So Your New Home Has a Pond...Now What?

So Your New Home Has a Pond...Now What?

So, you just bought a house, got all moved in and you’re ready to tackle that pond in the backyard that looks like it hasn’t had any maintenance done since 1997. While it might seem overwhelming to try and figure out what to do to ensure all of this goes well, we have created your step-by-step guide to getting your water feature under control. However, before we get into what you have to do, we want to make some clarifications:

First and foremost, this is a guide exclusively for ponds. Here is where it might get a little confusing though as any body of water, regardless of the size, that doesn’t have a liner (whether plastic or rubber) is considered a lake. We don’t make the rules, we just interpret them. Now, this doesn’t mean that some of this information won’t be helpful if you have a lake, just know that you aren’t the intended audience. 

So without further ado, here is your comprehensive guide to getting your brand-new pond back to the beauty that it once held. Let’s get started!

Step one: Inspect the pond.

This one might seem obvious, but you’re going to want to do a few laps around the pond and get a true bearing on what your project will entail. Find out the answers to these questions, as they will help you get answers later down the road:

  • Is there any fish in the pond?
  • What size pump (usually measured in gallons per hour or gph.)
  • Is the pump working properly or will I need a new one?
  • What is the length, width, and depth (in feet) at the longest, widest, and deepest point?
  • What sort of liner do you have EPDM (rubber) or a plastic tub?
  • What water treatments did the previous owner use (if available)
  • What does the pond have in it? (plants, fish, frogs, snails, gravel, aerator, lights, pumps, filters, etc.)
  • How much sunlight does the pond get?
  • How much money do I want to put into this? Keep in mind that some things cannot be “skimped” on such as a pump or filter. If you try to save money by going a cheaper route, it will end up costing more in the future when you have to replace cheaper, usually Chinese or Taiwanese equipment. But don’t you fret! PondScape offers pricing up to 20% off MSRP, every single day at
  • What season is it? This is typically more important with northern states that have to worry about ice and snow, but the heat in the southern summers is also important to keep in mind.

We like to tell new homeowners to start a small notebook or binder with all of their pond-related things in it like measurements and dimensions, water treatments used, product names and SKUs for things like pumps, skimmers, fountains, etc., along with purchase dates for fish and medicine used to treat fish. Keeping track of what fish food you use can also help figure out how much your fish are typically eating which allows you to figure out how much food to buy (it’s usually cheaper if you buy larger containers).

Step Two: Take Pictures and videos!

This may seem silly, but it can be hugely helpful. If you stop into one of our retail locations, our support staff can help identify issues with your pond based solely on pictures. It will also help our team make recommendations to get your recovery road started. It’s also fun to look back when you’re done to see how far you’ve come!

Step Three: Call PondScape

Now comes the fun part! Basically, we have to get some boots on the ground. Having someone from our creation team come out to your property will be the absolute best way to get the help you need. This allows us to look at everything and come up with solutions to any issues you might have. Now, keep in mind that PondScape currently offers 4 different cleanout options:

  • Saver Cleanout (Only for customers that had their pond installed by PondScape)
  • Standard Cleanout (Both you and PondScape know the pond)- This is for customers who have come back to use our services again. We have been to the property before and either installed the pond or we have done maintenance before.
  • Exploratory Cleanout (You know the pond but PondScape doesn’t.) This is for the customer that has a healthy and balanced pond, but has never used us for any of our cleaning services before.
  • New Homeowner Cleanout (You don’t know the pond and neither does PondScape.) This cleanout includes everything that the normal Exploratory Cleanout does except we add in a site visit from one of our Design Foreman to help go over everything with you and give you a better understanding of what equipment your pond has and how it all works, along with insight on how to begin addressing any issues that might show up.

These options give every single homeowner, regardless of how long they have owned their pond, an option to get the help they need. Our cleanout services start at $199 and go up based on geographic location and pond dimensions. More on that later.

Step Four: Go shopping!

If we have to be brutally honest, there is rarely a time when we show up to a New Homeowner Cleanout and leave without making a recommendation for some sort of upgrade or repair. You’re probably thinking that this is just our way of trying to make money, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. More often than not, it's usually the filtration system on most older ponds that needs updating. Usually, this includes a new pump and/or a new skimmer. Having a quality skimmer and pump set up will help with water clarity, fish and plant health, and the overall well being of the pond.

This is where you get to head into our retail location and spend some time with a member of our support team as we talk through what your New Homeowner Cleanout revealed. We want to spend time with you to make sure that you aren’t buying anything you don’t need or something that may not work with your current setup. We are always stocked with the right equipment and water treatments to help address any issues you may have. Our staff doesn’t get paid any sort of commissions, which allows us to help you get the right products the first time.

Step Five: The hard part

Now that we have had a Pond Pro at your house, we’ve identified any potential issues, and gotten you all the right stuff to fix it, we have to get to the most difficult part of this entire process…the wait. Nature doesn’t fix its own issues overnight and we aren’t miracle workers. You have to keep in mind that the longer it has been that your pond has gone without care, it is generally more difficult (not impossible) to get it back in working order. We have some products that even take up to 2 weeks before you start seeing results, but when the results show up, it is a miracle to be seen. Remember that when you work with nature, patience is a true virtue. Everything is a marathon, not a sprint. If something is altering the biology of your pond in too quick of a timeframe, you risk tainting the water or killing fish or plants. Take your time and do it right the first time.

Step Six: Stay ahead of your maintenance.

There are a ton of different options for maintenance once everything is back in working order. After everything is figured out and your ecosystem has become balanced again, you will be switching from an “offensive” posture to a “defensive” posture. At this point, you’re going to only have to do maintenance to PREVENT issues from arising as opposed to solving problems. Sure, you could get an Aquascape Automatic Dosing system that allows you to fill a container with your preferred water treatment and dose it daily automatically, or you could higher PondScape to do regular visits with one of our Maintenance Packages. This can be your hands-off approach to owning a water feature. This means that our trained creation and maintenance teams will come to your property up to two times a month and take care of your pond for you. All you will have to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy your backyard Oasis.

Owning a pond shouldn’t be hard. There can be some frustrating moments, but generally speaking, it gives you your own private escape from reality in the comfort of your own home. By teaming up with a company like PondScape, you can be sure that your water feature will be healthy and sustainable for years to come. With almost 30 years in the industry, we know what it takes to make sure your pond is in tip-top shape all year round.