How To Make Your Pond Safe For Children

Pond safety is an important component of having a water garden. But finding ways to keep your kids safe while enjoying a pond doesn’t have to be difficult or scary. There are plenty of ways to protect kids with ponds.

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Use Pond Lighting

Pond lighting ensures that the pond is always lit up and visible. Visibility makes areas safer. This is a good idea to see if kids are out playing at dusk or night and a good safety feature for adults.

The best pond lighting systems can be swiveled and moved to highlight your pond and garden appropriately; they come in different colors and can be connected to work in harmony.

Check out our PondMAX lighting systems!

Cover With a Net

A great defense is ensuring nothing over a certain size can fall into the pond. Pond nets are the perfect way to stretch over the pond’s surface to ensure that kids and animals alike can’t fall into the pond. The net catches them before an accident can become worse.

Using a heavy-duty pond net that offers full coverage, with spikes that securely hold the net around the pond’s edges, will keep children safe.

Check out our Teton Pond Cover Nets!

Build Safety into Your Pond

There are some steps you can administer while building your pond that can help you ensure that it’s safer for children from the beginning, from placement to the design of the pond itself.

These include:

• Having a good line of sight to the pond- Seeing the pond from clear vantage points in your home and around your yard is a great way to keep an eye out for children.
• Elevated pond edges and pond fences- Adding barriers that make a tumble harder will keep kids safer.
• Choose pondless features- A pondless feature is a water feature that doesn’t have an accessible water reservoir. Removing the reservoir prevents accidents, but you can still have a tranquil water feature.
• Pool alarms- For pools without fish, pool alarms float on the surface and sound an alarm when something enters the water, so you know if someone or something has taken a dip.

If you are ready to order, visit our Dealer Locator to find a store near you: castleaquatics.com/dealer

Teach Children Safety

There are some behaviors and habits you can teach to children to help them understand the potential dangers of the pond, so they’ll police their own actions a little, giving you some peace of mind.

Talk to children about the following:

• Not feeding the fish- Children who feed fish might want to do it alone. Don’t let children feed the fish, even with you, or they may start to think they can do it when you’re not around, risking a fall.
• Talk about safety often- Explain why things are safe or unsafe and show them how to make things safer. Explaining why security is needed will help them be safe all the time.
• Enforce rules about pond safety- Setting clear boundaries and following through on consequences for violating those boundaries will reinforce that the pond is not a place for play and risky behaviors.

Try to Keep the Water Clean

There’s another danger to children that can exist in a pond. Children like to touch and taste everything, and that’s no different with ponds. They may want to put their hands in it or try to drink the water. If they do there are parasites or pathogens in the water that can make them become very sick. Keeping the water as clean as possible with water pumps and filter kits specially designed to keep bacteria away will help keep kids safe from getting sick from the water.

Check out our PondMAX Clear Water Kits to keep your pond clean.

Keeping Kids Safe While Enjoying Your Pond

Having a pond doesn’t have to mean worrying about keeping children safe all the time. There are many ways to make a pond kid-safe, from teaching children basic pond safety to putting protective gear in place. For more tips and tricks on owning and maintaining a pond, visit our website.

If you are ready to order, visit our Dealer Locator to find a store near you: castleaquatics.com/dealer

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How to Troubleshoot Your Pond Pump Issues

Your backyard water feature is beautiful, serene, perfect—and cloudy because the pond pump doesn’t live up to its namesake. Or maybe it’s straight-up not working at all. You need to figure out how to fix it quickly before the stagnant waters become a new home for algae.

There are a few measures you can take to troubleshoot your water pond pump’s issues, from the ultimately simple (have you tried turning it off and back on again?) to the more complex.

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First, a Safety Lesson

Before we go any further, our lawyers reminded us to remind you that before doing any maintenance on your pond pump, it’s mandatory to unplug it. Water and electricity mix poorly, so be safe out there.

Issue: The pump is Humming, But Very Little Water Comes Out

Try Clearing the Impeller

An impeller is a part of the pond pump that draws the water in by spinning. The problem is that if it can’t spin, it doesn’t draw in water and can’t pump. Also, if it’s got debris stuck in it, it can’t spin. Pulling the water pump out and clearing debris is a good step to see if that’s what’s limiting the water flow. While you’ve got the pump out, lay it on its side outside the pool and plug it in to see if the impeller spins.

Check out our PondMAX (www.pondmax.com/product) and Teton (www.tetonus.com/product) pumps to ensure a perfectly running pond!

Try Releasing Air from the Impeller

If air gets into the impeller chamber, it can cause the impeller to seize or become air-locked. Tilting the pump while it’s still inside the pond so that air can escape, or reinstalling the pump entirely, should let the impeller get reflooded with water and start again.

Try Clearing the Plumbing

Another thing that will keep the proper amount of water from flowing through the pump is clogged plumbing, using the same principles as a clogged impeller. Disconnecting the pond pump from the pipes so they drain and can be cleared should give you more power back.

Issue: The Pump is Not Running

Try Checking All the Electrical Connections

The first thing to check- is if it is plugged in and is there power running to that outlet? Is there a tripped breaker, blown fuse, or frayed wire? This is the most common problem.

Issue: Pump Works Sometimes

Try Making Sure There’s Enough Water

Pond submersible pumps need to be submersed to work properly. If the water falls below a certain level, they’ll automatically shut off and turn on again when there’s enough water over the line. Ensure the water level is high enough to keep the pump underwater.

Try Double Checking that the Pond is the Right Size

Water fountain pumps and pond pumps are designed for a certain volume of water to go through. If the pond size is too small to provide the right amount of water for the stream, the pump won’t work. Double-check that the specifications for your pond and pump match.

If you are ready to order, visit our Dealer Locator to find a store near you: castleaquatics.com/dealer

Pump Up the Jam

Get your pump working again, so you can enjoy the gentle trickle of water, the peaceful nature of your backyard water feature, and clear water with no bad algae smell. Troubleshooting your water fountain pumps will allow you to enjoy your garden waterfall without buying a new pump.

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Tips to Create a Low Maintenance Pond

One of the best ways to take advantage of your outdoor space is to install and cultivate a pond. The gentle sound of wind whistling along the surface, the burbling brook you installed in the corner, watching the bright flash of fish as they flit past. Nothing is more relaxing and beneficial for your mental health.

Nothing is more aggravating than giving up every weekend to take care of what should have been a relaxing hobby that somehow turned into another chore on your to-do list. While you might be reading this and re-thinking creating a pond, the good news is that there are cheap, easy ways to make your pond low maintenance so you can focus on enjoying it.

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Remove Negativity

The negativity we refer to here is specifically contaminants. Being outside, your pond will be exposed to all manner of dirty things, including bacteria, sticks, leaves, and whatever else the wind blows in.

You take the unhealthy things out of your water by incorporating a biological filter that removes harmful bacteria and provides good bacteria with a place to grow. A mechanical skimmer is another must-have for removing surface debris like those pesky leaves and twigs. It even does the work for you, ensuring you have a clear view when you look out at your pond. Set these two components across from each other to maximize their cleaning potential.

Go With The Flow

Water is at its healthiest when flowing and coursing through the land, leading to our country’s obsession with spring-fed bottled water. Before buying a pump, ensure it’s the right size for your pond and waterfall. It should circle through all the water in your pond once an hour. This aerates the water, keeping it healthy and ensuring an excellent place to live for your finned friends.

Go Back To Nature

The whole point of this pond in the first place is to enjoy nature within the confines of your comfortable house, so bring the best, most practical aspects of nature into your pond. You can encourage beneficial bacteria to grow and help further your pond’s ecosystem with little assistance by including rocks, gravel, and as many natural elements as possible.

Get Fishy

Not only do you get a new pet, but fish are an essential part of any ecosystem. They eat algae and then use it to “create” fertilizer for your plants, doing a lot of your work for you. Don’t overdo it, though. Too many fish and not enough water will make for a bad day.

If you like math, the rule of thumb is 10″ of fish for 100 gallons of water. (So, if you have 300 gallons, add up the lengths of all your little fishes, and it should be no longer than 300″). Incorporating algae-eating fish also helps take a lot of your work from your to-do list, letting your fish feed off your chores.

Check out our PondMAX (www.pondmax.com) and Teton (www.tetonus.com) websites to find all your water garden product needs!

Get Rooted

Remember when we talked about filters? Well, plants play a role in filtration, and they look good doing it. They help keep algae away from your pond by absorbing fish waste. During hot months, try to cover 40% of your pond’s surface with water lilies, mosaic plants, or other floating plants.

Enjoy Your Serene Pond

These steps are simple, straightforward preventative measures you can take ahead of time when creating your pond to make sure the aftercare will be quick, easy, and painless. By focusing on filtration, circulating water well, choosing the best fish and plants, and bringing an earthy vibe into your pond, you can have a great water feature to kick back and relax with.

If you are ready to order, visit our Dealer Locator to find a store near you: castleaquatics.com/dealer

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My Water is Covered in Foam! What Should I Do Now?

Foam is a natural occurrence on your pond, and in small amounts won’t harm fish, but it is important to get a handle on it before it starts affecting the oxygen and light levels in your water. Not to mention that it’s not very nice to look at.

Why is My Pond Water Foamy?

Pond foam is caused by organic material breaking down within your pond’s water. Leaves, fish waste, or uneaten food can cause this. This is part of why a pond filter is so important because it helps keep you from getting a foamy pond.

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How to Get Rid of Foam on Your Pond

Improve Filtration

Checking in on your filtration is always the first step in pond cleaning. The most obvious place for this is your pond skimmer and pond filter. Ensure that they’re working properly, not clogged, and the right size for your pond. To double-check your filter’s capacity is right, multiply your pond’s capacity in liters by 1.5. That result gives you your ideal filter capacity. So, for a 9000-liter pond X 1.5= 13,500, you’ll want a filter that’s suitable for up to 13,5000 liters.

Another great filtration option is adding more living plants to your water. Plants are natural filters and will help keep the water clean.

Install a Pond Skimmer

If you don’t already have one, a pond skimmer is a great tool to ensure you get all the organic material off the top of the water before it starts to break down and cause foam. All this without you having to scoop up every leaf with a net. Pond skimmers usually sit at the side of your pond right at water level or a little lower, so gravity helps push the water and debris out.

The water is then pumped out without the junk. In this case, it’s critical to get the right size that fits neatly into your pump and can handle the amount of water coming in while still catching everything.

Get the PondMAX In-Pond Skimmer! If you are ready to order, visit our Dealer Locator to find a store near you: castleaquatics.com/dealer

Check Your Fish Load

If your filtration is working great, the problem might be too many fish in the pond. Overcrowding your fish will lead to more fish waste than the water and filtration system can handle. The calculation to determine if you have the right amount of water for koi fish is 1-2 koi or 2-3 goldfish per 200 gallons of water. So, if you have a 2400-gallon pond, you can have a maximum of 24 koi or 36 goldfish. (2400/200= 12 X 2=24 or 2400/200= 12 X 3= 36)

Cut Back on Meals

Even if you have the perfect number of fish, you could overfeed them. Feeding fish too much or too often can leave excess food in the water to be broken down later. Watch what happens after feeding, and tailor the amounts you’re giving so that you only give them the amount they can eat in a few minutes.

Try the PondMAX Automatic Fish Feeder! And fill the feeder with PondMAX Fish Food: Spring & Fall Wheat Germ Diet, Color Enhancing, or Staple Growth Diet. If you are ready to order, visit our Dealer Locator to find a store near you: castleaquatics.com/dealer

Test and Optimize Water Quality

Signs that your water can’t handle the amount of waste in it can include high levels of ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate. Having a water test kit on hand to double-check the levels can help you know when to use additives that bring these chemicals back into balance.

Foam Free Fun

Cleaning out the debris, ensuring you have the right amount of fish and filtration, and feeding the right amount of food will help you keep foam under control in your pond. For more tips and tricks on great pond care, visit our website or to connect with an expert, call ………

Check out our PondMAX (www.pondmax.com) and Teton (www.tetonus.com) websites to find all your water garden product needs!

If you are ready to order, visit our Dealer Locator to find a store near you: castleaquatics.com/dealer

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Why Do Water Gardens Attract Snakes? And How Do You Deal with Them?

Why does it always have to be snakes? If you have a water garden and have seen a slithering, sleek tail whip out of sight, you might rethink ever leaving your house again. It seems like snakes are pulled by a magnet to your pond. So why, and how do we keep them far, far away?

Why Do Water Gardens Attract Snakes?

Fresh Water Keeps Them Alive

Like all land animals, snakes need fresh water to survive. Finding a water garden is like finding a desert oasis for them because they have a dedicated source of water they can always count on. This will keep them coming back.

They Eat Fish, Frogs, and Toads

Not only do they get drinks, but this oasis might also provide dinner. For ponds stocked with fish or that attract frogs or toads, snakes will swing by to see if they can pick up some fast food. Some fish, frogs, and toads are excellent meals for snakes.

Easy to Access with Lots of Places to Hide and Nest

Snakes are small, and it’s easy for them to find a way to your water garden since it’s right there on their level. Once they’re there, well-decorated water gardens with lots of plants and rocks offer tons of places for them to hide from predators or curl up for a nap.

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How to Keep Snakes Away from Your Water Garden

Use Snake Traps

These traps can be placed in shallow water or on the ground and baited with minnows or rodents. Then, the snake goes in and can’t get back out again. This allows you to relocate the snake to an appropriate new habitat humanely. You can get a variety of snake traps from your spring pond supply store.

Let Fish Hide

If snakes don’t see a meal quickly, they’ll move on. Building lots of hiding places in your fish-stocked water garden with underwater logs, underwater vegetation, overhangs, or fish shelters will make snakes think there’s nothing yummy there, and they’ll leave for a better meal.

Scent Deterrents for Snakes

You can buy several kinds of deterrents that smell like things snakes don’t like and will avoid. For one, you can buy a spray that has mongoose, fox, mink, or badger urine to spray around your pond area to make snakes think twice about risking their hides in your water garden.

You can also use cinnamon, clove, or eugenol as a natural repellent that doesn’t affect other animals.

Get the Water Moving with Fountains, Waterfalls, and Aerators

Snakes prefer still water, so if your pond constantly recirculates water, they won’t like it as much. Waterfalls, aerators, and fountains are great for the health of your pond water, plants, and fish and will make a snake less likely to choose your pond. Your spring pond supply store should have lots of great options for you.

Introduce Plants Snakes Dislike

Snakes have sensitive systems, so planting plants that emit compounds they don’t like is a great way to get rid of them. You can try the following:

  • Garlic
  • Lemongrass
  • Marigolds
  • Wormwood

Introduce Snake Predators

You can stock some animals or attract them that will eat snakes. These range from itty-bitty to a big commitment that needs lots of space to go along. Animals that will eat or kill snakes include:

  • Large adult bullfrogs
  • Largemouth bass
  • Opossums
  • Goats
  • Deer
  • Horses

Say So Long to Snakes

Although killing snakes should be your last choice because of their importance to the ecosystem, you have lots of options for getting rid of snakes from your pond and keeping them out; first and foremost: get the water moving!

Get the Water Moving with Fountains, Waterfalls, and Aerators!

Snakes prefer still water, so if your pond constantly recirculates water, they won’t like it as much. Waterfalls, aerators, and fountains are great for the health of your pond water, plants, and fish and will make a snake less likely to choose your pond. Your spring pond supply store should have lots of great options for you.

Check out our PondMAX (www.pondmax.com) and Teton (www.tetonus.com) websites to find Waterfalls, aerators, and fountains products for your pond to keep those snakes away!

If you are ready to order, visit our Dealer Locator to find a store near you: castleaquatics.com/dealer

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6 Koi Pond Essentials That Pond Owners Didn’t Know They Need

While we all know about the most basic essential elements of a koi pond (a basin of water and some big fish), you can add some crucial components to get the most out of your koi pond.

1. Flow-Through

The water in a koi pond needs to be changed periodically to help maintain your koi’s health. At a minimum, you should be changing 10-20% of the water each week to help your koi grow.

However, water changes must be done carefully because changing the water incorrectly can lead your fish to become sick. Besides, who has time to change the water that often?

Idea: Make water changes obsolete with a flow-through. A flow-through offers constant water removal through a bottom drain, sending it to a sewer line, ditch, or whatever form of wastewater removal system you have installed. Then, you can add new fresh water, rich in minerals, through another koi pond essential: the auto-fill (more on that later).

This gentle water change isn’t drastic enough to stress your fish out and saves you from having to do it yourself.

2. Auto Fill

An auto-fill system automatically adds water to your pond as needed. An auto-fill is handy in climates with high evaporation rates so it ensures you don’t wake up to an empty pond. It is also an essential addition to the flow-through, and takes a lot of work out of your regular koi pond routine.

3. Drop Test Kit

Koi fish need a specific water type to thrive, and it’s impossible to tell whether the water in your pond is best for them by just eyeballing it. However, a drop test kit that tests for wide-range PH, ammonia, and nitrate at a minimum can help you tell if any changes need to be made to the water to keep it healthy for your fish (Try the NT Labs test kits!).

4. Pond Netting

While you may be attracted to the natural water feature aspect of a koi pond, you have a flight risk. Koi fish have been known to jump when stressed, leading them to throw themselves out of their nice safe home you’ve invested a lot in.

Installing pond netting around the pond’s edges can help keep them safely inside their pond. It has the added benefit of keeping sticks or leaves from clogging filters and mucking up the water (check out the Teton pond cover nets!)

5. Clove Oil

Clove oil comes in handy when you need to safely sedate your koi fish (at a minimal dosage) while carrying out pond treatment. If you need to conduct pond treatment, or your fish to another pond or tank, koi fish can get overexcited and hurt themselves, so sedating them is a great way to keep them safe.

Be careful about how much you put in because high doses of clove oil are used to euthanize koi fish. Keep the dosage under seven drops per gallon for 3-5 minutes, and everyone will get through the pond treatment relaxed and stress-free.

6. Koi Net

Speaking of moving the little guys around, a koi net is essential for any maintenance requiring safely passing your koi to another pond or tank. Koi nets are soft fabric cushions for your koi, keeping them safe and held while you move them where you need them (check out the PondMAX Koi Nets!).

Do You Now Know What Do You Need For a Koi Pond?

Koi ponds are fun and enjoyable experiments in keeping critters alive in a pond setting. A few things will make your life (and your Kois lives) easier, including ways to keep your pond clean and healthy. Check out our PondMAX (www.pondmax.com) and Teton (www.tetonus.com) websites to find products for your pond!

If you are ready to order, visit our Dealer Locator to find a store near you: castleaquatics.com/dealer

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Introducing the NEW PondMAX All-in-One Filter: Maintain Clean Water with this full kit!

The PondMAX All-in-One Filter, made in Europe, is designed for easy and practical use in ponds. The filters have special foam pads that provide efficient mechanical filtration; a side foam with lower density to help catch coarse impurities and a large top foam with higher density to capture finer impurities. Special porous stone media, in addition to foams, promote biological filtration and help achieve and maintain clean water.

The All-in-One Filter includes:

  • Built-in UV-C Clarifier
  • Built-in Filter Pads
  • Built-in Pump
  • Removable Fountain Nozzle

Order the All-in-One Filter through your local dealer! Find a dealer near you: castleaquatics.com/dealer

  • Item# 23PF316, SF750 ALL-IN-ONE FILTER
  • Item# 23PF319, SF1000 ALL-IN-ONE FILTER

Order the All-in-One Filter through your local dealer! Find a dealer near you: castleaquatics.com/dealer

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PondMAX Fish Food has your fish covered, year round!

PondMAX Premium fish food offers specially formulated ingredients to create a high-quality and perfectly balanced nutritional diet. Quality food minimizes fish waste, which keeps ponds cleaner and fish
healthier.

  • PondMAX Staple Growth Diet Fish Food is a high-protein, low-carb food, and the high protein gives fish the ability to be very active during the summer months. It is recommended that this food be fed to fish when water temperatures are above 60°F. To get the best of both worlds, combine the Staple Growth Diet with the Color Enhancer Diet and you’ll have yourself a great all around summer food.
  • PondMAX Color Enhancer Diet Fish Food is made with the same great ingredients as the staple diet, but also includes spirulina and green vegetables to help brighten the color of your fish. It is recommended that this food be fed to fish when water temperatures are above 60°F. To get the best of both worlds, combine the Staple Growth Diet with the Color Enhancer Diet and you’ll have yourself a great all around summer food.
  • PondMAX Spring & Fall Wheat Germ Fish Food is a high-carb, low-protein food which helps build fat in your fish to prepare to go into winter or come out of winter. It is made of a high quality wheat germ which enables fish to easily digest the food when water temperatures are cooler in the Fall, Winter and Spring. It is recommended that this food be fed to fish when water temperatures are below 60°F.

Plus, PondMAX offers a battery operated automatic Fish Feeder is the perfect addition to release the desired fish food quantity as often as every 4 hours.

Order the fish food and feeder through your local dealer! Find a dealer near you: castleaquatics.com/dealer

∙ Item #27GF002, PondMAX Staple Growth Diet, 2 lb Bag
∙ Item #27GF005, PondMAX Staple Growth Diet, 5 lb Bag
∙ Item #27GF010, PondMAX Staple Growth Diet, 10 lb Bag
∙ Item #27GF020, PondMAX Staple Growth Diet, 20 lb Bag
∙ Item #27GF050, PondMAX Staple Growth Diet, 50 lb Bag
∙ Item #27CF002, PondMAX Color Enhancer Diet, 2 lb Bag
∙ Item #27CF005, PondMAX Color Enhancer Diet, 5 lb Bag
∙ Item #27CF010, PondMAX Color Enhancer Diet, 10 lb Bag
∙ Item #27CF020, PondMAX Color Enhancer Diet, 20 lb Bag
∙ Item #27CF050, PondMAX Color Enhancer Diet, 50 lb Bag
∙ Item #27SF002, PondMAX Spring & Fall Wheat Germ, 2 lb
∙ Item #27SF005, PondMAX Spring & Fall Wheat Germ, 5 lb
∙ Item #27SF010, PondMAX Spring & Fall Wheat Germ, 10 lb
∙ Item #27SF020, PondMAX Spring & Fall Wheat Germ, 20 lb
∙ Item #27SF050, PondMAX Spring & Fall Wheat Germ, 50 lb
∙ Item #27GF220, PondMAX Automatic Fish Feeder

Order the fish food and feeder through your local dealer! Find a dealer near you: castleaquatics.com/dealer

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PONDMAX PA8 AERATION KIT: AREATION HAS NEVER BEEN EASIER

This PondMAX Aeration Kit has been manufactured with advanced technology to provide you with the best quality aeration for ponds or water gardens. The PondMAX Aeration Kit is suitable for many different applications including aquariums, small fish ponds and water garden applications. This kit can handle a water garden size up to 1,250 gallons with a power of 6 watts and air flow rate of 0.30 CFM (8.5 LPM).

Key Features include:

  • Durable & compact design
  • Oil free
  • Quiet & efficient operation

The Kit includes:

  • Air Pump
  • Air Tubing
  • Air Stones
  • Check Valves

Order one today through your local dealer! Find a dealer near you: castleaquatics.com/dealer

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Teton Aeration Kits: A must-have year round!

The Teton Air Pump Kits come in 6 different models and are known for their unique technology and design to infuse oxygen into ponds and maintain circulation to help fish and plants survive.

These Air Pump Kits are great for use in Ponds and Aquaculture as they are energy efficient meaning they are engineered to be cost effective and run 24/7 on minimal power; they offer quiet operation so you water garden can reach its maximum level of tranquility; and they help with ice prevention on cold days and nights.

∙ Item #XA20K, Flow Rate 20 LPM, Pond Size 2,500 Gal.

∙ Item #XA40K, Flow Rate 40 LPM, Pond Size 5,000 Gal.

∙ Item #XA60K, Flow Rate 60 LPM, Pond Size 7,500 Gal.

∙ Item #XA80K, Flow Rate 80 LPM, Pond Size 10,000 Gal.

∙ Item #XA120K, Flow Rate 120 LPM, Pond Size 15,000 Gal.

∙ Item #XA160K, Flow Rate 160 LPM, Pond Size 20,000 Gal.

Order yours today through your local dealer! Find a dealer near you: castleaquatics.com/dealer

Want to become an Authorized Dealer with Castle Aquatics? Click here to learn more!

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New Product Alert! PondMAX All-in-One Filters

The PondMAX All-in-One Filter, made in Europe, is designed for easy and practical use in ponds. Our two new models, SF750 & SF1000, have special foam pads that provide efficient mechanical filtration; a side foam with lower density to help catch coarse impurities and a large top foam with higher density to capture finer impurities. The special porous stone media, in addition to foams, promote biological filtration and help achieve and maintain clean water.

The All-in-One Filter includes a built-in UV-C Clarifier, Filter, Pump & Fountain Nozzle.

Order yours today through your local dealer! Find a dealer near you: castleaquatics.com/dealer

Want to become an Authorized Dealer with Castle Aquatics? Click here to learn more!

Item# 23PF316, SF750 ALL-IN-ONE FILTER
Item# 23PF319, SF1000 ALL-IN-ONE FILTER

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Castle Aquatics 2023 Product Catalog #31 now available!

The annual Castle Aquatics Product Catalog #31, effective February 1st, is now available for download! The 2023 Catalog #31 features products features all of your favorite products and several new additions to consider adding to a dealer store.

With over 50 featured brands and 1000+ products, Castle Aquatics will be ready to stock a dealer store with all the products needed to help customers become a successful fish and water feature owners! 

Download your free copy of the Catalog by filling out the form below:

Want to become an Authorized Dealer with Castle Aquatics? Then you can sell these products in your store, Click here to learn more!

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How To Clean Your Indoor Water Fountain

An indoor water fountain is a genius method to bring a little piece of nature into your home. Listening to the gentle burbling of flowing water and enjoying the benefits of the relaxing white noise can be low maintenance and aesthetically pleasing. You also only need to do a few simple things to clean your water fountain quickly, making maintenance easy.

Before doing any maintenance on your water fountain, unplug your fountain – Disconnecting the fountain completely from electricity is the best way to ensure you won’t have any shocking surprises during fountain maintenance.

Cleaning Your Indoor Fountain

After draining your fountain (either by pouring it out -or- using a spoon, cup, or vacuum for non-portable fountains), fill it with a mixture of water and white vinegar. Then let the fountain run with this solution for three or four hours to loosen mineral build-up. This will take some of the struggles out of cleaning.

If debris spots haven’t loosened after letting the fountain run, you can use a sponge or cloth to rub that dirt away. For holes and crevices, use a soft bristle brush. Once you’re done cleaning, dump out the solution and rinse the fountain well before filling it with clean distilled water.

Cleaning Dirty Parts

To thoroughly clean dirty hoses, pumps, and other removable parts, scrub them with a cloth or soft bristle brush to remove grime.

If stubborn grime persists, use a bathtub, sink, or large container, fill it with warm water and a ½ cup of bleach. Soak the parts in this solution for one or two hours before scrubbing again while wearing protective gear.

Tips and Tricks

Use Distilled Water

Distilled water is a form of purified water that has been boiled to remove impurities. Using distilled water in your indoor water fountain will keep hard water stains from forming and be easier on the mechanisms of your pump.

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Keep the Pump Constantly Submerged

The fountain pump, usually found at the bottom of your fountain, will circulate the water, keeping it from stagnating. However, it can only circulate the water effectively if it is consistently properly submerged. So keep an eye on the water level, ensuring it is well past the minimum water level daily. A great way to simplify this is by keeping a jug of distilled water by the pump to top it up quickly when needed.

A Quick Clean for a Great Feature

While cleaning your indoor water fountain might seem like a chore, using simple tips and tricks can help prolong the life of your fountain, so you don’t have to clean it as often. For example, using distilled water and being aware of the water level will help you avoid cleaning too often, so you only have to worry about doing a deep clean of your fountain every four to six months. This will take some of the chore out of it, so you can focus on enjoying your indoor water feature!

Consider using these water fountain pumps and cleaning products to keep maintenance simple and easy:

PondMAX PV Series Pond & Fountain Pump
Learn more here: pondmax.com/product/pv-series-waterfeature-pump

PondMAX Pond & Water Feature Blocks
Learn more here: pondmax.com/product/pond-water-feature-blocks

PondMAX ScaleMAX Water Treatment
Learn more here: pondmax.com/product/scalemax-pond-treatment

Teton XR Rush Series
Learn more here: www.tetonus.com/product/rush-series

Teton XS Splash Series
Learn more here: www.tetonus.com/product/splash-series

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Guide For Adding Plants To Your Pond

A pond is a stunning addition to your yard. With the fish, water features, lighting, and other features, adding a pond can turn your backyard into a relaxing oasis! Plus, by adding vibrant pond plants to a pond or water garden will make it look even better! At Castle Aquatics, we believe that plants should be an integral part of any water garden or pond. However, not all pond owners know how to properly add plants to their pond in order to receive the best natural balance and easiest maintenance and care.


Why Plants Are Imperative In Ponds

Many people are unaware of the essential role plants play in a pond. Plants are imperative to a healthy pond ecosystem in a variety of ways. Each plant brings a variety of benefits to the table, and by knowing what benefits certain plants bring to your pond can help you add the right amount to garner the best benefits. Plants play a variety of roles in maintaining a healthy pond ecosystem like:

OXYGENATE THE WATER

Plants are known to raise the oxygen levels of your pond’s water. A pond with higher oxygen levels is healthier for fish and it reduces the need for oxygenators, artificial bubblers, and other aeration products in your pond or water garden. Ponds with lower oxygen levels increase the chances of the pond’s fish being susceptible to health issues and diseases. In addition, algae thrives in water with low oxygen, which will eventually cause your pond to look filthy.

LIMIT ALGAE GROWTH

While higher oxygen levels in ponds will help reduce algae, there is another way plants can limit algae growth in their ponds. When you add pond plants to your pond or water garden, the plants block sunlight from reaching the deepest areas of your pond. This helps minimize the hideous growth of algae, which can clog up the pond filters and turn the water dark and cloudy. In addition, plants use plenty of the water’s nutrients, which will help reduce algae from forming.

CREATES A NATURAL SETTING

Plants help create a more natural setting in ponds. Plants help reduce the barriers between your yard and your pond as they help create a more natural and organic look to the landscaping. Plants eliminate the need for artificial borders, too.

Castle Aquatics Tip: Try using plants to mask pond equipment, piping, drains, and other artificial structures.

PROTECTS FISH

If you have fish or other aquatic wildlife in your pond, adding the right vegetation can provide them with protection from potential predators. Fish can not only use the plants as a shelter, but they can use them as a natural source of food, too!

NATURALLY FILTERS WATER

Plants absorb the nutrients in the pond water. Because of this, plants play an important role in a natural filtration system that can keep your pond looking beautiful and appealing. Plants that are properly balanced in the pond is a great source for natural water filtration.

Castle Aquatics TipAvoid adding overcrowded or dying plants to your pond. This can cause cloudy water and add debris to your pond.

INCREASED APPEAL

Plants are a great addition to any pond. With the interesting vegetation colors, aquatic blooms, and unique growth habits, plants can add visual appeal to your pond, creating a stunning waterscape that can be enjoyed for years!


Picking Plants For Your Pond

One important thing to know about pond plants is that not all of them are right for every water feature. When choosing which plants to add to your pond, there are a lot of factors that should be considered. Certain plants may not be able to adapt to the climate your pond is in. Some plants may not be the right size or shape based on your pond’s style. And, choosing the wrong plants could cause them to die quickly or outgrow the area, clogging the pond and crowding other plants and features. When selecting plants for your pond, consider the following:

Light Levels. How much light do plants need to grow and be healthy?  Is your pond covered by trees, plants, and other structures that block sunlight?

Hardiness. How harsh are your winter months? Will the plants survive in cooler waters? What care do they need?

Food Source. Do the plants act as a natural food source or the fish? Will the fish destroy the pond plants?

Variety. Are you looking for pond plants that blend well together? Are the plants of different shapes, colors, and heights?

Mature Size. How big will the pond plants get? Will the outgrow the size of your current pond?


Different Plants To Choose From

hyacinth, or water lettuce. These pond plants will develop roots underneath the surface of the water and provide shade to aggressive algae formation. Submerged plants can also be beneficial to ponds, as they can improve the water quality and clarity. Bog plants are often used to surround the perimeter of a pond, while water lilies and lotus can add vibrant colors to the area. Of course, you could always design a marvelous pond by adding a mixture of all these plants. Let’s take a deeper look at some of the most common plants you can add to your pond:

BOG PLANTS

Bog plants are usually found at the water’s edge in shallow water as this is where they thrive most. These plants have roots that grow underwater, however their foliage extends above the water’s surface.

FLOATING PLANTS

Floating plants have blooms and foliage that is above the water’s surface, while their roots grow beneath it. Floating plants thrive in moderate to deep water depths.

SUBMERGED PLANTS

Like the name suggests, these pond plants are almost entirely below the water’s surface and acts as an excellent natural filter in ponds of various sizes. Since they need to be submerged, they thrive in deeper waters.

To create a thriving aquatic ecosystem, choose plants from each general type. This will help you find the best vegetation for your pond! Once you find the right plants and have them properly added, you will soon have a stunning and attractive pond with vibrant plants to enjoy!

GET YOUR PONDCARE PRODUCTS FROM PONDMAX

Castle Aquatics Tip: Aquatic plants are a great addition to any pond. They can be beneficial to the overall health of a pond, improving the water quality, water clarity, and algae control. However, adding pond plants are not the only way to maintain the health of a pond or water garden. In fact, the proper pond care products are vital to keeping your pond looking beautiful.


Do you have all the pond supplies you need? Shop at Castle Aquatics for a great selection of pond equipment, like pond maintenance products, pond filtration systems and pumps, garden pond lighting, and so much more! For more information, or to find a local dealer near you, contact our friendly customer service representatives.

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Castle Aquatics 2022 Product Catalog #30, August 1st edition now available!

The annual Castle Aquatics Product Catalog #30, updated on August 1st, is now available for download! The 2022 Catalog #30 features products features all of your favorite products and several new additions to consider adding to a dealer store.

With over 50 featured brands and 1000+ products, Castle Aquatics will be ready to stock a dealer store with all the products needed to help customers become a successful fish and water feature owners! 

Download your free copy of the Catalog by filling out the form below:

(P.S. If you would like to learn more about becoming an Authorized Dealer with Castle Aquatics to sell these products in your store, click here to contact us).

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Tips For Adding A Garden Pond To Your Yard

If you’ve been dreaming of adding an enchanting and relaxing outdoor feature to your yard, a garden pond would be the perfect addition. If you’d like to add a garden pond to your yard, spring and summer are the best times of year to build a new pond. Building a garden pond may sound like a big project, and you may not know where to start. Luckily, here at Castle Aquatics, we specialize in garden ponds and we can help you with all of your pond care questions and needs. Today, we’d like to go over tips for adding a garden pond to your yard.

WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN ADDING A GARDEN POND TO YOUR YARD

It could be argued that one of the most important aspects of your garden pond is its location. You’ll want to pick a location for your garden pond that will make it a feature of your yard, and not something that is tucked away in the corner where you won’t really be able to enjoy the beauty of it. We have some tips for you on choosing the perfect location for your garden pond, as well as some other things you should take into consideration when you’re planning for your garden pond.

  • Choose ground that is level so that you don’t have any difficulty with drainage from your pond.
  • You’ll want your pond closer to your home so that adding electric wiring won’t be a problem.
  • You’ll also want to ensure that your pond is not over any existing cables, sewer lines, septic tanks, or pipes.
  • Again, the closer your pond is to your home, the closer it will be to a faucet to add water to the pond.
  • Don’t place your pond in an area with too much shade from the sun due to large trees or buildings. This way, you don’t limit yourself on the types of flowers you can add to the pond.
  • If you’d like fish in your pond, you’ll want to add things like shrubs, lily pads, and plants so that the fish will have shade for the hotter parts of the day.
  • You will also want to avoid having your pond near large trees to reduce the amount of leaves and other debris that could blow off of the tree and into the pond, which could result in clogging the pond filtration system.
  • Smaller ponds will benefit from shade, since algae tends to grow in higher water temperatures, and higher water temperatures will also increase the chance of water evaporation in small ponds.
  • Some plants are toxic to fish and can make your water murky, so be sure to do your homework on the best kind of plants to add.
  • Ensure that you pick a location in your yard where you can make your pond deep enough for the types of plants and fish you plan to have in your garden pond.
  • Adding water features such as a waterfall or fountain can benefit your pond by keeping the water oxygenated. Water features will keep the water circulating, which helps to decrease algae and can keep mosquitoes away.
  • Using natural native rocks to create an edge around your pond will make your garden pond look and feel more like a natural feature of your yard.
  • You’ll also want to ensure that you have some type of protection around your pond to account for rainwater so that your pond will not overflow.If you are part of a homeowner’s association, check to make sure that adding a garden pond won’t be a violation of your HOA.
  • If you don’t want a large garden pond or if you’d prefer not to dig into the ground, you can place a pond form on a raised bed and build out your added features around the pond form.

We hope these tips will be useful for you as you are plan for your garden pond. For more help with pond care and maintenance, but sure to check our blog regularly. And for your pond maintenance tools, shop our site now!

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Part 2: How To Reopen Your Garden Pond This SPRING

Now that the weather is changing and the temperature is rising, it’s time to start thinking about getting your yard ready for the spring and summer months. If you have a garden pond in your yard, you’ll want to be sure you follow the necessary steps to get your pond up and running in the best condition possible. In our previous blog, we went over the first six steps of getting your garden pond ready for spring. Today, we’d like to finish our step-by-step guide. If you should find you need any tools or products that are necessary for your pond care this spring, be sure to shop our products here at Castle Aquatics!

STEPS TO GET YOUR GARDEN POND UP AND RUNNING THIS SPRING CONTINUED

Step Seven

If you live in a climate that requires you to turn off your pond pump and filter during the winter months in order to prevent damage to the pump and filter from the cold, you’ll want to reconnect your pond pump and filter now. If you did not clean your filter pads in the fall before shutting down your pond for the winter, you’ll want to either clean or replace the pads. Do not clean your pads with soap or bleach. Simply rinsing the pads is best practice. If the pads are torn or worn-out, you should replace them.

Step Eight

In our last blog, we went over changing out either 25 percent of your pond’s water or 100 percent of the water, depending on the debris that built up in the pond over the winter. Regardless of how much water you change out, you’ll want to test the quality of the water. Both the nitrate and the ammonia levels should be at zero. If you only did a 25 percent water change, you may need to do an additional 25 percent change or change the water until the desired levels are reached. Your pond’s pH levels should be between 6.5 and 8.5. You can purchase pH solutions for your pond to help control the levels. If you keep fish in your pond, you’ll want to be sure that the salinity is between .1 percent and .25 percent. You can change the salinity of your pond by adding pond salt. Pond salt should be 100 percent pure salt in a large crystal form.

Step Nine

Now is the time you’ll want to add a sludge reducing bacteria to your pond in order to breakdown any remaining gunk from your pond if you did not do a 100 percent water change. This solution will help to re-colonize bacteria that is beneficial for your pond.

Step Ten

If you have a UV light clarifier, which helps to prevent green water, you’ll want to replace the bulb of your light and clean the clarifier. You should wait about 48 hours after you clean your pond to turn on your clarifier to ensure that the bacteria has colonized.

Step Eleven

If you don’t already have protective barriers set up for your fish in your garden pond, around the edge of your pond, you’ll want to install a fish tunnel or a pond cover net. It’s also a good idea to add rocks and safety barriers in the pond to provide a place for fish to hide from predators that may try to get into the pond. A motion detector deterrent system may also help to scare away predators.

Step Twelve

You won’t want to begin feeding your fish again until the water temperatures are at 50 degrees Fahrenheit or higher for at least a week. When water temperatures are between 50 and 65 degrees, feed the fish once per week. When the water temperature reaches 65 degrees or higher on a consistent basis, you can feed the fish every other day. You can purchase an automatic fish feeder that will make caring for your fish simple and effective.

At this point, your garden pond will be up and running for the season! For proper pond care and to keep your pond clean and healthy, be sure to get the cleaning solutions you need for pond maintenance throughout the spring and summer months. Shop our products here at PondMax & Castle Aquatics today!

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Part 1: How To Reopen Your Garden Pond This Spring

If you’re ready to get your pond up and running this spring, you’ll want to be sure that you take the necessary steps in order to have a well-functioning and clean pond. Here at Castle Aquatics, we have the necessary tools and products you need for your garden pond care. For pond filters and pumps, pond lighting, UV clarifiers, and more, shop our products today. To learn more about starting up your garden pond this spring, keep reading!

STEPS TO GET YOUR GARDEN POND UP AND RUNNING THIS SPRING

If you’re certain that you’ve experienced the last freeze of the winter, and temperatures in your area have been above 40 degrees Fahrenheit for more than a week, you can begin your garden pond clean-up to get your pond ready for use this spring. Follow the directions below for a simple, step-by-step clean-up process for your garden pond.

Step One

Rake up any leaves and debris that have gathered around your garden pond. Ideally, you will have installed a pond net to place over your pond in the fall so leaves won’t have found their way into the pond. If you do have a pond net in place, you can now remove it.

Step Two

If there are leaves and other debris in your garden pond, you can use a pond vacuum to clean out the extra debris.

Step Three

Now is the time to start tending to any water plants that you may have. You will need to take the time to cut off dead debris and repot plants if necessary. If you have aquatic plants that need fertilized, late April or early May is the perfect time to begin that process.

Step Four

Ponds that do not have a significant amount of buildup should have about 25 percent of its water changed out. When adding new water, you’ll want to add a water conditioner to your pond to ensure that any chlorine or chloramines from your city water are removed.

Step Five

If your garden pond has one inch or more of buildup, it’s a good idea to completely change out your pond’s water. You’ll need to set up a temporary tank for a safe place for your fish during the process. You’ll want to be sure that the difference in water temperature from the pond to the tank are no more than two degrees fahrenheit. If the temperatures vary more than that, place the fish in plastic bags with water from the pond and then place them in the temporary tank. You’ll want to check the water temperature of their temporary water and the pond water when it’s time to put them back in the pond before you release them from the bags.

Step Six

Once you drain all of the old pond water, and before you fill the pond with new water, use your pond vacuum to thoroughly clean out your garden pond. If you have to step down into your garden pond in order to clean the bottom, be sure you keep your pond vacuum out of the pond. You may want to use a long brush with a handle in order to clean off any algae that has built up over the winter while the pond is completely empty. Once your garden pond is clear of debris and algae, you’ll be ready to fill your garden pond with water again.

Once you’ve completed the six steps above, you’ll be halfway through your spring cleaning for your garden pond, and you’ll be that much closer to having your pond up and running. Stay tuned for our next blog for the next steps in the pond cleaning process. If you’re in need of a pond vacuum, a new filter, or any other products for your pond care this spring, shop our products here at PondMax & Castle Aquatics today!

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Benefits Of Adding A Water Feature To Your Yard

Ponds and water gardens are quickly becoming one of landscaping’s most popular trends. Homeowners across the nation are opting out of a boring lawn by transforming part of it into a breathtaking water feature. Water features are a great way to make a yard and home unique, and adding a fish pond or water garden can turn your yard into your own personal oasis paradise. However, having a water feature installed does not only improve the look of your yard but also comes with other benefits. Check out three major perks of having a pond or water garden installed in your yard!

1. INCREASED CURB APPEAL AND HOME VALUE

Boring grass yards or rock patios won’t catch anyone’s eye anymore. However, installing a water feature in your yard creates a unique landscape in addition to a peaceful atmosphere that will not go unnoticed. Water features can be big projects like a Koi pond, or simple projects like adding a beautiful disappearing waterfall. The truth is, water features make your home stick out from the others in your neighborhood, as they create an attractive curb appeal. And, having a water feature in your yard will increase the value of your property.


2. ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY YARD

One of the greatest benefits of water features like ponds and water gardens. Having water features like these conserves water, which not only is beneficial for finances but the environment as well. If you have a plain and boring lawn, you’ll be using gallons of water per month in order to give the proper care to your lawn and plants. However, having a pond reduces that water usage. After a pond is filled once, it can be naturally filled with rainwater. Occasionally rain will not be a reliable source, meaning it won’t always be available. Your pond or water feature may have to be topped off every once in awhile, but other than that, ponds maintain a healthy ecosystem by relying on natural sources of water.

The moisture that ponds create can be beneficial to nearby plants, as they create a self-sustaining cycle of hydration. This keeps plants alive and healthy without having to constantly water them. The humid environment that is created by a pond can help moisturize your soil, especially during those hot summer days. Ponds, water gardens, and other water features will also consume your yard space. Which means you will not be using as much fertilizer, pesticides, and other lawn care products. Adding water features also take up yard space, which will result in less time spent mowing the lawn. While this is beneficial for time, it also reduces the number of pollutants emitted into the air. One of the biggest benefits of pond or water feature is that they can help indirectly support surrounding wildlife, whether birds, insects, or plants. By simply adding some native plants in and around your water feature will help attract wildlife native to the area by providing food and protection. Take a look at the common wildlife ponds and water gardens can draw:

Birds

Frogs

Dragonflies

Squirrel

Rabbits


3.HEALTH BENEFITS

Yes, you read that correctly. Water features can bring various health benefits. The white-noise-like sound emitted from water features is naturally calming. Water features can help you temporarily escape from the busy world, and the sound of water can help mask out the noise of traffic or loud next door neighbors. The sound of water has a calming effect on the brain, similar to what you would feel with meditation. Water features can help reduce anxiety and stress. In addition, water — whether in a lake or a pond — releases negatively charged ions into the air, which helps eliminate free radicals, purifying the air of dust mites, germs, pollen, allergens and other pollutants. And, negative ions are also believed to relieve stress and depression, and help increase energy, alertness, and focus. This purified environment is better for your body and health. Whether you choose to add a simple water feature or a koi pond to your yard, you’ll be able to relax and appreciate the calming sounds, visuals, and environment that water features bring.


READY TO ADD A WATER FEATURE TO YOUR YARD?

There are many more benefits of adding a water feature to your yard other than the three major ones we covered. If you are considering adding a pond, water garden, or another water feature to your yard, be sure to come up with a game plan to ensure that you have everything needed to make it beautiful and unique. And, when you need water feature or pond supplies you can rely on Castle Aquatics to have everything you need! From pond filters and pumps to pond care and water garden supplies. For more information about our pond and water feature products, find the closest Castle Aquatics dealers or contact us!

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Pond Predators To Be Aware Of

Having a garden pond is essentially like having a wildlife habitat in your backyard. As with any wildlife habitat, your garden pond will likely be subject to predators. While it may be impossible to keep every predator away from your garden pond, and subsequently the plants and fish you have in your pond, there are steps that you can take to ensure your pond can be better protected from predators. Here at Castle Aquatics, we have come up with some tips for you on how to protect your pond from predators, as well as the predators you should be most aware of. To learn more about pond maintenance and protection tactics that will help to keep predators away, keep reading!

GARDEN POND PREDATORS AND HOW TO KEEP THEM AWAY

Herons

Herons can be found across the United States, but the most popular heron that you can find hanging out near your garden pond is a Great Blue Heron. These herons can stand at well over four feet tall, and their wingspan is almost six feet wide. They also like to feed on frogs and fish, which makes your garden pond an easy target.

Heron can be territorial, so setting up decoys may be a beneficial tactic for keeping them away. However, people have reported that even with heron decoys near their pond, real heron have realized the ruse and ate the pond fish anyways. Motion detectors that squirt water or turn on a light have been proven to be more effective in scaring away herons, and if all else fails, leaf netting to place over your pond may be the best course of action.

Motion detectors may not be the most effective option for smaller birds that have the ability to swoop down and catch their prey. You can also attempt to place large decoy fish in the pond that would be an easy target that would deter the predator from trying again once they’re unable to get a meal out of your pond.

Racoons

Racoons are likely the most common predator you have to deal with when it comes to your garden pond. Since raccoons are nocturnal, they have the ability to make their way into your backyard at night with nothing to scare them away. Racoons have the ability to swipe at the fish in your pond from the edge of the pond or they may even wade into the pond if it’s shallow enough. The options listed above, the motion detectors and the leaf netting, are likely going to be your best option when it comes to racoons as well. Motion detectors can be great for the summer months, but you’ll likely need to put it away come winter so the water hose doesn’t freeze in the winter months. Netting over your pond for the fall and winter is usually the best way to go.

Other beneficial options for your pond fish is to ensure that they have plenty of places underwater to hide from predators such as under rocks, in deep water or lily pads that will look natural to the pond environment. In addition to keeping your garden pond safe, don’t forget to shop for the tools and products you need to keep up with your garden pond maintenance here at Castle Aquatics!

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