Nitrogen Cycle

nitrogencycle

The Nitrogen Cycle occurs naturally and invisibly on a microscopic level within a pond or water garden. It is a vital, natural process in all healthy, organic, aquatic ecosystems so it is good to know and understand this process and how it works.

First, the fish waste and uneaten food becomes Ammonia. Ammonia (NH3) can be an industrially produced chemical, and it also is created and exists naturally in the environment. Ammonia is essential for many biological processes and serves as a precursor for amino acid and nucleotide synthesis; the nitrogen cycle. In the environment, ammonia is part of the nitrogen cycle and is produced in the water from bacterial processes. Ammonia naturally occurs from decomposition of organic matter, including plants, animals and animal wastes. Basically, when the fish feed, their waste (along with uneaten food) becomes ammonia. The ammonia molecule is then turned into the nitrite molecule.

Nitrite is a waste produced by bacteria in the biological filter as it breaks down ammonia. Nitrite is extremely harmful to fish if left in quantities unconverted. Tested levels of 0.25 ppm or higher are dangerous to your fish and if levels are allowed to rise up to 0.5 ppm, it can result in severe fish loss..

Biological filtration provides the environment for this nitrogen cycle to take place naturally. In this cycle naturally occurring bacteria (nitrifying bacteria or aerobic bacteria) break down the ammonia into the nitrites, and then is converted further; produces the byproduct called Nitrates.

Nitrate is the byproduct of nitrifying bacteria in the biological filter breaking down ammonia and nitrite; Nitrate can be taken in by aquatic plants and algae as a nutrient for growth.  High levels can lead to excessive algae growth. Levels should be kept below 40 ppm and should be tested weekly.

Thus, when the fish eat, their waste/the ammonia is converted by aerobic bacteria (the good bacteria) into the nitrites, and is further converted into nitrates. Nitrates then in this cycle become “food” for the plants to grow on (fertilizer) and then in turn, the fish eat the plant material as a food source, produce ammonia …..thus creating an on-going natural process called    completing the Nitrogen Cycle.

The Amphibious Bullfrogs at Echo Park Lake

Bull FrogIf you listen close enough the next time you’re enjoying a nice day at Echo Park Lake, you’ll be able to hear some croaking sounds coming from the lake or see a rustle in the water lilies, and now you’ll know that its the Bullfrogs making their presence known from within the wetlands!

We have been noticing more and more that the Bullfrogs have been doing well and living healthy in the environment of Echo Park Lake. The Pond Company has been working hard and diligently to ensure that the waters are clean of trash and other debris so that the wildlife can live a healthy lifestyle out in Echo Park. We hope that our efforts can bring more wildlife to Echo Park, and also more humans to come by and enjoy a day at the park as well!

Echo Park Lake 2015

Lotus later daysHave you been to Echo  Park Lake recently?

The Lotus Bed and all other wetlands of the lake have been looking full and healthy throughout the Summer of 2015 thanks to the help of The Pond Company Inc.

The Pond Company Crew has been going to the lake and maintaing and taking care of the lake, keeping it clean and looking fresh on a weekly basis.

Lotus Bed was kept looking full and healthy throughout the summer and leading up the lotus festival, as you can see in the picture.

If you haven’t had a chance to come and visit the beautiful Echo Park yet, come stop by and check it out! We have been happy to hear all of the positive feedback from the public that visit the park!

 

 

MinnFinn Treatment for your Pond

MinnFinn ProductsIf you notice that any of your fish in your pond are experiencing stress, external damage to the their skin or scales, or behaving in a strange manor such as “flashing”, etc. it is possible that your pond could have a disease. We highly recommend using MinnFinn to treat all common external fish diseases. MinnFinn is one of the best medicated treatments on the market because it is simple  to use (when done correctly) and has a broad range of disease treatments for your fish.

“MinnFinn is good to treat a number of organisms found on the outside of your fish. MinnFinn eliminates PROTOZOA parasites, FLUKES and many external BACTERIAL infections. MinnFinn has effectively eliminated protozoa infections, fluke infections, red sores on fish and bacterial gill infections.” – AquaFinn

Though the treatment is straightforward, we recommend that you have a professional do the treatment, because it should be done accurately and the fish should be observed to make sure the fish do not suffer from any adverse reactions. The nice thing about this product is that it is completely neutralized and safe at the completion of its application.

“All these chemicals are naturally-occurring ingredients that are safe for fish, humans, and the environment, unlike other treatment options using organophosphates (known toxins to animals), or Malachite Green and Formalin (both known carcinogens)” -AquaFinn

Some Facts to know about MinnFinn:
-Environmentally safe, nontoxic medication for parasitic, bacterial, or fungal diseases

-Simple two-part treatment, completely safe once neutralized

-Does not discolor water

-Safe for biological filters

-Application of treatment requires no water changes

We have a line of MinnFinn Products that include, MinnFinn Regular, MinnFinn Max, MinnFinn Mini.

SEE OUR SUPPLIES PAGE FOR PRICE DETAILS:

http://www.thepondcompany.com/supplies-2/equipment/ 

Part 1: Testing Your Pond Water/Water Testing

test kit pic test kits pictureThe water quality of your pond is important for the health and well being of your fish, plants and the overall eco-system. There are many ways and reasons to test your water. If for instance a chemical is spilled into the water, that chemical needs to be tested for specifically.

The normal and basic naturally occurring chemical levels in your water that you would test for are as follows: Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates, Hardness, Chlorine, Chloramine, Alkalinity, and pH. (There are many testing kits on the market, as pictured to the left)

Each of these can have a different possible reasons for taking place, and individual causes. For example: a factor such as having a high level of ammonia is very harmful to your fish, and it will damage to their gills, making it difficult for them to breathe; it will stress them out, and even possibly cause death. Once you have evaluated each of these above items, a possible solution can be found to solve problems that are occurring or even prevent them from occurring in the first place.

We recommend testing for these basic levels when drastic changes take place in your pond, anticipating a potential problem, as well as identifying an already existing problem. Knowing and monitoring all of these naturally occurring levels will help you to have a successful and healthy eco-system and pond.

 

Echo Park Lake Lotus Bed

LOTUSWith the help of The Pond Company Inc. the Lotus Bed and all other wetlands of the lake have been looking gorgeous for the coming of Summer!

Due to the coming of the Summer Season with the weather warming up, the Lotus Bed has begun to blossom and show fantastic signs of growth this year for the upcoming Lotus Festival in July.

 

 

 

 

lotus snail removal

The Pond Company crew has been out taking care of Echo Park Lake on a weekly basis for optimization and keeping the park in “ship-shape”. There is quite a large amount of algae and pond-weed growth that is on-going and being taken care of, as well as the Apple Snail population which is also being controlled. Overall, Echo Park Lake has been looking clean and well-taken care of due to the The Pond Company crew. And we have been happy to hear all of the positive feedback from the public that visit the park.

 

 

 

Dragonfly Life Cycle

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe life cycle of a Dragonfly can last sometimes for years, and a majority of their lifespan is spent as nymphs in the water. So let’s take a look at the life cycle of the dragonfly…

First, the female dragonfly lays eggs in or near the water. Afterwards, the eggs hatch into nymphs, or naiads, where most of the dragonfly’s life is spent. During its time underwater, the nymph willOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA mostly consumes mosquito larva, grub, or smaller proteins. The typical stage of the larva can last from months to even years, and it often varies based upon the species. According to Dragonfly Site the cycle can take up to “four years to complete, and if the nymph cycle is completed in the beginning of the wintertime, it will remain in the water until spring when it is warm enough to come out.” Generally speaking it lasts “last between one and three years.” When the nymph matures, in order to complete its metamorphosis into a dragonfly, it crawls out of the water onto a plant, rock, wall or any sturdy surface. In a time consuming process, the nymph will shed it’s exoskeleton, or skin. The dragonfly will then crawl out of it’s own larval skin,often called the exuvia.

After the dragonfly has left it’s skin, it begins to pump it’s wings so that it can begin flying. The adult stage of the dragon fly usually lasts for about 5 to 6 months. During this time the dragonfly will hunt for food, and look for a mate. Once two of the dragonflies mate, the female will lay eggs, and the life cycle of the dragonfly will begin once more.

Fond Algae Memories at Echo Park Lake Los Angeles

benHere you can see Benjamin Rasmussen of The Pond Company holding up his great ball of algae in Echo Park Lake!

A lot of algae was removed by hand and rolled up into ball shapes and taken out of the water. During the Echo Park Lake Clean-up, massive amounts of algae and debris were removed from the lake by The Pond Company. The water of the lake has since been clearing up, allowing for the gorgeous lilies and lotus plants to bloom, and for the surrounding wet-lands to flourish.

Feeding Fish During Cold Weather

feeding fishFish are cold-blooded animals. Their metabolism is based on the temperature of the water they live in. Warmer water creates faster metabolisms, so fish will eat more. Colder water creates slower metabolisms, so they will eat less food. In fact, it’s recommended at 50 F / 30 C you stop feeding goldfish and koi altogether. The intestinal tract of the koi is about 2 or 3 times the length of their body and the digestion of nutrients can take anywhere from 2-3 days! If the water is too cold when the fish eat, the food will spoil before it passes out of their long intestinal track. This leads to all types of problems – sickness, diseases, digestive problems, etc. Normally they will NOT eat when it is this cold and the uneaten food will only spoil, clog and over load your filter system. This can disturb the pond balance and possibly create an unhealthy and detrimental situation. Thus note at 50 F / 30 C and below – DO NOT FEED YOUR FISH!

The Pond Company’s Latest Installation

pondThe Pond Company’s latest and greatest installation is a beautiful converted spa that has been transformed into a fantastic water feature. The centerpiece is a custom basin, made from Bouquet Canyon/High desert Stone, that flows into the pond surrounded with accent benches. The pond itself will be stocked with fancy goldfish and shubunkins as well as a gorgeous array of water-plants and water-lilies.