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 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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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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