Important questions to ask

Q?Great Questions to ask a potential pond installer

1 How are you going to prevent splash and water loss in our dry climate?  Splash is a huge form of water loss in the Okanagan. See ” Being responsible concerning water loss ” Below

2. Are you going to put rock in the bottom of the pond/pondless and will I have to remove it and clean it?  Rock in the bottom of a feature looks nice and hides liner but will have to be removed every year or two to have it cleaned. Muck will accumulate at the bottom of every pond ( including pondless ) and then the algae problem starts. See ” What causes algae below “. We do not recommend putting rock in the bottom of a pond.

3. Are you going to install a float? Floats are a great way to hide a leaking water feature as they keep your water at a constant level. Before final payment is made, maybe prop up the float, insert a ruler in the bottom pond and see how much the water goes down in a 24hr period. If your water level drops more than a 1/2 inch, you probably have a issue.

4. Can you give me a list of 10 water feature customers where I can go and see their feature and talk to them about it. If they build shady features plagued with problems or don’t have experience, this will be a very hard list to come up with.

5. How large of rocks do you plan to use? Large rocks will settle after install. Even with padding installed properly you could have issues. If you do have an issue down the road and a excavator placed those rocks, guess what…that same excavator will have to go through your beautifully finished landscaping to take them out to find the problem. Many a water feature with large rocks becomes a dry feature down the road.

6. How noisy will the water feature be? The bigger the pump and/or the bigger the waterfall the more noise and less tranquil sounds. More importantly, are the neighbours going to want to listen to it, especially during the night? Many water features are turned off at night to keep the neighbours happy.

7. How are you going to ensure the water goes over the rocks and not under? Most landscapers use a bigger pump so that enough water goes over the falls to please you. What sucks is you are going to pay for the bigger pump, electricity and water loss to cover up all of the water going under that you don’t see.

8. Are you going to install an Ionizer? These release copper into the water feature to kill off the algae. The water also needs to be tested weekly to make sure the levels don’t get to high. These can also be harm full to fish if the levels get to high. If this is killing off the algae you also are not going to have an ecosystem either. I encourage you to go natural with your pond care. The birds, bees, fish and your pets will appreciate it. If you have lots of algae, you have lots of nutrients in your pond to clean out.

9. Are you going to install a filter system? Not all filters are created equal. You will need a pump on the bottom of the pond to get real results. A pond, especially with fish really needs a good filter system.

10. How deep does the pond need to be for fish? If you want your fish to have a safe haven, goldfish need 3 feet and koi need over 4 feet.

11. How are you going to make my pond predator proof(ish)? Bowl shaped ponds make for easy access for all creatures, a true pond builder will know how to help predator proof a pond without covering it with a net.

12. What pond plants would you install and where? In most cases pond installers only plant a lily or two. Usually there is no thought given about planting ledges and areas for numerous beautiful pond plants.

Go check out ponds and compare. Look for some creativity, do the rocks look like they are meant to be in a water feature ( rounded not square ), look for splash issues, is there good water flow but not spring run off, do the waterfalls make too much noise to hear the rest of the feature,do you have to talk louder when you are close? These are just a few things to look for.