frequently asked questions

Water Gardening FAQs

1. When in the spring should I start feeding my fish?

When the water temperature reaches 50 degrees start feeding your fish a high carbohydrate, low protein food because of their inability to digest high proteins. Once the water temperature reaches 70 degrees feed a high protein food.

2. Do I need to feed my fish and how often?

If you do not feed your fish, they will find things in the pond to eat although if the fish load in your pond is heavy it may be necessary to feed them. There are benefits to feeding your fish, such as providing them with nutrients to help boost their immune system and you will probably see them more often.

3. How often should I test my water?

Test in the morning and ideally your sample should come from 18 inches below the surface. It is imperative that you test the pH, Nitrites and ammonia levels of your water weekly to be sure that your water quality is maintained especially if your fish load exceeds 2” per square foot area of the pond. We cannot stress that enough.

4. Is it important to know how many gallons are in my pond? How do I calculate the volume?

It is necessary to know how many gallons you have in your pond for the purpose of adding bacteria, medications, equipment, other additives and so forth. To calculate the number of gallons in your pond multiply the average depth, length and width, and then multiply the product by 7.48.

5. What should I do if my pond is high in pH?

Lower it but do it gradually. If you lower it to fast it will be deadly to your fish. Often times, fish that already exist in these conditions adapt to the higher pH but when introducing new fish they will die. Although the fish existing in those conditions will eventually begin to show signs of stress. Use pH Down to lower your pH and use it until it is at acceptable ranges, which is between 7.0 and 8.0.

6. What should I do if I have high nitrites?

Do at least a 25% water change then test again. Fish cannot tolerate nitrites above .25.

7. What can I do about high ammonia?

Use Ammo-Lock which will help remove and stabilize the ammonia in the water.

8. How many fish can I have in my pond?

We have a calculator tool available here.
To calculate how many fish you can safely have in your pond, first determine surface area of pond (Length x Width) or Area of Circle for round pond (3.14 x radius squared). To then determine how many fish: 1” of fish per square ft. of surface area is safe; 2” per square ft would require testing water at least once a week for nitrites, ammonia and pH.

9. Why should I use pond salt (dehydrated sea salts) in my pond?

Salt is a good preventative measure for fish. It helps control fungus, parasites and bacterial infections. Salt adds electrolytes helping fish pull oxygen from warm water.

10. What is the difference between Ultra Violet Clarifiers and Ultra Violet Sterilizers?

Clarification by Ultra Violet Lights properly sized for pump and pond volume will clump single cell algae (pea soup) preventing the algae from reproducing. Sterilization by UV light not only clarifies but also cleans the water of bacteria that can cause fish maladies. Sterilizers will also kill beneficial bacteria and they should be shut off for 7-10 days when bacteria is introduced allowing to attach the media.

11. How often should the bulb in my UV clarifier be replaced?

The bulb in the UV Clarifier should be replaced after twelve months of use. Even if the light is still on you should not assume that it is working because as time goes on the effectiveness gradually decreases.

12. How do I calculate my liner size?

Pond Liner Length = (Depth x 2) + Length + 2 ft.
Pond Liner Width = (Depth x 2) + Width + 2 ft.
Example: An 8 x 10 x 2.5 would require a 15′ x 17′ Liner

13. How do I calculate my pond volume?

We have a calculator tool available here.
Pond Volume Calculation = Length x Width x Depth x 7.48
Example: A 12 x 10 x 2 foot depth would be 1795.2 Gallons

14. How do I calculate the volume for a round pond?

We have a calculator tool available here.
Round Pond Volume Calculation = Top Diameter (across) x Bottom Diameter (across) x depth x .785 x 7.48
Example: 10′ round and 4′ deep pond would be 469.74 gallons

15. How do I calculate how many fish I should have in my pond?

We have a calculator tool available here.
Fish Calculations: First determine surface area of pond (Length x Width) or Area of circle for round pond (3.14 x radius squared). To then determine how many fish: 1″ of fish per sq ft of surface area is safe; 2″ per sq ft would require testing water weekly for nitrites, ammonia, and pH; 3″ or more per sq ft requires testing and biofiltering.

16. What size pump should I have for my pond?

Pump Size: Total gallons of pond divided by 3 = Minimum pump size for filtration only otherwise pump volume should be determined by the feature to be created.
We have a calculator tool available here for calculating the cost of running the pond per month.

17. Why is 45 EPDM liner better than 40 EPDM?

40 EPDM liner is 11% thinner than 45 EPDM which means the puncture resistence is less for the 40 EPDM liner. 45 EPDM is also the standard for rubber liner.

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