As a pond building contractor, I receive questions like, “How do I care for my pond?” “What do I have to do to my pond?” “How do I get clean water?” quite often. Below are some tips to help you do just that.
Taking care of your koi pond is completely dependent on how it’s built. When it’s built with a properly sized filtration system, you can keep your pond running well with very low maintenance!
More Spring Pond Care Tips:
Add beneficial bacteria. We recommend adding beneficial bacteria every day for the first week after your pond is started. After that first week, adding bacteria once every week is usually plenty.
We suggest getting an Automatic Dosing System if you have a busy lifestyle and don’t have time to add bacteria treatments to your pond.
We also suggest checking the skimmer basket about once a week. During the first few spring weeks in Minnesota, tree seeds can fall in your pond and plug the basket An easy 10 minutes spent every week in spring goes a long way towards clean and clear pond water for season later.
Summer Pond Care Tips:
During the summer months, your pond will start losing water to evaporation. The beautiful water plants will also start to give off moisture to the air through the leaves. You should be adding between 1-3 inches of water per week to maintain the correct water level in your pond.
Keep adding beneficial bacteria weekly, also.
Fall Pond Care Tips:
Cover your pond with a leaf net. This will help keep your pond clean. Make sure you keep the net off the surface of the water so the leaves don’t release tannins in the water. Tannin makes the pond water look like dark tea.
Fall is when the lights in the pond really come into play. Watching the fish swimming around, showing their beautiful colors as they play around the rocks, is so fun! Make sure as fall approaches you quit feeding your fish around 50 degrees. The fish can’t digest heavy foods at low temperatures but may eat algae and other things if they’re hungry. Don’t tempt them to over-eat!
Switch to Cold Water Beneficial Bacteria. Continue adding cold water bacteria every week until the ice comes, then add one dose every month to help keep the fish happy and healthy.
As fall comes to close it’s also time to close down your pond, typically around the last week of October. In Minnesota you can keep fish through the winter but it is hard on them. Make sure to accomodate for your fish health! Take the fish in and place in a tank with aeration or keep them in the pond if the pond will have some form of aeration and a hole in the ice (for air exchange).
Overall, a 10x15 pond should take about 25 hours a year to keep it going, and once you get started, you’ll find that it’s a great time to slow down, relax outside, enjoy nature, and even make some new friends as people hear your waterfall and want to see it!
How our virtual consultation works.
Jeff Chudek- CEO/President of Minnesota Waterscapes
Obviously, coronavirus is not a good thing. It’s not something any of us want to see, and yet it is the opportunity we get to learn from. How can we use this to reflect on our living? Will the challenge cause us to sink into apathy or choose to do things that matter?
Probably fewer people will be travelling this year. Vacation time is being used for the Stay AT Home Order. Even when the virus is gone, people will probably be less likely to travel, until the virus is more understood and also contained.
Progressive Minneapolis homeowners will start looking for ways to improve their property. The economy will certainly be a deciding factor for what is done, and how much is done. There’s no doubt about it. When you’re driven to stay home more, you look for ways to enjoy your home more. Some people call it a “Staycation”.
Below are some photos of ponds built by Minnesota Waterscapes. Be inspired! Be forward thinking. Do something that matters like go outside, spend time with those you love, and see the beauty in nature. We will find a new pattern, and we will survive!
By Becky Chudek- lead horticulturist for Minnesota Waterscapes
If you are interested in purchasing any kind of pond, koi (coi) fish pond, or decorative pond for your yard, you need to know the cost! Unfortunately, ponds don’t come with price tags hanging off them at the store like bird seed or shoes. If you are hiring a contractor, you might ask, “What does it cost?” and the contractor will shrug and say “It depends.”
Ponds are not standardized so the price “does depend” on the various factors. Below are some base costs for the Minneapolis and Saint Paul, MN area along with some items that make the cost of a pond rise or fall. **
To clarify, we are talking about a pond; not streams, fountains, or waterfalls. The typical landscaped fish pond found in a backyard will be made using:
-a rubber liner placed in a custom dug hole and then covered in rocks
-have some sort of filtration system
-use an electric pump to move water through the system
These basic parts should be included in the price along with labor, delivery, and disposal of the old soil, otherwise the pond will not work!
Here are some basic pond costs in Minneapolis, MN for 2020:
Reasons your pond may cost more or less (the additions or modifications):
Additional pond costs- non-essential items
Upgrades are items that are not necessary to have as part of the building process. These items can be purchased at a different time.
By Becky Chudek- lead horticulturist for Minnesota Waterscapes
We recently found out that the 2020 Friends School Plant Sale held at the Minnesota State Fair Grounds has been cancelled due to Covid-19 prevention. This plant sale is the biggest plant fundraiser in the state and has been called the “great get-together for gardeners”! Typically held on or around Mother’s day weekend, the sale offered gardeners over 2,500 plant varieties including pond plants, native wildflowers, fruit trees, neonic-free plants, and specialty flowers. Being in the Minnesota State Fair Grandstand made it even more exciting! The sale was a treasure trove waiting to be explored by gardeners of any caliper.
The friends school plant sale is a major fundraiser for the Friends School of Minnesota, a small Quaker K-8 school in the Hamline-Midway area in Saint Paul. Their mission is ‘to prepare children to embrace life, learning, and community with hope, skill, understanding and creativity.” They are committed to “the Quaker values of peace, justice, simplicity, and integrity."
Cancelling the plant sale will remove about one fifth of their income in one blow. We don’t like to see a good school hurt and are sure you don’t either. Would you like to partner with us to help? For orders marked “friends plant sale”, we will donate 15% to the Friends School. Tell your friends and neighbors. Together we can make a difference!"
Go here to order your pond plants including floaters, marginals, water lilies, and other aquatic plants.
By Becky Chudek, lead horticulturist at Minnesota Waterscapes
Jeff Chudek has been building ponds and waterfalls professionally since 2005. As a kid, his favorite time of year was spring, because the spring thaw created so much mud and puddles, and all the trees and plants were waking up. He loves figuring out the best way to use something, and fixing things that are broken. He's good at coming up with ideas, and helping choose the best idea for you.