Pond Qs & As Common Questions and Answers

Q: What does it cost to install a pond with a small waterfall?

A: Every installation is different depending on ground conditions, access to bring in boulders, the size of boulders requested, availability of electrical and water, and options like underwater lighting, plantings and etc., all determine the cost. A visit to your site is the only way to provide you with an accurate estimate.

Q: Does a water feature give a good return on my investment?

A: Like other home improvements, the term “investment” relates to how much personal pleasure you receive (visual & sound in this case), not just how much something costs. But for the sake of costs, a beautiful, natural looking, real rock water feature will return most, if not more than what you financially invested in having it constructed. By comparison, having an “average size” inground gunite/plaster swimming pool built costs 4 to 10 times more (depending how fancy it is), than building an 8 foot by 12 foot rock pond with a 3 foot high waterfall with 2 or 3 separate cascades all built with real granite boulders. The swimming pool with give you a very small financial return, and degrade in appearance as concrete patios tend to stain & discolor, waterline tiles get all scaled up and start falling off, the plaster pool bottom develops stains and scratches, etc. Compared to a natural rock pond & waterfall, every year as the surrounding plants mature and grow down to the waters edge, pond plants and lily pads spread and bloom beautiful flowers, a pond and waterfall will get more and more breathtaking with each passing year. Not to mention the cost in running a pool pump 6 or 8 hours a day to filter the water in a swimming pool ($65.00 per mo.), compared to running a pond/waterfall filter pump 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for only $30.00 per month. Also, consider the cost of a weekly swimming pool service to keep it clean, pool pump, filter and heater repairs, etc.

Q: How much does it cost for electricity to run the waterfall?

A: We use pumps that are extremely high efficiency that can power a 2 foot wide waterfall 3 to 4 feet high with a solid sheet of water flowing over the spillway, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for only about $30.00 per month in electric costs. For smaller waterfalls we have pumps that use even less!

Q: How deep should the pond be to house pet fish?

A: For a water garden pond with goldfish, 2 feet of water depth is adequate for a stable environment. For a Koi fishpond with larger size Koi, 3 to 4 feet of water depth will provide less water temperature fluctuation, a more stable ecosystem, and better protection for the fish from predators.

Q: Do I have to feed the fish?

A: The ponds that will build are ecosystem ponds. There are aquatic plants around the sides and algae on the bottom for the fish to eat just like in nature. Nobody feeds them there, they eat off of what nature provides for them. The same holds true for the ponds we build in your backyard. You can feed them if you wish, as it will help them to be healthier and grow faster.

Q: What if I want to see and hear a waterfall but don’t have any interest in ponds, fish, and lily pads?

A: We can build what is called a “pondless waterfall” where the water coming over the waterfall, or series of waterfalls disappears into a small bed of rock instead of a pond. This makes for an extremely low maintenance water feature that doesn’t have to run 24 hours a day. If it set to run on a timer for 3 hours a day, the electrical cost would be only 13 cents a day, or about $4.00 a month.

Q: Can I have a stream running across my backyard?

A: In some instances, Yes! It depends on how wide or how deep your yard is, and if you have a gentle downhill slope from where you want the stream to originate, to where it ends up in a pond or pondless reservoir. If your area is too steep, you will have multiple waterfalls in your stream, or a very fast moving stream that produces a lot of sound. A gentle slope produces a softer sound more like a babbling brook, and a stream that is too level gives more of an appearance of a canal with very slow moving water with no waterfall drops or sound.

Q: What is a water garden?

A: A water garden is simply a pond or pool of water that houses aquatic plants, and possibly some ornamental fish. It can have a more formal look with vertical cement walls with a brick, flagstone or cement cap around the perimeter, or have a more natural look with  real rock or boulder edging with a rock bottom to hide the liner or cement bottom from view.

Q: What are the maintenance requirements of a pond?

A: A pond can require just a few minutes a week if it is constructed properly. Installing the right size skimmer and biological filter will help determine how frequently the filters need to be cleaned. A properly sized filter system will require the skimmer filter net and mat to be hosed off approximately once a week which takes about 5 minutes. Another 5 minutes spent on removing a few dead leaves from the aquatic plants around the edge of the pond, and sprinkling in a couple spoonfuls of “Clarity Max Plus” or similar product is generally all of the weekly maintenance that is required! The biological filter takes only about 10 to 15 minutes to clean and is only done about 2 or 3 times a year. No tools are required, as you use the water in the pond to clean it.

Q: How long do ponds and waterfalls last?

A: The liner that holds the water in the pond/waterfall that is hidden under the rock and gravel has a 20-year warranty but can have a life expectancy of 35 or more years especially in milder climates. If the liner does eventually rot and deteriorate, it can be replaced by removing all the rock and gravel, installing a new liner, then replacing the rock that will give your pond a new look. The rock being real granite will of course last forever. The pump and filter pads might need to be replaced from time to time, but they aren’t usually too costly. Considering other landscaping improvements, water features do not cost too much for your return in the lifestyle they provide.

Q: Does owning a pond attract mosquitoes?

A: No! Actually, owning a birdbath or having a bucket laying around with water in it is a great breeding ground for mosquitoes. They lay their eggs in still, stagnant water, not water with a constant ripple in it from a waterfall. The ponds we build have skimmers that will skim off the surface of the water 24 hours a day keeping the surface clean and drowning any mosquito eggs before they would even hatch. If there are still any concerns some mosquito fish can be added.

Q: What about frogs, water turtles, pond snails, etc?.

A: A newly constructed pond will, in time, attract frogs providing that the water quality is good. Water turtles are not recommended in ponds as they tend to eat up the aquatic plants. Pond snails have pros and cons for the pond water quality, but tend to multiply so fast in some ponds that it can get out of control.

Q: Is a pond dangerous to have with small children?

A: Any body of water can pose a threat to toddlers. The water garden ponds that we construct are usually 2 feet deep with sloping sides, so there is less danger than that of say a swimming pool. If there is concern of small children drowning and you still want a waterfall, then the solution would be a “pondless” waterfall.

Q: Can your dog drink out of the pond?

A: Yes! In fact, the water quality in a well balanced ecosystem pond is preferable to most dogs over drinking out of their water dish. The water in a water dish loses the chlorine that comes from our tap water we use to fill the dish in a matter of minutes or hours from a process called “oxidation, making the water unsanitary for your pet. Compared to the pond water that is filtered 24 hours a day, and is filled with healthy nitrifying bacteria in makes the pond water more desirable and is healthier.

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