Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Water Gardening Tips

Filter Systems:

There are two types of biological filter systems. In the water and above ground. The in the water systems are good for smaller ponds. The pump and filter system sit in the bottom of the pond. These systems are relatively inexpensive, the down side is that when the filter needs to be cleaned (on a regular basis, at least bi-weekly) you are getting wet.

The above ground systems are more expensive, however, once installed they are easier to maintain and are good for larger ponds and ponds with waterfalls. These pumps are generally stronger than the submersible type and can push more water. The filters are easier to change and clean.

When cleaning your filter system, whether above ground or in the pond, Never clean the entire filter system at one time. There are usually more than one filter pad or chamber of filter medium. Clean half at a time. You want to keep a supply of beneficial bacteria in the filter system. The beneficial bacteria helps to filter our things like chlorine and waste. It will also keep the algae at bay.

Having Fish:

If you want to have fish in your pond, it should be 24' - 30" deep at the center so the fish can be wintered over. It also provides a cool spot for fish in the summer. A biological filter is also a must. Start with small, inexpensive fish. The fish will grow to fit the size of the pond, and you are bound to lose a few from time to time. Unless you are an experienced water gardener, I would not recommend spending $80.00 on a special Koi. Koi are beautiful, but they are also dirty fish. They excrete more waste than a regular goldfish.

Caring for your fish: Before you put any fish in your pond, neutralize the chlorine from the water. Fish hate chlorine! I recommend letting the pond settle for a few weeks and let the filter system grow a little beneficial bacteria before adding fish. When you do add fish, let the fish acclimate to the water temperature for at least one hour before cutting open the bags and pouring them into the pond. This way the fish can change temperature slowly and reduce the chance of shock. A dose of stress coat in the water will help reduce stress. This will coat the fish and reduce stress. The other deadly problem for fish is high Nitrates. Doing some reading about water chemistry in ponds will go a long way.

Pond plants are also great for the pond. They provide a source of shade and food for the fish. There are floating plants, such as Water Lettuce, Water Hyacinth, Anacharis and Water lillies. There are also bog plants. These grow in special pots and sit in the ledges of the pond, such as Iris, Cannas and Cat Tails. There are dozens of different types of pond plants.This will add aesthetic beauty to the pond. It will also create a habitat for frogs and turtles.

I know this sounds like a lot of work, but really its just a lot of info. Once you get your pond installed and balanced, it will be a joy. Put a bench near the pond so you can sit, relax and enjoy the serenity of a pond in your own backyard.

There are many ready to install pond kits available that will make building a pond quick and easier then you can imagine. You can find a series of sizes to meet your specific needs at most Garden Centers.

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