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Isn’t the Waterfall Enough? | Decorative Ponds & Water Gardens Q & A

Q: Isn’t the Waterfall Enough?

Q: Isn’t the Waterfall Enough?

Staci – Bethel, VT

A: As your waterfall gurgles and churns gallons of water, it would certainly appear that your pond is getting plenty of aeration. All that action does, in fact, help with gas exchange and infuse oxygen into the water. But it isn’t always enough, especially if you run your waterfall pump for a short time during the day.

If a pond isn’t aerated enough, expect to see these telltale signs:

  • Algae Battles: Algae thrive in calm water that’s devoid of – and in need of – oxygen and beneficial bacteria. If you regularly fight algae blooms, that means your pond is out of balance and could use some additional oxygen and movement throughout the entire water column.
  • Oxygen-Starved Fish: Fish that need more O2 will hang out beneath your waterfall, where oxygen supplies are the densest. They may also be coming to the water surface, gulping and gasping for breaths of air because there’s not enough in their environment.
  • Too Many Fish: The general rule for a fish population in a pond is to allow 1 inch of adult fish per square foot of surface area. If you have too many fish, or your existing population has outgrown their space, aeration is critical to their health and well being.
  • Stagnant Water, Mosquito Boom: Is the water stagnant in certain areas of your pond? Are you suffering through a mosquito boom in your backyard? These little pests prefer to lay their eggs and raise their young in still water – so you might have created a perfect mosquito habitat!
  • Muck Accumulation: Decomposing plant matter and fish waste build up when the water is still and your biological filtration system – beneficial bacteria – breaks down. That muck feeds the algae blooms, which create more muck. It’s a vicious cycle that can be remedied with aeration.

Do any of these ring true? If so, your waterfall or stream is not providing enough aeration for your pond. One of our aeration systems can help. The Airmax® KoiAir™ Water Garden Aeration Kit is designed for medium and large water gardens and koi ponds that are up to 16,000 gallons. The Airmax® PondAir™ Water Garden Aeration Kit is designed for smaller water gardens up to 2,000 gallons. Both whisper-quiet systems can be run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing your finned pals and beneficial bacteria plenty of oxygen and water movement.

Pond Talk: When did you know it was time to upgrade your pond’s aeration system?

Breathe Life Into Your Water Garden - Airmax(r) KoiAir(t) Water Garden Aeration Kit

I fill my pond with tap water. Should I be using water conditioner?| Decorative Ponds & Water Gardens Q & A

Q: I fill my pond with tap water. Should I be using water conditioner?

Q: I fill my pond with tap water. Should I be using water conditioner?

Mary – Sioux City, SD

A: Yes. The water that flows from your hose may be “clean” enough for humans to drink and use for household purposes, but it actually contains a cornucopia of contaminants that can be deadly to fish.

What are some of those pollutants? Besides the naturally occurring ones, like heavy metals and nitrogen compounds in soil, water can contain human-originated contaminants, including bacteria and nitrates from human and animal waste, fertilizers and pesticides, industrial byproducts, and chemicals that actually disinfect and treat the water—like chlorine, chlorinates or chlorine dioxides, according to the EPA.

That’s where water conditioners come into play.

Pond Logic® Water Conditioner removes harmful chlorine and chloramines from your tap water and detoxifies contaminants and heavy metals that may harm your fish. But that’s not all. A conditioner also clears away ammonia generated by the nitrogen cycle and adds essential electrolytes to the water that increase oxygen uptake.

So every time you add city water or hard water to your pond, be sure to add a dose of water conditioner to eliminate those contaminants. In addition, add some Nature’s Defense® . The beneficial bacteria in the additive further reduce ammonia and digest dead organics in the pond, such as phosphates and nitrogen.

To ensure your water is safe for your finned pals, perform regular tests with a Master Test Kit. Designed for water garden and backyard ponds, the kit includes tests for pH, ammonia, nitrite and phosphate.

Pond Talk: Do you pay attention to the way tap water is chemically treated in your area?

Debris Lifts Away in Seconds - Pond Logic (r) Oxy-Lift™ Defense®

We had a heron last year. How do I stop it from coming back? | Decorative Ponds & Water Gardens Q & A

Q: We had a heron last year. How do I stop it from coming back?

Q: We had a heron last year. How do I stop it from coming back?

Vicki- Maryville, TN

A: The bad news is, once a heron knows food is served in your pond, it’ll be back for more. Chances are pretty good that it’ll stop by for a bite to eat when it flies through this year, so be prepared with these surefire heron-proofing devices to keep the sushi lover at bay.

  1. Use a Decoy – Your first plan of defense should be setting up a realistic Blue Heron Decoy. Heron are territorial by nature, and when one cruises overhead and sees that one of its feathered cousins (fake or real) has already claimed the area, it’ll keep going until it finds its own pond to fish. Move the decoy regularly to make it appear even more realistic. Another expert tip: Remove the decoy during mating season, which runs from March through late May or June.
  2. Shore Up the Perimeter – Heron refuse to land in water and hate stepping over wires, so we recommend Heron Stop as a second line of defense around the perimeter of your pond. The impassable barrier – made up of simply nylon line and stakes – prevents the bird from approaching and protects up to 40 feet of shoreline without blocking your view.
  3. Set Up a Motion Detector – For a final layer of protection, set up a ScareCrow® Motion-Activated Animal Deterrent. Thanks to a built-in infrared sensor that detects movement up to 35 feet in front of it and up to 45 feet wide, this heron-scaring tool chases off unwanted visitors with a surprise spray of water. It works both day and night to set boundaries around your water garden or koi pond. But be warned: It doesn’t know the difference between an animal and a human, so you might get wet!

Pond Talk: What tips do you have for keeping herons away from your pond?

Protect Your Prized Fish From Predators - Pond Logic(r) Blue Heron Decoy

Water Gardens & Fish Ponds 101 | Learning Center

A healthy pond doesn’t just happen. It’s created and maintained by you. Imagine seeing your fish thrive, your plant flourish, and your pond water turned crystal clear!

You can achieve that kind of pond by understanding the five elements of a healthy pond. There is no need to be intimidated, The Pond Guy® has your back, so it’s virtually impossible to make a mistake. We know ponds, and we’re here to help you be the best pond owner you can be. So let’s talk pond balance. It’s achieved and maintained through the following elements: filtration, aeration, aquatic plants, healthy fish and beneficial bacteria.

Filtration – Keeps water clean, healthy and safe. There are two types of filtration: mechanical and biological. Mechanical filtration involves removal of visible solids like leaves, floating debris and fish waste. Mechanical filtration is often done by skimmers, filter brushes, foam pads and other tools. Biological filtration eliminates invisible waste (excess nutrients) by introducing a living tool – aerobic bacteria. Aerobic bacteria attaches itself to surfaces (rocks, plants, filter media, etc.) and eats away excess nutrients.

Aeration – Promotes pond and fish health. Waterfalls and fountain sprays alone cannot product enough oxygen but aeration systems like the Pond Logic® KoiAir™ and PondAir™ will do the trick. Subsurface aeration works from the bottom up, circulating water and increasing dissolved oxygen levels. When the sun goes down, fish and plants both use dissolved oxygen in your pond water. By providing subsurface aeration, oxygen levels stay high all day and night. Aeration is also great for freezing climates. Running an aerator and a deicer together cuts your electricity costs and keeps a hole open in your pond.

Aquatic Plants – Natural algae control. Aquatic plants are a key part of a balanced pond. They feed of “processed” fish waste and help reduce algae blooms. Fish waste (before it goes through filtration) can be toxic to aquatic life. However, once filtered, fish waste becomes fertilizer, which can be consumed by plants and produce exceptional plant growth. Approximately 40-60% of your pond’s surface area should be covered in plants. This is extra important if your pond is in direct sunlight most of the day.

Fish – Add color and excitement. It’s critical that your filtration system is the proper size to handle your fish population. Fish naturally multiple and grow. The more fish, the more waste, so fish loads must be controlled. General rule? With standard filtration and 60% plant coverage, allow 1-2 koi or 2-3 goldfish per 200 gallons of water. If you need help figuring out how much filtration your fish need, give us a call!

Beneficial Bacteria – Natural treatments for a balanced pond. Using natural treatments, such as those found in the Pond Logic® DefensePAC®, aid in keeping your pond balanced and happy. The DefensePAC® is designed to keep a pond’s ecosystem perfectly balanced by breaking down waste, removing excess nutrients and maintain clear water.

Prepare Your Pond For Winter | Learning Center

As the days and nights stay to get chilly, you may want to start thinking about getting your pond in shape for the winter months. The longer you wait, the colder it will be to remove pumps, UV lights and pressure filters. Here are some simple steps to follow for shutting down your pond:

    1. Start with a basic cleanup. Vacuum out debris from the bottom of your pond and skim out any leaves or twigs. We recommend refraining from a full cleanout because it can cause too much stress on your fish before the winter months.
    2. Remove the following products from the pond and do not forget to blow out and cap your tubing:
    • All-In-One Filtration Units
    • UV Clarifiers (Remove the entire unit, not just the bulb.)
    • Pressurized Filters
    • Pumps (Keep in a bucket of water to keep seals lubricated. Store in an area that will not freeze.)
    • Ion Clarifiers
    3. Raise your aeration stones or plates. This keeps the water moving at the top of the pond but calm at the bottom for your fish’s winter hibernation. Bring your deicer out to the pond. Don’t turn it on yet but you will be ready for the first cold spell.
    4. Put a net over your pond when the leaves begin to fall. Remember to net out any leaves that may have fallen in.
    5. After the first frost, remove all tropical plants from your pond and cut dead vegetation off from any hardy plants.
    6. If your pump usually resides in your skimmer box, pump the water down just below the skimmer door or weir. This ensures water stays in your pond and not filling the skimmer box.
    7. As your water temperatures dip below 50°, begin to use Seasonal Defense®. Begin to feed your fish Spring & Fall Fish food at this time. When water temperatures drop below 40°, stop feeding your fish and discontinue using Seasonal Defense®.

Creating The Perfect Pond With UV | Learning Center

UV Clarifiers are designed to destroy the ultra fine planktonic algae that cause green water. When algae cells are exposed to the bulb’s ultraviolet rays, the radiation destroys the cellular wall of the planktonic algae. As a result, the tiny particles of dead algae clump together and are removed by your mechanical filtration system.

UV clarifiers are a great addition to a pond suffering from green water caused by full sun exposure or too many fish. Please note, UV Clarifiers do not affect string algae.

Be sure to pay attention to the flow rates listed on each particular UV filter. If your pump’s flow rate is higher than recommended, algae will not be exposed to the UV radiation long enough to damage the cell. Thus, rendering the UV filter virtually useless. By using a pump that is too large, you also run the risk of damaging the UV unit by creating too much pressure. If your pump is too small, you run the risk of the UV clarifier acting like a sterilizer. With slowly moving water, the UV bulb will kill both the algae and any beneficial bacteria that floats by.

While a UV clarifier can work wonders on your water garden it is only a patch to the real issue. Make sure you are properly maintaining your pond, using an adequate amount of filtration, keeping a low fish population, and utilizing your bacteria products.

Fish Health – The Basics On Preventing & Treating Illness | Learning Center


Keep your pond clean and healthy by providing adequate filtration, aeration, and regularly cleaning and adding beneficial bacteria to the pond. A DefensePAC® is a great tool to help maintain water quality and a ClearVac™ Pond Vacuum cleaning your pond easier and more enjoyable. When performing water changes use Pond and Fish Conditioner to detoxify any chemical or heavy metal contaminates in the water as well as reduce fish stress and improve their slime coat which makes them less susceptible to disease. Dosing your pond with Pond Logic® Pond Salt will also help improve their slime coat and gill functions further ensuring healthy and happy fish.
If your fish still manage to fall under the weather the will almost always show some inconsistency in their behavior that will give you a clue as to what is going on. When fish are stressed or ill they will tend to be lethargic and less social, often just floating in one area away from your other fish. If they have anchor worm you will see them rubbing on rocks or the wall of the pond which is known as flashing. You can also visually inspect your fish for signs of illness. Deterioration of their fins, mouth or gills can indicate poor water quality or parasites. Look for loose or odd looking scale formations and sores on the body of the fish.
There are three steps to follow to nurture your sick fish back to health:

  1. Since most illness is due to stress or water quality in their environment you will want to provide some temporary relief from the source. Start by performing a 25% water change in the pond to get some fresh water into the system. If only a few fish seem to be affected you may also choose to set up an isolation tank and treat just the affected fish. Next add salt and be sure both the pond or isolation tank has adequate aeration.
  2. Identify the fish sickness based on their symptoms. Take pictures, examine the fish for and cuts, redness or inflammation in the gills and record their habits. Once you’ve identified the symptoms you can choose the next course of action which may involve additional medications or treatments.
  3. Reevaluate your normal pond routines. Go back to see if there is anything you should change to prevent illness in the future. When dealing with sick fish it is always important to focus on preventing issues before they have a chance to ruin your ponding season so you can spend the majority of your season playing with your pets instead of playing doctor.

Spring Cleaning – 10 Helpful Tips To Jump-Start Your Pond | Learning Center

As daylight hours get longer and the temperatures warm up, you want to start enjoying your water garden again.

First things first, decide whether you need a full pond cleanout. If you kept your pond clear last season and did basic maintenance tasks before the winter, you may only need to do a water change and some cleaning to get your pond in tip top shape. If not, a full spring cleanout may be the way to go. Here are 10 simple steps to get your pond ready:

  1. Inspect your pond. Check to see what affect the winter weather has had on the pond liner, skimmer or biological filter. Make repairs as needed.
  2. Make a water change and clean-up winter waste build-up. Use a skimmer net and pond vacuum to remove dead leaves, debris and muck that have accumulated in the bottom of the pond over the winter. Pond Logic® Oxy-Lift™ Defense® works great for lifting debris off rocks and bringing debris to the surface for easy removal. Water changes are also helpful in eliminating dissolved organics that have built up over the winter. Make a 15-25% water change over several consecutive days to reduce stress to your fish.
  3. Condition your tap water. When doing a spring start-up water change, don’t forget that you need to eliminate chlorine and chloramines found in municipal water with Pond Logic® Water Conditioner. Even small traces of chlorine will irritate fish and damage their gill tissue, and large amounts can be lethal.
  4. Start the biological filter. Clean or replace filter pads, seed them quickly with PL Gel and begin adding Pond Logic® Seasonal Defense® to boost biological activity. For longer life span filter pads, try using Matala® Filter Pads.
  5. Test pond water. It is not possible to know the condition of your pond water without testing. Using the Master Test Kit offers a quick and accurate way to evaluate pond water quality and stop problems before they occur.
  6. Inspect your fish. If you see torn fins, blood streaks and/or ulcers, Pond Fish Treatment is a great all-in-one product for both koi and goldfish treating bacterial infections and parasites.
  7. Feed your fish a low-protein food. As the temperature of your pond water approaches 40° F, your fish will start looking for food. Pond Logic® Spring & Fall Fish Food is recommended as a good wheat germ, low protein, high carbohydrate, vitamin-enriched diet, specially formulated for all pond fish when water temperatures are between 40-50° F.
  8. Provide your fish with essential electrolytes. Pond Logic® Pond Salt provides all the essential electrolytes fish need to stay healthy and vibrant. Pond Salt can also help to reduce the chance of parasites and disease by up to 80%.
  9. Care for pond plants. Root bound plants should be divided and re-potted. Fertilize plants with LilyGro™ to provide the essential nutrients for strong growth and early spring blooms. Adding floating plants such as Water Hyacinths or Water Lettuce will provide your pond with shade and remove excess nutrients reducing algae growth. It is also a great time to add Pond Snails to begin consuming algae keeping your pond clean. Don’t have any plants yet? Consider one of our Complete Plant Packages.
  10. Keep your water feature clean, clear and healthy all season. Digest sludge, reduce dissolved organics and keep you pond filter working its best with the all-in-one awarding winning package, the Pond Logic® DefensePAC®.

If a full pond cleanout is necessary, the following steps will help you get on track.

  1. Get a holding tank: Before you tend to your pond, have a holding tank ready for your koi and other fish. Kiddie pools are great for this! Make sure to house them using existing pond water and place a pond aeration kit in the tank to ensure oxygen levels remain high. Even though this is a temporary space for your fish, they may be startled by their new environment. It is always best to place some pond netting over the holding tank to ensure none of the fish jump out.
  2. Drain the pond: Once the fish are safely housed in their temporary holding tank, drain the pond with a pond pump and drain hose.
  3. Power wash: Power wash the rocks and remove any algae, muck and other debris build up. For stubborn debris that just won’t wash away, use Pond Logic® Oxy-Lift™ Defense® to take care the problem. Simply sprinkle over stubborn debris, wait 10 minutes and rinse away. We recommend rinsing and pumping out dirty water a few times to ensure a good cleaning.
  4. Make adjustments: At this point in the cleaning process with no water in the pond, it’s best to check for any rocks or plants that might need to be adjusted as some of the scenery may have been displaced during the power wash.
  5. Check the lights: This is great time to check any pond lights to ensure they are in working condition. Now is also a good time to add new pond lights if desired.
  6. Reconnect plumbing and filters: Reinstall any pumps, UV clarifiers, filters or spitters once the rest of the pond is clean, and get ready to refill and reintroduce your fish to your pond.
  7. Refill and re-acclimate: After you refill your pond, add Pond Logic® Water Conditioner to remove any chlorine and to detoxify heavy metals from the new water. Re-acclimate your fish to the new pond water by slowly adding some to their holding tank. We recommend using Pond Logic® Stress Reducer PLUS to your pond as well to help reduce any stress caused by transporting them.
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