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Pumps, Filters & Lighting
 
Pumps
  • There are 2 types of pumps for operating fountains and waterfalls – the submersible pump which is kept totally submerged and would be damaged if used above ground, and the surface (or external) pump which is operated above ground and would be damaged if submerged in the pond.
  • If you want a pump to operate an ordinary fountain with or without a waterfall, then you will need a submersible pump. The submersible pump is stood on one or more bricks to keep it off the bottom and is positioned below the surface. Water is drawn in through a strainer and pumped out through a fountain jet or along a piece of tubing to a fountain elsewhere in the pond. Wherever possible the pump should be removed and cleaned at the end of the season and then stored indoors until the spring.

 

Submersible Pump Advantages:

Convenient – No plumbing or housing is required

Inexpensive – Low and medium output models are available for the ordinary garden

Self-priming – No need to fill with water before use.

Silent – No constant hum as with surface pump.

Surface Pump Advantages:

High output – A number of fountains and impressive waterfalls can be operated

Continuous running – Will not burn out the motor if an induction-driven model is chosen

Accessible – Pump can be examined or removed without having to lift it out of the water.

 

 
  • For most home garden purposes, a pump which produces 350-650 gal/hr. will be suitable and should give you power to spare, but actual performance is affected by length of tubing, bore, presence of bends or kinks, fountain jet, height of waterfall, etc. Before heading to the nursery to purchase your new pump, gather all the necessary information:

Headdistance from the pond surface up to the outlet
Fountain Jet – type and height of spray required
Sill width of waterfall
Dimensions of pond
Tubing details – length and bore
Use – fountain, waterfall or filter?
Continuous or intermittent operation

Filtration

  • There are 2 basic types of filtration – mechanical and biological. The purpose of the mechanical filter is to sieve out dirt, solid waste and algae. It is effective immediately when switched on and can be run intermittently. The purpose of the biological filter is quite different. Waste products and the fish harming ammonia gas are all turned into harmless materials by the bacteria and tiny organisms which flourish on the filter medium. Though, the filter must be run continuously as the bacteria will die in a few hours if the pump is switched off.
  • Mechanical filtration is the simpler type – inexpensive and usually installed in the pond. Water is drawn through foam, coarse sand, gravel and/or filter granules by the action of a submersible pump, the outlet of the pump feeding a fountain or waterfall. Suspended grit, waste products and algae are collected in the filter medium – there is some biological action but this stops if the pump is switched off when the fountain or waterfall is not in use.
  • Biological filtration is the more complex type and is suitable for large as well as small ponds. The unit is housed outside the pond, usually hidden by shrubs at a location close to the top of a waterfall. A pump is used to push or draw water through the inlet pipe – the water is then aerated through jets or holes in a spray bar and passes through one or more layers of filter medium. Then, the clarified and purified water is returned to the pond through the outlet pipe.

Lighting

  • Well-placed lighting can turn an ordinary garden into a magical place at night. There are several practical uses for illumination after dark – security, safety, and adding a dramatic touch of beauty. Above ground lighting brings ornaments and surrounding plants to life. In pond lighting turns a fountain, waterfall or the water surface with the fish below into glittering features.
  • You may choose between floodlighting and spotlighting or a combination of both. The essential difference is that floodlighting produces a diffuse pool of light which covers a wide area rather than an individual plant or feature, whereas spotlighting produces a beam which lights up a specific plant, group of plants or an attractive feature.
  • Simplest of all are the round water lights, which float on the surface or can be weighed down to provide light from below the surface (Do not submerge too deeply or much of the power will be lost) Or, try a rainbow-like, color-changing illuminated fountain. A 4-color disc is rotated by water pressure and the bulb at the bottom of the fountain provides the illumination.

 


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