Pond FAQ's

Does a pond mean a lot of mosquitoes?
In general, mosquitoes only lay eggs in still, stagnant water. If they happen to lay eggs in your pond, the fish will consider them a treat!

Should I have safety or liability concerns if I have a pond?
It’s natural to have concerns, but remember that, unlike a swimming pool, a professionally installed water garden has steps leading into the pond. Once the gravel is laid down, the first shelf is only ankle-high. The next shelf is at your knee, and the smallest area in the bottom is just above your knee. It’s a good idea to let your neighbors know you have a water garden and educate your children and your friends’ children about safety in and around any body of water. If you still have concerns about liability, consider a pondless waterfall or water feature.

Will having a pond decrease my home’s value?
While a swimming pool can be a detriment to a home’s resale value, a pond can be an asset since ponds add to the general curb appeal and “likability” of your property. Water features are quickly gaining popularity and the demand for them is increasing!

Can I set my pond on a timer?
No. Your pond is a living, breathing ecosystem that needs constant oxygen. If you shut down your system at night, or when you are away, the pond will not get sufficient growth of beneficial bacteria to fight algae, and your fish may find it hard to breathe. Timers should only be used for pondless waterfalls or water features that do not include plants and animals that depend on water circulation for oxygen and nutrients.

Do I have to bring my fish inside in the winter?
Fish do fine outdoors in the winter as long as they are able to swim in water that is at least 2 feet deep. A bubbler will oxygenate the water and maintain a hole in the ice that will allow naturally produced gases to escape.

Will predators eat all of the fish?
Birds or mammals may take an interest in your pond, but most fish will swim to a deeper, more protected area of the pond when a predator is nearby. When building your pond, make sure the rock walls include crevices and miniature caves where the fish can hide. Water plants also provide camouflage for fish. Great Blue Herons can be deterred by The Scarecrow, a motion-sensing sprinkler that can be set up alongside the pond.

The more filtration, the better the pond?
It is possible to over-filter. Tight filter pads in your skimmer pick up the smallest particles of debris, causing a constant need to clean the filtering mechanism. If you can see a dime on the bottom of the pond, the water clarity is just right for your fish. Filtering beyond that point can create problems, not eliminate them.

Is it okay to use chemicals?
More than anything else, watching and observing nature is what it takes to be a successful water gardener. Whatever Mother Nature does naturally is what you should be doing in your pond. Products like algaecide (copper sulfate), dechlorinator (sodium thiosulfate), and fish antibiotics are commonly used as quick-fix solutions to balance related problems, but your best bet is to get to the cause of the problem and restore balance so Mother Nature can take over the maintenance issues.

Should my pond water be tested daily?
Mother Nature never tests her water. A well-conceived, naturally balanced water garden normally requires no testing either.

Are UV lights are the best way to keep water clear?
UV (ultraviolet) clarifiers do keep pond water clear. However, if your pond is naturally balanced, you will not need UV clarifiers at all.

Do rocks and gravel make it difficult to clean a pond?
No. Rocks and gravel provide places for aerobic bacteria to colonize. The aerobic bacteria break down the fish waste and debris that would otherwise accumulate in the pond. In effect, Mother Nature cleans up after herself!

Can I build a pond in an area where there are lots of trees?
Yes. There will be leaves in your pond, but consider that the shade provided by those trees will help minimize algae bloom in the summer. If you have a skimmer sucking the top quarter-inch of water off your pond, it will pull most of the leaves and debris into the skimmer net. This only takes moments to empty and can be completed daily in the fall, if needed.

Does a bottom drain work best if I have koi? Must the drain be at least 3 feet deep?
If you avoid making your pond more than 2 feet deep, there will be very little difference in oxygen levels at the surface and at the bottom of the pond. In addition, water in a 2-foot deep pond will generally only freeze 8 inches down, even in cold climates. Consider that more digging means more work, more water, and, potentially, more additives.

Can koi be kept in a pond with plants and gravel?
Koi (a variety of carp) and plants need one another. Koi feed on plants, and the waste the fish produce is broken down by aerobic bacteria on the bottom of the pond. Once the waste breaks down, it becomes fertilizer for the plants, which grow and produce more natural fish food.


Rohsler's Allendale Nursery
100 Franklin Tpke
Allendale, NJ 07401-2231