Green algae can easily wreak havoc in a pond. There are several reasons that contribute to excessive growth. The primary reason is due to not having the pond regularly cleaned out every year. At Cedar Lawn & Landscaping we recommend a pond cleaning every year to insure your water quality stays clean and clear year round. Another reason is due to not having enough aquatic plants that act as a natural filter. Having large numerous fish in a smaller pond is also another culprit. The fish waste adds up and then in turn causes an abundance of food for the algae. Below we will look at different methods to control and cure algae filled water.
Regular maintenance is key to a happy healthy pond free of green algae. Its recommend to use an aquatic vacuum to remove any sludge that collects on the bottom of the pond. It is usually recommend to do this a few times a season. In the spring, summer and fall after the leaves have fallen. Another option is to add a Sludge and Muck Cleaner. These sludge and muck chemicals are made up of all natural and beneficial bacteria and enzymes that break down the muck. This muck is then converted into a nitrogen gas that dissipates into the pond.
Nualgi is another product that creates a good type of algae called Diatom. The diatom algae competes for the CO2, phosphates, and other nutrients which in turn causes the green algae to die out.
Maintenance for larger ponds might include a pond skimmer. Skimmers help to reduce the need to clean the bottom of your pond because they continually skim the surface of the pond. This action prevents debris from sinking to the bottom. It also makes filter and pump maintenance much easier. Some larger ponds can also use a separate filter that lies on the bottom of the pond. This filter helps greatly when trying to reduce sludge buildup and eliminates the need to vacuum as frequently.
Adding plants is another way to control green algae. They will compete with the algae for nutrients and prevent any growth. Plants also help shade the pond and provide shelter for fish. Some aquatic plants are more beneficial than others when it comes to natural filtration.
Lastly of course you can use a UV clarifiers to control the algae. UV clarifiers work by passing the water through a tube next to a UV bulb. The high intensity light kills off the microscopic algae cells that form the green water.
Green pond water is one of the most common types of problems for a backyard pond. This "greening" of the water is caused by a single celled algae. This algae grows because there is a nutrient imbalance in the water causing nitrate and phosphate levels to become elevated. There are several reasons why this occurs. One very common reason is due to muck and sludge building up on the pond floor. This layer of muck is composed of leaves fish waste and other waste that settles on the bottom. When this muck decomposes it releases nutrients in the water which then in turn provides food for the algae. This cycle is what turns a crystal clear pond into a swampy mess.
There are many other reasons for algae build up to occur. Another popular reason is having too many fish in the pond. With more fish comes more waste from the fish which turns into nitrates. These nitrates only increase the algae. This situation can occur more frequent and rapidly when there are numerous large fish in a smaller pond. Koi fish are relatively small at first but can grow very large and produce a decent amount of waste.
Another reason for algae filled water is due to a lack of pond plants. These pond plants are natures way of naturally filtering out the algae. The pond plants consume the nitrates and phosphate which starves out the algae. Pond plants are low maintence and easy to install.
In the water feature world there are several different types of pond filters to choose from. You determine the type of filter you will need by looking at the size of your pond, where it is located, price cost, and if you are going to add any fish. Below we will look at the 3 main types.
External Pond Filter-If you have a larger pond with koi fish you might want to consider a external filtration system. These filters can handle a larger flow rate of water for more "demanding" ponds. The setup up includes a pump and a skimmer that receives the water from the pond and then to a filter where the water can flow through once cleaned. The filtered water can flow over a waterfall or stream. To install this filter involves some basic plumbing skills and you might want to landscape around the filter to hide it. The filter is generally easy to clean but the make and model will determine the amount of time it will take to clean.
Waterfall Skimmer Filter- This filter works best for medium to larger ponds with fish. The waterfall filter works by skimming debris from the top of the water as the pond moves water into a skimmer basket. The pond water is then filtered and pumped to the other end of the pond where it pours back into your pond over a waterfall filter. You will also want to landscape around the filter in order to keep aesthetics in check. The main benefit of this filter is the low maintenance and easy debris removal. Installation is moderate.
Submersible Pond Filters- This type filter is submerged and sits at the bottom of the pond where a pump creates suction to pull the water through the filter. The filtered water is then "pushed" to a waterfall or fountain where it re-circulates the water back into the pond.This system works best for small to medium ponds with small amounts of fish or no fish at all. Installation is easy and maintenance is usually hassle free.
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Are you thinking of adding a piece of tranquility to your backyard? Ponds are a great way to add peaceful ambiance to your existing landscape. Whether you are going for a small do it yourself pond or much larger pond with various water features. You will want to consult with your local pond installation company and consider these options.
Think about Drainage
Try to walk your backyard and pick a spot that has some elevation to it. Higher ground will help prevent any runoff of rainwater from collecting into your pond. Runoff can present many problems including water clarity issues as well as algae problems or excess muck. Also you might be able to highlight your pond a little better if its in a higher location.
Think about what kind of money you want to spend and develop a project budget. In most cases, the larger the water feature, the more expensive it will cost—but some of those top-of-the-line accessories for smaller features can cost quite a bit, too. If you need some help, call a pond-building professional in your area who can assess your needs and determine your budget.
Big or small?
Think about what size pond or water feature will realistically fit within your existing landscaping. If you have a smaller more compact yard you might want to consider a preformed pond with a smaller water feature. Or maybe its more suitable for a pondless stream and waterfall. You may have a large backyard area and have many options to build a larger pond with different vantage points. Whatever you do make sure you take your thinking about the size and location.
Who's pond is it anyways?
Who will be enjoying your pond? When thinking about your backyard pond installation, keep your audience in mind. Does it need to be a tranquil retreat or is it more geared toward kids and what they will enjoy? Pond less waterfalls are great for people on the go. If, however, you and your family have a passion for aquatic plants or fish, it would make sense to go with a traditional pond.
Make sure that you enjoy every phase of planning for a backyard pond. This water feature will be the highlight of your property for years to come, so do your research, think through these different areas and always make sure you always go with a qualified pond contractor.
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LED lighting has increased significantly in the last few years. It has been used for all types of outdoor lighting, such as landscape, security, and Christmas lights. We will discuss what LED stands for and why we recommend it over a halogen based system.
LED stands for Light-Emitting Diode and is a semiconductor light source that emits light when current flows through it. When a strong enough current is applied to the leads the electrons are able to recombine with electron holes within the device and this then releases energy in the form of photons. This newer technology saves energy, looks great, and leaves less of a carbon footprint on the environment.
LED lights were first seen in 1962 and used a low intensity infrared light. The first led lights could only show the color red. Now modern LED's are visible in ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths with plenty of brightness. LED lights have come a long way, and now are being used in an environmental setting.
Halogen lighting once dominated the lighting world until just recently when LED products started improving and becoming dependable, pleasing light sources. Consumers and businesses alike began using them for all kinds of lighting projects. And, because LED lights mimic halogens, lighting technicians have been given a wider selection of choices to design with, which makes designing much easier and can create more affects.
Also, because LED lights are so small and visually appealing, people see them as a must have solution for their landscape and prefer them because of low impact on the environment, as well as the quality of the lights.
The Advantages of LED lights over halogen lighting sources:
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There are certain things to know before purchasing a landscape lighting system.
Make sure you purchase the 3 main components - A Transformer, Wire, and Lights. The transformer is the power house of your system. All electrical current from the house is converted into a low voltage system that is safe to power your lights. To figure out what type of transformer you need make sure that you add up the total wattage of all your lights and then multiply that total by 1.5. The total will then be your wattage that you will need for your transformer. The wire that needs to be purchased is a standard 12 gauge wire. This is suitable for all low voltage installs. Lights come in all shapes, sizes, and quality. We will go over the various lights and the pros and cons in a different blog.
Find a power source where you can plug your low-voltage transformer into a GIF grounded outdoor power outlet just like you would any common household electrical item. Make sure you find an outlet that's close to where you want to install your lighting.
Pick a location on your property where there isn't any need to dig very deep. The wire is usually installed no more than 5 inches below the ground using a flat shovel. Sometimes you can simply run the wire along the ground and tuck them behind plantings or covering them lightly with dirt or mulch. Most light fixtures include stakes so you can simply insert them in the ground.
Go with led lights. They use less energy, and allow you to run your system on a smaller transformer that takes up less wattage. They also last a lot longer than other bulb types, with hardly any maintenance.
Make sure you create layers for your lighting by using various style lights like path lights, bullet lights, wash lights, moon lights and other creative options. You will want your lighting design to showcase specific areas of your house and landscaping.
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Having your Koi Pond cleaned and maintained every year is crucial for a healthy, vibrant environment that will last for years to come. Below we will look at the steps necessary during a spring cleaning of your pond.
First, you will need to use a pool skimmer to scoop out all the debris that is currently on the surface of the pond. Try to scoop out any leaves you see as well as branches and sticks. This will make draining and cleaning the koi pond easier.
Second, you will need to drain the pond using a pond pump. Make sure the excess water drains into an area where the water can easily be absorbed. You will need to pump most of the water out but make sure you leave about a foot of water so your fish will still be able to swim around. If necessary you can take your fish out and put them into a plastic pool or any container large enough for the fish. Make sure you use the same water from the pond so the fish will not be shocked during transfer. A net is recommend for the top of the container so the fish will not jump out.
Next you will want to take out any water accessories including the pond pump, water features, or aquatic plants and set them aside in clean water. I would recommend rinsing the pond pump with pond water and run the filter through the pond water until it is clean if the pump is not self cleaning. Do not use tap water to clean the filter because it can kill the good bacteria in the filter.
The next step will be to use a high powered spray nozzle or pressure washer to spray out all areas of the pond that have any type of sludge and algae build up. Make sure you spray almost entire area of the pond and use a pool or pond vacuum to remove any sludge build up. Make sure you do not forget to spray off the waterfall or rocks surrounding the pond.
After all debris is cleaned off of the pond you will want to put the filter, pump, and any plants back in their original location. You will now need to fill the pond back up using a garden hose. Once the pond is filed with new water you will add the dechlorinator to the water to remove any chlorine in the water. Turn the pond pump on and allow the water to cycle around in the pond for 10 mintues. To avoid shocking the koi fish , you will have to dump some of the water from the holding container and replace it with the new pond water. You will have to repeat this step several times so that your fish will get acclimated to the new water.
Finally you are ready to put the Koi fish back in the pond. Use a skimmer to gently put the fish back in the water. If you didnt remove the Koi from your pond you can ignore this step. And now you can sit back and enjoy your sparkling clean Koi pond for another year!
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Many homeowners dream of having a pond in their backyard. Ponds create a tranquil landscape that is both peaceful and aesthetically appealing. Below we will look at the many benefits of adding a backyard pond to your surrounding landscape.
They Look Great!
Ponds have long been associated with beautiful landscapes and designs. Adding one to your property will make the surrounding landscapes come alive. From aquatic plants to various shapes of rocks and boulders, there are many types of looks your pond can have. All ponds will come with a waterfall feature that will not only be beautiful, but will also create an oxygen rich environment that will help in the overall health of the pond. If your pond is large enough you can add Koi fish. Koi fish just add one more dimension to a landscape that's already teaming with life.
Habitat for Wildlife
Adding a pond or some other type of water feature can help attract various forms of wildlife to the area. The ecosystem surrounding your pond will be a diverse area of teaming wildlife. Birds and frogs will be attracted to the area which will provide a safe haven for them, as well as a nice watering hole. This is a great way to give back to your local ecosystem that has already lost so much due to urbanization.
Most people don't think of water conservation when talking about a backyard pond. Due to the ponds large capacity of water it can help conserve water for future droughts and emergency's. You can direct the runoff from your roof into the pond to collect extra water if needed. This water in turn could be used to water your yard during a drought. Having a pond also reduces your square footage of lawn that needs regular water and care that will save you money and time in the future.
Property Value Increased
Yes you heard me right. A beautiful backyard pond will most definitely add to your properties bottom dollar once installed. This is because adding a pond in your yard makes your property more attractive to potential buyers when compared to other options. The pond and surrounding landscapes might be the deciding factor when it comes down to the wire.
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There are several types of different landscape lighting to choose from. Below we will discuss the most popular options.
Path lighting is by far the most popular landscape lighting. This type lighting comes in many different styles and is used to primarily light up walkways or front entry ways leading to the house. Most path lighting consist of a 2 to 2 1/2 watt led bulb in a fixture that is typically 18-24" high. The taller the fixture is the wider the coverage of light. You can use path lighting to lighten up low lying plants as well as stonework at ground level. You usually want to stager the path lighting and space out every 5 to 10 feet. Try to keep the lights in mulch or garden beds as much as possible so there wont be any need to weed eat around the light fixture.
Up lighting or bullet lights are also very common. This type of light, if led comes in a 4 or 5 watt bulb. Some of the fixtures can be adjusted for a wider beam to highlight a broader area. Up lighting is used to highlight the front of the house or different trees and shrubs. Up lighting fixtures need to be 12 to 18 inches away from trees or shrubs in order not to create a "hot spot" area. You will want to hide the fixture behind a plant if all possible to be more visually appealing. Its common to use several lights to highlight larger plants and trees with one light shining on the trunk and the other on the various branches.
Wash light is used to highlight larger areas with a softer light. Generally these lights are more expensive and typically range from 4 to 5 watt for led. Wash lights are great for highlighting horizontal areas such as signs or rock facings that require more light for a broader area.
Down lights or moon lights are designed to hang upside down in trees and create a "moon light" effect in and around the area. This light is great to use when highlighting surrounding patios and decks that need extra light. Usually these will use a blue filter tint to create a more realistic look. These lights also come in a 4 to 5 watt led bulb.
Well lights are 4 to 5 watt led lights that are flush level with the grass or soil. These lights are typically used when there is need to mow over the light fixture. These lights are very durable and have thicker glass. Well lights highlight areas such as shrubs and trees.
Specialty lights - These lights usually consist of hardscape lights or aquatic lights. Hardscape lights are generally installed during new installation. These lights highlight patios and walls for a more visually appealing look. Aquatic lights are used for koi pond and other water features. They are used to highlight the beauty of the water or a waterfall.
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Is the number 1 reason to install landscape lighting. You want to make sure that anyone that is not familiar with the layout of your yard will know where to walk and avoid any areas where hazards can occur such as walkways, patios, decks, pools, or ponds that can lead to falls or serious accidents.
Any areas that are dimly lit can be a security concern inviting thief's or would be trespassers to the area. Lighting discourages would be intruders by increasing the chance that they would be caught.
You will reap a generous return on your investment. More enjoyment and utility from your property, a distinctive new look and increased curb appeal.
Outdoor living is the best, no matter how short or how long your local warm-weather season may be. Use landscape lighting to extend the hours you can spend enjoying your yard, garden, patio, pool and/ or outdoor room.
Outdoor lighting can be specially designed to highlight or show off a tree, mulch bed, water feature, rock work, architecture designs of house and many other possibilities. or rock garden
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