Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Protect your Pond with Wintertime Maintenance

Although your pond is dormant during the winter months, it’s still important to keep up with routine maintenance. Try these simple pond winterization maintenance activities to save yourself time and money come springtime.

Let Light In

After you shovel your driveway to clear the snow away, get started on the pond. Keeping snow off of the ponds surface can be an important part of winter maintenance. Although your pond is dormant during the winter, there are microscopic aquatic plants that will continue producing oxygen as long as light penetrates the ice. Removing snow to allow light shine onto the pond can be an important step in keeping fish alive during the winter months.

Prepare for the Worst

Winter storms can sometimes result in power outages. Make sure you are prepared to keep de-icers and aerators powered if there is no electricity. If you’ve invested a lot in your pond, and are concerned for the safety of your fish, you may want to invest in a generator for your pond.

If you can, turn off pond pumps and filters in the winter. If a power outage does occur and you are not able to remove water from the filter and pumps, it may freeze, causing major damage.

Minimize Circulation 

If you decide to keep your pump running during the winter months, you will want to minimize the water circulation. During the cold season, even if the top of your pond is frozen, the bottom likely won’t be frozen and will remain around 39 degrees. If you keep the pump running at high circulation, you may actually circulate the frozen water, creating super chilled water.

Some ways to reduce circulation are:
  • Turn off bottom drains, if possible
  • Place intakes to pumps and filters at mid-water
  • Place intakes closer to waterfalls or fountains
  • Turn off Surface Skimmers
  • Turn your pump down to a lower speed

 If you run into trouble this winter with your pond, or have questions about winter maintenance, contact us for answers. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Keep Your Pond Safe This Winter | Pondliner Blog

Keep Your Pond Safe This Winter

The holidays have passed, which means the snow and ice have officially arrived, marking the start of winter. If keeping up with pond maintenance through the winter is on your New Year’s resolution list, read below to find the most important winter care techniques you should be using.

An Ice-Free Pond 

If you live in an area where ice is inevitable during winter, it’s important to keep an area of your pond free of ice. This is especially crucial for ponds with fish. Keeping an area open allows for proper gas exchange. Even though your pond is dormant during the winter, your fish still release waste products and use oxygen. If there is no opening from ice at the ponds surface, the harmful gases remain trapped and the oxygen supply will be depleted, leaving your fish in a dangerous environment.

How to Use It

There are several safe ways to open a frozen pond’s surface. One way you should never use is physical force, as fish are sensitive to vibrations, and hitting the surface can stun or injure them. The best method is a pond de-icer, which is designed specifically to maintain an opening in the ice. Keep in mind that a de-icer won’t raise the temperature of the water in your pond, it will just keep a small space free of ice.

The best spot to use your de-icer is in the shallowest part of the pond. If you find it’s not keeping the ice open, try to block the area from wind. Some pond owners place a sheet of plywood directly over the small corner.

Other Options

An aerator or pond pump is another option to keep an opening in the ice and could be more affordable than a de-icer. It may be a better choice for milder weather where the ice isn’t as consistent, though, as the placement of an aerator can be troublesome. If you place it too close to the surface, it can just freeze in place, but if you place it too deep, it could actually chill the pond.

An air pump is also an option, but it has the same limitations as an air pump in terms of placement. You should firmly mount a submersible water pump over the deepest part of the pond, but be sure to keep it far from the bottom.

If you go with an aerator or water pump, be sure to monitor it frequently so they don’t freeze or dry up.

Shop for all your winter pond supplies from Pondliner.com to ensure you have everything you need to keep your pond safe this winter.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Shine Some Light on Your Backyard Pond

While you might think pond lights are just for decoration, they can actually serve a greater purpose in your backyard.

Usually, people who invest in pond lights and spotlights are hoping to add a focal point to their backyard pond.

In the evenings when it gets dark, it’s still important to let your pond act as the center of attention. You invested a ton of your time and money into creating your dream backyard water garden, so you should definitely want to show it off!

Floating pond lights and underwater lights are often used for this purpose. They can create an attractive feature that personalizes a backyard pond while also adding color, pattern and light. By using a combination of different light sources, you can illuminate your pond and your water features.

However, pond lights are actually more useful than you may think. They offer a layer of protection to your guests and your pond. It’s important that everyone in your backyard is aware of where your pond is and maintains a safe distance. Pond lights help keep your guests and your pond safe and sound. 

The lights can also help to keep unwanted visitors from attacking the fish in your pond. Animals will be less likely to try to get too close to your pond if it is well lit. 

What types of pond lights are available? You can choose between a wide variety of above-water and underwater pond lights:

·         LED pond lights
·         Fiber optic pond lights
·         Mini pond lights
·         Brass pond lights
·         Waterfall lights
·         Egglites
·         And more!

Nighttime is one of the best times to enjoy your backyard pond. Make sure it looks its best with the right combination of above-water and underwater pond lights for your backyard.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Troubleshooting Your Pond Pump

A sudden freeze hits your backyard pond, cracking your old submersible pond pump. This is not uncommon when you have an older unit that has been in your pond for several years. But, the after-effects can sometimes seem catastrophic for your pond.

So, how can you find these types of issues before it’s too late? 

If you are noticing problems with your pond pump, you might want to consider troubleshooting. Ensuring your submersible pond pump is actually broken before you replace it will help save you money and a lot of labor.

Some things to try when troubleshooting your backyard pond pump:

1.    Check the circuit breaker on your electrical panel that supplies the power to your pump. Try resetting the power or switching between “on” and “off” positions to see if this corrects any issues.

2.    If your submersible pond pump is plugged into a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter outlet, you can test the breakers to see if there is an issue. Unplug your pump and press the reset button on your GFCI. Then, plug your pond pump back in and see if this solves your issue.

3.    Completely unplug your pump and test the water level. If it has dropped to expose too much of the pump housing it could have tripped the thermal protection device. Refill your pond and wait for your pond pump to cool down. After some time, plug it back in and see if this corrects your issue.

If you can’t seem to find out what is wrong with your pond pump, it’s probably a good time to start shopping for a new submersible pond pump. 

Always choose a magnetic drive pond pump or one that does not use oil, especially if you have fish. This will ensure that if something ever does happen, you will not be left with an entirely contaminated backyard pond. 

It’s always better to keep your pond in proper working order than worry about trying to fix a broken pump by yourself. If you have any questions, contact us at Pondliner.com and we will troubleshoot with you!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Plan Your Pond Facelift

Fall is the perfect time of year to start planning updates for your pond. Not only does it give you plenty of time to make a well thought out plan, but it’s also right around the holiday season when you can start asking for some of your necessary pond supplies as holiday gifts!

So, how can you update your existing pond to make it even more enjoyable?

If you’re getting a little bored with your backyard pond there are a variety of ways you can update it to provide new excitement. The most popular choice for updating a pond would be to add some sort of water feature.

Water Features

Water features are a great way to personalize your pond and turn it into the focal point in your backyard. Some of the common choices for water features include:

  • Waterfall
  • Pond fountains
  • Floating pond fountains
  • Birdbaths
  • And more!

When you choose to add a water feature to your backyard pond, you can completely customize it. Whether you choose to have a gushing geyser, gentle waterfall or charming birdbath is completely up to you.

Koi & Goldfish

Another way to update your water garden is to consider adding fish. If your pond doesn’t currently have fish, it’s an easy addition you can make that will add new interest and life to your backyard.

Some of the common koi and goldfish you can add to your backyard pond include:

  • Decorative koi fish
  • Butterfly koi fish
  • Goldfish

Looking for other ways to change the look of your boring backyard pond? Consider adding pond lights, new water plants or even new decorative features.

Make it easy on your family and friends this holiday season. Tell them you want to update the look of your backyard pond with new pond supplies and features from Pondliner.com.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What Do Fish Do All Winter? How Do They Survive?

Feeling a little uneasy about leaving your fish in your backyard pond or water garden this winter? It’s common to feel a little guilty about leaving your fish exposed to frigid temperatures and harsh weather conditions.

Believe it or not, your fish are actually designed for winter dormancy.

If your pond is at least 30 inches deep, your fish can survive the winter weather. What will your fish do all winter in your backyard pond? Not much. A fish slows its metabolism down during the winter months, going into a state of hibernation. This means, your fish won’t really be swimming around or even eating.

A fish can easily survive during winter months without food and without the warm weather. However, in order to survive, there needs to be at least one open area on the pond surface that is not covered by ice. Your fish will need this in order to continue “breathing” under water.

The best way to ensure your fish are safe in your water garden during winter is to invest in a quality pond heater. A heater can help keep the surface of your pond from freezing over completely.

Another option is an aerator,  which can serve a similar purpose to the pond pump, but is a more affordable option if your area doesn’t often get freezing temperatures during winter. You could also use backyard pond pumps to keep the water on the surface of your pond circulating to prevent freezing.

So, you can rest assured with proper pond winterization your fish will be safe and sound all winter long. 

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Top Five Fall Backyard Pond Purchases

Winter is a time for dormancy for your water garden, but the affects the weather has can be dangerous for the life within your pond.

Luckily, there are ways to protect your pond from the adverse weather winter brings, so in spring your pond will jump back and be better prepared for your enjoyment.

What are some of the purchases you need to make when fall approaches? Use our guide below to help you purchase what you will need to prep your backyard pond for winter:
  1. Leaf netting – After you work hard to clean your pond and prepare it for winter, make sure no other debris accumulates in it by using leaf netting.
  2. Pond heater – A pond heater or de-icer will help prevent the top of your pond from freezing. This is especially important if you have fish hibernating in your pond during the winter months.
  3.  Heated water hose – A heated water hose is important if your area experiences freezing weather during winter. This hose can melt ice and regain its flexibility.
  4. Aeration kit – This can help release toxic gases and replenish the fresh oxygen in your pond during the freezing months of winter.

While you can purchase all of these essentials separately, it might make sense to purchase everything in one easy to use pond winterization kit. Not only will this save you money, but it will ensure that you have absolutely everything you will need to keep your pond healthy during the winter season.

Pond winterization kits may differ, but try to find one that includes a heated de-icer, pond netting, aeration kit as well as wheat germ food sticks and spirulina. Purchasing this kit all at once will save you time and money in the future.

Shop for all your winter pond supplies from Pondliner.com to ensure you have everything you need to prep your pond for winter dormancy.