5 Tips for the Summer Pond Season

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As we approach the dog days of summer there are things that you need to remember about your water feature in order to keep a balanced ecosystem pond along with happy fish! Take a moment to refresh your memory with these 5 critically important tips.

1.Add oxygen to your pond by placing an aerator or AquaForce® pump in your pond. You can also install a fountain with a pump if your pond doesn’t have a waterfall or stream built in.

2.If you feed your fish, feed them in the morning and be careful not to overfeed. Uneaten food decays faster in warmer water and can pollute the pond.

3.Be sure to remove dying leaves and flowers before they have a chance to decay in the warmer water.

4.Aquatic plants such as waterlilies help provide fish with shade from the heat of summer sun, cooling the water and making algae control easier too.

5.Is there really a leak?

Often, people do not realize how much water can evaporate from a pond during the dog days of summer.

The Midwestern states typically lose 1 to 1.5″ of water each week.

Pond owners in the hot, arid Southwest have reported evaporation levels in excess of 3″ a week.

Remember, these are averages. Some ponds may not experience evaporation levels this high. Other ponds with large pumps pushing high volumes of water, or ponds designed with multiple waterfalls and a lot of cascades and splashing may have evaporation rates much greater than these.

Read More: http://www.aquascapeinc.com/blogs/water-gardening/5-critical-tips-for-summer

Acclimating Pond Fish with Aquascape’s Pond Detoxifier

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Learn from Scott Rhodes, The Product Guy, how to properly acclimate your new pond fish. Quick tips for selecting and transporting fish are also provided. Be sure to use Pond Detoxifier to help remove ammonia and reduce stress on the fish during this process.

Aquascape Pond Detoxifier makes tap water into pond water. Because tap water including well water often contains chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals, that if left untreated can cause damage to the pond ecosystem. Aquascape Pond Detoxifier eliminates chlorine, chloramines, ammonia and chelates heavy metals making them safe for fish and plants and allowing for metals like iron to be used by pond plants as fertilizer. Why buy two separate products when Aquascape Pond Detoxifier can do it all?

Available in two sizes: 250ml/8.5 oz, 500ml/16.9 oz.

 

Ecosystem Ponds

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Ecosystem ponds can be easy to understand if you have a good grasp of what components go into a basic, functioning ecosystem. An ecosystem pond works with Mother Nature to provide food, shelter, and safety to the wildlife around it. It also provides you with an all-natural, low-maintenance piece of paradise. It’s important to remember, however, that every piece of the ecosystem puzzle must be present in order for a true ecosystem to be in place. Eliminate one of these elements and you’ve got an unbalanced ecosystem that won’t be so low-maintenance anymore. Check out the things you’ll need to get your ecosystem pond fired up:

Circulation System is really just a fancy way of saying “pumps and plumbing.” The proper size pump and pipe diameter are extremely important for the aesthetics of a water feature. More importantly, an efficient circulation system keeps the water moving and provides the necessary oxygen levels for healthy fish and plants.

Proper Filtration System includes the use of both a biological and a mechanical filter. A biological filter provides surface area for beneficial bacteria to colonize and remove excess nutrients from the water. A mechanical filter will not only pre-filter the water and house the pump; it will also skim debris from the water’s surface to prevent the accumulation of organic materials on the pond floor.

Fish are an integral part of any ecosystem. Unfortunately, fish are often seen as creating a maintenance nightmare. Contrary to popular belief, fish will actually reduce pond maintenance, as they graze on string algae and bottom feed from the pond floor.

Aquatic Plants are Mother Nature’s true filters. Plants are great for adding character to a pond by providing color and texture, but from a filtration perspective, they’re second to none. Thriving from the excess nutrients in a pond and depriving algae of its food source, the aquatic plants in a water garden, given proper coverage, are critical for the overall health of the ecosystem.

Rocks, Gravel, and Bacteria have been a controversial element in the hobby for many years. Many enthusiasts have steered away from rocks and gravel out of fear that their system will become a maintenance nightmare. On the contrary, rocks and gravel will not only make your pond look more natural, they will also protect pond liners from UV light degradation and they provide tremendous surface area for beneficial bacteria to break down excess nutrients in the water and dissolved organic debris on the pond floor.

Having all these things in place makes all the difference in the health and success of your water garden. Use them and work with Mother Nature, not against her, for a chemical-free wonderland of water! The truth is that most people opt for the ecosystem way of water gardening because it’s easier and it just makes sense. A low-maintenance ecosystem pond provides you with more free time to enjoy friends and family … while gathered around your pond, of course!

 

read more: http://www.aquascapeinc.com/blogs/water-gardening/Is-Your-Pond-Eco-Friendly

Be sure to check out Aquascape in The Pond Stars premiering this September on Nat Geo Wild : http://www.aquascapeinc.com/blogs/aquascape-news/nat-geo-wilds-new-series-pond-stars

Pond Stars

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NAT GEO WILD’S New Series Pond Stars Transforms Typical Backyards and Community Spaces into Private Paradises

Brian-Pond-2

A backyard is a terrible thing to waste, especially when it has the potential to invigorate the surrounding ecosystem. But, what’s a homeowner to do? Beginning this fall, they can call the Pond Stars – a group of some of the world’s best pond builders, who can turn any barren plot into an attractive, inspirational and even, healing oasis.

From the wetlands of Northern Florida to the mountains surrounding California’s San Gabriel Valley, Nat Geo WILD’s latest series introduces viewers to a new type of behind-the-scenes adventure and a number of furry, feathered and scaled critters. Led by longtime pond expert Greg Wittstock, or “The Boss,” the team uses its unique expertise and appreciation for the outdoors to tackle these challenging assignments.

Wittstock, who has successfully developed a childhood hobby into Chicago-based Aquascape Inc. – North America’s leading supplier of water gardening supplies – is joined in Season I by co-workers and outdoor enthusiasts Ed Beaulieu (“The Scientist”), Brian Helfrich (“The Foreman”) and Chris Hanson (“The New Guy”). Together, the team presents more than 75 years of experience in the business, having spent decades both training and educating on backyard redesign. Each team member brings a distinct expertise and personality to the series’ transformations and plays a pivotal role in reconnecting clients with the nature around them.

 

Pond Stars premieres Friday, September 5, 2014 at 10 p.m. EDT / 7 p.m. PDT.

Pond-Stars-on-Nat-Geo-Wild

For more information on the show, please visit www.NatGeoWild.com or contact PondStars@miller-pr.com.

Using Your Pond Products

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When used as suggested your pond will look better and be more enjoyable. All dosages are based on gallons of water in the pond which can be calculated by multiplying length (ft.) x average width (ft.) x average depth (ft.) x 7.48.

Beneficial Bacteria/AquaClearer (Blue Lid) – use when the water is at least 60 degrees. Use daily for the first two weeks then once or twice a month until the water temperature drops below 60 degrees. Dosage-ONE TEASPOON per 1000 gal. – can be sprinkled around perimeter of pond or in front of the skimmer.

S.A.B. Stream and Pond Clean (Green Lid) – use when the water is at least 60 degrees and when string algae or organic material starts to build up in the pond and waterfall. Dissolve dose in a bucket of warm (80 degree) water and spread around the perimeter of the pond. Dosage- ONE SCOOP per 100 GALLONS. Use- When adding for the first time use a double dose weekly for the first two weeks. Use normal dosage once every two weeks for maintenance thereafter.

EcoBlast (Red Lid) – can be used in colder water and is to be sprinkled in small amounts on algae in streams and waterfalls. It may be necessary to shut pump off before applying and to allow the product to work for 5 minutes or so before restart it. Use care with this product so as not to get it directly on aquatic plants and KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN.

Amazing Outdoor Kitchen Before & After

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This Project consisted of a 1,200 square foot, natural tan flagstone haven in Lancaster, PA. Included are a variety of entertainment, dining and relaxation areas anchored by a large outdoor kitchen. The Outdoor Kitchen included a 30” grill with two side burners, sink, a beer kegerator, custom cabinets, marble counter top, and pergola. A natural stone walkway and natural stone steps connects the upper kitchen area with the covered entertainment area. Also included in the project was sodding and seeding of all disturbed areas as well as surrounding landscaping including mulch beds and plantings.

Master Certified Aquascape Contractor Press Release

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

C.E. Pontz Sons Awarded
Master Certified Aquascape Contractor Status

Lancaster, PA – C.E. Pontz Sons has successfully completed the qualification process to become a Master Certified Aquascape Contractor (MCAC), the highest level of certification provided by Aquascape Inc. Master Certified Aquascape Contractors are the most qualified and informed pond installers in the water gardening industry. MCACs are trained and educated to install beautiful, low-maintenance water features, and provide quality workmanship, outstanding customer service, and knowledgeable assistance to their customers.
“Adrian has demonstrated his ability to install professional, natural-looking water features while providing excellence in service to his customers,” said Jeffrey Payton, vice president of business development for Aquascape. “We’re proud to have Adrian on board as a Master Certified Aquascape Contractor.” Aquascape ensures that each applicant meets all standards of the qualification process. Applicants must provide customer referrals, photos of completed water features, pass extensive online training courses and testing, and comply with Aquascape construction methodology. In addition, applicants must use Aquascape product exclusively, with purchases that comply with the Master level over a two-year period, equivalent to approximately 20 water features installations per year.
C.E. Pontz Sons has been installing water features for 15 plus years, using quality-grade professional products manufactured by Aquascape. As a Master Certified Aquascape Contractor, C.E. Pontz Sons is able to provide the best in service and products for ecosystem ponds, Pondless® Waterfalls, and decorative fountains.
For information on C.E. Pontz Sons and its water feature services, visit www.cepontzsons.com or call 717-394-9923. For more information on Aquascape and its water feature products, log onto www.aquascapeinc.com.

C.E. Pontz Sons is a Lancaster, PA based company specializing in designing and installing Water features and Outdoor Living Spaces in Central Pennsylvania. Since 1934 C.E. Pontz Sons has consistently provided top notch quality craftsmanship by some of the most well trained and experienced personnel in the industry. www.cepontzsons.com

Aquascape is North America’s leading innovator in the water gardening industry. Aquascape invented the low-maintenance, naturally balanced ecosystem pond that is the # 1 contractor-installed water garden. The St. Charles, Illinois headquarters, dubbed “Aqualand,” received Silver Level recognition in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating system. Aquascape’s mission is to help our customers succeed at building, selling, and retailing water garden products. Aquascape and its vast network of Authorized AquascapePRO™ Distributors sell exclusively to contractors and retailers. Founded in 1991, Aquascape made the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing private companies four years in a row. In 2005, founder and CEO Greg Wittstock was named one of America’s Best Bosses by FORTUNE Small Business Magazine and Winning Workplaces™. www.aquascapeinc.com

How to Deter Visiting Pond Predators

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Everyone Has Enemies

There are many pond predators that love to hunt fish. And when we give them shiny gold targets to go for, it makes their jobs even easier. Two of the usual suspects in the missing fish line-up are the raccoon and the heron. There are others, but these are the two most prevalent in the hobby.

For the raccoon, you have to first remember he doesn’t mind getting his hands wet, but will probably not purposely go for a swim to catch a fish. He can be held at bay by the way the pond is designed. A plant shelf that is too shallow will help him snag a fish every time.

Keeping Them Safe

For the heron, things get a little more challenging. They are very crafty and smart birds and you should not underestimate them. There are many methods available to keep them or scare them away from your pond – from plastic heron statue replicas to floating alligator decoys and motion-activated sprinkler. These options to ward him off all offer varying levels of success for every water garden hobbyist.

Predator Tip

In early spring, these birds return to your area and look for feeding grounds. As they fly overhead to see where the fish are, your colorful fish stand out like a fast food restaurant. Your first defense is to use a decoy of some sort, whether it is heron or alligator decoy. They work better if you keep moving them around the pond to fool the heron into thinking they are real. Herons would rather not feed in the same water as an alligator, and if they see that another bird has staked out your backyard already, they are more likely to move on to the next available spot.
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As we move into summer, just like us, they develop a routine and may even forget about your pond. So the trick is to move the decoy about every three days in the spring and every couple of weeks in the summer.

Another decoy on the market is a motion-activated sprinkler called a Scarecrow. When the predator gets close enough the motion sensor will activate, and the visitor will get a quick blast of water.

Life Without Fish? Never!

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is to have fun with your fish, and to remember that all of these occurrences are case specific. You may never see a heron or raccoon in your backyard, your fish may be disinterested in your plants, and there may be no bullying in the pond.

Who knows, maybe you’ll be lucky and avoid all three. After a season or two, you will remember what your life was like before fish. You’ll undoubtedly realize that the pleasure of pond fish far outweighs a life without finned friends.

 

Read more: http://www.aquascapeinc.com/blogs/water-gardening/How-to-Deter-Visiting-Pond-Predators

Pondless Waterfall Memorial Build at Grace Lutheran Church Lancaster, PA

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This Project Consisted of removal of existing water feature and flagstone walkway. We then installed an Aquascape Pondless Waterfall and Stream that meanders throught the flower bed before disappearing into an underground basin. We relayed the flagstone paver walking path and added a few plants and some fresh mulch to finish off the existing landscape and freshen up what was disturbed. The Pondless Waterfall has a memorial plaque attached to one of the small boulders in the stream. This project was done at Grace Lutheran Church on Queen Street in Lancaster, PA.

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Water Garden Event (Lancaster, PA)

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Water Garden Event