Commercial and Residential Pond Design & Construction
Water Gardens: Water Gardens are the most popular – and the most natural-looking – of all the water features we offer. The typical water garden is about two feet deep and is completely rocked in with features like waterfalls, streams and aquatic plants. A well-maintained water garden sustains an abundance of aquatic life such as fish, frogs, turtles, snails, or just about any creature that you see in a natural pond.
Traditional Koi Pond: A traditional koi pond is specifically for Koi enthusiasts and not recommended for those who are not used to proper Koi feeding and care. Traditional Koi Ponds are usually three to six feet in depth with no rock on the inside, providing the Koi with a smoother and easier environment in which to swim. Traditional Koi Ponds usually include external bead filters, UV lights, and a bottom drain with extensive filtration systems that are harder to hide, because of their size. But this filtered and enhanced environment is necessary to raise big, beautiful, healthy Koi, and are not designed to support other species of fish or aquatic plants.
Hybrid Koi Pond: Any combination of a traditional Koi Pond and a Water Garden is considered a Hybrid Koi Pond. Hybrids are desirable because they bring the extra filtration of a Koi Pond to a Water Garden, creating clearer pond water and added visibility when viewing the Koi. Many different Hybrid Koi configurations exist and are usually governed by the final preferences of the owner.
Pondless Waterfall: Pondless Waterfalls give an owner the sounds and the visual benefits of a waterfall without the maintenance of an actual pond: they can be turned on or shut off at any time. The ease of maintenance makes a Pondless Waterfall an attractive alternative to a pond with fish.
Custom Yard Fountain: If you just want to hear the sound of running water, and you’re not into ponds or large waterfalls, then try a Custom Yard Fountain. These fountains can be made from just about any yard ornament, furniture item or prop you want in your yard. We can create a Custom Yard Fountain by running water through anything: whiskey barrels, old well pumps, terracotta pots, old cistern wheels: just about anything you could imagine water running through.
Traditional Fountain: A traditional, pre-molded fountain can add a beautiful accent to your front yard or garden area. You can never go wrong with a traditional fountain, from the size of a teacup to however large you want it: pre-molded fountains have been around for centuries. At Parker’s Ponds, we like to add a Pondless feature to Fountains, letting them drop their water all the way to the ground, which is aesthetically pleasing and allows for a larger storage area for the water.
Complete Cleanout: A Complete Cleanout can be a touchy subject: some waterscape professionals are against it; others totally support the notion of a comprehensive cleaning of your waterscape environment. Parker’s Ponds believes them to be very beneficial: a dirty pond can give you real problems with algae and other system irritants that are clouding the waterscape and fouling the ecosystem. A Complete Cleanout basically starts the entire waterscape balance over from the beginning. A waterscape, properly seeded with natural bacteria, can easily be maintained if the owner is properly educated on how to take care of and maintain their pond.
Leak Check: Over time, ponds will settle and move; rocks and other objects can puncture holes in the liner; tubes or piping can become compromised. Whatever the cause of your leak, we will find and fix the problem. Leaks can be extremely difficult to find, but the professionals at Parker’s Ponds will find that pesky leak and get it fixed!
Lake and Retention Pond Management: Lakes and retention ponds needs constant care and can become an eyesore if not properly attended to. You have several options to make your lake or retention pond successful:
–Fountains: a large fountain adds water movement and aeration to otherwise stagnant water
–Aerators: like fountains, aerators get air into the lower levels of the pond to oxygenate the water and keep it healthy
–Aquatic Plants: besides their aesthetic appeal in creating a natural waterscape, aquatic plants help break down ammonia from fish waste and other aquatic life.
–A Large Waterfall: aerates the water and adds a great visual feature to your lake or retention pond.
Any combination of these features will make for a cleaner and more attractive environment for a large body of water.
Maintenance Programs: If you’ve spent the money to create a Parker’s Pond – or need help with a pond you want Parker’s Ponds to fix or reclaim – doesn’t it make sense to maintain it as well? The customer satisfaction that we create when customers have us maintain their waterscapes is contagious! The consistency and beauty of a properly-maintained Parker’s Pond will keep your neighbors and friends coming back for more!
Maintenance Programs can include one Complete Cleanout a year if needed and one emergency run, if needed.
We offer Maintenance Programs with monthly, bi-weekly, or weekly visitations. Typical ponds run $65- $85 per visit; larger features can cost more to maintain. Pond size, fish load, water plants, and filter equipment all impact maintenance time and cost. The following are some cost ranges for the Maintenance Programs we provide. All Fees are based on Annual Maintenance Contracts and vary based on pond size, fish count (load), water plant count and filtration equipment:
Monthly: $100.00 – $500.00
Bi-Weekly: $175.00 – $650.00
Weekly: $325.00 – $1,200.00
We offer a 10% discount if you pay annually; a 5% discount if you pay bi-annually.
Pond and Waterscape Upgrades
Filtration: Filtration is one of the most important elements of any pond or waterscape, and can be the biggest expense for proper maintenance of your Parker’s Pond. This is one time when “size matters,” and when “bigger is really better,” because a really clean pond or waterscape can help lower your cost of maintaining your pond and give you an overall healthier pond with healthier aquatic life and a more balanced ecosystem.
UV Light: This is a must to maintain a healthy ecosystem in your pond: a properly-balanced pond, with the proper-sized UV light that gets regular maintenance, will yield a clear, fresh and healthy pond, even under the blistering Florida Sun! UV Light is instrumental in curing issues with green-colored water.
Skimmers: Any lined pond can have its own Skimmer, mounted in the ground near the pond, to properly channel away surface debris, to house your UV Light and can even house your water pump. At Parker’s Ponds, we try to keep required equipment as unobtrusive as possible, so we will often ground mount as much as we can into your Skimmer assembly if you have one. Because Skimmers require regular maintenance, having them in the pool itself – which is requested from time to time – makes it more difficult to service. Eliminating the leaves and debris that float on top of the water will keep the pond cleaner because the leaves that will eventually turn into the dark muck in your pond are being collected before they become a problem!
Plumbing: Proper plumbing for your pond can maximize the investment in your waterscape, because the proper amount of water volume can extend the life of your pump as well as the lower the cost of running it.
Complete Rebuilds: The number 1 complaint that we get from the pond owners we work with is “I should have built a bigger pond!” For whatever reason, if you are unhappy with the pond you currently own, let us come and take a look so that we can see what went wrong and how we can engineer a properly-balanced pond and ecosystem that will add beauty to your facility or property.
Underwater Lighting: A wonderful and beauteous addition to any water feature, Underwater Lighting can really make a difference for you and your guests when the nuances of the lights and the setting sun colors intermingle to create a panorama of beauty. Underwater Lighting will also add a lot of “viewing and enjoying time” to your pond or waterscape, as the confluence of colors is quite beautiful, and visitors stay for longer periods of time, particularly in the evenings.
Landscape Lighting: Low-voltage (12 volts) landscape lighting will add wonderful highlights to your pond, waterscape, or your entire property! Landscape lighting brings out landscape features that paint a beautiful picture, utilizing the water and the terrain surrounding your pond, as well as the most memorable features of your property. Since we design in the context of your entire property, Parker’s Ponds can add that special canopy of low-voltage light that adds security to your entire property and makes nighttime navigation easier all around your property.
Green Water Primer
There are a few things you will need to know about algae and how it affects your water. The most important thing to know is that some algae is very beneficial to keeping your pond clean. You will learn as you read this section that a pond benefits from all kinds of living things. Algae, plants, fish, bacteria, and a whole host of microscopic living creatures and vegetation all work together to give you a balanced ecosystem. Over the years I have spent a considerable amount of time on addressing green water. I have used every Chemical, enzyme, plant, and filter system on the market today. Most have a few good qualities in and of their self. There are also some limitations each one presents. If used in combination you can find an equal Librium that will give you that good ecosystem that you strive for.
There are two main types of algae that you will deal with in most water features.
Free-floating algae- This type of algae is associated with the tea-colored water that will inhibit your ability to see your fish if left unchecked. This is the most common type of algae. Some people think this is the worst type to be bothered with. I would have to agree. Why have a water feature to enjoy your fish if you are unable to see them.
String algae- This type of algae attaches to your rock or liner and grows long hair like fibers that if left unchecked can take over a whole pond and even suffocate your fish. Waterfalls and shallower parts of the feature are more prone to this type of algae. Although it can develop in the deeper parts also.
There are a number of factors that contribute to an overabundance of algae blooms. I have found that there are three main factors that need to be paid closer attention to than anything else.
Overfeeding fish- This is the #1 problem that most pond owners have. You should only feed your fish once a day. You should only feed them what they can consume in 2 to 3 minutes. This is very important for several reasons. Please keep in mind that I am not trying to get you to starve your fish. In nature, fish will eat bugs that land on the water, plants in your pond, algae on the rocks, other creatures that migrate to your pond like frog eggs, tadpoles, salamanders, snails, etc. Fish food is really just a treat. I have had people tell me that they have to feed their fish three times a day or more because they get excited at the sight of food and act like they are starving. I compare this to a kid that likes candy. If you by a kid lots of candy they’re going to eat it. They become gluttons and get addicted to the food. Just remember this simple statement,” the more you feed your fish, the more they go to the bathroom, the more algae growth you have.” Both types of algae love ammonia which is fish waste broken down.
Runoff- This comes from a poor design of the water feature. When building a water feature you want to make sure the edges of the pond are higher than the ground around the feature. When you build the edges higher you eliminate the water running through your yard from going directly into your pond. People put all kinds of chemicals on their lawns like fertilizer, pesticides, weed killers, etc. They also put mulch, dirt, sand etc. If these leach into your pond it can make it almost impossible to keep clean.
Full sun- It is always a good idea to place your water feature where it can catch some shade during the day. If you have to put your feature in the full sun it can be challenging to keep the algae in check. Most water features are fairly shallow and can fluctuate in temperature easily. This will promote algae growth quicker then if you can get some shade over the pond. You will need a lot of lily pads and other water plants. You could also plant some shade trees or maybe even build a pergola over part of the pond.
Overfeeding, runoff, and full sun is the biggest contributors to algae growth. There are many other factors as well. You could put in the wrong pump size, the wrong filter size, the wrong plumbing size, not deep enough, to many fish, not enough fish, not enough water plants, leaks, soft water, and the list goes on. If you are thinking about having a water feature built please have a professional do it or at the least consult with one. If you are wanting to save money by building it yourself just keep this in mind. If you are going to build an average size feature and your parts and rock are around $3,000 dollars, most pond builders would charge $2,500 to $3,000 dollars to build the feature. At first, look that seems like a huge savings if you build it yourself. If the feature is not built properly you could go from spending about $200 a year to maintain your feature to over a $1,000 a year to maintain it. That could add up to a lot of money in a short amount of years.
I have come up with a general plan to combat algae and green water over the years.
1. Make sure your feature is properly built.
2. Do not overfeed your fish.
3. Start your pond off using a natural bacteria made by several manufacturers just for ponds. Use the dosage recommendations that are on the particular brand that you have bought. I recommend a brand called Microbelift. I have better results with this particular brand. Bacteria comes in liquid form and powder form. I suggest using the liquid version at first because the bacteria is already alive. This gets to work breaking down ammonia right away. As your pond starts getting established you can switch to the powder form and save some money. The powder form is usually much cheaper. I like to use the bacteria because it is natural and cannot hurt your fish. This is the basis for starting a natural ecosystem.
4. Make sure your pond has plenty of water plants. You want to cover at least half of the ponds surface with water plants. You want water lily’s due to their shading ability and protection from predators. You want to use as many floating plants as possible like water hyacinth, and water lettuce. These plants are illegal to buy in Florida, but can be found in just about any natural body of water in Florida. You also want to use submersible plants such as anchors. Try to put some of the hyacinth and water lettuce in the waterfalls and streams. Their root systems take up a lot of nutrients that the algae depends on. You can also use marginal plants such as reeds, arrowheads, cattails etc. These plants help but are not as effective as the other plants I mentioned.
5. Ultraviolet lights- I suggest using a UV light through the spring, summer, and fall seasons. These lights are used to kill the free-floating algae and will make your pond clear. It will not kill the string algae , but is very effective on the free-floating algae. Some professionals advise not to use these lights because they kill bacteria along with alga spores. With a few precautions you can minimize the good bacteria that is killed. It is my opinion that the benefits of using the light outweighs any negative issues. If you turn of your light for 24 hours after a dosage of bacteria is used, it will give the bacteria time to attach to the filter media or the surfaces of the pond. This will minimize loss of bacteria.
This combination will combat most algae problems. If algae persist you may want to use an algaecide. I would only use these as a last resort. If used properly they can be very effective. I use the brand Algae Fix for the green colored water, and a brand called Algae-Off for the string algae. These chemicals have given me better results. Be very careful if you don’t go by the directions real close you can kill your fish. These chemicals can become a huge expense on your annual budget. If you can manage without them then just stick with the natural way. I hope this was helpful. Every pond is different. This combination works for most. If there are other circumstances then you may have to adjust your approach.