Come talk ponds with us while we go over the pros and cons of a full spring pond clean-out. We will be demonstrating how to fully drain and clean out Lincoln Ave. Nursery’s display pond. The pond will be fully drained and vacuumed clean.
Items we will discuss:
Why a pond clean-out may be necessary
The pros and cons of a full pond clean-out
Should the pond be pressure washed?
When is the best time to perform a pond clean-out
Can I reuse the water
Do I need to treat the water
After lunch we will install a new Helix skimmer and begin installing aquatic plants before we refill and treat the pond.
And like any good contractor there will be coffee.
<div id="shr_canvas2" class="shareaholic-canvas shareaholic-ui shareaholic-resolved-canvas ng-scope" data-app-id="7942324" data-app="share_buttons" data-title="So You Want a Crystal Clear Pond – A (nearly) maintenance-free system for clean, beautiful water" data-link="http://www.pondtrademag try here.com/so-you-want-a-crystal-clear-pond-a-nearly-maintenance-free-system-for-clean-beautiful-water/” data-summary=”A crystal clear pond can sometimes feel like the white whale or the Holy Grail — that elusive reward that you perpetually chase and never catch. But according to Mike White, the secrets to victory over pea-soup green water may be hiding in two unlikely places: the local stone yard and your indoor fish tank.”>
When I was asked to write about what it takes to have a crystal clear pond, a lot of ideas came to mind. This is a topic I could easily write an entire book on and still only scratch the surface. So instead of glossing over all the factors contributing to a crystal clear pond, I will focus on the most important one: filtration.There are several different types of filtration, but the two that will have a major impact on the clarity of your water are mechanical and biological. While both of these filtration types can be man-made or naturally made, I am going to cover man-made filtration specifically.
Of course, just because we are building the filter doesn’t mean that we can’t use natural materials for the media. Thus, I’ve chosen to write in detail about a natural media that, in a lot of circles, may be considered a dirty word: rock and gravel.
Almost every gravel area that you see is either an under-gravel grid filter or up-flow gravel filter.
Everything is run off air lifts.
Rock and Gravel
A very old type of filtration media, rock and gravel were used for a long time but have lost favor with many ponders. One of the reasons for the falloff is that the surface area per cubic foot is not very high — or so people think. Yes, rock is a solid material that takes up a lot of space, but it is also a natural material that’s formed on a very fine structure and then is eroded on a microscopic level. With that in mind, the surface would have a fairly high microscopic surface area, which is never included when talking about gravel surface area.Even taking that into consideration, a filter using rock or gravel will require a larger footprint to handle the same size pond as some of today’s newer medias. But the smaller the filter, the more frequently it requires maintenance. Thus, the small amount of maintenance required to maintain many rock or stone filters is not easily accomplished with other media.
Rocks on the Bottom
When we talk about putting rock and stone on the bottom of the pond, we immediately stir up passionate feelings in some people. There is a lot of debate about whether a pond should have stone on the bottom, and the argument boils down to the buildup of debris in the gravel. To speak to this issue, let me tell you about a pond that I am very familiar with — a pond I built 22 years ago! This pond is six feet deep and has about six inches of gravel on the bottom that has never been cleaned.Now, I know what you’re thinking: “There must be a whole lot of debris in that gravel.” But when I swam in the pond last year, I dove to the bottom and dug in the gravel … and there was no debris to be found! How is that accomplished? The secret is an under-gravel suction grid system. If designed correctly, it performs excellently with very little maintenance.
Under-gravel Suction on a Small Scale ## What is an undergravel suction grid-filter? Well, most of you are familiar with its smaller counterpart: the under-gravel suction filter in aquariums. A filter like this is built with thin slots in the plate, which is supported off the bottom of the aquarium. Small gravel is placed on top of this plate, and water is sucked through the gravel and the slots.
These filters work great for a while, but then they need to have a lot of maintenance done or they fail. By “maintenance” I mean the gravel on top of the filter suction plate has to be cleaned. Anyone who has done this maintenance on his fish tank knows it is not a fun chore. In a busy aquarium full of life, waste and debris quickly build up in the slots, causing the gravel to clog up faster than you can (or want to) clean it.
Ponds vs. Aquariums
If we want this type of filter to work
in a pond, we have to look at why it has problems in an aquarium.The real difference between the under-gravel grid in a pond versus in an aquarium is the space in the grid. In the aquarium, the space between the pieces of gravel and in the slots in the suction plate is very small compared to the waste produced. In order for the system to allow water to flow through and not clog up, the waste has to be almost completely eaten by bacteria. This process takes longer than it takes for the gravel to clog up. Therefore, the filtration simply cannot keep up with the waste. The filter clogs up and fails.
To avoid this problem in the pond I built, I designed the under-gravel filter to have a series of pipes on the bottom with ⅜-inch diameter holes drilled in them. The pipes were buried in .- to 1-inch round gravel with about two inches above the pipe. The spacing between the pieces of gravel is fairly large, and the holes in the piping are large compared to the waste to be broken down. All the holes in the suction pipes are six inches apart, providing the waste a lot of area to fill.
In this grid there are six inches in every direction that would have to clog up before this filter would need to be cleaned on every suction line. Of course, if this filter were only a small part of the bottom of the pond, then there could or would be enough waste to clog the grid before the bacteria could break it down enough to get rid of it. Therefore, the larger the area of the pond’s bottom that can be part of this filter, the better.
Will this filter ever clog and need cleaning? The answer is yes, but the better question is: How long will it take? There is no set answer. It all depends on how much debris or waste is being put into the pond (or being made by the pond).
Earlier I wrote a little about the 22-year-old pond with a gravel bed that has never been cleaned. This happens
to be my own koi pond and my design. Located in Batavia, Ill. (about 35 miles west of Chicago), this pond was built to
be as maintenance-free as I could make it.No, it is not completely maintenance-free … but it is close. It is about 18,000 gallons and requires an average of three minutes of maintenance a week. None of the maintenance is spent on the under-gravel suction grid filter. The pond has never been emptied or cleaned since it was built. Based on what I have seen, the filter will not clog up as long as I am alive or as long as the liner lasts. My guess is that the liner will last for another 25 years.
I did make a mistake when I designed and built this pond. I used .- to 1-inch round limestone gravel. The problem is that after 22 years, the limestone gravel is shrinking in size. I believe I may have to remove this gravel and replace it with gravel that takes longer to erode.
Of course, I never thought that the filter would go this long with no maintenance required. Sometimes you stumble on the right combination of ideas and designs and things work far better than expected! Is it working in Illinois because of the climate but possibly would not work else where? I would say no; I just returned from California, where I saw a pond that’s about six years old and has one of these filters. It is over-stocked with koi, and they eat well. But the grid is working great and has not been cleaned. I saw this pond two and a half years ago and it looked good then — but it looks even better now.
Will this design work in every situation?That I can’t answer, because this type of filter hasn’t been used in every possible circumstance there is. But it has worked perfectly every time that I know of it being tried!
I have also used this system as a pressure under-gravel grid filter, and it has performed perfectly for the last seven years. The only complaint from that customer is that the water is too clear. A suction under-gravel grid filter normally uses an external pump or air lift system to run it, but a suction filter can also use a submersible pump. A pressure under-gravel grid is built similarly to the suction grid, but water is pumped through the grid. The pond that is pictured above uses both suction and pressure under-gravel grid filtration. The picture was taken when the pond was five years old. Both systems are being run off the same submersible pump. This is a very formal pond and we kept everything inside the pond.
Versatile and (Almost) Maintenance-Free
In conclusion, the under-gravel suction
type of filter I’ve described will give you a
great mechanical and biological filter. It is
hidden in the pond and doesn’t require an area larger than the pond. If done correctly,
it has proved to require little, if any, maintenance.
It can be used with either external
or submersible pumps. It also works great
with the latest air lift technology.
I don’t know if “the perfect filtration
system” really exists. But this one comes
close enough for me.
Published on October 24, 2015 inBusiness Trends, Pond Content 3
Eric Triplett recording from a recent pond installation.
I can hear the cries now. “Another social media platform? Really? When will it stop? I don’t have time for the ones I’m already dabbling in!” Like it or not, social media is the advertising billboard of today’s electronic world. Whether it’s Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Twitter or another, the best way to promote your business and your brand — especially to the younger generation — is social media.
If you’re one of the “I don’t need social media” naysayers, then stop right now. Don’t waste any more of the time you don’t have on this article and move on to the next one. This information isn’t for you; go read another article on the great debate between rock and gravel and bottom drains.
I’m not here to convince anyone of the importance of social media. I’m here to help those of you who want to market your businesses and your brands on the newest and fastest-growing social media platform the Internet has ever seen.
A Staggering Debut
Periscope is the latest craze in social media. It made its appearance March 26, 2015 and is being downloaded by the masses at a staggering rate. Believe it or not, Periscope is growing faster than YouTube did.
Less than five months old, Periscope has already shocked the world! On August 17, 2015 there was a horrible bombing in Bangkok, Thailand. A civilian with the Periscope app on his phone immediately started a “Live Broadcast” to report the news of this tragic event. That Scope went viral because it beat the actual news reporters to the scene by over an hour! Think about that for a minute. Periscope is a game changer that will impact the world in ways we have yet to discover!
Operating the Periscope
In a nutshell, Periscope is a “live broadcasting” app that allows you to go live on a global stage. Viewers can type in comments and questions while you are broadcasting, just like they are texting you. It’s a fun and effective way to engage your audience. If your viewers like the content you are offering they can tap the screen and give you hearts to show you they love what you are talking about. Viewers can share your broadcast with the swipe of the screen and viewers can engage with each other on the broadcast in the comments.
I’m going to share with you what I have discovered and give you a plan of attack to put in place so you can Scope today and start seeing results immediately! As Autumn Calabrese said: “Don’t put it off ‘till tomorrow; today is your only guarantee.”
Things to know about Periscope
1. Find WI-FI! This app can consume your data plan quickly.
2. You can host private live broadcasts to select followers.
3. You can give the broadcaster hearts by tapping the screen.
4. You can only give or receive 500 hearts per person per broadcast.
5. Periscope is time-sensitive. The broadcast disappears after 24 hours.
6. The last few seconds of your broadcast get cut from the replay. Pause for 10 seconds before you quit the scope.
7 When you “flip-screen” the camera there is an audio delay. Stop talking during the flip.
I’m here to help you present yourself on Periscope like a rock star right from the start. I don’t want to see people ignoring your Periscope notifications because they watched a few pointless scopes you did late one Saturday night while you were drinking too much Maker’s Mark…or the one when you watched the grass grow for awhile…or the one when you were walking around a party shouting into the camera.
Plan of Attack
Here are some of the steps I take to ensure engagement from my Periscope audience and replay viewers.
ONE — You need to have an action plan. Do us all a favor: don’t go live and just wing it. You’ll need more than a prayer to retain viewers if you do. Plan what you’re going to talk about and in what order you’re going to say things, and don’t get sidetracked. Have a purpose and convey it. Whether your purpose is instructing people, reviewing products or explaining a service you can perform, make sure your viewers know why they’re watching and be sure you give them what they came for and more.
Eric promotes The Helix Nation with Benjamin Timmermans, Brad Cazee and Michael Northway on Periscope.
Make sure that your topic is not too long, but don’t rush through your broadcast. Stay long enough to get your point across and engage your attendees. A magic number for me is three … but of course, my last name is Triplett! I typically hit three points hard, but don’t go too deep. Three secrets, three tips, three tricks or three reasons attached to my topic.
TWO — Begin marketing your Scope as soon as you have your topic and time. Tell your fans and followers on Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, et cetera and let everyone know what time you’re going to Scope and what you’ll be talking about. And do not be late to your own scope!
I’ve literally had to pull over to the side of the road to get some Scopes up on time, but my audience knows I’ll be there when I say I will, and they are there waiting for me.
THREE — The first 10-20 seconds of your Live Broadcast are only seen by the people who watch the replay, so take that time to thank them for watching the replay. Your live viewers can’t get on fast enough to catch you welcoming the replay viewers.
FOUR — Always, always, ALWAYS introduce yourself. Tell the viewers who you are, where you’re located and the name of your business, and give a brief summary of your qualifications.
Periscope is a global platform so you will frequently have new people watching who don’t know who you are. With a solid introduction and good content you might catch a few new followers. Viewers need to know who you are and why they should listen to what you have to say.
FIVE — Introduce the topic of your Scope and reassure viewers that you are going to provide them with valuable content. Here’s where it’s helpful to have a killer topic with an interesting title. Here is where you either lose attendees or get them excited about the topic. When you get them excited about the topic the “hearts” will flow and the “shares” will roll!
You are now about 2-3 minutes into your Scope and the majority of your Scope groupies are now on your live broadcast (or they can’t make it and will be watching the replay). This means you are ready to roll!
SIX — Welcome people to your Scope — by name. People love to hear their names announced over the air. People get pumped when you call out their names on a live broadcast. Trust me on this one; people love it!
Earlier I talked about using a three-topic Scope. If that is your game plan, then here are your next couple tips to Periscope glory.
SEVEN — Start covering your topic points. After completing your second point, ask your viewers for shares and follows. Tell them how to do it (watch one of my live broadcasts for this tip in action) and then thank them quickly as you see them doing it. Yes, you will see them actually sharing it at the moment they do it. It’s live, so you can actually watch it happen. It’s very cool.
At this time you can also tell them that in a minute you will get to your third point — that you’re going to do a quick recap at the end of the Scope for latecomers, and you will then answer questions from your loyal and lovely viewers.
EIGHT — Get to the third point and then make an announcement about the time and content for your next Scope. Remember, you’re trying to create groupies who will hopefully want your product or services, so get them to follow you for more valuable information. One of the most effective ways to create loyal followers is to give away value.
NINE — We’re in the home stretch. This is when Victor Espinoza lets American Pharoah have his head so he can blow everyone away, just like you’re going to do!
Engage your viewers! Answer questions, and most importantly, thank your viewers by name. No joke: they will love you! I’m not sure if I’ve emphasized that point enough. Thank them for taking precious time (the most valuable thing anyone has) and spending it with you on your live broadcast. They stopped whatever they were doing to watch you. Thank them for it.
FINAL NOTE — Remind your Periscope attendees of your upcoming Scopes, and freeze for 10 seconds before shutting off your phone.
There you have it. Follow this simple outline and go for it! Sure, your first few live broadcasts might be a little weak. But just like building water features, the more you do, the better you get at the craft.
Follow me on Periscope to watch this plan in action. Have fun and be creative. You’re going to love it, and if you do it right, your fans and followers are going to love it, too! I’ll catch you on Periscope! BOOM!!
The drought is real. Do you think watering your lawn and landscape is the cause? Think again.
Residential watering accounts for only 9% of the state’s water use. Watering your landscape is not the cause nor is cutting back the solution.
Not watering your landscape will have ill effects for decades. Neglecting to water your lawn, means your trees are not receiving the constant water supply they once received. What this means is that the roots are drying up and dying off, slowly weakening your trees. Take a look around and count how many trees have dying or dead branches near the top or do not look as full as they normally would this time of year. Although most trees have an extensive roots system, most urban trees are dependent on the water YOU give them when you water your lawn and shrubs. The trees send out little roots to look for water and these roots or soft and require a moist environment. Suddenly shutting off your irrigation system causes these roots to dry up and die, which can be detrimental to the health of the tree. With these roots drying up the tree slowly become weak as the one healthy roots die off. This makes the tree less stable. Wait until we have the Santa Ana winds after a good rain storm, there will be many trees that will be uprooted and gone forever due to lack of water.
If you have cut back your watering schedule, think about the trees. At the very least water your trees twice a week by providing a slow drip for an hour or more around the drip line (drip line is the outer perimeter of the trees branches) of the tree.
Watering your landscape now, while you still have a landscape to water is important to the health of the micro-environment which lives in your established landscape. Watering your landscape will help keep the plants healthy and prevent run off and possible mini mudslides with the predicted upcoming El Niño rainy season.
You can let your grass die off, but do what you can to save the shrubs and trees. Trees and shrubs take many years to mature and cannot easily be replaced.
Adding just 3″ inches of mulch around your plants can cut down your watering needs by 30%. THIRTY PERCENT!!! That’s 100’s of gallons of water you can save by simply adding and maintaining several inches of mulch or compost.
Ill talk more about the mulch and compost soon.
If you have any questions, please comment below and I will answer then as soon as I can.