Never Pray for Patience
Have you ever been told never to pray for patience, because it will not be simply granted, but taught to you? And how often have you heeded that advice? Some things give you no choice; however, those are the things that tend to be the most rewarding!
Patience is a Virtue!
An ecosystem pond teaches patience. Mother Nature has a way of deciding exactly when she will turn things around, and not until. Most of the ponds that we install do great right from the start, especially when people follow the instructions given. We tend to say that it’s like getting a puppy. You just have to have a bit of patience and coax it along. Getting impatient and adding quick-fix “chemicals” is the equivalent of smacking that little puppy on the nose with a newspaper for being a baby and just doing what puppies do. Most experts agree that is not the best approach to training.
All of our clients who have followed instructions and had patience are rewarded with gorgeous living ponds that delight them every day.
Don’t You Just Love a Problem That Fixes Itself?
It’s funny how a pond can be pea-green for days on end, and then go crystal clear overnight. It happens all the time. Or be completely algae-ridden one day, and be clean as a whistle the next. Typically these turn-arounds take place the day after they've called us to come look things over to see what's wrong.
Using Mother Nature’s formula for the life cycle will surprise you like that. If you’ll add the beneficial bacteria & enzymes, allow the plants to grow and thrive, not be in a hurry to add a bunch of fish or turtles, or other aquatic higher life forms, you’ll be amazed at how the pond just fixes itself one day. And stays that way.
We have a couple of stories of clients who “just couldn’t wait” to throw large Koi into their brand new pond. The large Koi, doing what Koi do, ripped all the young and yet-un-established plants out of the pond right away. With nothing to take up the nutrients cast off by the fish, the pond goes green. And then they’re shocked and upset by the results of their impatience. The pond eventually overcomes the initial impatience, but it takes a whole lot longer than if they’d just had a bit more patience in the beginning.
Nature finds a way
Sometimes things go wonky in an ecosystem pond. From wind storms. From some chemical being accidentally introduced by your weed guy or pest guy, etc. From a dead organism or rotting plant that was left unchecked. Once the problem is found and corrected, a healthy ecosystem pond will come back from just about anything. Once again, patience is key.
Working with Mother Nature, and not against her, definitely takes some getting used to. We’ve become a society whose first inclination is to throw a chemical or pill at something instead of addressing the root cause and fortifying the immune systems to stay healthy. Same goes for ecosystem ponds. Fortifying the good guys (beneficial bacteria, plankton, etc.) will allow it to overcome just about anything.
Case in point: a client with a brand-new baby ecosystem pond built for her beloved Koi had a painting contractor spill an entire bucket of paint into the pond. She was devastated! Well, believe it or not, the pond actually overcame that issue, and it didn’t take nearly as long as feared. Once the paint sunk to the bottom, it was pumped out and fresh water was added. Happy ending: the pond cleared up, AND the fish survived!
If you can control yourself and have some patience with an ecosystem pond in its genesis phase, you will be rewarded with years and years of pleasure! Have patience with the plants, and they will thrive. Have patience adding fish, and the entire pond will flourish. Have patience with the water quality, and it will give you stunning views. See more examples of the results.
Did You Know These Facts About Koi Fish?
OTHER POSTS YOU MIGHT ENJOY:
HOW DO I ADD FISH TO MY PHOENIX POND?
HOW MANY FISH CAN I HAVE IN MY BACK YARD POND?
PH CONTROL FOR PHOENIX PONDS
Why Won't You Work on My Pond?
We get two to three calls per day about dysfunctional water features that folks want us to just patch up or repair. Maybe they bought a home that came with a problem water feature. Or maybe the guy who built it for them went out of business, or is just no longer returning phone calls. There are even companies out there that will build water features, but are not willing to service what they build -- shocking, but true.
We are not equipped to work on many of these. Why not? Well, there are a myriad of reasons, pretty much as many reasons as there are ways to build a "pond." For one, we can't possibly train our service techs to work on every single one of them. And our trucks cannot carry every single pond part ever made so that we're prepared for every possible part replacement. It's just not feasible.
For 20 years, The Pond Gnome has specialized in organic water gardens, flexible pond systems, and low-pressure biological filtration systems, as well as subterranean water harvesting re-circulation. Water features that do not fall within these parameters of what our company is designed to handle are referred out to colleagues who work on those types of features.
Being specialists has allowed our construction crew and service team to be the very best at what we do. And, not to toot our own horn too much, but we're in pretty high demand and it doesn't make sense to distract our employees with issues that another company is better equipped to solve.
Who WILL Touch This?
Depending on your specific feature, you might find more appropriate help from one of these reputable companies:
What Can The Pond GNome Do to Help?
Frustrated by repeated attempts at patching or repairs? If you’re planning to stay in your home, why not have something that you will enjoy? So, if you’re tired of messing around with the monster on your hands, have tried all the fixes and nothing is working, and are interested in replacing what you have now with a beautiful, low-maintenance, living ecosystem water feature or perhaps a custom fountainscape, we would be tickled pink to help! Send us a photo of what you've got, and let us know you're ready for what we do!
OTHER POSTS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:
RECREATIONAL POND VS. SWIM POND VS. NATURAL SWIMMING POOL
CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS ROCK PROBLEM PONDS
DON'T GET A POND IF...
Requests for a recreational pond, or a swim pond, or a natural swimming pool are increasing every day! People seem to have had enough of chemicals in their life. We understand this new trend and have always preached against chemically-dependent landscapes, using integrated pest management techniques instead.
The terms for these larger human-interactive bodies of water are often used interchangeably. The terms and descriptions in this article are based on how WE define them.
We deem a recreational pond to be simply a large ecosystem pond. Some people just want lots of Koi. Some people want to be able to wade in a bit, which would be necessary for gardening the feature. Some folks want game fish so they can practice their fly-fishing techniques.
A recreational pond starts in the size category of about 25’ x 30’, and includes a skimmer or intake bay, biological filter or constructed wetland, and is typically a 2-pump system. The plants and fish are contained within the pond itself. It is NOT designed for regular human swimming activities, as the pump is a submersible and the filtration system is designed for aquatic life, not human activity. You can get into any ecosystem pond, provided is designed and built properly for ingress and egress, for gardening activities, etc. However, we sell these as “landscape water features not intended for swimming.”
Budgets for this category begin around $40,000, and of course there are lots of options.
Swim Pond or NSP (Natural Swimming Pool)
A swim pond is a bit of a sticky subject as far as Arizona law is concerned. Arizona law currently does not have anything on the books for “swim ponds.” As it stands now, all bodies of water for human interaction over 18” in depth are considered “pools” and subject to those standards and restrictions.
A swim pond is a very large ecosystem pond, which would include at least one skimmer or intake bay, needs a constructed wetland for filtration at least 1/3 of the size of the pond, can have a separate pond area for the fish, and requires that the pumps be located outside of the feature. Yep, this is going to take up a little more room in your yard.
A natural swimming pool (NSP) is a whole different animal! The natural pool trend began in Europe several decades ago. Since then, they’ve been slowly gaining popularity in the United States, Australia, and other regions with sunny climates. Unlike a traditionally rectangular, chlorine-filled swimming pool, a natural pool is often designed to imitate pools, ponds, or other bodies of water in the wild with irregular shapes, rocks, waterfalls, and boulders.
This requires a pretty big yard because you’ll need a separate pump area and a very large regeneration zone for filtration.
An NSP is NOT cheaper than building a conventional pool. In addition, there will be a cumbersome permitting process, which Arizona laws are still not quite equipped to handle, so it’s going to be a hassle and take some time. But it can be done if you’re up to the task.
Budgets for this category begin around $85,000.
Pros & Cons of Swim Ponds or Natural Swimming Pools
There are a lot of things to think about when considering these types of water features.
If you’re considering any of these types of water features, here are a couple of cool videos about what goes into the design, construction & maintenance of recreational ponds, swim ponds, and natural swimming pools.
As a responsible contractor, we believe that you should have the WHOLE story. Here are a couple of resources for further research on concerns with recreational ponds, swim ponds and natural swimming pools:
Pond Itch is a concern in any open-air natural body of water, but can be avoided by simply hosing down or showering off immediately after being in the water. Ducks are actually the main perpetrator of this problem, as they transport this from pond to pond during their visits.
Brain-eating amoeba is a concern in warm fresh-water environments; however, this is a rarity that can be avoided by not putting your head under the water.
OTHER POSTS YOU MIGHT LIKE:
CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS ROCK PROBLEM PONDS!
WHAT KIND OF POND MAINTENANCE DO I WANT TO DO?
THE SECRET TO A LOW MAINTENANCE POND
If you’re feeling stressed out, overworked, or uninspired, these could be signs of depression. Maybe you’re not in need of pills, but of a little Nature! It has been scientifically proven that interacting with Nature supports the healing process, lifts the spirits, and can even help you live longer! Nature experiences and interactions help alleviate brain fog, stress, anxiety, depression, and a whole host of other psychological disorders.
Women Who Live with Nature Live Longer
According to a new study, when women live in nature they live longer. We assume this goes for men, too. ;-) Various National Geographic studies on people who live the longest have confirmed this hypothesis. Granted, most are living in natural environments, growing their own food, chopping wood, and using their bodies in some way every day. However, all natural environments help reduce stress and increase physical and social activity, which keeps people healthier. Cities are full of pollution, as well as crime, and not conducive to peace of mind.
Residential “Greenness” and Mortality
The main purpose of this most recent study was to get insights on the relationship between “residential greenness and mortality.” The research was conducted on 108,630 women between 2000 and 2008. Of those women, 8,604 died during the study. Factors such as age, race, smoking, and socioeconomic status were taken into consideration during the study, and they found that women living with the most greenery in the 250m area near their homes “had a 12% lower rate of all-cause-non-accidental mortality.”
Green is More Social
The conclusion of the research was that high levels of green vegetation have a contribution in decreasing mortality rates for women. These results are quite important in modern times since more and more people are living in urban areas. However, there is a question that still arises: why less greenery means less social activity? One answer would be that nowadays people spend a lot of time in their car or behind a computer monitor. Less physical and social activity could potentially lead to depression. From now on, just think about this: how much time do you spend outside every day? If you wish to live a healthy and happy life, try to surround yourself with nature every day.
How Can I Get More Nature in my Life?
Glad you asked! Most of us don’t have time every day to take a walk in the woods, or go hiking. But what if you didn’t have to go anywhere? What if it was right there. At your home. In your backyard. Just waiting for you. Could it be any easier? Okay, so this might not be the ONE secret to living longer, but why take the chance?
OTHER POSTS YOU MIGHT ENJOY:
CAN I HAVE A POND INDOORS?
THE SECRET TO BREAKING BAD HABITS
LANDSCAPE IDEAS: SMALL SPACE WATER FEATURES