8 Water Features to Give Your Dad for Father’s Day This Year

Happy Father’s Day AND happy Summer Solstice, aka the first day of summer! What better way to kick off the summer than to give your dad a new water feature to enjoy all summer long? Here are 8 great water feature options to gift your dad this year!

A Formal Spillway to add to your patio or existing hardscape

Stainless Steel Spillway Project Bundle

Check out Atlantic’s new Formal Spillway Project Bundles to create your very own formal spillway. Project Bundles include everything you need but the stone to create awesome water features!

His own custom fountain bowl or vase

Blue Fountain Vase in a backyard with a patio

Use our Fountain Systems to make any fountain come to life. Pick out a fountain topper of your liking (bowl, vase or pot) to put on an Atlantic Fountain Basin.

A Pond-free waterfall

Pond-free waterfall created by Art of the Yard

Waterfall by Art of the Yard, Colorado

Find a contractor near you to help bring the sights and sounds of a waterfall to your backyard. Click here to find a contractor in your area.

A classic koi pond

Koi fish pond

You can’t go wrong with a classic koi pond in your yard! Spend hours outside watching your gorgeous fish swim by. Keep it clean and clean with the OASE BioTec Screenmatic².

Add some pizzazz to your pool with some spillways

Pool with Stainless Steel Spillway flowing water into it by Designing with Elements

Spillway by Designing with Elements, New York

Make some additions to your pool this year with Atlantic’s 316 Stainless Steel Spillways that are specifically made for chlorinated pools.

Spruce up your water garden with a new fountain

Filtral UVC fountain and filtration set

Already have a water garden? Drop in a decorative fountain feature with the OASE Filtral UVC. Choose between 3 different nozzles and also get the added bonus of built in filtration to help keep your water nice and clear!

Go big with a pond and waterfall

Pond and waterfall by Bulone Brothers Landscaping

Pond and waterfall by Bulone Brothers Landscaping, Ohio

Go big or go home like dad always says and give him the pond of his dreams.

Or maybe he wants to give the furry member of the family somewhere to splash

Dog swimming in pond with small waterfall by Liquid Landscapes

Pond by Liquid Landscapes, North Carolina

It is the first day of summer after all. Give the Dad’s best friend the summer he’ll never forget with a pond to cool off in!

We’re wishing you a great Father’s Day and know good ole Dad will be so thrilled with his new water feature this year! Stay cool this summer!


About the Author:

Caitlyn Winkle

After graduating from the University of Akron, Caitlyn joined Atlantic-OASE in the fall of 2019. Caitlyn manages the social media and online content for the company. She also supports the Atlantic-OASE Professional Contractor (APC) Program and Marketing Departments in creating marketing and advertising strategies and plans.

The Wearing of the Green – Algae in the Spring

Yesterday was Saint Patrick’s Day, when we mark the anniversary of his death by celebrating the Green Isle and all things green. What better time to talk about green water, right? Here are some interesting facts about that wonderful plant, algae, we all love to hate, and maybe even some more reasons to love the green!

pond algae

Algae are not plants. Many are single cells with a simple chloroplast, the machinery behind the magic of photosynthesis. They share that capacity with plants, that wondrous ability to turn carbon dioxide and water into sugar using the power of sunlight, but they don’t have stems, leaves, roots or organs. Neither are they bacteria, though it is thought it may have arisen when a bacterium stole a chloroplast from a cyanobacterium, creating the first algal cells over one BILLION years ago. The term ‘algae’ actually refers to many entirely different lineages of organisms, some of which are multicellular, others which thrive under the ice cap, or are red or purple in color, or live inside corals, or lichens or even the fur of polar bears.

This loose conglomeration of not-quite-plants is home to anywhere between 72,000 and 1 MILLION species, depending on who’s counting. Multicellular macroalgae come in three different colors – red, green and brown – and we know them mainly as seaweed, like kelp and sea lettuce. But the vast majority are microalgae, the little one-celled devils that make water green (or red or pink or brown), and there are tens of thousands of species of them.

Why do algae matter? Because the world runs on algae, in just about every sense. Need oxygen to live? Many of us do. Algae create 50% of all the oxygen in the atmosphere. Ever get hungry? You’d be a lot hungrier without algae. All seafood is ultimately sustained by it, the base of both marine and freshwater food pyramids. The Koi in your pond could live directly just on algae. And, since every land plant descended from algae, and every land animal depends on land plants for sustenance, either directly as an herbivore or omnivore, or indirectly as a predator of herbivores, you could say we all owe our existence to algae. On a more approachable level, the oil that powers our cars and industry is mainly the product of the decomposition of immensely deep beds of dead algae. And going forward, the biofuels of the future will be directly produced by – you guessed it – algae.

So the next time you see that tinge in the water, instead of shaking your shillelagh in frustration, maybe you should celebrate ‘the wearin’ of the green’!

Check out our blog for more articles on spring, algae and other helpful tips and tricks the water garden industry here!


About the Author:

DEMI FORTUNA

Demi has been in water garden construction since 1986. As Atlantic’s Director of Product Information, if he’s not building water features, he’s writing or talking about them. If you have a design or construction question, he’s the one to ask.

In Honor of World Book Day

I’m not quite sure where all of these World Celebration Days come from – I mean, do we really need a World Mosquito Day? Has anyone actually woken up on August 20th to purposefully celebrate mosquitoes? But I can’t help chuckling as I buy into the idea. March 5 is World Book Day, so I thought I might talk about some books that I’ve really enjoyed using, long before Google.

I’ve already mentioned Secret Teachings in the Art of Japanese Gardens, by David A. Slawson, a book I love for a number of reasons. I was always fascinated by Japanese folklore, and Slawson explains in great detail how myths and legends are honored and recreated in garden architecture. For example, there’s an ancient Asian folktale of a giant turtle that supported the island home of the immortals, their Mount Olympus. There are Turtle Islands in most classical Japanese gardens. Slawson’s excellent illustrations (the second reason I love the book) have helped me recreate them in my work. His explanations of how ancient masters used the shapes of stones to create movement are inspiring.

See the Turtle Island?

I have a couple of copies of Rick Bartel’s, The R.I.S.E Method, a How-to Guide for Designing Natural Appearing Ponds, Streams and Waterfalls. I’ve recommended his beautifully illustrated book to dozens of people who’ve attended my seminars over the years (including my eldest, who will listen to anyone except his old man.) Rick presents the concept of naturalistic rock placement as accessibly as anyone ever has. He combines well-expressed theory with step by step instruction that, properly followed, can make anyone’s work look good (including my eldest’s).

The third is one I haven’t carried as regularly lately, my Taylor’s Guide to Perennials, but when I was planting every week it never left my bag. It’s pretty sketchy – cover taped on, color plates loose – but it never needs a signal.

So my hope is, for World Book Day, I’ve helped folks remember how useful books are, even today. And as far as this silly “Day” stuff is concerned, just wait ‘til World Corgi Day.


About the Author:

DEMI FORTUNA

Demi has been in water garden construction since 1986. As Atlantic’s Director of Product Information, if he’s not building water features, he’s writing or talking about them. If you have a design or construction question, he’s the one to ask.

Spring Is For Sprucing!

It’s here! Spring! Well, meteorological Spring anyway. I personally can’t wait until the solstice, probably because it’s 23 degrees with a 40-mile-an-hour wind this morning. For those of us who endure winter without running water features, it’s time to start thinking about getting ponds started back up again.

Even if you don’t freeze for winter, Spring is the perfect time for seasonal maintenance. Pumps should be pulled, cleaned and serviced if needed. Diffusers in shallow water that kept ice from sealing the pond can be moved back into deeper water. Filter pads in pond systems can be cleaned if they weren’t in the fall. Remember to clean only half in chlorinated water. Rinse the others only in pond water, and don’t let them dry out, to preserve the bacteria living in them. Put the rinsed mats back into the bottom of upflow biofilters, to quickly reseed the cleaned mats above them.

Your plants will appreciate some attention too. They may just need pruning and feeding with Pondtabbs, or they might benefit from a replanting. If you’re careful, they may never realize they’ve been moved, but will reward you with better growth and blooms in season. To accelerate the growth of waterlilies, keep them close to the surface early in the season, so the leaves are in the warmest water. As the rest of the pond gradually warms, you can then drop them down into deeper water. 

Debris that builds up over winter is likely to contribute to nutrients in the water, just as water warms. Algae blooms can be common this time of year, before other plants wake up and compete for nutrients. Now is the perfect time to replace your ultraviolet lamps. They may still be emitting visible light, but they decline in UV output after a year and aren’t effective. A new bulb now keeps algae at bay, right when you need it most.

One thing I personally don’t like doing is a major cleanup in Spring. My fish have had to overwinter under ice. They started their fast fat and happy, but that was four months ago. They are thin and stressed and their immune systems are at low ebb – this is not the time to mess with them. We do our major cleanup in the fall, after the leaves are mostly down. I may go in with a PondoVac and pull out some lingering leaves, but it’s more likely we’ll wait until temps are higher and my fish are feeding again (above 55 degrees Fahrenheit).

Contractors, as for the spring major cleanup money that you may be giving up, there’s no shortage of work in the spring. A quick vacuuming in addition to the steps above can be quite satisfactory all around and a lot less time-consuming, at a time when all your customers want to see you. Set up a follow-up later in the spring for your needier jobs, and have your customers work on a wish list of extras. Two trips will be better than one.

Happy Spring! 


About the Author:

DEMI FORTUNA

Demi has been in water garden construction since 1986. As Atlantic’s Director of Product Information, if he’s not building water features, he’s writing or talking about them. If you have a design or construction question, he’s the one to ask.

An Innovative Wetland for Innovation Day

Did you know February 16th is Innovation Day? Perfect timing again! I mentioned an “innovative” use of Eco-Blox in a blog celebrating World Wetland Day February 2nd. I think it only appropriate that I expand on that innovative use this week.

To start with, let’s look at the word. According to Oxford Languages, the group that publishes the Oxford English Dictionary (my mom’s favorite), “innovation” means ‘featuring new methods; advanced and original’. Water matrix blocks were themselves the very definition of innovative when they were invented by Humberto Urriola, who came up with the idea of a modular drainage cell back in 1984. His Flo-Cell® was a flat three-dimensional mat that, in various configurations, captured, transported and held stormwater long enough for it to percolate back into the ground, recharging fragile aquifers, critical given the climate and erosion issues Down Under.

Almost four decades later, water matrix blocks are still used for stormwater mitigation and rain harvesting, but the latest innovation involves using their storage capacity to capture and remove even the finest sediments suspended in pond water. They’ve been used to trap sediments in dual chamber rain harvesting systems before, but this is a different application, one that combines the physics of sedimentation with the advantages of upflow bogs.

The idea is simple. First, the physics in a nutshell, because the math is beyond me. When velocity drops, solids drop out. Pump solids-laden water into an Eco-Blox chamber that’s only open at the top, with lots of partitions, and cover the top with a thin layer of gravel. The water slows to nothing if the chamber’s big enough, and forcing the water to exit upwards, through the gravel, ensures that virtually all sediments will drop out of suspension and stay in the chamber.

And sediment is only half the issue. Dissolved organics and minerals in the water, which would have fueled algae blooms, pass through that same gravel bed. Billions of bacteria thriving in the well-oxygenated nutrient-rich water strip out ammonia and nitrites, excreting nitrates right where the roots of plants spreading through the gravel can absorb them. The plants will also thrive, the water will be stripped of all organics and algae will never get a foothold.

Standard stuff, but the innovation is in the details. The appropriate number of Eco-Blox for the volume to be cleaned, the correct flow into the chamber, the right thickness to the gravel bed, the optimal plants for the artificial wetlands –that’s all pretty straightforward. The innovation is in the delivery of the sediment laden water, and the flushing of the accumulated solids in the chamber.

The delivery is a matter of shaping the bottom to accumulate solids near bottom drains, and plumbing the skimmers to pull water off top and bottom to deliver wastes to the chambers. But, you may say, there are lots of ways to gather sediments, and any gravel bed will trap them, both valid points. The trick is keeping the gravel from clogging, channeling and going septic when oxygen can’t penetrate the accumulating goop. That’s the huge advantage to creating these Eco-Blox bogs, and upflow is the key. 

Traditional downflow bogs pull water through a large volume of gravel, often feet thick, to trap organics for years, but over time channeling renders them less effective. Anaerobic zones build up with no easy way to clean them out. Downflow grids of perforated pipe, covered with a thinner layer of gravel at the bottom of ponds, address these issues, but the grids tend to clog over time and are relatively inaccessible.

Eco-Blox sediment traps are designed to efficiently collect both top and bottom water via skimmers and bottom drains, separate out solids as water passes up and out, then clean easily, flushing sediments out onto grade by turning a valve. The continuous automatic capture and easy removal of solids is the innovation. Monthly maintenance consists of turning a valve or opening a threaded cap for a couple of minutes, to flush the accumulated wastes out where they can be dried and collected – that’s some black gold there.

It’s no wonder that Botanical Gardens appreciate the idea. A filtration system based on plants that cleans and clears vast volumes of water, with no moving parts except multiple magnetic induction pumps, powerful and efficient, inexpensive to buy and run, housed in easily accessed skimmers that require only to be emptied of leaves on a weekly basis? And the system can collect the fertile organic sediments and dry them in a free-draining gravel bed at grade, whenever compost is needed?

Eureka!

Case in point: the Botanical Garden in Culiacan Sinaloa Mexico used riverwater to feed their Victoria Pool, where they showcased the leaves and blooms of the world’s largest waterlily and other aquatics. The 225’ x 30’ pool, about 3’ deep, had a number of serious leaks, so it was constantly being refilled with muddy water that never cleared. The water was so turbid from both mud and algae that you couldn’t see your hand with your arm in up to your elbow. Two 8” weirs that spanned the width of the pool upstream and downstream of the angular bridge provided the only circulation. They had installed a 10hp irrigation pump drawing about 8000 watts an hour, but had to valve it back because the high-head pump cavitated otherwise, so they couldn’t keep the whole weir covered with water. (If that sounds like a foreign language, check out this article I wrote in POND Trade Magazine, Flow, Friction and Total Dynamic Head: A Pump and Plumbing Primer for Ponds)

I’ll tell you what we did – next time.


About the Author:

DEMI FORTUNA

Demi has been in water garden construction since 1986. As Atlantic’s Director of Product Information, if he’s not building water features, he’s writing or talking about them. If you have a design or construction question, he’s the one to ask.

OASE Aquarius Fountain Sets

Meet one of the newest products here at Atlantic-OASE: The Aquarius Fountain Sets!

OASE Aquarius Fountain Sets are the perfect product for owners of small water gardens and ponds. Four sizes of units circulate up to 1100 gallons, returning the water in one of two different ways – via fountain head or through a side outlet, which can divert water to an optional decorative spitter or spout.

The fountain head comes with three inserts that create different patterns in water from 10” to 24” deep. The Bell insert throws out a clear dome of water, the Vulkan a double tiered fleur de lis display and the Magma, a directional arched spray of five individual streams. All can be adjusted via the ball joint on the telescoping tube that also varies the height of the fountain head. A valve shunts water between the upright tube and a separate side outlet, to accommodate a variety of water return options.

Bell Nozzle

Vulcan Nozzle

Magma Nozzle

Setup is simple. Select the water return option you prefer, attaching the fountain head insert or hose and drop the one-piece unit into the pond. The swiveling ball joint allows perfect vertical alignment even on sloped bottoms.

Maintenance is as easy as setup. A ribbed screen keeps leaves from clogging the pump intake. When the flow slows, just pull the unit from the water and rinse off. A grounding plate protects from stray current, and the pumps are thermally protected for long service life.

Learn more about the Aquarius Fountain Sets here.


About the Author:

DEMI FORTUNA

Demi has been in water garden construction since 1986. As Atlantic’s Director of Product Information, if he’s not building water features, he’s writing or talking about them. If you have a design or construction question, he’s the one to ask.

Never Too Late To Add Aeration

Seasonal Tip – How how to install an aerator AFTER the pond ices over.


Winter presents a number of challenges in the water garden. Ice dams may divert water out of the stream. Ice drops the water level in the pond. The cold itself puts major stress on fish and plants, not to mention people. But the single most damaging effect of the cold happens when ice seals the pond off from the atmosphere.

When oxygen cannot diffuse into pond water, fish and the other animals in the pond will suffocate. Possibly even worse, toxic gases, such as methane and carbon dioxide, will build up and poison everything in the water. Luckily the solution is simple. Any hole in the ice will allow for gas exchange in both directions, keeping the pond and its inhabitants healthy over the winter.

It’s pretty well accepted these days by contractors and pond owners alike that aeration is the simplest, most effective and least costly way to keep a hole free of ice. Set at the edge of the pond in shallow water, the circulation caused by rising bubbles will maintain a small hole in the ice without cooling the water unnecessarily. But what happens if you forget to put a diffuser in before the pond ices over?

The last thing you want to do is smash a hole in the ice with a hammer! The shock waves in the closed system will transmit the shockwaves directly into the fish, stunning and perhaps even killing them. One less forceful and less damaging way of opening a hole in ice for gas exchange is to use hot water. You can pour hot tap water directly onto the ice.


For larger diffusers or thick ice use a pot or kettle with a diameter at least as large as the diffuser. Fill it with water and bring it to a boil, then set it on the ice near the edge of the pond. For very thick ice you may have to repeat the process. Once the hole is open and the diffuser set, you can relax for the rest of the winter, knowing your fish will be safe!


About the Author:

DEMI FORTUNA

Demi has been in water garden construction since 1986. As Atlantic’s Director of Product Information, if he’s not building water features, he’s writing or talking about them. If you have a design or construction question, he’s the one to ask.

Caring For Aquatic Plants For Every Season

Nature can be punishing when bad chemistry or persistent disease from an imbalanced ecosystem throws a pond into chaos. A slight miscalculation or delay in addressing the cause and all can be lost; life itself relies on knowledge of plants and how we take care of their aquatic environment.

With every season comes a list of must-do’s, can’t-it-waits and let’s-hope-it-doesn’t-happens. Creating an evolving things-to-do list, by season, should minimize risk to aquatic plants.

Spring

After spring blasts us from hibernation to assess our pond’s winter damage, we break out our work ethic and tools of the trade and begin the transformation of spring cleaning.

After all, your home extends beyond your house. Pond plants rely on a pond’s ecosystem to ensure a healthy environment during their most active months. Divide and repot plants, when applicable, and introduce new marginal, bog and floater plants—whichever might bring balance to the habitat. But take note: the pond also expects the plants to do their part. Plants with deep roots break down toxins and excessive nutrients into needed oxygen. So the entire ecosystem needs to be on its best behavior and work together.

Perhaps the most impactful spring chore is a thorough vacuuming of the pond from top to bottom. The PondoVac series from OASE—PondoVac Classic and the PondoVac 3, 4 & 5—will remove large debris including leaves and anything else that accumulated over the fall and winter months. This simple chore provides pond plants a good start to the season.

Summer

A good deadheading of aquatic plants, on a consistent basis throughout the summer, helps keep the pond neat and tidy. Remove any foliage that is browning, leaning or deteriorating into the pond. FlexiCut 2 in 1 with it’s adjustable head makes deadheading an easy chore without risk to the pond liner. This reduces debris build-up in the pond and provides room for new plant growth. Keep the pond free of debris with the OASE PondNet for skimming or OASE EasyPick pond pliers with a telescopic handle to remove leaves and small branches.

The summer season also demands maximum aeration to prevent mosquitos and algae blooms and a range of threats to aquatic plants. Water gardens are ideal habitats for a variety of freshwater plants and pond creatures, but only if that pond offers sufficient oxygen levels through aeration.

Waterfalls are effective for aeration and serve to beautify, too. Expect the waterfall to attract birds and other grateful inhabitants to pond banks. OASE offers energy efficient pond and waterfall pumps with advanced technology that ensure a clean and clear waterfall with stable oxygen levels. These pumps work to reliably circulate water with extremely low energy output. Try the OASE waterfall spillway—it’s durable, low maintenance and blends seamlessly into the background. But it’s impact is impressive.

Fall & Winter

Remove pond plants from plant shelves and place them in a lower/deeper section of the pond to ensure roots don’t freeze. Not all plants take kindly to submersion through the winter—some require a temporary new home until the spring returns and the sun and warmth are here to stay.

Fall is also a season to divide aquatic plants, including water lilies and iris. Continue to ensure your pond is free of debris from falling leaves—another task for the OASE EasyPick. Remove dying plant foliage from the pond with the OASE FlexiCut 2 in 1 as it can eventually pollute the water. After plants have ceased growing, cut back and lower the pot to the bottom of the pond.

Some tropical plants can bloom throughout winter if brought inside and kept in a tub container with at least six hours of light—or remove the tuber from the pot after the foliage has died.

All aquatic plants are different so it’s important to research the specific needs of each plant. Luckily, resources are aplenty. The 21st century has brought technology—efficient, economical, user-friendly technology. Solutions to every pond plant scenario are hashed out online by water garden enthusiasts.


Original OASE Living Water article can be found here.

Next Generation in Pumps for Ponds, Pond-free, Hardscape & Fountains

Pumps are the heart of all things water features: pond, pond-free, hardscape and fountain features. Without them we have no moving water to circulate, filter or entertain us.  

They are the number one thing we all use and the number one thing that is misused and misunderstood. And by that, I mean all pumps are not created equal.

You have a simple magnet driven pump commonly used in small water features or hardscapes. Easy to use, very energy efficient, easy to clean and easy to fix broken parts. The flow rates are typically lower so you can not create a large water fall with them.

Next in the line of pumps are Asynchronous and Synchronous electric. Similar in that they have a stainless-steel rotor assembly and have a vortex impeller to allow for higher water flow volume. Still lower energy consumption, easy to clean and easy to repair. The synchronous electric pump will shut down if it runs dry or something is blocking the flow and some are frost protected to -4 degrees. These pumps have a wide flow range and can be used in a wide variety of pond, pond-free, and hardscape features on a regular basis.

The direct drive pumps are one of the hardest to size and service. This type of pump has many uses from high to low flow needs. It is commonly misused because of the flow requirements. These pumps operate in a very tight window of best operating ranges. A lot of care is needed in choosing these types of pumps so they can remain in operation for many years. 

For more in-depth information on our pumps please go to www.atlantic-oase.com or seek help from an industry professional.

What’s coming in the next generation of pumps and what is already here will blow your mind, if not make you think twice about your pump choices. 

Look towards the day all water garden pumps are DC brushless motor pumps. Your drills, drivers, blowers and mowers are seeing the light of brushless motors, including the vacuum world. More power, less energy and whole lot more ingenuity. Look now and towards the future as pumps in the water feature world change too.

First to market from Atlantic-OASE: the Aquarius Eco-Expert and AquaMax Eco-Expert. The first DC brushless motor pumps for ponds, pond-free, hardscape and fountains.

Just to highlight a few things the Aquarius Eco-Expert has:

  • DC brushless motor pump, very energy efficient
  • Robust stainless-steel intake screen passes debris particles up to 3/16 great for fountain nozzle use
  • Frost protection to -4 degrees
  • Integrated Environmental Function control shut off if runs dry or clogs
  • No minimum operation head heights 
  • Integrated earth grounding plate
  • Submersed or inline
  • Water types include chlorinated pool and salt water
  • Dynamic Function control 1 preprogrammed water scene alternating fountain heights 

When paired with the Eco or EGC cloud controller you have even more option on this pump. Making this pump first on the market to claim a 12-function pre-programmed water pattern along with things like runtime, pump status and malfunctions, complete adjustment of output flow and so much more. Also, when paired with the Cloud Controller, these functions can be controlled on the EGC App from anywhere in the world. One other unique feature is that it can pair with up to nine other devices like additional pumps and ProfiLux lighting systems  

Some highlights of the AquaMax Eco-Expert include:

  • DC brushless motor pump, very energy efficient
  • Robust stainless-steel intake screen passes debris particles up to 7/16 great for filtration use
  • Frost protection to -4 degrees
  • Integrated Environmental Function control shut off if runs dry or clogs
  • No minimum operation head heights 
  • Integrated earth grounding plate
  • Submersed or inline
  • Water types include chlorinated pool and salt water
  • Seasonal Flow control switch lowers flow and wattages as water cools to 40 degrees 

You can pair the AquaMax Eco Expert with the Eco or EGC Cloud Controller as well. Making this pump first on the market to adjust seasonally for water temperatures along with things like runtime, pump status and malfunctions, complete adjustment of output flow and so much more. When paired with the Cloud Controller, just like the Aquarius Eco-Expert, these functions can also be controlled on the EGC App from anywhere in the world. Pair it with up to nine other devices including the next generation ProfiClear drum filters and ProfiLux lighting systems. 

Look for much more on the line of DC brushless motor pumps in 2021. Changing the way the world pumps water! 


About the Author:

Jim Chubb

Jim is Atlantic-OASE’s Midwest Regional Sales Manager and has 26+ years of sales experience and 16+ years in the water garden industry.

Fall: Adjusting Your Maintenance with the Change in Seasons

Fall is a great time to prepare the pond for winter. In order to reduce gas build up during the winter months, more frequent or more thorough cleaning of the pond is recommended. An easy way to clean organic matter from all nooks and crannies of the pond is with a PondoVac. 

As the weather gets colder, feeding fish should be dialed back and appropriate foods used.

As the temperature falls below 45°F, bacteria activity stops and with it the biological filtration functionality of the pond filter system. It is now time to stop feeding fish and to consider winterization of the filter.

Clean Before the Mess

If leaves and debris sink from the surface to the pond floor, there is risk of the pond becoming unbalanced and murky. The SwimSkim, AquaSkim, and FiltoSkim skimmers keep everything clear, before murky water occurs.

Falling leaves and other organic matter cause a majority of the clouding issues in a garden pond. Initially they collect on the water surface, then they sink to the bottom and contaminate the pond floor.

Surface skimmers remove organic matter before it sinks to the bottom.

SwimSkim

  • Floating skimmers for pond surfaces up to 270 ft²
  • Particularly effective suction capacity thanks to patented flap technology
  • Aerates your water
  • Easy handling, easy cleaning
  • Automatic adaptation to any water level (from 16 in. water depth)

AquaSkim

  • Easy to install and use in existing ponds
  • Idea partner for the AquaMax Eco Premium pump series
  • Telescopic design allows for easy installation for a wide range of pond depths

Thanks to practical pond helpers, such as the the FlexiCut 2-in-1 pond scissors, the EasyPick pond pliers, and the PondNet, you are fully equipped for removing dead plants and algae from the pond or easily trimming plants.

  • EasyPick: Pond pliers for grasping and removing cuttings or leaves in and on the pond
  • FlexiCut 2 in 1: Pond scissors that simultaneously hold the cut plants when cutting
  • PondNet: Pond fish net with a telescoping handle for removing unwanted debris

Maintenance Made Easy

Sometimes you aren’t able to stop debris from falling to the bottom of the pond. To prevent the pond from being over-burdened later in the winter, remove organic matter from the water and clean the pond floor. Practical and powerful helpers, such as the OASE PondoVac 3 or 4, support you in this regard. With this innovative pond and pool vacuum, dirt, algae, fish waste, and plant remains on the pond floor no longer stand a chance.

  • Simple and fast way to remove debris and decaying organic matter
  • Different nozzle head options for every pond application
  • Debris collection bag ideal for returning cleaned water when suctioning larger particles
  • Compact design and built-in handle allow for easy movement and transportation
  • Maximum suction depth of 6-7 ft.

Seasonal Cleanup

Green leaves become classic autumnal hues then begin their journey downward, floating rhythmically past windows and serving as harbinger of crisper, cooler weather. Fall weather beckons us to enjoy comfortable outdoor temps and the array of colors before boots and parkas become the go-to.

For pond owners in many parts of the country, the season has an asterisk. Fall means leaves in perpetuity—begging to be raked up, sucked up and picked up. But for a season of pond-side enjoyment, trade an afternoon and a bit of elbow grease. Trust us—it will be worth it.

A treed landscape demands extra TLC for your pond this time of year. Keeping your pond leaf-free is about more than aesthetics—it protects its ecological balance. Decomposing leaves and other organic matter infuse the pond’s water with excessive nutrients, depleting oxygen levels. Consistent and prompt removal with OASE’s PondNet will help maintain the pond health. OASE’s EasyPick pond pliers are a must-have tool for extracting sticks, cuttings and other large debris too awkward for netting.

Tidy up by pruning pond-side landscaping with OASE’s FlexiCut 2-in-1 pond scissors. With a handle length of 5.2 feet, they are well-suited for overgrown vegetation in hard-to-reach areas. And feel free to jettison the waders—FlexiCut pond scissors stabilize while they cut so you don’t have to trudge through the water for strategic positioning.

If cleaning the pond daily with a net is not ideal, consider a surface skimmer. OASE surface skimmers work overtime to keep ponds clean and debris free. Choose a skimmer based on pond size, plug it in and put it to work. It aerates as it cleans, contributing to a healthy ecosystem for fish and plants. To remove organic buildup, silt and debris from the bottom of the pond, try OASE’s PondoVac 5.

Assess the plants. Depending on the type and variety, they may need to be divided or removed before the first freeze. Start your research, identify the species and devise a plan. As you inspect each plant, remove any dead or dying foliage.

Install netting over the pond toward the end of summer—it will not compromise its beauty but will serve as barrier to leaves and other organic matter. Netting will also protect your marine pets from predators.

As the mercury dips, fish metabolism slows and food requirements change. Any uneaten fish food floating in the pond will decompose, compromising the ecological balance. Reduce feedings to once daily and reduce the amount of food once the water temperature dips below 70 degrees. When it reaches the high 50s, feed two to three  times per week. If food is not consumed within five minutes, consider reducing the amount of food at each feeding. Once the water temperature dips below 50 degrees, refrain from feeding fish.

When your work is done—trade your lemonade for a pumpkin spice latte, grab a sweatshirt and enjoy fall’s crisp, cool weather. Relax in your Adirondack, listen to the robin’s roundelays, and look up at the falling leaves against the bright, blue sky. (Cross your fingers they land on the other side of the fence).


Original OASE Living Water article can be found here.