Building a Disappearing Waterfall

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Disappearing Waterfall installed in York, PA

Disappearing Waterfall installed in York, PA

Follow along as the Pontz boys start building a disappearing waterfall of EPIC proportions from a drab old feature. This project included removal of existing pondless waterfall, setting the rocks aside, removing the liner and plumbing and install all new mechanical components, liner, underlayment and rebuild the feature in a similar design that existed. The stream bed was excavated deeper to retain the water and prevent leaks. Various larger boulders were used to help retain the feature and prevent long-term movement. The bottom basin was constructed using aquablox instead of rock to allow for more water storage. The existing landscape lights were reinstalled and the feature was freshly mulched for a neat, finished appearance.

Pondless Waterfall installed in York, PA

Pondless Waterfall installed in York, PA

Disappearing Waterfall installed in York, PA

Disappearing Waterfall installed in York, PA

Pondless Waterfall installed in York, PA

Pondless Waterfall installed in York, PA

Pondless Waterfall installed in York, PA

Pondless Waterfall installed in York, PA

Disappearing Waterfall installed in York, PA

Disappearing Waterfall installed in York, PA

EPIC Water Feature Display

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Amazing Water Feature Display installed in Harrisburg, PA

Amazing Water Feature Display installed in Harrisburg, PA

Check out this EPIC and i mean EPIC water feature display built at Watson Supply in Harrisburg, PA. This stunning water feature has it all. From cascading weathered limestone boulder waterfalls, to bubbling stacked slate urns and stacked slate spheres. If you’re in the area be sure to stop by and check it out. You won’t be disappointed. FACTS. The amazing fountainscape was created by the Pontz Crew in just two days. Yes you heard right two days.  A huge basin is located beneath the majority of the feature with a small pond area roughly 18″ deep.  Natural stone steppers lead you through the middle of the feature and a large tree bordering the pond area. Stay tuned for more from this project once the surrounding area has been completed.

*please note the surrounding landscaping and final touches we yet to be completed as of this video being shot*

Amazing Water Feature Display installed in Harrisburg, PA

Amazing Water Feature Display installed in Harrisburg, PA

Amazing Water Feature Display installed in Harrisburg, PA

Amazing Water Feature Display installed in Harrisburg, PA

Amazing Water Feature Display installed in Harrisburg, PA

Amazing Water Feature Display installed in Harrisburg, PA

Epic Water Feature Display installed in Harrisburg, PA

Epic Water Feature Display installed in Harrisburg, PA

Epic Water Feature Display installed in Harrisburg, PA

Epic Water Feature Display installed in Harrisburg, PA

Epic Water Feature Display installed in Harrisburg, PA

Epic Water Feature Display installed in Harrisburg, PA

Amazing Water Feature Display installed in Harrisburg, PA

Amazing Water Feature Display installed in Harrisburg, PA

Why Are My Koi Fighting?

https://cepontzsons.com/why-are-my-koi-fighting/

BY: Aquascape

 

If you notice your fish being rambunctious in the pond during the spring season, you might assume the koi are fighting with one another. In reality, just the opposite is true. Your koi are spawning and it can be quite a sight to behold!

Koi are river fish with mechanisms developed for river life, which means that when it comes to producing offspring, they scatter their eggs everywhere rather than laying them in a neat and tidy nest like other pond fish. The mother and father koi never give their fry another thought and don’t provide any after-care. In your pond, all the same stuff happens as in a river, but you get to see more of the intimate details!

Magic in the Pond

Two things begin the process of koi spawning in your pond. First, the water warms up in the spring, and second, the days grow longer. These two changes in the environment cause hormones to be released by the fish, causing the female to become full (gravid) of eggs and the male poised and ready for fertilization!
 

The Spawning Dance

During the spring season you might witness your koi chasing each other around the pond; usually first thing in the morning. It’s a remarkable sight because large koi can really cause a raucous in the pond with their shenanigans. They will bull around the plants in a group, upsetting pots, rocks, roots – all for spawning. The female, usually a larger rounder fish, is “driven” by one or more males, and in their blind excitement, even females will join the pursuit of the female laying her eggs. They all get together going in one direction like, “Hey, it’s a Conga line!”

While you might assume this is too traumatic for the female koi, this flurry of activity has to happen because she has no ability to push her eggs out with her abdominal muscles. Instead, the eggs are basically leaked out of the fish from the passive pressure that comes with pushing the female fish around the pond, usually against something like a rock or some plant material. The males bump their heads into her flanks to provide the extra oomph needed to expel most of her eggs.

If there are no shallows, obstacles, or plants for the female to push into, it is unlikely, to almost impossible, that a female koi will spawn on her own. In plain liner ponds with no decorative elements, rocks, plants, or shallow areas, the fish have no obstacles to spawn against and they may require artificially induced spawning hormones.
 

It Can Get Pretty Rough 

If you have a few koi in your pond, it’s important to know about spawning behavior because in the spring, you might be shocked and appalled to see your fish “fighting” when, in fact, they are not really fighting but are rushing each other in a spawn.

It’s also good to know that when the female koi gets rushed into the side of the pond, the shallows, or the rocks, she may endure some abrasion of her face and/or flanks. These will quickly heal under two conditions:

  1. Be alert to the number of females in your pond. Ideally, there should be about two males to every female. If there is a higher ratio of males to females, she becomes basically the only gal in the pond, and is pretty much rushed all day. When this happens, she can get pretty beat up and severe injury can occur. Remove any female that gets run for more than four hours.
  2. If the water quality is healthy and the important nitrogen numbers are all zero or nearly so, then she should be able to heal quickly and properly. If the water is high in ammonia, nitrite or nitrate, or if the pH is sagging low, the female will not heal well and infections are inevitable.

When you experience spawning in your pond and worry about the female, keep in mind that rocks under water are not abrasive! Give any rock three weeks under water and, unless it’s a foamy piece of lava rock, it’s going to be slick. The slime on rocks is called bio-film and it’s wonderment to the fish as well as a beneficial cleansing component for your water.
 

Now What?

Once spawning occurs in your pond, the water can get quite foamy.  You might want to perform a partial water change at this point.

In two days, the eggs released during spawning will hatch but they are so small that you really can’t see them. If you have gravel in your pond, it makes a great place for them to hide out, away from the danger of being eaten by bigger fish. They will hide there for another day or so using their yolk sac for energy then, when they are 24 to 36 hours old they will swim up into the foliage of the pond.  If you have no foliage, it’s a short story of delicious fry sushi and no babies the following day.

The fry eat microscopic plants and animals. If you have a pond with a coating of bio-film and a thin greenish layer of algae on things, then the fry will have plenty to eat. They grow fast. Unfortunately, some of the fry will be spied by their elder siblings and parents and enjoyed as a meal. Others will survive by color or cunning, and live to join the shoal.
 

Are They Really That Cute?

Baby fish (and young koi in general) grow an inch per month in the first year, especially in biologically filtered ponds with an abundant plant, cope-pod, nematode, rotifer, crustacean, molluscan, and protozoan-rich gravel bed to sustain them. In clean, liner-bottom, drained ponds, few fry live.

Of the babies that live, a very small percentage of fish will have colors of any appreciable pattern or brilliance. Fish of collectible quality are very rare, and are hand-selected from a hundred thousand babies by talented breeders in Japan who recognize good fish nearly at birth and discard all the rest. In your pond, of the hundred thousand offspring, a thousand will hatch and a hundred will live to even be seen by you. Of that hundred, 10 will get big enough to catch with a net and be examined, and of that 10, maybe one will be tolerable as a “keeper.”

The vast majority of spawned “homemade” babies in your pond will be grey or brown. This is partly because the genes for that color are extremely common, and that grey and brown are good survival colors for koi ponds. So these will be the dominant babies you’re left with.
 

A Word of Warning

A word on mixed populations of goldfish and koi – koi don’t like baby fish very much. Oh sure, in a pinch, they’ll consume them – probably more accidentally than intentionally. Goldfish, on the other hand, love baby fish – especially the big, chunky koi eggs and babies. When you keep koi and goldfish together in the same pond, the surviving babies will all be goldfish babies, not koi babies.

So if you want koi babies this spring, consider relinquishing your goldfish to another party who wants them, and keep just your koi.

Clean Your Pond for Spring

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Spring Pond Clean-out

Spring Pond Clean-out

Tis the season to begin to awaken from our winter slumber. Follow the pontz boys along on one of our first clean-outs of the year. After you watch that AMAZING VIDEO check out the blog post below featuring all the tips and tricks you need to complete a successful spring pond clean-out.

 

Successfully Clean Your Pond for Spring

BY: Aquascape
 

Spring is simply the most exciting time of year. Birds return from their southern migration, furry critters waken from their winter slumber, trees are budding, and your pond fish are stretching and warming up their fins for summer swimming! The best thing you can do for the health of your pond this season is to clean your pond – whether it’s a deep cleaning or just a bit of sprucing up.

Take a good look at your pond and ask yourself, “Does my water feature need a full clean-out this season, or does it just need to be tidied up a little?” To help you decide, it’s worth knowing what to look for. First, if there is a layer of “crud” at the bottom of the pond and the water is dark in color, it would be a good idea to do a full clean-out.

How to Clean Your Pond

On the other hand, if there is just a small amount of debris that you can stir up and capture with a net and the water looks clear, a little tidying up is all that’s in order. If you’re going the full clean-out route, plan on spending a half to a full day to complete a pond clean-out. A Pondless® Waterfall will take considerably less time. You can, of course, hire a pond pro to clean your water feature for you.

The best time to perform a pond clean-out is the early spring, before your water garden completely awakens from its winter dormancy – ideally before the water temperature in the pond creeps above 55º F. If a clean-out is performed when the water is warmer, after bacteria colonies form, the balance of the ecosystem will be thrown off and your pond will go through another period of algae blooms before the bacteria colonies become re-established. Be patient, your pond will naturally balance itself provided you don’t have a fish overload.
 

Here’s what you need to clean your pond:

  • A clean-out pump with approximately 25 ft. of discharge hose
  • A high-pressure nozzle for your garden hose, or a power washer
  • Garden shears for trimming plants
  • A child’s swimming pool or a similar sized container to hold fish and any other critters you find during the clean-out
  • A net or something similar to place over the fish container to keep them from jumping out
  • Two five-gallon buckets to collect leaves and debris
  • A fish net
  • Aquascape Pond Detoxifier to remove chorine and chloramines from tap water prior to putting fish back in the pond
  • Aquascape Cold Water Beneficial Bacteria

 

Drain the Pond Water

  • Place the clean-out pump in the deepest point of the pond in order to remove the water.
  • Drain the water into the surrounding landscape. Be sure to relocate the pipe two or three times to allow the water to seep into the ground and not flood the yard.
  • If you have fish, use some of this pond water to fill up the holding pool. The fish can be removed from the pond using a net once the water is low enough so you can easily catch them.
  • Don’t keep the fish in the holding pool for more than several hours. Keep them in a shady spot with a net over the top of the pool to prevent them from jumping out.

 

A Gentle Cleaning

  • Rinse the inside of the pond. You can also use a pressure washer to help remove debris from the rocks and gravel.
  • Don’t try to scrub all of the algae away. Some algae on the rocks will prove beneficial in developing your ecosystem. For an average size pond (11? x 16?) this should take around 15 minutes.
  • Use the gentle stream from a garden hose to rinse the rocks and gravel. Start at the top and work your way down to the bottom. Periodically turn the clean-out pump on to remove the dirty water. You can discontinue the periodic pumping once the water rinsing down to the bottom begins to look clear. Remove the pump and begin filling the pond.

 

Cleaning the Filters

  • Remove any debris from the bottom of the skimmer. This can be done by hand or by using the cleanout pump.
  • Remove the media nets and filter pads from the BioFalls® Filter. If you have the optional drain kit attached to your Signature Series™ BioFalls® Filter, you can open up the valve and rinse the media and filters. Once the filters have been removed rinse them free of accumulated debris.
  • The filter media and mats can be put back into place and the waterfalls pump can be reattached in the skimmer.

 

Acclimating Pond Fish

  • After filling the pond with your garden hose, add Aquascape Pond Detoxifier to the water so it is safe for your fish.
  • Dip a five-gallon bucket, or similar sized container, in the fish holding tank and fill it with water.
  • After you’ve caught a fish, place it in the bucket and set the buckets in the clean pond water (this prepares the fish for the temperature of the pond water).
  • After about 15 minutes, periodically begin splashing some pond water into the bucket.
  • By now, the temperature of the pond and the bucket water should be close to the same. You are ready to gently release the fish into their spring-cleaned home.

For additional spring maintenance tips, watch our video with helpful tips to get your pond off to a good start:

Landscape Ideas: Small Space Water Features

https://cepontzsons.com/landscape-ideas-small-space-water-features-2/

BY: Aquascape

Decorative water features are a unique and beautiful way to give your landscape a fresh face. Fountains and Patio Ponds are quick and affordable landscape ideas to add a splash of water to your outdoor living spaces. We’ve gathered some of our favorite small space water features to inspire you to add the sound of water to your gardens.

Our newest fountain is the Stacked Slate Sphere that looks great in any setting! Enhance a walkway or patio with this water feature that’s available in three sizes. Group them together for a statement piece in your landscape.

The Stacked Slate Sphere is available in three sizes and you can light it up at night, too. Birds and butterflies will visit the fountain for refreshment and you’ll enjoy gazing upon its beauty both day and night. Fill an unused space in your yard with this stunning fountain.

Made with the same finish, a Stacked Slate Wall is impressive wherever you tuck it into your landscape. You can link these together to create a unique focal point. Of course, they look great as a single fountain too.

Decorative fountains are popping up in yards all over the country as more homeowners look for unique ways to improve the curb appeal of their house. An underground reservoir holds the pump and water that recirculates through the fountain. You’ll find a variety of fountain styles to suit your taste and budget.

A trio of stone fountains welcomes visitors to this suburban home, adding to the home’s value with its increased curb appeal. Rather than an expanse of grass or a large bush, the homeowners opted for beautiful fountain rocks which can be seen through their living room picture window.

If you prefer something a little more elegant, you might enjoy a series of bowls spilling into each other. The best part of Aquascape Spillway Bowls is that you can link several together in a variety of patterns.

Birds and butterflies enjoy visiting outdoor fountains to enjoy a refreshing splash or nourishing drink. Every nature lover will enjoy the many benefits of decorative small space water features. And why stop with just one fountain?  Place them in nooks and crannies throughout your garden spaces.

One of the fastest-growing trends in outdoor living features is the combination of fire and water. Our popular Fire Fountain creates a soft, pleasing sound of water as it flows over and around the pebbles. Fire adds a surprising element that looks great at night, too.

Miniature water gardens, also known as Patio Ponds, are becoming increasingly popular on patios and decks. These small-scaled ponds provide the opportunity to enjoy beautiful waterlilies in a variety of colors. You can even add small fish like Rosy Reds. Kids love watching the tiny fish swim and you can bring them indoors when winter rolls around.

Whatever you choose, you’re sure to enjoy the beauty and refreshment that a small water feature adds to your outdoor living spaces!

Disappearing Waterfalls

https://cepontzsons.com/disappearing-waterfalls-2/
Disappearing Waterfalls installed in Lancaster, PA
Disappearing Waterfalls installed in Lancaster, PA

This disappearing waterfalls project included installation of a pondless water feature measuring roughly 15′ long. The meandering stream and waterfalls disappear into an underground holding basin. This system circulates water from the basin throughout the decorative feature and practically maintains itself.

Waterfalls installed in Lancaster, PA
Waterfalls installed in Lancaster, PA

Disappearing waterfalls are the perfect solution to house the tranquil sound of water with beautiful flowing falls without a pond. If you love the idea of waterfalls in your yard but have no interest in aquatic animals this type of feature is for you. Size and shape of these water features can be completely customized to almost any size, location, and even budget.

Disappearing Waterfalls installed in Lancaster, PA
Disappearing Waterfalls installed in Lancaster, PA
Pondless Waterfalls installed in Lancaster, PA
Pondless Waterfalls installed in Lancaster, PA
Disappearing Waterfalls installed in Lancaster, PA
Disappearing Waterfalls installed in Lancaster, PA
Waterfalls installed in Lancaster, PA
Waterfalls installed in Lancaster, PA
Pondless Waterfalls installed in Lancaster, PA
Pondless Waterfalls installed in Lancaster, PA
Waterfalls installed in Lancaster, PA
Waterfalls installed in Lancaster, PA
Waterfalls installed in Lancaster, PA
Waterfalls installed in Lancaster, PA
Disappearing Waterfalls installed in Lancaster, PA
Disappearing Waterfalls installed in Lancaster, PA
Pondless Waterfalls installed in Lancaster, PA
Pondless Waterfalls installed in Lancaster, PA

The Secret to Creating a Low Maintenance Pond

https://cepontzsons.com/the-secret-to-creating-a-low-maintenance-pond/

BY: Aquascape

The beauty of a  pond is something everyone can appreciate. A flash of golden fish swimming in clean, clear water beneath the pads of waterlilies is a sight to behold and enjoy. Add the sound of a running waterfall and you have a dream come true in your backyard.

Keeping pond water clean and clear is the basis for a healthy pond that requires little to no maintenance. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to create a proper pond environment that benefits your fish and plants. Follow our not-so-secret steps to ensure a naturally-balanced, low maintenance pond throughout the year!

Circulation: Make sure your pond pump is the correct size for your pond and waterfall. A pump provides valuable aeration to the water. Several variables need to be considered when choosing a pump, such as the size of your pond and the height of your waterfall. Aquascape makes it easy to select the right size pump with our brand new Pond Pump Selection Guide.

Filtration: More often than not, when answering questions about pond water quality, we find that people don’t have proper filtration installed on their pond. If you had your pond built by a Certified Aquascape Contractor, you should have no worries. But for others, you want to make sure your pond has both a biological filter and a mechanical skimmer. The biological filteris the start of your waterfall and adds beneficial bacteria to your pond. The mechanical skimmer is similar to a pool skimmer, removing surface debris such as leaves and sticks. Ideally, you want to position the biological filter and skimmer at opposite ends of the pond. This ensures movement throughout the entire pond so you don’t end up with stagnant areas.

For more information, download our e-book, How to Keep Pond Water Clean and Healthy.

Rocks and Gravel: Ponds can be made various ways. Some are created with concrete, others with a simple pond liner. We believe in an ecosystem approach to the pondering lifestyle and use rocks and gravels in our ponds, after installing underlayment and liner. Gravel provides much-needed surface area for beneficial bacteria to grow. Your fish will graze on these bacteria, as well. The gravel won’t be a breeding ground for muck and debris if you ensure that your low maintenance pond has the proper pump and filtration. The ecosystem works together so it’s important not to eliminate any of the elements.

Fish: While fish keeping is fun, your finned friends play an important part in the overall ecosystem of your pond. They eat algae and their waste becomes fertilizer for your pond plants. Too many fish, however, can pose a problem. A good rule of thumb is to limit your fish load to no more than 10” of fish per 100 gallons of water. So if you have a 20 fish at various lengths totaling 300” when combined, then you need a 3,000 gallon pond.

Plants: Plants play a critical role in the pond’s ecosystem due to their filtering capabilities. Plants absorb nutrients from fish waste and help starve algae of its food. During hot summer months, make sure to have at least 40% of your pond’s surface covered with plants. You can accomplish this with waterlilies and various marginals like mosaic plant, or floating plants like water lettuce and water hyacinth.

And now you know the secret to a truly low maintenance pond. Start with the basics and create a naturally balanced pond with a combination of proper circulation, filtration, fish, plants, and rock and gravel. You’ll be amazed at how easy pond-keeping can be!

Winter Pond Build

https://cepontzsons.com/winter-pond-build/
Backyard Pond Build in Lancaster, PA
Backyard Pond Build in Lancaster, PA

It may be Winter but the party doesn’t stop for the Pontz boys. Check out our latest backyard koi pond build completed at the end of December. While it was mighty cold we pushed through and created another masterpiece. This winter pond build included installation of an Aquascape 8’x11′ ecosystem pond and removal of small existing pond . We also installed aquatic plants, and a fish cave. Due to the winter weather we are holding of on introducing the koi to their new home until the spring. The pond was finished off with a mulch bed around the perimeter and fine grading and seeding of damaged lawn from construction.

Winter Pond Build in Lancaster, PA
Winter Pond Build in Lancaster, PA
Backyard Pond Build in Lancaster, PA
Backyard Pond Build in Lancaster, PA
Winter Pond Build in Lancaster, PA
Winter Pond Build in Lancaster, PA
Backyard Pond Build in Lancaster, PA
Backyard Pond Build in Lancaster, PA
Winter Pond Build in Lancaster, PA
Winter Pond Build in Lancaster, PA
Backyard Pond Build in Lancaster, PA
Backyard Pond Build in Lancaster, PA

Natural Stone Backyard Makeover

https://cepontzsons.com/natural-stone-backyard-makeover/
Flagstone Patio and Fire Pit installed in Stevens, PA
Flagstone Patio and Fire Pit installed in Stevens, PA

This AMAZING natural stone backyard makeover was recently installed in Stevens, PA located in beautiful northern Lancaster County. Installed during the early winter which made it quite cold. Luckily once the fire pit was complete we had the luxury of enjoy the warmth of the fire through the day. We even manage to cook a hot lunch a few days on the grill attachment of the fire pit insert.

Natural Stone Backyard Makeover
Natural Stone Backyard Makeover

The Project included a two tier natural flagstone patio with a smokeless fire pit feature embedded in the top tier of the patio. Natural Stone steps and boulder retaining walls separate the two patio tiers as well as border the edges. Color changing LED landscape lighting was installed around the perimeter along with an impressive outdoor audio system. The project was finished of with surrounding landscaping and a sod yard.

Flagstone Patio and Fire Pit installed in Stevens, PA
Flagstone Patio and Fire Pit installed in Stevens, PA
Natural Stone Backyard Makeover
Natural Stone Backyard Makeover
Flagstone Patio and Fire Pit installed in Stevens, PA
Flagstone Patio and Fire Pit installed in Stevens, PA
Natural Stone Patio and Fire Pit installed in Stevens, PA
Natural Stone Patio and Fire Pit installed in Stevens, PA
Flagstone Patio and Fire Pit installed in Stevens, PA
Flagstone Patio and Fire Pit installed in Stevens, PA
Natural Stone Patio and Fire Pit installed in Stevens, PA
Natural Stone Patio and Fire Pit installed in Stevens, PA
Flagstone Patio and Fire Pit installed in Stevens, PA
Flagstone Patio and Fire Pit installed in Stevens, PA
Natural Stone Patio and Fire Pit installed in Stevens, PA
Natural Stone Patio and Fire Pit installed in Stevens, PA

How to Maintain a Running Winter Pond

https://cepontzsons.com/how-to-maintain-a-running-winter-pond/

BY : Aquascape

When the temperature starts to plummet, pond owners ask themselves how they can keep their pond running properly during the winter months. Follow our winter tips to keep your pond running optimally throughout the season.

Keep a hole in the ice: Once the temperature starts to drop below freezing, you will notice the surface of your pond icing over. Your first instinct might be to rescue your fish before the pond freezes solid! No need to worry about your fish turning into ice cubes provided your pond is at least two feet deep. The fish will hibernate at the bottom of the pond where the water doesn’t freeze. You do however, need to make sure that you keep a hole in the ice for the exchange of gases so the pond doesn’t become toxic to your finned friends.

Winter Pond Keeping Tips: Keep a Hole in the Ice

Don’t poke unnecessary holes in the ice: This hole in the ice is different from the aforementioned hole that’s necessary to keep your fish safe. In the winter you might notice ice build-up (especially around the waterfalls) that prevents your water flow from reaching the surface. Your first instinct might be to break off some of this ice which can create new holes.

The ice formations on your pond act as a barrier between the cold air outside and the water running underneath it. Busting open the ice in multiple areas exposes the running water to freezing temperatures for a second time. Now all the newly exposed water begins to freeze and creates even more ice than before. Consequentially, your water source will be depleted from this build-up of ice and you’ll find yourself having to top off your pond more frequently than you’d like.

Breaking open other small holes in your pond is also ill-advised. When you create a small hole across your pond, the water underneath will start to flow on top of the surrounding ice. This prevents your water source from running underneath the ice to reach your pump down below, and now your pond is leaking. To correct this, you need to carefully open another hole near your pump so all the water running on top of the ice will flow back into this new hole.

Winter Pond Keeping Tips: Keep a Hole in the Ice

Watch for water running over ice buildup: Sometimes you might notice that an area of ice has water running over it and out of the pond. This can happen near the waterfalls where water tends to splash and ice builds up creating a dam. Water coming over the falls might be diverted outside of the pond when this happens. To correct this, you need to carefully open a hole where the damming occurs so water runs freely over the falls and into the pond. A good way to eliminate a buildup of ice is to pour warmer water over it to melt the ice dam.

It’s vital to keep a vigilant eye on an operational pond in freezing conditions. Although creating holes in the surface ice can cause problems, keep in mind you do need at least one good-sized hole for the exchange of gas and oxygen to keep your koi alive. You can use the AquaForce pump to accomplish this, or use the Pond De-Icer, or both. Creating this hole releases all the gases trapped under the ice, while also providing oxygen to your pond fish. Follow our winter pond-keeping tips and your fish will thank when spring rolls around!