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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you prevent algae growth and green, murky water?

There are many factors affecting overall water quality. But the most important are proper design and adequate filtration. Excess algae growth can be minimized by creating a well balanced water feature using biological methods that work with nature to reduce pollutants. Factors such as the amount of direct sunlight, overhanging trees, number and size of fish, and desired flow rate, all affect the design and type of filter system needed. Our professionals can consult with you on the 
variety of options available to best suit your individual needs.

What kind of maintenance is required with a water garden?

Water gardening requires regular maintenance in order to function properly. However, with proper design and filters in place water features require very little effort. We offer superior craftsmanship, our guarantee of excellence. Plus, our experienced staff can help take care of all your maintenance needs. Just ask about the Four Season Maintenance Plan.

At Specialty Water Gardens & Landscapes, we design our water features to function at their best by using natural bacteria and enzyme products. These products are safe and harmless to people, pets, and wildlife. Our complete line of Microbe-Lift products eliminate pathogens and reduce sludge for ultimate water clarity and cleanliness.

Will I have a problem with mosquitoes?

No. Mosquitoes are drawn to still, stagnant water and will not lay their eggs in a clean, flowing water feature. If your 
water gardens contains koi or goldfish, those fish will readily devour any mosquito larvae that may happen to find their way in. In fact, your water garden will attract beneficial birds and insects that will help to control your local mosquito population.

Where do you get your stone?

We can acquire any type of stone from a variety of regions of the country. Weathered granite or basalt from out West, limestone, or New England field stone. At Specialty Water Gardens & Landscapes, we use weathered sandstone / limestone from the Ozarks region to build the majority of water features. We have an exclusive supplier of creek stones hand picked form dry Ozark streams. This stone is weathered by eons of Missouri rains and sunshine and is the perfect stone to give your water garden a natural look and a sense of age. It becomes as if the water garden has always been there, while the rest of your yard was built around it.

How deep does a water feature have to be?

In our area, a depth of only 2-3 feet is sufficient for keeping koi fish. If the water feature is meant to be enjoyed primarily as an aquatic plant display, or as a goldfish pond, depth can range from 2" to 18 inches.

What happens to my water garden in the winter months?

We design and build our water gardens to operate year-round. The sight of an ice and snow covered waterfall can be quite breathtaking. If you are keeping ornamental fish in your pond, they will require the flowing water for oxygen exchange even in the wintertime when their metabolism is slowed. Some situations may require the use of a pond de-icer instead, so be sure to ask us about recommendations specific to your own project.

Can I have a water garden if my yard is shady?

ABSOLUTELY! Naturally shaded ponds often remain cooler and cleaner, than a pond located in full sun. If your water garden is underneath trees, a quality skimmer system and adequate circulation becomes especially important. And although most water plants prefer full sun, many will bloom and grow in shaded ponds.

When can I set up an appointment?

Anytime is a great time to start creating the landscape of your dreams! We have built quality natural water features, along with many other types of landscapes, during any time of year, including winter months. We work closely with our clients to ensure complete satisfaction, listening to your ideas and using our experience to create a landscape that you can be proud of! Give us a call today and we can start planning the retreat that you have always wanted.

 Is Specialty Water Gardens & Landscapes a Residential or Commercial contractor?

Specialty Water Gardens & Landscapes does both commercial and residential work. The majority of our clients are homeowners who are looking for that special, individual landscape feature that can be enjoyed form the comfort of their own home. Our water features are designed and built to look beautiful from any vantage point. We believe that a 
water feature should be enjoyed up close, outdoors, indoors and at a distance.

Should I be concerned if my pond looks green?

That depends. If pond water is a murky pea soup green color, that may indicate an imbalance or low oxygen levels in the pond. Increase the amount of dissolved oxygen and improved filtration will eventually correct this situation.
A healthy living pond will develop a green patina on all of the under water surfaces which is known as the ponds Biological Film, or Biofilm. Most pond keepers refer to the Biofilm as “The Slime Layer”. The Biofilm is an important part of your ponds natural filter system. Biofilm contains a layer of beneficial bacteria, micro organisms and even some species of algae which act to clean and filter the water. Once a ponds Biofilm is established, or matures, string algae is less likely to grow.

What should I expect the rocks in my pond to look like when a pond clean out is completed?

The stones will have been cleaned of excessive string algae, dirt, and built up sludge. Stones will retain their natural green patina of biofilm that is necessary for a healthy pond ecological system. Biofilm can take a year or more to fully mature, so removing this layer completely will result in excess string algae blooms and unfavorable water conditions that will require larger doses of chemicals and pond treatments. During a pond clean out, our goal is to remove sludge and built up decomposed nutrients without disturbing the ponds Biofilm.

How do I encourage my ponds Biofilm layer?

Regular doses of beneficial bacteria can encourage biofilm to establish more quickly and keep your water healthy.

Where can I purchase beneficial bacteria and other pond products?

Specialty Water Gardens & Landscapes carries a full line of natural and beneficial products for your pond. For more information call 573-442-9027.
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