Love Your Pond Blog
I have a confession to make; I use pond water to make my coffee. Ok, I’m kidding, not only would my Pond Princess (wife) kick me to the curb if I still did that, more importantly the coffee would taste funky.
This morning I sat by my pond and drank a cup of coffee while I tossed some breakfast pellets to my lovely koi fish. I was still in my pajamas while doing this and it is not the first time nor will it be the last time I do this. Drinking coffee by my pond is one of the most relaxing things I do. Drinking coffee by my pond is greatly missed in those winter months, when I will sit by my dining room window looking out at my pond while drinking coffee, not quite as relaxing but a relished activity of mine all the same.
Pond digging! That seems to be what most call this activity. I call it pond excavation, and as a professional pond excavator that seems to sound so much better to me.
At some point every pond builder has heard, and will hear again, the suggestion from a potential customer, usually while in the negotiating process; “I friend of mine has a backhoe and they will dig the hole, can you do all the rest after them to cut costs a bit?”
Feeding your pond fish is a seasonal consideration. It is drawing near the end of summer and it is time to make sure that your koi, goldfish, and pond fish are getting all the fish food that they care to enjoy right now! This time of year is an excellent time as a pond owner to take advantage of their voracious appetites and let them build the fat reserves they’ll need for those winter months when pond fish no longer are taking in sustenance. It is a good time to be able to interact with your koi fish as well, if you’re interested in hand feeding your koi this is a great time to give that a try.
At 6:30 this morning eastern time, I was splashing a bit of 1/2 and 1/2 in my coffee, looking out my kitchen window at my pond as I do every morning, I must have been looking at it for a good10-15 seconds before I noticed that right before my eyes, standing on one of my big stones, looking into my pond was a Great Blue Heron. The heron blended so well into the scenery and was so still that my eyes did not catch it. This year my pond has been stalked a bit more heavily by the herons than previous years, and typically for my area the heron and the frantic heron phone calls from my customers stop around mid-May, but this year they are stalking the ponds it seems much longer. This heron is not the one that seems to always show up at my pond, and my brother in law’s pond (2 houses away), although still very much looking like a frikkin pterodactyl, it was smaller.
Labor Day weekend, the last hurrah for summer, and all our thoughts go back to…everything and everything is coming like a freight train. Back-to-school, kids sports programs, the holidays just WEEKS away, and time to winterize the pond. No, not exactly time to say goodbye to the pond yet, but we all know that the time is drawing near where for a few months here in the northeast our ponds becomes just something pretty look at. A nice waterfall running with a snowy scene behind it.
It is early winter time here in the Northeast, a time when pond pumps in many ponds that have skimming systems suddenly and seemingly for no reason just stop working. I seem to get many phone calls this time of year that “my pump has suddenly died, it was working this morning and this afternoon it has just stopped”.
After so many years in this business and seeing patterns and situations that develop at given points in the year my first piece of advice for those customers with “sudden dead pump syndrome”, after telling them to unplug the pump, is to ask them to check the pump intake to see if their neighborhood frog has it’s leg caught in the pump intake. I estimate that about 90% of the time that is what the problem is. Most of the time if the problem is brought to my attention early enough the frog can be released and be on its merry way, hopping a bit crooked, but all the same on its way.
As a New Jersey pond guy I am always looking for ways to encourage my pond customers to enjoy their ponds and water gardens or extend the enjoyment of their pond in the areas like the northeast where many ponds go through a “shut-down” period.
A great way to extend the enjoyment of a pond installation is decorating around the pond. In many neighborhoods one can see all sorts of seasonal displays pop up on front lawns; often times a hay bale with some cornstalks or other seasonal items. This type of display is great to extend to the pond. Sure the aquatic plants have stopped growing so how can you add visual interest to the pond? Add a seasonal display by using some nice large pumpkins, gourds, a hay bale. When Halloween rolls around try some carved, lighted jack-o-lanterns, and other spooky seasonal items, a scary skeleton pond side is great fun for the kids. For Thanksgiving and Christmas time add some lighting, a few strands of mini lights around a pond can really add quite a bit of dimension and beauty to the setting or put a banner of your favorite football team by the pond!
Driven inside. Yes, believe it or not another New Jersey rainy day in the summer of 2009. You know my pond work is outdoors most of the time so I only get rained out by heavy rain with thunder and lighting, and that’s what we have today in New Jersey. So, it’s a good excuse to give the pond construction crew a day of rest, and the pond maintenance services tech a day to cool off too. But for me I just find another way to work, and this seems like a golden opportunity to talk about ponds and watergardens and how rain can affect them. Full Service Aquatics customers come to expect clear water in their ponds on a consistent basis, and that’s what we deliver to them, but there has to be an exception made when Mother Nature decides to drop that wonderfully precious, nutrient rich rainwater from the sky. Rainwater is one of our greatest gifts but water full of nutrient is not always great for our koi ponds and water gardens, especially in great quantities.
What is the value of a good fish guy? Well, to the average person who does not keep a pond or aquarium a good fish guy is not worth much at all, but, if you are a person who is getting into fish keeping or one who already has been hooked full on by the fish keeping bug a good fish guy is worth a whole lot.
The practice of fish keeping is still loaded with all types of housewives tales and traditional information as to how fish should be kept, and unfortunately much of the info floating around out there is not exactly accurate and it only becomes compounded by one’s impulse to “research” on the internet where getting a straight answer for even the most common place issue can be a huge challenge. Now “the fish guy” becomes a little more valuable in your world.
A very unseasonable cold October day today. None of the rain that they called for in the morning hours, but that should be hitting tonight. Today’s pond agenda consisted of starting the day with pond winterization services. First pond winterizing was in Cranford, NJ on a new pond renovation service we had done about 1 month ago. The pond water was very clear and clean looking and just the first hints of pond algae was starting to appear on the submerged and waterfall rockwork. The waterfall looked great; very peaceful, and smoothly flowing. The koi and shubunkins were taking advantage of the fish caves we built into this pond but I did get a look at them and they all look great and seemed to have possibly grown a bit. For the service we cut back the hardy aquatic plants; pickerel, lilies, sweetflag, lizard tail, and iris.Read More
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