Water Gardening Tips

Feb 7, 2012

 Formula for Crystal Clear Pond Water

  • One Bunch Submerged Plants per 1-2 Square Feet of Pond Surface Area (IE: 10 x 10 Pond Equals 100 Square Feet, We Recommend 50- 100 Bunches).
  • Floating Plants to Cover 50%-80% of the Surface. Lilies, Hyacinths,  Lettuce, Etc.pond5
  • Adequate Filtration & Circulation.
  • Weekly Addition of Biological Clarifier (optional)
  • Not More Than Three Inches of Fish per Square Foot of Pond Surface Area.

Note: You may think this is a lot of plant material, but if you want a clear pond this really works. The more fish you have the more filtration and plants you need.

Does Water Gardening mean high maintenance?

Not if it’s done right! One hour of maintenance per month is a reasonable expectation. Get reputable advice on construction, planting and filtering your pond to minimize maintenance and cost. “The only thing truly expensive about water gardening is doing it wrong!”

Will a Water Garden attract mosquitoes?

NO! A healthy water garden is not attractive to mosquitoes but rather will attract the birds, frogs, toads, etc. that will actually diminish your existing insect population.

Do I have to drain my pond and scrub it?

Only if you enjoy fighting against Mother Nature! Her forces (gravity and external ice or fluid) can quickly destroy the shape of your pond if you lose the counterbalancing internal pressure of the water. Furthermore, you would lose the billions of beneficial microorganisms that help to maintain the ecological balance of your pond water. We prefer to work with Mother Nature and intervene only when she may be temporarily overburdened. Proper equipment, design and maintenance will expedite her work — so will adding or “seeding” beneficial bacteria into the pond ecosystem.

Will a skimmer keep my pond clean?

Skimmers work well in the generally sterile conditions of a spa or swimming pool. Spent lily blossoms and fish feces don’t float! A bottom drain or (much easier) a good “solids handling” submersible pump located on the bottom of the pool will remove the organic debris as it accumulates and send it to your filter for easy collection and disposal.

Do I need a running water source to keep the pond filled or to have a waterfall?

No! Waterfalls and streams are set up with appropriate pumps to re-circulate the pond water. Some occasional refilling of the pond with your garden hose may be necessary — see #10 below.

Should I drain the pond for the winter?

No, you need to maintain the internal pressure to preserve the pond liner and its shape. See # 3 above.

Will I have to bring in all the plants and fish?

Not all of them; hardy plants should be repositioned on the bottom of the pond and fish should survive if there is an air hole through the ice. Tropical plants should be brought inside for the winter.

Is a flexible liner cheaper or easier than a rigid pool?

For a large pool, this would be true but if it is being built above grade or the pool will be less than 10’ to 12’ a good quality rigid pool may actually be cheaper. Since these rigid pools need only rough excavation, and no additional support. they are generally far easier to install. (The backfill conforms to the shape of the pool.)

Do Water Gardens waste water?

No, a typical water garden (not including a fountain or waterfall) loses only an average of 3/8” water per week versus 1” per week for a bluegrass lawn. Fountains and waterfalls do increase evaporative loss and please note that the entirety of that loss (or gain from rainfall) translates to the bottom pool in a series. Want to conserve water? Tear up your lawn and replace it with a water garden!