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 ( and Teton ( 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:

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 ( and Teton ( 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:

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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:

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:

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 ( and Teton ( 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:

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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 ( and Teton ( 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:

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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 ( and Teton ( websites to find products for your pond!

If you are ready to order, visit our Dealer Locator to find a store near you:

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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:

  • 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:

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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:

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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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:


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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 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 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.


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!


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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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.


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 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!


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!


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.


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:







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.


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!



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 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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Does Your Pond Have Healthy Ecosystem?

A healthy pond ecosystem doesn’t just happen. Imagine seeing your fish thrive, your plant flourish in well-oxygenated pond environment, and your pond water turned crystal clear! You can achieve that dream pond by understanding the five key elements: filtration, aeration, aquatic plants, healthy fish and beneficial bacteria. These five pieces work in sync with Mother Nature to create a sustainable environment that will thrive all year long. Better yet, you can achieve optimal health and beauty with little effort and no chemicals that can be harmful to animals, people or the planet. Let’s take a look at each of these five elements and understand why they’re important.

Filtration – Ensure your water crystal clean & safe

Our water garden experts are often asked, do we really need a filtration system? If your planning on keeping fish thriving in clean & clear then yes you will need one.

A good filtration system will include mechanical & biological components.

Mechanical – include skimmers such as Atlantic Pond Skimmer,  filter brushes, foam pads, and other tools. This will trap and remove all unwanted & visible debris and waste and makes things easier for the next stage of the filtration process which is biological.

Biological – Once all visible solids are removed, the biological filtration comes into place and reduces the invisible wastes in the water such as ammonia that is toxic to fish or excess nutrients and convert them to less harmful compounds. This filtering system introduces aerobic bacteria, which will attach themselves to surface such as rocks, plants, or filtering media and eat away debris. One of our PondMAX latest products, PondMAX Clear Water Kit will provide you with multi-stage cleaning with coarse black filter traps larger debris, a fine blue filter catches smaller particles, and multiple bio-balls contain helpful bacteria to promote a healthy ecosystem.

Circulation– Improve pond and fish health.

Efficient circulation helps to maintain appropriate oxygen levels for plants and fish to thrive. It also helps avoid that unpleasant sulfur-like smell that can accompany still water where methane and other gasses have accumulated. Stagnant water can quickly become a haven for weeds, bacteria, noxious gases & unpleasant sulfur-like smell, but circulation will maintain a pond’s natural balance and create a healthy environment. Water gardens alone cannot produce sufficient amount of oxygen, but aeration kits like Teton XA Aeration Kits OR PondMAX Aeration Kits will do the tricks. Subsurface aeration works from the bottom up, circulating water and increasing dissolved oxygen levels. When the sun goes down, fish and plants both use dissolved oxygen in your pond water. By providing well-designed aeration & pumping system, oxygen levels stay high all day and night. Aeration is also great for winter climates. Running an aerator and a deicer together cuts your electricity costs and keeps a hole open in your pond.

Aquatic Plants – Natural algae control.

Aquatic plants are like the perfect spouse: amazing to look at, likes to clean, and will provide food, shade, and shelter. They also consume “filtered” fish waste which will become fertilizer to create exceptional plant growth and help reduce algae blooms. Approximately 40-60% of your pond’s surface area should be covered in plants. This is extra important if your pond is in direct sunlight most of the day.

Fish – The beautiful habitants of your pond

Not only adding colors, fish and other aquatic animals also eat algae and move stagnant water around. However, the more fish, the more waste, and fish loads and waste must be controlled. Want some advice? With standard filtration and 60% plant coverage, allow 1-2 koi or 2-3 goldfish per 200 gallons of water. If you need help figuring out how much filtration your fish need or filtration solutions for your pond, give us a call!

Beneficial Bacteria – Natural treatments for a balanced pond.

Using natural treatments, such as those found in PondMAX Water Treatment products, aid in keeping your pond balanced and happy. This product range is well designed to keep a pond’s ecosystem perfectly balanced by removing excess nutrients and debris, and maintain pond water crystal clear.

It’s Possible To Have Too Much In Your Pond

Don’t add too many plants or fish to your pond’s ecosystem!

You’ll want to have right amount of fish and plants in your water garden . Too many fish will cause too much waste, plants and filters will be blocked, and the water will get…murky. 

If you avoid this, you can have a thriving ecosystem and an amazing pond.

A water garden that’s well planned out and designed with the right solutions for these key elements will save you tons of time for maintenance including ph tests or other water tests. You can enjoy more of your pond and work less.

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Common Types Of Pond Filters

Water quality is one of the essential factors to the long-term health of a pond or water garden. And, the health of a pond is critical to keep pond fish and plants healthy. In order to maintain pond water quality, especially ones that have fish, a pond filtration system is needed.


A pond filter system serves two purposes for a pond. First, is to act as a mechanical filter and the second is to act as a biological filter. Each type of pond filter can serve as a mechanical or biological filter for ponds; sometimes both. Before we get into the types of pond filters, let’s take a deeper look into the two kinds of filtration.

Biological Filtration. Just as it occurs in the wild, the biological process of beneficial bacteria also occurs in a pond. When pond fish produce waste, it can eventually turn into nitrites, nitrates, and ammonia. When ponds have improper biological filtration, the waste and bacteria in the pond can reach a point that it becomes creates an unhealthy environment for the fish and other pond inhabitants. Biological filtration utilizes beneficial bacteria to maintain healthy water qualities in a pond.

Mechanical Filtration. Mechanical filtration is one of the main kinds of pond filtration that happens in a pond. In this filtration system separates and removes wastes and solids, such as the ones produced by fish. That said, mechanical filtration strains solids from the pond water going through it, which is essential for the efficiency of a pond’s biological media.



Pond filters help remove algae, dirt, and debris in a pond while also helping it restore a proper balance by adding beneficial bacteria from a matured filter. If you are thinking about buying pond filters for your pond, there are many types to choose from. Let’s take a look at some of the common types pond filters.

Pond Skimmer Filter

A skimmer filter can be effective in just about any sized pond, from 250 gallons to larger than 100 gallons. Skimmer filters are mounted at water level outside of the pond liner. The main purpose of a pond skimming filter is to eliminate debris that falls or is blown into the water of the pond before it sinks to the bottom and decomposes. When debris decomposes, the pond water can become gross, mucky, and smelly. The filter works by continually taking in the surface water off the pond, collecting debris. Pond skimmer filters are a necessary part of a pond filtration system no matter the size of your pond.


Pond pre-filters, also known as filter boxes, are specially meant for smaller ponds, anywhere between 200 and 500 gallons. Pre-filters are typically sponge filters that sit in the middle of a pond, attached to the intake of the pond pump. Submersible pre-filters are designed to collect solid materials such as leaves, debris, fish waste, and string algae that is in pond water. Pond pre-filter installation is a cost-effective way to protect pond pumps and help them operate more efficiently by preventing clogs in the biological filter. In addition, pre-filters help ensure the safety of pond fish and other inhabitants by preventing them from being drawn into the pump.

Pressure Filter

Pond pressure filters are mainly used in small to medium sized ponds. These mechanical filters work by forcing water through a filter sponge that collects small debris and particles. Compared to other types of filters, these offer pond owners flexibility and convenience. Since these filters are pressurized they can be placed either above the pond’s water line or buried in the ground, making it easy to hide in the landscaping or behind a waterfall feature. Many pond pressure filters are equipped with a UV sterilizer which is effective at removing algae particles from the water. Most pressure filters also come with a back flush function, which allows for hassle-free cleaning of the filter sponge. Pressure filters work well simultaneously with pond skimmers as they handle the smaller pond debris.

Waterfall Filters

Unlike other pond filters, pond waterfall filters are not pressurized so they need to be placed above a pond’s water level. These filters can be used in any size pond, however small to medium sized ponds tend to benefit the most from the biological component. Generally, these filters will include biological and mechanical filter media to provide efficient filtration for enhanced water quality. Waterfall filters are multifunctional units used to create beautiful waterfalls, rambling streams, or even pondless waterfall features. These filters can help increase the aeration on a pond, making it cleaner and healthier.

UV Sterilizers

Although they technically are not a pond filter, UV Sterilizers play an important role in pond filtration. UV Sterilization is proven to be the safest and most effective method of preventing and eliminating green water problems in the pond. Pond UV Sterilizers help eliminate free-floating organic particles in the water, such as algae, fungi, viruses, and bacteria. This is done through the exposure of high powered UV lighting. The structure of tiny organic material is altered when exposed the UV lighting. UV Sterilizers can benefit any pond, helping eliminate gross green water and waterborne bacteria and viruses. UV Sterilizers are a great addition for pond maintenance, especially if there are fish in the pond.

All these common types of pond filters can help keep a pond clean and healthy. Before you purchase a pond filter it is important to consider the various types of filters, as well as the size of the pond and whether or not there are fish or other pond inhabitants living inside. Perhaps most importantly, you need to ensure you are buying quality pond filters. Cheap pond filters are not only inefficient, they also will not last very long.

If you want the best pond filters for your pond, PondMAX is your one-stop-shop. We carry a wide selection of pond filtration products, such as pond UV sterilizers, waterfall filters, pond pressurized filter, pond filter skimmers, and so much more! PondMAX has all the pond care equipment you need! Shop our selection of pond filters and other pond products.

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Part 2: How To Improve Your Outdoor Living Space

Your outdoor living space should be just as much of a place of solace as your indoor living space. If you don’t enjoy spending time in your yard, you may need some help in determining what you can do to make your outdoor living space a more enjoyable and comfortable space. In a previous blog, we began a list of the ways in which you can improve your outdoor living space. Today, we will finish our list of ways that you can transform your yard into an outdoor sanctuary, and we will give you a few more ideas on how you can make your garden pond the main feature of your yard. For all of your garden pond needs, including your pond filtration system, lighting, and more, Castle Aquatics can help.


  • A Fire Pit – Whether you get a portable fire pit for your yard or you have a fire pit installed as a key feature in your yard, a fire pit is an excellent way to create a warm and inviting atmosphere where people will want to gather and relax.
  • Swings – Regardless of the kind of swing—patio swing, tire swing, hammock—even adults enjoy the many different varieties of swings, and adding one to your yard could be an enticing feature that draws you and your family and friends to the yard in order to enjoy the gentle rocking motion of a swing.
  • A Deck – if you’d like to really spruce up your yard, instead of having a patio or a small deck off of your home, a deck can be a large, multi-level feature that not only adds beauty to your yard if you choose a deck with a natural wood look, but it can also add to your yard’s functionality by creating a more defined space to place your outdoor furniture and other outdoor features.
  • Lights – Aside from the light on the exterior of your home for your yard, you should also consider installing additional lights on features such as your stairs, walkways, and tables. You can even hang twinkle lights between your trees to create a magical look.
  • Speakers – Installing outdoor speakers can greatly improve your outdoor space by allowing you to create the atmosphere you’d like with the sound of music. Your guests will love the addition of music to your outdoor space.


Once you decide to add a garden pond to your yard as one of the key features that can improve your outdoor living space, we have a few ideas on how you can place your pond in order to make it your yard’s main feature. In our last blog, we already discussed features you can add to your garden pond in order to make it stand out, but you’ll also need to know where to place your garden pond to really make it your yard’s main feature.

If you really want your pond to stand out, you will want to place it near one of your other key features for your yard. Your garden pond shouldn’t be tucked away in a corner. You can add your garden pond to the middle of your yard or even close to your patio or deck in order to be able to view the pond when you’re at your outdoor table. Placing your pond in the middle of your yard or near other key features can actually add to the appeal of the pond. If your pond is placed correctly, you can add a stone walkway around it, a bridge over it, or you can even place a gazebo next to it to really maximize your ability to spend time near your pond and enjoy it as your yard’s main feature.

A garden pond can be such a beautiful addition to your yard in order to create a more enjoyable space. If you combine a garden pond with some of the other features we mentioned that can help to improve your outdoor living space, you may end up spending more time outside than you do inside. For all of your garden pond needs including your pond filtration system, Castle Aquatics has the garden pond expertise you need. Shop our pond products today!

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Part 1: How To Improve Your Outdoor Living Space

If you don’t love your outdoor living space as much as your indoor living space, you are missing out on utilizing valuable square footage that’s included with your home. While most people think of their home—the space that is boxed in by walls—as their place of refuge, there’s something that being outdoors can do for people that no interior space can ever provide. What most people don’t realize is that their outdoor living space can be equally, if not more, relaxing and enjoyable as their indoor living space. One way in which you can create an outdoor living space that is relaxing and enjoyable, is to have a garden pond built in your yard. Castle Aquatics can help with all of your garden pond needs, including your garden pond filtration system.


If you’re looking to create an outdoor living space that you love, building a garden pond is a good place to start. Garden ponds can create an enchanting atmosphere for your yard, and it can be an interesting point of conversation when you have guests over. The perfect garden pond could include features such as koi fish, lily pads, a waterfall, rocks, and lights. However, the beauty of creating your own garden pond is the ability to include whatever features you know that you’ll enjoy the most.


If your outdoor living space needs a complete makeover, you may want to add additional features to your yard that could really boost your enjoyment when you’re in your outdoor space. Here are some additional features that you can add to your yard in order to improve its functionality and enjoyment:

  • Patio Pavers – instead of boring concrete, update your patio to include pavers. Concrete pavers can be found in multiple shapes, sizes, and colors, so you can really get the design you want. You also have the option of choosing clay pavers for a more traditional look or flagstone for an all natural look and feel.
  • Furniture – in order to enjoy your outdoor living space as much as your indoor living space, you’ll want furniture that you find comfortable. Having a table and chairs is ideal for your backyard so you can enjoy dinner outside on a warm evening. However, if you really want to relax in your outdoor space, you’ll want to find a comfortable couch and chairs that you can sit back and relax on.
  • Trees, Shrubs, and Flowers – If your yard is bare—completely lacking in trees and flowers—you’ll want to invest in some plant-life to add beauty and privacy to your yard. While most garden ponds have some kind of landscaping around them, you’ll want the rest of your yard to have the same magical look as your garden pond.

If you’re interested in having a garden pond installed in your yard, Castle Aquatics can supply you with all of the supplies you’ll need to make your dream a reality. No garden pond is complete without a pond filtration system, lights, and of course food for your fish! Contact Castle Aquatics today to learn more about garden ponds, and stay tuned for our next blog where we will finish our list of ways you can improve your outdoor living space.

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Common Winter Pond Maintenance Mistakes

For pond owners, pond maintenance is always on their minds, especially during the warm summer months, when ponds are enjoyed the most. Many water garden and pond owners have the misunderstanding that once the temperatures drop, pond care is no longer necessary. The truth is, to maintain a beautiful and appealing pond, maintenance and care is required throughout the year, especially during the winter for those pond owners who reside in colder climates with harsh winters.

If you are a pond owner, is essential to maintain the health of your pond, especially during the winter. However, pond maintenance during the winter season must be done properly. To help ensure that owners care for their ponds the correct way, and avoid pond maintenance mistakes, we put together a list of mistakes pond owners should never make when performing pond maintenance.


In the winter months, ponds are much more likely to freeze, especially in the colder regions of the nation. If you find your pond frozen and are unsure of which steps to take, be sure to check out our previous blog, What Should I Do If My Pond Freezes to guide you in the right direction. When ponds freeze, many pond owners know the importance of creating a hole in the ice to allow for proper gas exchange. However, what most pond owners do not know is that you should never hit or kick the ice in an attempt to create a hole. Banging on the ice of a pond can create sound waves that can be harmful to pond fish. Instead of trying to break the ice open, pond owners should use a de-icer to create a hole in the ice’s surface. If a person does not own a deicer, they can be found at almost any pond supply store, or instead of a de-icer, pond owners can create a hole in the ice by simply pouring boiling water on an area of the ice’s surface.


Pond water treatment is something that should be done during each season, not just the summertime. Just as pond maintenance is important year-round, a pond’s quality of water is just as important, if not more important in the winter than it is in the summer. Applying a quality bacteria blend to your pond at least once a month will help with preventing debris that normally collects in pond water during the colder seasons, leaving your pond fish happier and healthier.


As you now know, deicers can be extremely helpful in winter pond maintenance. Because de-icers play such an important role, it is important to ensure that pond owners are using a good quality, effective deicer with at least 1200 watts of power. Cheap deicers commonly fail or are not effective in ponds of larger sizes. However, purchasing a quality de-icer, pond owners can ensure that there will always be a  hole in the ice’s surface to allow for gas exchange, keeping your pond in good shape and providing pond inhabitants with a healthy environment.


Many pond owners have the misunderstanding that deicers need to be left running. The truth is, this actually is a bad idea. In the winter, deicers can consume a lot of energy. Pond owners who reside in colder climates may be tempted to leave their de-icer on to ensure their pond does not freeze over, but it is not really necessary. When using deicers, pond owners should periodically check on the hole. If the hole seems to be closing up, simply switch the de-icer on for a day or two to solve the problem and then shut it back down.


Just as pond owners forget to turn off their deicers, many forget to turn them on. As mentioned above, it isn’t good for your de-icer to continuously be running, however there is an exception. If pond owners are going to be away from their pond, perhaps taking a trip to a much warmer area, for a week or more during the cold winter months, their pond’s de-icer should be left on. Forgetting to turn on your deicer before leaving for a while could leave you with a frozen and unfortunate situation upon your return. It is essential your pond has everything it needs, including a de-icer, before leaving. Ideally, if pond owners are going to be away from their pond, they should have a friend, family member, or neighbor care for their pond while they are gone. This way, a de-icer won’t have to run continuously and pond owners can save money on their energy bills.


There’s nothing that adds beauty to a pond like an appealing, relaxing water feature, like a waterfall. However, for pond owners to ensure that their water features continue to run properly, they must first take the necessary steps to shut it down properly for the winter season. When shutting down a water feature, pond owners should:

  1. Remove the pump.
  2. Store the pump in a bucket of water
  3. Blow out the pipe and cap each end using a cleanout plug.

By following this shutdown process, pond owners can prevent pipes from bursting if the remaining water inside the pipes freezes.


Growing up, if your first pet was a fish, you were probably reminded to feed it over and over again. While it may seem counterintuitive to avoid feeding your fish, it is important to keep in mind that pond fish will naturally slow down their systems when the temperatures begin to drop. When this happens, fish are unable to digest food properly. While it may be tempting to feed fish during these cold months, giving them food can be harmful, it could even kill them.

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Guide To Winter Pond Keeping

Just because the chilly weather is here (depending on where you live) does not mean that you have to close your pond or water garden. In fact, there are a handful of benefits to keeping your pond running during the winter months, like the formation of gorgeous ice sculptures that collect on a waterfall or stream, turning your backyard into a winter wonderland. Although ponds and  water gardens can be breathtaking in the winter it is possible that the buildup of ice can act as dams, diverting water out of the pond. And, if you live in the North and Midwest regions, you have to be cautious of ice buildup as it is much more common in these areas.  

It is best practice to check on the water features and the water level of a pond or water garden during the winter. If ice starts to build up and you notice the water level decreasing, it may be time to turn off the pump until the spring. However, if you decide that you want to experience the beauty of winter ponds, and don’t mind the extra care and maintenance, your biggest concern is ensuring that there is enough water for the pumps to operate.

Keeping your pond or water garden running during the winter is possible, but it does have its challenges. If you’re a pond owner who is considering keeping your pond open throughout the winter, we put together a brief guide that will answer common questions when it comes to ponds, water gardens and the cold winter months.

Can Ponds Even Run Through The Winter?

This is a question we are often asked and there are two answers, yes and no. During the winter season, the usual water supply options are not available due to inefficiency. Automatic water fill valves and outdoor water spigots should be turned off. Leaving them run throughout the course of the winter season will increase the risk of the pipes  freezing and cracking. Without the use of these valves and spigots, water garden and pond owners who choose to keep their pond running will have to find an alternate source of water to help replenish their pond. Using a hose is a quick and simple way to supply water to your pond. That said, it is normal for pond owners to periodically add water to their pond during the winter season.

Will Waterfalls And Other Water Features Freeze?

The size of the pump plays a pretty important role in a water features ability to operate effectively during the colder months. For example, if your water garden or pond has a pump that kicks out at least 2,000 GPH it can easily be used throughout the winter as long as it is continuously running. Because the pump is continuously moving water, it will help keep a hole in the ice that is near water features and in front of the circulation system.

However, if you live in a climate that has repeated freezing temperatures it could lead to excessive ice build up. Having too much ice can cause the entire water feature to operate improperly. If you notice that the flow of water into the circulation system is inefficient at keeping up with the pump due to ice, it may be time to shut the system down. Once the ice breaks down and melts, restoring the normal water flow, the system can be turned back on.

Will Pipes and Filters Crack During The Winter?

One of the biggest concerns when it comes to keeping a pond open during the winter is if the cold will cause the pipes and filters to crack. Most open type pond filters are made out of polyethylene and are constructed to bend and bow along with the freezing and thawing that winter brings.  Pressure filters should be winterized and drained if full freezing takes place in your area.  The pipes also will not crack if you choose to keep the pump running throughout the winter as there will still be a flow of water moving through the pipe. And, moving water does not freeze. Pipes will only crack in the winter if stationary water is left in the pipe and allowed to freeze. 

Most ponds and water garden owners choose to shut down their system in the bitter winter months to avoid the maintenance and care it requires. However, keeping them open in the winter brings worthy aesthetics to your yard. We encourage pond owners not be afraid to keep their system running as long as possible, getting the most out of them!

When you need supplies to keep your pond running during the chilly winter months, from aeration kits to pond solutions and treatments, be sure to shop the wide selection of pond and water garden supplies at Castle Aquatics! Our professionals can answer your questions about pond care and maintenance, and are ready to help you find the products your pond needs to stay healthy and running properly. For more information, contact Castle Aquatics or find the nearest dealer.

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A Guide To Fall Pond Care

With fall right around the corner, it won’t be long before the season changes, bringing beautiful colors throughout nature, cool temperatures, football, apple orchards, and more! For a lot of us, fall is our favorite time of the year, but for pond owners, the cooler temperatures and constantly falling leaves can make fall a stressful time. Fall is a time that should be enjoyed by everyone, and if you own a pond, your fall can be stress-free by taking the following proper fall pond maintenance and a few precautions.


When fall officially arrives, most pond owners will likely find that leaves and debris will fall into a pond, potentially clogging the pump and causing build-up. Fall is a time when leaves are constantly falling and pond temperatures drop so the proper maintenance is crucial to your water garden. Plus, winter is right around the corner, which makes maintenance even more important to your pond’s health.


Some pond owners don’t have to worry about getting leaves in their water garden, but for those who live in a colder region, or have a pond located under or around multiple trees, it can be more of a challenge. Some may think that having a skimmer filter will be able to handle the cleaning, but there will be times when your filter will not be able to catch all the leaves and debris before they reach the bottom of the pond and begin to decompose. The best way to keep debris from reaching your ponds bottom in the fall is to use a pond net to remove it. Keeping debris and leaves out of your pond will not only keep your pond healthy going into winter but will also make your pond maintenance in the spring much easier. Allowing leaves and other debris to reach the bottom of the pond will cause them to decompose and rot, which can produce gases that could potentially be harmful to you fish and plants.

Castle Aquatics TipOnce your pond or water garden is free of leaves and debris, consider using a pond cover net over your pond to catch the leaves and debris throughout the season.

It doesn’t matter if your pond isn’t in an area with a lot of trees, the fall is still a time where pond owners should keep on eye on the debris level of their pond. To stay healthy, ponds require significantly more maintenance in the fall than they do in the summer. As winter gets closer, the fall may be a great opportunity to take care of the plants in your pond as well.


With winter coming up, the fall is a great time to tend to any plants. Frost can end up killing plants, causing them to decay in your pond and feed algae. Pond owners should divide and repot plants that can be saved, and tropical plants, such as water lilies, can be brought inside and cared for, while hardy plants can be cut down and trimmed when they begin to brown.


When the weather starts to cool down and pond temperatures begin to drop, pond fish, including koi, will begin to hibernate. It is important for pond or water garden owners to check their feedings. When temperatures are between 50-60 degrees, feeding should be reduced to once every one to two days. When the temperature drops below 50 degrees, it’s best to cut off feeding completely. When pond fish are going into hibernation, their digestive systems slow down, and feeding them could lead to health problems or even death. It may be beneficial to measure the temperature of your pond using a thermometer, so you can ensure you’re giving your fish the proper amount of food. If you’re unsure how much to feed your fish in the fall, it’s best to ask for a professional’s help.


As pond experts, a common question we are asked is which products should be added to a pond so that it will be healthy going into the winter. While there are many maintenance products and treatments you can add, we recommend using the following treatments to your pond:

  • Bacti-Pak The Bacti-Pak is formulated to reduce and eliminate organic and decomposing debris in the pond.  The combination of natural bacteria act as cleaners, help maintain a strong balance and reduce undesired gases in your pond while providing clear, clean, and healthy water conditions
  • NatureMax – Adding NatureMax to your pond or water garden will remove ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, dead leaves, and other organic debris, keeping your water clean and healthy.

Fall is a crucial time to maintain your pond with the amount of falling leaves and other debris, in addition to the cooler temperatures. When you’re countenancing your pond or water garden and are in need of pond care products, look no further than PondMAX! Whether you need pond treatments or accessories, with PondMAX’s huge selection of products, you’ll be sure to find exactly what you are looking for!

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