A Guide for Fall Clean-Outs

At Triangle Pond Management, we strive to offer our customers a paradise that lies just beyond their living accommodations. Through our meticulous nature and absolute desire to help you establish a sense of tranquility, we guarantee that your pond will be just as captivating, if not more, as the day you first gazed upon its transcendent beauty. Now that summer has come to its conclusion and the fall equinox has passed, there are certain measures that must be implemented to ensure that your pond remains intact and continues to please your aesthetic senses.  With that said, we recommend that you call upon our expertise for assistance.

Although certain changes are inevitable with the dawn of a new season, autumn doesn’t necessarily have to leave you feeling melancholy. On the contrary, this could be the time of the year in which you receive the most satisfaction from your pond. Our water garden technicians will give your pond/water feature extensive care and prepare it for any seasonal changes. They will accomplish this task by following a specific criteria that will make your pond more resistant to colder temperatures and minimize the amount of leaf debris that gets trapped inside of it. In addition to this, our retail store has a vast selection of products available including some that were specifically developed to retain their effectiveness in colder climates.

One product that we highly recommend during this time of the year is Aquascape’s Cold Water Beneficial Bacteria. Although algae is far less prevalent late into the year, it is still imperative to apply friendly bacteria to your pond on a regular basis. It can be used as a means of breaking down organic matter, preventing the accumulation of ammonia/nitrates in your pond, and simply promoting the overall health of your fish and aquatic ecosystem. After all, poor water quality and the buildup of sludge are bound to make for a grotesque environment which hardly promotes peace of mind. Unfortunately, most bacteria products, including Aquascape’s line of ordinary Beneficial Bacteria, are not able to withstand colder temperatures, and thus, rarely yield any positive results. The Cold Water Beneficial Bacteria, however, will retain its effectiveness and keep your pond in excellent condition.

For those of you who aren’t already aware, beneficial bacteria is a treatment that we recommend to nearly all of our customers with a water garden or koi pond. Our retail department has come up will a brilliant analogy for this product that we use fairly often when people come by the store. Let’s imagine that your pond is a living entity that is in need of medical attention. If that pond were to go to a doctor’s office, it would be prescribed an anti-biotic to cure its ailment. In this case, products such as Algaecide and Pond Detox are portrayed by the anti-biotic. Beneficial Bacteria, however, would be comparable to a pro-biotic supplement that helps prevent your pond from falling ill in the first place. It will essentially combat any pathogens lingering inside of it (ammonia/nitrates) whilst fortifying its immune system.

The Beneficial Bacteria that we sell is formulated with a mixture of lithotrophic and heterotrophic bacteria. Heterotrophic bacteria is effective at breaking down organic matter, such as pond sludge. Lithotrophic bacteria is used to reduce waste in a liquid state and cycle your pond. In other words, it’s the ingredient that is responsible for removing ammonia and nitrates that derives from the decomposition caused by heterotrophic bacteria. This kind of bacteria is produced at a much slower rate; therefore, the formula for our standard bacteria has a higher concentration of lithotrophic bacteria. The Cold Water Bacteria, however, alters the ratio for these two types of bacteria so there is more heterotrophic bacteria in the formula in order to make certain that the product works properly at colder temperatures and breaks down the sludge that’s formed due to excess debris. This product is best suited for temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit and is available for as low as $14.98 at our retail store.

Another item that you should add to your arsenal for pond treatment is Aquascape’s Premium Cold Water Fish Food Pellets. When the temperature decreases, it might become more difficult for your fish to digest ordinary fish food and benefit from the nutrients that the pellets are composed of. The cold water fish food pellets, unlike the conventional food, contain spirulina and wheat germ. These ingredients will break down much more easily after they’ve been ingested by the fish. Bacillus Subtilis has also been incorporated into the mixture to allow for the absorption of essential nutrients, which will keep your fish healthy and help maintain their gorgeous color. Much like Aquascape’s other line of fish food, it includes a stabilized multi-vitamin, high quality protein, and it won’t degrade the quality of your pond’s water. This fish food is ideal for medium sized fish (5-10 inches long) and is available for as low as $14.98.

Now that we’ve covered the products you’ll need for the upcoming months, let’s discuss some of the labor that will go into preparing your pond for fall. First and foremost, most of your aquatic vegetation will need to be trimmed and pruned. This is a rather simple process, for it merely requires the removal of any leaves that are dead or starting to turn brown. If you own any lilies, they should remain in excellent condition and probably won’t require that much maintenance during this time of the year. It’s also worth noting that you should avoid applying fertilizer to your plants as the weather begins to change. If any leaves or debris from the vegetation in or around the pond happens to get in the water, it would be a good idea to remove as much as possible to prevent sludge from forming.

A convenient method for minimizing the amount of debris that goes into your pond is installing a PVC dome with netting over it. This will ensure that most debris will get trapped in the netting that is supported by the pipe that goes across the pond. Afterwards, the debris merely needs to be collected and disposed of by you or one of our technicians. This is a great investment for people who want to optimize the enjoyment they receive from their ponds without having to frequently clean it out. It will also reduce the frequency at which clean-outs and service calls need to be performed.

Whether or not you opt to have the PVC dome installed, there are a few more steps that need to be taken to keep your pond in pristine condition. The filtration system and other components, such as aerators and pumps, should be cleaned on a regular basis so that they may continue to function properly. If any residue builds up on the rocks due to the accumulation of dirt, algae, or unwanted vegetation, we can power wash the rocks to maintain their appearance. Although this step isn’t mandatory for keeping your pond and fish healthy, it will certainly make it much more appealing. Lastly, treatment, such as beneficial bacteria and pond detox, should be applied. If need be, we can always drain the pond and refill it if the water has a copious amount of unwanted vegetation and treatment proves to be ineffective.

If the process of taking care of your pond seems like a daunting task, then there is no reason to feel overwhelmed. Triangle Pond Management will provide you with all of the services mentioned previously and help you fulfill all of your aquatic needs. For those of you who feel inclined to perform the maintenance yourself, let us help you with your endeavor! Triangle Pond Management sells some of the best products on the market for pond care. Our selection includes aeration systems, pumps, submersible lights, pond kits, liner, underlayment, treatments, plant accessories, filtration systems, and much more. Call us today to schedule your fall clean-out and/or see if we have the supplies you’re looking for in stock.