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Foamy Water – How to control foam in your pond | Learning Center

Is foamy water making your pond look more like the inside of a washing machine than an aquatic oasis? An excess of organic material in the water is likely causing all that bubbly white or gray buildup.

Accumulation happens when too many fish are living in the pond, you’re overfeeding them, filtration is inadequate or there’s runoff seeping into your water garden. Then, as the water flows down your waterfall, air and water collide, causing the proteins and other organics to be trapped inside bubbles rather than turning into ammonia and nitrites. Air-water collision is why the foam forms, particularly the base of your waterfall.

What’s the solution?

Short-term: You can change out part of the pond’s water to remove the foam. When you do, be sure to add some Pond Logic® Stress Reducer PLUS to the fresh water, which will form a beneficial slime coat on your fish and make tap water safe for them. In addition, add Pond Logic® Defoam™ to your water. Safe for fish, plants and wildlife, you simply shake the can and pour its contents into the pond. The foam will disappear in no time.

Long-term: You have several options:

  • Increase Filtration: Boost your filtration by adding plants to your pond or increasing the capacity of your existing filtration system.
  • Relocate Fish: Too many fish will produce excess waste, which means more foam. The rule is to allow 1 inch of adult fish per square foot of surface area, so if you have too many koi or goldfish in your pond, you might want to think about finding new homes for some of them.
  • Cut Back on Meals: If you’re feeding your fish too much or too often, the excess food adds to the extra organic material in your pond’s water. Only feed your fish an amount they’ll eat in a few minutes.
  • Add Nutrient-Eating Bacteria: To help break down the nutrient load in the water, add beneficial bacteria in such as, Pond Logic® LiquidClear™ to work. They digest the dead organics in the pond, making the water crystal clear and foam free.
  • Aerate the Water: Aeration will also help reduce the nutrient load by circulating the water column and feeding fresh oxygen to the busy bacteria.

Foamy water can be a nuisance, but once you achieve some balance in your pond’s ecosystem, those bubbles will disappear in no time.

PondSide Fertilizers – How to reduce runoff of fertilizer in your pond | Learning Center

Lawn fertilizers can do beautiful things to your terrestrial landscape. They infuse the soil with nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. They make the grass green and lush. They’re sometimes mixed with pesticides and selective herbicides, creating a bug- and weed-free lawn. When used as directed, fertilizers give you an easy way to feed your meadows.

They do, however, have their down side – particularly if they find their way into your pond or lake.

The phosphorous found in lawn fertilizers can help feed algae growth in your pond. That algae growth, when left unchecked, can create pea-soup colored water, deplete its life-sustaining oxygen and harm your fish. That’s not all. Some lawn fertilizers contain other chemicals that may not be friendly to humans and your aquatic environment.

So how can you limit or prevent fertilizers from entering your pond?

  1. Divert storm water away from your pond: Some runoff will inevitably flow into your pond but, if possible, fashion trenches and canals that steer that storm water into the sewer system or an unused field.
  2. Find a fertilizer with low or no phosphorous: Fertilizer labels include three numbers that refer to their nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and potassium (K) levels. In a 5-3-4 fertilizer analysis, for instance, the “3” represents the amount of phosphorous; the higher the number, the more phosphorous in the mix. When shopping for a lawn fertilizer, choose one with the least amount of phosphorous.
  3. When fertilizing, stay at least 25 feet away from the pond’s edge: This will create a fertilizer-free barrier around your pond, thereby preventing the chemicals from leeching into the water.
  4. Use natural products that help cleanse organics from pond water: If algae blooms do happen in your pond, use natural products that contain nutrient-eating beneficial bacteria. The microorganisms found in products like Pond Logic® PondClear™ will break down the suspended debris and muck, while Pond Logic® EcoBoost™ Bacteria Enhancer binds and eliminates phosphates and other toxins.

If the chemicals found in lawn fertilizers concern you, consider using a more natural approach. You can keep your lawn lush and green with grass clippings, aged compost and organic fertilizers. Treat weeds with vinegar/water/soap mixture or corn gluten. Think “green” when feeding your lawn – your pond and its residents will thank you for it!

Cleaning Your Waterfall – How to remove debris from your waterfall | Learning Center

String algae. It seems to just grow and grow, leaving a tangled mess of green slimy stuff in your waterfall. Don’t worry: Waterfall cleaning isn’t a backbreaking chore. And if you use a cleaning aid, like Pond Logic® Oxy-Lift™ Defense® Pond Cleaner, the task is made even easier. Here, we’ve outlined five simple steps for cleaning your waterfall using Oxy-Lift™.

  1. Power Down Your Pump: Before you begin, turn off your waterfall’s pump to stop the water flow and allow it to drain from the feature. Oxy-Lift™ works best when it’s undiluted and comes into direct contact with the gunk, so no-flow is the way to go.
  2. Sprinkle Oxy-Lift™ Over Waterfall: Once the waterfall is drained, sprinkle some of the powder over the moist debris-covered rocks, using the amount recommended on the product label for your water feature’s size and/or the area you’re treating.
  3. Wait 10 Minutes: Go pour yourself a tasty beverage and enjoy it pond-side while the Oxy-Lift™ activates and starts cleaning. The bacteria-free product uses the fish- and plant-safe power of hydrogen peroxide to “lift” debris from pond liners, rocks, gravel and waterfalls – which means little or no work from you!
  4. Add Some Elbow Grease: For tough, stuck-on debris, you may need to lightly scrub the waterfall’s surfaces to help loosen it. A pond brush, like the one that comes with The Pond Guy® 3-in-1 Interchangeable Pond Tool, can help – particularly as it’s attached to a telescoping pole that extends to 5 feet long. You can also use the net to scoop out larger chunks of debris.
  5. Turn Waterfall Back On: Turn the waterfall pump back on and congratulate yourself for a job well done. If you use Oxy-Lift™ regularly as part of your pond maintenance routine, it will reduce or even eliminate yearly shut-down and clean-outs.

A quick tip for those who spruce up their pond prior to a backyard party: Oxy-Lift™ will temporarily make the pond water cloudy, so do your chores the night before. That will give the product a chance to disperse and clear before guests arrive.

Leech Control – 4 Steps to remove leeches from your pond | Learning Center

There’s nothing like climbing out of your pond and finding one (or more!) of these little bloodsuckers stuck to your leg. What are they, and how do you banish them from your pond?

Getting to Know Leeches
Leeches are 2-inch-long brownish-black segmented worms that are a distant cousin to the earthworm. They use their suction cup-like mouths and teeth to latch on to vertebrate and invertebrate animals, feeding on their blood. Of the 700 different leech species, the majority live in freshwater environments, like your swimming pond.

Leeches love to live in the debris at the bottom of your pond. In all that muck accumulation, they get comfortable, find food and hide from predators—also known as fish—swimming overhead.
Despite their bad reputation, leeches aren’t all bad. Up until the 18th and 19th centuries, these worms had been used medicinally on humans to improve and restore blood circulation.

Kicking Leeches to the Curb
Unless you practice leech therapy, you probably want to evict those invertebrates from your pond. The best way to do that is to remove their preferred habitat—all the muck and debris covering the bottom of your pond. How do you do that? Here’s a four-step approach:

  1. Pull Out the Debris: First, use a lake rake, like The Pond Guy® Pond & Beach Rake, to remove weeds, accumulated debris, algae, decomposing plants and muck.
  2. Add Beneficial Bacteria: Next, add some beneficial bacteria, like those found in MuckAway™. The bacteria will head to the bottom of the pond and digest whatever muck remains. Remember that it will take some time to break down all that debris, so be patient.
  3. Let Your Fish Do the Work: With nowhere to hide, those leeches will become tasty meals for your fish. Most any fish that is large enough will eat leeches, but you may consider adding more aggressive leech-eating fish like bass or redear sunfish to your pond.
  4. Trap and Destroy: For those leeches that elude your finned friends, you can trap and remove them with a baited trap. Punch leech-size holes in a coffee or aluminum can, bait it with raw chicken or fish heads, and position it in a shallow area of your pond. When the worms go for the grub, they can get in but not out because the burrs from the hole punches will prevent them from escaping. Remove the can once it’s full and repeat until the leeches are gone.

If a leech latches onto you, don’t worry. In most cases, it won’t do any harm. In fact, you might not even feel it as the tiny critter injects the spot with anesthetic-anticoagulant combo while attaching itself with its suckers. You can remove a leech by breaking its suction seal with your fingernail or another blunt object, causing the worm to detach its jaws.

Measuring Your Pond – How to determine the surface acreage and depth of your pond | Learning Center

Surface area and pond depth are important measurements to know. They’ll help you determine dosage rates with chemicals like algaecide. They’ll help you calculate the right-size aeration system for your pond. And they’ll help you figure out how many and what types of fish to stock.

Finding those magic numbers isn’t difficult – but it does require some tools, the right equation and a little bit of work. Before you head out to your pond, grab a rope marked at 1-foot increments, a weight that’s heavy enough to sink to the bottom, and something for note taking.

Calculating Surface Area
The easiest ponds to measure are those that resemble a rectangle, but you can figure out the surface area of a circular, triangular or odd-shaped pond, too. First, you’ll need to measure (with your marked rope) or pace off (one step is about 3 feet) some specific distances, depending on the shape of your pond. Then, plug those numbers into one of these formulas:

  • Square/rectangle: Calculate length and width; L x W = Surface Area
  • Circle: Calculate radius; Pi x R2, or 3.14 x R x R = Surface Area
  • Triangle: Calculate base and height; (0.5 x B) x H = Surface Area
  • Odd-shaped: Use a handy online tool like Bing Maps to measure the pond. Online tools may be easiest, especially for irregularly shaped ponds.

To determine how many acres your pond is, you’ll then divide that surface area figure by 43,560 (one acre).

Calculating Depth
Figuring out your pond’s depth is a bit trickier, particularly if the pond has a slope or several deep areas. Grab your marked string, the weight, something to write with, and a boat or canoe. Then, head out to the pond and follow these directions:

  1. Securely attach the weight to one end of your string.
  2. Climb aboard your boat or canoe with your weighted string and note-taking materials in hand.
  3. Travel to at least five points in various areas of your pond, more if your pond is particularly large.
  4. Drop the weight into the water and note where you feel it hit the bottom. Repeat until you’ve gone to all the different spots and gathered a good sampling of your pond’s depth.

Why They Are Important
Now that you know your pond’s size, why are those calculations important?

You’ll need the numbers to determine dosage rates on chemical products like those found in Pond Logic® ClearPAC® PLUS. If the pond has been around more than three to five years, chances are good that you’ll need to address problems like muck accumulation and string algae growth in the spring.

Those numbers will also help you select the right-size AquaStream™ Fountain and Airmax® Aeration System. For instance, if your pond is less than 6 feet deep, the Shallow Water Series™ Aeration System is a good choice; if your pond is greater than 6 feet deep, the PondSeries™ Aeration System is the one for you. You can also utilize our Free Aeration Mapping Service. We will design an aeration system for your pond!

Since you’ll be able to calculate how many acres your pond is, you’ll also be able to determine what types of fish you can have and how many of them you can keep. Finally, because you’ll know the various depths of your pond, you’ll be able to stake out safe swimming areas for children – but don’t forget to put out your life ring!

Building a Pond – 15 Steps towards successful pond construction | Learning Center

Perhaps you encountered your first water garden while on a local home and garden tour. Maybe your neighbor installed a koi pond, or your best friend put in one of those disappearing fountains. They’re everywhere and for good reason! Water Gardens bring so many benefits to your outdoor living space. If you are still deciding to build a pond or are ready to go, read below for general pond kit installation steps.

Step 1: Unpack Kit & Mark Area
Decide on the location of your pond and unpack the pond kit components. You will want to use a garden hose or rope to decide on a pond layout. Once you decide on a shape you like mark the shape with a can of marking paint. Be sure to make wide curves and make special note of the direction you would like your waterfall to face.

Step 2: Place Waterfall Filter & Flexible Pipe
Put your waterfall filter in place next to the pond edge. Next lay out your flexible pipe from the waterfall around the pond to the opposite end for the skimmer. Connect the flexible pipe with the included adaptors and cement.

Step 3: Excavation of Pond Area
Be sure to contact local authorities to check the area for hidden cables or pipes before digging. Dig out the pond area roughly 6-8” deep or whatever depth you would like to construct your plant shelf. Use the dirt from this area to build a retaining wall for your waterfall box. Once the area is excavated mark out an inner ring to create a deeper pond area. This can be any size or shape you like but keep in mind this area will be filled with rock so avoid tight curves. This area should be around 2ft deep. You will also need to determine where the water level will be in the pond and excavate an area the size of your skimmer box so that it will sit with the water level about an inch from the top of the skimmer opening.

Step 4: Install Skimmer & Pump
Tamp down the soil to pack it, and then place the skimmer. Push the flexible pipe through the grommet and into the skimmer. Connect an overflow pipe to the back of the skimmer. Assemble the check valve assembly on the pump and place in skimmer then connect to flexible pipe.

Step 5: Install Underlayment & Liner
First lay underlayment across the pond working the underlayment into all corners of the excavated area starting from the middle and working your way out. Be sure to leave underlayment loose to allow for movement and settling in the future. Next lay the liner over the underlayment, again working from the middle towards the outside and pushing into the corners.

Step 6: Attach Liner to Skimmer
Attach the liner to the front of the skimmer box using the skimmer faceplate. Hold the liner flat up against skimmer while the other person makes a hole through the liner with something sharp like an ice pick or nail then put a bolt through two of the holes. Temporarily remove the liner and place a large bead of silicone over the mounting holes. Next reattach the liner and faceplate and install the rest of the bolts and tighten. After everything is tight, you can trim the liner from the inside of the skimmer using a razor.

Step 7: Add Boulders & Rocks
Place larger boulders first for structural support starting with the pond’s vertical walls, then fill in with smaller boulders and rocks starting from the bottom and stacking on the inside of the pond. Be creative, you may need to rework the area a few times before you achieve the look you want.

Step 8: Attach Liner to Waterfall Box
Your waterfall box should be level side to side and tip slightly forward, about an inch, towards the pond. Hold the liner up to the front of the waterfall box and mark the top bolt on each side. Then remove liner and apply a bead of silicone over the mounting holes. Now line up the waterfall lip, liner and waterfall box and screw in first two bolts. Attach remaining bolts. After everything is tight, you can trim the liner using a razor.

Step 9: Add Gravel
Add gravel between boulders to fill in gaps and across the bottom of the pond to cover and protect the liner and make the pond look more natural. You will want to use gravel that is about 1” in diameter with smooth edges.

Step 10: Add Lights
If you are adding lights install them now by nestling them in between boulders. Be sure to wrap a foot of power cord around the light so you can extend the light out of the pond for maintenance. Place lights so they shine out away from the viewing area.

Step 11: Add Aquatic Plants & Fill Pond
Plant bog plants on the shallow plant shelf and lilies in the bottom of the pond. Don’t worry if they do not cover the pond’s surface yet they will grow quickly. At this point you will also want to backfill around the skimmer and pond for additional support.

Step 12: Apply Waterfall Foam
Waterfall foam is expanding foam made for use in ponds. Use waterfall foam to fill in gaps between rocks in the waterfall area for support and to keep water flow above the rock surface.

Step 13: Add Biological Media
Add filter media to your waterfall box. Usually 1-2 layers of solid mat media, like Matala® Medium Density, and a media bag filled with additional media like, The Pond Guy® BioBalls™ on top. This will be used to colonize the bacteria that will filter your pond water.

Step 14: Add Finishing Touches
Trim liner and underlayment leaving 6-8”. Roll liner under and cover with gravel to secure and finish off the pond’s edges.

Step 15: Add Water Treatment & Review Owners Manual
Now that your pond is complete start the waterfall and add water treatments such as water conditioner and natural bacteria to get your pond ready for fish.

Now that you have the basics it’s time to get to work on your own backyard paradise. The most important thing to know about planning a pond is that you should have a great time doing it. You’ll enjoy this backyard feature for years, so do your research, think through these points, and spend time designing something that you’ll love!

Choosing The Right Pump – How to select the right pump for your pond or waterfall | Learning Center

Building a pond with a waterfall involves some planning and careful consideration, which include selecting a waterfall pump. Your choice is important because it’ll determine how high you can make your waterfall and how much water will flow down it.

Before you go pump shopping you will need to measure your landscape and determine the look you want to achieve:

  1. Head Pressure: How high will your waterfall be? This measurement is your head pressure, which is the total number of feet from the top of your waterfall to the top of your pond’s surface. If you’re building a 5-foot-high waterfall, for instance, your head pressure is 5 feet. Pro tip: If the tubing from your pump to the waterfall is longer than 10 feet, add 1 foot of head pressure for every 10 feet. So in the example above, if your tubing is 14 feet, the head pressure would be 6 feet.
  2. Flow Rate: How much water do you want pouring over the falls? This number is your flow rate. The average flow rate is 1,500 gallons per hour for every 1 foot of waterfall width. If your 5-foot-high waterfall is 1 foot wide, you should go with a pump that moves around 1,500 GPH; if it’s 3 feet wide, you should go with a pump that moves 4,500 GPH or so. Pro tip: If you prefer a lighter water flow, calculate 1,000 GPH for every 1 foot of waterfall width. For a heavier flow, use 2,000 GPH.

Going Shopping
With those numbers in hand, you should have a pretty good idea what kind of waterfall pump you’ll need to buy. To make this task easier for you, we recommend:

For lower-flow waterfalls: If you’re designing a smaller waterfall, check out The Pond Guy® MagFlo™ Pump and The Pond Guy® SolidFlo™ Pump. The MagFlo™ line includes 290, 460 and 590 GPH models with maximum head of 6½ to 7½ feet; the low-profile SolidFlo™ line includes 600, 1,200 and 1,600 GPH models with maximum head of 8 to 11½ feet.

For higher-volume waterfalls: If you’ve got a mini-Niagara Falls in the works, you’ll need a beefier pump, like The Pond Guy® RapidFlo™ Pump or the ShinMaywa® Norus® Pump. The RapidFlo™ comes in 3,000, 4,000 and 5,000 GPH models with 20 to 32 feet of maximum head pressure. The Norus® line includes 3,300 to 11,000 GPH models with maximum head of 19 to 48 feet.

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