tape measure

Clear Ponds.
A Primer On State-of-the-Art Water Gardens
For Real Water Gardening Enthusiasts.

if your Water Garden looks like Split Pea Soup now or anytime soon, it'snot time to panic, but it is time for a visit to John Shelley's Garden Center & Nursery, where state-of-the-art pond filtration systems are readily-available and easily-installed, either by you or retrofitted by us.

Split Pea Soup is nothing to get upset over. And here's why.

All the dead plant matter and fish droppings etc. have laid dormant over the Winter and converted itself from ammonia to nitrites (harmful chemical) to nitrates (helpful fertilizer). Since the plants have been asleep and haven't had the chance to convert this fertilizer to themselves through uptake of their roots and make themselves larger and bloom, there by purifying the water through their own process, it's an explosion waiting to happen. And one warm, sunny day it does. Mother Nature sees to it. The algae grows in geometric proportions, sometimes doubling and quadrupling daily; soon, it's Split Pea Soup time.

Actually, the algae is doing you a favor by converting the deadly nitrites to nitrates and safe algae for the plants to uptake through their roots and grow. After cleaning out the pond's bottom of fallen matter (sticks, acorns, leaves etc.) with a skimmer net, the smart pond manager allows the algae to grow and continue the conversion. Within a week, all the algae has consumed the nitrates, dies and magically, the pond becomes very clear. By siphoning off the dead algae from the bottom through the pick-up pump and depositing it into the Bio-Filter's lava rock, the water Hyacinths floating there become lush, multiply and bloom. A chemical cleansing of the pond has just taken place in part, thanks to your observations and willingness to allow a natural process to take place.

There is no magic or smoke-and-mirrors to balancing a pond; it's simply trial-and-error, as any honest water gardener can tell you. Plants, fish and sunlight all contribute to both macro- and micro-algae build-up in any pond, and simple fine tuning is constantly required. Fish must have bacteria to live, and with bacteria comes the inevitable algae.

Yes Virginia, there is again truth in advertising. Always has been in ours. Yet there are certain elements, givens for lack of a better term, that tend to greatly reduce both types of algae and help keep the pond clearer, but never perfectly clear.

A Bio-Filter with multiple water dispersion nozzles and lava rock Coupled to a Top Hat Filter Bucket with dual sponge pads and cotton-filter element to house the pick-up pump. Minimum 40% of water surface covered with plant material. Minimal feeding of fish to reduce fish droppings (which raise ammonia levels and nitrogen) which feeds and breeds algae. Use of Koi (Japanese catfish to consume algae) and not just goldfish which require constant feeding. Requisite numbers of algae-converting plants (water hyacinths) living in the Bio-Filter. Your daily and weekly observations as Pond Manager as to which major elements need adjustment, and the willingness to do it promptly.

Whatever the case, call us and we'll help you become a better Pond Manager through our Water Garden Workshops or individual consultation, all free.

In addition to carrying only Premium Dark Bark Mulch, we feature over 900 varieties of perennials, 200 varieties of annuals and herbs, over 100 varieties of ornamental grasses and bamboos, and more than 1600 cultivars of nursery stock, ranging from the common to the very rare, unusual and hard-to-find. Our Collector's Rare Plant Nursery has been supplying gardening enthusiasts for over seven years, and is a must for connoisseurs and serious collectors.

Our Nursery Division can supply any request from the common to very rare and unusual material. And if you need a tree or shrub moved, we feature a special team capable of easily moving anything from 1-inch to 10-inch diameter trees. Call us for a free consultation and estimate.

Our Warranty: is unmatched by anyone, anywhere, and is one (1) year from date of purchase if you install the plant material; it is five (5) years if we install the material. Call, write or email us for a complete copy of The Warranty. It's also online right here.

Drop by our Website on The InterNet for a tour of the Garden Center & Nursery. It's located at www.gdnctr.com for those digerati among you out there who are connected on-line.