When you have invested in a water feature, of course you want it to look its very best, don't you? A common problem property owners with a water feature run into is discolored water. Modern Design Aquascaping has gathered a few tips for you, just in case you encounter less than clear and pristine water in your water feature.
Is your water green?
Green water means there's a problem with the clarity. There are plenty of products to treat green water--from fast-acting treatments which help floating particles clump together for easier removal, to beneficial bacterium which combat an imbalance in the water, and UV filters. You'll sometimes hear people refer to green water as a “new pond syndrome” because bacterial imbalances are common in new ponds.
Related: Overfeeding fish can make algae bloom!
Are you looking at tea-colored water?
Often, you get brownish water from debris like leaves falling into the pond. We usually recommend an ongoing Activated Pond Carbon to clear the water of the excess nutrients which are causing the murky color.
Has your water been looking a bit cloudy?
The first response is typically a round of Rapid Clear, which is another fast-acting treatment that causes the offenders in your water to clump together for better filtering.
Related: Here's a great resource for learning more about aquatic plants.
Have you brought in a professional?
Often when people think about clarity issues in a pond, they assume there's an algae problem. But algae overgrowth is only one cause of discolored water. It makes sense to bring in a pond expert if you're having clarity problems with no obvious source.
There are so many different contributing factors when it comes to water clarity. Temperature fluctuations, the amount of sun or shade, and surrounding landscape all play a part in the health of your pond. If you contact your friendly experts at Modern Design Aquascaping, we'll get pond back to its beautiful self with a stronger natural ecosystem to boot.
Every spring here in East Tennessee at Modern Design Aquascaping Inc. we get a barrage of callers who want to know, “How much does a pond cleaning cost?” In this article we will address this question as well as the variables that will affect it. This will allow you to know which type of service you would like and who you should call to arrange for your cleaning!
The term “pond clean out” is often used very loosely. There are obviously different levels of cleaning, as well as a variety of construction techniques that can make a water feature easier, or more difficult to clean and maintain. A “clean out” could be considered physically scooping out leaves and debris and cleaning out the pond filters. Another type of clean out could be simply vacuuming leaves out of an exposed-liner pond and rinsing out the filter pads. Here at Modern Design Aquascaping Inc. our preferred method of cleaning ponds is what we refer to as a complete cleaning and component inspection. This service is normally done in the spring. We would be happy to send you our list of procedures for this service but for now I want to focus on expense related concerns and not so much on methodology.
A large factor to consider in the cost of your pond cleaning is the company you are hiring. A lawn & landscape company will typically be less expensive than bringing in a company that specializes in water features. Retaining trained professionals (specialists) in a given field of expertise is much more costly than hiring general laborers. I can’t speak for other companies, but I know we spend over $10,000 per year just on training and education. Team members are taught about fish care and diseases, plants, plumbing, filtration, etc. by industry experts. This investment in personnel definitely raises the cost of our service and may or may not be a value to you. We have seen local landscape companies do pond cleaning for as little as $250.00. I’m not vouching for the quality of the service delivered, only the price. At Modern Design Aquascaping Inc., our starting price for a complete spring cleaning and component inspection starts at $650.00.
Another consideration that may be important to you is sanitation. Does a company sanitize equipment between cleanings? This is a big deal to some people! If you have koi or other fish in your pond you should think about this. Some clean out crews (ours included) clean multiple ponds each day in the spring time. Pond diseases, bacteria, and parasites can easily be transported from one pond to the next inside the holding tanks, pumps, and plumbing used to complete a clean out. Early in the year, when the water temperature is cool and the fish have slower metabolism it is the perfect time for problems to occur due to inadequate sanitation practices. Keep this in mind if you have fish you love!
You may also consider professionalism an important factor in choosing your service company. One guy/gal in a pickup with a hose, a pump, and a 5 gallon bucket may take a few days to clean your pond. The alternative is that a professional team of trained technicians shows up and has all the proper tools to do a fast-efficient clean out. Koi tanks that hold thousands of gallons of water are set up, team goes into action, pond is clean and fish are returned unscathed to their habitat in rapid fashion. The experience delivered by a professional team may or may not be an important factor to you.
The remaining variables in clean out cost are related to methodology (how well the pond is cleaned), the size of the feature, and other business related variables. Call our office at Modern Design Aquascaping Inc. at 865-995-1234 or fill out the on-line form at http://www.mdaquascaping.com/contact.html and we’ll call you. We would love to give you a no-cost estimate right over the phone and help get your pond up and running this year!
If you want more information on clean out procedures, click the link below!
Thanks & Happy Pondering,
John G Adams
Modern Design Aquascaping Inc.
How Much Does a Koi Pond Cost?
One of the first questions potential pond owners want answered when they call our company is :
How much does a koi pond cost? Even though this question is difficult to answer due to the tremendous amount of variables, I can give you some rough ideas of what different pond projects can cost. I tend to liken the purchase of a pond to the purchase of a car. There are so many makes & models available, each with a plethora of options and potential add-ons, that price ranges can vary dramatically from one vehicle to the next. The same can be said for ponds! Most people choose options for their vehicle based on their wants, needs, and budget. This allows them to customize the vehicle to suit them perfectly. These same principles apply to most koi pond shoppers and the features that they choose. Once you have become a pond owner, you will spend countless hours relaxing and enjoying your feature with the people you love. Choosing the right pond with the right options in the beginning will ensure that you get a pond that provides you with the best experience with the least amount of effort. By doing your homework and learning about the potential enhancements available for your pond before making your purchase, you will tailor a pond that is perfect for you! In the pond consumer world, many people don’t take the time to get educated prior to choosing their contractor. These shoppers look only at the bottom line (price) to determine who is the “best fit” for their project. This can commonly lead to an unhappy ending to their pond experience. Inferior filtration leads to high maintenance or a system that just won’t work. Aesthetically, they didn’t get the “pond they were dreaming of” (ugly). I have heard countless tales of how the experience just wasn’t what they were looking for. The worst part of this story is that unlike a “lemon” of a car that you can just trade in for a “nominal” loss, it actually costs you even more money to remove the bad pond before you can have someone install a great one! So from here let’s help educate you on what some options are, and how that will affect the cost of your pond.
Some of the most common potential "add-ons" to the purchase of your koi pond:
• More expensive types of stone (imported)
• Larger stones or boulders
• Increased pond depth
• Rock outcroppings into the landscaping
• Driftwood accents (cypress or cedar for longevity)
• Fish caves
• Feeding rocks (interaction areas)
• LED lighting (underwater or landscape)
• Multiple waterfalls
• Automatic dosing systems /ionizers
• Larger biological filters or constructed wetlands
• Enhanced filter media
• Multiple pumps
• Aeration systems
• Additional jets / circulation
• Aquatic Plantings
• Skimmer types or intake bays
• Fish packages
• Pergolas or Gazebos
• Difficult access areas
• Potential repairs after construction (lawn, irrigation, etc.)
As you can see, there are many options available. When
someone receives a quote from our company, we want to
examine these options, educate the homeowner, and help
them choose which enhancements make sense for them.
Package Pricing Vs. Custom
When someone asks us how much one of our koi ponds cost, package pricing vs. custom design is a consideration. Modern Design Aquascaping Inc., as a company, offers prepackaged ponds to our clients. These pond packages, which may still get upgrades or enhancements, are designed to come as an installed kit for a price in order to give potential customers an idea of what one of our professionally-installed ponds cost. While each feature is artistically unique and built by a team of professionally-trained artists, a consumer can see our introductory pond package (the base model car), what it costs, and how beautiful it is! These features can be visited at Out Of Eden Garden Center in Maryville, Tennessee. http://www.outofedengardencenter.com
1. The Goldfish Lagoon Package
This package includes the installation of a 6’x8’ pond with optimum filtration. It also includes a waterfall at the pond’s edge to give the relaxing waterfall sound while increasing aeration and overall feature health. When our team completes the base project, the home owner is ready to have the power run out to the pond-edge, install the landscaping, and spread mulch (unless these items were added on in the design process). Although you may think that the installation of a small pond is no big deal, we recommend that only the most adept DIY person attempt to install a pond. There is a large hole to sculpt just so, a filtration system to install, plumbing to run, a pump to install, and tons of stone to place (literally). I could list a thousand things on the simple nuances of getting it “just so”, but let’s just say that after 20+ years, you
still get better every time you build a pond!
The Goldfish Lagoon Package can be $8499-$13000 depending on options.
2. The Ultimate Lagoon Package
This package includes the installation of an 11’x15’ pond with optimum filtration. It also includes a stream that is up to 8’ long and multiple waterfalls. This pond is over three times the size of the Goldfish Lagoon! When our team is completes the base project, the home owner is ready to have the power run out to the pond-edge, install the landscaping, and spread mulch (unless these items were added on in the design process).
The Ultimate Lagoon Package can be $12799-$25000 depending on options.
3. Custom Koi Ponds
Custom ponds are, well custom…They can be any size, shape, depth, etc. They are limited only by your space, budget, & imagination! We can meet your needs, either residential or commercial, for any design or purpose and can show examples of great projects around the world that we have been a part of in the past. Determining the goals for a custom project is the first part of the design process! How koi pond costs compare to other water feature types As you can probably see, the price range on koi ponds varies quite a bit since there are so many factors that determine what is required for the perfect pond for you. Everyone has different tastes, goals, and budgets when it comes to designing and building a water feature. In comparison to other types of water features, I can give some ball-park pricing ranges to help identify how much other types of features may cost.
Re-circulating waterfalls (pond-less)
A waterfall project is perfect for some folks who want to enjoy the look and sound of a mountain stream but for whatever reason they aren’t interested in the pond and the fish. There is still a “pond” to capture and re-circulate the water but it is created specifically to NOT be seen. The water just appears to “disappear” into the ground at the end of the feature. Packages are available for some waterfalls, just as they are for ponds. These features range from $5000 to $25,000 and can land anywhere in between. You may also opt to do a custom waterfall project, which can be price influenced by many of the same factors that can influence the installation of a koi pond. There is truly no limit to the potential size, scope, and cost of these projects. http://www.mdaquascaping.com/pondless-waterfall-projects.html
Fountains & Bubblers
Fountains and bubbling boulders are a common choice to create interest in small spaces. While these types of features do not necessarily have to be small, in residential settings they typically are. These features can be created using a variety of artistic pieces including urns, core-drilled stones, statuary, or even copper trees. The art can be made of fiberglass, fiberglass reinforced concrete, plain concrete, natural stone, carved stone, copper, brass, etc. The “reservoir” below ground is where the water from these features is hidden. These holding areas can range from a 30 gallon tub to a multi-thousand gallon rain-water-capturing system. For this reason we can say the range is HUGE for fountain installations but a good starting point for a professionally installed feature is about $3000 and if you stick with art that is going to last (stone, brass, etc.) you can expect your range to begin in the $5000-6000. You can see some examples of all of these features in our galleries of our
Thanks for reading & as always,
John G Adams
Modern Design Aquascaping Inc.
What makes a perfect companion to your natural ecosystem pond? Why, gorgeous pond fish, of course! Introducing pond fish into your pond is a lovely way to add a little more life to view. At Modern Design Aquascaping, we are positive that you will absolutely love watching and caring for your aquatic pets. However, when it's time to choose your fish, you want to be sure you're getting healthy ones. Here are some tips to ensure a better experience every time you step into the shop.
John Adams is a professional pond artist and builder.