Golden Treasure For The Pond Border

Lysimachia nummularia: The Creeping Jenny

I love to use plants along the edges of the water features I build to soften the hard edges of stone and add color and life to them. One of the plants I tend to use over and over is the Creeping Jenny or Moneywort, Lysimachia nummularia, an attractive and versatile perennial ground cover that neither rabbits nor deer will touch. 

Floating Bog, Nelson’s Water Gardens

Named for its round, coin shaped leaves, gold in color when grown in full sun, Creeping Jenny performs beautifully just about anywhere I put it. With a constant supply of moisture, along streams and pond edges, it can handle the hottest sun. Forget “creeping” – this plant positively runs in the sun, growing quickly from both its vine-like branches and long roots to cover edges both in and out of the water.

In deep shade its growth slows somewhat, leaves glowing a soft green as it carpets soil, stone and gravel alike. Easy to propagate, one plant will spread to cover many running feet of stream edge. It is vigorous almost to a fault. If it thins out in one spot simply grab a handful from somewhere else and tuck it into moist soil. It will usually root without any extra care.

As if that weren’t enough, for all you other closeted herbalists, Creeping Jenny is a mild astringent, a diuretic and an effective vulnerary – applied to open wounds its crushed leaves are antibacterial and promote healing. (I don’t know about you guys but ‘vulnerary’ is my new favorite obscure word of the day.)

Finally, those of us who appreciate a brew every now and then might be interested to know the ancient Anglo Saxons called it alehoof – ‘ale herb’ – and used it to flavor and clarify beer. What a plant!


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.

Winter Pondering

It’s almost February, the ground’s frozen and my sons are too smart to work outside with me, so it’s the perfect time to plan next year’s project. The three most important attributes of the perfect garden pond often get overlooked in the rush to dig, so I thought it might make sense to talk about them now, when all we can do here is talk anyway.

So, the waterfall is usually the first thing folks think about, followed by the pond size and the fish they want to showcase, but what I try to plan for first are crystal clear water, minimal maintenance and low operating cost. These are the less glamorous, more practical attributes of the perfect pond. Without them the charm and beauty of the water garden soon fade.

Water clarity is the most important of the three, because poor water quality is the first thing anyone notices and a constant source of aggravation. The best way to guarantee perfect clarity is to install adequate filtration, but I’m a belt-and-suspenders man – I like to minimize maintenance and safeguard against eventual overcrowding as well. 

The two most common philosophies of pond filtration adopt different approaches. The skimmer+biofilter model removes floating debris before it sinks, but relies on cleanouts to remove heavier accumulated solids that don’t float, like fish wastes. The other school of thought targets fish wastes, with a pump on the bottom designed to capture those wastes and send them to more efficient mechanical filters, but leaves need to be netted out. Combining the two methods removes more wastes and gives better results than either alone can provide. The skimmer houses the waterfall pump and traps leaves, the biofilter removes large debris and starts the stream and falls, a smaller high efficiency pump designed to capture wastes sits in the bottom and pushes wastes to a partially buried pressure filter that’s easy to backwash.

Maintenance is actually lower with the combined systems, because each has half as much work to do, so the biofilter and pressure filter can be cleaned half as often, and major pump-down cleanouts are eliminated altogether.

Aha! I hear you say. But what about those two pumps! What happened to lowering operating costs? Well, pump operating costs actually drop if the waterfall pump only runs when you’re there to enjoy it. For example, let’s say we have a 4,000 gallon pond, 15’x20’, three feet deep at the low spot, but with 18” deep shelves all the way around, a 10 foot long stream and two falls about 4’ tall total. I’d spec a TT5000 pump in a PS4600 skimmer pushing 4000gph up to a BF2600 to start the stream, and an AquaMax Eco Classic feeding a FiltoClear 8000 to polish the water. I’d set up a timer for the waterfall to run 12 hours at 310 watts plus 150 for the other pump, which I’d run 24/7. That works out to less wattage than the one larger pump alone! (12×310 + 24×150<24×310) And, having two pumps means I never have to worry about one failing, there’s a built-in reserve.

Now that the tough stuff is designed, I can start to think about the waterfall…. 


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.

Faster, Easier Fall Cleanups with Atlantic-OASE

After years of draining ponds down to do major cleanups, with the hassle and risks of catching and containing fish safely, we’ve modified our fall cleanups to two shorter visits using Atlantic-OASE products to make things easier. Here are 4 innovations that cut the time we spend by more than 50%, spread out over two visits.

OASE Pondovac 5 – Instead of waiting for all the leaves to come down where we are on Long Island, we start the cleanup early with an initial visit to vacuum out the leaves that start to fall before Halloween. The Pondovac 5 effectively picks up leaves and debris down to about 4 feet without roiling up the water, so we can spot clean the heavier pockets quickly and easily. The vacuum is designed to pull debris into a leaf bag and pump out excess water continuously, no stopping until the large bag is full, and it takes only a minute or two to empty. If they haven’t already switched, we set our fish pond owners up with hi carb, low protein fish food to fatten fish and reduce ammonia loads. Find them here.

Atlantic Pond & Garden Protector – We then set up the second line of defense against leaves, the PGP. Great for ponds and water features up to about 12×18, which covers the majority, the Protector is a net system with fiberglass supports that arch over the feature, holding the net securely high above the water. Leaves tend to blow off the net instead of dragging it under water, and it’s a perfect support for spooky webs and other Halloween decorations. Find them here.

OASE FiltoClear Pressure Filter with UVC – To round out our first visit, we’ll clean out the skimmer and fall box and backwash the FiltoClear. This small, easy to hide filter backwashes with a few pulls of the handle and no mess at all, in contrast to the waterfall box, and clears the water after our visit in no time. We’ve added a FiltoClear and an AquaMax pump to our ecosystem ponds were clients demand perfect water quality, and the combo really delivers. We can even offer the Clear Water Guarantee as long as we follow the simple sizing guidelines. That’s our two-man, one hour October visit, which keeps customers happy until after Thanksgiving. Find them here.

Typhoon Air and Diffuser Kits – After Turkey Day, late enough so most of the leaves are down, we’ll go in once more for the pruning and final cleanup. The Pond & Garden Protector will have kept the leaves outside the perimeter; after we clear them away with a blower, we’ll set up our air for the winter. We move the diffusers from the deep spots where they were needed in the summer, to the edges where they keep a hole free of ice in winter without disturbing the “warm” water at the bottom. Cool fact – unless it freezes all the way solid, the densest water at the bottom will stay at a balmy 38 degrees, regardless of how cold the air gets. We’ll backwash and drain the FiltoClear, shutting off the intake for the winter. Finally, we’ll clean and service the pump, which stays in for most of our fishponds and pond-free features but gets pulled from fountains and stored for winter. Find them here.

Advantages – Cleaning up twice saves us the hassle of trying to schedule everyone before their Thanksgiving get-together but still brings in the same revenue. We don’t remove or even disturb the fish this way, which really lowers stress levels, especially with high value fish. The two visits do double the travel time, but we spend far less time total, and we charge the same, in two more palatable payments. And our customers seem to appreciate the extra visit even if we’re not there nearly as long total. It’s a win-win all around.


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.

Capturing the Perfect Water Feature Picture

Today, June 29th, is National Camera Day and in honor of National Camera Day, we wanted to share some tips and habits to take up on photographing your water feature projects!

Your Camera

You don’t need a fancy, expensive camera to take pictures that look professional! You have one of the best cameras in your pocket with your smart phone. Today, smart phone cameras are so advanced that you can’t tell the difference between a picture shot with your phone versus a camera, so use what you have available! If you have a physical camera, by all means, don’t let it go unused! Dust that baby off and start snapping!

Use a Tripod

If I recommend you buy anything to help take better pictures of your work with, it would be to purchase a tripod stand to put your camera or phone on. One of the biggest struggles people have with taking pictures and videos is keeping their hands steady to take the picture. Setting your camera or phone on a tripod allows you to capture exactly what you’re looking for and helps eliminate the blurry photos.

This is also a great tool to use when you want to capture videos of your water features and eliminate the shakiness. Put your phone on the tripod and just hit record! A tripod is the most simple tool to help you create professional worthy pictures and videos!

Move Your Camera

To give yourself the best range of photos, move your camera and tripod to different spots around your water feature! Take some pictures of the feature straight on, then move to the left and to the right to get some different angled pictures. Be creative with your photos, adjust the height of your tripod to be closer to the ground or high up for different view points. Take some close ups as well!

Form New Habits

I ask contractors and sales reps all the time for pictures of the projects they’re working on. Most of the time, I get the “I forgot to take pictures” response. I get it. When you’re out on the job, that’s the last thing you want to worry about. Time gets away from you and you forget to take pictures of your work. We want to change that! Because the best way to get more work is to show off the work you’ve already done!

Start trying to form new habits while out on the job site to include photography into your routine. Think of what you want to show your future clients. Homeowners want to see examples of what you can create for them. Take some before pictures, document the progress of the project and the crew helping on the job and then, of course, the finished job.

The easiest way to make sure you’re grabbing the pictures you need is to set times during the day to take your pictures.

  • Take pictures the morning of right before you start your project.
  • Take pictures when you stop to take a lunch break. This is will be great progress pictures!
  • Take pictures when you leave the job site.
  • Take the final finished project pictures.

Usually these are times where you’re not working for a moment and can snap a few shots. And let’s be real, when you’re not working, you’ve picked up your phone anyways. Why not make a habit to quickly take some pictures?

Make Time to Go Back and Photograph

To get some great final pictures of your water feature, schedule a time to come back and take some pictures once the water has settled and the flowers and greenery all have grown in! It makes such a difference in your photos and gives you an opportunity to show more before and after pictures!

Save Your Pictures!

There’s nothing worse than losing pictures of a completed project, especially for contractors who travel for their projects. We all know it’s not easy to get back to the same location to take pictures if you lose them. There’s plenty of ways to back up or save your pictures in more than one location to make sure you don’t lose them if your phone takes a plunge in the pond. Whether you simply just email yourself your pictures or have a system for uploading, find the best way to save, store and organize your photos so that they’re easy to go back and find what you’re looking for!

What other tips would you like to see from us? Leave a comment below!


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.

Atlantic-OASE Staff Picks: Three-Way Diverter

When our Social Media Director, Caitlyn, asked me to jot down something on a favorite product, I realized it might not be as simple a task as it sounds. There are so many Atlantic products that I personally find literally extraordinary, as in “beyond the ordinary.” I’m not alone. Contractors, especially those with little experience with our line, usually notice that our FastFalls, FilterFalls, Skimmers and Basins are all built a little differently than everyone else’s.

Thinking back, I remembered the first time I saw an AWG product that was definitely out of the ordinary. It was at the Winter Workshop for Pond Professionals in Lawrence, Kansas, presented by Water’s Edge, a deceptively small water garden specialty distributor that punches waaaay above its weight. Deb Spencer and Susan Davis have quietly promoted the highest ideals, standards and education in water gardening for decades. The Workshop presented the latest trends in water features to contractors from all over the country. Brandon Dwyer, the new product development guy at AWG, was doing the Pond-free presentation. I was pleasantly surprised when he asked me for info about my (competing) product line to include in his presentation. We started jazzing about a couple of his current projects. He waxed deservedly enthusiastic about his revolutionary new check valve and asks if I’d like to take a look at what he called a three-way diverter.

A little background, I had just built a small fountain requiring multiple water returns for a customer. The valved manifold I constructed separated the flow from the 1½” outlet on the pump to three ¾” spouts. It cost me $40 in fittings: two tees, two elbows, three close nipples, three reducing bushings, three valves and three barbed adapters. It took me 45 minutes to cut and glue, ended up 14” wide, was impossible to hide and looked like hell.

So, this thin, well-spoken bespectacled young man reaches into the bag on his shoulder, pulls out this polished piece of black plastic with two red handles and asks my opinion. My first thought is, I’ve met Skinny Santa Claus, and I musta been good, because this is a gift of genius. He’s stuffed an 1½” threaded inlet, three valves and three ¾” barbed outlets into a single fitting the size of my fist. I would be lying if I said I was impressed; I flat flipped out. This Brandon was not only thinking up terrific new products for contractors, he was actually building them!

Years before I landed at Atlantic, I knew I wanted to work with the skinny dude.

Still do.

By the way, those FastFalls, FilterFalls, Skimmers and Basins that are all built a little differently from everyone else’s? Right outta the same bag.


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.

To Every Pump, a Purpose

From my perspective, the newly combined and expanded Atlantic-OASE presents a welcome challenge, the task of assimilating a veritable abundance of new and exciting products. Today I’d like to talk about our greatly expanded pump line, and I’m including page numbers so you can follow along in the 2020 Catalog.

In Fountain Pumps, on pages 70 & 80 for example, the flow and head ranges of Atlantic and OASE lines are similar. Both series share built-in adjustability, suction feet and replaceable components. But, the OASE Fountain pumps also feature a grounding plate to direct stray current from any source safely out of the water; they are less expensive and carry a longer warranty. Although it’s not up to me, I might bet we’ll have less redundancy next year in this range.

In larger Magnetic Induction pumps, the story is different because the lines are complementary. AWG MD-Series (page 81) range from 250 to 1500 nominal gallons per hour. Their volutes rotate and their footprint are tiny, perfect for small cavities and close quarters, but these are no lightweights. MD’s are solid, heavily-built pumps that carry a 5-year warranty. Extending the range, the OASE Waterfall Pumps (page 88) are synchronous magnetic pumps that start where the MD’s stop. Larger in size and capacity, from 1650 to 5150 gph, Waterfall Pumps feature a coated rotor that does not allow lime to accrete easily and a self-flushing rotor chamber; they can handle the worst water conditions out there. Although the warranty is less at 3 years, their high efficiencies and integrated grounding plate make these a great choice for larger fountains and hard water applications.

The TT-Series, AquaMax and Neptun pumps are also complementary lines, built for entirely different tasks. TT1500 through TT9000 (pages 72-73) are compact clean water pumps built for use in skimmers. Featuring high flows and high efficiencies, all TT’s work with our Tidal Wave Variable Speed Control (page 78), to adjust pump flow from 20% to 100%. Easy to access, pull apart and clean, TT-Series pumps make maintenance a breeze.

The AquaMax Classic and Premium Series (pages 84-85) are designed to live at the bottom of the pond, where they push 1200 to 4000gph of mucky water at low head and very low wattage. When paired with a matched OASE filter and UV, these solids handling pumps qualify for the OASE Clear Water Guarantee, assuring you’ll be able to read the 1” mark on a tape measure extending three feet down into the water. Both the Classic and the Premium share a low restriction housing that can go for entire seasons without needing to be cleaned; the Premium features a second inlet to power a second satellite intake or an in-pond skimmer. All come equipped with a grounding plate for complete security against short circuits and stray current in the water.

The third pump series, Neptun (p81), is designed specifically for the rigors of fountain use. The stainless steel screen is designed to draw the shallow, clean water of fountains without clogging or vortexing, regardless of temperature. In fact, these pumps are frost-proof down to -4°F for extreme durability and can be used submersed or in-line.

Finally, there are the Eco Experts, Aquarius for fountains, AquaMax for water gardens. These powerful 220v pumps deliver massive flows from around 7000 gph to over 11000 gallons per hour, but sip minimal electricity – even the largest pull only 700 watts. The brushless DC motors offer more than just extraordinary flows and wattages; the fully electronic pumps can be programmed to vary their flows as well. The fountain iteration, Aquarius Eco Expert, offers a dance of 9 different speeds cycling at the touch of the blue button, to provide a captivating built-in fountain display. Combine the pump with an Eco Control or the full Electronic Garden Control system (p83) and choose from another 12 pre-programmed water patterns, or set whatever flow you wish. Fully thermally protected and frost-proof to -4°F, these are among the finest fountain pumps ever built.

For water garden use, the AquaMax Eco Expert (page 86-87) offers the same power, protection and connectivity but exchanges the water dances of the Aquarius for the more pond-useful Seasonal Flow Control. Now when you push the blue button the pump slows as the water cools, limiting circulation and automatically avoiding supercooling the water as it freezes.      


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.

Atlantic-OASE Professional Contractor Spotlight – Jason & Tony Lenox

Join us in recognizing an Atlantic-OASE Professional Contractor (APC) pair of brothers for another spotlight section!

Jason Lenox and Tony Lenox, Ponds Inc. of Illinois, Illinois 

Where are you from: Jason was born in LaCrosse, Wisconsin and is now residing in Dundee, Illinois. Tony was born in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and is now residing in South Elgin, Illinois. Ponds Inc. of Illinois is based in Gilberts, Illinois currently.

How long you’ve been working in the industry: I’ve been working in the landscaping industry for 30 years. We’re proud to be two time POND Trade Magazine Water Artisans of the Year Award Winners. 

What you love about what you do: My Brother and I love helping others while helping ourselves through our artistry and passion of creating truly enjoyable outdoor spaces that soothe your soul allowing smiles to flow like the waterfalls we create!

Favorite Atlantic-OASE product: There are so many incredible products to choose from especially with the Atlantic Water Gardens products combined with the OASE North America products! 

I guess I would have to say must have favorite or a useful product for maintaining and servicing water features is: PondVac 5 it’s a very useful tool for us!

For creating incredible elements to any water feature design: the FastFalls Series is also impressive!

One of your favorite projects you’ve done: Key West, Florida was definitely a beautiful place for my Brother and I to build an incredible all Atlantic-OASE product water feature! What’s even more exciting about it is that we were able to build together with the #CrazyHappyIrishPondBuilder known as Gerard Touhey of WaterFeaturesbyGerard.com! How can building a large scale PondFree water feature in paradise with our great friend Gerard Touhey not be a favorite project? Even Lloyd Lightsey, ThePondMonster.com from Florida came down to participate in our shenanigans!

Gerard Touhey, Water Features by Gerard

New projects I’m working on: Ponds Inc. is currently designing a large water wall waterfalls feature in downtown Chicago working with David Montoya of StoneMakers.net utilizing incredible artificial rock work combined with Atlantic-OASE products to create a truly magnificent outdoor dining space at a well known Chicago restaurant! Stay tuned! 

Anything else you’d like to share with your fellow APC’s: Number one, the most important advice I can offer is to get your company’s website listed with the Team at www.p-o-n-d.services so you’re found on page one of search engines like Google! Encourage your distributors, retailers, landscapers and manufacturers to get connected also! The more our industry gets connected, the more beneficial it is to us all!

My next best advice is to learn and soak up as much as you can from other pond contractors throughout our industry. We all can always learn from each other through networking! This includes attending industry events and landscape shows. Get to know others who you can help which in turn helps you all to succeed in this industry that we all love!

Lastly, help each other out by participating in social media by sharing, watching, liking, subscribing and commenting on each others content from Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Houzz, Pinterest, Tik Tok, Twitter and Snap Chat! Give Google reviews, Facebook reviews and reviews on Houzz etc! Help each other succeed and others will help you succeed!

See more of the Lenox brothers on all of their social media! Facebook Ponds Inc. of Illinois, Twitter @PondsInc4you, Houzz Ponds Inc. of Illinois, Pinterest Ponds Inc. of Illinois and Hometalk Ponds Inc. of Illinois, Jason Lenox.


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.

Moving Water, It’s Therapeutic!

Our everyday lives are always on the go. With our jobs, family, friends and everyday life, it can add additional stress. We are always looking for ways in our fast pace lives to slow down and enjoy the things around us to help us destress. The things that can make a difference in how we feel. Water makes you happier, healthier, more connected to other people. Everyone just wants to relax, we know we do! One way you can do that is by having a water feature in your back yard! It is proven that the sounds of moving water has a soothing effect on your mind and body in a therapeutic form. Not only are these experiences therapeutic, it can also activate positive thoughts and memories such as taking you to your happy place. 

With everyone staying home, we are seeing them working on their landscape and improving their homes. Many look at putting in a water feature and what it would take to do so. Unfortunately the worry is that it’s too complicated or too involved or would cost too much. And they shy away from it. This is not the case at Atlantic-OASE! We have products that can help the DIY-er in yourself come out and provide cost affordable and easy installation of water feature products to create just about anything in your current landscape. 

We have a saying, “you are limited to your imagination on what you can create, you just need to be inspired.” Anything from a fountain, waterfall, pond to a large-scale project can be done. This will depend on the size of your yard or what you are trying to achieve. One of the many examples you can create for your future backyard oasis is the Pond Free system. Having a waterfall providing the sounds of moving water as it cascades down and then disappears into the ground allows you to have the sounds of moving water with a waterfall anywhere in your landscape without the worry of tending to a big body of open water.

Why is it that everyone travels to the beach for vacation to relax? It’s because the sounds, the smells and the atmosphere of being around water creates a calming affect on everyone in its presence! Imagine coming home from a long day of work and wanting to decompress. Step outside your back door and relax by your waterfall or fountain, that you customized to your backyard, and just listen to the water flow. It’s therapeutic! Pull up a chair, grab a drink and let the white noise of your water feature wash away your stress.

Having moving water in your landscape can help you relax and enjoy nature as it was intended. 


About the Author:

Todd Rosendahl

Todd has been in the water garden industry over 20 years. With extensive knowledge of water treatments for ponds and lakes he’s your go-to-guy for treating your ponds and water features!

Goodbye Mantua, Hello 2020

The waterfall runs still. The trees are bare. A few fall leaves remain. The “For Sale” board stands by the roadway as a timely reminder to us all, that it is finally time to say goodbye to our much-loved home of many years. While it is always sad to leave a place that has been the site of good times, much progress and hard work, we have finally outgrown our Orchard Street location. By January 1st, we will have packed our bags, transported the last pallets of product, turned off the lights and locked the doors one last time.  Goodbye Mantua and thank you for 14 years of happy memories.

But when one door closes, another opens. We move to Aurora with a great sense of pride and anticipation. As Atlantic-OASE finally become one for the USA, we can look forward to great things at our new facility. The building has been fully re-modeled and fitted to allow us to lay down our own stamp of individuality. The massively increased space and opportunities for growth that this new facility affords us can allow us to achieve great things. A powerhouse in the North American Water Gardening industry will now emerge with a new sense of purpose and determination, from Lena Drive, Aurora. 

We are very excited to be able to share these new beginnings with you and would like to take this opportunity to thank all our customers, suppliers, contractors, employees and associates for their support and to wish everyone very happy and healthy Holidays.

From everyone here at Atlantic-OASE, we wanted to wish you a safe and Happy New Year! Thank you for all your support throughout the years! We can’t wait to dive into the 2020 with you!


About the Authors:

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.

Peter Ferber

Peter joined Atlantic-OASE to support the sales and marketing teams and coordinate training programs. He returns to the water gardening industry after 10 years to bring his British idiosyncrasies to this side of the pond.