Tips For Adding A Garden Pond To Your Yard

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

WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN ADDING A GARDEN POND TO YOUR YARD

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

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

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

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Part 2: How To Reopen Your Garden Pond This SPRING

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

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

Step Seven

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

Step Eight

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

Step Nine

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

Step Ten

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

Step Eleven

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

Step Twelve

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

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

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Part 1: How To Reopen Your Garden Pond This Spring

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

STEPS TO GET YOUR GARDEN POND UP AND RUNNING THIS SPRING

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

Step One

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

Step Two

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

Step Three

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

Step Four

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

Step Five

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

Step Six

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

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

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Benefits Of Adding A Water Feature To Your Yard

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

1. INCREASED CURB APPEAL AND HOME VALUE

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


2. ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY YARD

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

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

Birds

Frogs

Dragonflies

Squirrel

Rabbits


3.HEALTH BENEFITS

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


READY TO ADD A WATER FEATURE TO YOUR YARD?

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

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Pond Predators To Be Aware Of

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

GARDEN POND PREDATORS AND HOW TO KEEP THEM AWAY

Herons

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

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

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

Racoons

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

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

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