Pond Supplies, Waterfalls, & Koi Pond Construction

Posts Tagged Algae

4 Simple Tricks To A Beautiful Pond

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4 Simple Tricks To A Beautiful Pond

Too much food, too many fish, no water changes, and poor filtration are the main reasons ponds get a bad reputation. Ugly, smelly, green, or with a ton of algae, these problems are easily solved with a few simple changes.

Getting clean, clear water is easy if you have a few important pieces of equipment, and some simple, routine maintenance tricks in place.

FILTRATION

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Make sure you have enough filtration for the size pond you have. When I say enough, I really mean, add more…..more is better….basically, you can never get enough filtration.

Keep in mind that pond filters are designed to support the amount of fish life your pond is SUPPOSED to have. You and I both know, your pond, my pond, her pond, his pond, has waaaaay too many fish.

First, when it comes to filtration, you must understand this, if a filter says it is for a 3000 gallon pond, the manufacturer is expecting you to have about 6 koi in that 3000 gallon pond, so that filter is for a 3000 gallon pond with SIX koi. See what I mean?

Put filters on there like to support the quantity of koi you KNOW you will put in your pond, and then CLEAN them.

Don’t wait for the little light to tell you it’s time to clean.

Don’t do it once a month because someone told you.

Don’t wait until the pump slows down because the filter is clogged.

Clean it often. Test your routine by occasionally cleaning the filter between the normal cleaning times that you’ve set up, and see if the water comes out dirty. If it does, step up your routine.skimmer-dog

USE A SKIMMER

Plus, put a skimmer on your pond. If you have a pump in the bottom of the pond, it pulls every bit of debris that hits your pond’s surface directly to the bottom of the pond. Then all that debris sits there and decays. Does that make sense?

A pump in the bottom of the pond means your pond is designed to collect debris at the bottom.

A pump in a skimmer pulls the debris in to the skimmer into some kind of handy little device that allows you to take it out of the pond, and put it in the mulch pile.

AVOID OVERCROWDING and OVERFEEDING

You and I both know that we have too many fish in our pond, and we feed them more than we should. I mean, they’re so cute when they’re begging and sucking on your fingers or toes, you just can’t help it.

So, the first step is when your pond is full, and you know you shouldn’t put any more fish in there, stop putting fish in there. Just say no.

Don’t put yourself in the path of temptation!

Stay away from the fish that are for sale when you buy your koi food. Get your food, and go home.

The next step is to try to feed only what your fish need to thrive, and not what your heart wants to feed them.

The general rule of thumb is, the amount of food that they can consume in just a minute or two, or the equivalent amount of food to the size of their eyeball. I know that just freaked you out. I like feeding my fish too.

These are the toughest things to overcome, but if you succeed, your water quality will show it, in a good way.

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WATER CHANGES

The last tip is to do frequent water changes. Not the whole pond, not even half, but the equivalent of 10-20% on a monthly basis divided into small weekly portions will have a startling affect on your water clarity and cleanliness.

If your pond is 1000 gallons, try doing a 50 gallon water change every week.

See, that’s not much, you very likely can do this much simply when cleaning the filters correctly, and in the right time frame.

I’ve seen some grossly under filtered, crazily overcrowded, insanely overfed ponds in amazing shape due to regular water changes. It’s almost shocking.

These simple little changes will create a huge difference in your pond, and you will be back to loving it before you know it.

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Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

Eric Triplett
The Pond Digger

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Grow veggies without weeds for your smoothies?

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Grow veggies without weeds for your smoothies?

No more weeding your veggie garden?

The Amazing and Simple way to eliminate weeds and algae in one step, and get healthy too! <-- I like this one

EAT HEALTHY, REDUCE ALGAE, WEED FREE

Always wanted a winter veggie garden for your smoothies, but hated weeding? Want to reduce algae in your pond? Tired of eating McDonalds and ready to try a healthy alternative? We can do all this in one step by using these plants in your pond. Yes, you will be eating plants right out of your pond!

There are many pond plants that help reduce algae growth by out competing the algae for food. The beauty of growing these plants in your pond is that you don’t have to weed a garden, which is the worst part of gardening. But, there are only a few that will dress up your smoothie too!

PICK THE RIGHT PLANT

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By picking certain pond plants, you can grow a natural algae control, and smoothie ingredients at the same time! It’s practically the definition of sustainability. Feed you, keep the pond clean, no environmental harm, fast and consistent regrowth…everything you need. All this with no weeding!

Here are some of the best plants to support algae control, and give a healthy boost to your morning shake for better living. These guys do best in winter. If you want to know summertime plants, I’ll be back in spring with that list.

WINTER WARRIORS

Watercress (nasturtium officinale)-excellent in salads and smoothies, watercress has a slightly peppery flavor. It helps to boost your immunity and support thyroid health too. Plus, the seeds can be used as a natural alternative to mustard!

PennyWort (centella asistica)- called a “pharmacy in one herb” the benefits of consuming this plants raw are numerous. It is an antiviral, antibacterial, anti inflammatory, plus it can increase longevity, sharpen your memory, and fight arthritis. Raw, in a smoothie is the best way to consume it daily. AND, it tastes yummy!

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Water celery and Water parsley (oenanthe javanica & oenanthe sarmentosa) – these are exceptionally high in fiber and folic acid, with great antioxidant properties that help fight cancer.

Water mint (mentha aquatica)- known for its great taste in teas and cooking, added raw to your smoothie, it promotes proper digestion, and soothes upset tummies.

Memory Herb (bacopa monniera)- not my favorite taste, so hiding it in a smoothie is the best way to get a daily dose of this powerful antioxidant that promotes liver health, and as the name suggest, helps strengthen your memory, while combating stress.

HEALTHY POND = HEALTHY YOU!

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Leslie Triplett, The Pond Gal

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

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11 Things All Ponds Need, #2 Will Rock You

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11 Things All Ponds Need, #2 Will Rock You

1. ALGAE

I know this is hard to believe but algae..YES ALGAE! 9 our of ten pond owners see algae and assume they have a dirty pond! Algae has several important functions in your pond such as helping filter the water to keep it clear, giving your fish something to graze on, providing hiding spots for baby fish, giving your koi somewhere to lay their eggs, and making your pond look more natural.

2. SALT

Fish need salt. They use it in many bodily functions, just like people. It makes their heart beat correctly, as well as helping other internal organs function correctly, helps fish perform osmosis, fight off parasites, build up their protective slime layer, and can help reduce uptake of ammonia and nitrites. Use a good quality pond or aquarium salt, free of iodide. Buy Pond Salt Here!

3. BACTERIA

 

Yes, your pond needs bacteria. I’m not talking flesh eating bacteria here! We want “good” bacteria that helps to break down excess fish waste, plant debris, and fish food that can turn into undesirable algae, ammonia, and nitrites. All bothersome to either you or your fish.

Beneficial bacteria, can also help improve your filtration if your pond is overcrowded with fish, like mine! Check out the Professional Strength water treatments we use on all of our ponds! Buy Beneficial Bacteria Here

4. POND PLANTS

Pond plants are excellent at helping reduce the nutrient build up in your pond that allows undesirable algae to grow. While a nice biofilm of algae on the rocks is very beneficial, we want to avoid an outbreak of string, mat, or pea soup algae. Pond plants consume all the same nutrients the “bad” algae grows on, and can out compete it, reducing the growth of it. They take all those icky nutrients, and turn them directly into beautiful leaves and blooms. Plus, your fish like to chew on pond plants, especially beautiful, yummy, lily blooms.

5. BIO-FILTRATION

Filters capture the free floating debris that can settle out and cause your water quality to deteriorate. When you empty the filter the captured nutrients are removed entirely from the system, creating clean, clear water that you and your fish will love.

6. AERATION

Aerators help to agitate the surface of the pond, allowing oxygen exchange to occur. This oxygen exchange will help to break down undesirable nutrient build up, reducing ammonia and nitrites to keep your fish happy and healthy. This surface agitation also allows more oxygen to get into the water column for your fish to breath.

7. SURFACE SKIMMING

 

Surface skimming helps to reduce the debris that actually settles to the bottom of the pond. The skimmer will catch the debris in a handy little net or basket, that can be easily cleaned to remove the decaying material from the water column. The less debris that hits the bottom of the pond, the better your water quality will be! Our favorite pond skimmer of all time is The Helix Pond Skimmer! Buy The Helix Pond Skimmer Here

8. FISH

Fish, in moderate numbers, actually help perform a valuable service in the pond. As they swim along the bottom, they will stir up debris that has settled there so the filtration system has a second chance to remove them from the water column and they eat undesirables like mosquito larvae!

They also provide some nutrients, (poop) in a very easily broken down form for the plants to quickly absorb and make in to beautiful blooms.

Plus, koi over 16″ can do some serious damage to string algae. They suck that stuff up like spaghetti noodles!

9. SUN

Sunshine feeds your plants, and allows that beautiful layer of lovely biofilm algae to grow on your pond walls. So, you might say, sunshine helps filter your pond!

10. CIRCULATION

Proper circulation helps prevent debris from getting captured behind rocks, plants, and gravel. Captured debris begins to decay, creating problem algae, and undesirable water quality.

11. MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE

Designing a regular maintenance schedule for your pond, and sticking to it will help keep your pond from getting dirty. Weekly water changes, filter back washes, and skimmer basket cleaning, help remove decaying material from your pond before they get a chance to cause a negative affect.

Trimming plants regularly helps reduce leaves and stems in your pond, and checking on your equipment will keep your pond in tip top shape for years to come.

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For daily pond pro tips follow us on SnapChat, Instagram, FaceBook and Twitter.

Leslie Triplett, The Pond Gal

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

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Algae is beautiful

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Algae is beautiful

Yup, I said it. Algae is not only beautiful, but it can contribute greatly to the success of your pond. Algae is a natural part of a well designed ecosystem, and something that we actually like in a pond.

There are of course, several types of algae that are unattractive, undesirable, and down right icky that we do not want in our ponds.

THE BAD GUYS

HAIRY

Hair or string algae is a long, rough feeling algae that not only looks ugly, but can actually choke out some of your beautiful pond plants. It typically shows up more in the spring or fall, when the weather makes it harder for your pond plants to grow.

The best way to prevent hair algae from forming is to understand why it is there. Hair algae grows when there are plenty of available nutrients, but nothing to consume them quickly. In spring and fall, your pond plants are growing very slowly, so their nutrient consumption is greatly reduced. Over feeding is the number one contributor to an overabundance of nutrients. Be sure to reduce feeding in these seasons to help prevent string algae from gaining a foothold.

DON’T MISS THIS

PS, super secret tip; If you have koi over 16″ and you have string algae in your pond, you are feeding waaaaaaaay too much.

Huge koi like that consume hair algae like teenage boys eat potato chips. Cut back on your feeding and prepare to be SHOCKED as the algae disappears.

PEA SOUP

Green water algae, AKA pea soup algae, makes it difficult, if not impossible to see your fish. This is also an algae we want to avoid. With the exception of a new pond going through a beginning cycle, your water should be crystal clear to the bottom of the pond. Even if your pond is 6′ deep.

Green water algae typically grows when there is not enough filtration on your pond. If you have a water garden style, ecosystem pond, and you are sure the actual filter is large enough, you very likely need a bunch of plants. Add plants, and watch them work.

If you are unsure if your filtration is enough, my bet is that it isn’t. Add a pressurized bio filter, a second waterfall filter, an inline filter, basically whatever it takes to make it happen. Often on a dedicated koi pond, there is no choice but to run a UV clarifier. UVs, when sized properly kill algae DEAD in just a few days. Put it on, and clear that water up.

MATTING

There is also a “matting” type of algae that grows when there is too much debris building up on the bottom of the pond. This, of course, goes back to not enough filtration.

So, now that I’ve covered the bad algae, and how to prevent and combat it, let’s talk about the GOOD algae.

Every week, and sometimes every day, I get calls, and emails from customers concerned about algae in their pond. This is where it gets a little tricky. We spend a lot of time fighting algae, but some algae is good and we want it in the pond.

THE RIGHT STUFF

The good algae covers all the rocks in a layer, that seasonally gets up to an inch long. It can often be bright green in the middle of summer, dark brown to almost black during winter, and look like a lush little lawn during spring and fall.

We call this algae a “biofilm” and it contributes significantly to filtration. It helps keep your water clear, and your fish happy and healthy. It pulls out nutrients that can cause the bad algae and catches small particulates that float around looking icky.

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GET IN THE RIGHT MINDSET

Keep in mind, your pond is not a swimming pool or a fountain at the local shopping center. A pond is a living, dynamic ecosystem, that relies heavily on mother nature to get a nice balance going on. This biofilm algae is a very important part of this.

Let it grow and learn to love it. In the end, you’ll be happy you did.

Much like your Work/Life Balance, the trick with your pond is to find the right balance of algae in your pond.

For a list of water treatments we use to keep our ponds balance visit this link –
Water Treatments

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Leslie Triplett, The Pond Gal

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

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What’s Happening on YouTube!

YouTube Channel Updates!

We love sharing our knowledge on YouTube. We give you, our loyal viewers, all of our experience, including not only our successes, but also our failures, in order to help you have a great experience with your pond, whether you are building one, or just appreciating the one you have.

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So, we are happy to give you our latest news on The Pond Digger YouTube Channel, about our recent and upcoming videos, and some exciting news on turtle views!

We are pleased to share that one of our first YouTube videos, “Turtle Pond Design” has reached 1 million views. We have produced many videos since Turtle Pond Design, that have more views than it does, but it holds a special place in our heart, and will always be one of our favorites.

We also just released the newest in our “Ponds Gone Wrong” series, “The Real McCoy”. This series will help you understand just how critical seaming your pond correctly is. We will reveal some great secrets in seaming, and some critical mistakes that we don’t want you to make!

On February 13th, we will begin filming a new tutorial on building a waterfall without a pond! This is especially great in homes with small children that don’t want the worry of a pond, or for businesses that want the magical sound of water without the liability of a body of water.

Also, we have great tips and tricks daily on Snapchat, and Periscope. Look for The Pond Digger on both sites to get your daily dose of pond fun! We hope to see you soon on YouTube, SnapChat, and Periscope.

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Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

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How Helix Helps Reduce Algae

waterfallbannerHere at The Pond Digger, we believe in water changes and would like to see a small percentage done weekly. Not a lot; maybe as little as 25 gallons per 1000 gallons of pond water. This accomplishes a ton of beneficial activities in a very short time frame that ultimately give your fish a cleaner, healthier home to live in and reduce the risk of diseases.

The Helix Life Support Filtration equipment help to support that goal. The Helix Waterfall Filters are cleaned by running water out of the pond as they rinse the media out. This equals a water change, and is frequently as much as you need to do to get that weekly percentage that totals 10% water change a month.

Also, when you are performing this filter media rinsing, you are using your pond water, not hose water to accomplish it, so it keeps all your beneficial bacteria from being damaged by the chlorine in your tap water.

The cleaning sends waste water, loaded with emulsified biological waste in the form of fish poop, fish food, and ground up plant materials, directly to your yard where they work as AMAZING fertilizer for your garden, fruit trees, or even your lawn. This same debris left in the pond is what fed the bad algae. By removing the food, you starve out the algae.

The benefits are adding up, right?

Now, this cleaning/water change accomplishes something even more amazing in the pond itself for your fish.

The fish poop, food, leaves, pollen, dust, and any other biological waste in the pond are food for the algae, so removing them means you will have less undesirable algae.

Tap water is loaded with oxygen and a few key elements that have an important job in reducing biological waste in the pond. This is going to get really scientific for just a minute, but bear with me. I’ll be as concise as possible, while still trying to be easy to understand.

Your tap water contains oxygen, calcium, magnesium, often trace amounts of copper to name a few things. All of the elements have a “charge” and each of these I just mentioned actually have a positive charge. Everyone, I’m sure is familiar with the old adage “opposites attract,”

In this particular instance, your pond contains all that biological waste that we talked about earlier. This waste is from, fish poop, food, plants dropping leaves, and fish respiring which produces ammonia. All of these by products have a negative charge. You may see already where I’m going.

When the negative charge from the fish poop (hydrogen sulfide) and the waste created when the fish breathe (ammonia) combines with the positive charge of the fresh oxygen, calcium, and magnesium from the tap water, the bad stuff gets broken down.

There is a really cool chemical reaction that happens and the ammonia and sulfides are literally broken apart at a molecular level, resulting in cleaner water. And that is what we want!!! Fish get happy, water gets clearer, and you have less algae! Its a win/win.

Helix Waterfall filters are designed with built-in air assist cleaning systems to make it easy to do a water change as you are cleaning your filter. The air helps to break apart debris that has been gathered on the filter media and then the rinse cycle washes it out of the filter. This action means you have to replace the poop filled water that you just evacuated and there you have it, a water change, courtesy of Helix Life Support Filtration.

Whether you have an existing pond, or you are about to build a pond, call our headquarters and we will help you get Helix Life Support Filtration on your pond.

Leslie Triplett, The Pond Gal

Summer Lovin’ Tips and Tricks to Control Algae

waterfall-algaeSummer is finally here! Now its time to get outside to soak up the sun and be free to enjoy your water feature! While you are outside soakin’ up those rays, by the pond, keep these tips in mind, to keep you water feature looking pristine all summer long!

With summer comes beautiful, frolicking flower and plant blooms that bring sweet smells of summer, and keep us outside longer! Along with those beautiful aquatic blooms, comes algae, which is one bloom that is not so pleasant! Since you’re already outside, try a few things that will help maintain that algae bloom that isn’t so sweet.

Adding plants that provide shade to your pond will keep the sun from penetrating the water and in turn reduce algae growth. There are some aquatic plants that are perfect for this and are also beautiful! Water Lilies, Water Hyacinth, and Water Lettuce are all great for adding shade to your pond. With these three plants you get an added plus! Not only do they add shade to prevent algae growth, but they also add coverage for your fish to hide under, keeping them safe from dangerous and pesky predators! It’s a Win-Win!

Now, its understandable that you will want feed your fish a little more than normal since you will be outside and spending more quality time with them, but don’t do it! Or at least try, I know those little suckers can be irresistible. If you can manage to feed them less, they will produce less waste. If there is less waste in the pond, then the algae will have less to feed on. All you Koi lovers may feel a daunting weight on your shoulders as I tell you to feed your Koi less, but trust me, they will not starve! If they get hungry they will do you a favor and eat some of that algae that you are trying to get rid of! Another Win-Win!

Keeping up on a few maintenance items will improve your water clarity and prevent algae growth during these hot months as well. If you have not done so yet this year, switch out the bulb in your Ultra-Violet light! Those bulbs typically need to be replaced once per year. Once you get that fresh bulb installed, you will see a drastic difference! For those of you who are saying, “Ultra-Violet? In a pond!?” and you also have green water, please, please, please call us at The Pond Digger and we will help you step into the light! It works wonders!

Remember to keep an eye on your filtration media, rinse it clear of debris, as needed, keep any decomposing plants trimmed back, and most importantly keep adding beneficial bacteria! Keeping up on this maintenance will keep you and your eco-system happy and healthy

Now that I have given you plenty of tips and tricks that should keep those algae blooms down and keep those flower blooms up and smelling sweet, enjoy your summer, and stay outside longer!

For more information, contact The Pond Digger!
1-800-522-5043