WHAT IS AN ECOSYSTEM POND ANYHOW?
There's more than one way to skin a cat when it comes to pond construction. Techniques and philosophies vary widely when it comes to design and installation. If you ask 10 pond builders what the "right way" is you're likely to get 10 different answers...maybe even more. Aquascapes East finds the Ecosystem Pond approach to not only be the most pleasing visually but also the lowest maintenance option. This win-win situation has everything to do with providing mother nature all the right ingredients to do the job the right way...naturally. Simply put an Ecosystem Pond is any pond installation whose design and construction create a living, working and balanced ecosystem.
Even though every pond installation is a one of a kind creation we follow the same process and utilize the same quality products for every installation.Picking the right setting for your pond can make all the difference. Poor location choices can add significant maintenance time to any pond.
Most ponds are excavated to a depth of around 3' in their deepest section but other areas of the pond are dug to shallower depths creating natural looking steps within the pond. Once all of the ground has been cleared of rocks and hard debris an underliner fabric layer is installed in the hole. This fabric helps to protect the next layer of rubber pond liner which will contain all of the water within the excavated area.
With the liner hugging all of the contours of the hole rock boulders of varying sizes are installed on top of the liner on all of the vertical "wall" portions of the pond. The horizontal shelves are covered in river gravel. This process covers up every inch of black rubber with a much more natural material.
A skimmer is installed on one edge of the pond. It will draw water as well as floating leaves and debris off of the pond surface into a debris net which is easy to empty. The pump in the skimmer will send this water to the biological filter unit, called a Biofalls, where any remaining debris will be trapped in layers of foam filter media. This Biofalls also acts as the source of the waterfall which will return the water back to the pond.
HOW DO WE CREATE AN ECOSYSTEM?
Well, to be honest, we don't. We help out a whole lot to get the process going but after that we let nature take the wheel. By establishing a balanced ecosystem with your pond you can enjoy clear water with a lot less work than might be needed for any other type of pond installation. Remember those rock boulders and river gravel we installed into the pond? Well not only do they have a much more natural look but they also provide a tremendous amount of surface area. We will introduce a beneficial bacteria into the pond which will colonize all of these surfaces. The beneficial bacteria will breakdown all of the organic waste produced by fish and plant debris. When the bacteria is working 24/7 to consume this waste product it will out-compete algae for food. Algae and excessive debris can make a pond look cloudy, murky or even like pea soup. A balanced ecosystem pond can have crystal clear water all year long without adding any artificial chemicals or treatments.
FLORA AND FAUNA
No matter how beautiful of a pond we can build for you our work is always outdone by the beauty of true nature. After the pond is up and running both landscaping and aquatic plants can be installed. Plants surrounding the water feature will help to blend the feature into its surroundings. Aquatic plants will soften the cold hard look of stones and gravel. As they creep and spread they make the edges of the feature blend into the landscaping. Once the pond is planted it takes on a whole new look. After about a week fish can be introduced into the feature. Pond fish come in many different shapes and sizes. They require very little attention and often become just as dear to their owners as the family cat or dog.