Sunday, April 11, 2010

Solar pumps

Question:
How to pump water from a stream?
I'm looking for a small pump that can run on solar power and pump water from a tiny stream behind my house straight up about 10' to a barrel that I'll use to water my garden. The trick is it has to be low gallons per minute but also be able to pump high enough and run on solar power.




Answer:
Solar powered pumps are not capable of that. Solar power has a long way to go before being powerful enough to pump a 10' height. You could set up a sump pump in the stream that worked on a timer and pumped water when you needed/wanted it. It would have to be a relatively large pump to have a 10' head, perhaps as much as 2500 gph.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Water plants and soil?

Question:
Do Water Plants work without soil?
I have a small pond with no soil, only pond pebbles. Water is about a foot deep. Will water plants such as lilies grow without the soil? Or do I have to have soil?




Answer:
Pot up your pond plants. They don't need to be in soil, but they do need to be in a pot. Use pebbles if you wish or any old soil you have lying around your yard and put pebbles on top.
DO NOT plant directly in the rocks in the bottom of the pond. The plants will grow everywhere and you will have to get them out of those rocks. If it were me, I would remove the rocks now before you have to deal with cleaning them. But whatever you do, don't plant anything directly in them.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Pond pumps and underlayment

Question:
Pond Pumps: GPH and Water Circulation?
Why does a pump have to circulate 1/2 to the entire volume of water in one hour?
What pond liner, underlayment, and pump would be suitable for a pond 20 X 20 feet that is 3 feet deep?


 Answer:
Use 40 mil butyl rubber for a liner. You can use commercial underlayment or roofing felt. Old carpet can rot and start to stink as time passes.
To find liner size, measure the bottom, both sides and add 6'. I would get a 3500 gph pump so water will properly circulate. Circulating water adds O2 to the water, so the fish can breathe.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

String Algae!

Question:
How to get rid of string algae in our ornamental pond.?
We've tried 4 or 5 different chemicals including clarifier and algaecide. We have a barley pad floating in it, we have a fountain running and a creek running into it, we also have about 30-40 comet goldfish and koi, and about 6 plants growing in it as well (water lily, cattails, irises) although they are not fully grown yet. The algae lines the entire bottom and sides and is about 3 inches thick. Would a pond vaccum help? We don't know what else to do :(



Answer:
I have found that Microbe LIft PL works very well to eliminate this stuff. Get as much as you can out and then put the Microbe LIft in according to directions. It's an enzyme and won't harm your fish or plants.
You don't need a pond vac at all.


To find more pond information, go to pondlady.com

And to meet a great community of gardeners, join us at  Gardeners  Gumbo

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

My pond is losing water

How to arrange my rocks in my pond so they do not splash out and lose water?
The water looks like they are causing me to lose water off the rocks.  How can arrange them so it does not happen?

  • The water area needs to be twice as wide as the height of the waterfall. If it is not, the water will splash out. That's one of those laws of physics that none of us can break. Even if the water flow is in little drops, it will still splash out. So lower your water height or make the pond bigger.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Solar Powered Fountains


    Question:
    How can a pond fountain work with a solar panel?
    I try to put a fountain in my garden pond I would like to make it solar powered and don't know how. I’ve see it in garden magazines and I would like to do that in my yard.



    Answer:
    You can buy them. Oase makes the best one I know. That said, the technology for solar powered pumps is not as good as it could be and the failure rate is high. I wish they were higher on the list of important things to do.

Monday, April 05, 2010

What pump should I buy?

Question:
Hi. I am wanting to find out what pump I need.
I am putting in a garden pond with a waterfall that will come down a 3 ft gradual slope. How do I know why gph pump I need to carry the water back up? Do you recommend filter boxes to protect the pump?

 


Answer:
I would buy at at least a 2500 gph pump. I always suggest that folks buy a bigger pump than they think they need.
Yes, I advise a pre-filter. I like a box because the larger area does not gum up the impeller as fast.

To find more pond information, go to pondlady.com

And to meet a great community of gardeners, join us at  Gardeners  Gumbo

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Patching a pond liner

Question:

Is there a paste of some kind that will repair tiny holes in a rubber liner for a pond?

Answer:
There is no paste, but there are patches that you can just attach. The patches are sticky on one side, so get the liner dry and put the patch on. I often help it seal to the liner by blowing it with a hair dryer.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Water Lilies

Question:
How do water lilies grow?

Answer:
They grow just like any other plant, but they grow in water. They grow from rhizomes planted in most any media, need feeding with aquatic fertilizer twice a month during their growing season. That season starts in the spring when the first pads reach the top of the water. They need at least 5 hours of sun daily in order to flower, come in hardy and tropical, night and day blooming varieties. And are beautiful.

Friday, April 02, 2010

koi skimmer, filter, pump

I have read a lot about building a koi pond but i am unsure of where to put the skimmer, filter and pump?
Does anyone have a diagram of where to put all the stuff, preferrably the pond would be L shaped. or can you tell me please because videos on youtube etc... dont really say where the filter goes.

You don't need a skimmer at all. You do need a filter tho, bugt it doesn't matter where you put it. Put it where it is easiest to hide and to clean.
Here's an article that I wrote about how to build a koi pond.

Oh and thoughts about skimmers:


Thursday, April 01, 2010

DIY underwater lights

Question:
Have you ever made underwater fish pond lights yourself, HOW ?
I refuse to spend 80 dollars or more on little 12 volt LED lamps or other types. What about LED lamps in water-tight containers, SELF made? Has anyone here done it, and what problems did you encounter? The solutions?
Thanks. My goldfish pond is 3 feet deep in the middle, and maybe 6' x 8' rectangle. 33 fish. Some babies every spring.


Answer:
I would not try to make underwater lights myself. Electricity and water together can be deadly. Sealing the lights safely will be impossible. Don't try it.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Water hyacinths

Question:
I live in zone Georgia, zone 8a.
Water hyacinths grow well in my area...just not my pond?

My pond has koi.
My water hyacinths were in floating nets.

They all died in the winter.

Someone said seeds can live under the old hyacinths until spring and then grow.

Haven't seen any action yet.

Normal? Do I need to wait longer? Are they all just dead?



Answer:

Your koi are eating the roots of your hyacinths. No matter what plants you have in with your koi, they will eat and love them.  The floating nets that supposedly keep the plants safe usually don't work very well and koi are pretty smart fish.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Frogs and Toads

Question:

I have a smallish pond (about 330 gallons) and each year we get many frogs and toads. Last year we had huge amounts of spawn, both frog and toad. The pond ended up teaming with tadpoles to the point where I was concerned for the health of my fish (lack of oxygen). The froglets then spread through my lawn making it unusable.
This year we already have even more than last year, and the 50+ frogs and toads continue to mate. Are there any organisations that would re-home the frogs/toads/spawn?

It seems my fish are too small to eat the spawn, causing an imbalance.



Answer:
Toads and frogs are so very valuable. Not very many survive, so please allow them to stay in the resort you have built for them. Tadpoles will not hurt your fish and the fish will not eat the tadpoles either. Nor will fish eat the eggs. It's only for a few days a year and then the mosquito eating critters are off doing their jobs until they return to your house again next spring.

Monday, March 29, 2010

DIY Pond Filter

From Craig Hahn, veteran pond keeper and all around handy guy:

Just thought I might mention a solution that I have come up with - once the ice is off the pond here. (More snow here yesterday. yuk!)
I have a half wine barrel (~20gallons) that I fill with 3" lava rock (to handle the inflow) then use that fiber material that they sell for pillows - still can see the look of the sales lady when I told her I was using this for a bacteria medium). I tip the barrel so the water spills over into the pond and cover the top of that fill material with a layer of foam thick enough to lay flat. I cover this with small - medium rocks to make it look nicer. Then the pond water is forced into the bottom (lava rocks) and is filtered and nutrients consumed when it warms up a bit by the bacteria (I don't add any product - just use nature). You could clean the filter material if you like after the water is cleared but I don't - I love the natural way of things.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

GFI reset

Question:
Why doesnt my pond pump work anymore?
I cut my hedge and severed the electric cable causing a fuse to blow, after resetting the trip, everything worked except the pump, even though the socket it was connected to was live, I had not cleaned the pump filter for many months, but I cleaned it all up, I found the impellor will now move, but when I switch on there is no sound or movement at all from the pump, all fuses are ok, the make is Oase filtral 5000 D I need a new pump?

Answer:
Try this: Plug the pump into something else. Put it into a bucket of water or somesuch. If it works, then the problem is in your electrical socket. Also check the outlet for a GFI. It should have one. It will be a red or black button that turns off the pump in case water gets to the outlet. Push it to reset.
If your pump still does not work, you will need a new one. It may be under warranty. Oase has great warranties. Check and see.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Rock fountain question

Question:
Stone rock fountain question?
at a rock store I saw a fountain that was really cool but I can't figure out what it is called. It was just a elongated rock with a hole drilled through it standing up so that it was tall, hooked up to a pump. I just want to know what you would call it and also if you know of any good priced and reliable sites or places to buy them.

Answer:
Most stone yards will drill a hole in any rock you find there. It will cost you a few bucks, but not much. If they specialize in pond rocks, they may have some with the hole already drilled. Just attach a hose to a pump, put the rock in the pond with the pump in the water and plug in the pump. You now have a great fountain.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Algae Control

Question:
Help with pond and summer algae?
I have a 2 acre pond surrounded by mostly trees red (swamp maples) and the pond is mostly fed by runoff at the bottom of a hill, the pond was built in a swampy area (there are a number of seeps in the area, so it is fed by seasonal seeps/springs also) I usually have overflow for 4 to 5 months of the year of at least 10 gpm (more when it rains)...

The trouble I have is in July/August when there is no overflow and I lose from evaporation 3 to 4 feet of water level and the pond develops green algae, I am aware of using barley straw to control the algae, Is there any other methods to help?


Answer:
There are several products made by Microbe-lift that will keep your water clear. I have used many of them and they all work well.  I would start with Microbe-Lift Sludge and then use Microbe lift PL after that.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Keeping mosquitoes away

Question:
Hi. I have a small outdoor fountain. I'm not home a lot of the time, so I don't want it to run continuously. Where I live, Louisiana, we have a lot of mosquitoes, and I'm afraid the standing water will attract them. Does anyone know how I can keep the mosquitoes away without harming birds? Someone told me to use a small amount of bleach, but I'm worried about the birds. Thanks for any help!!

Answer:
There's a product called Mosquito Dunks. Safe for everything and gets rid of all mosquitoes. You can get it at your nursery or maybe even a big box store.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pond installation cost

Question:
What does a 25 by 25 pond cost if put in by a professional?


Answer:
Somewhere between $20,000 and $25.000, depending on where you live and what jobsite problems might be encountered.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pond Chemicals




Question:
I use Interpet also know as Blagden chemicals in my pond. I just wanted to know whether I can use several of them at a time, like can I use chlorinate when I refill my pond then also add some plant fertilizer (flora boast)?

Answer:
You need no chemicals in your pond except dechlor to remove the chlorine. Never ever put chlorine in it. It will kill the plants and fish. If you have an algae bloom, you can use an enzyme - Microbe Lift PL if need be. If you fertilize too much at once, your pond will turn green.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Growing Lotus


Question:
I have a water lotus that is rooted and growing in still water but I am wanting to add running water that will agitate the water around my lotus plant. Will this water movement disturb the plants growth? I know plants like the water lily do not do good with water movement.
Thanks

Answer:
Neither lotus nor water lilies like moving water. If you can put the lotus far away from the moving water, you will be OK.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Floating plants



Question:
Are there any plants that float entirely on the water,with roots hanging down?(except duckweed & water sprite)?

Answer:
Mosaic is one. Parrots feather can float without soil as well. Certainly water lilies and lotus need to be in pots or in soil.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

How to get a pond clear fast!

Question:
My pond has been murky for about a month now. We put algae killer in but it is still the same. we have fish and frogs in there. what can we do to make it really clear and FAST ?

Answer:
To get your pond clear FAST, you can rig up a quick filter. Put a large plastic pot on top of something in your pond. Be sure it is out of the water. I have used a lawn chair. Put 4" of foam rubber in the bottom of the pot. Run the hose from the pump into the pot. Hold it down with a brick. Be ready to clean the foam rubber every couple of hours or when the water spills over the top of the pot. Your water will be clear in about 48 hours.

To find more pond information, go to pondlady.com

And to meet a great community of gardeners, join us at  Gardeners  Gumbo

Friday, March 19, 2010

Swimming Pool Liner

Question:
Can i make a pond with pool liner?
I bought a 12'x12' pool last year and now it's in the basement put away -
those inflatable pools
Can I reuse it to build a 8'x4' pond with this same liner?
I'll put those rolls you have to put before the liner also.
So do you think it will work? Like I wouldn't see why not and how long would it last? How long would a normal pond liner last?

Answer:
They get brittle when exposed to the sun usually within 2 years. Use a butyl rubber liner - they come with at least a 20 year guarantee. You could use your pool liner for your underlayment.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Concrete pond problems

Question:
How do I keep pond water from going away?
I cement the pond with 3 layers and Im not going to do another one. I have 2 roots in there that I cemented, but Im not sure if there taking in water still. I have 2 layers of brown paint in there and still, the water keeps going away. Help please.


Answer:
Concrete is awful material to use for a pond. It is just too brittle. You need butyl rubber and not bought from a big box store. Google pond liners and have it shipped to you. It will be less than the retail stores sell it for. I would break out your concrete first tho so water does not get trapped between the new liner and the old concrete. And use an underlayment to protect your liner. Roofing felt works very well.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Taro

Question:
I think these plants are like little elephant ears. I need help?
I dont know what they are called but they are little bulbs they looked like little elephant ears but they are red and maybe black? Dark purple, something like that. I would like to know what they are called and also when I should plant them... any help would be awesome, I'm only 21 and im not the best at gardening yet. Thanks


Answer:
It's taro. You can get it in dark dark almost black, striped, or solid green. I have them in the pond. They do have a tendency to jump out of the pond and travel far, so watch out.
The bulbs can be fermented and eaten as poi. Not by me, understand, but by many.
Plant them now if it's spring where you are, but they do come back after a winter....and back and back and back....

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

How to bid landscaping

Question:

How do I bid some landscaping?
I have some work that a friend wants me to do. He needs a couple flower beds put in with some brickpavers, top soil, and mulch. Should I bid by the square foot or figure out the cost of materials and then estimate the amount of hours it will take?

Answer:
Cost of materials +10%
Labor + costs of insurance and other benefits. Usually 35% of labor costs will cover that.
Other overhead: Cost of gasoline, truck insurance, office costs, paper, pens, computer, etc.
Any other costs included in the job.
Add it up and add at least 15% profit.
That should do it for you.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Natural Pond

Question:
How to revive my natural pond?
We purchased a house about 2 years ago. The people who lived here before us did not take care of the property and left the place in pretty bad shape. There is a natural pond in the back that is scummy, full of all kinds of plant life, and during the summer can be pretty stagnant. It is a large pond about 5500 sq ft. There are lots of frogs and turtles and toads in it but really no fish. It is natural so there is no liner concrete, rubber nothing, just a dirt bottom. The tributeries leading away from the pond dry up and are just a hunk of scum during late summer. We were told that the people before us rerouted waterways dealing with this pond, but we do not know for sure. We really have a lovely piece of property and would like our pond to be clean and pretty. What can I do to fix this problem? I have searched on the web and only found things dealing with man made rubber bottom or concrete ponds.

Answer:
Start by raking out all the old plant material. Wash it off and put back about half of it. After that, put in a floating pump to circulate the water. Plant around the edges with natural bog plants. If you put fish in, use goldfish only and do not feed them.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Growing calla lilies



Question:
How to grow calla lilies?
I'm going to try to grow some calla lilies this year...I already have the bulbs...and I was just wondering if you can give me some tips...

Answer:
Put them in the ground as soon as you can work it. They love filtered shade and even more love to have their feet wet. I use them in shade ponds when possible. The flowers are incredibly gorgeous. Good luck.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Pond pumps

Question:
Do I need a pump for a pond?
I am using it to grow lotuses, but I also want to add a few goldfish to it to make it more interesting. Would I need to buy a pump for the fish, or would the plants provide the oxygen needed?


Answer:
You don't need a pump for your pond. If you add goldfish, you must add submerged vegetation for them to eat, but never feed them anything else or the water will get foul. The submerged vegetation (anacharis, hornwort, cabomba) will add enough O2 for the fish.
Add a few mosquito fish to keep mosquitoes away.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Cal Pumps

Question:
Does a cal pond pump make noise when on?
We have a pond and bought a cal pump for the filtration of the pond and was wondering if we'd know that it was on. Does a cal brand pond pump make any noises, such as a running noise? Also, how do I work it? how to turn on, keep on, and how to get it working.

Answer:
Calpump makes one of the finest pond pumps. It makes no noise at all. You can feel it humming if you touch it, but that's it. To work it, drop it in the water, and plug it in. Hook it up to the hose you want it to pump water through before you put it in the water. I would use a prefilter to keep debris out of the impeller.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Koi and filters

Question:
Is it possible to turn a pool filter into a filter for my Koi pond?
I know i can't use the sand in it, I will take that out. What type of media should i use?



Answer:
Yes it's possible, even recommended. If you want to take it out, use lava rock, beads or bioballs instead.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Fishing pond

Question:
Can i put a pond in my backyard? (for fishing)?
hello. i live in ohio and i want to put a pond in my backyard but i want it for fishing. what can i do to have the pond without hitting any lines of pipes?

Answer:
It can be done, but it's not easy. First call your local utility company and have them mark where their wires and pipes are.
After that, find a local aquaculture place and ask for help as far as how deep it has to be, and what you can stock successfully, etc. Usually a local community college can help as well. Another resource is your local extension service.

To find more pond information, go to pondlady.com

And to meet a great community of gardeners, join us at  Gardeners  Gumbo

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Wetland Gardens

Question:
How do I create a wetland garden?
We live on a lake in Michigan and I want to start planning a wetland garden. We have an area by the lakeshore that is always mushy, so I'd like to embrace mother nature and plant a wetland garden in this area that will look better than muddy grass. And I would hope this area would improve drainage in my yard. How much maintenance does this type of garden require? What mulch or other bedding material would be best? The area is probably 30 ft long by 5-8 feet.


Answer:
Here's an article I wrote about building a bog garden.
http://www.pondlady.com/Articles/bog_garden.html
In Michigan, my home state, I would use cattails and hardy rushes. Drainage would indeed be improved and the area would look nice. Maintenance would be very little. I mulch mine a couple times a year.

To find more pond information, go to pondlady.com

And to meet a great community of gardeners, join us at  Gardeners  Gumbo

Monday, March 08, 2010

Ponds and pumps



Question:
Is it possible to have 2 ponds running off 1 filter & 1 pump?
i want to add a second pond ,but i would like to know if it is possible to use just 1 filter & 1 pump ? if so how do i do it or do i need to use 2 pumps & 2 filters i should also say that i want to run a waterfall flowing down into the bottom pond from the top 1 any info would be much appreciated many thanks

Answer:
I suppose it is possible. You would have to use an inline (out of the water) pump and somewhere in the hose put a Y so each pond could have water moving. To get two waterfalls, you would need a HUGE inline pump, but they are made, I know. You could use one bead filter that was also out of the water. You are looking at lots of dollars. It would be cheaper to use two pumps, I think.
That idea of having one pond flow into another one is very very difficult to do. I built ponds for 20 years and when doing that sort of thing, I made each pond a separate entity, each with its own pump/waterfall.

To find more pond information, go to pondlady.com

And to meet a great community of gardeners, join us at Gardeners Gumbo

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Oxygenating grasses

Question:
Can you plant just regular grass seed in a fish pond? Will it grow? Will it take oxygen from the fish?
I own some land in which I have started building a fish pond. If the grass doesn't grow, is there a special type of underwater grass to use?


Answer:
Regular grass will not grow in water. Use anacharis, hornwort or cabomba and your fish will love you. All three give O2 to the fish and they, in turn, fertilize them.

To find more pond information, go to pondlady.com

And to meet a great community of gardeners, join us at Gardeners Gumbo

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Terra Cotta Fountain

Question:
What type of pump do you suggest for a terra cotta pot fountain?
It is going to be made of three pots staked on top of each other with a saucer on top.

Answer:
You can buy a tiny one at some place like Hobby Lobby that costs less than $20.00. You will have to replace it often because those little ones don't have a long life. But anything bigger will send the water into your neighbor's yard. Have fun with your garden art.

To find more pond information, go to pondlady.com

And to meet a great community of gardeners, join us at Gardeners Gumbo

Friday, March 05, 2010

Koi pond filter

Question:
I have read a lot about building a koi pond but i am unsure of where to put the skimmer, filter and pump?
Does anyone have a diagram of where to put all the stuff, preferrably the pond would be L shaped. or can you tell me please because videos on youtube dont really say where the filter, etc. goes.




Answer:


You don't need a skimmer at all. You do need a filter tho, but it doesn't matter where you put it. Put it where it is easiest to hide and to clean.
• Here's an article that I wrote about how to build a koi pond.
• http://www.pondlady.com/Articles/koipond…

• Oh, and thoughts about skimmers:
• http://www.pondlady.com/Articles/filters…

To find more pond information, go to pondlady.com

And to meet a great community of gardeners, join us at Gardeners Gumbo

Thursday, March 04, 2010

How to build/buy a small raised pond?

Hi I bought my partner two goldfish and a fishtank for Christmas last year, one is your average goldfish (Betty) and the other a Sarsha comet (Bob) They have been living in a 10 gallon tank this whole time and as a random surprise I want to build a raised bond in our back garden. It has to be raised as we have nephews who visit and we own a lot of rabbits.

The garden has mostly been taken over by the bunnies but was planning on putting it near the patio part. Is there any like metal tub/plastic tub ponds that I can put there? And what sort of size should I be looking for and what sort of filter?

Thank you


You can build or buy most any size pond for the back yard. Here's one made of cinder blocks and fieldstone. Or you can use a circular horse trough, bury 24" of it and camouflage the rest.
Here's an article with photos for the cinder block pond.
http://www.pondlady.com/Articles/above_g…

And here are some smaller and cheaper ones:
http://www.pondlady.com/Articles/inexpeTo find more pond information, go to pondlady.com

And to meet a great community of gardeners, join us at Gardeners Gumbo

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Koi question

I live in miami fl. im building a 175 gal waterfall pond but can go only 20 inches deep. I have morning shade?
Question: I am concerned about the temp for goldfish or koi in summer. I have a concrete pond I bought as a foundation. It's only 45 inches round and 8 in deep, so I plan on dropping it under ground 1 foot and adding 1 foot around the circumference. This should take its original size of 65 gallons and add about 100 gallons more making it about 165 total make any sense got any ideas?





Answer: Your fish will be fine at 20". I would stick to goldfish rather than koi, tho, because koi need at least 3' of water depth. Cover 60% of the top of the pond with floating vegetation and put in one bunch of submerged vegetation per square foot.


To find more pond information, go to pondlady.com

And to meet a great community of gardeners, join us at Gardeners Gumbo

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Koi and pumps question


Can I turn off my pump in my koi pond in the winter?

I have a leak in my pond liner. I think it is at the bottom because a windstorm moved a large plant and my water level started to drop after that. The temperature where I live is from high 30's at night to 60's during day. Can I turn off my pump and let my water level drop without depriving koi of needed oxygen? Also, when I remove koi to completely drain pond, how long can they survive in small holding tank w/o pump

A Top Contributor is someone who is knowledgeable in a particular category.









If your temps stay under 55F, you might be safe turning off the pump, but I would probably throw an airstone in the water. Frankly, I suspect you will not find a leak at all. First turn off your pump and watch the pond overnight. I'll bet the water level will not drop and you will find that same wind moved hoses around and the water is dripping off the back or side of a waterfall.
With an airstone, the koi will survive in a kiddy pond for as long as you need, especially in cool weather.
See my article on leaking ponds: http://www.pondlady.com/Articles/pondlea…


Friday, February 12, 2010

Make your own pond vacuum cleaner

One of our readers made his own pond vacuum cleaner. He reports it works great and was cheap to make. He graciously shared how to make it with the readers of pondlady.com. I though it would be nice to post it here as well for readers who do not get to pondlady.com regularly.

Thanks for sharing, Darrel. We all appreciate it.

From Darrel:

Here's a list of the parts I used:
(1) Utilitech 0024840 Lawn Pump or Flint & Walling/Star Water
#HSPJ100(any 1hp utility pump with 1" intake/outlet)
(1) Culligan HD-950 Whole House Water Filter
(2) Union 1" slip X slip
(4) 1" male adapter, 1" slip socket by 1" NPT
(1) 1" 90º elbow slip
(1) 8 ft. of 1" spa flex hose
(1) 10 ft. of 1" PVC pipe
(1) 1" coupling
(1) Circular brush attachment from a vacuum cleaner to fit the PVC pipe.

Procedure:

The filter is attached to the inlet side of the pump.
(1) Screw a male adapter into the pump inlet.
(2) Cut about a 2-1/4" piece of PVC pipe.
(3) Glue this into the male adapter.
(4) Glue one side of one union to the pipe.
(5) Screw a male adapter into the filter outlet.
(6) Cut another 2-1/4" piece of PVC pipe.
(7) Glue the pipe into the adapter.
(8) Glue the other side of the union to the pipe.
(9) Screw another adapter into the filter inlet.
(10) Cut another 2-1/4" piece of PVC pipe.
(11) Glue the pipe into the adapter.
(12) Glue one side of the other union to the pipe.
(13) Glue the other side of the union to the spa flex hose.
(14) Glue the coupling to the hose.
(15) Cut a 6' length of PVC pipe.
(16) Glue the pipe into the other side of the coupling.
(17) Screw an adapter into the pump outlet.
(18) Cut a 2-1/4" piece of PVC pipe.
(19) Glue the pipe into the adapter.
(20) Glue the 90º elbow onto the other end of the pipe.
(21) Glue the remaining PVC pipe (approx. 2') to the elbow.

You want the filter on the intake side of the pump so you're not sending crud through the pump. There's also the possibility that if you suck up something living, you may be able to rescue it from the filter housing.

The pipe for the wand should not be more than about 6' or it bends too much and is difficult to control.

Lawn pumps need to be primed. They have a port for priming. You can also fill the pump/filter/pipe with water from a hose, or by scooping it from the pond. Just know that the pump, to begin with, will not suck the water up by itself.

You may notice that I used two additional male adapters, one on either side of the filter. This was only because the store had only one slip union. I had to buy one 1" slip union and one 1" NPT union. I then mixed the two halves of the unions so that each one became a 1" NPT X 1" slip union. The additional adapter then screwed into one side of each union.

When glueing the flex hose to the union hold it for a long time. The glue does not seem to set as fast as on the PVC pipe.

I've included a picture to help.

Darrel 

Monday, November 30, 2009

BIG fountains

I often get questions about huge fountains.  People try to put a fountain in a large pond, usually a natural bottom pond and find that the pump clogs up fast and the fountain stops working.

You will see fountains like the one in the photo at shopping centers and casinos.  This one is near a shopping mall near my house.  If you look closely, you can see that the fountain floats.  At no time can a huge fountain like this one be on the bottom of any pond or it will try to suck up debris and burn out quickly.

If you have a huge pond at home and want to use something like this, watch that the wind does not blow the water out and cause the level to drop to dangerous levels.  Sometimes you have to give in and install a float valve to keep the pond full of water.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Turtles in the pond





Nuf said? No?  OK, turtles eat everything in the pond. They start with your most expensive plants, like tropical water lilies and eat their way through every last plant.  And they do it fast.




You can have turtles in a pond if you have nothing else in the pond. You have to feed the turtles and make a little island and/or ramp so they can get in and out. Turtles do not live underwater.

In the winter, they burrow in the leaf mold and under the rocks and stay there undisturbed until spring when they wake up with a voracious appetite for more water lilies.









Turtle on a turtle?  Yup, it is.

To find more pond information, go to pondlady.com

And to meet a great community of gardeners, join us at  Gardeners  Gumbo

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Another kind of pondless waterfall








Most pondless waterfalls are holes in the ground filled with rocks or a box that makes the sound echo.  All nice and all with their own problems.  Yesterday I decided to make my own pondless waterfall in the front yard.

It could be a pond with fish and plants, but it is really small, so I now have my own mini pondless waterfall.

Here's how I did it:  I bought a 3' in diameter x 2' deep Rubbermaid horse watering trough at a feed and seed store.   It cost about 40 bucks.  I had a pump lying around from my active pond building days. It's a 700 gph Little Giant submersible.  I also had rocks in the yard, saved from my pre Katrina pond and moved to this house from the one that we had to bulldoze.

First was a hole in the ground. I did not bury the horse trough all the way, but left about 6" above the ground. It's easier to deal with that way, easier to keep level and doing it like that avoids any run off.  Also with our water table so high, digging a 2' deep hole would find me in the water before I got all the way down.

After you dig the hole, put in the horse trough and fill it with water.  If you don't it will rise like the phoenix while you are leveling it.  Add kiddie play sand around the edges to give a solid surface to hold the trough.  Use water to pack down the sand. As you doing that, get the trough as level as you can.  You will cantilever rocks over the top later, so you don't have to be perfect here.

Start piling up flat rocks to hide the sides of the trough that is above ground. Doing this will make the pond look natural.  Save a spot for the waterfall.

Attach flexible tubing to the pump and then T off with a hard plastic T fitting  like plumbers use.

Put the pump in the water.

Now build your waterfall on one edge of the trough.  Use a large flat rock for the bottom, put a few thicker rocks on top and add another rock on top of those.  That's about as high as you can get because you don't want water splashing out.

Place the two hoses on the top of the waterfall.  Maybe one hose on each level.  Whatever pleases you.  Put rocks the same thickness as the hoses on either side and a rock on top to keep them where you put them.

Now arrange the hoses so no water slides off the back or over the sides and out of the trough.

Hide the hoses in the back of the falls with rocks or plant material.

Use swimming pool chlorine to keep the water clear.

There, you have it and it only took a few hours.  This one took me about 5 hours yesterday.  I am moving a bit slow this morning.


To find more pond information, go to pondlady.com

And to meet a great community of gardeners, join us at  Gardeners  Gumbo

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Friday, November 06, 2009

Water Lilies in Winter

Hardy water lilies will survive the worst winter you can imagine.  I have seen hardy water lilies in Rocky Mountain National Park at about 11,000 feet.

 Remember water lilies are only pretty weeds, invasive and obnoxious if left to their own devices.  If you have planted them on the bottom in the bottom of a natural pond, you will regret doing that because they will cover your pond in short order. BUT they will survive. And survive. And survive.
You can tell the difference between hardy water lilies and tropical ones easily. The tropicals have stems that raise the flower far out of the water. The hardy lily flowers sit very close to the water, sometimes even touching it.

All water lily flowers live for about three days and then die. Another opens and so on, so you have flowers throughout the spring and summer.

If you have tropical water lilies, you must protect them in the winter.  If you have a deep pond, you can lower them to the bottom and keep your fingers crossed.  Here in South Louisiana, that's what I do.  Our freezes are relatively short and rare, so our lilies are safe.

If you live where your pond may freeze solid, you can remove your tropical from the pond, remove its leaves, rinse the corms off and pack it in damp sand.  Put it in the garage or somewhere that does freeze. You have about a 50/50 chance of saving your tropical. In the spring, simply pot them up again and place them in the pond.

 Of course, the ideal way is to have a green house and store the lily in it.  You can cobble together an 8' long box made of 1' x 12' lumber, line it with butyl rubber, fill it with dechlorinated water and your lilies will love you for it.  You will have blooms early in the spring.

No matter where you live in the US, your lilies are dormant by now. They react to the length of daylight and dark as well as temperature changes.  Don't worry, you will see them again in the spring.


To find more pond information, go to pondlady.com

And to meet a great community of gardeners, join us at  Gardeners  Gumbo

Monday, November 02, 2009

Ponds, men and women





Have you noticed? I know I have.

When men build ponds they want technical, complicated things like automatic water levelers. Women just use a garden hose to top off the pond every couple or months.

Men will run PVC pipes from the house hose bib and put a faucet near the pond. Women: See above.

Men plumb a waterfall with that same PVC pipe, so if it needs repair, you need a saw, sandpaper, more PVC pipe, fittings and that blue glue. Women use flexible tubing. If it breaks, they get a new piece for a couple of bucks.

Men hard wire a pump into an electrical box, so when the pump burns out, an electrician is needed to install a new one. Oh, and hard wiring the pump voids the warranty. Women just plug in the pump. When it burns out, they just plug in a new one.

Men love concrete. They use it to cement down rocks around the pond and try to glue waterfall rocks together. Women simply balance the rocks properly, so no concrete is necessary. That way, if rocks need to be moved, they can be picked up and  moved.

Anyone else find this strange?  Or is it just me?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pond Vacuum Cleaners Redux


I get questions about pond vacs all the time. People want to use a pond vac or a wet vac to clean the bottom of the pond and not have to do a total clean out.  And will that work?  In a word, no.

A pond vac sucks up water.  It sucks up the junk at the bottom of the pond, but it sucks more water than junk.

The other big problem with pond vacs is that they do not have enough suction to reach from the top of the pond where they must sit to the bottom of the pond where the junk is.  Wet vacs are better at this, but still not the best.

 If you want to clean the bottom of the pond and not pump all the water out of the pond first, try this: Go to the swimming pool supply store.  Find a gadget that looks like the picture in the link above.  Do not buy the mesh bag that the salesman wants to sell you. It doesn't work because the mesh is not fine enough.  Also, if you don't already have a telescoping pole for your fish net, buy one of those as well.
When you get the saucer/vacuum cleaner home, attach your garden hose to the fitting on the saucer and a leg from an old pair of panty hose over the hole in the middle of the blue saucer.  You now have a water pressure powered pond vac that will (sorta) clean the pond bottom. At least it will do a better job than the ones you pay lots of big green dollars for.

Put the saucer on the bottom of the pond.  Turn on the water.  If you turn the water on first, you will start the job wet.

Using the pole, which also has a handy place to attach, start vacuuming the bottom of the pond.  The panty hose will fill up fast with all that pond scum on the bottom.  You will quickly have a panty hose leg full of decayed plant material, fish waste and other unspeakable stuff that drops to the bottom of the pond.

When the panty hose leg gets heavy, turn off the water and empty the panty hose leg.  Repeat until the bottom of the pond is as clean as you want it.

By the way, I put a water shut off valve at the saucer end of the hose so I can turn off the water without having to walk back to the hose bib every time.

This is a dirty, messy job.  Wear old clothes and be prepared to shower immediately after.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pond still losing water




You are pulling your hair out trying to figure out why your pond is still losing water.  Do you have a fountain in the pond?  If so, make sure the fountain is not too close to the edge and water is splashing out.  Check your waterfall as well. If water is splashing on the rocks near the edge of the waterfall, it is splashing out.  Falling water must have an area twice as wide as the water is high for the water to stay contained. So if your waterfall or fountain is pumping water 2 feet above the pond, the pond must have 4' of surface for it to fall into.  
One more thing:  If you have a fountain with some sort of nozzle or a spitter that sends water far in the air, the wind can blow the water out of the pond.  Watch your pond water level when the wind is blowing. You might want to turn off your pump if it's windy.


The holes in a nozzle can get clogged up and pretty soon you have one thin stream of water shooting out. It is hard to see because it is so thin.  Check it. You may wish to remove the nozzle completely.   Or clean it lots and lots. With a toothpick. And a brush. In the water. With your boots on.  Frustrating.



Thursday, October 29, 2009

Help, My Pond is Still Leaking

You have checked everything. There are no liner holes, the waterfall water is falling in the pond and not sneaking off the back, all hoses and hose connections are tight and secure, but your pond is still losing water.

Do you have a spitter? A spitter is some ornament, often a statue of a frog or bird that has a hole in the bottom and spits water out of its mouth.  I am not a big fan of spitters, but you are and you have one.  First disconnect it. If the pond water level stays put, you know that your spitter is the cause.  Often as pumps get clogged up or hoses get full of algae, the water flow slows down and the spitter drools. When that happens the water sneaks out of the pond, sometimes only a drop or two at a time.  If you don't think that is very much, let water drip slowly out of your inside faucet and see how much your water bill goes up.

To repair a spitter drool, you can move the spitter so it sits totally inside the pond or prop it up next to the pond with a serious tilt into the pond so water can't escape.  Watch out for this method because the thing can fall into your pond and puncture the liner. Then you have bigger problems.  My solution. Disconnect the spitter and let it sit wherever you wish minus the water coming out.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

How to Patch a Liner


I always recommend using a 40 mil butyl rubber liner when you build a pond.  Unless you walk on them with golf cleats, they survive most anything.  But occasionally, they get a leak.  If your lab loves to play in your pond, those toenails could cause a leak.  One time I had to deal with a client who put sharp rocks in the pond and put plants on top of them.  If you must put huge, sharp rocks in the pond, put an extra piece of liner underneath and don't move the plants around by just sliding them. Pick up the plants and the rocks if you must move them.
The hardest thing to do if you have a hole in your liner is finding it.  See http://www.pondlady.com/Articles/pondleaking.html for hints on finding the leak.
After you find it, be sure the liner surrounding the hole is clean and dry.  If you are not in blinding hot sun, you may need a hair dryer to get it totally dry.
The 40 mil butyl rubber liner is the same material as an inner tube, for those of us old enough to remember those.  You can use a tire patch found at any automotive store or you can buy patching material from an aquatic nursery or online from any pond supply store. It doesn't' cost much. You simply cover the hole with the patching tape - it's sticky on one side. And you are done.  I have had patches last for over 10 years so far.
So find the hole, slap on the tape, make sure it's dry,  refill the pond with water and  you are good to go!


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Catching Goldfish

I have had a few questions about ponds freezing solid.  What to do with the goldfish?

You have to catch them and bring them inside.  I have heard that goldfish can freeze and survive, but have never seen it happen, so bringing them in is best.  But first, how to catch them?

Try this:

1)Fill a container with pond water.

2)Get a bucket of very warm, even hot, water.

3)Pour it slowly into the pond. The fish will come toward the warm water.

4)Use a net, catch the fish and put them in the container full of pond water.  Water is heavy so don't make the fish container too big or you won't be able to carry it.

5)Let the fish warm slowly in that same pond water before you transfer them to their winter home.

By the way, if the pond does ice over, do NOT  hit it with a hammer to open a hole.  The blow could kill the fish. One way to open a hole is to put a pan of hot water on top of the ice and let it melt.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Leaky liners

I know we have talked about liner leaks before, but the question keeps getting asked: How do I fix my leaking pond?

First of all, your pond is probably not leaking. I always tell people that when they call to tell me their pond is leaking.

"Hi Jan, my pond is leaking."

"No, it probably isn't."

"But it is losing water every day and anyway how can you know that if you haven't seen it?"

"I have seen thousands of ponds and am all knowing.  Chances are about 99% your liner has no hole in it. Let's troubleshoot.  If I have to come over there, you will need to get out your checkbook, so if we can do this over the phone, my advice is free.  Which do you prefer?"

"Over the phone."

"OK, turn off your pump, fill up your pond and let it sit over night.  If the water stays put, your water is falling behind the waterfall.  If you have a spitter, the water is drooling down the spitter and out of the pond. Check your waterfall rocks. Chances are one of them has tipped and water is not going back in the pond, but falling off the back.  Look at the water level in the morning and call me back."

I usually get no call back.  The pond owner has learned something.  Liners rarely leak. They rarely get holes in them unless raccoons have been marauding through the water in search of tasty morsels.

The pond owner finds the wayward rock, tips it back into place and all is well.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Concrete Pond Leaks

I get questions all the time about leaky ponds. Since there are so many kinds of ponds, so many kinds of leaks and so many ways to repair them, I want to spend  a few days talking about leaks.

Let's start with concrete ponds. I do not recommend building ponds with concrete because it is not watertight and is brittle, but many people use concrete, so I get to fix their leaks.

Concrete ponds crack.  It's inevitable. If you have a concrete pond, it will crack.  Plan on it.  I don't care if you use concrete 6 inches thick and 6000 psi. It's gonna crack.  So, now what?

If the crack is hairline, you perhaps can fix it. Maybe. For a short while anyway.  Get some plumbers' epoxy.  Not plumbers' putty. Epoxy.  Make the crack bigger. Dig it out so there is a bit of a V shape, like the dentist does when he fills a cavity in your tooth.  Now make sure the crack is dry and clean.  If you have to, use a hair dryer to dry it completely.

Now mix the epoxy. Put gloves on first because the epoxy sticks on your hands just like it sticks on the concrete. Epoxy comes in a tube and looks like a big stick of chalk.  So unwrap as much as you need and start pinching and rolling it - gloves on, remember.  In a couple of  minutes, the epoxy will get warm. A minute or so after that, it's ready to use.  Smush the epoxy in the crack. Notice the technical term, smush. It's important. Make sure the epoxy is pushed into the crack and smoothed out both in the crack and along the edges.  Wait for it to dry.  The directions on the side of the package will tell you how long that will take.

When the epoxy is dry, refill the pond with water.  The epoxy will not hurt your fish or plants.

I have had some repairs last for several years, some for only several months.  I never guarantee a concrete repair.  Often I will do it free if the pond belongs to a steady customer.  If the customer pays for the service, he expects some sort of warranty and this repair is not good enough for that.

If you can see through the crack in your concrete, you cannot repair it. I don't care who says you can, it is not possible. Find a waterproofing company and have them put a new coating on your pond.  Or just drop a butyl rubber liner inside the concrete pond and start over.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ponds and the Frost Line

Because I live in the Deep South, I do not have to bother about a frost line because aside from some chilly weather occasionally, we don't have to deal with frozen ponds.  But those of you who do, need to know what the frost line is in your area. You can find out by calling your local extension office if you don't already know.  Oh, the frost line is the depth of soil where it no longer freezes.  For some of you, that is really deep.  When you are building your pond, know your frost line and dig the pond deeper than that.  That way, your pond will never freeze solid.  Your fish have a chance of survival even if the top of the pond freezes over.  I do advocate keeping a hole in the ice, but sometimes that is not possible.  Fish are in torpor, a form of fish hibernation all winter, so they just lie around at the bottom of the water in suspended animation, if you will.

Digging below the frost line will mean less chance of damage to your liner as well.  You have, of course, removed all your pond equipment already and stored them safely. Right?

Check http://www.pondlady.com/Articles/winter_pondcare_2.html  for more winter pond care tips.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Did I mention pond plants?


Cut back your tropical pond plants now.  If you plan to overwinter them, bring them in the garage or the greenhouse.  Most of them will do fine if not frozen solid. If you have anacharis and your pond will freeze solid, bring it in too and put it in a washtub in the garage. (Garage getting crowded?)  Put your goldfish in there too if your pond is not below your frost line

Cut back your hardy plants as well. I cut mine back to about 3". The pond will look dreadful all winter, but the plants will come back green and healthy next spring when the plants put out new growth.

To make the fall pond into something besides a gray hole full of water, add some mums around the edge for fall color.  Put a few painted cinder blocks in the pond to raise decorations out of the water and put some Halloween decorations on top.  Or a few more pots of mums.


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Winter is coming





From questions I have been getting, it seems as if some spots in the country are headed into winter. We, of course, are still in the last throes of summer waiting for the 90 degree heat to finally give up and go away. So for those of you in cooler climes, here's a great article on how to deal with your pond equipment during the winter.  Remember if your pond depth is below the freeze line, you do not have to remove your fish. You just need to keep a hole open in the ice.

Winter Care for Pond Equipment









T

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Pond Fish in Winter

As the nights lengthen and cool, you may notice your fish becoming less active and lying around near the bottom of your pond.  If you do feed your fish, stop now.  


You can kill them if you feed when the temperatures are below 55º F.  


Even if you have a day or so above that temperature, do not feed. For tips on winter fish and plant care, read this article I wrote about fish and plant care during the winter: Winter Fish Care

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fish are cannibals


I get questions at my pondlady.com website and occasionally share them here.  Here's one that you may not know or have forgotten:


Question:

I have goldfish.

So, do the alive fish eat their dead? I've actually never seen a fish eaten like this is my pond. Sure, I have found plenty over the years, in all seasons, die and float to the surface, but never eaten like this.

I will take your advice and resist the temptation to feed them even in this warm spell.

Answer:

Yes, all fish will eat other fish. In fact, fish will kill a sick or weak fish. I think it is a way they have of keeping the school hardy.

Your goldfish will be just fine if you never ever, feed them, even in the summer. Just balance the pond ecologically with submerged vegetation and make sure your bioload is not too high and you can just relax and never have to clean fish poop out of your pond except in your yearly cleaning.





Saturday, September 26, 2009

More about irises


I forgot to mention yesterday that it's time to cut back irises.  Many people do it in the early summer right after the plants bloom, but I like to enjoy the foliage all summer, so I wait until fall to cut them back.  Remember the iris blooms on new growth, so divide and cut back. That way all growth next spring will be new and you will irises to share and irises to enjoy.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pond liner problems

I have a website at pondlady.com
People ask and answer pond questions there. Occasionally I get an common question and share it here. Here's one about liner suddenly rising from its floor:

Questions:

We have an in ground, 8' fish pond that was built 4 years ago. We buried an 8' stock tank and laid the pond liner over that and put about a billion rocks around it. This year, water has started getting between the stock tank and pond liner and rising the liner up out of the pond. A recent 5 " rain really has brought the issue to a crisis point. I see no obvious leak in the liner and we really don't want to move all those rocks to lay in a new liner...what should we do? We have pumped it out a couple times, but water keeps getting between the liner and stock tank.

Answer:
You have methane between the tank and the liner. No amount of rocks will keep it from rising. Try to make a place where you can pump out the water that has gotten between the two. That will help until it happens again. The only way to stop it from happening is to raise the entire pond, tank and all. (Shudder.) Or you could build up the sides, make the pond bigger and use the weight of the water to keep the liner in place, but if you do that, you might as well just start over with just a liner and no stock tank. You have a big job ahead of you.

To get more pond information, head over to pondlady.com

Friday, June 05, 2009

From my inbox

Dear Jan,
I don't know if you remember me but I wrote to you last fall and we talked about Gregg Wittstock and Aquascape and their CAC's. I have now been fighting them for 10 months to get the pea gravel out of this man-made waterfall and stream because I found pea gravel clear up in the biofalls and my pump failed because it was pumping gravel instead of the water. To make a long story a bit shorter, they have finally decided to finally get the gravel out of the basin and put in AquaBlox. They will do this for free. But do you know anything about these glorified milk cases? They are only warranted for 1 year. After that who knows, another fight. Do you feel this is needed? They are supposed to give the basin more water volume. ????

Also, I have two plants in the water of my pondless......my contractor put them in. The second season of running our pondless, we noticed tons and I mean TONS of string algae. I have used the NON-guaranteed algaecides, barley straw, bleach, chlorine tabs and nothing has worked. Should I take OUT the two Sweet Flags I have in the water? Are they causing the algae to form? Any information would be greatly appreciated. OR is there something the contractor did that would lend to this production of algae? Like, not making the biofalls level or something like that. I was told to put in bleach, but how much and how often? My pondless is 4' by 12'.

Without bad luck, I would have no luck at all..............after spending over 20 hours getting the pea gravel out of the basin and stream........I would say we were able to get at least 90 percent of this stuff out........now Dreamscapes call and say they will take out all the pea gravel.........I am sure my husband and I got more out than they would have, so although it was really hard work, I now know what is in and around the centipede......and it is not pea gravel!! My husband is 68 years old and he must really love me to do all that work because he knew how I was fretting over it. I just didn't want to put in a new pump and have it ruined by all the pea gravel. Also, could you tell me again what pumps you would choose to put in the skimmer that have good guarantees? You told me before but I must have misplaced your information. Thanks.

If I could just get rid of the string algae..........I did put barley straw in the biofalls in March a couple of years ago. We live in PA. It worked for a while but then seemed not to do anything except muck up the stream bed.

I wish there was a way to really blog about Aquascape Design, Inc.-- I really can't stand them or their products. They are crooks in my book.

Thanks for letting me vent again. Hope to hear from you soon.

Pondlady sez:

Try Microbe-Lift for your string algae.
I don't know a thing about Aquabox.
Ya know, you could remove the irises, plant them next to the pond and use swimming pool chlorine and your pond water would stay crystal clear. The irises are not causing the algae, nor did the contractor. Sun + water = algae. Use more chlorine than you have before and you should be fine.

As far as pumps go, I like Oase brand pumps.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Filter question



The first canna of 2009 starts to open in my bog garden.


I get email with pond questions. I got this one a few days ago and thought I would share it with you.

Question: I would like to put a 25" round by 15" deep tub. If I put in a bunch of grass, 1 drawf lily, 2 regular goldfish with a pump hooked up to a spitter will I have a successful little pond? Do I need a filter? What size pump would I need. The spitter will be place on some flat rocks at the edge of the pond. I don't plan on feeding the fish but will feed the lily.

Pondlady sez: Yes, you will be successful and need no filter. Don't feed the fish and put a couple of bunches of grass in the water. Feed the lily one tab a month. Use a pump that will pump about 140 gph depending how high the spitter will be. The spitter cannot exceed 12" in height or the water will splash out.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Koi and Goldfish eat their babies

Question I received lately: I have Koi and Goldfish. I feed them daily. Why don't I have babies?



Pondladay sez: Chances are the fish are eating their babies. They are not good parents.
You must feed koi. Goldfish can exist and live well eating off the plants in the pond....unless you have koi who will eat them all.

The more you feed them, the bigger they get and the hungrier they get. Sooner or later your bio-load will be too heavy and your biggest fish will die, but in the meantime, your fish will eat every baby they catch.