How Do I Choose A Pond Contractor? The decision to install a pond is a very important one, and choosing which contractor should be a careful consideration.
There has been a rise in popularity with pond installations and especially pondless waterfalls. A consumer needs to know who is knowledgeable in the field, who can produce quality work as well as stand behind their work.
Anyone with a shovel, a wheelbarrow and a little know-how can attempt to install a pond, however, if you are looking for professional work done right the first time, there are some things you need to consider:
Does your pond contractor have any type of certification in the services they are offering you? A contractor that has been certified in any field has been tested to have the skills and knowledge to perform the job they are trying to sell you.
Does your contractor/pond installer have considerable experience? Do they have a minimum of 3-5 years under their belt? Are they dedicated, or is this a part-time job as a way to make extra cash?
Does your contractor/pond installer have a website or portfolio with pictures and videos of their work, along with references and testimonials? It is very helpful to see what work they have personally performed. Some not-so-honest people might hand you a bunch of pictures of work done by other companies.
Do they offer follow-up pond services after they perform a water garden installation? If a company is reputable, they will stand by their products or services they sell. You do not want a company to install your water garden and “disappear.” It is a great idea to ask this question before the job is started. On the outside chance that there is an issue, it can be addressed during the follow-up visit. The pond installer can also answer any other questions that might arise.
Does your contractor/pond installer have knowledge on all aspects of water gardens? A professional should have in-depth knowledge in all aspects of the pond field, including design, construction, aquatic life, pumps, filtration, and maintenance. They should be able to answer any questions and put you at ease with their expertise and knowledge.
Do you feel comfortable with your contractor/pond installer? It is nice to have a good relationship and feel comfortable when talking with your contractor. They should not make you feel bad if you have more questions, or need more time to consider your options.
Here at Ponds Inc., we will be more than happy to answer all of your questions, whether it is the questions we presented to you listed above, or some others you might have. We have the knowledge and expertise to install your water garden or pondless waterfall, or water feature. Give us a call today. You will be glad you did!
What Is The Best Location For A Pond? If you have decided on, or are considering installing any type of water feature or water garden, remember the old real estate adage: LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. We believe the best location for your water feature is where you will most see it. Closely situated off of a patio or deck, or within close proximity of your back door will give you the most enjoyment. You and your guests can easily step outside to take in the beautiful scenery without having to trek to a remote corner or back area of your yard. Installing your water feature close by will allow you to view it even in the cooler months, where it might be more comfortable to be inside. The location of your water feature should be in close proximity to electrical and water sources to power the pump and top off pond water. A licensed electrician and/or plumber might need to be contracted if these are not easily accessible to the location you desire. If you are unsure of the best location, Ponds Inc. can offer suggestions on the best placement.
Should I Have Lighting With My Water Feature? Consideration of lighting should be done during the design phase of the project. LED lighting brings a whole new aspect of enjoyment to your waterfall, pond or feature allowing extended opportunities to view it in the evening hours. Why be limited in adoring your water garden during the daylight hours? The reflection of the water rippling, seeing the waterfall spotlighted, or watching the fish in the submersible lights is a sight to be seen. Contrary to what some might think, fish are not bothered by the lights. Fish have been known to circle around the lights, and look to be enjoying them. For those that enjoy entertaining, it is a pleasure to have guests in your outdoor living space well past the sunset. The natural lighting gives off a warm glow in the evening, creating a peaceful environment with the sights and sounds. Ponds Inc. can assist you with any questions you may have regarding the various types of lighting available, or on placement to achieve the best results.
How Deep Should My Pond Be? There are varying depths required, depending on if you are going to include fish. Depths range from 6” to 24” for water garden plants. Fish require a minimum of 24” depth to allow for overwintering. Even in warmer climates, fish still need the same minimum to give a cooler place to hide from the heat of the day. Contact Ponds Inc. and we will be more than happy to discuss what the proper depth of your pond should be depending on your needs.
What Is The Best Time of Year To Install A Pond? At Ponds Inc., we can install a pond as long as we can break ground. Yes, we can break ground if necessary during the throws of winter and even in frozen ground. This is not an opportune time for installation, however, in extreme circumstances we can accommodate. Generally speaking, we install into December and start again in late February. Contrary to popular belief, spring is not the only time a pond must be installed. It is perfectly fine to install all the way into the late fall including December. Although, once our area gets out of the depths of a cold winter, many start thinking of home improvement projects. There is usually an eight week time period until a pond begins to break down some of the nutrients that build up through natural processes. In the business, we call that becoming biologically active. It is recommended to introduce pond fish and aquatic plants during late spring through early to mid-fall, avoiding November through March.
Should I Include Rocks and Gravel In The Pond? At Ponds Inc., we strongly recommend using rocks and gravel for a variety of reasons. Not only is it pleasing to the eye to use different sizes and colors to make it natural looking, there are more practical reasons as well. During heavy rains, rocks of all shapes and sizes provide an anchor to hold your liner in place. They also extend the life of the liner, as they act as a shield from the blistering sun. The rocks also insulate your pond to help protect fish and plants and provide plenty of hidden areas to help fish in each stage of development. Rocks and especially gravel provide an excellent amount of biological filtration for your pond. This results in cleaner, clearer water and healthier fish. Many people have differing points of view on this topic, however at Ponds Inc., we feel that our crystal clear water and healthy ponds speak for themselves!
Now That I Have A Pond, What Do I Do Now? Congratulations on your newest addition or even if you've had your pond long term. Ponds Inc. will be more than happy to assist you with any questions that might arise even if we did not install your pond. There are some things that we tell our customers to expect after their pond or pondless waterfall installation. After we are done installing, the water is crystal clear after a couple of days from installation, and there is not one speck of algae, debris or sludge. If we have not introduced fish to your pond, we advise you to let your pond run for several days before adding fish. This allows the water to acquire adequate oxygen amounts and to de-chlorinate. At about 3 or 4 days, you should clean out your pond skimmer and again at 3 weeks. After that, it should be checked weekly and cleaned when necessary. After about 3 months, most pond owners should expect a more consistent behavior with their pond’s water clarity. Below are some things that may occur within the first few months of installation:
Green Water - Although most often occurring around the 3-4 week mark and again at the 8 week mark, don’t be surprised if it happens much sooner. It might seem strange, however, water turning green is completely healthy, normal and temporary. By giving a dose of beneficial pond bacteria and flocculant (clarifier), the water will clear up.
Cloudy or Milky Appearance - This occurs after the first heavy rainfall. This is only temporary and occurs due to excess debris or dust from the water washing off of the rocks. Your pond filter system should filter it out.
Algae - After about 4 weeks, the presence of string algae may begin to appear and can be earlier or later depending on the shady or sunny locations in your pond. This is completely normal, and soon will balance out when the aquatic plants start absorbing nutrients from the water, causing the algae to “starve” and disappear. It also is the first sign of a healthy ecosystem beginning.