• When is the best time to install underwater pond lighting?

    When is the best time to install underwater pond lighting?

    A:  Whether it's illuminating a patio, a landscape or a water garden, outdoor lighting can have a dramatic impact on the area's space. It creates a special mood and spotlights stunning features while adding ambient light to the environment. Underwater lighting is best installed when your pond is empty, like while it's being constructed or – in most cases – while you're doing your annual spring cleanout. If you're putting in lights this spring, here are four key tips to follow: Choose the Right Lights: Landscaping lights come in many different sizes and... Read More »
  • Why do koi have barbels?

    Why do koi have barbels?

    A:  Koi have been growing trendy whiskers way before the hipsters made it cool! Those whiskers—or barbels—are a defining characteristic of the fish. Here's what they are, what they do, and why the popular pond fish has them. Super-Sensing Organ Barbels are sensory organs not unlike whiskers in mammals. Rather than being used for tactile sensing, however, a fish's barbels are used for taste. Koi, along with catfish, goatfish, hagfish, sturgeon, zebrafish, some species of shark and other carp, have barbels. They use these taste bud-covered organs to search for... Read More »
  • How can I tell if I have male or female koi?

    How can I tell if I have male or female koi?

    A:  If only koi were as easy to sex as a pair of peacocks! Like those fanciful birds, koi are sexually dimorphic – meaning the males and females look and behave differently – but it's not an easy distinction to discern. They grow to roughly the same size and they both have colorful scales, yet there are subtle differences if you know where to look. With these clues, you'll know whether to name your finned friends Fred or Frieda. Clue #1: Age Koi are easier to tell apart when they're mature, and so your first clue will be age – which is related to their... Read More »
  • My mom wants a water feature but needs something easy to maintain. Any suggestions?

    My mom wants a water feature but needs something easy to maintain. Any suggestions?

    A:  Sounds like mom has been bitten by the water gardening bug! Thanks to all the options available to budding pond hobbyists, she doesn't need to install a maintenance-heavy feature. She can find a simple-to-use one that's ideal for a small yard, patio or tabletop. It's easy to help her choose the perfect water feature. Simply ask her these questions: 1: Does She Want to Keep Fish? If so, she'll need a water feature that has a pond to house fish as well as a filtration system to keep their water clean – and the AllClear™ Ecosystem Pond Kits are... Read More »
  • What can I do to prevent string algae from growing in the winter?

    What can I do to prevent string algae from growing in the winter?

    A: Even in the cold of winter, string algae can grow in your water garden. All that green nuisance needs to thrive is the right amount of nutrients and sunlight. So what can you do to prevent it? You have three options in your pond management toolbox: Seasonal Defense ® , barley straw extract, and a three-in-one pond tool. Boost Your Bacteria First of all, you'll need to control the nutrients – or the food that the algae eat – in your pond. Because the beneficial bacteria that break down those nutrients go dormant in the winter, now's the time to add some... Read More »
  • I have a small pondless fountain that's cloudy and slimy. What can I use to clean it?

    I have a small pondless fountain that's cloudy and slimy. What can I use to clean it?

    A:  Pondless, fishless water features are known for being low maintenance – but even they get slimy and scummy and in need of some attention. Dust and debris blow into the water, leaves and twigs somehow find their way into the basin, and algae starts to grow on the surfaces. As all that stuff builds up and breaks down, you're left with a mess. Good thing it's an easy problem to manage. Because you have no pond and no resident fish to consider, there's no need to worry about de-chlorinators, test kits, filtration systems and all that nonsense (although adding a filter... Read More »
  • We've been keeping our fish indoors for the winter and have filtration. Do we need to use any chemicals?

    We've been keeping our fish indoors for the winter and have filtration. Do we need to use any chemicals?

    A:  No doubt your finned friends are enjoying the cozy indoors during the chilly winter season. With your tank's filtration system turned on, you're mechanically cleaning the fishes' aquatic abode – which is a great first step – but there are a few more things you can do to make their stay inside a pleasant one. Here's what we recommend. No Chemicals Necessary Unless your holding tank receives a lot of sunlight, you won't need chemical treatments, like algaecides or water clarifiers. They're not necessary, particularly if you use beneficial bacteria, stress... Read More »
  • What do you really mean when you say fish are "dormant" for the winter? Do they sleep?

    What do you really mean when you say fish are "dormant" for the winter? Do they sleep?

    A:  When the days shorten and temperatures drop, koi and other pond fish enter into what's called torpor, or a period of decreased physiological activity that allows them to save energy. They don't sleep the winter away, but they do essentially hibernate—their metabolism slows, they require less food, their activity level drops and their body temperatures reduce. How do they know they need to hibernate, and what can hobbyists do to make their finned friends' winter torpor restful? Read on to learn more. Mother Nature's in Charge Fish don't use calendars to... Read More »