. I’ve been traveling to Mexico for number of years, trying to help our distributors in Yucatán maintain the many large water features that are built using swimming pool technology. Unfortunately, lakes are not large swimming pools, as my friends Lydia and Nacho Barroso can attest.

As the owners of a very successful pool and spa distributorship that has expanded into every facet of water technology, the Barrosos have found through years of experience that chlorine and sand filters cannot adequately deal with the sun and heat of southeastern Mexico. The large shallow artificial lakes at every golf course, country club, condo complex and resort on the Peninsula require a different strategy. Years of trial and error have proven phytofiltration, cleaning and clearing water with plants, the best course of action. While we strolled through the cavern, I asked Porfi, who lives near the Barrosos, if he could help, and he knew just where to find aquatic plants.

Then he asked if we knew about a pond project coming up at a local botanical garden. That’s CICYhow we found out about the Centro de Investigación Científica de Yucatán, or CICY (pronounced SEE-see). I Googled it as soon as we got back from the tour. According to the webpage, CICY is “a public research institution (whose) mission is to generate scientific and technological knowledge in the areas of plant biochemistry and molecular biology, agricultural biotechnology, natural resources, materials science, water sciences, and renewable energy in order to contribute to sustainable development.” What could we do for el CICY, I wondered?

My next trip down to Merida my friends and I stopped by for a look around. They have some really cool stuff there, including a cloning lab and a huge collection of native plants, and they were about to put in a new Sensory Garden. Porfi knew the architect and the botanist in charge of the gardens, and had heard that the centerpiece of the new 20150713_092457Sensory Garden was to be a pond – would we be interested building it?

Would we ever! This was a golden opportunity to show off just what active bog filtration could do, in a public garden that would receive 150,000 visitors a year. Now to make it happen…To Be Continued.

Subscribe to receive updates on new blog posts, including Demi Fortuna’s next post on the construction of the bog pond.

Read “The CICY Project – Part 2”

 


 About the Author:
Demi is the Direct of Product Information for Atlantic Water GardensDEMI FORTUNA

Demi has been in water garden construction since 1986. As Atlantic’s Director of Product Information, if he’s not building water features, he’s writing or talking about them. If you have a design or construction question, he’s the one to ask.

 

Illuminating your Outdoors

Illuminating your outdoor space can be tricky. How many lights do you need? Where do you place them to get the best lighting during the evening? Where and what are the best aspects to highlight in a water feature?

In a pond or waterfall you need to be very careful with the placement of light. Even in the water, light can be blinding to someone who is looking into your pond. A good rule to follow is always place the light facing away from the viewing area.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In this picture the lights highlight aspects of the pond but are facing away from the main viewing area. These lights are small enough to be placed in the water and to be hidden within the rocks around the edge of the pond.

The amount of lights you use is completely up to yosol_lights_beautyu depending on how bright you want your water feature to be at night. If you have a lot of focal points that you want to highlight, use as many lights as needed to illuminate the area. You should want to focus on the main aspects of the water feature that draw the most interest.

For example, you would not want to place a light into a stream that is flat with not a lot of water movement. By placing the light on the falls of stream beds and waterfalls, you create a more visually interesting feature at night.

The shadows cast on buildings from the movement of water and light will create a very dynamic effect that will make a lasting impression.

Another tip for light placement is to stagger the lights throughout the landscape or area to create balance. The goal is to move the viewers eye through the entire space, using too much light in the foreground will prevent viewers from experiencing the entire water feature.

Do you have  any other tips or questions on light placement? Post them below.


About the Author:
Jim is the National Sales Manager for Atlantic Water Gardens.
JIM CHUBB

Jim is the National Sales Manager for Atlantic Water Gardens. With 26 years of sales experience and 16 years in the water garden industry, Jim is your go-to guy for selling water features.

My Pond Looks Great, Now What?

A few months ago we started with the question that I hear more than most. That was, how does my pond work anyway? In that blog I gave the basics of the biology in your pond and even compared it to a goldfish bowl. Basically they work the same way. We can do so much more with a pond because of biological filtration and plants.

Clear pond Well, Atlantic Water Gardens National Sales Manager, Jim Chubb and Director of Product Information, Demi Fortuna, both followed that blog post with articles on biological filtration and how bogs work (plant filtration). By now you should feel pretty good about how your pond works and how to keep it looking clean, clear, and natural. Some might be even getting ready to ask the follow up question of, “I have done all this, but I still have to do a pond clean out every year, why?” That is not only a good question, but the answer is the next step in the solution to keeping your pond clean and clear as possible.

Let me explain, you have set Spring time, pond with Algae. Atlantic Water Gardensup everything you could to put the water feature on the right path. All the biology is working for you and it is simple to see that the plants growing and out competing the algae for nutrients. You end the summer season happy, coast along until winter and wait for spring. Then what happens? You guessed it, there are algae blooms of every kind and your frustration level is through the roof. You thought you had this covered. What Happened?

You probably forgot the last step, harvesting. Huh? Harvesting, what am I a farmer? Indeed you are, or at least you need to be. You see, all that time and attention that you gave led to great plant growth. Those plants are full of nutrients and need to be cut and removed from the water feature before they start to die off and decay in the water. By trimming plants back and covering the pond with a net at the end of the season each year, we are removing nutrients, preventing leaves and other organics from getting into the pond. We are simply getting it ready for the next season. By doing this you complete the cycle and prevent all the nutrients from reentering the pond all at once in the spring.

So many water feature owners over look this last step. Yes, they will cut back ugly plants that the cold weather has taken its toll on. But by then the damage has been done. Look at your floating plants, in season they are bright green and beautiful. If you pick one up it has long roots that stretch way out from the bottom to the plant. What is difficult to see though, is that as soon as we see night time temps start to drop, the plant starts to change. First it is the growth rate, then it’s the root system. In a floating plant there are a ton of nutrients in the root system. As it gets colder it starts to drop its roots. When the weather maintains the cold temperature the floater finally starts to turn brown and is usually removed. But it was the root system that did the damage. All those nutrient loaded roots are now at the bottom of the pond decaying and getting ready to spring into action next spring. Your marginal plant do something similar and need to be trimmed as well.

So, make a note and be sure to trim plants back before the weather turns cooler, cover with a net to keep leaves and falling debris from getting in there as the season changes. And you will be one step ahead for next spring.


About the Author:


Sean is the Regional Sales Manager for the Southeast for Atlantic Water Gardens. Fish Geek and water feature enthusiast, Sean has managed one of the largest aquarium stores in the Southeast while running his own pond maintenance company.SEAN BELL

Sean is the Regional Sales Manager for the Southeast for Atlantic Water Gardens. Fish Geek and water feature enthusiast, Sean has managed one of the largest aquarium stores in the Southeast while running his own pond maintenance company. When it comes to water features, Sean is your guy!

 

 

Tips & Tricks for Photographing Water Features

As summer is about to wrap up for us here shortly in Northeastern Ohio, I thought this would be a perfect time to get some great photos of our water features before there is two feet of snow on the ground. Taking photos of water features can sometimes be frustrating, it may look amazing in person but on the screen of your camera it may not look as appealing. Whether you are taking pictures of water features on your phone or have a digital SLR camera, I’ve put together my best tips on photographing water features to help you.

Tip #1: Change your view
Don’t be afraid to get down on the ground or up high in the air. A unique view, usually makes for a more interesting photo. Don’t forget to rotate the camera, too. When shooting, turn the camera to take both landscape (horizontal) and portrait (vertical) photos.

Tip #2: Getting blurry photos on your phone?
Are you getting blurry or out of focus images on your phone? Try tapping the screen where you want to focus and that area will stay in focus when snapping the photo. Try to stay as still as possible and the phone will do the rest of the work!

Tip #3: Shooting on your iPhone?Original Photo vs. HDR Photo
iPhones have a little hidden feature called HDR in their camera app. This feature will compile three images, one underexposed, one at the correct exposure and one overexposed. With all three of those exposures it will create one image that has the perfect combination of shadows and highlights. This is not a cure-all for most photos, but should give you a little boost when shooting landscapes. This side-by-side comparison, shows subtle but dramatic changes in the color and definition of the rock and purple flowers. Keep in mind not all photos are better as HDR so I would advise you to enable the phone to keep the original photo as well as the HDR version to compare and pick your favorite.

How to enable HDR:
-Open the Camera app > click HDR on top of the screen > Select On

How to Enable HDR on iPhones

How to keep your original photo:
Settings > Photos & Camera > under “High Dynamic Range” toggle “Keep Normal Photo”

How to keep your original photo

Tip #4: Try close ups75-feet of waterfall vs. 5-feet of waterfall
Whether you have a large or small water feature, get up closeand personal! You may think that photographing the whole water feature is best, but pick out your favorite parts and focus on them. We have a large 75-foot waterfall here at Atlantic HQ and taking photos of the entire thing is not only cumbersome, but everything in the photo is small and all looks the same. Sometimes its best to focus on just one thing at a time and get a more interesting result.

Tip #5: Nighttime photos
When it comes to daytime shots theres a golden hour in the morning and late afternoon, but for nighttime shots there’s a golden couple of minutes. Nighttime photos are best right before the sun sets. Those few minutes when the sky is just starting to darken, is the perfect time to get a nighttime photo. Along with the help of a tripod you are on your way to getting an amazing shot. To eliminate camera shake all together, you can use a remote shutter release for an ultimately crisp photo.

This was taken just as the sun was setting. .

I hope these few tips help you to get an amazing photo of your water feature. If you are Atlantic Professional Contractor, don’t forget to send in your best water feature photos to win a free trip to Las Vegas and the 2016 Irrigation Show! Maybe your new photography skills will pay off!

For more details on our photo contest click here!

 


About the Author:
Kendahl Kreps

After her Graphic Design internship in 2013, Kendahl joined the Atlantic team full-time in 2014. As part of her responsibilities, Kendahl manages all printing and packaging materials as well as helping run the Advertising Department. Photography is one of her many forte’s here at Atlantic.

Bog Filtration, the perfect complement to Biological Filters

Last month my buddy Jim Chubb talked about the importance of biological filtration, why you’d want to use a biological filtration box, and how to hide a FilterFalls. In this post I’m going to talk about a complementary approach to biological filtration, the Bog Filter.

20160322_075127Bog filters are the perfect companion to biological filters, because they help complete the nitrogen cycle that begins with biofilters like the FilterFalls Jim was talking about. Biological filters harbor the bacteria that convert ammonia from fish wastes into nitrates. Bog filters take those nitrates out of the water column and convert them into plant material.

The reason this is so important is, the nitrates that result from a well-functioning biofilter are plant food, and if there are no other plants in the system, or even too few plants, those nitrates are going to feed lots and lots of algae.

That’s right. The better your biological filtration is, the more plant food is going to be created, and the more algae will grow… UNLESS there are other plants to consume those nitrates.

DSC02195Enter the Bog Filter, the perfect way to get those nitrates out of the pond water, and so, to eliminate green water and string algae. Basically, by placing desired ornamental plants in bare gravel, without sufficient soil to feed themselves, the plants take up all the available nutrients in the water and starve out the undesirable algae.

Bog Filtration is a pretty simple concept, so there are plenty of different ways to implement it. The simplest are graveled areas in or adjacent to the pond filled with bog and marginal plantings, called passive bogs because there is no active flow of water through the gravel. Active bogs use the pumping system to force water through the planted beds, and are much more effective because all the nutrients in the pond have to pass through the matted roots of the bog filter, and are removed.

There are two kinds of active bogs that differ in the direction of water flow. Downflow Bogs pull water down into the planted gravel bed, while upflow Bogs reverse the flow, pushing water up through the plant roots and out the top of the gravel bed. Because downflow bogs tend to trap sediments and clog more frequently, we’re going to talk about building upflow bogs instead.

The advantage to active upflow bogs is that they can be placed just about anywhere. Perimeter bogs, waterfall or stream bogs, even bog islands are simple to add to any existing pond, as long as they are built so the pumped water makes its way back into the pond.

One of the most effective bogs I’ve seen was built on an island in the center of an existing koi 101-7apond. A plastic grate set on cinder blocks about 6” below water level was covered with a piece of liner, then ringed with dry stacked stones to the surface. A planted gravel bed covered a 2” perforated pipe attached to a pump below the island. Water pumped into the gravel bed flowed back through the gravel and stones, stripped of all nutrients.

It doesn’t take much flow – usually one quarter of the volume of the pond per hour is sufficient. The size of the bog depends on the fish load. A goldfish pond where the fish are not fed at all might need a bog about 10% of the surface are of the pond in size. On the other hand, a pond where Koi are fed twice a day might need a bog 30% of the size of the pond.

More elaborate bogs use EcoBlox under the gravel bed to form a sediment chamber that also traps suspended solids, but that’s the subject of another post. Regardless of how you choose to install them, Bog Filters keep your pond free of algae using just beautiful plants to clear and clean pond water.

pond-free_bog

 


About the Author:
Demi is the Direct of Product Information for Atlantic Water Gardens
DEMI FORTUNA

Demi has been in water garden construction since 1986. As Atlantic’s Director of Product Information, if he’s not building water features, he’s writing or talking about them. If you have a design or construction question, he’s the one to ask.

The Importance of Biological Filtration

Over the years Pond manufactures have been working hard to give you the pond builders, a solution for the dreaded “Green Pond”. The answer? Biological Filtration! As I travel all over the US, I hear time and time again that pond builders do not use this filtration method because of the difficulties they have when it comes to camouflaging them. I am here to say, there is a way!

Before we get into the best way to disguise these black filtration boxes, let’s first talk about why they are important and why you should be using them.

beneficialbacteriaThese filtration boxes or FilterFalls, were designed to hold filter material to colonize beneficial bacteria and help filter your pond. Beneficial bacteria breaks down organic debris and fish waste, providing food for plants. Multiple pads or mats provide the oxygen rich environment for beneficial bacteria to flourish. The addition of biological media enhances beneficial bacteria growth by providing additional surface area for bacterial colonization. In turn making your pond clean, clear and a healthy eco-system.

The homeowner may still be weary about adding a filtration black box to their beautiful water feature, and educating your customer, is key. Having an up front conversation with the homeowner explaining why you are using the Filterfalls and why it is essential for the health and quality of the pond will help alleviate any concerns.

Another way to alleviate any concerns is to ensure the homeowner that they will not have to see any black box and their feature will look natural as long as it is camouflaged properly.

This will translate into a happy pond owner with fewer callback’s, saving you time and money.

Now that the customer is on board with using the FilterFalls, let’s talk about camouflage.

Line the inside of your Filter box with stone & plantings to help camouflage.

There are many ways to do this. First make sure that the area around the FilterFalls is or has been built up around the edge of the falls. Having higher ground is key to being able to easily camouflage the box. Trees, plants, rocks, logs, driftwood, floating plants are all great things to use for disguise.

Using plantings near and around your filter boxes will create more of a disguise.

Edge the inside of the FilterFalls with stones or rocks, you can also mix in some water plants for a more natural look. Logs or driftwood can be laid over top the FilterFalls for even more of a disguise.

By planting trees and bushes near your FilterFalls you can create even more of an illusion that the FilterFalls are not even there!

Another great trick is to angle the Filter box away from the viewing point so that the homeowner will not be staring directly into the filter box when they go to look at their feature. Remember, that like in nature, you never see where the water source is coming from. The same should go for the feature that you are building.

Hiding your FilterFalls

Angle the Filter box away from the viewing point so that the homeowner will not be staring directly into the filter box when they go to look at their feature.

 

If FilterFalls still aren’t your thing, Bog filtration can be used as an alternative. Check back for our next blog post on Bog Filtration by bog expert, Demi Fortuna.

 

 

 


About the Author:
Jim is the National Sales Manager for Atlantic Water Gardens.
JIM CHUBB

Jim is the National Sales Manager for Atlantic Water Gardens. With 26 years of sales experience and 16 years in the water garden industry, Jim is your go-to guy for selling water features.

How Does My Pond Work Anyway?

This is the number one question I hear as I travel around the country helping people with their water features. Usually there is a problem that brought me to the pond in the first place, but after a few minutes of talking, that question comes up. It is also accompanied with, “I thought this thing was supposed to be low maintenance!” Very quickly I can see that expectations have not been met and a little education is in order.

To many times, during the sales process of a water feature, too much time is spent going over flashy marketing brochures instead of just having an honest conversation about what to expect over the first three years of owning a water feature. Many installers shy away from what the maintenance will be due to a fear of scaring off the potential owner. The truth is, there is maintenance to be done, but it’s not any more than anything else in your back yard.

balanced ecosystemSo how does your pond work? Your pond works the same way any body of water works whether it’s a 1 gallon goldfish bowl or a seven acre lake. All bodies of water work off of the same basic biology, waste products are created, and bacteria consumes these waste products and converts them into nutrients for plants to consume. With a little maintenance everything will stay in balance and look like a perfect slice of nature. If it is out of balance you will have issues that need addressing.

Pond with plants and fishFirst and foremost Plants are the answer. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. If you have things growing in your water feature that are green and you didn’t plant them and you don’t like them. It’s because you didn’t plant enough green things you do like. Your grass is the same way, if you don’t re seed the yard, “other” green species will start to grow year after year. So the first thing to remember is plants, plants, plants.

Secondly, how many fish do you have? What size are they now compared to when you bought them? Fish grow and as they do their new size creates issues in the water feature. If your fish load doubles in size after the first two years but your plant base stays the same, you are out of balance and will have more maintenance to correct the issue.

Last of all, water flow and filter size. When your feature was created what fish load was use to size the bio filter, do you have enough water flow to filter the feature at least every hour, preferably much more if you have a heavy fish load.

Any of the above can create an out of balance situation for your water feature. There are a multitude of manufactured solutions on the market to aid in this as well. Water clarifiers, automatic dispensers for bacteria, and copper dosing units. Each have their place, and all of them are band aids and not real solutions except for one. Clarifiers only mask the issue, they do clear water, but string algae uses the nutrients and clear water to run out of control. Automatic bacteria dispensers simply take away the need to add bacteria once a week. Truthfully, once the system is in balance this need is reduced as well (more on that in a future blog post).

Then there is the copper system (triton ionizer), it works very good, but is a solution for a specific problem and not for every water feature. Some systems have water issues coming out of the tap and are going to be prone to issues not matter how many plants we add. Others are in an area of the yard where sunlight is great for algae but not plants. So it is a great addition if you find yourself dealing with buckets of algae.

Atlantic Water Gardens University

This is just a quick overview of how your water feature works, for a more detailed look please visit Atlantic Water Gardens University.


About the Author:
Sean is the Regional Sales Manager for the Southeast for Atlantic Water Gardens. Fish Geek and water feature enthusiast, Sean has managed one of the largest aquarium stores in the Southeast while running his own pond maintenance company.SEAN BELL

Sean is the Regional Sales Manager for the Southeast for Atlantic Water Gardens. Fish Geek and water feature enthusiast, Sean has managed one of the largest aquarium stores in the Southeast while running his own pond maintenance company. When it comes to water features, Sean is your guy!

How Many Eco-Blox do I need for my Pond-free Feature?

Pond-free System

Pond-free features, where a pond or waterfall recirculates from an underground reservoir, have become very popular because they are easier to build and maintain than fish ponds. The Pond-free basin is a hole lined with EPDM rubber to make it waterproof, filled with water matrix boxes called Eco-Blox that can support thousands of pounds.

This weight-bearing reservoir can be hidden under gravel, lawn, pavers – you can even build waterfalls right on top of it! The water in Eco-Blox basins stays clean and clear, so maintenance is much simpler. Pond-free water features are generally safer too, because there’s no way for anyone to fall in.

With the great popularity of these features,  we receive many questions. One of the main questions we get at Atlantic is “How many Eco-Blox do I need?”

Here’s how to figure that out.

First, find the volume of water needed to fill the stream and falls to overflowing.

Usually about 3” in the whole stream will do. Measuring everything in feet makes things easier, so convert 3” to a quarter of a foot. For a 6-foot by 2-foot stream:

Length x Width x 0.25 feet = 6’ x 2’ x 0.25’ = 3 cubic feet

We’ll want 3 times as much water in the reservoir as we need, so the level will only drop by a third when we turn the system on before it starts recirculating:

3 cubic feet x 3 = 9 cubic foot reservoir

Finally, we’ll divide by 4.3 cubic feet, the number of cubic feet in an Eco-Blox:

9 cubic feet ÷ 4.3 cubic feet/Eco-Blox = 2.1 Eco-Blox

With the addition of a Pump Vault to house and protect the pump, as well as providing a little extra water volume, 2 Eco-Blox will be perfect!

 

Now that you know how many Eco-Blox you’ll need for your next project, check out our video on how assemble one.


 About the Author:
Demi is the Direct of Product Information for Atlantic Water GardensDEMI FORTUNA

Demi has been in water garden construction since 1986. As Atlantic’s Director of Product Information, if he’s not building water features, he’s writing or talking about them. If you have a design or construction question, he’s the one to ask.

Feeling lost on Facebook?

Recently, Facebook has updated their layout and basically the functionality of how users manage their business’ Facebook pages. Like a lot of you, I also asked myself the questions; “How do I do this now?” and “Where did that go?”

After spending some time navigating through my Facebook pages, I got a handle on where everything I use as a resource is for managing our Facebook page.

Figuring that it was a little difficult for me to find out where everything was, and learning how to use this new functionality, I’d like to share with you some things that have changed, and how to use them now.

How does my page, “Like” other pages now?

After spending too much time trying to figure this out on my own, I left it to Google. It took some time to find instructions for the most recent update, but I did end up finding what I was looking for. Since you now technically can only use Facebook only as yourself in a sense, you cannot just LIKE a page without “Liking” it as yourself, Facebook added an extra step.

How to "Like" a page

Once you are the on the page that you want to “Like”, you will have to select the button with the three dots, and then select “Like as your page”. A prompt may then appear if you manage multiple pages,  asking you which page you would like to “Like” the current page as. I know, very confusing.

Where did my pages feed go?home_sidebar

Yet another inconvenient process I had to go through just to find my pages newsfeed. Before you would simply select which page you wanted to use Facebook as, and voila! Instant newsfeed. Now, to find your pages’ newsfeed, you will need to begin on your own newsfeed or “home” and select your page from the left hand side.

If you only manage one page, you will be able to just select “Pages Feed” and your pages’ newsfeed should display, but if you manage multiple pages, this may not be specific enough for you. All of the Page’s newsfeed that you manage will show up. You will need to take a couple additional steps to see a single Page’s newsfeed.

Continue to select the page that you would like to see a newsfeed for.

Select "See Pages Feed"

From there you will be brought to your timeline of your business page.  On the left hand side, under your profile picture, you will see things like, how many likes your page has, check-ins, or your post reach. In this section you will also see, “See Pages Feed”. Go ahead and select it and up will come all of that pages that you have liked, posts where you can like, comment and share, which brings me to my next point.

 

Liking and Commenting

Like, Comment, Share as yourself or your page

Yet another time consuming update that you may or may not have noticed, is when you want to post a comment, like or share something, you need to choose which user you want to do so as. You can switch between users or pages by selecting the dropdown arrow in the bottom righthand corner of a post and selecting which account you would like to interact with the post as. Remember, you will have to do this each time you want to like, comment or share a post.

I hope these few tips help with how you manage your business’ Facebook page and don’t leave you even more confused than you were before. If you have any other suggestions on how to better use Facebook after this new update, comment below. Or comment any questions and I will do my best to answer!


 About the Author:
Meet Shelby, AWG Graphic Designer and Social Media ExtraordinaireSHELBY SCUDERI

Atlantic Water Gardens Graphic Designer and Social Media Extraordinaire, Shelby has been with Atlantic since 2011. In addition to keeping up with social media trends and ensuring that the website and all social networks are running smoothly, Shelby also manages Atlantic’s advertising and marketing programs.

Spring is in the Air, Algae’s in your pond…

For most of the country, spring has sprung. People have started opening their water features and Mother Nature is now beginning to wreak havoc on your creations.

Cleaning out your water feature at the beginning of the season can be a daunting task, but with these helpful tips, your feature will be up and running in no time, and will be as beautiful as ever.

Pond in the SpringtimeBetween the months of March and May, ponds need tender loving care depending on which part of the country you are located in.

For pond owners, this time of the year can be a bit complicated, but with a little more attention, it can be easily managed. When opening your pond, be sure to remove all the left over fall debris to give your pond a fresh start to the season.

Although unlikely, some ponds may need to be completely drained and cleaned, this is costly and may be unnecessary. A good clean up with netting out leaves, debris, and string algae may do the job.

Once you’ve done some clean up and your skimmer, pump and biological filter are running, you will need to begin beneficial bacteria treatments which should continue until you close your pond in the Fall.

You may be wondering why you have string algae in your pond after the winter months, this is due to the amount of nutrients in the water being greater than the things that consume them, like plants, fish and beneficial bacteria.

Once it becomes balanced again, the string algae should clear itself up. Liquid and granular algaecides can help reduce growth, but your main goal should be to have your filter system and plants with the aid of beneficial bacteria, remove algae, naturally.

Adding aeration to your pond is another way to enhance the water clarity and quality.

When it comes to Pond-free applications or Fountains, although they will be easier to maintain, will still need your attention from March through May. Like opening a pond, you will need to clean up any leftover fall debris, and re-connect your pump to get the stagnant water moving again.

You may have a slight rotten egg smell, but once you turn on the feature, this should pass after about 24 hours of water circulation.

Mother Nature takes its toll on these types of water features also! Algae will start to form in the streambed of a waterfall and on a decorative piece.

Liquid and granular algaecides can help reduce the growth and keep the feature clear. Another great option for these features is a copper ionizer, which releases a small dose of copper ions into the water to ward off algae.

Remember, very small doses are all that would be needed (around .02ppm), so make sure you are testing your copper levels if you are using an ionizer.

Feel free to add your tips and suggestions about what you do to get your water features up and running for the Spring season!

 

How do you work with Mother Nature versus fighting Mother Nature?

 

 


About the Author:
Jim is the National Sales Manager for Atlantic Water Gardens.
JIM CHUBB

Jim is the National Sales Manager for Atlantic Water Gardens. With 26 years of sales experience and 16 years in the water garden industry, Jim is your go-to guy for selling water features.