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Q: When I choose a site for my pond how much sun should it get?

A: Ponds should receive about a half day of sunlight. Too much sunlight can cause a persistent algae problem, and too little sun can prevent water plant growth.

Q: Do I need a filter for my pond?

A: If you are going to have fish it is generally a good idea to have a filtration system in place. Filters help to maintain good water clarity, and remove harmful ammonia and nitrates which accumulate due to fish wastes. If you are not planning on having fish, a filter may not be necessary, but they do make it easier to keep your water clear.

Q: What do UV sterilizers do for a pond?

A: Ultra Violet sterilizers expose your pond water to ultra violet light as the water is passed through the sterilizer, killing bacteria and algae in your water.

Q: My pond water is clear, but I have stringy or solid masses of algae on the sides and floating in my pond. What can I do to get rid of it?

A: String algae can be controlled with a magnet system, which we carry at Tall Timbers, however this will not eliminate current masses only future ones, you must first remove the existing algae by hand. Algae which is found on rocks and on liners can only be removed by scrubbing, and in reality it is better to leave this algae there. A pond looks more natural with some algae, and fish use it as a food source.

Q: When should I start and stop feeding my fish?

A: In the spring when the water temperature rises above 50 degrees Fahrenheit you should begin feeding your fish. In fall when the temperature drops below 50 degrees you should stop feeding.

Q: I have Koi, should I be feeding them any special type of food?

A: Koi can eat normal fish food, however there are special foods developed to promote color and growth in Koi, which are especially beneficial to them.

Q: Should I fertilize my water plants?

A: Yes, water plants are often kept in containers and need the added nutrients provided by fertilizers.

Q: My water lilies will not bloom, what 's wrong with them?

A: There may be any one of several problems. Not enough fertilization can result in lilies not blooming. Lilies bloom especially well when fertilized. A second common cause is placing lilies too close to moving water. Lilies prefer calm water. Try moving the lilies as far away from your waterfall or fountain as possible. Also the lilies may be too deep in the water, try placing them on some brick to bring them closer to the surface.

Q: My pond level has dropped several inches in the past couple of days, does this mean my liner has a hole in it?

A: The answer is almost always NO. Some of the most common reasons for a rapidly dropping water level are:

1. Water from your waterfall is running behind or away from your liner. Make sure your liner covers your entire waterfall.

2. There is a leak in your filter. Check to make sure you have tightened all of your seals and fittings properly.

3. During periods of high winds, or in a very windy location, water can be blown from your waterfall or fountain out of the pond.

Q. How do I know what size Liner and Underlayment to buy?
A. (maximum depth x 2) + maximum length + 3 feet = Liner Length
    (maximum depth x 2) + maximum width + 3 feet = Liner Width

Q. How do I know how many gallons my pond holds?
A. Use a flow meter when filling the pond for the most accurate volume determination. If a flow meter is not used    follow the formulas below. Use the average measurement in feet.

Rectangular pond or filter: length x width x depth x 7.5 = gallons
Round pond or filter: 3.14 x r (squared) x depth x 7.5 = gallons (squared = half pond diameter times itself)
Natural ponds: length x width x .8 x depth x 7.5 = gallons(.8 compensates for lack of corners, use .85 for ponds 400+ ft squared)

Q. How do I know what size piping to use?
A. Undersized pipe restricts optimum pump flow. Pipe size is determined by the maximum gallons per hour capacity of the pump at 0' head pressure. Use this chart to select the correct pipe size for your pump's gph. For every 25' of pipe run increase pipe size by another ".

Pump gph PVC
<200 "
200-500 1 "
500-1000 1"
1000-2500 1 "
2500-4000 2"
5000-9000 3"

Q. What size pump should I use?
A. Select a pump that can turn the total gallons of water over every hour after compensating for head pressure. To help ensure proper flow rate buy the next size up from what your calculations indicate and use a control valve to restrict flow to the desired rate.

Q. Will I be able to adjust the sound and volume of water in my waterfall?
A. You will be able to adjust your volume of water if you put a T-Valve on your piping.

Q. How much of the surface of the water should be covered with plants?
A. One mature lily per 15-20 square feet of surface area. If fish are present cover no more than 70% of the total pond surface area with plants and have no more than one, 1 gallon pot of Oxygenators per 500 gallons.

Q. What kind of trees are best to plant close to the pond? What kind of trees should I avoid?
A. Japanese Lace leaf are one of the best trees to put because they look pretty and there are not as many leaves to contend with that fall into your pond. Any trees that are going to have a lot of debris because this can cause your filter and pond to clog up.

Q. Is there a rule of thumb for fish per cubic feet of pond?
A. 10 sq.ft. of surface area per adult Koi or 2 sq.ft. per adult goldfish.

Q. How do I know how much my electric bill will rise?
A. Use caution in selecting a pump. Inexpensive pumps often consume far more electricity and, in the long run, cost far more than purchasing a superior pump. Most electrical equipment specifies amperage (amps) on the label. If not, the amps can be calculated by dividing the watts by the volts.

The current national average is ~$7.50 per amp, per month for continual operation at 110 volts ($15 at 220 volts). A continuously operating 300 watt electrical unit (running on 110 volts) would cost $20.45 per month to run (300w 110v = 2.72 amps x $7.50 = $20.45 per month).

Q: Will water lilies grow in colder climates?

A: Yes, the hardy water lily is everything its name suggests. These perennials live for years in the coldest climates. The plant goes dormant during the winter months, but as long as the tuber is below the ice line it will bloom again the following spring.

Tropical water lilies, which come in day-blooming or night-blooming varieties, have taller blossoms in a wider range of colors than hardy water lilies. They often live year after year in mild climates and are treated as annuals where the winters are cold.

Q: How do I keep my pond from turning green with algae?

A: William C. Uber, author of Water Gardening Basics, has this to say, "Don't become alarmed at the sight of green water (algae) in your pond. Algae, simple forms of plant life, naturally occur wherever water and light exist." He goes on to explain that ponds containing natural life--plants and fish--are not meant to be as crystal clear as a swimming pool. Setup chemicals, which may be ordered through Water Visions catalog, will help your pond become established.

Q: I'd like to start a tub garden. Do I need a special type of container?

A: No. Half the fun of starting a tub garden is experimenting with different containers, plants and fish. Today's popular containers include ceramic pots, wooden tubs, wheel barrows, horse troughs, and old-fashioned bathtubs.

Q: How difficult is it for the do-it-yourself homeowner to construct a water fountain or waterfall?

A: During this era of "cocooning" in our homes, many homeowners have discovered the ease of integrating fountains or waterfalls into their overall landscaping designs. Even small yards and patios can usually accommodate small fountains.

You can create a fountain with or without an existing pond. Almost any water-holding container will accommodate the required essentials. However, your container width should be approximately twice the height of a single spout fountain jet.

Waterfalls come in all sizes and shapes. And, according to aquatic consultant Bill Uber, fountains and waterfalls should not be constructed as lifetime, permanent fixtures. "When constructed as an addition to the pond, fountains and waterfalls are two features that can be updated, changed, or remodeled at some later date," he says.

Q: How important are fish in a water garden?

A: Fish are one of the components in balancing a successful water garden. Fish also add color and movement; they bring your pond alive. Fish help the ecological balance of water gardens by acting as pond gardeners. They trim excess foliage and eat algae, mosquito larvae, aphids, flies and other insects. Koi are the most popular pond fish. They are intelligent, hardy, responsive to humans and come in a beautiful array of colors.


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