5 Tips to Winterize Your Pond

Winter can take a toll on your pond. As water temperatures drop, a thick layer of ice can form on the surface of your pond. As a result, toxic gases can get trapped in the water, increasing the risk of a fish kill. Cold temperatures can also harm your plants, and even kill them.

Winterizing your pond is a great way to protect the plants and fish in it. Here are some tips to prepare your pond for cold weather.

Treat Your Pond Water

Cold water bacteria help maintain water quality by decomposing organic debris like fish waste. Consider adding cold water beneficial bacteria to your pond. A good cold-water bacteria treatment makes pond maintenance a breeze. As a result, you spend less time maintaining your pond and more time enjoying it. Top-of-the-line treatments are designed to work in water temperatures as low as 32 degrees.

Install Pond Netting

Why wait for leaves and other debris to end up in your pond and then remove them, when you can prevent them from making their way into your pond by putting a net over it in the first place? Remove the leaves and other debris in your pond net at regular intervals.

Remove Leaves and Debris

If you haven’t installed pond netting, use a long-handled skimmer net to scoop out debris from the surface and bottom of your pond. If you fail to do so, the debris at the bottom of your pond can decay over time, affecting pond water quality. Therefore, even with pond netting, you will want to clean your pond periodically.

Trim Back Dead Foliage

Trimming dead foliage in your pond is a great way to remove excess organic debris that would otherwise decompose in the water. Trim back any hardy marginal plants and leave them in the water. Remove any tropical plants from your pond and move them inside your home.

Feed Your Fish Less Frequently

Fish slow down their heart rate and metabolism in winter. As a result, they tend to be less active and need very little to no food to survive. If you overfeed your fish in winter, they may excrete more. Fish excreta is a source of ammonia. Ammonia is also produced when uneaten fish feed completely breaks down or metabolizes.

If allowed to accumulate, ammonia can affect pond water quality. To prevent water quality problems, stop feeding your fish once the water temperature goes below 50 degrees F.  

Whether you want to add a pond or any other water feature to your backyard, Atlantis Water Gardens has got you covered. Our experience enables us to bring our customers’ vision to life. To schedule a fish pond repair near you in Randolph, call 973-627-0515.

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4 Ways to Remove Sludge From Your Koi Pond

A koi pond is a worthy addition to any property. However, like all other types of ponds, koi ponds also need to be cleaned regularly. Failure to properly maintain a koi pond can accumulate organic debris or sludge at the bottom.

Pond sludge can affect pond water quality. As a result, your pond can quickly become an eyesore. A sludge buildup can cause oxygen levels in your pond to drop rapidly. Extremely low levels of dissolved oxygen can lead to fish kills. In addition, pond sludge can promote the growth of anaerobic bacteria that produce hydrogen sulfide, a colorless gas that gives water a distinctive rotten egg smell.

Here are some ways to remove sludge from your pond.

Use Muck Reducer Tablets

Muck reducer tablets contain beneficial bacteria that break down organic waste without harming koi fish. In addition to eating away at the sludge at the bottom of a pond, beneficial bacteria eliminate any floating organic matter in it.

Use a Pond Vacuum

A pond vacuum is designed to suck out the sludge sitting at the bottom of a pond. Pond vacuums are usually used for small ponds. For a larger pond, use a large portable muck dredge or submersible pump.

Scoop Out the Sludge

To scoop out pond sludge, run a fine pond net along the bottom of your pond. This method may not remove sludge completely, but it may help reduce it.

Drain and Clean Your Pond

If the above pond cleaning methods don’t work, first drain your pond and clean it thoroughly. Be very careful when transferring your koi fish to a container, or they can get stressed. Once your pond is empty, use a pond vacuum or any other pond-cleaning tool to remove pond sludge. Be sure to dispose of it responsibly.

Tips to Prevent Pond Sludge

They say prevention is better than cure. So, why wait for pond sludge to accumulate at the bottom of your pond and then get rid of it, when you can prevent it in the first place?

Here are some ways to prevent sludge buildup:

➢ Remove dead leaves before they sink to the bottom of your pond.

➢ Plant beneficial plants around your pond to create a barrier that prevents debris such as leaves, grass clippings, and dirt from making their way into your pond.

➢ A stagnant pond is a breeding ground for germs. Consider adding a water feature to your koi pond to aerate it.

➢ Add beneficial bacteria to your pond at regular intervals.

➢ Make sure your pond isn’t overcrowded.

Atlantis Water Gardens is a leading water feature builder serving Milburn, New Jersey and beyond. Our experts have years of experience transforming regular backyards into oases with stunning water features. We also help our customers keep their water features in top condition all year round. To schedule pond cleaning in Millburn, call 973-627-0515.

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6 Pond Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid

A backyard pond is a worthy addition to any property. A well-designed and properly installed pond can improve the aesthetic appeal of your property, transforming it into the jewel of the neighborhood. It can increase the value of your home by up to six percent.

You cannot install a pond and forget it. Like all other water features, ponds need to be cleaned periodically. Regular cleaning helps maintain water quality. It controls the growth of algae, helping maintain a healthy pond ecosystem.

Many DIY enthusiasts make pond cleaning mistakes when caring for their ponds. Pond cleaning mistakes can have massive consequences. An important pond component may stop working and you may end up with a huge repair bill.

Here are some pond cleaning mistakes you should watch out for.

Cleaning Your Pond Too Often: Clean your pond once or twice a year – once during spring and then again during fall. Cleaning more than twice a year can put undue pressure on the pond ecosystem. As a result, the population of beneficial bacteria may dwindle

Using Chlorinated Water for Cleaning: Pond filters are home to beneficial bacteria that help maintain crystal-clean water by breaking down organic sludge such as fish droppings, uneaten fish food, and dead plants and algae. They also reduce odors. Never use chlorinated water to clean your bio-filter as it can kill beneficial bacteria living in your filter. Use water from your pond, water treated with a detoxifier, or clean well water to rinse and clean your pond filter.

Power Washing the Pond Liner: Washing your pond liner at a very high pressure can tear it. The higher the pressure, the more dirt, dust and debris will be deflected back toward you. Gently pull out chunks of debris. Before using a pressure washer to remove any tiny dirt and dust particles sticking to the liner, set the wand to a low pressure or no-pressure setting.

Using a Pond Clean-Out Pump Without a Filter: A pond clean-out pump with a filter will keep debris or fish from getting sucked into it.

Leaving the Hose Unattended When Filling Your Pond: An unattended hose can cause damage to your pond’s landscaping and lawn, or worse, pond water temperature can change drastically, negatively affecting your pond’s ecosystem. Your fish may struggle to adapt to this change and may get sick, or even die.

Re-introducing the Fish Back into Your Pond Without Detoxifying the Water: If you plan to use tap water to refill your pond after cleaning, add a detoxifier to it before moving your fish back into the pond. Detoxifier removes heavy metals and other contaminants found in tap water, making it safe for fish.

Atlantis Water Gardens is a leading pond builder serving the Millburn area of New Jersey. We are committed to helping our customers keep their ponds in top shape all year round. To schedule garden pond maintenance in Millburn, call 973-627-0515.

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How To Fix a Leaking Fish Pond

Is your fish pond losing water faster than usual? If the temperature hasn’t risen, you may be dealing with a leak. Holes and cracks in construction materials are one of the most common causes of pond leaks. Holes and cracks in the pond liner result from shoreline erosion. Pond liner damage can also be associated with aging of the liner.

Many homeowners put off fish pond repair. This could prove to be a grave mistake. The longer you wait to address a leak, the worse the problem gets. If left unaddressed, even minor pond leaks can snowball into major problems leading to costly repairs.

Follow this step-by-step guide to locate and fix a pond leak.

Locate the Leak

First and foremost, try to locate the source of the leak. Fill your pond and visually inspect the edges for overspill. Check the outer perimeter of the pond for dampness. If you do not notice any water spilling over and there are no damp areas around your pond, shut down your pump and turn off the auto-fill valve. Is your pond still losing water? The leak is most likely in the foundation or liner.

If your pond does not lose water with the pump turned off, then the leak is most likely in the plumbing. In this case, inspect your pond plumbing or external components such as skimmer box, waterfall box and external pond filter. A common place for plumbing leaks is pipe fittings.

Remove Your Fish and Aquatic Plants

Before repairing your pond, remove your fish and plants. To prevent fish stress, use water from your pond in your fish’s new location. This will allow them enough time to adjust their body chemistry.

Repair Your Pond

Once you have drained the rest of the pond, follow these steps to fix a pond liner leak:

➢ Get a pond sealer. Clean the damaged area.

➢ Apply the sealer to the surface of the liner.

➢ Allow it to cure for 24 hours.

If you are using a patch kit:

➢ Thoroughly clean the damaged area with a solvent wipe. After you have got rid of accumulated dirt and dust, wipe the area.

➢ Scrub and dry the area using a dry scrub sponge.

➢ Apply the release paper to the tear.

➢ Use a seam roller to make seams flat and tight.

If the diameter of the tear exceeds 5”, consider replacing the liner.

How to Repair a Concrete Pond Leak

Follow these steps to fix a leaking concrete pond:

➢ Prepare the damaged area by cleaning it

➢ Apply the sealer to the damaged area

➢ Let the sealer dry

At Atlantis Water Gardens, we have years of experience designing, installing, repairing, and maintaining water features. Our ability to turn dull outdoor spaces into oases sets us apart. To schedule a fish pond repair near you in Randolph, call 973.627.0515.

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Building Your Koi Pond: Learn the Basics to Get Started

Adding a koi pond to your landscape is a great way to give it a makeover. A koi pond can improve the mood in your garden transforming it into an oasis. Spending some time near a Koi Pond is a proven way to unwind and relax after a busy day.

Once you are ready to go ahead with your Koi Pond construction project in Short Hills, follow these steps to build the koi pond of your dreams.

Choose the Location

When it comes to koi pond construction, location matters. A hidden or inaccessible koi pond fails to serve its purpose. Choose an accessible location that is visible from your home. Make sure the view of your pond is unobstructed. Your koi pond should blend perfectly into the surroundings.

Shade is good for your plants and fish but placing your pond in shade can result in leaves, branches and twigs falling into it. Debris can sink to the middle or bottom of your pond and decay, releasing harmful gases that can affect water quality.

Before finalizing a location, mark out the spot where you are going to put your pond with spray paint and view it from different angles to determine if your pond will fit in with the surroundings.

Determine How Deep Your Pond Should Be

The average koi pond is 24 feet long by 12 feet wide and is 4 feet deep. It can house 10 24-inch koi or 20 12-inch koi. If you plan to keep more koi, you will need a bigger pond. When determining how deep and large your pond should be, consider the fact that your koi will grow with time.

Choose Your Filtration System

A pond’s filtration system helps keep the water clean. Clean water ensures good koi health. A pond filtration system has four components: the bottom drain, settling chambers, mechanical filtration and biological filtration.

The bottom drain helps control pond muck build up, settling chambers store heavy solids, mechanical filtration filters out the debris and biological filtration provides a place for beneficial bacteria to thrive.

Get to Work

The final step involves installing your pond. Follow these steps to install your pond:

➢ Dig your pond out

➢ Place your koi pond equipment

➢ Lay down the liner. Use 45 mil EPDM liner

➢ Place rocks and gravel at the bottom of your koi pond

➢ Add underwater LED lights, aerators or autofill line to your pond

➢ Fill in your pond with water

➢ Clean the area

Atlantis Water Gardens is a leading pond builder serving Short Hills and beyond. We have years of experience transforming boring and dull gardens into extraordinary spaces with magical ponds. To learn more, call us at 973.627.0515.

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Pond Cleaning: The Best Tips For Clean Water

Every pond owner should make regular pond cleaning a priority. A clean pond can improve the aesthetic appeal of your backyard, transforming it into your special place. Regular pond cleaning helps maintain water quality and prevent algae. Fish and plants thrive in a clean pond.

Here are some tips to keep your pond clean year-round in Milburn, New Jersey.

Manually Clean Your Pond

Check your pond for algae every few days. If you see any, remove it with a rake or a long stick. Use a pond skimmer to try and remove dry leaves, twigs, loose grass, and seeds floating on top of the water before they sink and decompose.

Clean the bottom of your pond with a pond vacuum or a wet vacuum once a year. A pond vacuum sucks up algae, sludge, leaves, and other debris that accumulate at the bottom.

Consider installing pond netting over your pond. Pond netting simplifies maintenance and eliminates the need to frequently vacuum the pond by keeping leaves and other debris out of your water.

Feed Your Fish Properly

Too much fish waste can affect water quality. Select an easy-to-digest, high-quality feed. When fish are able to digest their food properly, they produce less waste.

Uneaten fish food can rot and provide nutrients required for algae growth. If you see food bits floating in your water, gradually reduce the amount of feed till you don’t see any food bits floating on the surface of your pond.

During the colder months, fish metabolism slows down. Stop feeding your fish when the water temperatures drop below 50 degrees.

Use A Biological Filter

Biological filter utilizes beneficial bacteria to break down and remove organic waste before it accumulates in your pond. There are two types of filters – in-pond filters, and external filters.

When choosing between an in-pond filter and external filter, weigh the pros and cons of these two types of filters.

➢ In-pond filters are easy to install but difficult to clean as you must remove the entire contraption.

➢ External filters are easy to maintain, but it can be challenging to find the right size and pump, as they’re usually designed for pools, and not ponds.

When looking for a filter, choose one that can filter twice the amount of water that your pond holds. Your filter should be able to clean your pond in two hours.

Add Barley Straw to Your Pond

Algae taking over is every pond owner’s nightmare. In addition to negatively affecting the aesthetic appeal of a pond, algae compete with plants, fish and other organisms in it for sunlight and other nutrients.

To prevent algae, add barley straw to your pond. As barley straw decomposes, it releases a chemical that keeps algae at bay. Add a bale per 1,000 gallons of water. Alternatively, add one tbsp of liquid barley straw per 50 gallons of water.

Whether you want to install a new pond or maintain an existing one, Atlantis Water Gardens can help. Our dedicate team provide top level service to ensure that your pond dream become reality. impeccable track record of delivering solutions that meet or exceed client expectations are what sets us apart. To make an appointment, call (973) 627-0515.

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Pond Maintenance Tips for The Summer

Summer is upon us. The heat can take a toll on your pond and affect the plants and animals in it. High temperatures can impact your pond water’s ability to hold dissolved oxygen and dissolved oxygen levels can drastically fall, causing fish to become stressed.

Here are some ways to maintain your pond in summer

Keep it Clean

Make regular pond cleaning a part of your garden pond maintenance routine. Debris such as leaves, twigs, and pebbles can get into your pond. Be sure to remove dying leaves and flowers before they have a chance to decay in the warmer weather affecting pond water quality, and overall health.

Algae is the number one enemy of pond plants. It competes with them for sunlight and essential nutrients. Ponds tend to accumulate a lot of algae during summer. Once the sun starts to shine, algae can spread quickly to different parts of your pond. Regularly remove pond algae to maintain a healthy pond. Aquatic plants such as water lilies help provide fish with shade from the heat of summer, cooling the water and making algae control easier too. If your pond has water lilies, remove decaying stems and pads otherwise nitrogen levels in your pond may drastically increase.

Use algaecides as the last resort – only when you have a full-blown infestation. Oxygenators are beneficial for ponds. Though oxygenators help maintain pond water quality, they should be kept in check, or they can take over. Monitor the number of oxygenating plants in your pond. Make sure they do not cover more than a third of it.

Top It Off

As the temperature heats up, ponds start losing water at a faster rate than normal. Ponds with large pumps pushing high volumes of water, or ponds designed with multiple waterfalls and a lot of cascades and splashing may have higher evaporation rates. Depending on the local climate, you may have to top off your pond regularly in summer to maintain optimum water levels.

Periodically topping off your pond will help keep the oxygenating plants in it healthy. When your pond plants are healthy, they produce sufficient amounts of oxygen for your fish to thrive.

Add Oxygen to Your Pond

If you haven’t already done so, add oxygen to your pond by placing an aerator in your pond. You can also install a fountain with a pump if your pond doesn’t have a waterfall or stream built in. You will be able to use the aerator in the winter as a bubbler to keep a hole open in the ice. A pond air pump produces bubbles. When these bubbles burst, oxygen is released into the water. If you decide to use a pump, consider adding a biological filter to break down toxic waste.

At Atlantis Water Gardens, we have years of experience transforming ordinary backyards into oases. Our ability to understand our clients’ vision and turn it into reality gives us an edge over the competition. To make an appointment, call (973) 627-0515.

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Recreational Swim Ponds: The New Rage in Town

Recreational swim ponds are trending. They are natural ponds that can be used for recreational purposes including paddling and swimming. A recreational swim pond is designed to imitate a natural water body with irregular shapes, boulders, rocks, and waterfalls.

A recreational swim pond in Randolph is generally divided into two areas – one area designated for swimming and the other for vegetation. The vegetation area is usually not more than a foot deep. The depth of the swimming area is typically 6-8 feet at its deepest point.

A recreational pond improves the aesthetics of your property and provides an area where you can spend quality time savoring the sights, smells, and sound of nature with the people who matter.

These ponds also possess a wetland filter and multiple aeration jets that keeps the water from becoming stagnant. It also uses an intake bay that removes floating debris off the surface before it sinks to the pond floor.

A recreational pond system is designed to naturally filter its water-the way a natural pond does, eliminating the need to add harsh chemicals in order to maintain water quality.

A recreational pond may cost more upfront to install than a regular pond. That said it is much easier to maintain. You will spend less time maintaining a recreational pond and more time appreciating its beauty.

How? Firstly, you won’t have to change your recreational pond liner. You don’t have to treat a recreational pond to maintain its water quality as recreational ponds naturally keep themselves clean. You also don’t have to test your water at regular intervals to ensure chemical balance.

With a recreational pond, you can save on your electric bill as recreational ponds are not heated and because they’re not heated they do not lose water through evaporation, which means you will save on costs associated with regularly refilling your pond.

To maintain a recreational swim pond, drain the wetland filter and trim back the plants in it annually. If you do not use your pond in winter, you would want to close it. We recommend adding flag irises and water lilies to a recreational swim pond. Not only do they enhance the appearance of ponds, but also keep the phosphate and nitrate levels in water in check. They can help ensure a beautiful, algae-free pond.

Recreational swim ponds are sustainable and eco-friendly. A recreational swim pond supports the local ecosystem. It attracts dragonflies, tadpoles, and birds that can help keep insect populations in check.

Want to build a recreational swim pond in Randolph but don’t know where to start? Let Atlantis Water Gardens help. We are a leading pond builder in Randolph. Our pros have the experience and skills required to bring client ideas to fruition. To learn more, call (973) 627.0515.

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4 Things You Should Never Do To Your Pond in Winter

Cold temperatures can impact your pond and the plants and organisms in it. A thick layer of ice can prevent sunlight (from entering) and gases (from escaping your pond), affecting water quality.

When temperatures plummet, you have to be extra cautious. Take good care of your pond. Periodically inspect it and check fish and plant health.

Care for your pond the right way. Steer clear of these mistakes to ensure a healthy pond.

Do Not Overfeeding Fish

Fish metabolism dips in winter. They are unable to process most foods they eat during winter. When temperatures plummet, reduce feeding frequency or your fish may develop digestive issues.

Overfed fish will excrete more, affecting water quality. Any uneaten fish food in your pond will promote and support algae growth.

Once the water temperature dips below 70 degrees, feed your fish their staple food mixed with a wheat germ base. When the water temperature drops below 55 degrees, stop feeding your fish.

Failing to Use Water Treatments

Billions of beneficial bacteria thrive in a healthy pond. They are responsible for reducing odors as well as breaking down organic sludge such as fish food, leaves, and dead plants. Cold temperatures can kill beneficial bacteria.

To maintain water quality, add beneficial cold water bacteria to your pond every week. Look for a product that contains concentrated strains of cold-loving beneficial bacteria that can work in water temperatures as low as 32 degrees. Adding beneficial bacteria is a great way to prevent a buildup of debris that occurs in winter.

Using a Cheap De-icer

A de-icer is designed to melt or prevent ice from forming on the surface of the pond, helping maintain water quality. Many pond owners commit the cardinal sin of using a cheap de-icer. By the time they realize their mistake, it’s too late and their pond freezes over.

Look for quality de-icers with at least 1,200 watts. Consider using both a submersible de-icer and floating pond de-icer (a submersible de-icer will heat a small area, whereas a floating pond de-icer will create a hole in the ice, allowing toxic gases to escape).

Leaving Your De-icer On Or Off For an Extended Period of Time

Do not run your de-icer 24/7 as it can use a lot of energy, causing your energy bill to skyrocket. Keep an eye on the hole created by the de-icer. When it starts to close up, switch your de-icer on and run it for a day or two.

There is an exception to this rule. Remember to turn your de-icer on before going on a holiday (even if there’s no one you can rely on to switch it off after a few days) to ensure a healthy pond.

Atlantis Water Gardens is committed to creating enchanting outdoor spaces. We are your go-to team for fish pond repair near you in Randolph. To talk to one of our experts, call 973-627-0515.

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Winter Pond and Fish Care Tips

Winter is a challenging time for your pond and fish. In the winter months, fish metabolism slows down, making them susceptible to infections and diseases. Cold temperatures can cause a significant decline in oxygen levels affecting water quality.

Another year is coming to an end. Winter is already here. As you prepare to ring in the new year, do not forget to winterize your pond.

Here are some tips to care for your pond and fish in winter.

Do Not Overfeed Your Fish

Overfeeding fish in winter is a cardinal sin. In cold weather, fish metabolic rates slow down. As your fish prepare to go into hibernation, they do not need to eat as often as in summer. If you overfeed your fish, they will excrete more, negatively impacting water quality.

Extra fish food will decompose releasing ammonia and phosphate in your pond. Both ammonia and phosphate fuel algae growth. Not only does algae look unsightly, it competes with plants and animals for nutrients and sunlight.

When your water temperatures fall to 50-60 degrees, feed your fish once every 1-2 days. If your water temperatures fall below 50 degrees, stop feeding your fish. Feed your fish a wheat germ-based food designed to aid digestion during the winter months.

Keep Your Pond Clean

Periodically clean your pond to get rid of debris such as twigs, leaves and branches before they decay. Remove any dead foliage and floating debris from your pond’s surface. Install a net to catch debris to prevent them from getting into your pond. Apply a bacteria blend to your pond. Beneficial bacteria break down waste, helping improve water quality.

Take Good Care of Your Plants

Your plants do not just enhance the aesthetic appeal of your pond, they play an important role in maintaining a balance in your pond’s ecosystem.

Unlike hardy naive plants, tropical plants cannot survive in a cold pond. To protect your plants from the winter chill, move them inside when temperatures plummet. Trim the plants in your pond. Prune plants such as water lilies so they can grow back in spring. Add evergreen plants that provide oxygen all year round to your pond.

Should You Keep Your Pond Pump Running in Winter?

Your biological filter is home to billions of beneficial bacteria that help break down toxic gases. Beneficial bacteria become dormant in winter. The oxygen produced when your pump agitates the water should be enough to keep them alive. If you shut down your pond pump and filter for winter they might die.

If your pond pump or any other pond component is in disrepair, hire a professional for fish pond repair near you in Randolph.

Whether you want to transform an ordinary pond into something extraordinary or plan to build a new pond from scratch, Atlantis Water Gardens can help. We have years of experience bringing design ideas to life. To talk to one of our pros, call 973-627-0515.

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