The Purpose Of Pond Filter Pads | Rochester New York (NY)
Filter pads (or other filter media) have an important role in your water feature, the purpose of filter pads is to keep a lot of surface area that will help to grow the beneficial bacteria. In reality should not be cleaned very often.
This beneficial bacteria helps to balance your ecosystem water feature and are responsible for maintaining crystal clear healthy water; break down organic waste – in the form of sludge, and breaks down ammonia – from fish waste.
Also, some customers mistakenly believe this beneficial bacteria is “crud” and will unfortunately wash it off. Once removed, the process of growing beneficial bacteria will have to start all over again!
Acorn Ponds & Waterfalls recommend to only clean your filter pads a couple times a year. Once during the spring clean out and again during fall shutdown. In some cases a third mid summer cleaning of filters can benefit the pond as well. Most filter pads will last a year or two before you should have to replace them.
How To Identify If Your Pond Needs Its Filters Cleaned (Summer Maintenance)
*Because each pond is unique, there are more examples but these are the most common.
Not Sure What Type Of Filtration Is Right For You? We Can Help! Call Us For A Pond Design Consultation 585-442-6373
NY|Beneficial Pond Bacteria|Pond Water Treatments|Rochester|New York|Near Me
The very short answer: Yes!
Each year as we maintain ponds in Rochester NY, we consistently remind our customers to add beneficial pond bacteria to their ponds & water gardens. This is to maintain a consistent balance of beneficial pond bacteria to provide consistent water quality and water clarity for the pond’s ecosystem.
Why Add Beneficial Pond Bacteria If It Will Grow On It’s Own?
Honestly, we asked the same question and were skeptical to consistently add this extra liquid “stuff”. We felt as though the pond and filtration would maintain the proper pond bacteria levels without supplementation and this does happen to a certain extent, however…
We decided to test products to see if they really made a difference. Over the course of a year, we consistently added beneficial pond bacteria and a sludge bacteria to one pond and not another, both having similar fish loads and proper filtration.
The results were dramatic. The pond with “stuff”, added consistently, was gin clear with no green water in the spring and a 3 week filter cycle ( pond enthusiasts: a filter cycle is how quickly water quality results showed 0 for ammonia and nitrites).
Also, in the fall there was very little sludge build-up on the bottom of the pondand every stone was visible. The fish were also very lively and looked extremely healthy.
By this time we felt as though we had answered the question of: Is it worth adding pond bacteria? Yes, in our opinion it is 100% worth it to add pond bacteria and sludge reducing bacteria.
*So What Made That Difference???
*Just Because We Added Some Liquid Bacteria To The Pond???
The waste levels become elevated and the bacteria need to grow naturally to eat this waste. It takes time for these bacteria to multiply which can create poor water quality and water in the meantime. This creates a bacteria cycle of highs and lows. Your pond needs consistency.
Adding beneficial pond bacteria is a way of supplementing and keeping pond bacteria levels steady so the bacteria are consistently keeping up with the ammonia and fish waste levels. This is somewhat similar to us taking vitamin supplements for our bodies in an effort to keep our vitamin levels consistent.
Adding beneficial pond bacteria eliminates high and low bacteria level swings which provides us with a cleaner and clearer pond, as well as a healthier environment for our fishfriends.
Acorn Ponds & Waterfalls is Western New York's including Pittsford, Fairport, Webster & beyond premier water garden and koi pond contractor. Building, maintaining, and helping customers with their ponds is our passion, hobby, and most of all fun and rewarding.
We take great pride in our attention to detail and careful planning from the design process throughout the construction of any water feature you can dream up. Beyond construction of your water feature, we also specialize in the maintenance of anything and everything related to waterscapes. Our vast knowledge of koi and pond fish will always be at your fingertips, whenever you need help.
Keep Your Pond Looking Great With Pond Maintenance Services By Acorn Ponds & Waterfalls Of Rochester New York (NY) Call Us 585-442-6373
Acorn Ponds & Waterfalls is offering this blog as a personal information source to our website visitors & Rochester NY Pond Owners. Our Pond services are performed in Monroe County Rochester New York (NY) & surrounding areas. Pond Maintenance, Pond Construction & Pond Repair are all in our wheelhouse of talent, Explore our website for more ideas.
NY|What Is An Exploratory Pond Cleaning|Water Feature|Service|Rochester|New York|Near Me
Pond (Exploratory & Analyzation) Cleaning Services - Rochester New York (NY)
Are you buying a home or have you recently purchased one that has a water feature or pond in Rochester or Western New York (NY) and would it be a good idea to hire a professional pond company to clean, assess, and educate you on the system you have? Having a true pond professional (Acorn Ponds & Waterfalls) figure out and explain everything to you regarding your new water garden and what it is that you need to do for maximum enjoyment can save a lot of headaches down the road.
Peace Of Mind With Your New Water Garden
As we know not all ponds are created equal and having extensive pond knowledge will allow a good pond contractor to help guide you. Let's face it, "peace of mind" is everything! It is a state of mental and emotional calmness, with no worries, fears or stress. In the state, the mind is quiet and you can experience a sense of happiness and freedom. Escaping from the stress of life by a beautiful and enjoyable pond will definitely create "Peace Of Mind".
The first step is to drain out all the water in the pond to see what is going on. All aquatic life(fish, frogs, etc.) are placed in large holding tubs. The plants remain in the pond. Once the water is out, everything in the pond is examined and explained to the homeowners. It is always important for one homeowner to be present to actually see and understand what is happening. This is time well spent as trying to understand through a phone conversation can be very difficult.
The filters are also cleaned and inspected at the time of service. At the end of the cleaning Acorn Ponds provide the homeowner (a written report if desired) a report of all their findings. Basically, the Acorn Ponds team will explain to a new pond owner what they have, and what they can do to make it better and lower maintenance.
We Recommend Fully Draining & Cleaning Your Koi Fish Pond At Least Once Every Year Acorn Ponds & Waterfalls Can Help You, Call Us 585-442-6373
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Effective Way To Filter Pond Water | Rochester NY| Acorn Ponds & Waterfalls
1.- Biological filters use bacteria to break down pond wastes, converting them into less harmful compounds that can be used as aquatic plant fertilizers.
2.- Mechanical filters trap and remove debris and sediment.
3.- Water sterilizers pass water through a tube that houses an ultraviolet bulb, killing living microscopic particles in the water.
A good biological filtration system, teamed with a proper mechanical filter toremove solids before the water enters the biological filtration unit, is the most effective way to filter water. With adequate biological and mechanical filtration, the need for sterilizers is eliminated altogether, thereby ensuring a natural ecosystem pond.
The Job of a Pond Skimmer
There are two main types of skimmers: box skimmers and floating skimmers. Both types filter the water by removing floating debris and waste before it’s had a chance to fall to the bottom of the pond. The box skimmer is the predominant type of skimmer on the market today because it’s easy to maintain.
Box-style skimmers come with either vertical or horizontal filter mats. Horizontal mats prove to be the most effective, while providing the least amount of maintenance. In addition to frequent cleaning, vertical mats need to be constantly monitored to make sure there is enough water in the pump chamber for the pump to operate properly. An advantage of horizontal filter mats is that they lay flat so there is no sagging and they don’t lose their shape. They also never clog to the point of preventing water from passing through, so the pump chamber does not run dry.
As water enters the skimmer, the large debris is removed and the water is then further filtered through the horizontal mat. The pond water then travels through the plumbing buried underground, up to the biological filter where it’s further treated before re-entering the pond.
Biological Filtration Goes to Work
The water then flows from the bottom to the top of the filter, traveling through filter media housed inside the unit. The filter media helps with the removal of fine to medium-sized particles. The larger debris was already removed by the skimmer.
As the biological filter fills, it will overflow and cascade over its waterfall lip, cascading down rocks that have been set to create a beautiful and preferably natural-looking waterfall. The waterfall creates aeration for the pond, assisting in the circulation and health of the water. If a slower, stream effect is preferred, the unit simply needs to be sunk lower into the ground.
The Science Behind The Design For Pond Filtration
In biological filtration, nitrifying bacteria, known as facultative bacteria, absorb ammonia, and turn nitrites into nitrates, which are less dangerous. These bacteria require oxygen to live, so it’s important for the pond’s pump to run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If the pump isn’t running, the waterfalls aren’t flowing, and aeration is eliminated from the necessary equation to maintain an ecosystem pond. Keep in mind that if the pump shuts down, the bacteria will quickly use up all of the oxygen and die. This isn’t a good thing.
The Role of Aquatic Pond Plants
If these excess nutrients are not removed, algae will feed on them, resulting in green water, string algae, or both. Algae control is not the only way plants help create a low-maintenance ecosystem pond. Submerged and marginal plants also provide food, shade, and protection for the fish and other wildlifethat live in and around the pond.
Low-Fish Pond Maintenance
Have A Well Balance Pond with Aquatic Plants, Fish & Filtration System Call Acorn Ponds & Waterfalls In Rochester New York (NY) 585-442-6373
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UV Clarifier| Green Pond Water| Rochester New York|NY
UV Clarifiers/Sterilizers For Ponds
A well balanced pond with aquatic plants, fish and filtration system rarely will have this problem but when you have tried everything else, or you do not have an ecosystem pond and you want to be able to see your fish again and clear up the green water, the UV Light Clarifiers/ Sterilizers are the way to go.
You ask some people and they say they are bad, you ask others and they say that they are good. Who is right? The truth is they are both right.
The general conception is that they do the same thing but this is far from the truth. Technically, UV clarifiers and UV sterilizers are the same thing in that they both contain all of the same parts, but where they differ is what they are used for.
UV Clarifier/Sterilizers 101
So what does this mean? The particular wavelength of light that the bulb emits is harmful when it comes in contact with things around it. So when organisms such as bacteria, parasitic protozoa, and algae cells come in contact with the light from the bulb, their DNA is altered, ultimately causing harm and death to the organism. In essence, they are “nuked.”
Generally, bacteria and algae are pretty sensitive to UV light, and a short exposure is all it takes to “nuke” them. This would be a good job for a UV clarifier. Parasitic protozoa, like ich and costia, require a longer exposure time so the water would need to flow more slowly through the UV light, so a sterilizer is needed.
The longer the organism is exposed to the light, the more damage is done to it and that’s where the main difference between clarifiers and sterilizers lies – how quickly the water flows past the bulb, or how long the water and the organisms are exposed to the light.
Now let’s talk about things that affect the efficiency of the bulb. Generally speaking, although the bulb may still emit light, it is only effective at killing algae for about 8 to 12 months.
The cleanliness of the water and of the crystal sleeve also influence the effectiveness of the bulb - the dirtier the water and sleeve, the less the UV light will be able to come into contact with the nuisance organisms. To prevent sludge and lime build up, the sleeve can be cleaned with a mild detergent, followed by a rinse of clean water.
How They Work
Sterilizer VS. Clarifier
A well-balanced pond ecosystem rarely has problems with green water, but any water feature, when out of balance, might require you to resort to artificial means to control algae blooms.
This is where UV clarifiers come in handy. Their main purpose is to clear the water and get rid of those nasty algae blooms that cause green water. But remember, UV clarifiers only get rid of the single-celled, floating algae. It does not get rid of other forms of algae such as string or blanket algae.
To accomplish this, they need to have a longer contact time with the water. Sterilizers require extremely slow flow rates compared to clarifiers. So, if you want to make sure you zap everything in your pond, then this is the way to go.
You also should be aware that UV sterilizers cannot be used with certain medication applications because in addition to the effect it has on bacteria and parasites, it can have a similar effect on the makeup of certain medications, often times rendering them useless. So a good rule of thumb is that the sterilizer be removed or turned off when medicating.
Where do these fit with the general hobbyist? A lot of hobbyists use sterilizers on a smaller scale, in the 9 to 24 watt range, in their own quarantine tanks. Whether you choose a UV clarifier or sterilizer, it should be installed in-line after the skimmer or other mechanical filter, pre-filtering the water to keep the unit from coming in contact with heavy debris.
For Installation of your UV sterilizer or clarifier, we need to know two things to help decide which unit is appropriate for your pond – approximately, how many gallons of water does your pond hold and what do you want the UV to accomplish? Clarifiers and sterilizers definitely have their place in the hobby, but they are only helpful when used in the correct application. Knowing when and how to use them can save you from a lot of headaches and let downs that result from improper application. Certified Aquascape Contractor of Rochester, NY can help you with the installation of a UV Clarifier/Sterilizer, contact us today!
Acorn Ponds & Waterfalls Offers Rochester, Monroe County, NY- Pond Filtration Installations Services & Landscaping Ideas
Acorn Ponds & Waterfalls Pond Filtration Service Areas:
Rochester, Monroe County, New York, NY Pittsford, Penfield, Brighton, Fairport, Irondequoit, Perinton, Victor, Mendon, Webster, Greece, Chili, Scottsville, Bushnell's Basin, Rush, Henrietta, North Greece, East Henrietta, West Henrietta, East Rochester, Bloomfield, West Webster, North Gates, Honeyoye Falls, Gates Chili, Bergen, Palmyra, Charlotte, Palma, North Chili, NY, Near Me
Keep Your Pond Looking Great With Pond Maintenance Services By Acorn Ponds & Waterfalls Of Rochester New York (NY)
Right...The First Time!
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Landscape Designer / Pond Contractor, Tom Warmerdam has been designing, installing & maintaining koi ponds, water features, patios, landscape lighting & creating outdoor living area paradises all around Rochester, New York (NY) for over 30 years. His company Acorn Ponds & Waterfalls was awarded by Aquascape Inc. as one of the top 100 in North America in 2014. He has been attending conferences at Aquascape headquarters every year since 2004 in Chicago, Ill to maintain his Certification(Certified Aquascape Contractor) status.
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