Pond Care Services
Routine MaintenanceOnce a pond is properly established, it is largely maintenance-free, but there are occasional tasks which need to be performed. Cleaning the pond filter, if any, is often undertaken easily by the homeowner on a weekely or monthly basis, or as needed. Additionally, there needs to be some cleanup in the fall after leaf-drop, and if the pump is to be turned off then a bubbler needs to be installed to keep the fish alive during the winter. Additionally, plants need to be thinned out or supplemented on occasion, and any non-hardy plants need to come inside for the winter. It is also a good idea to do some routine testing from time to time to make sure you balanced pond is staying balanced. Everyone's needs are bound to be slightly different, which is why we will visit you and your pond to come up with a maintenance plan which will meet your specific requirements. We can shedule all the tasks for oursleves or share whatever responsibility you want for your pond upkeep.
Analysis and BalancingA healthy pond is a balanced ecosystem. Plants, fish, and bacteria all work together to maintain the pond’s health and when one element is out of balance, all the other elements can be affected as well. We understand the chemistry and biology of ponds, and the cycle of interactions that keep your water clear and your fish and plants healthy. pH and kH ranges, oxygen levels, ammonia, nitrogen, and salt levels, bacteria substrates, water temperature, plant to volume ratios, filter types, and diseases are a few of the factors we will consider when evaluating your pond.
We emphasize organic and chemical-free methods, and look to long-term health over a "quick fix". Sometimes these methods take time and some refinement, but we will stick with you over the course, and make sure your pond comes back into its full health and vigor.
To help you decide if your pond warrants special evaluation we offer the following list of common problems:
- First Year Ups and Downs: You may experience excess algae and colored water in the first year of building your pond. It can take a few months for bacteria and plants to become established and chemistry to stabalize. We recommend waiting until the second year to add fish, and adding floating barley balls for the first few months.
- Spring Algal Bloom: In the spring, before plants and bacteria reach their full vigor, it is natural for ammonia and nitrogen levels to spike, leading to an algal bloom. This is a part of the natural process of a pond and will be present to some degree in any pond. We can help mitigate severe cases by incorporating naturally occuring minerals which absorb ammonia and providing a special substrate for growing algae eating micro-organisms, which are also excellent fish-food.
- Brown algae: a thin layer covering the rocks and walls of the pond is normal and healthy. The only way to eliminate this is to use chlorine or other chemicals and steralize the water, which defeats the aim of a natural pond. It is better to get used to the "unsteralized" look. You may even come to appreciate how it gives your pond a more natural look, and polywogs love it.
- Green String Algae: A small amount is probably not a problem, but a larger bloom can be a big headache. If string algae persists past the spring bloom, it would be good to examine the chemistry of your pond in greater detail.
- Discolored Water: If leaves sit in the pond over winter and in the spring, then tannins will leach out of the leaves and into the water, essentially making a "tea" which is exactly what it looks like. This is not unhealthy in any way, but if you want a clearer pond, you will need to clean the leaves out, and gradually replace the water. On the other hand, if the water becomes cloudy or green ("pea soup"), this can indicate a more serious problem, which should be examined.
Pond Design and ConstructionWe would love to design your pond and have it built to specification! Please read more about our design services.
FernCreek Design *
Accord, NY 12404
(585) 309 - 2397 * info@FernCreekDesign.org
Serving the Catskills, Shawangunks, and Hudson Valley including Ulster County, Dutchess County, Sullivan County, Ellenville, Kingston, New Paltz, Woodstock, Phonecia, Wawarsing, Accord, Naponach, Spring Glen, High Falls, Rosendale, Stone Ridge, Tillson, Gardiner, Wurtsboro, Hurley, Shokan, Rhinebeck, Rondout, Port Ewen, Hillside, Lincoln Park, Connelly, Eddyville, Bloomington, Esopus, Pine Bush, and surroundng areas.