Pond levels fluctuate with weather just like natural bodies of water but most ponds have limits. Each pond is slightly different. To figure out the best water level in your pond, check these three things:
1. The Skimmer opening
The skimmer opening is the little door leading into the plastic box that holds the pump. Water moves into this area.
When the skimmer is properly installed, you should have a 1 inch gap of air between the pond surface and the top of the skimmer opening (the top edge). This is the ideal pond level.
Some skimmers, like Aquascape's 1000 skimmer, come with adjustable faceplates allowing pond builders flexibility in water depth but most skimmers are set.
2. Skimmer door hinged on the bottom!
Make sure your skimmer door is hinged at the bottom, not the top! (This is a common problem and reduces the skimmer's cleaning method giving you a dirty pond.) The door should float open allowing the top layer of pond water to run across it into the collection basket.
Sometimes we take the skimmer door off for fish training. New fish like to explore and often get trapped behind the skimmer door. If the door is removed, they can easily swim back into the pond. Typically, fish learn not to go back in the skimmer box. The door should be put back after a few days for best performance.
3. Check your overflow valve.
If it has been mounted too low, your pond water will also be low because it is draining off! The overflow valve can be raised so the water is higher.
Please note that your pond water may not be at the top of your rocks! Most ponds are not built to hold water at a perfectly constant level or even at grass level. The water will be slighly lower than your grass and rocks. The rubber behind those rocks is keeping your water in and the skimmer opening is determining the depth or level.
A couple other notes:
Summer heat causes ponds to evaporate. It is not uncommon for ponds in the Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN area to loose 1-3 inches of water per week! Just remember to replace that lost water! (An automatic fill valve does the job for you.)
If your pond has a leak, you will have fluctuating pond levels combined with evaporation! If you are wondering how to find a leak, click here for step-by-step directions!
Feel free to call our technicians if you think you have a leak. They service Maple Grove, Edina, Eden Prairie, Golden Valley, Plymouth, Medina, Minnetonka, Minneapolis, Fridley, Stillwater, and most of the metro area.
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.