What to Expect When You're Expecting -- a Phoenix Ecosystem Pond!
Welcome to the world of organic water gardening! Unlike lawns and pools, ecosystem ponds in Phoenix are not as common-knowledge for most of us. Very few of us grew up with a backyard pond, or knew anyone that had one. And if we did, it’s unlikely that they were practicing organic water gardening specifically. With so many different backyard landscape ideas bombarding the market, it's sometimes difficult to choose!
Basically, we are working with the same processes in a new feature as are used in organic vegetable gardening, and even hydroponics systems. Well cared for, and properly maintained, your feature will provide decades of beautiful, low maintenance, entertainment and viewing pleasure.
Think of the new feature as a puppy. “Pond chemicals” are akin to a rolled up newspaper or a swift kick. That’s no way to train a new pet! With patience, and proper positive reinforcement, an organic water feature, like a puppy, will develop into a cherished and well-behaved individual.
But here’s what happens right away as the ecosystem in a living water feature is brought to life. Just like a new garden, we prepare the foundation by adding aquatic plants, fish, and beneficial bacteria (just like good soil, amendments, and plant starts in a garden). This also means keeping the “weeds” at bay, which in an organic water feature means string algae. Once the aquatic plants get established and start growing aggressively, the algae, like weeds in a healthy garden, will be choked out for the most part. Remember that there will always be green fuzz on the rocks – this is not a pool or spa with dead water. That green fuzz actually serves as another filter to produce crystal clear water. If you want a sterile environment, then an organic water feature is not the backyard landscape idea for you.
The process of bringing a living water feature to life takes a bit of time and patience. It may take a bit longer, or it may happen quicker, depending on many factors, including the weather. The bottom line is that each feature is an individual and will balance when it’s darn good and ready. But we promise you that this WILL happen as long as no one tries to “help” things along using chemical treatments and "quick fixes."
If you would like to learn more about how an aquatic ecosystem works, you can read the various other blogs that we've written, as well as check out the information provided at Aquascape for additional backyard landscape ideas.
For inspiration as to what a living water feature can become, and other backyard landscape ideas, you are welcome to go see some of our publicly accessible displays at your convenience.
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Barbi Holdeman, co-owner of The Pond Gnome, enjoys sharing their 17+ years of education & experience with you! She writes about Phoenix Ecosystem Pond Installation, Pond Maintenance, Wildlife around the Pond, Koi and Goldfish in the Pond, and the Pond Lifestyle. If you enjoy what she writes, please share it!