De-bunking Some Water Garden & Pond Myths

De-bunking Some Water Garden & Pond Myths

With all the stresses in society these days, who wants to add more maintenance and responsibilities to their daily chore list? We have heard from many people who love the idea of having a water feature, but express that they just do not need another headache to take care of.

The reality is, they have been talking to the wrong people.

Hoffman’s Water X Scapes is here to make everything from designing and installing, to maintaining a water feature as easy and as maintenance free as possible. We supply water feature and pond products along with water feature knowledge that will make your ponding experience both relaxing and enjoyable!


1.“I’ll start out small and see how it goes.”

The first and biggest complaint of any pond owner is; “I wish I had gone bigger!” A small water garden actually is typically more difficult to keep balanced and under control.

Any small problem makes up a larger percentage of a small water feature.

2.“Maintenance is a constant headache.”

Learn how to properly balance the eco-system and maintenance becomes minimal. Don’t over-stock your pond with fish, be sure to use plenty of plants, and have sufficient filtration. There are also products that will dose ponds and water features with treatments for you. > Check out the Automatic dosing system by Aquascape.

3.“A pond is a breeding ground for mosquitos.”

Moving water breaks the surface tension that mosquitos need to land on for laying eggs. Also, natural predators like frogs, toads, birds, and dragonflies will move in to keep the mosquito population under control.

(read Mosquitos, Your Water Garden, and You)

4.“A pond is just an expensive money pit.”

Expenses can be saved in the long run by properly installing your water feature with the right components to make it run smoothly. Whether you DIY or have it professionally installed, educating yourself ahead of time will save you money and stress in the long run.

Browse our blog library, or stop in for a visit. We are always here to help.

(read Planning to Build That Water Feature…)

5.“Any contractor or landscaper knows how to properly build a pond.”

Be sure that the professional you are planning to hire has knowledge and experience in water gardening. If proper filtration, water pump, or size of tubing is not used, you may experience various problems down the road.

(read What Do I Need to Build a Pond?) | (read 3 Common Mistakes While Building a Pond)

6.“Gravel in the bottom of my pond makes it harder to keep clean.”

Just enough gravel to cover the liner in the bottom of your pond (about an inch) will actually help filter the water. It provides more surface area for beneficial bacteria to colonize and gives a place for submersible plants to take root.

**A balanced ecosystem will help to keep the water clean.

7.“You can’t have pond plants and koi together.”

Koi with an over active metabolism or not enough nutrients can be destructive in a water garden…they certainly have a reputation for it. However, feeding them a high-quality food and only feeding once a day will keep their metabolism at bay.

Other nutrients they may be rooting for is found in Microbe Lift’s Calcium Montmorillonite Clay (CMC). As an added bonus, it will help brighten the colors of your koi and “polish” the water in the meantime. If this still doesn’t stop them from snacking on your pond plants, consider a bog filter.

(read The Benefits of a Bog)

8.“A pond needs to be really deep to have koi.”

A true “koi pond” is described to be 3-5 feet deep with no shelves, external pumps, bottom drains, and no gravel. But koi can actually survive in your back yard water garden as well! As long as your pond is a minimum of 18-inches deep and you use a pond de-icer and aeration through winter, your koi fish should do fine.

Keep in mind, koi get rather large, rather rapidly. I would recommend digging your pond at least 2-3 feet deep and enjoy.

**Check your municipality for regulations on how deep you can dig in your area.

9.“I don’t have enough space for a water feature.”

Water features can be built in many shapes and sizes to fit your landscape. Don’t have the space for a large fish pond? Build a pondless water feature or a bubbling fountain.

The sights and sound of running water are relaxing and enjoyable at any size!

(read Build a Pondless-the Right Way) | (read Focal Pieces for a Water Feature)

10. “It’s too much of a liability.”

Raised edges, plantings, and park benches can do a lot to deter toddling wanderers. But if you feel the risks are still too high, build a pondless water feature. There is no standing pool of water to fall into. The basin is filled completely with stone and the water disappears underneath. They may still be drawn to the running water, but there is no chance of them falling in.

11.“I don’t want to use any chemicals.”

The good news is, to properly balance a pond’s ecosystem, the additives we use are natural bacteria and enzymes. Much like what is found in the yogurt you may have eaten for breakfast. Actual chemicals are seldom used to treat severe situations such as higher than normal ammonia levels, pH levels, or out of control algae growth.

Keeping a well-balanced ecosystem with good filtration, beneficial bacteria and plenty of pond plants will greatly reduce the need for such treatments.

(read Pond Water Treatment Guide)

12.“You should turn off the pump at night to save energy.”

A pond or water garden’s eco-system is like a living, breathing entity of its own. Turning off the pump at night will reduce the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water and cause issues for the well-being of fish and balance of the pond. Most water pumps for ponds these days have energy efficient models - built to run around the clock.

Check out our selection while designing or before replacing your pond pump.

(read The Perfect Pump for the Perfect Waterfall)

13.“You should never have algae in your pond.”

Where ever there is water, nutrients, and sunlight, algae will grow. A water garden is no exception. However, it is possible to keep algae under control with natural water additives, pond plants, and sufficient filtration. A slight coating on the rocks (like peach fuzz) is actually healthy for your pond’s eco-system.

(read 3 Types of Pond Filtration)

14.“A pond needs to be drained and cleaned out every year.”

Desperate times call for desperate measures. If you just didn’t have a chance to cover your pond in the fall with a net, or cut back your pond plants, then you may want to fully clean out your pond in the spring. Decaying leaves in the water are toxic to your pond fish and add to an abundance of algae, sludge, and other water problems.

But if you are able to see the rocks on the bottom through the water, then there is no need to disturb the eco-system that is already established.

15. “A pond needs daily testing and corrective treatments.”

Knowing the quality of your water is certainly a benefit in the event that something does go wrong, but testing daily is not necessary.

In fact, overreacting to a situation can cause more harm than good when it come to the “corrective treatments”. I would say the one thing that will tell you more than most is the water temperature. Once the eco-system is balanced, you should have little to worry about.

(read The Importance of a Pond Thermometer) | (read This is a Test…)

Hoffman’s Water x Scapes is your one stop pond shop for everything you need to build and maintain those ponds and water features.

We are here to set your mind at ease about water gardening as a whole. Our trained and knowledgeable staff can answer questions and help you put together your next water feature - or stop in to get ideas from our many water feature and pond displays around the property here in Uniontown Ohio.

Don’t want to do it yourself? Contact our pond services division to have that water feature of your dreams professionally installed.