Balancing a Garden Pond Fountain Ecosystem
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When the ecological balance of outdoor water features is in sync the water is clear. Fish and flora flourish. A balanced fountain system requires less time, effort and money. Use these tips to get an edge on ecological balance:
- Consider the big picture. All the elements of a water feature impact ecological balance. This includes: the size of the garden fountain, aeration, sunlight, temperature, plants, snails and fish.
- Learn as much as possible about ecological balance. Take a course at a local college on garden and fountain installation and fountain care. Study the garden and fountain instruction manual or research how to clean a fountain on the Internet.
- Stay tuned in to your water. Purchase a master water testing test kit that includes: pH, ammonia, nitrite, and salt levels. Don't let water levels drop significantly. When the level is down by an inch add water. Fountain pumps do not operate efficiently when water level is too low. Always re-test after adding tap water and after heavy rainfall. (Note: Use distilled water that is free of chemicals and minerals for smaller indoor and outdoor fountains and replenish as needed for evaporation.)
- Avoid unnecessarily draining a garden pond fountain. If balanced and maintained properly, you should only have to drain and thoroughly clean a small to medium sized garden pond water feature every three or four years. Refresh water features between draining by pumping or siphoning 10%-15% of the water from the bottom of the garden fountain where sediment accumulates, then refill.
- Aerate and light up. Oxygenate garden ponds with a statuary fountain, floating fountain or waterfall. UV Lights are also helpful in large fountains (1,000-3,000 gallons filter capacity). The light sits on bricks above sediment at the base of the fountain and filters water through it, killing algae with the ultra-violet lamp inside.
- Keep up with simple maintenance. Remove floating leaves and blooms from the surface and the bottom of the fountain. Prevent pesticides and fertilizers from getting into the fountain waters. Avoid fouling the water by overfeeding fish. Use a fountain care kit and only recommended fountain cleaners as needed that don't impact ecology.
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