Paradise can be yours. Call us today! (215) 880-6811

What is a butterfly koi?

Butterfly Koi
Butterfly Koi

Some basic facts about butterfly koi

Some people don’t see the charm or uniqueness of butterfly koi and think of them as the “black sheep” of koi.  We have even heard people say butterfly koi are not real koi fish!  Simply not true!  As many other DO know, butterfly koi can be some of the best koi in any koi collection!

How did the butterfly koi originate?

Brown and grey carp with long fins were found in Indonesia in the early 1980s.   A NY company heard about them and bought some but then they thought they were too ugly to sell.  But, a group of curious breeders at Blue Ridge Fish Hatchery heard about them and decided to order some too.  They took their odd-looking long-finned fish and bred them with their finest traditional koi fish.   They actually turned out great!

The long finned koi ended up being robust and disease free.  They could also be bred in many beautiful colors.  An original Blue Ridge breeder was named Wyatt LeFever.  When his young son first went to see the fish, he said “Dad they look like butterflies.”  The name is still used today for the fish.

Butterfly koi size

Butterfly koi become more and more impressive as they grow.  Their fins keep growing until the blood vessels can’t sustain the fins to be any longer. The older the fish, the longer and more impressive the finnage. A full-grown koi can almost like a long, slinky dragon moving through the water..

The fish may not be as large as traditional koi, but they can run from 36-40 inches in the right pond with the right food.  Butterfly koi are pleasant and graceful and a delight to watch swim.

Is a butterfly koi a “real” koi fish?

Yes, they are.  In the past, Japanese koi enthusiasts did not appreciate the long-finned  koi.  Over time, Japanese breeders started seeing the beauty and value in the fish, partially from their immense popularity in the United States.  Now the butterfly koi are a very popular koi fish pond choice.   For more information on koi ponds in the Philadelphia area, contact us.

Philadelphia pond help

Need Philadelphia pond help?  We are the company to call.  Here’s a recent video we had made that shows explains why you should hire AquaReale for your pond needs  Call us at 215.880.6811 with any questions.

Tips for a Healthy Philadelphia Koi Pond

Philadelphia Koi Pond
Philadelphia Koi Pond

Tips for a Healthy Philadelphia Koi Pond

Want a Healthy Philadelphia Koi Pond this summer?  Ponds have a joy and beauty that make your summer even more relaxing and enjoyable.

You want to make sure your water feature is healthy and functioning at 100 percent during the warmer months.  And when the temperatures rise above 80 degrees, there are some things you can do to help.   Here are our recommendations:

Health of Your Philadelphia Koi Pond Fish

Keep an eye on your fish. Do your fish seem stressed out, gasping for air close to the water’s surface or especially close to a fountain or waterfall?

Increased activity and warm pond water go hand and hand, and that increased activity also means your fish require more oxygen when less oxygen is available, thus creating a vicious cycle. Stressed fish often begin to develop diseases, and soon enough you’ll have a domino effect.

We recommend adding oxygen to your pond by placing an aerator or AquaForce® pump in your pond. You can also install a fountain with a pump if your pond doesn’t have a waterfall or stream. Make sure all areas of the pond are skimmed and the water circulated. And keep in mind that waterfalls, streams, and even fountains play a huge part in the oxygenation of the water in your pond.

Philadelphia Koi Pond: Beat the Heat

There are certainly some preemptive measures you can take in order to keep your pond from becoming a warm, unhealthy mess. It all starts with a well-designed water feature. Depth, plant coverage, shade, and circulation should all be considered when designing and building a pond. A minimum depth of two feet is suggested; the bottom of the pond will remain cooler.

Of course, you’ll also want to stock your pond with a lot of plants to provide shade for the fish. A good rule of thumb is to provide plant coverage of approximately 1/3 to 1/2 of the pond’s surface area.

And finally,  one of the most important parts of pond design is circulation. If possible, you’ll want to place your biological filter and mechanical filter across the pond from each other, so that your pond receives optimal circulation.

Additional Philadelphia Koi Pond Summer Tips

  • If you feed your fish, feed them in the morning and be careful not to overfeed. Uneaten food decays faster in warmer water and can pollute the pond.
  • Be sure to remove dying leaves and flowers before they have a chance to decay in the warmer water.

Each season has its own challenges and summer is no exception. The bottom line is that you need to keep an eye on your pond and let your fish and plants do the talking.

If you have a balanced ecosystem, you’ll find it much easier to maintain the health of your pond, fish, and plants. Contact us for more information or with any questions.

Philadelphia Pond Product Showcase

Philadelphia Pond Product Showcase
Philadelphia Pond Product Showcase

Philadelphia Pond Product Showcase

Welcome to our new Philadelphia Pond Product Showcase, where we show you something we think is pretty awesome.  This month we are showing off the new faux oak stump cover.

The Aquascape Faux Oak Stump Cover is the ideal solution to covering unsightly landscape components, including everything from power outlet posts and  IonGen™ panels to transformers and fish food /pond supplies.

Philadelphia Pond Product Showcase: REALISTIC OAK APPEARANCE

Many landscape covers, such as fake rocks, can look un-natural, cheap, and out of place. The Faux Oak Stump Cover provides an extremely realistic oak appearance and texture that looks great in any setting.

 BUILT TO LAST

The cover features durable, heavy-duty poly-resin construction, designed to stand up to the elements and provide year after year of enjoyment.

DECORATIVE GARDEN ACCENT

The Faux Oak Stump Cover can even be used as a seat or decorative garden accent.  We recommend these as a way of making your pond area as natural as possible.

For more information or to make a purchase, email us via our website or call us at 215.880.6811

 

Philadelphia Pool Waterfall Slide

Philadelphia Pool Waterfall Slide
Philadelphia Pool Waterfall Slide

Philadelphia Pool Waterfall Slide

A top NBA player and Olympic Gold  Medalist had a vision of a Philadelphia Pool Waterfall Slide.   He wanted a pool oasis for his kids, one that included his dream slide into the pool.   He had never seen exactly what he wanted, but he was able to describe it.  He had this dream for more than three years.   He is only at this house during the off season, so time was very important.  We had a tight timeline to make this dream come to life.  His kids wanted a cool water slide, and he wanted to make that happen.  A cool water slide coming out of a waterfall, to be exact…

Philadelphia Pool Waterfall Slide: The Challenge

We met the client through his pool contractor, someone we had worked with before.  Our client is a very busy athlete, so we never did get to meet him.  We had a long distance relationship, with him emailing through his team of assistants.  We were able to understand his vision, and emailed him a  rough sketch of what we could do.  He immediately agreed!

We only had one chance to make this right and we were up to the challenge.  Schedules had to be changed and pond builds put off so we could complete this project to be ready when his basketball season ended and his kids finished school.

Philadelphia Pool Waterfall Slide — The Solution

AquaReale built a large natural stone waterfall that holds a curved slide for maximum fun.  The slide is 10 feet and has water jets going down.  The waterfall is at its highest peak is 4 feet tall and took 40 tons of boulder and rock to create the large waterfall.  We also built a set of stone steps, going from the lawn area up to the slide.  These are natural flagstone slabs to match the waterfall.

For more information on pool slides or waterfalls or any pond project, reach out to AquaReale.

Philadelphia Wetland Filter Installation

Philadelphia Wetland Filter Installation
Philadelphia Wetland Filter Installation

The Need for a Philadelphia Wetland Filter Installation

We have been working for quite a few years with St Vincent’s of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and knew they needed a Philadelphia Wetland Filter Installation.   St Vincent’s is a beautiful retirement home for priests with a large pond in the courtyard as a focal point and meeting place.  The priests and staff greatly enjoy the pond and often overfeed the fish in their excitement.  The pond is concrete

and runs 20 x 30 feet.   It has been there since the 1930s.

Three years ago AquaReale installed a skimmer bay in the pond, allowing surface debris to get skimmed off rather than just sinking to the bottom.  This has worked very well for them, but now they needed more.  They needed a Philadelphia Wetland Filter Installation.

The Problem

The pond had too many fish in it and inadequate filtration.  It was also overrun with food thrown in by the priests on a daily basis.

Their existing filter box was not keeping up with the load.  The pond was always green and we knew the overfeeding was going to continue.  Who are we to stop a retired priest from feeding the fish? So now we needed a solution and we had it.  A Philadelphia Wetland Filter Installation was needed.

Solution:  What is a Philadelphia Wetland Filter Installation?

A wetland filter is a graded gravel filter that houses tons of beneficial bacteria and traps sediments  Water is distributed through the gravel slowly, giving time for the healthy bacteria to break down the organics.  Here’s a video about wetland filters and how they work: https://youtu.be/6xMpuvwGJY4

The new filter would be six times the size of their biofalls, which was their original filter.  Over time, as the filter becomes seeded with bacteria, the filter will work better and better.

Philadelphia Wetland Filter Installation
Philadelphia Wetland Filter Installation

The Results

The clarity has already improved with the pond.  Long term results will show by next year, when the bacteria is full seeded in the filter.   Like most natural things, it can’t be rushed.  It is already improving and it will be worth the wait.

What pond dilemma can we solve for you?  Contact us to see how we can help you.

 

 

Bucks County pond fish

 Bucks County pond fish
Bucks County pond fish

It’s finally pond season,which means time for fish health for our  local Bucks County pond fish.

Does your pond promote the health of your fish? Several factors influence whether a pond is good for Bucks County pond fish  to live in  So before you add some new fish, take a few minutes to look at where your Bucks County pond fish  will be living and see if the space is healthy enough.

For Bucks County pond fish,  size does matter

 

The size of your pond is very important to fish health.  It needs to be large enough to support your fish and allow them to grow.  Pond fish generally need 10 gallons of water for every inch of their length, and you have to be ready for them to grow larger, so be careful not to overstock, no matter how tempting this may be.  Some pond pros even recommend only ½ inch of fish per every 10 gallons of water, for maximum space for Bucks County pond fish.

You may see ponds with a lot more fish—even as many as two or three inches per 10 gallons of water and the fish were OK.  Even if it looks OK for now, the ecological strain and density of this fish overload turns the pond into a fragile system.  This is not good for fish.  When the pH sags, the fish grow slower and there is much more chance of disease.

If you have too many fish in your pond and they get sick, there is nothing you can do.  Your fish will probably cull themselves to the best amount for the pond, so reduce the overstocking now to prevent fish loss later.

A sunny morning is great for  Bucks County pond fish.

Ponds (and Bucks County pond fish) benefit from sunlight, as it provides valuable vitamins.  Sunlight also reduces nitrates in the water and helps pond plants grow.  Don’t worry if your pond is in the shade.  We recommend adding some shade-loving plants to help balance the water.  Bucks County pond fish health is also dependent on aquatic plants.

Pond plants that tolerate shade include Taro, Papyrus, Horsetail, Cardinal Flower, Lizard’s Tail, and Water Forget-Me-Not.

How deep does your pond go?

 

Bucks County pond fish aren’t picky when it comes to pond depth.  The pond just needs to be deep enough to allow the fish to hide from predators as well as give the fish a place to go into Torpor (hibernation) for the winter.

Proper Balance is Everything!

 

Your water garden needs to be balanced for optimal fish health.  Your ecosystem needs the proper mix of plants, filtration, fish, rocks and gravel and circulation,  When you learn to work with Mother Nature instead of against her, you’ll spend less time maintaining your pond and more time enjoying it1

Consider adding the Aquascape Automatic Dosing System to keep your pond water balanced and your fish healthy throughout the season.  For more information on Bucks County pond fish health or any other ecosystem pond questions, please call us at 215.880.6811 or contact us here. 

Montgomery County Pond Cleaning

Montgomery County Pond Cleaning
Montgomery County Pond Cleaning

How much Montgomery County Pond Cleaning do you need? While we do visit some ponds monthly, most of the ponds we work with are serviced three times a year.  For our Montgomery County Pond Cleaning (as well as the entire Philadelphia area), the spring opening, summer checkup and fall shutdown are our most used services and keep our company busy for months.

AquaReale prides itself on getting to know each customer and developing a maintenance plan that is best for their pond.  Here are each of our maintenance services and what we do for each service:

Montgomery County Pond Cleaning Spring Opening

We recommend each client get a spring opening each year. This is  when we check everything in the pond.  Depending on the pond, our services may include:

  • clean skimmer net
  • clean skimmer filter mat
  • check pump for proper flow
  • check and adjust automatic water fill valve
  • trim and remove any dead plants and water lilies
  • trim and remove any debris
  • replace any gravel and rock as needed
  • apply bacteria or S.A.B. as needed.

Montgomery County Pond Cleaning Summer Check Up

Perform a brief visual checkup to make sure the pond is running smoothly. Bacteria and algae fix will be added as needed.

Montgomery County Pond Cleaning Fall Shut Down Service

Mid to late fall is a good time to winterize your water garden. We ensure an easy startup int the spring b doing the following (not all tasks are applicable to all ponds):

  • check the pump and filtration media
  • check edges
  • bleed out auto-fill lines
  • rim back your aquatic plants
  • net the pond
  • return for net removal

Here are some tips on what you need to do for a Spring Montgomery County Pond Cleaning

  1. Clean out your pond, whether that means a full cleanout or just picking up a bit and rinsing things off
  2. Check pond pumps to make sure that it’s clean and functioning correctly. Your pump is the heart of your water feature and needs to be in tip-top shape at all times. Learn more about water feature pond pump maintenance.
  3. Fix any leaks in your water feature. Constantly adding tap water to make up for a loss of pond water means the constant addition of nutrients which will eventually promote algae growth.
  4. Remove algae, leaves and other debris left over from the season before. This is crucial because an excess of decaying debris will add to the nutrient levels and the algae in the pond.
  5. Start adding beneficial bacteria treatments and continue to do so regularly throughout the season. It competes with the algae for available nutrients, starving the algae of its food
  6. Add plants to control algae. Since plants directly compete with algae for nutrients, they are the most important addition to the pond. Using a wide variety of plants will not only add to the natural look of the pond but will reduce algae growth as well.
  7. DO NOT overfeed your fish. Fish food that is not eaten will add more nutrients to the pond, helping feed the algae. See 5 Tips for Feeding Fish article for more information.
  8. Last but not least, have fun with your water feature! Spruce it up with new landscaping, add a fountain within your feature, add lighting or just change up some of the rock work! Get creative because after all, your water feature is your masterpiece to enjoy and show off to others.

Contact AquaReale for all of our pond maintenance needs.  We’re always happy to help!

How to plan a Philadelphia pond renovation

Philadelphia pond renovation
Philadelphia pond renovation

How to plan a Philadelphia pond renovation

Now that spring has FINALLY arrived, you are back outside and possibly thinking about what you want to do as a Philadelphia pond renovation.    If your pond or water feature is still in the dreaming and wishing stage, now’s a great time to start planning!

Some people view ponds as simply a part of their house, like an addition. When it is done, it’s done.  While this is true with some projects, a pond is always evolving and changing as a living organism.  Don’t be afraid to plan a Philadelphia pond renovation for your pond to make it what you want right now.

Maybe you want the water to go in a different direction or you want a blog filter.  Philadelphia pond renovations can also include a stream or waterfall addition or even a pondless waterfall in another part of your yard.  Ponds revision possibilities are endless!

What to do now?

Get your ideas on paper!  While your dreams and wishes are still fresh in your mind, it’s the perfect time to get your thoughts down.  How to start?  Let’s think about what you want and how you plan to use your pond. What does your perfect Philadelphia pond renovation look like?

Items to consider when planning your Philadelphia pond renovation:

  • What’s speaks to you when you’re out? A spring in the woods? A stream at the mountain?  A bubbling rock at the beach?  Once you know what you like, it’s easier to recreation these on a much smaller scale.
  • What do you enjoy most about water gardening – the plants, fish, frogs, turtles, birds, or terrestrial landscaping? Build your dream pond with that as your emphasis.
  • What do you like (or dislike) about your existing pond?
  • What places have you visited that look and feel “perfect” to you? A stream in the mountains?  A spring in the woods?  Recreate aspects of these places on a smaller scale.
  • Where do you spend most of your time when you’re at home?  Will you spend more time outside or inside?  Plan with that in mind.
  • What would make your yard a “paradise?”
  • Would you like to be able to swim with your fish in a natural swimming pond?

When you answer these questions, you’ll be well on your way to enhancing or creating your own aquatic paradise. AquaReale is here for all your pond needs—for everything from a Philadelphia pond renovation to a full pond installation. Reach out today to see how we can help make your dreams a reality.