pond

Pond Liner Hole – Could it be chewed through?

Have you found a pond liner hole?  Pond liners may last for decades if they are properly put in with good underlayment.  If it isn't exposed to the harsh rays of the sun and weather and isn't allowed to get dry for expended periods of time the pond liner should last a very long time.

If you've done some investigating you might have found a hole.  When the hole more than a puncture, and is a roundish hole, take a closer look. A hole 1 to 12 inches from the edge of the pond may be from a rodent.  Check for chew marks.  When there is a round piece missing from about the size of a quarter to a bit bigger, the evidence suggests you may have a vole or other rodent chewing on the liner!

Next Steps When you Believe you have a rodent chewing the pond liner.

  • Identify all holes present
  • Patch the holes you've found
  • Fill the pond back up without running the waterfall and see if it holds water over 24 hours.

If the problem persists you may have to call an exterminator.  Another option is to reline your pond completely and use extra tough geo-fencing that rodents can't chew through.

 

Heat can Green up a Garden Pond!

Are you seeing green cloudiness in your garden pond?  Here in Colorado we have had days on end of over 90° and several that hit 100°!  Heat can green up a garden pond!  Here's 8 things to know about the heat and keeping your pond healthy:

 

1. Oxygen

Did you know that cold water can hold more dissolved oxygen that warm water can?  That means that when the outside air temperature increases, it is more important that the pond have good aeration.  Waterfalls and aerators help provide oxygen.  Lack of oxygen can lead to slimy algae!

 

2.  Circulation

Do you notice certain parts of the pond get more algae on the rocks or the water just doesn't seem to move?  That is a great place to add are aerator.  Not only does it get more oxygen to the pond, but it is going to move that water.

 

3.  Water temperature

Did you know that although koi can be healthy in water from 35° to 85°, the ideal temperature is between 65° and 75°? When the weather really heats up you may notice your fish spending more time at the bottom of the pond.  It's cooler there at the sun heats the top of the water.

 

4.  Plants

Plants provide shade that can help keep the pond cool in the hot weather.  Lilies, once they are established, are great for added shade.  Submerged plants also add oxygen to the water.  Floaters like water lettuce and water hyacinth are fantastic for filtration!  If you have trouble with them floating into the skimmer tie some fishing line aroudn the roots and tie it in a circle. Then tie another piece of it around a rock (attaching it to the plant circle of fishing line) and put it where ever you like! Lettuce and hyacinth propagate like crazy, but don't worry, here in Colorado they aren't a nuisance because once a freeze comes they will die.

 

5.  Sunburned fish?

Did you know that if fish don't have somewhere to get out of the sun they can actually get a sunburn?  YES!  You might not be able to see it, but it can kill them.  Most fish don't get sunburned because they live in water deep enough that the sun's rays can't hurt them.  But if you have a more shallow pond, you might need to consider adding shade. If you don't have a shade tree or lots of lilies, try putting in a fish cave or adding a shade cloth over the pond that shades 1/2 the pond.  You can even take a bucket or trash can and cut it in half lengthwise and putting a rock on top to weight it down to create a shady place for fish.  Make it look good by covering it with rock.

 

6.  Not too much fish food!

Feed your fish in the morning, rather than the heat of the afternoon.  Overfeeding fish is a major cause of algae.  In warmer weather, uneaten fish food decays faster and can be fodder for algae.  Remember to feed fish only what they can eat in a few minutes.

 

7.  Exposed Liner

Make sure you don't have any liner exposed.  The sun and heat can make it brittle, leading to leaks!

 

8.  Evaporation

No matter the size of the pond, 2 to 3 inches of evaporation a week is normal.  If you have an autofill that is attached to your sprinkler system, it will be brought up tot he correct level each time that zone comes on.  If you are turning off the sprinkler system for repairs, make sure you don't forget about the pond.  Either leave that zone on, or be prepared to fill it up by hand.

Want to read more about pond health?  Click HERE for more topics.

 

8 Tips for Keeping Heron out of your Pond

Heron are beautiful, but they can be a pest at your pond!  They can eat fish, frogs,  and even squirrels!    If you find a fish missing with no trace what so ever...you may have a heron. Here are some tips for keeping heron out of your pond.

What to do?

  • Scarecrow - You might try a "scarecrow", a motion activated sprinkler that should blast the heron with water when he walks up.  However, they can be persistent and once they figure out that it won't hurt them, they don't mind it.
  • Decoy -Another option is a heron decoy.  They do figure out that they are not a real bird though.
  • Fishing line -Sometimes fishing line tied tautly around the edges of the pond help.  They can't see it and it startles them when their leg hits it.
  • Hiding Places - One of the best ways to help your fish avoid the long and pointy beak of the heron is to provide them coverage.  Lilies, floating plants and a fish cave all provide places for the fish to hide and make it harder for a heron to see the fish.
  • Talk radio - Heron also won't come around when there are people nearby.  Leaving a radio on a talk station can help deter them.
  • Dogs - Dogs are an excellent deterrent for heron!  If it works to leave Fluffy out in the yard, he will keep that heron away!
  • Netting - Putting a netting tautly over the pond will keep bird out.  You won't have to leave it on forever, but it may take a while for heron to get the message!
  • Trees - Plant some trees and put some bushes on the side of the pond that faces open space.  Heron need a minimum of about 6 feet to land in.  An open space with out trees makes a great landing strip which allows them to walk up carefully to the pond for a snack.  Ponds with trees around it have less trouble with heron.

A combination of some of these will help keep your fish safe!

Find more pond topics HERE. 

Pond Foam

Pond Foam

4 Causes of Pond Foam

There are several potential things that could be causing this this white foamy stuff.  If it's green, it's algae!

  1.  Organic Material - The most common cause of foam build up is organic material in the pond.  Organic material build up is leaves, uneaten fish food, gunk or even a dead fish!  These things may not have dissolved into the water and can cause foam. Removing them is a good start to get rid of foam!  Make sure you are not feeding the fish too much.  THey should be able to eat what you give them within a few minutes.  Remember they can munch on algae and bugs too, so feeding them everyday is not mandatory. Adding Foam Free by Aquascape can help, but to really get your pond in balance, add beneficial bacteria on a regular basis.  If this is a consistent problem, you may want to check with a professional to see if you have the right filtration.
  2. New Liner - If you have recently had the pond or stream installed or relined, it could be the off gassing of the liner.  This will dissipate in a few days.
  3. Spawning Fish - If your pond is the perfect environment for fish.....they might be feeling a bit frisky.  This spawning can cause large amounts of foam.  Don't add products in the pond at this point.  You'll need to wait until they stop spawning.  Did you know the babies are called "fry"?
  4. Soap - Once in a while someone puts soap in a pond.  This gets crazy nuts with bubbles.  If this happens, you'll need to do a water change right away!

Want to learn more about keeping your pond in balance?  Click HERE! Scroll to the bottom to use the search function to find a variety of topics you may be looking for!

get the pond clean!

Pond Cleanout -Before and After

Pond Cleanout - Before and After pictures are a great way to see the difference.

Are you wondering how much a difference a pond cleanout makes?  They say a picture is worth 1000 words!

Ponds are small ecosystems within themselves.  We strive to create a balanced ecosystem.  When we do a cleanout we:

  • Remove any fish and put them in a portable pond that we bring
  • Remove water from pond
  • Pressure wash waterfall, stream, and pond
  • Remove all debris
  • Clean skimmer and biofalls
  • Cut back plants as requested
  • Fertilize water lilies
  • Divide lilies if they need it
  • Check for proper operation of all equipment
  • Re-stack disturbed rocks
  • Refill pond
  • Treat water with beneficial bacteria and detoxifier (for the safety of the fish)

Care of a pond after a cleanout

Please keep in mind that after a cleanout beneficial bacteria needs to be added 2 days afterwards and again in another 2 days. We add some before we leave.   After that it will need to be added weekly.  Beneficial Bacteria is an important part of a pond’s ecosystem and keeps it from getting green!  

If your pond develops an algae bloom or becomes green and cloudy at some point after a cleanout, it does not mean that the cleanout wasn't done well.  It simply means the pond is not in balance yet. Give us a call to discuss how to get your pond in balance or refer to the paperwork our pond technicians left with you.

Please remember that the use of algaecide can also disrupt the balance of a pond.  It removes oxygen so that the algae dies, but it also kills beneficial bacteria and can even kill fish.  It makes establishing a balanced eco system difficult! Check out more information about algaecide HERE.

Leaks or fish loss

Colorado Pond Pros has years of experience cleaning ponds. We treat your waterfeature as if it were our own!  Technicians must walk in, near and around waterfeatures when cleaning or other work is being done.  It is unavoidable!  That being said, if we did not install your pond we cannot control the quality or manner of the installation of the lining or underlayment, the age of the pond, the quality of the existing electrical wiring, or the health / condition of fish before we arrive.  We cannot be held liable for fish loss or leaks due to these conditions beyond our control.

 

Putting New Fish in a Pond

Follow these guidelines to safely transfer fish:

Floating in bags:
  1.  Float the fish in the bag they came in in the pond for 30 minutes.
    1. 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!
  2. Never touch a fish with a dry hand!  It can hurt their scales.
  3. 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.
    1. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Do not use a net, just gently remove the bag form the fish so they can swim into the water.
  6. 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.
Want more?

Learn more about how pond ecosystems work and other topics HERE.

7 Factors of Pond Evaporation

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.  It is very important that the water level is topped off, whether by your autofill or by hand to keep your pond healthy.

2. Heat

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.

4. Shade

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.

5. Plants

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!

6. Wind

Wind is the worst when it comes to water evaporation!  When it is windy you may see a daily difference in water loss.

7. Leaking

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.

ALGAECIDE – BEWARE – USES AND CAUTIONS

Algae

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

explore the pond

Add a Sitting Rock and explore the Pond!

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!

Explore

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!

Expand

Ready to expand or add on to your existing pond?  Contact us to get on the schedule!  Just click HERE!

pond or waterfeature leaking

Pond Leak

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. 

  1. Turn off your pump (you may just have to unplug it).
  2. 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.
  3. 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!)
  4. 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.
  1. Turn the pump back on.
  2. 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.
  3. 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