It also provides you with an all-natural, low-maintenance outdoor paradise. It's important to remember, however, that every piece of the ecosystem puzzle must be present in order for a true ecosystem to be in place. Eliminate one of these elements and you've got an unbalanced ecosystem that won't be so low-maintenance anymore.

Components of Water Features

1. Filtration System

Includes the use of both a biological and a mechanical filter. We use Aquascape products such as the ones listed below.

  • A BioFalls┬« (biological filter) provides surface area for beneficial bacteria to colonize and remove excess nutrients from the water.
  • A Skimmer (mechanical filter) will not only pre-filter the water and house the pump; it will also skim debris from the water's surface to prevent the accumulation of organic materials on the pond floor.

2. Rocks and Gravel

Rocks and gravel will not only protect pond liners from UV light degradation, but they will also provide tremendous surface area for beneficial bacteria to break down excess nutrients in the water and dissolved organic debris on the pond floor.

3. Recirculation System

This is really just a fancy way of saying "pumps and plumbing." The proper size pump and pipe diameter are extremely important for the aesthetics of a water feature. More importantly, an efficient circulation system will keep the water moving and provide the necessary oxygen levels for healthy fish and plants.

4. Fish

Fish are an integral part of any ecosystem. Unfortunately, fish are often seen as high maintenance. Contrary to popular belief, fish actually reduce pond maintenance as they graze on string algae and bottom feed from the pond floor. They also make very enjoyable pets, providing hours of natural entertainment.

5. Aquatic Plants

Mother Nature's true filters, plants are great for adding character to a pond by providing color and texture, but from a filtration perspective, they're second to none. Thriving from the excess nutrients in a pond and depriving algae of its food source, the aquatic plants in a water garden, given proper coverage, are critical for the overall health of the ecosystem.

In order to have a successful water gardening experience, you must think systematically and understand the critical role of each ingredient in Mother Nature's recipe.

  • The fish nibble on the plant life (and everything else), including the algae.
  • In turn, the fish produce waste that, along with other forms of natural debris, fall to the pond's bottom.
  • Debris is broken down by the aerobic bacteria and the other microorganisms colonized on the rocks and gravel all over the pond bottom.
  • Once broken down, these substances are absorbed as nutrition by the plants.
  • The plants grow and are once again nibbled on by the fish ... 'round and 'round it goes, infinitely.

Water Harvesting Systems:

Benefits of Reusing Rainwater

Why let good water go to waste when you can reuse it for another purpose? The benefits of harvesting rainwater are numerous, but some of the more prominent advantages include:

  • Reduce water bills including city storm sewer charges
  • Alleviate demand on municipal systems
  • Avoid strict watering schedules
  • Improved landscape growth
  • Reduce flooding and erosion
  • Efficient use of a valuable resource - water

What is a rain garden:

A Rain Garden receives water from impervious (hard) surfaces such as rooftops, sidewalks, driveways and patios. The shallow depression of the garden holds the water so it can slowly infiltrate back into the soil as the plants, mulch and soil naturally remove pollutants from the runoff.