Without fish or open water, pondless water features are pretty easy to maintain. Typically these features do not have filter systems that you have to regularly clean, but there are a few simple tasks that require attention. Here is a quick checklist for keeping your waterfall looking its best. Keep in mind that all water treatments are available at Terra Waterscape Supply.
Say Hello to Bacteria – Though you will not have fish waste or decomposing leaves in your basin since it is covered, nutrients can still accumulate and lead to algae growth. Regularly using a beneficial bacteria, such as Aquascapes Beneficial Bacteria (Available at Terra Waterscape Supply), will be an essential part of keeping your water clean. Beneficial bacteria gobble up fine organic debris that discolors your water or feeds string algae. Proactively managing your water feature will help you reduce problems from occurring, meaning you will have more time to sit back, relax, and enjoy your feature.
Combat Discolored Water – Excess nutrients or debris in the water column can leave behind a slimy mess or discolored water. If your water quality gets diminished, add a dose of Aquascape Clean for Fountains as needed to clean up the water in as little as 48 hours. Aquascape Clean for Fountains can be used in a fountain, water feature, or birdbath, but is not recommended for water that contains fish, invertebrates, or crustaceans, so use with caution.
Rock a Clean Feature – As with ponds, rocks and other surfaces in your pondless waterfall will likely become a home for string algae and other debris buildups. Using Aquascape EcoBlast is an effective way to clean up your feature. These fast-acting solutions use the power of oxygen to lift and wash away debris. For best results, turn your pump off. This will allow the powder to get into all the nooks and crannies. Restart your pump after the product has time to work.
Change It Up – From time to time, a partial water change may be needed to help your feature get back on track. Changing your water will quickly remove any excess nutrients or debris and give your pond a fresh start. Just remember to add your beneficial bacteria after you refill to keep it looking clean.
Keep the Water Flowing – With a hidden basin, you may not be able to see how much water is actually in your feature. Since your pump needs a constant supply of water, you will likely be looking for a replacement pump if your reservoir dries up. To keep your feature functioning properly, occasionally check the water level or install an Auto Fill Valve.
Inspect Your Gadgets – Periodically, take time to check your feature’s pump, tubing, and connectors to ensure that they are sound and functioning correctly. If cold weather is approaching, double-check your pump manual for winterization recommendations.
Winterize – To shut your pondless waterfall down, first unplug your pump and pull it out of the water along with the check valve. Clean the scale and debris from the pump. Leave liner basins full of water to prevent critters from moving in. Next, store the pump in a frost-free location, submerged in a bucket of water (Aquasurge, SLD, and Ultra Pumps do not need to be submerged).
Keep it Going? – You can also choose to keep the waterfall running. This will require a little babysitting to make sure ice dams do not form, which could cause water to run off of the waterfall. You will also need to add water regularly to ensure the pump will function properly. This extra effort during the winter will reward you with the most beautiful ice formations and patterns around the falls and streambeds.
*Frozen Pumps are not covered by manufacture warranty, be sure to properly have them winterized so they are not damaged.