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.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Smelly pond


My water feature water smells after not being used can I add anything to the water to stop it smelling?


If it has no plants or fish in it, use swimming pool chlorine to clean it up. If it is a pond with plants and fish, start the pump, add submerged and floating vegetation. Pump out 25% of the water and replace it. Don't forget to add dechlor.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Sediment in the pond

How to clear up pond?
I have a pond that is fed water from a swamp. the problem is that it turns brown as soon as the flow of water gets warmer. If i get a good rain the water turns clear, then after a couple of days it turns brown. Can I clear this up with something or do I have to make a new water source for the pond?

You really need a better water source than a swamp if you want a clear pond. The brown water you see is caused by suspended material in the swamp water.
You can just fill your pond once and then top it off occasionally. You do not need a hose bib/water source near the pond except when you fill it up.
Or you could just make your pond an extension of the swamp and plant bog plants in it.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Ducks in the pond

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: