YES! If you are buying a home or have purchased one and it has a water feature or pond we are here to help you. It is a good idea to hire a professional pond contractor to clean, assess, and educate you on the system you have in your garden. The investment in a professional to figure out what you have as well as what you need to do to maintain and maximise your enjoyment is well worth it.
As we have found through our experiences is that not all ponds are built the same or created equal. Our trained technicians can come out to clean, assess, and educate you on your water feature. We call this an exploratory drain and clean (link to drain and clean page)
If your goal is to keep fish and plants, an ecosystem pond is for you. If you are just looking to enjoy the relaxing sound and sight of moving water and are not worried about fish, we recommend a pondless waterfall. Some benefits of a pondless waterfall versus a full ecosystem pond.
- Can be installed in a smaller area.
- Start at a lower installed price versus an ecosystem pond.
- The site and sound of water moving without the pond.
- Can be run as little or as much as you want.
- Eliminate the concern of standing water.
- Virtually maintenance free during the season.
An ecosystem is a biological community of organisms and their environment. In an ecosystem pond, our goal is to set up the pond environment so that the biological community of organisms thrive. In turn, this will create a low maintenance piece of paradise for you. DU Waterscapes is a Certified Aquascape Contractor and our team have nearly 30 years of pond and aquatic experience. As you can imagine, over the years we have seen ponds built a number of different ways. Based on our experience, we have found that the most beautiful, low maintenance ponds are designed and installed with the Aquascape ecosystem approach in mind and share the following characteristics.
- Biological Filtration: The biological filter provides a home for some of the beneficial bacterias that break down waste products, turning it into usable material for the pond ecosystem. A BioFalls Filter or plant and gravel wetland filter are two great examples of biological filtration.
- Mechanical Filtration: Foreign debris such as leaves should be removed from an ecosystem pond before they can drop to the bottom. A pond skimmer, intake bay, or a negative edge skimmer are the best mechanical skimmers.
- Aquatic Plants: Aquatic plants feed on nutrients in the pond and help to control unsightly algae. They also help naturalise a pond and provide flowers for pollinators and habitat for animals that are important for the pond ecosystem.
- Rock and Gravel: these are used to cover the rubber pond liner. This protects the liner from harmful sun rays as well creates a more natural looking pond. The surface area of the rock and gravel also provide habitat for the beneficial bacterias and other smaller pond organisms.
We sometimes compare ourselves to a chef preparing a meal. If we leave out one ingredient, our meal will not turn out as we hope. The same is true in an ecosystem pond.
Feeding koi and pond fish can often be a minefield; the temperature of the water affects what you should be feeding your beloved wet pets. But what, when and how much?
As the beginning of spring comes around and we slowly get into the warmer months, the temperatures in your pond will begin to increase. This encourages your fish to come to the surface of the pond for food. At this time when the temperature is around 5-10°C, it is best to feed them on a low protein food.
It is important to know that as the weather gets warmer it takes time for your filter to become fully active again, so it is important to check whether your fish are actually eating what you give them and make sure to remove any excess food from the water to prevent future problems in your pond. Feed small amounts at first and slowly work your way up to an acceptable feed for your pond’s stock level.
Once summer comes around and the pond reaches its warmest your fish will be able to digest high protein food easily and their metabolism will be working properly, resulting in them requiring regular feeding. At this time of year if your fish are finishing their food and leaving no excess, yet are still begging you for more then you can try feeding them little and often, rather than once a day.
The advantage of high protein feed at this time of year is that it will help in your wet pets’ growth and colour, giving them reserves for the colder months. It also helps your fish to be their most vibrant and active whilst you are outside on the warmer days enjoying your pond.
In autumn and the last cooler days of summer, when your pond begins to slow down and the nights begin to grow longer, your fish’s metabolism will begin to slow down as your pond reaches lower temperatures. At this point, a standard pond food is best for your fish as the high protein diet would be hard for them to digest and a staple is a good way to wean your fish off their high protein diet in preparation for the winter.
During the winter your fish will slowly stop feeding as the colder months set in. Once the water approaches 4°C, we would advise you stop feeding your fish. At this temperature, it is too low for them to be able to digest the food properly and the uneaten food may cause illness in your fish and issues with your water
How much food do my fish need to be fed?
In all honesty it totally depends on your pond. The best way to tell how much food your fish need is to feed a little bit at a time and watch your fish eating, then you can decide if they’ve all eaten and if your fish need more food. It is important to remember that Koi and Goldfish are known for their greedy nature, so it is better to underfeed your fish than risk causing a problem with your water quality. If your fish do leave food at any time of year, remove the excess from the pond.
Of course, they are, children love all the different animals that come with owning a professionally built water feature. We design all our features with you and your family in mind, remember the joy you felt when walking alongside that nature-rich stream? We can recreate that for you and your family in your back garden. If an open body of water is your concern have a look at a Pondless Waterfall or a Fountainscape. Both of the features don’t have open bodies of water, but still have the attraction of running water.
Unlike conventional bare liner pools that are dangerous and slippy, we incorporate rock work into all our ponds and features making them safer and providing children grip if they want to do what children do best, explore. We make sure all rock work placed within and around our ponds and features are locked in place so is safe for all to use.
We can design and build a water feature for any garden. Below are the minimum requirements we think we need to build your water feature.
- Fountainscape: Minimum of 1.5m x 1.5m
- Pondless Waterfall: Minimum of 1.5m x 1.5m
- Ecosystem Pond: Minimum of 1.8m x 2m
A Pondless Waterfall is, without a doubt, the most beautiful and sought-after landscape water feature. If space is limited in your garden, a Pondless Waterfall is the feature for you. A waterfall can be soft and serene in the form of a babbling brook, or it can be more dramatic with a longer drop. Available in a variety of sizes and configurations, the Pondless Waterfall is a great option for both small and large outdoor spaces.
Waterfalls are extremely low maintenance, energy efficient, and attract a variety of wildlife. Children love exploring nature in and around the waterfall. Whether you add a waterfall to your front or back garden, be sure to locate it near a window so the melodious sounds can be enjoyed from inside your home, too!
Most people contact us with a wet boggy area at the bottom of the garden that they would like to turn into a pond. This is the worst place for a pond; a high water table creates additional work with drainage, plus the issue of run off carrying nutrients into the pond. Also being a constant damp spot in the garden normally means it’s a shaded area, this could lead to poor growth in your pond plants and ultimately an unattractive feature.
If you’re going to invest in a custom feature why hide it at the far end of your garden? Make sure it’s somewhere you can enjoy. We always design our features with your garden and house in mind. We want you to appreciate your feature from as many places as possible and for as long as possible.
Having a pond right next to your patio or visible from your kitchen window is the location to choose. How great would it be to entertain your friends in the summer sun whilst sitting next to your own slice of nature? What about eating dinner with the family and watching the birds come down and drink from a babbling brook in your own back garden? DU Waterscapes can bring your dream into reality, get in contact today to start your journey to an aquatics paradise.
As the name suggests our wildflower turf is a blend of mature wildflowers grown exactly the same as grass turf. We haven’t found a better way to enhance a pond than to use wildflower turf around the edges, it just gives that extra wow factor. Wildflower turf is very easy to maintain and only needs to be trimmed twice a year, we do offer a wildflower maintenance package for those of you who aren’t able to do the maintenance yourself.
The amount of species a wildflower patch attracts is just astounding, providing a native environment for all those beasts and bugs who have lost habitat elsewhere.
If you haven’t got a pond but want to have your very own patch of wildflowers, we do offer the creation of wildflower meadows and beds within your garden. No patch is too large when wanting to create a wildflower meadow, but equally if you want to bring a bit of nature into your garden we can also create smaller beds of wildflowers for you to enjoy.
Running costs for our features can start from as little as 1p an hour! Now obviously that is not for large ecosystem ponds, but even those with lights and an Autodoser still only come in around 6p an hour.
With modern technology now being used in the pond industry there is really no need to be using those cheap and nasty sump pumps. These pumps can be very power hungry and even though cheap when purchased can cost up to 20p an hour! That could be a whopping £33.60 a week on just the pump. Some of our large ecosystem ponds with pump, lights and a few other components don’t even cost that in a month! We’ve seen these sump pumps used in quite a few garden ponds and, really, if we’re trying to look after our planet, they shouldn’t be used.
We only use high quality, energy-efficient components within our ponds and features. This ensures hassle-free, low cost running. Allowing you to sit back and enjoy your feature for many years to come.
These are your easiest way for you to enjoy water in your outdoor space. Whether you want a feature for your patio, or you have a small space like a balcony you want to liven up, this could be just the thing if space is limited. Patio ponds generally consist of a decorative bowl and a pump for circulation, you can add plants or ornamental features for even more interest. We have many different patio ponds available and also relish the opportunity to incorporate these into larger features. If you would like a patio pond in your outdoor space don’t hesitate to get in contact today.
Components (what typically makes up one of our features)
A wetland works just like a biological filter, but instead of creating a waterfall; it creates an area in your pond thick with naturally-filtering plants, as well as rocks and gravel. This provides a surface for bacterial colonisation - nature’s perfect filters. So a wetland is both naturally beautiful and pleasing to the eye as well as a great filtration method. It will help keep your water looking crystal clear. One of the greatest things about wetland filtration is that it can be used with almost any system. But will it fit in with your pond? Do you need to have a lot of space to construct a wetland? There are no size limitations because it acts as your biological filtration. The plants, rocks, and gravel act as the filtration media, similar to what you see in nature.
Sure it might look pretty, and it might be designed like a wetland straight out of the marshlands, but how clean does it keep the water? Some say it’s even better than a biological filter, but in actuality, the benefits are very similar. Wetland filtration balances out your water very well, sometimes better than the biological filter, and once it is balanced, your pond will require fewer water treatments.
Learning the Secret
The key to a wetland filtration system lies with the plants. Plants are an integral part of a balanced pond ecosystem and help create a natural-looking environment, which is becoming more important to today’s consumer. Plants help purify the water by reducing nutrients, filtering out sediments and absorbing toxic compounds through the process of phytoremediation, they’re also the basis of a food web in which pathogens are consumed by microorganisms associated with the aquatic plants.
Another key to the filtration lies in the sediment chamber created by the Aquablox on the bottom of the wetland. This sediment chamber reduces the velocity of the incoming water below 2 feet/second, allowing the sedimentation process to occur while dispersing the water evenly along the bottom of the wetland. The slow, even flow of water is necessary for optimal contact time between the water and gravel bringing nutrients and oxygen to the bacterial colonies. Beneficial bacteria are housed in this gravel, providing your first layer of filtration before the water even hits the plant roots.
The important thing to remember when considering a constructed wetland filter is that, similar to your biological filter’s placement, the wetland filter should be flowing down to your pond for optimal efficiency. The wetland must sit a little higher than the pond because you need the water to flow back into the pond, because the bacteria housed in the wetland will consume dissolved oxygen as they utilise nutrients. This flow of water in the form of a waterfall or swift-moving stream back into the pond is a natural way to re-oxygenate the water.
The Snorkel and Centipede
Aquascape’s Snorkel Vault and Centipede module, along with a layer of small Aquablox strategically positioned along the bottom of the filter makes building a wetland simple. All you need to use in conjunction with these two components is a pump appropriate to the amount of water flow, rock and gravel, wetland plants, piping that is appropriate for the size of your pump, a skimmer or intake bay, and, of course, water.
The water flows through the plumbing from the intake bay or skimmer, into the Centipede module, which pushes the water into the Aquablox sediment chamber up through the layers of gravel where it comes into contact with beneficial bacteria and then the plant roots for final filtration. The Snorkel Vault is convenient for cleaning any sludge that may accumulate on the bottom through usage. Simply pop off the cap and you have complete access for easy cleaning.
The bottom line is that constructed wetlands work, and they make any pond look natural and gorgeous. What’s more, natural wetlands and the associated riparian habitats are the most biologically diverse habitats on earth, more species of plants and animals are associated with them than any other type of ecosystem.
But because of our construction practices and changes to natural hydrology, these systems are under great stress. By adding a small wetland in your back garden, you’ll be helping to preserve the natural biodiversity of your community. With today’s growing tendency toward creating sustainable landscape solutions, you can see why wetland filtration is an obvious choice for today’s environmentally-conscious consumer.
The Aquascape AquaBlox Water Storage Module displaces water for use with Pondless Waterfall reservoirs, rainwater harvesting projects, and other various water feature applications. AquaBlox are manufactured using recycled materials and designed to efficiently maximise water storage capacity, providing the ability to hold more water with a smaller reservoir footprint. Each AquaBlox will hold approximately 120 litres of water, allowing over 3 times the water storage capacity than gravel will provide. This extra storage capacity will mean less time needed to top off the reservoir due to evaporation. Thus providing years of trouble-free enjoyment and allowing for installation in a wide variety of situations. Aquascape AquaBlox are easier to clean and less prone to clogging than the alternatives.
Intake Bays are key when trying to maintain a healthy larger ecosystem pond or an ecosystem pond with high amount of leaf debris. Without one your ecosystem will never truly work properly and will likely clog up with debris.
The primary job of a pond intake bay is to remove floating debris off the surface of a pond before it has a chance to sink to the pond floor, acting like a large Aquascape skimmer. This removes the unsightly debris before it can collect on the bottom, bringing it into the intake bay where it is easily netted out and removed. This helps to keep your pond healthy and beautiful while improving the water quality for your fish. The intake bay area also houses and hides the pond pump vault and plumbing from view, this creates a more natural look to your pond.
Maintaining optimum water quality has never been easier. The Aquascape Automatic Dosing System for ponds and fountains automatically adds a choice of specially formulated Aquascape water treatments to ponds, Fountainscapes and Pondless Waterfalls, eliminating the guesswork and routine of manually adding water treatments. The Automatic Dosing System is dependable, extremely quiet and provides treatment options for a wide variety of issues in water features. In order to maintain optimum water quality, water treatments should be added consistently on a regular basis.
Multiple treatment options are available for a wide variety of issues including cloudy water, bad odors, and excessive debris. Simply program the system based on water feature size with an easy-to-use control panel. The included X2 option doubles the dosage for new water features. Get in touch today to get yours installed and make your life easier.
There are two types of filters needed to properly maintain a water garden: the first is a mechanical skimmer and the second is a biological filter. Skimmers are designed to purify the water and reduce maintenance by removing debris before it sinks to the bottom of the pond, allowing a pond to be installed anywhere, even beneath trees. The ability of the Aquascape skimmers to remove high quantities of debris from the water is also what makes it an excellent pre-filter for your pump. The pump is located in the bottom of the skimmer where it receives clean water, not in the bottom of the pond where it can easily become clogged with debris. Housing the pump in a skimmer maintains the natural beauty of the pond by keeping the pump hidden out of sight. The skimmer also provides easy access to the pump, as you don’t have to wade into the pond to remove it. We offer several different sizes of skimmers based on the design and size of the pond.
There are basically two types of filters needed to properly maintain a water garden: the first is a mechanical skimmer and the second is biological filter. We offer an extensive line of Aquascape BioFalls biological waterfall filters designed to help you create a beautiful, low maintenance water garden. A biological style of filter provides a home for beneficial bacteria to grow. These special strains of bacteria that are added to the water garden are highly effective at breaking down and removing waste from the water, such as ammonia, nitrogen, decaying plant debris and fish waste. All of this waste, if not properly filtered, can become harmful to fish and cause significant water quality issues. One of the biggest challenges with most biological filters on the market is they are difficult to hide and are often an eyesore that takes away from the overall beauty of the pond. The Aquascape Biofalls, unlike traditional biological filters, are actually hidden into the landscape. The Biofalls can be buried into the ground to create the beginning of a stream or raised to create the start of a beautiful waterfall. The top of the filter can be filled with aquatic plants and accent stones allowing the filter to be completely camouflaged into the landscape. Once the Biofalls is installed, you could be standing right next to it and not even know it is there.
Algae, pests and problems
Green water is a very small floating algae that can take over a pond quickly. This algae is unsightly and can stop your beautiful plants getting much needed sunlight and eventually causing them to die. So what causes green water? Essentially there are several factors that can cause green water in a pond.
Firstly is movement and oxygenation. Green water loves stagnant water. Simply getting movement in your pond can be a start on eliminating this algae. Whether that is an air pump or an extra circulation pump every little helps.
Secondly is decaying matter, a build up of excess fish waste or leaves breaking down in the bottom of a pond causes nutrients to rise. This in turn feeds the algae and causes it to grow exponentially. If your pond is suffering with a build up of waste, it’s probably time your pond had a drain and clean. See our drain and clean page on how to go about getting your pond back to where it should be.
Thirdly is excess sunlight and a lack of plants to use it. If your pond is in a good amount of sunlight, high chances are this is having a big impact on algae growth. The more you can shade some of the pond the better and the best way to do this is planting. Plants will help shade your pond and also help use up any nutrients in your pond. We have planting packages available for any size pond and with us planting your pond you’re also assured you won’t end up with any invasive or unsuitable plants.
Lastly, lack of the beneficial bacteria/treatment helping to keep your pond clean. Your pond normally has billions of bacteria helping to keep your pond clean, if these take a knock from cold weather, too much waste or other issues then you may need replenish these. The best and easiest way to dose this bacteria is via a Aquascape Autodoser. These clever machines drip feed the good stuff into your pond as often as it is needed, ensuring you have a healthy level of bacteria all year long.
Duck weed is a very invasive floating aquatic plant that can be brought into your pond via many means, once in your pond it can be hard to eradicate but we are here to help. Duck weed can be the bane of many pond keepers lives but there are a few key things we can do to try and get rid of this nuisance plant.
Duck weed thrives in still, nutrient rich water so we have a couple of main things we can do. Depending on the situation we may recommend before anything else is done that we perform a drain and clean on your pond. This will remove the majority of the duckweed alongside any built up organics in the bottom of the pond. This will ensure any further steps we take have a much better chance of succeeding long term.
Duck weed hates flow! Adding circulation will upset the duck weed and start to create clear patches but unfortunately if there is no way for it to be removed the duckweed will just live on the calmer areas of the pond. The best way to add flow and remove the duckweed is to have an intake bay or skimmer professionally installed on your pond. This way we can make sure the surface is being drawn to one location in the pond, thus pulling all the duckweed into one area. Through manual removal and the surface being constantly moved the duckweed will eventually die back.
It’s all very well getting the duckweed out but now we need to treat the other reasons the duckweed may have been thriving and prevent the duckweed coming back. Adding good bacteria/treatment into your pond is a great place to start, this will start to breakdown any organics in the bottom of the pond which will be feeding the duckweed. The best way to do this is by using the Aquascape Autodoser, this product constantly drips treatment into your pond at a specific rate meaning your pond should be happy and healthy for a long time to come.
The last thing we can do is add some plants, once all the above stages are complete we can look at planting the pond. This will shade the pond, will compete with the duckweed and will also remove nutrients from the water leaving nothing for the duckweed to feed on.
Blanket weed is a filamentous algae that grows exponentially when given the opportunity. It’s not wholly a bad thing as with all ponds a little bit of algae is to be expected, but when it gets out of control that’s when we need to act.
You can treat blanket weed the same as any terrestrial border and the unwanted weeds within it. Manually removing it by hand or winding a brush through it is as good a removal method as any. The more you can remove the better but remember to leave it on the side of the pond for a while to let any critters climb back into your pond. There are several circumstances that can cause blanket weed to grow, below we will take a look at some of them and how to try and fix them.
Firstly it could be a spring bloom. Generally, algae responds quicker to spring than most plants do, just removing some of the algae may give it the knockback it needs to let your plants take over. But if this is not enough and the algae persists it will be worth having a look at a treatment plan with an Aquascape Autodoser, these clever machines drip feed the treatment into your pond as often as it is needed, ensuring you have a healthy pond all year long. If the pond is really dirty a full drain and clean would be the best way forward. see our dirty pond faq on what is included with this service.
Secondly as mentioned above if your pond is dirty and full of debris then this could be causing the algae to grow. As leaves and fish waste break down in the bottom of a pond nutrients are released that are used by the algae as a food source. By removing this waste in the bottom you can stop the food source from being released, a drain and clean would be the best plan of action in this situation. This will allow you to enjoy your water feature all season long. See our drain and clean faq on what is included with this service.
Thirdly is sunlight, if your pond receives a good amount of sunlight during the day high chances are this is giving the algae a boost in growth. The best way forward with this situation is to shade the pond as much as possible, the prettiest and most beneficial way to do this is with planting. Plants will give shade and will also filter the water of nutrients that the algae will be using. We have several different planting packages available for any size or style pond.
My pond is dirty what do I do?
It is recommended by industry standards that a pond should be drained and cleaned once a year to keep it flourishing; allowing you to sit back and relax to enjoy your water garden. This isn’t always necessary it depends entirely on the ponds setting.
We would suggest a drain and clean if your pond has any of the following issues ...
- Has been suffering with excessive algae, duckweed and surface scum.
- Accumulated leaves and sediments in the bottom.
- Filtration system is constantly clogging and slowing down.
- Has a foul smell and wildlife does not visit anymore.
- Out of control aquatic plants that need cutting back.
- Your fish are lethargic, poorly and just not looking their best.
- The edging is unattractive and slippy.
- Your pond water isn’t gin clear.
- Is unsightly and a burden to look after.
If your pond is suffering from any of the above it’s probably time to have your pond professionally looked at. At this point we would recommend a drain and clean, please see our drain and clean page for more details on what we do.
Our full drain and clean is one of the most comprehensive and professional services you can treat your pond to. The following are just some of the main steps we take to ensure your feature looks its best for the season. Your clean will include:
- Draining the pond and keep over 2/3rds of the pond water if possible
- Temporarily housing the fish in an aerated secure holding facility
- Removal of debris, sludge and other organic material
- Cutting back of aquatic plants (repotting service available for additional fee)
- Power washing liner, rocks and boulders, if required
- Through clean of the filtration system, pump/s, skimmer, Biofalls etc, if applicable
- Repositioning existing boulders and gravel to cover the liner
- Trimming and removal of decaying aquatic plant matter
- Inspection of pump for blockage and flow
- Inspection of overflow for correct operation and flow
- A treatment with beneficial bacteria to kick start the ecosystem again
- Reintroduction of the reserved water and your fish
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