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This is an indication that your water feature has started to develop algae. Filamentous algae, otherwise known as string algae, is the most common form of algae that will accumulate on the surface and rocks of a water feature. Planktonic algae is another common variant that is often described as having the appearance of ‘pea soup’. Although they are both completely innocuous, most clients want to remove it to improve the aesthetics of their pond.

There are several options for treating algae. Some considerations for each are listed.

  • Algaecide: Can be used to eliminate the algae in your pond along with the nutrients that causes it to further develop. If you have fish in your pond, it is ill-advised to use it excessively, for it can be detrimental to their health. A more eco-friendly alternative which will prevent the growth of algae altogether is Beneficial Bacteria. Product can age out or be compromised and therefore less effective.
  • AutoDoser: Automatically puts concentrated doses (or a combination of), based on your specific water feature needs.
  • Beneficial Bacteria: Organically treating your water feature.
  • IonGen: Utilizing a copper Ionizer to ‘zap’ the algae. Works particularly well on most fountains and pondless or waterfall type systems.
  • Increased Filtration: This can be done in a couple of different ways. The decision of which to use would require adequate consideration of all the different variables. It would need to be spec’d just for your features needs.
    • Mechanical Filtration: Skimmer box, Intake Bay, Negative Edge, skimmer basket, Bead or Sand Filter
    • Biological Filtration: Biofalls, Waterfall Basin, Wetland Bog, Upflow,
  • UV Lights: Will kill off algae that passes thru the chamber only. Will kill off any Beneficial Bacteria that is in the water flow as well. UV lights must be replaced yearly for best benefit. The bulbs can become less effective if mishandled or damaged in any way. The UV light is only effective if the proper amount of water is flowing thru and it is sized & plumbed appropriately for your feature.
  • Increased Water Circulation: Possibly an upgraded pump, spitter, or jet.

As you can see, there are a plethora of solutions for eliminating the algae in your pond. The ideal method for your water feature, however, is contingent on a full assessment.

Beneficial Bacteria is a concentrated blend of various strands of bacteria that will help establish a healthy microbiome in your pond. The phosphate solubilizing bacteria found in this product will make the algae and debris in the pond clump together while the enzymes will break it down and utilize the nutrients in your pond to prevent the growth of organic matter. This process will help establish a viable ecosystem in your pond and improve its appearance. Although algaecide may be useful for initially treating the pond, we advise using beneficial bacteria as a long-term solution to prevent algae growth.

We recommend dosing your pond with beneficial bacteria at least once a week. Additional doses can be administered if you experience a large change in water (rain, topped it off, sick fish, new plants, cleaned waterfalls, etc)

Most products should come with instructions as to how to quantify the correct amount for your pond.

You can use the following formula to calculate the amount of gallons in your pond:

Length (in feet) * Width (in feet) * Average Depth (in feet) * 7.48

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If filamentous algae has accumulated on the rocks of your waterfall, there are a couple of options to treat this.

  • One solution is the hands on method, utilizing a solution (the one we use most frequently is (Ecoblast Contact Granular Algaecide). Simply apply the product to the affected areas, let it sit for ten to fifteen minutes in order to break down the algae, and scrub the treated areas with a hard bristle brush. Remove dead algae from stream, wash it down (removing as much of the byproduct as possible). Clean your filters soon after this process also. Turn feature back on. Considerations need to be made if you have fish, proper aeration and season/weather/temperatures, etc.
  • IonGen, or another copper ionizer.
  • Beneficial Bacteria.
  • Increased Filtration.

There are a couple:

  • To start with, you will need a source of aeration in your pond, otherwise the advantages of adding beneficial bacteria will be moot.
  • The water in your pond needs constant circulation in order to ensure that there is an adequate amount of oxygen, which will promote the sustainability of bacteria, plants, and fish alike.
  • Filtration will help remove excessive food, debris and fish waste. Adequately sized solution for your feature specific.

The best way to achieve this is to install a pump. There are two main types of pumps you can use in your pond. The first is a submersible pump that has its own filtration system. This can be placed in the bottom of your pond to provide aeration and break down debris in your pond. The second option, which we personally recommend, is a pump designed to be used in conjunction with a skimmer box. The skimmer box will hold the pump in place while collecting debris and distributing bacteria more effectively using filtration mats. Generally, we find that this option is more suitable for most of our clients since this reduces the overall maintenance and makes the pump less susceptible to being clogged.

: It’s possible that there is an obstruction inside of your pump and/or skimmer box that is disrupting the flow of the water in your pond.

There could be a leak in the pond, plumbing, filtering system, or stream.

A complete assessment may need to be done of the water feature. We would start with detailed questions and we would recommend a check all of the components in the skimmer box, filtering system and especially the pump. Check the impeller inside of it to make certain there are no foreign objects preventing it from functioning properly. If you need more assistance in diagnosing or the problem persists, feel free to give us a call and we can send a technician out.

The best way to prevent leaves and other debris from getting in the pond is to install a net that extends over the entire pond. This will greatly reduce the maintenance required to keep your pond looking beautiful. Not to mention, it’s incredibly affordable and easy to install. This is especially useful during the months of autumn.

There’s really no definitive answer as to how often you need to have a clean-out to keep your pond intact. If it is well maintained, you may be able to forgo having a clean-out performed for an extended period of time. We like to reach out to our client every six months or so (during the arrival of the Spring/Autumnal equinox) to inquire about the condition of their ponds and see if they’re interested in having us perform a clean-out.

The primary concern as far as plants go is making sure they’re not overgrown and you don’t introduce any plants that are toxic to fish or contaminated from other water source.
Regular maintenance would include periodically pruning or removing vegetation, to reduce the amount of decaying matter and maintain its best appearance. Additionally, you should also fertilize your aquatic plants, to help them flourish.
Plants can be installed in pots or directly in the pond bed (rocks or dirt). Be wary of aggressive growing plants taking over the pond and plant beds / landscaping.

It’s probable that you have a leak in your pond. 90% of the leaks are in the stream and or waterfall. Other options to consider is the pond/basin or plumbing (circulatory system). To help determine which one (by process of elimination sometimes), Phase One of Leak Detect . If possible (considering many options, like fish, etc.), turn off the pond, fill it up and leave off for 24 hours to notice how far it has gone down. If you have fish make sure you have adequate aeration during this test. If possible (considering many options, like fish, etc), let the water feature continue to drop until it stops losing.
If you can ascertain the location, you may be able to resolve the issue. Here are some possible resolutions:
• Tear: If the leak is due to a tear you can attempt a repair with a patch kit.
• Fold or misplacement of the liner in your pond: readjust the liner to remove the crevice that is causing the leak to occur.
• Rusted Screws: in skimmer box the screws around the faceplate are rusted out. Process is to clean out area in front of skimmer (drain pond, remove fish, etc), remove screws, faceplate and liner, clean area thoroughly, apply fresh silicone, liner, faceplate and new screws. Reassemble rock work, put water and fish back in, dose with beneficial bacterial, etc. It is often recommended that a clean out be done at this point (since the prep work has been done).
If the Pond / Basin doesn’t lose any water then we can conclude it is in either the waterfall / stream or in the plumbing / circulatory system. We can utilize a bypass pipe to find more facts and further the leak detection.
If you are unable to locate the source of the leak, we offer an exploratory clean out and full assessment to help get your feature back up and running the way it should be.

Whenever you have acquired new fish, it is important that you take measures to quarantine the fish. Whenever handling fish you should gradually acclimate them. Considerations need to be made as to water temperatures they are coming from and going to, the water quality, etc. Water quality tests should be done. The process recommended would be based on those variables.

For the most part, your fish should be pretty self-sufficient so long as the pond remains in good condition. Just be sure to dechlorinate the pond whenever there’s any form of precipitation or you add new water to the pond, maintain proper aeration and a healthy ecosystem, dose with beneficial bacteria as directed, and be careful not to overfeed.

Fish food, for the most part, was designed to serve as a means for pond owners to interact with their fish. The pond’s natural ecosystem should be able to provide enough nourishment to keep your fish healthy. If you still want to feed your fish for the sake of leisure, use small quantities to make sure there are no leftover pellets in the pond. It would also be wise to avoid feeding them too often to avoid the buildup of ammonia in your pond.

It’s best for there to be a hiatus for feeding the fish as the climate becomes colder. A good rule of thumb is to stop feeding them after Thanksgiving Day and resume doing so after Easter.

It is often difficult to determine. Other times we can more confident in our findings such as when the water hose was left running in the pond overnight. If the autofill isn’t working properly (broken, mis-set, or adjusted by a frog, etc) this could cause similar results. Some of the most common causes are excess ammonia, the water’s pH levels being too high, or the pond not being dechlorinated. Parasites, bad bacteria, infections, predator damage, etc). One method commonly used in fact finding is water testing, you can purchase a test kit for the water in your pond so you can treat it accordingly. If a fish is scraped and that scraping is put under a microscope (within a specific amount of time) you may be able to determine if an organism is responsible or present (maybe as a result of).

Very much so! In fact, the water in your pond may be less harmful than a swimming pool. If it’s well-maintained of course. Your pond uses a lot less chemicals than your swimming pool recommends.

There are many factors that can impact this number. Your total water volume is probably the most significant amongst them. Other considerations include water quality, aeration, plants, etc. There are many suggested ways of doing this:
• 1” fish per ten gallons of water
• 1” per square feet (surface area)
• 1 adult koi per one hundred gallons, 1 goldfish per two hundred and fifty gallons.
It’s suggested that you err on the side of caution, as the fish grow, they’ll consume more oxygen. Survival of the fittest usually plays a role in the largest or oldest fish dying first under the right circumstances.

Glossary Of Terms


A product that is used to both eliminate and prevent the growth of algae in your pond. It is recommend to exercise caution when using this product, for it can be detrimental to living organisms inside the pond.

Automatic Dosing System:

A device that periodically distributes a concentrated blend of bacteria and other water treatments. The type of treatment and frequency at which the pond is dosed can be easily adjusted as needed.

Bead/Sand Filter:

A filtration system in which water permeates one of these substances in order to remove waste and debris.

Beneficial Bacteria:

A product that is used to help establish microbial activity in your pond. This will, in turn, facilitate the process of breaking down sludge and preventing the growth of algae. It can be purchased in both a liquid and granular form.

Biofalls Filter:

A waterfall filtration unit that serves as foundation for biological filtration in a pond. It comprises filter media and small polyethylene cylinders that accrue and redistribute bacteria. It can be easily concealed with layers of rock and permits the user to easily establish a cascading effect in their pond.

Biological Filtration:

The process by which microbial activity occurs in the pond in order to prevent the growth of algae as well as the buildup of sludge. The Biofalls Filter is primarily responsible for this function.

Copper Ionizer (IonGen System):

A device that is placed where the utmost amount of circulation occurs that gradually releases copper ions into the water to combat the growth of algae.


A product that is used to remove substances that can be harmful to the fish, plants, or ecosystem in your pond. These substances include chlorine, chloramine, ammonia, copper, and various heavy metals. In addition to this, it will often times protect and optimize the health of your fish by producing a slime coating on their bodies and calming them with an herbal supplement.

Ecoblast Contact Granular Algaecide:

A dry variant of algaecide that was designed to remove algae from water features in which it might adhere to the surface of the rocks, such as waterfalls, fountains, streams, and more.

Filamentous Algae:

Single algae cells that form long and visible chains or threads. This type of algae is completely innocuous, however, most pond owners find it to be unsightly. It is often referred to as ‘string algae’.

Filter Media:

A product that is used in conjunction a skimmer box to prevent debris from re-entering the pond while also enabling biological filtration.

Intake Bay:

A filtration unit (usually about 15-20% of the ponds size) that can serve as an alternative to a skimmer box. It resides next to the pond and allows plants and rocks to filter the water, collecting muck and small debris before it has the chance to settle in the bottom of the pond.


A product that serves as an overlay for the area that has been dug out to serve as a pond. It ensures that the pond can effectively retain the water inside of it. We recommend using EDPM liner with a thickness of 45 millimeters.

Mechanical Filtration:

A system that is implemented in which the water undergoes frequent circulation in order to reduce the amount of debris in the pond. The skimmer box is primarily responsible for this function.

Planktonic Algae:

A form of algae that is distributed throughout the pond that gives the water a greenish hue. This type of algae can grow at an uncontrollable rate and cause issues for fish if not maintained. It is often described as having the appearance of pea soup.

Skimmer Basket/Net:

A component within the skimmer box that prevents debris from making contact with the pump.

Skimmer Box:

A filtration device that serves as a housing unit for the pump. It will preserve the quality of the water by preventing debris from accumulating in the pond and redistributing bacteria that the filter media has accrued.

Wetland Bog:

A water feature with a filtration system installed beneath it that hosts a myriad of aquatic plants and other decorative aspects. The filtration system in these features operates alongside the plants, rocks, and gravel to create a healthy ecosystem.


A fabric that serves as a protective barrier for the liner. It significantly reduces the chances of the liner being punctured once the pond is fully operational. Although it is often placed beneath the liner, an additional layer can be used on top to prevent the liner from being penetrated by rocks and/or boulders.

UV Lights:

These are high output UVC light bulbs (often used in conjunction other accessories) that emit rays which eliminate and prevent algae blooms in ponds. This is particularly useful for dealing with planktonic algae.