Ponds & Families
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, 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.
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
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.
Running costs for our features can start from as little as 4p 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 (£525 per year).
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, quickly ramps up to £1747 a year!
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. (written with 2023 prices!)
What are the different water features
An ecosystem is "a biological community of organisms and their environment". In an Ecosystem Pond, our goal is create a biologically balanced pond that will become a low maintenance piece of paradise for you.
You can recognise our Ecosystem ponds by their signature waterfalls cascading into the pond below but that is just a small part of how they keep the water crystal clear.
- 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.
A Stillwater Pond has no moving parts making it very low maintenance whilst encouraging a huge myriad of wildlife to call your pond home. From frogs and newts, to dragonflies and kingfishers, these will all enjoy this space inspired by nature and built for nature.
A garden is an extension of our home and so of course your style flows between the spaces. Using our knowledge and techniques for crystal clear water, we can merge these with straight lines and crisp edges for a contemporary feature to be proud of.
A stillwater pond is a body of water with no filters or moving parts that will entice a huge abundance of wildlife to seek refuge and call your garden space their home. Our stillwater ponds are a cost effective way to create a stunning living feature in your garden that changes daily as the seasons flow through. This simple system needs little maintenance, however, this is not suitable if you are hoping to keep fish as the filtration is not high enough for the biological load fish cause.
Our ecosystem ponds are instantly recognisable from their eye-catching waterfalls which tumble over the rocks creating a beautiful burble which can be used to mask distant traffic sounds and create a space where you can be immersed in the sights and sounds of nature. With higher filtration and aerated water, this is perfect for fish or those after a more immersive experience.
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 sight 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.
If you love the sound and movement of water but not the idea of a pond, a fountainscape is perfect for you. With underground storage vaults to recirculate the water, you can enjoy the movement, whether via a bubbling rock, pouring bowl or textured urn. These features are great for welcoming guests to your front door or enjoying an intimate dining space. They're softer on the pocket too!
For smaller spaces, or those who just love waterfalls, a pondless is a stream with no pond. Instead water drops into an underground holding tank before being recirculated back to the top. With very low maintenance but high impact, we love a Pondless!
A swim pond or recreational pond is a large Ecosystem Pond but with suped up filtration for that crystal clear water quality, and external pumps for 100% safety. With the added wetland and aerated water from the waterfalls, this water is naturally purified and you can literally immerse yourself in nature and swim with the newts and dragonflies . This is how nature intended us to swim, using natural processes to create water clean enough to drink, now within the comfort of your home.
Swimming Pools are made with huge amounts of concrete and heavy building work. Our non-structural Recreation Ponds are built into the ground by terracing the earth to create your pond’s shape and depth, prior to placing the geotextile underlay and Firestone EPDM rubber liner membrane. Once in place the liner is then covered with rock and pebble to create a natural appearance. Each design is unique and can incorporate features such as beach areas, diving rocks, bench seats and decorative spill bowls, all dependent on the size of the area and your budget.
Designed as a natural Ecosystem pond, we work with mother nature to provide crystal clear water, utilising an Aquascape Wetland Filtration System. A wetland works just like a biological filter, by creating an area in your pond thick with naturally-filtering plants, as well as rocks and gravel, which provide a surface for bacterial colonisation … nature’s perfect filters. So a wetland, while naturally beautiful and pleasing to the eye, is a great filtration method, and will help keep your water crystal clear
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)
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.
Unfortunately solar cannot be used for your water feature. Moving water takes a lot of strength as the pump is pushing it uphill to the top of the waterfall, before gravity pulls it back down.
If you think how effective your LED solar lights are....for about an hour after dusk, your water feature would occasionally bubble but definitely not give you the effect you're hoping for.
However, the pumps are being improved every year to be as low wattage as possible, many running at around 200W, similar to your fridge freezer.
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. These 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.
The basin is a part of our Pondless waterfall and Fountainscape ranges. The basin provides an underground reservoir where we can store the water to recirculate around your feature. They generally consist of one of two designs depending on the size of the feature. Firstly we have the smaller of the two, this is a pre moulded sump consisting of a tub to store the water and a lid to sit your feature on. This size is used in only the smallest of our features as they have a limited capacity. Secondly we have our larger basin, this is a bit more complex in design but is adaptable to any size of project. We start by using a rubber liner to create our reservoir, then using Aquascape Aquablox we create a stable base for your feature to sit on. Lastly an Aquascape Vault is used to house the pump and give us access when necessary. We can use as many Aquablox as the feature needs to create a suitably sized reservoir.
A berm is a raised bank that we create so we have an incline to run our Ecosystem streams down. They add height to your garden, adding to the visual and auditory impact of your space, proven to reduce stress and improve productivity. The berm that the waterfall tumbles down creates a perfect flower bed for shrubs and annuals which also helps to further embed the pond into its surroundings.
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.
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.
How we work
At DU Waterscapes we are aware of the significance of our work and the investment that comes with it. That is why we ensure that each project we carry out is completed in the most sustainable way possible! That can range from our construction techniques and materials used to the way your pond functions and caters for the surrounding wildlife.
- We use no concrete in any of our creations unless absolutely necessary. Concrete has a massive carbon footprint and will always fail to appear natural, unlike our combination of real rocks and durable liner.
- Our ecosystem ponds and water features recirculate the same body of water once filled.
- The pumps we use are highly energy efficient, also our LED lights are low voltage.
- Our liner has a 20 year warranty which it regularly surpasses.
- Our knowledge of plant ecology is of a high calibre, therefore our planting is designed to promote great water quality naturally.
- We create works of art that not only provide ecological benefits but often become the main focal point of our client’s gardens, providing immense aesthetic benefits.
- A well designed ecosystem pond will only ever use as much water as a standard lawn or garden bed.
- Our living ponds are enhanced with beneficial bacteria, relinquishing the need for potentially harmful chemicals that could upset an ecosystems balance and cause harm to its inhabitants.
- Low maintenance and upkeep.
- Machinery is only used if absolutely necessary and will always be to scale with the project at hand.
Our sustainable way of handling our projects is one of our processes that helps to ensure 100% customer satisfaction. We will always ask our customers at the end of each project if they are 100% satisfied with not only the feature, but the way we have handled and executed the project. This attention to detail is what has allowed us to grow and develop into a company that can deliver premium service on every project we under take.
Quality – CAC’s have agreed to a strict quality control program that exceeds that of your everyday pond installer. Having a qualified CAC install your pond/water feature ensures that all components used at all stages of a projects are of the highest quality with the workmanship to match. Having quality products installed by a highly skilled contractor such as us at DU Waterscapes is what results in all of our projects becoming both bespoke and low maintenance.
Knowledge – As a CAC we are required to have successfully completed numerous tests on pond/water feature building skills as well as business skills to ensure we meet the exceptional standards set by Aquascape. This also requires the completion of a myriad of projects, proving we can deliver the same quality, bespoke features time and time again.
Dedication – DU Waterscapes are a full-time pond/water feature installer! This is because ponds are our passion and since we only install and service ponds it is no surprise that we have become experts in the field. Being a CAC ensures we are true professionals, dedicated to bringing our expertise to every project.
Artisan – We pride ourselves on not just the installation of our ponds/water features but also the bespoke artistry that goes into each and every one. We have an eye for design, incorporating native plants where possible and precisely placing every rock to wow our customers with the finished product. When completed our projects will look at one with nature, as if they have been carved into your home space over a period of years!
We strive to tread as gently as we can on the environment, minimising our impact wherever possible. Some examples are listed below but we are always working to improve.
Gravel - We used to have our gravel and cobbles delivered in large dumpy bags which we would break down into buckets to take to site. However, although there was less packaging with this method, the dumpy bags cannot be recycled and there are only so many bags that we can give to our clients as gardening bags! We now use smaller bags of gravel which can be taken to the recycling centre to be given a new lease of life
Uniforms - We have spent a long time researching the best fabrics for our uniforms as we want them to have low carbon footprints but still perform well in our physical and hard wearing roles. Where possible, we use recycled plastics in our trousers and fleeces and each member of staff is issued with a Cora Ball which is made from collected sea plastic and remade to help catch the microfibres that are released in the washing machine.
Paperwork - Where possible, we digitalise everything so that we aren’t sending out unnecessary paper. If however, you would prefer a hard copy, we can of course pop a copy in the post for you.
Tools - We take great care in choosing our tools, looking for products which will work well and reliably but also will last many years or come with lifetime warranties that will fix broken parts. Where appropriate, we use recyclable or compostable materials such as steel or wood.
Site Waste - We strive to minimise waste on site and can often leave with only a small bin bag of non recyclable rubbish. Wooden pallets can be recycled or reused, and our products come with minimal packaging, usually only ties to hold items like pipes together or recyclable plastic bags.
Our first step when building our ponds is establishing the location. We want our pond’s somewhere where they are going to be appreciated all year round and so they should be visible from inside the property as well as placed in a sensible area for the functioning of the garden. If the pond is going to be and ecosystem pond with a waterfall or stream then the flowing water should be facing a main viewing area so that its beauty can be viewed with ease. Once this has been established the process goes as follows:
- Remove the turf where you would like the pond to be, we always remove more that the size of the pond to create areas for terrestrial planting.
- Establish your water level. Use a laser level to establish where your water level is going to be, this is usually a couple inches below the lowest part of your pond or the back of the overflow on your skimmer.
- Start digging! We dig our ponds with shelves, providing deeper water for fish and aquatic life as well as shallow platforms for marginal aquatics to grow. If you are building an ecosystem pond this is also the time to dig in the holes for your Biofalls and skimmer. Your Biofalls should be level side to side and slightly leaning forward whilst your skimmer should be level in all directions with the top of the open face being an inch above water level to allow it to function properly.
- Once your pond is dug you should line it twice. Once with a protective fleece and once with the pond liner. The fleece helps prevent any holes or tears on the pond liner but you should still be cautious and remove any sharp rocks or glass excavated when digging to reduce the chances of this further. Again if you are building an ecosystem pond, now is the time to adhere the Biofalls and skimmer to the liner.
- Time to rock and roll! The rocks and gravel are integral for a properly functioning pond ecosystem. The rocks should be slightly higher than the bank they are against, at the higher levels this is to retain the soil and hide the liner and within the pond it assists in preventing gravel slipping off of the shelf. When placing rocks you should put another layer of fleece between the rock and the liner as added insurance against a leaky liner. Don’t drop rocks onto the liner and ensure they aren’t being placed on any small fragments of rock that could pierce holes.
- Once rocked cut your excess liner leaving a bib of around 6 inches. Edge around your pond/stream, folding the liner and disguising it with either gravel or by bringing in soil so your pond looks as if it is there as nature intended.
- Before filling the pond be sure to flush it through thoroughly so that the water clarity is as good as it can be from the initial filling.
- Once full, check for any low edges where the liner may not be containing the water. If you find a low edge pull the fold out of the liner and refold it so it sits higher or bring the folds in a pleat tighter.
DU Waterscapes are the go to Aquascape contractor in the Southwest of England. Being a CAC gives our company an assured level of quality above other contractors, producing only the best in bespoke ponds and water features. So, what does all of this mean?
CAC’s are the most qualified and informed installers of ponds/water features in the industry. Since the introduction of the programme in 2001, CAC’s have been meticulously educated and trained by Aquascape experts on not only the installation of beautiful, low-maintenance features but also providing quality workmanship and outstanding customer service. Through being a CAC we can provide our customers with a premium product, sourcing materials and knowledge from the most world renowned company in our sector.
Unfortunately we do not install bare liner ponds as it goes against our ethos of combining "both natural processes and applied sciences to achieve water-gardening excellence by increasing biodiversity and the abundance of native flora and fauna in order to repair, protect and restore habitats throughout the UK."
Instead we create water gardens with a mixture of boulders, wood, planting etc to create a more natural look and which ultimately protects the liner. Our approach is organic and we do not use chemicals, we work with mother nature not against her whilst creating our bespoke water gardens.
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.
We cannot stress enough just how important it is to introduce beneficial bacteria into your pond. A pond that is a complete ecosystem will be significantly cleaner. A complete ecosystem requires proper filtration, aeration, plants and beneficial bacteria. Without any one of these components the ecosystem will become unbalanced and so won’t be low maintenance.
The beneficial bacteria are aerobic microorganisms that convert harmful substances such as ammonia into less impactful nitrites and nitrates. This helps keep your ecosystem pond clean as well as producing a healthier habitat for fish and other pond life. These bacteria come as part of our maintenance scheme where we provide measured quantities of bacteria in dissolvable PVA bags, ready to be introduced to your pond.
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
After transporting fish from the shop to your home it is important to follow these steps to ensure your fish are introduced to your ecosystem pond safely.
- Acclimatise the fish by placing the floating bag the fish are in on the surface of your pond for approximately 20 minutes. Be sure to open the bag slightly to help aerate the water inside the bag.
- Avoid floating the fish in direct sunlight, cover the plastic bag with an old towel or cloth to give the fish shade without sinking the bag.
- If the pond fish have been bought locally and not transported for a long period of the time then the acclimatisation process can be improved. This can be done by opening the bag and filling it up with an extra 20% pond water by volume.
- When you have finished the acclimatisation process, scoop the fish out of the bag with a soft, mesh net and discard the remaining water.
- If you fail to acclimatise your fish properly it will cause extreme stress and potentially death as a result of the differences in temperature and water chemistry.
- Wait until the 2nd or 3rd day after introduction to feed the fish.
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
- Ensure you are buying your fish from a reputable dealer, ask them if they quarantine their fish before selling them. The staff should have sufficient knowledge of their stock and the store itself should be well kept and clean.
- Look for signs of sick fish in the shop – these can include clamped fins or individuals staying alone and away from the other fish.
- Ask if the store uses one net per fish tank to avoid cross contamination/spread of potential disease.
- Look for fish with clear skin, no marks, missing fins/scales and no sores.
- If you see ANY signs of dead fish throughout the store it can be a sign of poorly maintained holding facilities and we would advise avoiding purchasing fish from them.
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.
Although all of our projects are bespoke and completed to the very highest level, we often say that the terrestrial planting can be the difference an exceptional and a truly outstanding project. The terrestrial planting packages offered here at DU Waterscapes will give your pond ecosystem those extra little sprinkles to really transform your space. Our aim is to make your pond/water feature the focal point of your garden, providing the tranquil sound of running water whilst being an area of outstanding beauty for you to relax and marvel. Not only will planting the terrestrial area benefit you but it will also hugely benefit the living organisms using your garden as a home and sanctuary. These include bees and butterfly’s, both of which are suffering from habitat loss as our country continues to develop. Terrestrial planting, even if only borders, gives these beautiful creatures a place to feed and thrive, helping retain their declining populations. The plants used are specifically tailored to the preferences of each of our customers; whether they prefer annuals, perennials, flowers or shrubs we will ensure the planting will be to taste. Planting is often a greater task than you might first expect and an exceptional understanding of the plants and their growth patterns is essential to ensure year round colour and coverage to your terrestrial area.
Especially with the drawn out evenings during the British winter, lights can be the difference when looking for complete year round satisfaction from your pond/water feature. The lights we use from Aquascape are extremely energy efficient and so a fully functioning pond with a pump, lights and an autodoser only costs around 5p an hour to keep ticking over! Lighting can be incorporated into your pond/water feature in a multitude of ways. They look amazing submerged in ponds; illuminating the opposing banks and highlighting swimming fish, or simply placed beneath a waterfall with the light shimmering through the running water. Terrestrial landscape lighting is also a viable option, allowing you to enjoy the water feature as well as the surrounding plants and flowers 24/7. They can also be used in a combination of different ways for fountainscapes. Not only can lights highlight the running water but they can also be placed within the feature itself, enhancing the bubbling plumes coming from your desired feature.
Adding a gentle current to your ecosystem pond through the use of circulation jets can have more benefits than you first realise. We find circulation jets especially useful on larger ponds where there can be areas of ‘slack’ where the water is disturbed minimally by the flow produced between the biofalls and the skimmer. In these instances, circulation jets will be placed so any debris that ends up in the slack water will find its way back into the current produced by the pumps in the skimmer, effectively extracting excess material and leaving your pond clean.
Jets no only lend themselves to larger ponds though, they have a use in any pond should the benefits they provide suit your needs. If they are positioned so the surface of the water rolls then circulation jets will help oxygenate the water, resulting in happier fish, aquatic plants and other aquatic life such as amphibians. Having a current pulsing through the pond will also slightly alter your fish’s activity. They will become more active, swimming against the current and playing in the flows, without the jets present fish are more likely to hold up in a certain position making them far less interactive.
Biofilm is a pond’s natural biological filter that can exist on everything in an aquatic ecosystem that is in contact with well-oxygenated water. Biofilm is in essence an ecosystem within an ecosystem as it is compromised largely of many species of small invertebrate and bacteria such as amoebas, worms and rotifers to name a few. The array of species living within the biofilm would not be able to thrive without the presence of algae. You heard us correctly, not all the algae in your pond is a nuisance!
The algae in Biofilm provides a platform for the critters to cling on to as well as providing food for some. Biofilm will adhere to any rocks, gravel, pots and plants within your pond which should be exciting as a pond owner as it is an early sign your ecosystem will be a beautiful, balanced one!
The bacteria, worms and invertebrates within the biofilm consume waste products and organic material, which will in turn help maintain water clarity and reduce the potential for organic matter build up at the bottom of your pond. They also provide an additional natural food source for your fish and other aquatic animals.
Biofilm can also be seen as combatant against the build-up of string algae in pond ecosystems as they don’t harness its growth, therefore, so long as a good layer of biofilm is present the chances of undesirable string algae becoming an issue are greatly reduced.
Aquatic planting is an essential for any pond ecosystem, can you truly call your pond a complete ecosystem without plants? Aquatic plants provide an increased surface area for beneficial bacteria to latch onto and colonise. This partnered with the plants themselves absorbing excess nutrients from your pond means aquatic plants are an essential asset when wanting the optimum water quality from your pond ecosystem.
Another point promoting aquatics is simply because they are stunning. They’ll breakup sometimes monotone rock work with explosions of different shades of green and often quaint flowers come the spring. Those with floating leaves such as water lilies provide shelter for fish/amphibian populations, allowing them to duck away from predators or escape extreme heat.
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Please use our form below to give us as much information as you can about your project so that we can come back to you with the best way to create your dream water feature. Our form will request some recent photographs of your feature, the size and any relevant information such as type of pumps, date of last clean etc. so you will need to have these to hand before you start.
We strive to get in touch within five business days. But please bear with us if it takes us a little longer. We thank you for your patience while we are out making someone’s back garden beautiful! Yours could be next!