Friday, December 31, 2010

Monday, December 27, 2010

Visit Tina Marie Wilcox at the Ozark Folk Center
Tina Marie Wilcox gives herb and gardening seminars
Tina Marie Wilcox sings with the Herbin' League

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Attracting Winter Wildlife to Your Backyard Pond
Tina Marie Wilcox sings with the Herbin' League

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Winter Pond Equipment care -

Friday, December 03, 2010

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Photo of the Month, December 2010 - Gardeners Gumbo
Photo of the Month, December 2010 - Gardeners Gumbo
Photo of the Month, December 2010 - Gardeners Gumbo

Friday, November 26, 2010 - Resource Center
Decorate your pond for the holidays -

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sick Fish

As with many animals, when a fish is diseased the other fish will attack and kill it. If you see a sick fish, remove it as soon as you see it. There is a chance you can save it and also not have it infect the other fish.

To find more pond information, go to

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Overflowing ponds

Building fish pond using pond liner...What to I need to do/know?
I have been hearing scary DIY stories like people's pond flooding! How do I prevent that?

If you mean will your pond overflow, it could. But it won't overflow any more than the rest of your property will. If your yard is flooded, your pond's water level will be higher, but will never overflow its banks unless your neighborhood is flooded as well. Think about it. Lakes/rivers flood all the time and the pond gets covered in water too. But the pond by itself will not overflow.  I suppose it would if you put a hose in it and turned it on, but one would hope you would watch it or set a timer or somesuch.

Check out how to build at my website:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Repairing natural bottom ponds

We just purchased a home and moved in end of July. There is a nice sized pond in the front, and its getting lower and lower every day, to where at the moment, its more of a dirt hole than a pond. I know the rainfall hasn't been quite good this summer, and with the heat, water does evaporate... but I wouldn't think it would be as it is now. I also see other people with ponds and theirs are still relatively full. We aren't the ones who built this pond, so I am not certain what was done when doing so. To me, it doesn't look like anything special was done other than digging a great big huge hole... I dont see a liner or pump system, or anything like that. We do have some frogs in there, and some pussy willows growing... other than that, maybe a fish or two in there, but we aren't certain. Can anyone tell me if we have a leak somewhere, or if we need to drain what water is left and line it, or what we need to do so we can actually enjoy a full pond at our new house. I know rainfall isn't much for us in Ohio, so, how do others keep theirs full?
Any help I can get would be great! I have tried to google and get answers on my own, but they all talk about turning off a pump, and ours doesn't have one.


If you have a natural bottom pond, get some bentonite. It's clay and perfect for sealing natural ponds. If I were you, I would put a liner in it and then refill it. For lots more info about how to do that, see my website at:
Click on Jan's articles.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Build your pond above grade

If you do nothing else while building your pond, build it above grade. You can use my method or just pile up the soil you removed from the hole around the edges, but if you don't build it up, run off from your yard can kill your pond.
When you are digging your hole, dig straight down. If you dig a bowl shape you will slide down into the water every time you try to get in your pond to do maintenance.  The extra surface area exposes the pond to more sun and therefore more algae growth.

To find more pond information, go to

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Trapping pond wildlife

Trapping Wildlife

If you trap visiting wildlife like raccoons, and want to relocate them, check with the Wildlife Commission to see if (1) you have rights to move them to a more suited environment, (2) if they are prone to mark their territory and return, (3) have the local humane society trap and move them to a more fitting area.
If they are taken to a brand new neighborhood, they are likely to be unable to find food and die.

To find more pond information, go to

Friday, September 24, 2010

Prepping pond plants for winter

If you have not yet cut back your Louisiana irises, cyperus or papyrus, do so in September so new growth can start freely in the spring.
Water lilies begin dormancy in September. Their leaves get smaller and smaller and they stop blooming. Don't worry. They are reacting to shorter periods of daylight.
Stop fertilizing water lilies in mid October in the South. By starving the plants at the end of the season, they will form some small, hard and durable tubers which survive the dormant period better than the large fleshy root of the main plant. This, along with dropping the water lily to the bottom of your pond will give you a better chance of your lilies coming back in the spring.

To find more pond information, go to

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Overwintering water lilies

I have a lilly in my pond and it seems to be dying off does it die or need to be cut back to over winter ?
i bought it this summer and had a couple of flowers and and has quite a few leaves but they are slowly dying off.will it completely die off for winter or do i need to cut it back .if any one has any advice on how to over winter it would be much appreciated

  • Answer:

  • If you live where the night temperatures are starting to drop below 55º, your lilies are going dormant. They will soon do that in warmer climes. Here's an article I wrote about water lily care. It should answer all your questions.

To find more pond information, go to

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pond building cost

What is the cost of having a little fish pond made in your backyard?

It always depends on the size. A 6' x 9' kidney shape turnkey with pump, filter, waterfall, plants and landscaping would run about 5 thousand bucks.

To find more pond information, go to

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pond liner?

What is a pond liner?

Anything that holds water indefinitely can be a pond liner. 40 mil butyl rubber is the best. You can cut it to order, it lasts well over 20 years and is my choice for ponds.
Concrete not such a good choice because it's brittle and has a problem with temperature extremes.
Flexible PVC is cheap and widely used, but does not hold up at all.
Preformed liners are popular, but just like PVC is only good for a short time.

To find more pond information, go to

Monday, September 20, 2010

What size liner do I need?

I have built a garden pond measuring 3m x1.5m x1m deep can someone tell me what size liner i should get ?
i would also be grateful if you could suggest what size LPH pump i will need.


Here's how to find out what size liner to buy:
Buy the largest pump you can afford. 1200 gallons per hour would be perfect.

To find more pond information, go to

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Is pond maintenance hard?

Building a pond?
Once it's built, how hard is it to maintain?  I'm looking to make a in ground one with liner.  I wanna know how hard it is to maintain.


Ponds require very little maintenance once balanced. If you have goldfish and the proper plants, the pond loves benevolent neglect.

To find more pond information, go to

Friday, September 17, 2010

Peace lily problems

How do you revive a peace lilly?
I was given a peace lilly from my church after my dad passed away. I went on vacation for a couple of days and nobody was home to keep my peace lilly watered. I have never had a green thumb and I am not sure exactly what I need to do to revive it. i would hate to just neglect it because it was given to me as a blessing for my dad! Is there any way to revive it? Is there a point where it can no longer be saved?


Try putting it in the shower and soaking it real good. If you can't do that, put it in water and let it sit for a half hour or so. Take it out, let it drain, then keep it in the house. Do not fertilize it.
If it can be saved, that's the only way to do it. It should perk up in a day or so.

To find more pond information, go to

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Potassium Permanganate

I need to make a potassium permanganate solution to clean my pond. what is the ratio?
I have 50g of Potassium permanganate. how much powder in how much water??

You are much better off not using that for anything. There are many ways to clean a pond without chemicals. The stuff is poison and will harm your plants and fish.

To find more pond information, go to

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Winter plant survival

Will floating pond plants survive in the pond over the winter?

I have a small black plastic pond in my backyard that I keep fish in and this year I've added three floating water plants to it as well: Miniature Water Hyacinth (Eichornia sp.), Sensitive Plant (Neptunia aquatica) and Yellow Water Snowflake (Nymphoides crenata). I live in Maine so the winter isn't warm or easy, but there is a floating de-icer in there as well, so the water they're in won't ever freeze over. So would any of those plants survive the winter? If not, would it work to bring them inside for the winter months and then put them back out in the spring?

They will not survive your Maine winters. You can try to bring them inside. It might work.
They do go dormant in the winter, but plan on replacing them in the spring.
You know you will lose them outside. You have some hope of keeping them inside.

To find more pond information, go to

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Preformed koi pond

Above ground koi pond using a preformed liner?
I want to take an odd shaped preformed plastic liner and place it in my yard but above ground. Can I do that?
You can put it above ground. Here's one way: Put the liner where you want it, then build a box around it. Using landscape timbers would probably be easiest. Now fill the pond with water. No fish yet, but with the water in the pond, fill around it with soil. When you are finished and the pond water is filthy, pump it out. Now fill the pond with the water the fish will swim in. Add dechlor, massive amounts of filtration, a pump and put the koi in. Preformed ponds are usually 18" deep, so the koi will not do well at all. They like water 3' deep. If you put goldfish in, you will have better luck. If you are where it freezes, your pond will freeze solid in the winter.

To find more pond information, go to

Monday, September 13, 2010

Duck pond

Help me with building a pond?
I'm planning on making a pond for my ducks out of either a plastic pond form (not the liner) or a stock tank. The only problem is they poop a lot in their water. Anyone with experience with ducks will know what i mean =) so I want to have a good filter that can handle the poop and I don't want to spend over $50 on it.

What type of filter would be best?
i have electricity in my chicken coop but i cant have a cord coming out during the night (i need to be able to close the door). so that means i need a filter that does have to run constantly.


You cannot filter duck poop from a pond. Try to find something that you can hose out daily. It would need a shallow end so you could use a power nozzle to hose the pond out. Ducks are messy critters. No filter will work. Put Mosquito Dunks in to keep mosquitoes away. You could run a pump if you like, but since you have to hose it out often, you really don't need one.

To find more pond information, go to

Friday, September 10, 2010

What liner is best?

What is the best, strongest pond liner?


Buy a Firestone 40 mil butyl rubber liner. It's the best.

To find more pond information, go to

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Money plant?

Is the Epipremnum aureum aka "money plant" an aquatic plant?
I need to know for a science fair project.

It is not an aquatic plant and will die if you try to grow it in water. You could use that as part of your science project. Money plant in water opposed to horsetail fern in water.

To find more pond information, go to

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Tiny pond

Aquarium Plants question?
I am getting a 20 gallon bucket and I am going to turn it into a mini guppy pond with these plants in it.
-Java Fern
-1 bamboo plant ( half in water and the top part sticking out)
-1 water lily
-Marimo Moss ball

Can I grow these plants in a few hours (4-7) of sunlight each day? would they survive? and do I need any special tablets/plant food or any other equipment to keep them alive. I am trying to keep these plants alive without a special aquarium lamp.


You will need some submerged vegetation like anacharis or hornwort to help keep the water clear. The water lily needs at least 5 -6 hours of sun daily to grow, so you might want to consider another floating plant. If you do put a water lily in there, 20 gallons is too small - another reason for choosing another plant.
It just occurred to me? Is your mini pond going to be indoors? No water lily will grow indoors unless it is in a greenhouse with special temperature controls.

To find more pond information, go to

Monday, September 06, 2010

Slugs in the garden

Besides salt, what is a solution to SLUG infestations?
I have slugs crawling not only on the ground, but now, on the siding of the house. I can use salt to kill the ones I see, but would like to know how to eradicate them.  Help please.


You can buy snail and slug bait at most nurseries and big box stores. It works.

To find more pond information, go to

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Waterfall Rocks

I'm looking for a rock that i can carve for a waterfall on my mom's koi pond?

Find a stone supplier near you. They will have to drill a hole in it so that water can come up through it. Carving a rock is probably not possible for you unless you have specialized equipment. You could check on lava rock. If you find a lava rock boulder, you will be able to work with it, but be sure you wear heavy gloves because it's sharp.

To find more pond information, go to

Friday, September 03, 2010

Fairy Moss

I have a question for Pondlady?
Will floating Fairy Moss, most commonly seen in ponds, survive if I put it in an indoor 55 gallon aquarium with florescent lighting? I accidentally received some of this and I do not want it in my large 8,000 gallon pond with skimmer and bio-falls. I do understand that the fish may eat it, but if they don't, will it survive, or just rot and cloud the water? Also, I have an AquaClear 110 filter in my aquarium, if that makes a difference.


  Fairy moss will survive a nuclear bombing, I think. I find it to be a noxious weed and would never put it in a pond. It will take over, but it sounds like you already know that.

To find more pond information, go to

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Making the pond level

How can I raise the water level in my fish pond?
I dug a fish pond in my back yard but I didn't really do any calculations. one side of the pond is lower than the other. what can I put on the low side so i can raise the level of water up the higher side without it overflowing?

You can use bricks under the liner. Make them the height you need, then cover with soil. Now put the liner over them. I would also fold the liner over back toward the pond with flat rocks in between the two layers. If you do that all the way around the water will cover up all the liner and the pond looks completely natural.

To find more pond information, go to

Monday, August 30, 2010

Water hyacinth

When should I bring in my water hyacinth?
I have about 20 something water hyacinth in my koi pond. I want to keep them for next season also. When should I bring them indoors? I live in maryland.  Also what can I do to make them grow great, like what nutrients should I add to their water? Is it safe to pluck their nast,y mushy stem and leaves, or should I leave them be? 

Take off all the mushy stems and leaves before you bring them in. Add only a dechlorinator to the water inside. Since they need full sun to grow, they may well go dormant before next spring, but they will come back. Bring them in when the nights begin reaching temps of 55º at night.

If the water they are in gets too unbearable, pack them in damp sand and leave them in the garage.

To find more pond information, go to

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Pond needs

What do I need to know before making a pond?
I have a 15 gallon tank with 5 fish and they are all really small.  I know for a fact they are going to get really big so I was thinking about making a pound in out yard in a spot where there are no power or water lines and keeping the big fish out there and raising the smaller ones inside until they get big enough to go in the pond.  Keep in mind i'm only gonna make it 10ft long 7ft wide and the deepest part about 9ft.
Do you have any tips on a pond?


First of all, you don't need a pond 9' deep. Depending on where you live, 18" to 3 feet is usually deep enough. Your frost line (You can find out how deep your frost line is by calling your county extension service), determines how deep your pond needs to be. You will want to dig deeper than yours is.
To find more pond information, go to

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Clumping Bamboo

My clumping bamboo won't shoot. Do you think it ever will?


If you mean it is not spreading, give it some time. It will. And keep spreading and spreading and spreading. Even if it is called clumping, that just means it does not spread as fast.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cleaning discolored water

When we take yellow water from river to treat it for drinking, What I do to remove this color in water?
We use this water for drinking and we add to it chlorine, polymer and alum.


Use an activated charcoal filter to remove the color. Not the charcoal you use in the barbecue, but the kind used in an aquarium. I have no idea if this will make the water safe to drink. It will only remove the color.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Homemade aphid killer

How do you make homemade algaecide for my pond?
I live on a channel on a lake and I have aphids on my plants.  Is there a book that would show homemade remedies I could use?


Here's a homemade aphid killer:
The following technique can be used to treat water lilies for aphid infestation without harm to your fish. Aphids and many other garden pests can be easily controlled with an inexpensive, homemade insecticide--according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

This recipe was developed after entomologists at the Agriculture Research Center in Phoenix, Arizona, discovered that a spray of soybean oil protected cotton from aphids and whiteflies. Home gardeners should mix one tablespoon of dishwashing detergent with one cup of cooking oil. When pests strike, mix one to two and one half teaspoons of the detergent oil mix with one cup of water. The detergent causes the oil to emulsify in the water. It can be sprayed on the water lilies every ten days. Besides aphids, the mixture works against whiteflies and spider mites. It has been successfully tested on eggplants, carrots, lettuce, celery, watermelon, peppers and cucumbers. It tends to burn the leaves of squash, cauliflower and red cabbage.

As far as an algaecide goes, getting rid of algae might not be possible. We can control it in an ornamental pond, but a channel/lake, there are so many elements out of your control. Your channel just has too much run off to properly balance the water so algae will not appear. If you try floating plant material, it will soon become an invasive, noxious weed.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Bleach in the pond

Will putting bleach in a small pond damage the pond's pump?
I've got a small pond with a waterfall feature. I recently took everything out (water, rocks, etc), cleaned it, and installed a new pump. After a week of hot weather the algae bloomed and took over the pond. I was able to scoop out the majority of it and killed the remaining algae with bleach.

My question, is this harmful to the $70 pump that I just bought from Home Depot? I know that algaecide is a better solution, but bleach is very inexpensive and seems to work. Please let me know your opinion. Thanks in advance.


Bleach will not hurt your pump at all. Keep using it as long as it works.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fencing off the pond

What material should I use to make a fence around the pond?
I need to build a fence around a pond in my garden. The kidney-shaped duck pond is quite large. I need to do this so that my dog(labrador) and cat don't disturb the ducks. 

points to note:-
I live in a place where we have hot, cold and wet weather - all for about 4 months each.
The garden's soil is a hideout for ants and termites - so wooden fence is out of the question.
The dog is pretty naughty so the material should be a bit heavy else he will tear it down.
The pond is under the shade of the mango tree.
The fence should be such that the ducks and pond is not hidden from our view.
Please consider the cost factor as well. It shouldn't be too expensive and I know the metal fence would be.

  • Answer:

    A chain link fence is about the cheapest you can find. Vinyl can work, but it is probably the most expensive. You could try an electric invisible fence.…
  • That would fill all your needs.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My pond is losing water

Urgent, lives at stake, fish lives at stake.
My best mates have gone away to America for two weeks and have paid me to go round to their house and water the plants until they come back.

I've been watering the plants for about 3 days and when I went to their garden I noticed the fish pond had drained to an alarmingly low level.

It is one of the ponds with that black lining and has a filter in the form of a little fountain.

The fountain is a little blocked but the pipes don't' leave the water so i don't know how it is losing water.

The little holes in the fountain head got blocked, but one or two remained open and the water just spurted out of the pond. Open the holes on the fountain head with a tooth pick OR just remove the top until your friends get home. Refill the pond and don't forget the dechlor.

f your pond is concrete, liner, anything but a natural bottom, you could use chlorine to clean it.  That will kill the duckweed. Then you could add extra dechlor when you refill.

To find more pond information, go to

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Getting rid of duckweed

I've drained my old pond in order to clear it of pollution and duckweed. Can I use weedkiller to eradicate it?
Or will this harm the fish when I refill it? Obviously I would rinse it off afterwards, so there could only be trace amounts of the stuff left, but is it safe to use at all? The duckweed can grow to cover the entire pond's surface from just a few seeds, so it's VITAL that I completely destroy it now while the pond is empty of water and fish.
Alternatively, as the weed seems to be dying off and turning brown now that the pond is empty, will that prevent any chances of it returning?

If your pond is concrete, liner, anything but a natural bottom, you could use chlorine to clean it.  That will kill the duckweed. Then you could add extra dechlor when you refill.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bead filter

I need a really good filter for my pond?
i have a 44,000 gallon pond and i want to know for a good filter for it.

I think a bead filter, albeit expensive, will be your best bet. You may need more than one for that size pond.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pool to pond

Can you use a 24' round pool as a pond?
Wondering if anyone tried using their pool as a fish pond instead

  • Answer:

  • You sure can. It's gonna be a big one, but you can use the same pump. Be sure to add a dechlorinator and follow all there rest of the pond guidelines. Read about them here:

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Foamy water

How to get rid of foam in a Koi pond?
I have 1000gal pond that has been very clear for a long time. for the last few months, It is not as clear and has started getting foam on the surface. I use the same pump, uv bulb and pressure filter. I changed the uv bulb, but no better.

Several things can cause that. Excess protein, fish mating. It will go away in a few days on its own. It won't hurt anything, so don't worry.

To find more pond information, go to

Friday, August 13, 2010

Doubling a pond liner

Can i use 2 pond liners for my water garden/pond?
I just want to make sure that my pond will not leak and that it will last a long time. Other than costs, are there any disadvantages of having 2 pond liners for a pond that is about 8 ft long x 5.3 ft wide by 2.5 ft deep?


No, that doesn't work. If the liner is not thick enough, it will fail. The second one usually fails at the same time. Even if it doesn't water gets between the two and soon the upper one is floating at the water's surface. Use a 40 mil butyl liner that comes with at least a 20 year warranty.

To find more pond information, go to

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Help, there's a hole in my pond

Help! I think there is a hole in my pond?
Since my parents separated, my mother left me with the care of her backyard pond. I can't exactly tell you how big it is, but it's built in a very large kidney shape. It has a blue liner and is also stocked with plants and fish.

However, yesterday I went outside to check on it and I found the water VERY low. I have the pond built on levels, almost like steps. But the first level of the pond was completely dry and the water was very low. So I filled it with a hose since I don't have a pump running. And then I left it go - it didn't seem to be draining anywhere. I looked around the pond and didn't find any grass wet. So I thought it just evaporated because of the hot weather. 

Then I went outside earlier this morning and found the water low again - but not as low as it was yesterday.

Is that a sign of a hole or do you think it's just the hot weather? It's such a big pond and a hole seems to be a real hard thing to find. . .
Help please?

  • I doubt it's a hole. The water went out too fast for that. Did you have the pump turned on? Turn off all pumps and look at the pond tomorrow morning. If the water level goes down with the pump off, you have a leak. 
  • If that liner is a swimming pool liner and it sounds like it is, perhaps you can find some patching material for it. I'm sure it can be bought at any swimming pool place.
  • Check here for directions on how to find a leak. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cleaning a Muddy Pond

How can I properly remove thick, swampy mud from the bottom of my garden pond?
All the water from my garden pond has gone, it is now quarter-full with a green-black, thick mud. What is the best way to get rid of this, so i can either remove my pond, or refill it with water?

If you don't want your pond anymore, just fill it up with sand and soil. If you do want to keep your pond, you can shovel it out. You can also try this which may work. Fill the pond up with water, then using a utility pump, start pumping. Keep filling it with water as the pump keeps working. You can probably get much of the muddy water out. Then use a wet vacuum to get the rest.

To find more pond information, go to

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cranes and Egrets Eating Fish

I have problems with my pond.  Help?
There is a crane that eats all the fish.  I was told I could put a fence right under the surface.  What fence would I get or are there any other options? thanks.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Yucky Sludge Stuff on the Pond Bottom

Can I scoop out the sludge out of the bottom of my pond?
I have a fountain/filter in my 550 gal pond and I have been having to rinse the filter every other day because it gets clogged from the yucky sludge stuff on the bottom. Can I scoop it out with a net?

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Black pond water. Help.

Tetra pond algae control turned my pond water black, is that normal?
My 550 gallon pond was getting really green to the point where I couldn't even see my fish until they came to the surface to eat. Yesterday, I went to the pet store and purchased TetraPond Algae control and used it as directed. I diluted it in a bucket of water then poured it into the pond along the edges. When I woke up this morning the pond water was really dark. Is that normal? and will it eventually clear up?

Also, on another note, last week I put in TetraPond Barley and Peat stuff, I don't Know if it was okay to put in the algae stuff ontop of the barley and peat stuff. It wasn't clearing my water so I put in the algae stuff.


  • That is dead algae. Be sure you have enough oxygen getting in the water. Turn on more pumps if you have them. Add an airstone just to keep the water oxygenated enough for your fish. 
  • Algaecides can be very dangerous. For easy ways to keep your pond clear, read this article I wrote:

Friday, August 06, 2010

Ponds and Snakes.

Just witnessed a Brownish-Black snake with Red-Orange bands hanging around small pond with Comets and Goldfish?
What kind of snake is this? It's a small decorative pond in Southeast Texas. I've seen pictures of water snakes and they don't compare. Snake is about 2 1/2 feet long and about 2 inches thick.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Waterfall pumps, waterfall ideas

Waterfall Pump Question?
I just bought a tub for a pond for my back yard I want to build a water fall for it. Any Ideas also what size pump (gph) should I buy? Its very small pond its maybe 5 feet long 21/2 feet deep so nothing nuts, just something to keep the water circulating.
Any websites with pics of decorating ideas too??
  • I would get a pump that was at least 1250 gph. You can't have a real tall waterfall because the water will splash out, so stick with the medium sized one.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

What to do with a neglected pond

I just bought a house that has a small backyard pond. The house has been vacant for 9 months or so... and the pond has been sitting stagnant all this time. Today, I used the pump to get the water out. I also attempted to get the millions of leaves out! There are still some in there that I am having a hard time reaching. Once this is all cleaned out, I won't know what to do next... besides fill it with water :)

It looks like they were using lava rock as a filter. This was sectioned off at one end of the pond with a hose to the waterfall on the other end of the pond. 

The lava rocks are all mixed with leaves... I need to clean this all out. Can I reuse the lava rocks or should I get some new ones? Or would you suggest a different filter plan?

Also, when I bought my house, the pump is just laying on the ground next to the pond. Not attached to anything! I'm not sure how it is supposed to be set up.

I'm going to attempt to clean out the rest of the leaves tonight after it gets cooler. (Oooh.. I hear thunder. A storm will cool things off!) The leaves were settled to the bottom of the pond, so I don't think adding water and using a net would work to get the leaves out...

What do I need to do??

(And I live in a warm climate! Tampa, Florida!)
  • Then refill it. Use the pump you have and the lava rock set up. It's a great filter. Clean it up and reuse it.
  • Test the pump by putting it in the water and plugging it in. Often when pumps sit out of the water for a time, the seals dry out and ruin the pump.
  • Good luck. You will love your pond.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Pond cleaning cost?

What's a fair price to pay for getting your pool pumped out and debris cleaned out of it?
I need to add that the pool is only half full. It has about 3 feet of leaves in the bottom and lots of sticks and twigs. Water needs to be pumped out and leaves cleaned out. What's a fair price?


  • I charged $250.00 most of the time if the pond was relatively small. It's a nasty job because all those leaves have decomposed and are pretty stinky. Here's an article I wrote about how to clean pond:

Monday, August 02, 2010

Used ponds??

How much is a used/secondhand 400 gallon pond?

Oh please don't give an exact amount give an estimate, since I don't know what brand it is.

Ponds are not usually bought, but installed. If you are buying a preformed pond - hard shell, it depends on the size of the shell. I recommend a flexible liner as the preformed pond shells do not last very long.

To find more pond information, go to

Saturday, July 31, 2010

New house, new pond

Buying a home with a pond in the back?
The home in located in South Florida and it is on 1.14acres. There is this beautiful pond with rock waterfall in the back  When we looked in the pond, there were some brim/bluegill swimming around and I believe algae growth.

My question is, what would be good to put in the pond? plants? fish? animals?

Next to the home is a canal, but the property is fully fenced. We do have 2 dogs as well.



For now, don't do anything. Watch it for a few months and see what it does. Anything you plant in it will take over. If you do decide to put some plants in, keep them in pots. You could plant irises around the edges because they will stay on the shore and not grow in the deeper parts.
You probably have lots of critters in there now, turtles, fish, frogs and more.
You are lucky to have your pond. Keep chemicals out of it and it will give you years of happiness.

To find more pond information, go to

Friday, July 30, 2010

Oily sheen on pond water

Whats the oily like stuff on top of my pond at this time off year?
when you look across the top of pond there is a sheen that looks like oil on water but it is not oil any ideas

It's what happens when plants and fish poop decay. The water, full of organic matter, has a sheen on top. Might be time to clean some of the decaying plants and fish poop from the bottom.
The sheen will not hurt anything, but it is annoying.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Fake pond plants

Where to buy fake plants for water garden?

To find more pond information, go to

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tiki torch fluid

How do i get tiki torch fluid out of my pond?

Use the garden hose and float the fluid off through a low spot in the pond. If you don't have one, just make one temporarily. Sometimes you have to aim the hose at the fluid and 'help' it out of the pond. It works. It takes time, but it works. Good luck.

To find more pond information, go to

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Running your pump

How long to run pond fountain to aerate water properly?

I recommend running a pump 24/7, but if you wish, you can cut down to 12 hours daily. Some people put their pumps on a timer.
It depends on how many fish you have. More fish = more 02 is needed.

To find more pond information, go to

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sizing pumps and skimmers

Pond skimmer, wrong size pump?
I had a pond built last month. I fear the pump is too powerful. The size is 6 ft by 9 ft depth from 18 in to 36 in at deepest. The skimmer states for pump up to 1800 gph. The pump installed in the skimmer is 2400 gph. It seem like the skimmer water level is too low and funny, almost whirlpool sounds come from skimmer. Is this due to the pump being too strong. Is it harmful to have too strong of a pump?

Your pump is not too big. Your skimmer is too small. You can just put the pump in the pond and direct the water over the waterfall. That will do until or if you wish to replace the skimmer.

Frankly, you probably do not need a skimmer at all. Most people do not unless they are under a tree. The person who installed your pond needs to learn how to install one properly. It is still under warranty, so call him back and insist he do it right.

To find more pond information, go to

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Concrete ponds?

How to build a concrete pond?
i'm planning to build a backyard fish pond and making it concrete but i do not know if that is feasible that is why i keep on searching for best answers for that.


  • Instead of concrete, think about using 40 mil butyl rubber liner. Concrete is brittle, cracks easily, cannot be repaired and leaches lime. The flexible liner has at least a 20 year guarantee and is easy to install and work with.
  • For more info, see my website at

To find more pond information, go to

Friday, July 23, 2010

Duck Ponds

How to keep a small pond looking and smelling good?
I made a small pond for some ducks that I have but the ducks pooped in the pond and now it stinks horribly. How can I help this problem?

That's the big problem with duck ponds. The only thing you can do is make the pond so you can easily hose it out or clean it. There is no way to make duck poop go away unless you remove it by cleaning out the pond.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

4 mil trash bags

Can a 4 mil liner work for an indoor pond?
I was wondering if a 4 mil liner would keep the water in or if it would need to be stacked in layers.

4 mil is the same as a trash bag. It will not work because it isn't water tight. Doubling or tripling won't work either. The water permeates one layer, then the next and so forth. And pretty soon the water is on the floor and the plastic bag is floating on top. (Guess how I know this? )

If you want an indoor pond, use a plastic pot or a horse trough from the feed store or a large muck bucket depending on what size you want.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pond Emergency

Backyard pond emergency!?
My neighbor has gone away for the weekend and left me in charge of his fish pond. Heard a funny noise coming from his yard this morning and discovered that most of the water has drained out of the pond this morning (the pump is still running). He's not back until tomorrow and I have no idea how to fix this. Can I just throw a hose in and fill it up again (the fish are okay so far - there's about 6" of water left)

The fish are your standard pond fare - koi and goldfish.

Turn off the pump. Run water in. PUT DECHLORINATOR IN! If you don't all the fish will die.
There is a leak somewhere near the waterfall.  Have a look, put the rock that tipped back in place and all will be OK.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Frog pond

I have a 4ft by 3ft frog pond and water won't stay in it for more the 12 hours.I want to keep it filled without using a nylon or any type of liner.Oh and its about 1 foot deep.


Concrete is a difficult material to use. It's brittle and unforgiving. It leaches out lime, so screws up your pH. And when the ground moves, the concrete cracks.
Try bentonite. It's cheap and easy to use. You line the hole with it - it's a clay and holds water.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Pond liners, koi pond container?

Is there any substitute for pond-liner in building a koi pond?
Where can i get a cheap container to be used as a home-made koi pond?

You need 40 mil butyl rubber liner. Koi need space and depth and no container is large or deep enough, at least not one that is cheap.
Read this article I wrote about how to build a koi pond:

Saturday, July 17, 2010

PVC or Butyl liner?

Which type of pond liner is best, butyl, epdm, or pvc and why?


Use 40 mil butyl rubber. Firestone is a good brand. Use rubber instead of PVC because it stands up to the sun better. PVC will crack in a few years if sun hits it. Butyl rubber comes with at least a 20 year guarantee, maybe more.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Preformed v rubber liner

What is better a preformed pond liner or just pond liner?
I am building in my back garden, and can't decide what would be better preformed liner or just loose pond liner. Any ideas?

You can never get a preformed pond level! And their life span is so very short. You will get a couple of years out of it and it will crack. Use a 40 mil butyl rubber liner. That way you can have the size and design you want and it lasts forever. And you don't ever need shelves. All they do is give you more surface area for algae to grow.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

White pond liner?

What is the advantage or disadvantage of a white versus a black pond liner?
I am considering using one or the other for 2 foot deep fish pond, water feature etc.


Use black 40 mil butyl rubber pond liner. White attracts algae, black does not. Black liner disappears. White just get dirty.
Black looks natural. White does not.

I can't even find any white pond liner for sale online and have never seen it used.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Why build a garden pond?

Why build a garden pond?
What are the benefits? What is the down side?

  • The garden pond is the focal point of your landscape and provides endless hours of relaxation and enjoyment. There is no downside. Ponds take less maintenance than grass and certainly less than flower beds. 
  • Perhaps if you need to ask, you really don't want a pond. For more compelling reasons to have ponds, see the photo gallery at my website:

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Pond building timeline

Do anyone have a time plan for building a pond?
I want to build a pond in my garden, however the clause is that i have to have a time plan for it. i don't really know what to include. Any Ideas??

  • By yourself, you can build a pond in 3 days. The first day you dig and get the liner in and fill it up. Day two, you do the rock work. Day three you build the waterfall and landscape around the pond. It is easier to do rock work and build a waterfall if you have a helper. If not, add a day for getting in and out of the water to retrieve rocks for the edges. Here's step by step directions with photos:

Monday, July 12, 2010

Electricity and the pond

How do you get electricity to a garden pond?
i am going to build a pond in my back garden, however i am not quite sure how to get electricity to it. any ideas?

Have an electrician run a line to it. He will mount it on a pole he sticks in the ground. The wiring will be underground. Always get more outlets than you think you need because sooner or later you will add lights or another pump or something. BTW, always get a GFI outlet. That's a safety mechanism that cuts off the electricity to that outlet the moment water touches it.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Aquatic Plants for West Virginia

                                                                          Swamp Lily

What are some aquatic plants for a backyard pond in southern West Virginia?
Something other than lilies.

There are dozens, both tropical and hardy. Rushes of all kinds will do great. Arum and Saggitaria are particularly nice. Horsetail is another great plant for texture. Plant Louisiana Irises for spectacular spring color.
For floating plants, try parrots feather, water clover and water poppies.
Anacharis is the best for submerged vegetation.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Koi pond?

How do I make a koi pond?
Hi, I was planning on making a koi pond with the following dimensions: 8ft long by 5ft wide by 3ft deep. I was wondering what kind of skimmer/pump/filter/UV filter I should buy for that pond.It is approximately going to be 500-800 gallons. I was also wondering how I would set them up like this is my current thought of it. The pump pushes water to the filter then the filter send's it too the UV filter which sends it to the waterfall that sends it back into the lake. Also if thats how it works where is the water from the skimmer going to go?

That's small for a koi pond. Koi are happier in a larger pond. 
The way you want to set it up is right. The skimmer is built into the side and the pump is in the skimmer. The water goes through a filter and into the skimmer. The pump sends the water over the waterfall. The skimmer also has a filter in it. Here's how to build a koi pond:

Friday, July 09, 2010


Is it true that if you keep a small pond in your garden with toads, frogs,that they will eat all the mosquitos?
When they usually start doing this and how they do this?

I have noticed since having the pond in the garden with the toads sitting on the lilly pads, I have not had much of a mosquito problem (SURPRISINGLY).

Get a couple of mosquito fish…
and you will have no mosquito problem at all. Yes, the toads eat many of them. Surprisingly enough, goldfish do not. They are essentially vegetarians.
You can also use Mosquito Dunks, a product that eliminates mosquitoes and does not harm your pond.
But toads and frogs eat mosquitoes as a main part of their food supply. But a few mosquitoes always escape to buzz you. Best to keep them at bay with another means.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Pond costs

How much does it cost to keep a pond?
It's just a small pond in our garden. It's gonna have a filter and stuff so I was just wondering how much (roughly) it would cost to 'keep'?

If you want to know how much it costs you to run your pond pump, here's the formula to find out: Amps x volts divided by 1000 x KWH cost x 24 hours-a-day x 30.4 days- per-month = cost per month. Depending on the pump, it can cost up to a dollar a day to run it.

If you factor in fertilizer, plants, etc., add that in. It costs very little to have a pond in your garden.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Ducks and mud

How do I clean a very muddy pond?
I have a pond (natural, not man-made) that has a very thick heavy layer of mud on the bottom and the water is brown. I have no fish in the pond, although It did have once many years ago. I now have ducks in the pond, and although they seem happy I would like to make it a bit cleaner for them, if possible.

You are right. The ducks love it the way it is.
If you want to clean it up a bit try some vegetation growing in pots or even at the sides. Irises work well as filters. There are flocculants that will clear up your water. Here's one:

To find more pond information, go to

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Tuesday, July 06, 2010


What height should I build a fence to keep out Raccoons?

I put a pond in a few months ago and ever since I've lost tons of money in fish and plants, not to mention how hard the upkeep has been on my pond because of raccoons. Just last night I lost one 8" beautiful koi and one 6" butterfly! I've had it. I've tried all the home remedies.. cayenne pepper, ammonia and now I've decided to fence off the area where I think they are coming in from. Since I rent I want to spend as little as possible since I'm about $800 in with this pond as it is.

I had put up a 3 foot fence near some stairs because of my 2 year old but now would like to fence off a 20' section to try and keep them out. Any ideas on how high I should make it? I know the best would be maybe 5' or so but I would like to keep costs down. Does anyone know if they can climb over a 3 or 4' fence? I will be planting rose bushes along the back of it (I am moving them from another area of my yard) because I've read they hate thorny plants.

Any other ideas would be great. I cant use a scarecrow because of the size of my yard and location of my patio furniture.
Please help!

You could try planting prickly plant material around your pond. Burford Holly works well. So does asparagus fern. But if they want your fish, they WILL get it.
And you have to sink the fence as well because those critters will dig under it. Dig down under the fence and put chicken wire in so they can't dig through.

Monday, July 05, 2010

How to start a landscaping company


I would like to know how to legalize my landscaping company? I started a small landscaping company a couple of months ago and now I have many customers and a lot of work. I would like to make it legal meaning I would like to have a landscaping license and insurance for my workers. Where do I get this and how much does it cost? Also if anyone knows how this would look in my taxes meaning how would I report my profit?  Do I have to tell the IRS every job that I do? I am located in Maryland, Thanks!

You need an occupational license in the city where you work/live and you must pass the state landscaping contractor test. After that, call any insurance agent to find out about worker's comp and liability. Buy it and start advertising.
You will fill out a schedule C for your income tax. Yes, you have to tell them how much you made.