Ask An Expert

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Have A Question? Ask An Expert!

Meyer Aquascapes offers expert advice to those who ask. We provide the answered questions below, feel free to ask us anything about your pond and we will help you out!

Algae

I have green algae on my pondless waterfall rock. Since it is not stringy, I assume it is regular algae and not string algae. I have poured an algecide in but it seems to not clean it off the rock or prevent the green algae from being on the rock. Also, how do I figure the gallons of warter in my pondless waterfall?

Using an algaecide like Oxi-Clean or EcoBlast directly on the rocks will clean up the rocks. Installing an IonGen will help with the green algae on the rocks also. If you do not physically remove the algae, the algaecide will kill it and flush down into the basin, where in a few weeks it will come back. Using a combination of Oxi-Clean and a liquid algaecide like Algaway twice a month usually will keep the waterfall clean. Also, remember that the basin of a pondless should be flushed out in the spring every other year. But to save all the expense and work in doing that, have an IonGen installed is the best option.

All the rocks in our pondless waterfall were covered with brown “gunk”. Shut it down for a week, brown stuff dried up like dead leaves. Power washed everything, started is back up, looked beautiful. Three weeks later the brown “gunk” is already very noticeable. What is this stuff and is there something I can use to prevent it?

This is a form of algae. Next time when it dries off, remove it instead of washing it into the basin. Everything that you flush into the basin will have to decompose and the algae will come back. You can use an algaecide 2 times a month. We recommend Microbe-Lift Algaway 5.4. You can purchase it on our website. Comes in various sizes.

After opening our pond the water has turned a dark stained tea color. What do I do??

The reason you have dark stained water is because organic matter has gotten into the pond usually from rain run off. You should try to correct this problem by making sure your liner is high enough that you do not get run off. Treatment: You can purchase the Activated Carbon as a treatment for this problem. Place bag of carbon into the biological filter and leave in for 6 months.

My customer wants to add chlorine tablets to her pond to get rid of the algae she has building up. The pond is in direct sun and she is tired of seeing all the algae. She has fish in the pond, but doesn’t care if she has to get rid of them to add the chlorine. Is this safe to add even though she has plants in pond? Also can she add chlorine and still keep the fish? Any help would be great. Thank you.

Chlorine is deadly to fish and some plants. Check out the IonGen for maintaining the string algae and always add bacteria to a pond throughout the growing season.

I have a pondless Waterfall. The waterfall rock has green slime (algae I assume) on it. How do I get rid of it? I am letting pondless waterfall run through the winter. I also put clokrine one time in it assuming it would help, but it just wound up foaming.

The green slime is string algae. String Algae is more prevalent in the spring and fall and in areas of the country where the winter has been warm. Your choice is to ignore it, use an Algaecide such as Algaeway, manually clean off the algae from the waterfall with an Algaecide like EcoBlast, or in the spring after a clean out, install an IonGen. The IonGen is an electronic system that eradicates the string algae and prevents it from forming in the future. When using algaecides, remember that it will kill the algae, algae goes to bottom of pond and then decomposes. Then the nutrient load will cause the string algae to begin to form again. You have to use the Algaecide on going. Investing in the IonGen is the best savings in product purchase and in your time. We will soon have the new 2nd Generation IonGen available. Don’t use chlorine in your pond. If you install an IonGen, the only product you will need to purchase will be beneficial bacteria.

Use the EcoBlast on the rocks. Pull off the algae and then treat the rocks. Or turn off and let the sun bake the algae off. Remove it and don’t let it get into your basin. Or use MicrobeLift Algae way 5.4 on a regular gasin.

You could do a water exchange no more between 10 and 20%. Use a detoxifier if you use tap water. You have to use a bacteria in your pond to keep the ecosystem balance. A good ecosystem in a pond would consists of rocks and gravel, filtration system, a balanced number of fish, and plants. To keep the ecosystem balanced you need to use a bacteria enzyme on a regular basis. Hot weather and full sun can bring on green water. Green water can take up to 4 to 6 weeks to clear. The extreme hot weather is causing many problems with green water. Get a sun shade cloth and shade you pond if you can.

I have been using Beneficial Bacteria for Ponds which has been working effectively. However, seems that muck is accumulating now. Is is safe for fish and plants to use Muck Reducer and the bacteria together? It is safe. Muck Reducer is a bacteria based product. Let me restate my question. How do I kill the brown algae, that is in our holding tank (600 Gallons)? We have a pondless waterfall.

Use the EcoBlast on the rocks. Pull off the algae and then treat the rocks. Or turn off and let the sun bake the algae off. Remove it and don’t let it get into your basin. Or use MicrobeLift Algae way 5.4 on a regular gasin.

My pond water was clear until fall leaves fell into the water. Now I have dark stained water – coffee color. It is to cool for an Algie bloom. Any idea how to clear up this water?

When the leaves fall into the pond, they have to decompose and if there are a lot of them because of their organic makeup, the process could change the color of the water to brownish. To avoid this from happening, use a pond net to keep the leaves out. If you could use a fish (skimmer) net now, to net out the leaves settled on the bottom, this might help.

There are two ways to get rid of the brown water: 1. Emptying the pond and refill the pond with new water or wait till spring when you clean it out. 2. Use the pond carbon which comes in a mesh bag and needs to be placed in the Biofalls or where you get flow through the carbon. 4 lbs treats about 800 gallons. It will last 6 months.

Here’s the link to the product:

http://www.aquascapes.com/shop/water-treatments/water-conditioners/activated-pond-carbon-4-3-lb.html

Fish

I have always keep my pump running all year long but am thinking of removing it this winter.I live in central Ohio and the pond is about 4-5 foot deep in the center. Naturally this is where all the koi spend the winter. Any pros? Cons?

It depends on the winter. If you remove the pump remember to disconnect at the pipe not at the pump. With koi you will need aeration and a deicer. Purchase those from the store.

How To

I am having trouble with something getting in my pond and taking fish. Is there anything you sell to prevent this such as an electronic devise to scare animals away.

The common predators are Blue Herring bird, Owls, and then the ones that are most difficult to deter are the Otter and the Mink. These may not be in all locations across the states but definitely a problem in the Midwest. Having an outside dog is the best deterrent. Look at our pond management and predators to see what may work for you.

We have a 60,000 gallon pond with a waterfall. Our pump recently died due to a garden tool getting stuck in the filter area. We were wondering if we could forgo purchasing a new pump until spring since it’s already October and we usually turn the pump off around November anyway. Will not having the pump running for the next month have a negative impact on the ecosystem?

Just keep in mind you will need an aerator for oxygen when you have koi and/or goldfish in your pond. When the temp gets down to below 30 degrees you also need a Deicer to keep a hole in the ice for the toxic gasses to escape. These gasses will kill koi.

How many bioballs do I put in my Biofalls Grande? How often do we clean the biofalls and filters and bioballs?

You would need 6 boxes of Bioballs for the Grande. Here’s the recommendation for other sizes: Micro – 1 set, Classic Mini or Signature 2500 – 2 sets, Standard Classic or Signature 6000 – 3 boxes of bioballs. Aquascape bioballs come 100 in a set and come with a mesh bag.

We recommend that the Biological Filter be cleaned out at a spring Clean Out. Every time you clean the mats in the biofalls you have to re-introduce the bacteria to the pond. Even though the mats may have a brown substance on them, this is the good bacteria colony and you don’t want to wash this away. You would have the rish of your pond water going green and sometimes it takes 6 weeks to clear this situation up. Remember, you should be using bacteria on a regular basis throughout the summer months.

We have a fish pond and we need a new liner But we don’t know how big is the pond. How can we measure it?

Easy to measure. Take the depth of the pond in the deepest part and multiply by 2 + 1 foot. Then add this measurement to each side measurement. Liners start at 10′ and go up by 5 feet. So if you need a 12 x 16 you would have to order a 15 x 20.

Maintenance

I cannot seem to control a string algae problem. I add beneficial bacteria weekly and use your algaecide product, but I’m having no luck. Is this a Ph in the water problem and is there a way to prevent this algae rather than treat it after it appears? Right now I’m forced to powerwash everything every couple weeks.

String algae problems mean you have too many nutrients in the pond and not enough plants. Look into the IonGen which is a electronic device that release metal ions into the water to control the string algae and it is safe for the fish. Also, you may need to clean out the pond as everything that sinks to the bottom of the pond will have to decompose and will cause an algae bloom. Chemical treatments are difficult and hard on the fish and your pond becomes dependent on them. Also the EcoBlast works well on the rocks of the waterfall and stream. Watch the DIY video on the IonGen.

We recently had an Aquascape professionally installed pond. We aquired some fish, and were wondering if the water needs to be tested weekly even though we are adding the beneficial bacteria weekly.

No, the water should be fine. Testing is only required if you have an over abundance of fish.

I have purchased bioballs for my grande biofalls instead of using lava rocks. What do you recommend placing on top to keep the mesh bag with the bioballs from floating to the top of the waterfall. Thank you, Marianne

Place a rock on top of the bioballs and it will hold them down.

Can we run filters all year. Live in SE Virginia. If not, should bio balls be cleaned?

Clean the filter and biofalls in the spring. You can run your waterfall all year but the bacteria colony developed in the filters will die in cold weather. Just make sure you watch the build up of any ice. Sometimes in really cold climates you will need to run the de-icer near the skimmer.

I had string algae in my new pond. I have an iongen and after I cleaned out the algae I increased the iongen from 1 to 3. The string algae is back. I will remove the string algae the best I can but how do I know how much to increase the iongen? From what I read we need more plants. We had a water lily and other plants planted when the water feature was installed. The water lily did not do well, only three lily pads. I thought there would be many, many more. What do you suggest?

Check your probe and make sure it is intact. Replace if needed. Set your IonGen up higher to about 5 and then when it controls the algae than reduce it to 3. If the panel number will not move than you may have to replace the panel. Watch our video on the IonGen and maintenance on our DIY Videos.

We are having to fill our pond on a daily basis and are beginning to think there may be a leak in the pipes. Is there a way to check the pipes for leaks without digging up the yard and pond?

Check out our Pond Tips/Troubleshooting Leaks.

We recently rebuilt our old pond to enlarge the size and fix some leaks. Unfortunately, after all of our hard labor, the pond continues to leak near the skimmer box (it’s an old school 2005 skimmer box for the micropond kit). I thought the problem was with the pump because I was losing all of my water in the skimmer box over night. When I removed the pump over night I still found wet soil outside of the skimmer box. Any suggestions for problem solving? We just purchased a check valve and I’m not sure where to attach it. Thanks for your help.

When a skimmer box has been installed over 5 years, it is sealed with black silicone and screws and in time, the seal will fail. Your seal has failed and you need to reattach the liner to the skimmer box using the black silicone sealant.

What does the ion gen 2 probe look like when it needs to be replaced? I can’t find any pics or videos.

You have to remove the probe and look at it. If there is excess mineral deposit, then scrape it off. If the probe is worn down to the point that not much of the probes are left, then it’s time to replace. Watch the DIY video on the IonGen and you will see pictures of the probe.

I have a 10(+) year old koi pond with waterfalls. It was installed with an Aquascapes pond kit. Over the past month, I noticed the ground around my skimmer box was wet. With the recent rain from Hurricane Sandy, the pond flooded and I went to clean leaves out of my skimmer box net and observed ‘wisps’ of muddy water weeping in around the skimmer box outlet tube. Is this something that can be individually fixed or am I looking at a whole new skimmer box? Note: when the water level in the skimmer is below the outlet tube, I do not have the wet ground issue. Thank you in advance for your help.

Your equipment meaning your biofalls and skimmer were sealed originally with black silicone sealant but after a period of time, the seal may break and and needs to be resealed. This involves removing the plate and screws and cleaning the liner and then resealing, adding new screws to the unit and reattaching the liner to the unit. Call your certified contractor to do this properly.

Recently had a pond installed and I have some Koi fish in the pond. I am planning on running the pond year round. I live in central Pa. I believe it is zone 7. I was out checking the pond and don’t know why but decided to check and see just how deep the deepest part of the pond was. I was suprised to find out that the depth was only 16 inches at the deepest point. I know everything I read says a min. of 24 inches is required for this area. What will happen if I leave as as and run year round. Will the fish freeze and die. I have contacted the pond installer and waiting for him to contact me back. The pond is an 8 by 11 Auqascape kit. Thanks!

The recommended depth for northern ponds is 24 inches. It all depends on cold it gets and how deep your frost line is. I would be concerned about Koi in a 16″ deep pond if you get a severe winter.

I have a recently installed pondless waterfall in Denver. Temps can get below zero for several days in a row. Besides just shutting it all down and pulling the pump would a pond heater work to ensure it won’t freeze up? I was told running water won’t freeze up and I can run it all winter but I want to make sure the basin area with the pump won’t freeze. If so, what type of heater would you suggest and where should it be installed? Thanks.

If you have a pondless, your pump is located about two feet deep. If your frost line is not 18 inches or more, you should be OK. However, the real problem with a pondless is the stream which can produce ice dams which needs monitoring. You also need to top off any water feature that may run in the winter. You have to make the decision according to your location and climate. If you decide to shut it down, make sure the pump is disconnected at the pipe.

Will I need a air stone or bubbler for winter? Our pond is 4 ft deep by 8 ft by 14 ft. I use a round floating deicer and have 3 koi and 3 dozen goldfish that are 4 yrs old.

Koi may still need some aeration. The bubbler such as the AquaForce pump work until the temp reaches 25 degrees and then the De-Icer will kick in. Cold water holds more oxygen than warm water. It all depends on your climate whether you leave you pond running or you want to shut it down and use a bubbler in combination with the De-Icer.

Is it a good practice to do a full cleanout of my koi pond (approximately 1,00 gallons) every spring? I was planning to do the following: Move koi to a temporary holding area; drain the pond; pressure wash the gravel/rocks; clean the pump and reattach; add filters and bioball; fill pond; add detoxifier and bacteria; move koi back to the pond.
Yes, with small water gardens with fish, it may be necessary especially if you live where you have a winter climate. Best time to clean out is spring. Check out the DIV videos for instructions and written instructions on our Pond Tips.

Product Info

I am a professional landscaper. love your website and am new at water scapes. I have a 300gal pond and am wondering if you can add too much beneficial bacteria and too much barley? I have a mini barley bale and using barley liquid weekly. Also just starting using the eco-carbon as my pond was tea colored. I am also using the bacteria weekly as well as the s.a.p every two weeks. Is that too much?? I also don’t have any plants or fish but would like to start small with the lettuce and Hyacinth till i get things figured out??

Have you read our Pond Tips? To have a completely balance pond, you need fish, plants, rocks, and filters. You cannot add too much bacteria. But I am concerned about the brown water. The barley can cause the water to go brown and the other reason might be that you have some run off from mulch or surrounding landscape. Check it out to make sure the liner is high enough so that rain water cannot wash into the pond. I would recommend you get one lily and a few marginals and a few floating plants. Make sure the plants you purchase are clean of any string algae as you don’t want to introduce that to your pond. Clean plants with fresh water before putting in pond. Buy fish all at once from the same location and make sure their tanks are clean and non-diseased. Look for healthy fish. Small ponds do well with Shubunkins and Fantail Goldfish. No feeder goldfish. Fish count is 1″ of mature fish per square foot of your garden. Sounds like you only need a few Shubunkins. Goldfish matures to about 6 to 8″.

We installed a pond, appx. 20,000 gls. last year. We installed the Ion-Gen filter with the pond. The customer wants to know about the replacement duration for the probes. I told him the indicator light should indicate when they need replacing. Any other information I can share with him?

There are two videos about the IonGen on our site. Look for the videos in our gallery.

The life of a probe all depends on the pond owner’s use of the IonGen and the settings. The higher the setting the more probe use there might be. There are many variables that come into play with the size of the feature, the settings of the IonGen, condition of the water and even the location of where the IonGen is installed.

Is there any significant difference between the G1 and G2 iongen other than looks? I have a 10,000 gal pond using two aquascape waterfall filters, an aquascape uv light and also a ultima II biological filter. Would the iongen create any problem for the biological filter? Thanks for the help.
Yes, the G2 is much improved. It’s easier to use and has many new features. Check out the product specs at Aquascapes.com
Can I use the iongen 2 with the iongen1 fitting or do i need to re-pipe it? It looks like the probe does not screw in on the ion gen2.

Yes, you can use the old probe with the new unit but you will need to order an adapter wire. Call us a 877 780-1174 to order the adapter.

I have an Aquascapes water feature that has an algae problem. It is just green water and build up on rocks. There is no floating algae. Which algaecide should I use to control this green water and have clearer water?

There are two kinds of algae; green water and string algae. Your pond needs balance and the way to get your ecosystem balanced is the use of beneficial bacteria on a regular treatment program during growing season and the use of plants, rocks and filtration in your pond.

How do I calculate how may tons of rock I need to buy for my pond?
Use the following link to read the article about pond calculations. http://www.aquascapes.com/planning-pond-calculations/ Lots of good information in this article.
I currently have a pond measuring 10′x15′,approx.1700 gallons with a pump rated for 3,000 gph.can I use my existing equipment to convert over to a “pond less” waterfall or would I need supplemental/different equipment?

To convert this pond to a pondless, you might want to make the basin smaller. But you will not be able to use the skimmer. You will have to purchase the Pump vault and some of the AquaBlox boxes. The count depends on the size of the basin. You will also need to purchase rocks, river rounds and decorative gravel. All the other equipment can be reused.

My aquascape 1500 has died and we have a new aqua surge 2000. The connection on the 1500 is a 2″ discharge And the 2000 is a 1″ discharge. What part do I need to make the connection?

Since you have a 2″ check valve, you will need to purchase the adapter. Watch the DIY videos on how to install the AquaSurge. On the product page on the right side you will see the adapters of choice. The AquaSurge 2000 comes with the 1 to 1.5″ adapter but you do have to purchase the 1.5″ to 2′ adapter. Call 877 780-1174 if you have questions.

What is the appropriate bacteria product to use when water temp is below 55 degrees? My pond is about 2500 gallons.

When water temps reach below 55 degrees, you can use the Cold Water Bacteria until the water reaches 35 degrees then it’s time to discontinue till spring.

Products

I have an approx 1400 gal koi pond built about 4 yrs ago with your products and let me say first that I have not had any problems with the equipment! We have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. My question is concerning algae that has settled at the bottom …my water is very clear but the fish “stir” up this on the bottom. It appears to me to be dead algae. I use algeafix. I want to vacuum but have heard that they don’t work very well. Any suggestions ? THANKS !

Glad you like your pond. Have some questions for you:

1. Have you ever cleaned out the pond? Should be done in the early spring.

2. Have you been using any bacteria product?

Now is the time of year to use the Sludge Cleaner which is composed of mostly bacteria. We have tabs that work very well in digesting the sludge.

We do carry a pond vac which works well but if you have gravel on the bottom of the pond which is recommended by Aquascapes and the gravel makes it more difficult to use.

AlgaeFix works at getting rid of string algae but when it works it kills the algae and that algae falls to the bottom of the pond and then this matter has to decompose. And the cycle begins all over again. If you have a large amount of debris on the bottom of your pond then you need to vac it out, use the sludge cleaner tabs, or shovel it out. This means as it decomposes it creates nutrients which feed the plants and whatever is left of these nutrients then feed the algae and the vicious circle begins again. Your pond can become dependent on this chemical.

Break the cycle by removing the debris at the bottom and begin using beneficial bacterias and less of the AlgaeFix.

Have a question and unsure who to ask? We are here for you!