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.

 

 

 

Planting a Hardy Water Lily

Planting container:  Find a large pot with a large horizontal surface area for the lily to grow.  Hardy water lily has a traveling root and thus requires ample space to grow to a healthy size.  Although many other containers can be used, we recommend a container with a twenty-inch long growing area and seven inches of growing depth (see picture to the left).

 

 

 

 

Filter Tray 2Place fertilizer on the bottom of your non-perforated planting container.  Distribute the fertilizer evenly across bottom of the container.   Then place plain garden soil (dirt with no organics or amendments) over the fertilizer placed on the bottom.  Slightly moisten and pack soil.

 

 

 

 

Filter Tray 1Place lily root in corner/at side of your planting container so that future lily growth is towards the center.   Bury root being careful not to cover the crown of the lily (the growing end of lily where leaves and buds are coming out).  Gently pack the soil around the root and place small stone or brick on top of root to ensure that it stays planted (again being careful not to damage or bury the growing crown of the lily).  Plant anacharis grass around lily container (poking bundled end of grass a couple inches into the soil) gently packing soil to hold down bunch.  Moisten and pack soil.  Then top with a thin layer of sand and gravel.

* Replant your lily once every year. We sell the tray pictured with soil and fertilizer complete for $28.75.
* Please call The Pond Company at (626) 284-5937 if you have any questions.

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.

Opening of the Historic Chapman’s Millrace

mill & school kidsThe Historic Chapman’s Millrace was unveiled at the San Gabriel Mission this week on Tuesday Sept. 24, 2013.

The historic Millrace was originally designed by an ex-pirate and prisoner named Joseph Chapman in the early eighteen hundreds. Which in turn “supplied the mission with water for crops, making it a very successful california mission archeologist John Dietler said,” as per Pasadena Star-News.

On Tuesday, city leaders and residents gathered to witness the opening of the Millrace as a monument in the Plaza Park just outside of the San Gabriel Mission. Jon Rasmussen of the Pond Company flipped on the switch to make this historic water-way have water flowing through it once again.

Father Bruce Wellems spoke on behalf of the restoration of the historic water channel, and mentioned owner of the Pond Company, Jon C. Rasmussen, who was the man in charge of bringing the historic artifact to life. This fantastic piece of history is now a 20-foot, 15-ton section of a waterway, as well as a “cornerstone of the thriving agricultural community centered on the San Gabriel Mission,” said by the Pasadena Star News. The Pond Company’s restoration of the millrace included installing a pump, plumbing for the recirculation and biological filter system, as well as an automatic filling device for it to function and cycling of the water through this historic section of sluice as it had almost 200 years ago. Jon, arch & artist

Source: http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/

 

 

Echo Park Lake Algae Clean-up


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Echo Park Lake was originally created in the 1860’s as a reservoir for drinking water, But you sure wouldn’t want to be drinking the water anytime soon!

Today, Echo Park Lake Functions mainly as a basin for the City’s storm drain system, as well as it provides for recreational activities and wildlife habitats. Not to mention, there is an incredible amount of algae that grows abundant in the water of Echo Park.

The City of Los Angeles funded a Clean-up for Echo Park, a a two-year renovation costing 45 million dollars. Some of the major changes included new plantings of water Lilies, and lotus plants, as well as removal of the algae from the water. The Pond Company was assigned as part of the clean-up crew for an over-seeing of the constructing of plant protection as well as the algae clean-up. The once murky and dirty water has been transformed into a gorgeous display of lilies, wetlands and the fantastic blooming lotus. On June 15, 2013 a grand opening was held for Echo Park Lake, when it became officially open to the public. Crowds of people flooded into the park to to witness the long-awaited opening of Echo Park Lake.

 

 

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Methods of the clean-up included hand removing the algae and rolling it into ball shapes to be taken out. Wheelbarrow loads of algae have since been removed from the Echo Park Lake. On the left Jon Rasmussen of the Pond Company is carrying a heavy load of algae removed from the water hawthorne and water lily beds.

Is my pond losing water- part 2 – Splash

Is my pond losing water? part 2If you have waterfalls or a fountain in your pond you can lose water from your pond when the water is splashed out.

An unchecked splash can be like a slow dripping faucet. A slow dripping faucet can lose 5 to 10 gallons of water per day, 20 to 30 gallons for a fast dripping faucet.  Imagine what a waterfall or fountain that splashes is wasting.  If you can see any kind of water escaping (sometimes it’s hidden from sight), it will add up very quickly into a sizable amount of water.  There are repairs, adjustments, and many other things that we have found over the years to avoid all of this water loss and help lower your excessive water bill.

Remember whether its from evaporation, or splashed water, some water lose is normal, but make sure your pond or fountain is not losing too much.