Q: When I choose a site for my pond how much sun should it
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
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
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
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
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
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
(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
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
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 ½".
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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