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A Pretty Pond With a Bridge

Fresh spring clean out

Brand new pond, waterfall, bridge, slab stone patio and steps

A gentle forest stream

A Fresh Clean Pond

Hurth Waterscapes Spring Pond Clean Out

10 Pond Myths

I thought that I would provide you with some of the most common pond MYTHS that I have come across and some of the explanations that go along with them.

Myth #1:  Small water features are less work. 

Fact:  As water features get larger, they become easier to maintain.  Those who keep aquariums know that a small tank is harder to balance than a large tank.  The same holds true for ponds.  A larger body of water is simply more stable.  It takes much more to unbalance it.  More water, more rock, gravel, plants, fish , filtration, and bacteria make a larger pond much easier to maintain in the long run.  After a few years it will take care of itself.

Myth #2: You should never have algae in your pond. 

Fact: Green algae, in the proper proportion, is beneficial to your pond.  This isn’t a swimming pool that we burn clean and clear with hazardous chemicals, it is a natural ecosystem.  Plants are necessary to balance this ecosystem, and algae is a plant.  We don’t want an abundance of algae, but if we have enough pretty plants and fish in our ponds, the algae shouldn’t be a problem.  Pristine UV sterilized or chemically treated water is dead by comparison to the water in our natural ponds.  Algae grows with sunlight and nutrients like any other plant.  Planting more desirable plants in the pond will rob the algae of both sunlight and nutrients.

Myth #3: Maintaining a water garden is a constant headache.

Fact: In an ecologically balanced water garden, Mother Nature does most of the necessary work.  That is, if we let her!  Many pond owners that I meet make things more difficult than necessary.  We need to have patience.  Make sure that you aren’t messing up the balance by your actions and let nature take the wheel.  Also, realize that many people adopt pondering as their main hobby.  The guy that tells you that he spend ten hours a week working on his pond is doing it as a hobby.  It is soothing and relaxing and many people spend a lot of unnecessary time “working” on their pond.

Myth #4: Ponds need daily water testing and corrective treatment. 

Fact: If the pond is not chemically dependent, there’s nothing to test for.  How many or you are running around testing the water in the natural ponds, lakes and rivers in your area?  Not many I’m guessing.  Mother Nature never tests her water and, she doesn’t use any store-bought chemicals or pharmaceuticals.  Neither should you.  Stick to the program of ecosystem water gardening and let your pond grow healthy on its own.

Myth #5: To keep fish, water gardens need to be deep. 

Fact: As far North as Wisconsin, I have not found a reason to ever dig deeper than two to three feet.  Two feet is the minimum depth for keeping fish alive in your pond over winter and any deeper than three feet may cause circulation issues.  Besides, if you go much deeper than that, you won’t see your fish much.

Myth #6: Water features are breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Fact: Mosquitoes breed in still water.  A well-designed backyard water garden has lots of water flow and very few areas calm enough for mosquitoes.  Also, ponds and water gardens support fish, frogs, toads and other wildlife that are natural predators of mosquitoes.

Myth #7: Water gardening involves a lot of hard work.

Fact:  Not necessarily.  A well-designed ecologically balanced pond takes care of itself.  Depending on how it is constructed, you, as a pond owner, may have a few occasional tasks;  spring pump installation and bacteria treatment, clean out filters monthly over the summer (if you even have any filters), skim leaves from the bottom (maybe in fall), remove the waterfall pump and install the winter pump.  That is about it.  Not too bad if the pond is built correctly.  We can even build it to eliminate any filter cleaning.  I personally have a pond that holds about 9000 gallons of water and I probably put in 15 – 20 hours per year working on my pond.

 Myth #8: A water feature costs a fortune.

Fact:  Water features definitely can be expensive, but they don’t need to be.  Homeowners can spend anywhere from less than a thousand dollars for a do-it-yourself kit to hundreds of thousands for a large custom project.  We will design a water feature that is well suited to your budget as well as your needs.  Also, keep in mind that many homeowners have reported substantial increases in their properties appraised value after our water feature installation was complete.

Myth #9: Predators will eat your fish. 

Fact: Predators are out there.  The most common predators that we have troubles with here in Wisconsin are the Great Blue Heron and the Mink.  Heron are large birds that like to feed in shallow water and Mink will swim through the water and catch your fish.  They definitely eat fish and frogs and can usually be discouraged with the installation of a motion activated water sprinklers.  We typically install fish caves in our ponds to give the fish a place to hide if a predator does visit the pond.

Myth #10: Any contractor or landscaper can build a water garden. 

Fact: Building a pond and building it correctly are two different things.  We spend a lot of our time replacing or repairing ponds that were initially installed by others.  You can certainly do it yourself, but you’ll want to do your research ahead of time and definitely sign up for our training and educational resources on this website.  I’ll work together with you to make sure that you install it right the first time.

Happy Pondering,

Doug Hurth

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