Follow these guidelines to safely transfer fish:
Floating in bags:
- Float the fish in the bag they came in in the pond for 30 minutes.
- Make sure they are not floating in the sun! If there is no shade, open the bag for air. Let the bag float while holding it or anchoring it to the edge of the pond. If they look stressed or are coming to the top of the bag, they may be short on air. open the bag!
- Never touch a fish with a dry hand! It can hurt their scales.
- Every 5 minutes, take a 1/2 cup (cup if large bag) of pond water and add it to the bagged water. This helps them acclimate slowly and also assists in bringing the water temperature in the bagged water to the temperature of the pond.
- Remember, a more than 5 degree difference in the water they are in and the water they are going to could kill them, so they must be transferred slowly. It may take longer than 30 minutes if the temperature difference is greater.
- Add Pond Detoxifier Liquid. A tiny amount to the bag and some to the pond (follow directions on product) it eliminates chlorine, and calms the fish.
- Do not use a net, just gently remove the bag form the fish so they can swim into the water.
- Don't worry if they go to the bottom and don't move for a while. They are just startled and need to get used to their new home.
Learn more about how pond ecosystems work and other topics HERE.
Pond evaporation can fluctuate. Here in Colorado we get a wide variety of weather from one minute to the next! If you are wondering if the water loss you are seeing is part of evaporation, read these evaporation factors.
1. Humidity (or lack of!)
Colorado can be very dry! If you live in Colorado you know that when the humidity gets up around 40 or 50% we feel sweaty! But often we get 12% or even 7% humidity! This can increase the evaporation rate of a pond.
When the heat rises you may see an additional inch or two of pond evaporation.
3. Surface Area
Whether a pond is 3 x 5 or 20 x 25, it will lose between 1 and 3 inches a week. However, if your water feature has a long stream or waterfall, it will add to the surface area, and therefore add to the water loss within the pond.
The micro climate plays a role in the evaporation of the pond water. If your pond is on the north of south of the house with no shade from trees you will see more evaporation.
Some may think that the pond plants are sucking up all the water. However, they drink a relatively small amount. In fact, if your pond has water lilies, they are reducing the amount of surface area and are actually reducing the amount or evaporation occurring. We have experienced a case in which a willow tree had gotten its roots into a pond and sure enough that tree drank a lot of water!
Wind is the worst when it comes to water evaporation! When it is windy you may see a daily difference in water loss.
If you are seeing 4 or more inches of water loss in a week, you may have more than evaporation on your hands, you may have a leak. Check out our Leak Diagnosing Tips.
1 to 3 inches of evaporation in a pond is normal. Add water weekly so that the pump doesn't go dry. Remember, if you add more that 20% of the total pond volume you'll need to add a pond detoxifier when you do that to protect your fish from the chlorine in the water. If adding water isn't always easy to do because of a busy schedule, give us a call to talk about adding an autofill at 303-775-0224.
When the sun begins to heat up our summer days, our ponds may get green. Algaecide may seem appealing and is useful in some situations, but know that while it may quickly kill off algae, it can quickly kill off your fish too. Be sure to read the instructions carefully and call a professional if you need help.
Algaecide works by removing the oxygen and suffocating the algae. It is also hard on plants, beneficial bacteria, and fish. Algae itself puts oxygen into the water. For that reason we recommend only treating ¼ of the pond at a time. When treating algae in a waterfall, turn it off and sprinkle dry algaecide onto the area, leaving it sitting without the waterfall on for 30 minutes.
Right After Algaecide Application
The day after using algaecide, make sure you add beneficial bacteria to either replace what has likely been destroyed or to add it if it has been absent. When large amounts of algae are present, we know that the balance of the eco-system is off. Getting it back in balance will help your pond look beautiful again. Algaecide can destroy good parts of that system so they need to be replaced several times after a treatment.
If your fish are coming to the top of the water and seem to be gasping for air after and algaecide treatment, then too much has been used and you are at risk of losing fish. Do a partial water change, adding detoxifier for protection of the fish. You can also put in an aerator to get more oxygen flow going and hopefully keep the fish from dying.
Remember that overuse of algaecide can cause future outbreaks of algae -- worse than the original problem and can damage plants and fish. If it is necessary to get control of algae, follow directions to the letter and make sure to get the pond into balance after its use.
Need help finding that balance? Give us a call! 303-775-0224
Backyard Pond - Make it a place to enjoy!
Add a sitting rock to your pond! Sitting rocks add interest to the landscape. A beautiful boulder can also be a great place to sit, especially when you have children (or grandchildren) who love the pond. Flowers, plants and even a bench are great additions to a backyard oasis. Part of the fun is sitting next to the pond reading, sunbathing, napping or having a picnic, while the children explore the pond!
When there are lily-pads, flowers and plants at your pond, the dragon flies, frogs, butterflies and bees will visit too. The pond in your yard is its own ecosystem and is a great way to get children out into nature without having to drive far away to do it. The rocks, water and fish intrigue kids and they will want to explore. Grab yourself a lemonade and a book and relax in the shade while the children explore the nature in your backyard and don't be surprised if small hands holding a frog are suddenly causing squeals of joy!
Ready to expand or add on to your existing pond? Contact us to get on the schedule! Just click HERE!
What should you do if you think your pond or waterfeature is leaking?pond or waterfeature is leaking
There are a variety or reasons a pond or waterfall might be leaking. It could be something simple like liner that has been pushed down or a plant that in just the right spot to cause water to flow out of the system. It could be something more serious like a hole in the liner or a cracked pipe. To figure it out, you'll need to start by taking the steps listed below.
- Turn off your pump (you may just have to unplug it).
- Measure the level of the water. We find the easiest way to do that is to measure from the top of the skimmer opening to the water.
- Leave the pump off over night. (your fish should be find for 12 to 24 hours, and if you have an aerator you could run, even better!)
- Measure the level of the water again.
Have you lost water? If so, you may have a leak in your pond. If not....do a waterfall leak test.
- Turn the pump back on.
- Measure the level of the water. We find the easiest way to do that is to measure from the top of the skimmer opening to the water.
- Measure the level of the water in the morning.
Have you lost water? If so, you have a leak in the waterfall portion of your system.
Need help repairing locating and fixing the leak? Call or Contact us! 303-775-0224
Ponds and waterfeatures can be added to large or small backyards. The most basic of spaces can be transformed into a place that beckons you to sit down and take a load off! Bring tranquility into your own back yard whether its for calming the rush of the day or bringing over friends to entertain, you can't go wrong with a backyard waterfeature. Check out our gallery for ideas!
How Does Rain Affect My Pond?
In Colorado, we have more sunny days than rainy ones. After a thunderstorm you may notice your pond greening up. Here are 3 ways rain affects ponds: Does Rain Affect My Pond?
1. Runoff: Fertilizer and Pesticides
If you've recently added fertilizer to your lawn (which is made of ammonia and phosphorus) or used pesticide nearby, it may run off into the pond which can cause an algae bloom or even harm fish. When a pond is at the lowest point in the yard, it is open to problems from runoff. When planning pond placement, make sure it is not at the lowest point. If it already is, refrain from using chemical fertilizers. You may want to add some detoxifier for the health of your fish and do a partial water change if you believe fertilizer or pesticide has been washed into the pond.
2. The Secret Ingredient: Lightning
Amazingly, lightning separates molecules creating nitrogen. That nitrogen dissolves in the moisture in the clouds and in turn, rains down! Nitrogen is the key component in fertilizer. During a lightning storm it is literally raining down fertilizer! Ever notice how green the grass is right after a thunder storm? Its not just from the water, but from the nitrates (fertilizer) the lightning produces.
Basically: Lightning increases nitrates. Nitrates feed the algae.
To counteract this influx of nutrients, give your pond an extra dose of beneficial bacteria soon after the storm passes. You may want to do this every 3 days for about a week, then back off to every week.
3. The Balance has been thrown off
Ponds are ecosystems within themselves. When they receive a lot of rain water, it can affect the balance of that ecosystem. Make sure you keep the waterfall running, to keep it aerated. Give it an extra dose of beneficial bacteria right after a rain storm and then again in 3 days. Re-establishing the balance in the system with beneficial bacteria is the way to keep algae blooms at bay.
One question we get frequently is, "What are the average koi pond prices in Colorado Springs?" The short answer is, "It depends." Just like when shopping for many other items, there are base costs and then upgrades, which can in many cases increase the price quite a bit.
When shopping for a pond contractor service in the Colorado Springs area we suggest you do your homework and make sure you are hiring a true pond contractor. many landscape companies claim to build koi ponds and other types of water features, but often are not qualified. Think of a koi pond contractor like a specialist. Would you want your General Practitioner doing your knee surgery? Probably not!
Koi Pond Prices
A basic sized fish pond would be about 7' x 10' and about 18 inches deep (max depth). If it’s constructed with the necessary components (mechanical & biological filters), rocks, aquatic plants and fish the cost is probably in the range of $7-$10,000. You can easily increase that price to $12-$15,000 if you want to add things like:
- Fish Caves
- Algae Control System
- A longer Stream
- or Lights
Colorado Pond Pros has built several hundred ponds over the past 16 years in the Colorado Springs, Longmont and Denver areas.
Smaller Koi Pond Prices
Not ready to spend $8-$15,000 on your koi pond? That's ok! We can also install smaller water features that fit your budget. Some of our smaller features, like Spillway Bowls or Bubbling Rocks start at only $3-$4,000 and are a great way to introduce your family to the water gardening lifestyle!
When you're ready to build your koi pond in the Colorado Springs area (or anywhere along the Front Range) please reach out to Colorado Pond Pros!
Count yourself lucky when you see a dragonfly at your pond! Dragonflies are attracted to healthy ecosystems. They eat mosquitoes and other insects. Dragonfly larvae are referred to as nymphs. Larger fish may find the nymphs to be a tasty treat! Dragonflies offer a variety of color and interesting looks.
Add a pond to your backyard and enjoy the serenity of nature in your own space. Water enhances the environment for everyone! Dragonflies hover toward the end of the day....the perfect time to sit back with some lemonade next to the pond!
Does my pond need a cleanout?
Balanced ponds may need to be cleaned out every couple of years. Ponds that struggle with balance may need annual cleanouts. Take a look at your pond.
◊ Is the water brown, black or unclear?
◊ Do you see muck or sludge on the bottom of the pond?
◊ Is your pump struggling to work because of excess debris around it?
Ponds are ecosystems. When they are in balance, the water should be clear. There may be a touch of algae here or there, but not excessively. When the water looks good, the plants and fish are thriving you still might need to have the gunk cleaned out. Ponds in Colorado need to run all yearlong to help clean the water clean. Leaving the water stagnate over the winter can breed slimy composted sludge that has to be cleaned out in the Spring. Learn more about ponds in our Ponds 101. Wondering if your pond needs a good cleanout? Contact us and text us over some pictures - we'll help you figure out if a cleanout is right for your pond.
What exactly is a pond cleanout?
When we perform a pond cleanout we:
- Remove the water from the pond
- Safely transfer the fish into a portable pond that we bring.
- Pressure wash every surface of the water feature including streams and waterfalls.
- Clean out equipment like skimmers, biofalls and canister filters.
- Check all equipment for proper operation.
- Check for any lights that may need to be repalced.
- Remove the gunk from the pond.
- Cut back plant material as needed.
- Fertilize lilies.
- Put clean water into the pond.
- Add water treatments to establish a healthy ecosystem balance and to protect the health of the fish.
- Replace any rocks that may have been disturbed during the cleanout.
- Return fish to the pond.
- Consult you about the on going maintenance of the pond so that it will be beautiful all year long!