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What is going on in your pond?

Keeping a pond clean is vital for the health of the livestock and your personal enjoyment! However it is important also to maintain a healthy, working ecosystem within the pond. Our service is designed to “deep clean” for the season ahead without damaging the biological balance of your pond.

Put simply, your fish are reliant upon natural bacteria which forms over time throughout the pond, and in particular in the filtration media. These bacteria multiply at the same rate livestock are added and are responsible for breaking toxic fish waste down into safe substances. In this way a balance is created and must be maintained.

There now follows an overview of the services we offer....

Vacuum Only

 

Ponds accumulate sludge and silt over time. This is mostly due to organic matter such as leaves, dead insects and algae etc breaking down. Whilst this is fine for a period, if this layer of sediment is allowed to build up the chances of harmful bacteria moving in is very high. This sludge, breaks down into ammonia and emits various gases. These give off an unpleasant smell. This ultimately makes the water very unhealthy for fish. A stagnant pond is often the result.

Using our state of the art pond vacuum, we can remove a larger percentage of this sediment whilst leaving almost all of the water in the pond. More importantly there is no need to remove your fish or plants. This is a more practical solution than stripping down a pond to clean it out.

General Maintenance Visit

 

When dealing with ponds it is important to realise that problems do not instantly occur! If water conditions are not monitored and correct maintenance procedures are not followed, you can run into problems. Water quality tends to take as long to rectify as it does to go wrong. Prevention is definitely better than cure.

During a maintenance visit, we will remove approximately 25% of your pond water and refill using a dechlorinator to treat your tap water. We will also clean and check the mechanics of your filtration system. The health of your stock relies on processes performed by beneficial bacteria which colonise your filter media – once these healthy bacteria are established in a filter, it is considered “mature”. If the filter is cleaned incorrectly these bacteria are lost.

Whilst most hobbyists should be capable of this sort of maintenance themselves, we offer this service to those who are unsure and would like to be “shown the ropes”. However, if you are simply too busy with other commitments, we can arrange quarterly maintenance visits.

We will test your pond water quality. This will assist us in gauging the maintenance requirements of your pond in the future.

This service may be combined with the pond vacuum service. This complete package will ensure your pond gets a clean and healthy boost for the season.

Strip Down and Jet Wash

 

In severe cases or when a fresh start seems to be the only solution we can strip down a pond. This also gives the opportunity to search for leaks and check the condition of the pond lining and structure.

We remove every plant, fish and ornament before draining and vacuuming the pond. We finish off with a jet wash and then refill with dechlorinated water. This leaves you with a clean slate to begin the next stage of your aquatic project.

Quotes & Estimates

 

In order for us to give you a firm quote for any of the above services, we require the following information:-

  • Size of pond, including depth
  • Type of filtration, uv, pumps
  • Are there any water features eg waterfalls, fountains – this information is needed to ascertain that your pumps are adequately sized
  • Is it a rubber lined or concrete pond?
  • What stock is in the pond ie goldfish, koi, mixed.
  • Is it a planted pond?

 

We charge a call-out fee of £40 within a 30 mile radius of our base. Further distances are by agreement.



Useful Information



What do you need to ensure clear water in your pond?

In order for your pond to have clear water, it must have a turnover once every 2 hours. This means that the water is pumped past a uvc, through the filter and returned to the pond.

To do this effectively you must consider where your filter is in relation to your pond and have a suitably sized pump to deliver the water to the filter. The further or higher your filter is away from your pond means that you need a powerful pump and an appropriate sized hose to carry the water away from the pond to the filter.

The uv bulb must be replaced annually, preferably at the start of the pond season to ensure it is strong enough to cope with the algae as it develops in the longer, brighter days of spring and summer.

The basic equipment are:

  • Pump – appropriately sized for distance to filter and for required water turnover

  • Hosing – too small and the pressure of the pump is irrelevant – too big and the pump won't be big enough

  • Filtration – needs to be big enough to cope with the size of pond, amount of fish etc

  • UVC – as per filtration requirements

To assist in calculating the size/power of equipment required it is important to know the VOLUME of the pond.

Some people incorporate a waterfall or small fountain as a feature and to help incorporate oxygen into the pond. If the fountain is to run off the pump then this must be factored into the size of pump required.

Alternatively you can opt for the natural system of filtration. For this to be effective you will need at least 30% pond plant coverage in your pond. This will not be suitable for koi ponds or heavily stocked ponds as the bio load will be too heavy and also because koi tend to disrupt pond plants from their planters and churn the water up so that it appears murky and cloudy.


Preparing Your Pond for Winter

As the colder weather creeps upon us, it is now time to consider the winter preparations for your pond. We recommend the following:

•  Autumn: If you can, remove any dead leaves from plants in your pond – this stops decay and toxic gases from building up – Place a pond net over the pond to catch and prevent leaves from settling in your pond if you live in an area with lots of trees.

•  Cease feeding your fish from the end of October . A fish's metabolism slows down considerably in colder weather. Uneaten food will not be digested and can remain the in the gut, causing gases, bloating and illness. Fish will have built up fat reserves to help them through the colder months – much as other animals store up food for hibernation. You can resume a light feeding regime in March. It is recommended that any fancy or delicate strains of goldfish are moved indoors. They are not hardy enough and are unlikely to survive the winter cold.

•  End of November : Turn off the filtration and pumps to prevent the colder top layer of water from being circulated around the pond (even if your pond is shallow and thermal layering does not apply). The winter sun is not strong enough to cause algae in your pond and the filter is not needed to remove fish wastes as you will have ceased feeding the fish anyway. Running the filter in winter has no benefits whatsoever. So save yourself the electricity costs and wear and tear on your equipment.

•  If you can, rinse out and dry your filtration system, pumps and hosing. This way, water cannot freeze in the pipes causing potential damage. Storing in a garage or shed will ensure extra protection.

•  Place a few large non-toxic planters or buckets with holes in the base into the pond (black is best) – this will provide a safe refuge for the fish in the absence of lilies etc. Attach some string to the planters/buckets for easy removal in the spring.

•  Don't forget to contact us in the Spring for your new UV bulbs and any maintenance jobs you may want us to do. UV bulbs only last between 6-12 months and become ineffective at killing suspended algae after this time. If you have the UV working from the start of Spring you stand a better chance of keeping suspended algae at bay.

We now have in stock the Tetra Winter Island Pond Heater @ £40 each and an ice prevention unit (no electricity needed) @ £10. Both are useful in allowing toxic gases to escape from the pond during freezing weather.

Feeding can be resumed from St Patrick's day ie Mid-March. There are enough natural foods to keep the fish going until then. Feeding below 10 oC is dangerous.

 


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