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Frequently Asked Questions About Water Gardens

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) about The Water Garden is an educational tool for both the beginner and advanced "Water Garden" Hobbiest. We have listed frequently asked questions here in and easy to read format in order to provide you with a greater understanding of the wonderful world of Water Gardens.

By researching a good list of frequently asked questions on the subject of the water garden and ponds, you will learn tips and tricks in areas of installation, maintenance, Pond Design, tools, predator control, plantings, and the list goes on. Use all of our Frequently Asked Questions pages to get well rounded on the subject of the water garden.




The Pond Digger Answers Water Garden Questions

Question 1: Is it true, if you have a water garden with rock and gravel, you don't need pots for your aquatic plants?

Answer: Yes, this is true! Aquatic plants are actually one of the essential elements in a balanced water garden. In nature, aquatic plants of course aren't in pots and our style of water garden construction is as close to nature as you can get. When planting your aquatic plant varieties in your water garden we suggest taking the plant out of the pot it is confined to, knock of the excess soil and place the aquatic in between the rocks and gravel.

This style of planting will allow your aquatic plants to send feeder roots throughout the gravel in your water garden helping to consume nutrients and organics that build up in the gravel. We even suggest this style planting for most all water gardens and aquatic plants. Remember, 95% of aquatic plants are extrememly fast growing and will need thinning on a regular basis. Choose your aquatic plants for your water garden wisely. The dwarf varieties of aquatic plants will be the easiest to care for, reducing your water gardening maintenance.



Question 2: In my water garden, if I remove all of my aquatic plants and plant them in the rocks and gravel, won't my fish tear everything up? Especially, my Koi!

Answer: YES & NO! This is a popular myth, but with some foundation. There is not doubt that fish, especially Koi can wreck havoc on aquatic plants, I will be the first to admit. Water garden construction in the past typically had round transistional excavation and was then lined with cement or a rubber liner. NO AQUATIC PLANT SHELFS! The only option for aquatic plants was the confines of a plastic pot.

The plastic pot would be placed in the water ON A SLANT along the perimeters of the water garden. Fish are extremely active and inquisitive so naturally pond fish, especially Koi would root and dig in the potted aquatic plants, inevitably removing the soil and eventually knocking over the once potted aquatic plants. The aquatic plants would end up floating, while the ugly black plastic pot would sink down to the bottom of the water garden.

"THAT IS NO LONGER THE SCENERIO IN TODAYS WATER GARDEN." When your water garden is lined with rocks and gravel, fish & especially Koi, will have plenty to do all day long! Your fish won't be bored with nothing to do but torture your aquatic plants! The rocks and gravel in the water garden provide and excellent planting media for your aquatic plants. Imagine, the fish in your water garden will have the entire pond to root around and graze on, instead concentrating a handful of potted aquatic plants.



Question 3: What happens over the winter to the pond, do I need to anything special?

Answer: Taking into consideration Southern California is our backyard, we recommend that you leave your water garden running year around, 365 days a year. When your water temperature drops below 50 degrees you fish will go dormant and hibernate for the winter. If you are in the mountain communities of California you will either need to leave your waterfall running or install a de-icer in your water garden to keep a hole in the ice.

The hole in the ice is important for oxygen and gas exchange for the health or your fish. Some water gardens in Southern California never experience a water temperature below 50 degrees and in turn never, truely experience a winter or fish hibernation. So contrary to popular belief there is no need to bring your fish in for the winter. Even here in Southern California, we have water gardens in Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead at 7500 foot elevations. These water gardens experience heavy snow fall and maintain fish that live outdoors year round.



Question 4: I have seen thick black muck in the bottom of water gardens without rocks and gravel. My concern is if I have rocks and gravel in my water garden and that black muck builds up, it will be a maintenance nightmare.

Answer: Well believe it or not, the gravel will actually reduce the need for maintenance in your water garden. In the old fashion "Water Gardens" made of concrete or bare rubber liner there is very little surface area for the beneficail bacteria to colonize. Beneficial bacteria lives to EAT BLACK MUCK! That's it's job in life and why it even exists on the planet! Gravel is a perfect media for beneficial bacteria to colonize on and just so happens to be at the bottom of the pond where BLACK MUCK ends up. By default the gravel, beneficial bacteria, and black muck connection is a wonderful relationship and keeps your water garden crystal clear as a result!



Question 5: How often should I fertilize the aquatic plants in my water garden?

Answer: There is a time and a place to fertilize your aquatic plants. You will primarily want to fertilize your aquatic plants starting in the Spring and fertilize monthly through the end of the summer. There are many ways to fertilize your aquatic plants, we prefer the Fertilizing Tablets over liquid fertilizers. Consider tablets as fertilizing your aquatic plants and liquid fertilizers as fertilizing your entire water garden, algae and all.



Question 6: I worried about predators eating my fish! What can I do?

Answer: This is a valid concern and a good rule of thumb is, "A water garden smaller than eight by eight is a dinner plate!" That is without predator provisions! A Scarecrow Motion Sensor Device is and excellent way to detour predators in a safe and humane fashion. Put your worries to rest and get your fish and your water garden a Scarecrow.



Question 7: What can I do to help the water clarity in my water garden?

Answer: The answer lies in NATURAL WATER TREATMENTS. As a basic rule you can add Beneficial Bacteria to your water garden to help manage nutrients. Heavy nutrients lead to just about every problem you may encounter in your water garden. Algae problems, Koi Health problems, water clarity issues, and more. There is not one simple thing that you can do to resolve water clarity issues. Sometimes it takes several small actions to produce desired results.

Over feeding your fish can result in heavy nutrients in the water garden, thus result in water clarity issues. So the proper action is; definately reduce the amount of fish food per feeding, possibly reduce your fish load, and then it would be important to rinse your filters more regularly and the list can go on.


 

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