905-715-2447 Winter Hours: Call for Appointment 2474 Line 9, Bradford, ON Canada

FAQ’S For Ponds

Pond FAQ's  (Frequently Asked Questions)

Answers to some of the most common FAQ's we receive about ponds
Pond FAQ's

What do I do if my pond turns green?

Green water in a pond is caused by microscopic free floating algae, it is normal in a new pond, and it can regularly occur in established ponds in the spring, before your plants begin to grow and provide shade. Prolonged green water is a cause for concern may be a sign of an unbalanced pond ( too many fish, too much organic sludge on the bottom , not enough plants) and action should be taken to eliminate the problem before it becomes more serious. See our advice pages on How to Eliminate Green Water, Algae Control For Ponds or Clear Water Plants, for more information and products that will help you eliminate this problem

Do I need to test water quality in my pond?

Testing water quality in your pond is the only reliable way to ensure your fish remain healthy. Good water quality = healthy fish, poor water quality = unhealthy even dying fish. The key parameters to test for are Ammonia, Nitrite, pH and Alkalinity. Overcrowding, too few plants or even spawning can cause poor water quality and should be dealt with immediately. We have several Test Kits to choose from

Do I need a filter for my pond?

If you plan on having fish in your pond, filtration is essential to provide proper water quality and clarity and a pond that is healthy. Filters do not have to be expensive, however, good quality filters are often more easy to clean and save maintenance time and effeort. Just remember to properly size your pump and filter according to the size of your pond. See our advice pages on Filtration and How to Select a Pond Pump for more information and products.

What size pump do I need for my pond?

Your pump is a very important piece of equipment because it provides oxygen and circulation in the pond, and supplies water to your filter. Your pump and filter work together to help provide a healthy ecosystem for fish and should be sized according to the volume of your pond. The pumps should be large enough to circulate the volume of your pond a minimum of once every two hours (ideally once every hour or more). For example, a 2000 gallon pond would require at least a 1000 GPH pump (ideally a 2000 GPH pump). However, many people have much larger pumps than required in order to create the desired effect for a large waterfall. It is hard to have too large a pump for a pond. See our advice page on How to Select a Pond Pump for more information and products.

How do I get rid of string algae?

There are actually many different kinds of string algae and they occurs in almost every pond in varying amounts. String algae in small amounts is normal and in fact, is quite beneficial because it helps improve water quality and clarity. Sometimes it does grow out of control and becomes unsightly on waterfalls or around the edges of the pond. in most cases the best way to control it is to physically pull it out of your pond. In more extreme cases there are a few excellent products (Pond Balance, D-Solv, Clarity Max) that can be used to quickly and safely kill the algae and keep it from growing back.

Do I need to worry about mosquitoes breeding in my pond?

Mosquitoes breed in calm water. If you have a pump in your pond pond to keep the water circulating adequately this will help greatly. However even with a large pump, small pockets of still water are often present in a pond where they can breed. Not to worry, mosquito larvae are a favourite natural food for small koi and goldfish, so they will keep your pond free of mosquitoes. If you don’t have fish use Mosquito Dunks, a natural, safe way to control mosquitoes.

Do ultraviolet lights really work to clear green water in ponds?

Ultraviolet Lights (UV’s) work extremely well to clear green water. In certain cases where you can’t naturally balance your pond (heavy fish load, few plants etc) a UV may be the only answer. A UV can clear green water in a little as 3 days, however, they must be sized properly to both your pond and your pump to work effectively. We carry several different UV Lights for all sizes of ponds.

What do I need to do to prepare my pond in winter?

Very briefly, if you have fish, stop feeding them below once the water temperature falls below 50°F /10°C. In addition you must keep a hole open in the ice with a de-icer or aerator. Keep tree leaves out of the pond and remove plant leaves and debris from the bottom of the pond with a net or vacuum. Cut back your aquatic plants and if you have tropical plants can bring them indoors or compost them. See our advice page on Preparing Your Pond For Winter for more information and products.

When and how do I start up my pond in spring?

Once the ice has melted from your pond you can begin start up your pond. Begin by installing your pump and filter, then bring your plants to their original locations if you sunk them last fall. If needed split or re-pot your plants and fertilize them. A partial water change or 2 (about 25%) is always beneficial. Start feeding your fish a wheat germ based food once the water temperature climbs above 50°F /10°C and add a beneficial bacteria to seed the filter. See our advice page on Spring Cleaning and Start-Up for more information and products.

My water is dark / tea colour, how do I clear it up?

The natural processes that occur in a pond often lead to the water becoming an amber / tea colour over time. You can clear the water by either doing regular partial water changes (10%-25%), or you can also use activated carbon to remove any discolouration as well as medications, or toxic compounds.

Do I need to fertilize my pond plants?

Yes, especially if you don’t have fish and you want to have big beautiful flowers. Fish waste is a natural fertilizer for plants and they will provide enough nutrients for most marginal plants. However, plants such as water lilies, lotus and many tropical plants are heavy feeders and require regular fertilizing to produce abundant blooms. Fertilize plant with an aquatic plant Tabs or Spikes.

How many fish can I have in my pond?

Not everyone has fish in their pond, but most people agree, that no pond is complete without koi or goldfish. There is no exact formula to determine how many fish you can have in your pond, since each pond is different. The amount of circulation, filtration, plant material, depth and other factors all play an important role in how many fish your pond will support. One general rule of thumb is – one inch of fish for each square foot of water surface area. Start off with a few fish, and only add a few fish at a time, taking into consideration that fish such as koi can easily grow 2 feet long or more even in a modest sized pond. See our advice page Fish or more information

How often should I feed my pond fish?

How much and how often to feed your fish depends on a few different factors. First is temperature, do not feed your fish below 50°F /10°C. As the temperature increases you can start feeding them once every few days, once the temperature rises above 60°F /15.5°C you can feed them daily. In the summer most people feed their fish twice per day. Feed only what they can eat within five minutes. Uneaten food pollutes the pond and poor water quality. The type of pond and how many fish are other factors to consider. In a very well planted water garden with only a few goldfish it is not necessary to feed them, as there is plenty of natural food available.

What are these red sores / spots on my fish & how do I treat them?

Red sores or ulcers are caused by bacteria that have penetrated through the fish’s skin and scales. Ulcers often start out very small, but if left untreated can become large enough to kill the fish. Ulcers can be caused by parasites, poor water quality and are often a result of spawning. For our suggested treatment click here. Remember. if treated early, the fish usually heal up in no time, so act as soon as you notice a problem.

How deep should my pond be?

Deeper is always better when it comes to ponds. A deeper pond is less prone it is to drastic fluctuations in temperature, pH etc, and is more likely to stay cool in the summer preventing algae blooms. If you plan on keeping fish in your pond over winter here in Ontario, it is best to make part of the pond 4′ deep. Check to see what the frost line is in your area and try to have the deepest part of the pond below that. See our advice page on Pond Design Tips for more information.

Will my fish spawn? When?

Koi and goldfish will spawn in your pond and often produce many babies that will survive and grow to full size. Koi generally spawn just once per year, often in the spring between the end of My and the end of June (here in Ontario). one female can produce thousands of eggs, but many either do not develop or get eaten by other fish. Goldfish on the other hand do not produce as many eggs, but will spawn many times throughout the summer. See our Koi Spawning Behaviour page for more information and photos.

css.php