Frequently Asked Questions
before you start
1. Safety: Always dig with caution. Call 811 or your local utility company before you begin digging to locate buried pipes or power lines on your property.
2. Location: Consider how the water garden will enhance your landscape.
3. Elevation: Your pond should not be built on a slope or grade. If it is located at the lowest elevation of the yard, you will have rainwater run-off that can muddy the water, wash away fish and destroy plants.
4. Sunlight: If you wish to include plants that require moderate to full sunlight, you will need to choose a location with a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight. Shade is good, but note that trees do drop leaves, which can fill up your pond and cause organic decay.
5. Integration: The size, scale and layout of your pond should complement the other features of your yard, including your landscaping and terrain.
The basics include: a properly sized liner, a pump, a filter, and tubing to connect your equipment.
sizing your project
Length + 2 x depth (at the deepest point of the excavation) + 2 x 20 inches = LENGTH of the liner
Width + 2 x depth (at the deepest point of the excavation) + 2 x 20 inches = WIDTH of the liner
When choosing a pump for your pond, there is a relatively easy formula for you to use. The goal of a pond pump is to turn half of the total water volume in your pond once an hour. For example, if your pond has a total of 1,000 gallons of water, you would want a pump with a GPH (gallons per hour) rating of 500 gallons.
The pond should be made as large as possible, especially if you wish to add fish and/or plants. Larger ponds are more stable ecologically, require less maintenance and are less costly per gallon. If you have the space available for a pond, then use it. The biggest complaint from first time pond builder is that they didn’t make their pond big enough. They are also safer for fish and can hold more lilies and other kinds of plants. Usually depths range from about 18 inches to 36 inches for water gardens and 3 feet to 6 feet for koi ponds. You should always check local codes for depth allowance and any fence requirements. Ponds that hold plants require sunlight so they should be kept in shallow areas.
For Circular Ponds (calculate in feet): Diameter x Diameter x Depth x 5.9 = gallons of pond water.
For Rectangular Ponds (calculate in feet): Length x Width x Depth x 7.5 = gallons of pond water.
choosing your equipment
This is a question that will have to be answered a little bit more extensively as this largely depends on what type of pond you have or planning to have. The question you have to ask yourself is: “Do I plan on stocking my pond with ornamental plants or ornamental plants with fish”? The following should give you a better understanding of the different types and functions of filtration products available:
Pump Filters – If your pond solely contains ornamental plants or if you are looking for a pre-filter for your pump, then the mechanical filter is what you most likely will need. Its primary function is to separate large particles and debris while also protecting the pump.
Pressurized Filters – If you are going to incorporate fish into your pond and want to provide a safe healthy environment, then a biological filter is one of the best options you can use. These filters allow beneficial bacteria to gather and colonize which in turn help convert toxic nitrites into helpful nitrates. Plants then use these nitrates. Biological filters typically clean the water using mechanical filtration as well as removing toxins from the water. They are very popular as being the sole filtration source because they serve both purposes.
When you use a pump that is too powerful or too weak for the amount of water you have, you risk overworking the motor or impeller assembly, causing the unit to break down much more quickly than it would in normal conditions. When there isn’t enough water to cool down an overheated pump, it can cause issues like melted screens or power surges that break down the motor. You also can empty your pond if your pump is too powerful.
Choose a fountain pump to match the height of your fountain. Measure from the water level to the highest point of the fountain that the water reaches; choose a pump that has an optimal pumping height greater than the height measured. All of our fountain pumps have an adjustable flow control to fine-tune the flow rate to match your fountain's size and effects. When in doubt, more pumping height is better since you can adjust flow with our Flow Control feature. This informative video might be helpful, click here.
The basic rule of thumb is that you need 100 GPH of flow for every 1 in. of width for your waterfall.
Example: If you have an 8 in. wide waterfall and the waterfall is at a height of 5 ft., then you need a pump to be able to deliver 800 GPH at 5 ft. Don’t forget to take friction loss into account when selecting the pump. Remember, this results from bends in the water flow such as an elbow or bringing the flow through a pressure filter prior to delivering to the waterfall. For this reason it is recommended to use a dedicated pump that is plumbed directly to the waterfall and a separate pump for filters and water features. If you prefer a more subtle flow of water, cut the flow rate in half, making 50 GPH your target for every 1 in. of waterfall width. If you prefer a more robust flow of water, double the flow rate, making 200 GPH your target for every 1 in. of waterfall width.
Product Use & Maintenance
We recommend placing the “shiny” side down when installing the liner as the coarse side has natural grooves that help collect good (or beneficial) bacteria in your pond. This helps if you have fish, as it helps balance the natural biological environment they reside in.
Unfortunately, the bulbs are not designed to be replaced; however you can replace the lights themselves directly through us.
All of our water treatment products are safe for wildlife once the product is diluted in the water. The warning label refers to direct consumption and inappropriate usage of the product. Be sure to keep water treatments away from children and domestic animals to avoid consumption.
No, only Algaecide is designed to clean the bacteria that creates green algae. If you are faced with green water, you can also install UV technology to help prevent and remove green water bacteria.
The UV Pond Clarifier (52301) is fully submersible, except the electrical connection. Please make sure all the adapters and locking rings are secure on the unit prior to submerging the unit.
Well, we all put our ponds in for the beauty they provide — not the work. Let’s face it, until now keeping a pond clean could be work, but with our patented UV Technology, keeping your pond clean is easy.
By integrating a state of the art “cold cathode ultra-violet (UV) tube” directly in the pump, the water is sterilized as it circulates. The flow of water through the UV chamber has been perfectly “tuned” to maximize the UV cleaning power. It reduces microorganisms and bacteria resulting in clean, clear water. So you have a clean, healthy pond without any work.
— Never dispose of unwanted plants or animals from your pond into local waterways, store drains or sewer systems.
— Use native plants and animals, especially in areas prone to flooding.
— Seal aquatic plants in plastic bags, freeze for 24 hours, and dispose in trash.
— Return fish to the pet store.
— Give or trade with another person.
— Familiarize yourself with problem species and do not purchase these species.
— Check plants that you purchase for unwanted hitchhikers.
— Donate unwanted plants and animals to a local nature center, aquarium, school, or aquatic business.
— Contact your veterinarian or pet retailer for guidance about humane disposal of animals.
Courtesy of University of Georgia's Marine Extension Service
Luckily, The University of Georgia's Marine Extension Service has created a searchable native species database. Select criteria in any or all of the categories listed to find plants that meet your needs. You can search by plant type, environmental conditions and other criteria. Your search will generate a list of native plants that thrive under the conditions you describe. Click here to start your search.
Be proactive! Remove algae, leaves, and other debris before they've had a chance to settle and wreak havoc on your water.
— At a water temperature of 40°F, test it for high ammonia and nitrites. If you notice higher levels, perform a 25%-50% water change to help correct it. When re-filling the pond with tap water, consider using a Chlorine Remover to remove any harsh chemicals. Begin adding other necessary water treatments, like beneficial bacteria. Place the pump back in your pond; run for a few hours while checking on performance, ensuring there are no leaks.
— At a water temperature of 50°F, begin feeding fish a low protein food.
— At a water temperature of 60°F, begin feeding fish regular food and add tropical plants. If necessary, perform a 50% water change. Always use Chlorine Remover when introducing tap water to your pond.
— If using an Aerator during the winter, leave it in the pond to continue oxygenating the water all season.
— At a water temperature of 72°F, begin fertilizing plants. Inspect and re-establish plants. Plants that have been sitting on the bottom can now be cleaned up and placed accordingly throughout the pond.
— At a water temperature of 85°F, feed your fish sparingly to control the production of waste.
— Any time you clean your pond, disturb the filter, or clean a filter pad, give it a shot of Barley Pond Clarifier to jump start the growth of beneficial bacteria.
— Keep the water moving with an aerator, a nozzle kit, or a waterfall.
— At a water temperature of 72°F, clear out as much debris as possible, divide and repot plants. Replace 50% of the water in your pond and use a Chlorine Remover to remove harmful toxins from the tap water.
— At a water temperature of 60°F, dispose of or bring in tropical plants, install pond netting, and start feeding fish food a lower protein diet.
— At a water temperature of 50°F, stop feeding your fish. Also, trim and move hardy lilies to deeper water.
— At a water temperature of 40°F or below, remove your pump and install an aerator and/or deicer. Leaving the pump running in that temperature will lower deep-water temperatures, causing potentially fatal stress to fish.
— When temperatures have begun to cool, be sure to add a beneficial bacteria to your pond for additional beneficial bacteria.
— Drain, remove and store anything that has glass or plastic inside, such as your ultraviolet clarifier, pressurized filter and all-in-one filter. Keep them in a bucket of water in your garage, basement or other indoor area that won’t allow the water to freeze.