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Feature Article – Oklahoma Gazette – Welcoming Waterfalls

Welcoming Waterfalls

With its first Waterfall Festival, Garden Ponds & Aquariums Unlimited promotes outdoor relaxation and contributes to animal welfare.

There’s nothing more quintessentially Oklahoman than spending time in the outdoors — accompanied by one’s pet, of course.

This year’s first-ever Waterfall Festival by Garden Ponds & Aquariums Unlimited will provide Oklahomans with a wide array of options for all of their backyard needs while also supporting a good cause, with donations and a percentage of proceeds benefiting Central Oklahoma Humane Society.

Located at 310 SW First St. in Moore, Waterfall Festival will be open to the public 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 12 and 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Oct. 13. Entry to the festival is free, and visitors will be able to spin a discount wheel that will determine their purchasing discount for the day.

There will be something for everyone at Waterfall Festival: outdoor products from Garden Ponds & Aquariums unlimited and other vendors, fish races for kids and booths from wineries and fine cigars from Tobacco Exchange for adults.

Waterfall Festival grew out of Garden Ponds & Aquarium Unlimited’s annual customer appreciation days, said Lauri Lucas, who has co-owned the business with her husband for about 20 years. Previous customer appreciation days included sales and the ever-popular fish races, but this year, Lucas decided to expand the idea.

“This year, I just decided to change it completely,” Lucas said. “We called it the Waterfall Festival because that’s really what it was all along; it just took on a different name. Our goal is to inspire new people to enter the hobby and let people see how they can have waterfalls in their own backyard.”

The event is luau-themed, and attendees will receive a Hawaiian lei upon arrival; on Saturday, after dark, lighted pond displays and tiki torches will add ambiance. There will be live music both days, including guitarist Edgar Cruz and other local performers.

Lucas’ own experiences with pets shaped the idea to benefit Central Oklahoma Humane Society, and Lucas said she has always been drawn to organizations that help animals in need.

“I’m not a grandparent; I have grand-dogs,” Lucas said. “My children just have dogs at this stage in their lives. Pets are really important to us. A lot of our customers bring in pets, so we thought, ‘Let’s do a fundraiser for the Humane Society, because we had always heard about them, and they do really good things.’”

Several components of the festival will raise money for Humane Society, including a percentage of all retail sales and a charity raffle featuring three levels of prizes: a $900 Aquascape Waterfall Kit, two large statuary vases worth $300 from Statuary World and a Pond Max 3 LED Light kit worth $150. Tickets for the raffle are $20 apiece, and Lucas hopes to sell 200, raising around $4,000 for Humane Society.

The fish races are pay-to-play, Lucas said, and will also benefit the Humane Society.

“We have really small Japanese koi, and we actually have a raceway,” Lucas said. “It’s a tabletop raceway, and so we put a fish in each starting gate. Then we raise the starting gate and everyone yells and cheers.”

The winner gets to keep the fastest fish.

Lucas said that Garden Ponds & Aquariums Unlimited will also be donating gift certificates, T-shirts, pond plants and statuary. Local businesses will be donating items to mystery boxes, as well, and there will be an opportunity to play charity games like Plinko. Attendees will also have the option to write donation checks directly.

“We know that when we send the donations that we raise to the Humane Society, they’re going to be utilized in a good way,” Lucas said.

Outdoor extravaganza

The different elements of the Waterfall Festival all converge at the point of outdoor relaxation for people and their pets.

“Everybody wants a waterfall; they just don’t know it yet,” Lucas said. “Anyone who has ever seen a koi pond with professional waterfalls, the minute that they do, they’re like, ‘Oh my gosh! I never knew that I could have this in my yard.’”

Lucas said that many are often surprised at the price point for waterfalls or ponds — generally around $3,500, which is comparable to many hot tubs. According to Lucas, many customers go to Garden Ponds & Aquariums Unlimited looking for ways to make their yard spaces more relaxing so that they are able to de-stress at the end of long days.

“They go out onto the patios, they listen to the soothing sound of the waterfall, they watch the fish swim. It’s just something that is truly relaxing and a little bit of escape for them,” Lucas said.

In addition to serving as aesthetically pleasing focal points for a backyard, Lucas pointed out the functional elements of ponds and waterfalls and their thematic connection to pets. Lucas said that waterfalls can provide a constant supply of filtered water to dogs who are outside and can also serve as a splash pad for animals that want to cool off.

For Lucas, Waterfall Festival offers a way to improve backyard spaces and promote relaxation while also supporting the Humane Society.

“I think if Oklahoma City as a whole can realize that these are things that they can have that enhance our lifestyle and enhance property value, if it’s done right, it will be of interest to a lot of people.”

Visit gardenpondsunlimited.com/events.

 

Feature Article – Oklahoma Gazette – Welcoming Waterfalls 2019-05-07T18:47:33+00:00

Why Aquatic Pond Plants in My Fish Pool?

Pond Plants

pond plantsYou may be asking yourself, “Do I really need to add pond plants to my fish pool?” The answer is yes. Aquatic pond plants are the foundation of your new fish pool, helping to balance your entire pond ecosystem. Valuable pond filtration is provided through the removal of nitrogen, ammonia, nitrates and other minerals that can lead to unsightly water conditions in your fish pool.

Aquatic pond plants also provide extensive beauty, quickly naturalizing the environment and softening the edges while providing shelter and shade for your Koi fish. Fish pools that containing aquatic pond plants are more likely to have clear water, minimal waste, healthy koi fish, sufficient oxygen and a natural look.

A wide array of pond plant choices allows you to express your creativity through your aquatic plantings. The next section explains some of the options available in the water gardening industry.

pond plants okc

Types of pond plants for fish pools.

Aquatic pond plants are grouped into two basic categories: tropical pond plants and hardy pond plants. Hardy plants are able to over-winter in colder climates, allowing you to enjoy them year after year. Tropical plants, on the other hand, are more suited for warmer climates and often used as annuals in colder climate zones. Most hardy and tropical pond plants can be categorized into four categories: water lilies, marginal pond plants, floating pond plants and oxygenators.

We carry a wide variety of aquatic pond plants that thrive in a wet environment and add TONS of color to your fish pools!

 

koi pond plants

Changing your aquatic pond plant selection each year is a great way to change your fish pool ever so slightly. Night blooming water lilies are a unique fish pool addition because they only bloom at night. How amazing is that? We carry a huge selection of aquatic pond plants that will thrive during our Oklahoma pond season. Most of the aquatic pond plants we carry offer beautiful blooms of color that will enhance any fish pool.

We also carry a color changing water lily. It alternates between two different colors throughout the day.

Pond Plant Fertilizers

garden pond plants

Help your new pond plants reach their fullest potential by using aquatic plant fertilizer to optimize growth. Garden Ponds & Aquariums Unlimited has developed Pond Plant Fertilizer Tabs to help your pond plants thrive in your fish pool. Garden Ponds & Aquariums Unlimited Pond Plant Fertilizer Tabs feeds all types of aquatic pond plants and provides an initial quick-release of nutrients that ensures proper growth and longer lasting blooms for up to three months.

Aquatic Planters

Through the use of Garden Ponds & Aquariums Unlimited Aquatic Planters or the Aquatic Lily Planter, we have the perfect way to add pond plants to your fish pool. Our aquatic planters will not crack or break like traditional plastic planters. Made from fine, porous material, our aquatic planters allow water to penetrate while preventing soil from entering your fish pool. The incredible flexibility makes it easy to place plants between rocks and other tight spaces, and the dark color allows the planter to easily blend into your fish pool.

Pond Plant Potting Media

When it comes time to pot your new aquatic pond plants, we recommend using a potting media specially formulated for aquatic plants. You shouldn’t use just any media as it could be harmful to your fish pool and contribute to algae blooms. Garden Ponds & Aquariums Unlimited’s Pond Plant Potting Media is a great example of an all-natural, non-toxic media that is perfect for supporting aquatic pond plant growth in your fish pool!

Providing Pond Services in Oklahoma City, Norman, Moore, Nichols Hills, Edmond, Yukon, Shawnee, Newcastle, Mustang, Bethany and Surrounding Areas

 

Why Aquatic Pond Plants in My Fish Pool? 2018-10-23T16:36:41+00:00

Koi Ponds, Never a Boring Hobby

Koi ponds are a great hobby for the whole family. Now that spring is officially here, it’s time to start thinking about what you might want to do to change and improve your koi pond.

Many people view koi ponds simply as an addition to your house – when you build it you are done. While that is true a koi pond is indeed another room to your house, you’re never really done with this addition! In reality, it’s actually more like a living thing that is always evolving, so don’t be afraid to add on and change it as often as you want!

koi ponds okc

You can have a Koi Tunnel added for your finned friends protection, or maybe you’ll add an extra stream to add more waterfalls to your koi pond. Adding a bog pond skimmer, makes weekly pond maintenance easier.  Or even add a Pondless Waterfall or Bubbler Rock in another part of your yard, the possibilities for growing your water feature are almost infinite.

koi pond okc

koi ponds okla

Another option is to add underwater lighting to your Koi pond. Our new LED color changing lights are truly fun!  You can control the colors, fade speed, and even flashing effects with the remote control.

garden pond lighting

 

The underwater lights can be set to remain on one color (such as white) or fade from one color to another. This lighting effect can be enhanced even more by having us install an additional brain unit so that you can run two different colors at once.

Think Blue and Orange during Thunder season, Red & White if you are on OU fan or Orange and White for OSU. Multiple colors can be used to create a festive feel during the holidays too. Red & Green at Christmas or Blue and Red for the Fourth of July. The possibilities are endless and oh so fun!

koi ponds edmond

koi ponds

Changing up your aquatic plant selection is a great way to change your koi pond ever so slightly. Night blooming water lilies are a unique koi pond addition because they only bloom at night. How amazing is that? We carry a huge selection of aquatic pond plants that will thrive during our Oklahoma pond season. Most of the aquatic plants we carry offer beautiful blooms of color that will enhance any koi pond.

A pond bridge or stepping stone bridge is another perfect addition. These picture perfect additions to your koi pond are irresistible and make your koi pond that much more inviting.

Right now – when your thoughts, ideas, and mental plans for your dream water garden and koi pond are still fresh in your mind – is the time to act. Hopefully you’re well on your way to dreaming of enhancing your own personal paradise.  The possibilities are limitless and you can always grow and expand with each addition you make.

Read more articles about KOI:
KOI The Perfect Pet
KOI Pond Maintenance

Providing Pond Services in Oklahoma City, Norman, Moore, Nichols Hills, Edmond, Yukon, Shawnee, Newcastle, Mustang, Bethany and Surrounding Areas

Koi Ponds, Never a Boring Hobby 2018-10-23T16:36:42+00:00

Oklahoma Garden Ponds

Garden Ponds in Oklahoma

oklahoma ponds

Ponds or water gardens in Oklahoma can present great rewards as well as unique challenges. Ponds in Oklahoma experience all four seasons.  Each season can require different pond maintenance techniques.

Spring tends to really kick off the start of the year for Oklahoma. This is the time of year that we can experience vast temperature swings. One day its 80 degrees and the next it will be 55 degrees. Nighttime lows can vary from 32 degrees to 60 degrees. These temperature variations can wreak havoc on your pond filtration systems.

During warm days your pond filtration system is trying to come alive and establish its eco system. Your garden pond works best when your Garden Ponds Unlimited biological pond filtration is thriving with beneficial bacteria. These bacteria can only mature and stay alive during warmer temperatures. It’s essential that you add our S.A.T. to your pond at least a couple of times per week in order to help boost the eco system. Koi ponds that you feel require too much of your time to maintain can be cared for by our professional pond maintenance crew.

Koi Pond Maintenance

Koi pond maintenance in OKC is a koi pond service that we offer all year long. Pond maintenance OKC can be done on a weekly pond maintenance or a monthly pond maintenance basis.  Our weekly pond service or monthly pond service includes all of the pond chemicals that your Oklahoma water garden will require. We also feed your koi while we are there.

Learn more about our pond maintenance services >>

Spring Garden Ponds

Spring also can be extremely hard on your Koi fish in Oklahoma koi ponds. Koi have a natural slime coat that acts as a protective armor to keep them from becoming victim to parasites and diseases. This slime coat can diminish during stressful temperature swings. Adding Garden Ponds Unlimited dechlorinator and our S.A.T. will help increase their slime coats and give them some added protection.

Summer Garden Ponds

Fall Oklahoma PondsSummer months get very hot and ponds in Oklahoma need to have more aeration than koi ponds in other parts of the country. Proper pond aeration is key to combating poor pond water quality and ensuring koi fish longevity. Without a large enough pond pump your pond will require additional pond maintenance. Your ponds water should be sent through your pond filtration system at least twice per hour for proper pond aeration. This will ensure your ponds filtration (if adequate) will have plenty of oxygen and that your koi pond stays as cool as possible. Fish pools and Koi pools are just another name for a water garden but require all of the same parameters. If your fish pool wasn’t built by Garden Ponds Unlimited, give us a call. It’s never too late to have a professional waterfall builder and OKC landscaper that specializes solely in ponds correct your improper pond.

Fall Garden Ponds

Fall brings the changing of leaves, and eventually the falling of leaves. Ponds in Oklahoma should have a protective pond netting or pond cover installed over the koi pond prior to leaves falling. Pond leaf nets will help to keep leaves from entering your fish pond where they can decay and negatively impact your fish pool water quality. Poor pond water quality increases you pond maintenance.

Fall is also the time to start feeding you koi our spring and fall wheat germ fish food. Garden ponds that you feel require too much of your time to maintain can be cared for by our professional pond maintenance crew.  Koi pond maintenance in OKC is a koi pond service that we offer all year long. Pond maintenance OKC can be done on a weekly pond maintenance or a monthly pond maintenance basis.

Winter Garden Ponds

Winter is the most dormant time for your fish pool. Winter is when we recommend having your pond cleaned. Pond cleaning should be done every year. Fish pond cleaning is best during the winter months because your pond filtration system isn’t alive in the winter. By cleaning your koi pool during winter, you do not disturb any beneficial pond bacteria because there isn’t any. It’s also the least stressful time on your koi fish. You should also stop feeding your koi fish at the onset of winter.

Winter Oklahoma PondsKoi pond services like our professional fish pond cleaning are a great way to rid your fish pool of any leaves that may have gotten past your pond netting. This is also the time that Garden Ponds Unlimited OKC pond cleaning crew will clean your biological pond filter, pond skimmer and make any other pond repairs needed. Fish pools should not be ignored in the winter. Ponds in Oklahoma can be beautiful during a snowy day with the waterfalls mimicking a mountain stream. Be sure to have your koi pond service and pond cleaning done before the holidays so that it is ready for your holiday guests. As always, we even offer our weekly pond maintenance and monthly pond maintenance service during the winter. Koi ponds in other parts of the country are usually completely shut down in the winter. Not our koi ponds. We can enjoy our fish pools all year long.

Oklahoma Garden Ponds 2019-09-12T18:26:55+00:00

The Psychological Benefits of Waterfalls

For hundreds of years, water has been used for mental and physical treatments. Monks used water to help meditate.

In addition to the physiological benefits of water (like reducing muscle tension and joint stress, staying hydrated, and keeping skin moisturized, hair shiny, etc.), there are interesting psychological benefits.

According to scientific studies, negative ions increase the flow of oxygen to the brain which improves mood and reduces stress and anxiety. The sound of running water also aids in diminishing depression, increased mental clarity, greater emotional stability and an overall sense of well-being.

Water sounds have long been used in meditation to create a soothing atmosphere for our minds. Science suggests that the sound of running water can affect the rhythm of the neuronal “waves” in our brain, encouraging a more peaceful pace of thought.

Some scientists refer to the sounds of water as “white noise,” in which we can hear any number of things and we are able to let go of our thoughts and let the noise wash over us. In listening to these sounds during meditation, we learn how to be present in the moment and directly experience things as they are instead of getting lost in rumination.

One of the psychological effects we’re most aware of when we’re by the sea, lakes, or waterfalls is a feeling of awe. There’s just something about the beauty and vastness of a natural scene that has a profound impact on the way we feel. Science has even found that such feelings can lead to prosocial behavior like altruism, loving kindness, and magnanimity.

Some studies have even found that awe leads to greater life satisfaction. It fosters a sense that time is plentiful, and people donate more of theirs to charity while valuing experiences over possessions.

So, add more peace into your life by having us install a water feature for you and your family and have  the health benefits of having a water feature in your back yard.

The Psychological Benefits of Waterfalls 2019-06-26T20:18:20+00:00

Why have a reef tank if there are no more real reefs?

Aquacultured SpecimensSave the reefs and buy 100% aquacultured coral and captive bred fish when available. Stop taking from the oceans. We at Garden Ponds and Aquariums Unlimited believe in only purchasing aquacultured corals. Whenever we have the opportunity to choose captive bred fishes over wild caught, we buy captive bred. This is better for our oceans and better for our customers.

A principal concern of many aquarists and Garden Ponds and Aquariums Unlimited is the state of the world’s environments and the possible impact our demanding hobby might have. Though no species has been “wiped out” by wild-collection on the reef, the use of boats, subsequent labor, non-human resources, nets, and other tools to get wild caught specimens to consumers isn’t without consequence. We believe the captive breeding of fish and aquacultured hard and soft corals reduces environmental destruction and is by definition a more easily controlled resource. The world’s reefs are dying at an alarming rate and our industry can play a big part in saving them.

Aquacultured Specimens

When you can, buy aquacultured specimens. This makes sense for you, your aquarium, and the environment. Captive breed fish and corals are hardier, disease-free, less antagonistic, more accepting of prepared foods, and generally far more likely to thrive in your aquarium.

Aquacultured Specimens

In time, our industry will be able to captive breed more varieties of fish. We have already begun to see the changes within the past few years. In the coming years we will find more and more aquacultured species becoming available as a viable alternative to wild-caught specimens. Who knows-you may well be responsible for contributing to this trend through your own efforts! Join Garden Ponds and Aquariums Unlimited in our quest to save the planet.

 

Garden Ponds and Aquariums Unlimited

310 SW 1st ST

Moore, OK 73160

www.gardenpondsunlimited.com

Why have a reef tank if there are no more real reefs? 2019-06-26T20:02:01+00:00

Which type of aquarium is best for me?

The natural beauty of a marine aquarium is highly desired and admired. But what is involved in properly setting up a saltwater aquarium? There are different types of saltwater setups, some are easier to maintain while others require more effort. Before you dive into saltwater aquariums, find out what differentiates these aquariums and why certain marine aquariums are more challenging than others.

FISH-ONLY MARINE AQUARIUMS

Saltwater aquariums can be grouped into three basic types – fish-only aquariums, fish-only-with-live-rock aquariums, and reef aquariums. Among these three types, the most basic marine setup is the fish-only (FO) aquarium.

Fish-only aquariums, as their name implies, are designed to house and showcase marine fish. Since the fish are the center of attention, FO aquariums are sparsely decorated, often with coral skeletons or coral replicas. Like any aquarium setup, maintaining proper water parameters and employing efficient filtration is key. The availability of beautiful and hardy marine fish such as damselfish, yellow tangs, and captive-bred species adds to the success of FO aquariums. The fish-only aquarium is a great setup for the dedicated beginner interested in marine aquariums. This saltwater setup allows novice hobbyists to “get their feet wet” and become familiar with equipment, water parameters, fish, and the maintenance of marine aquariums.

FOWLR AQUARIUMS (Fish-only-with-live-rock)

Fish-only-with-live-rock (FOWLR) aquariums can be described as a blend or a stepping stone that bridges FO aquariums and reef aquariums. While marine fish are still the focus of FOWLR aquariums, basic elements of the reef aquarium are introduced – most notably, live rock. Live rock is fragmented pieces of old coral reefs naturally colonized by a variety of marine life including invertebrates, sponges, and millions of beneficial nitrifying bacteria. This rock, teeming with beneficial life, provides excellent supplemental filtration and helps maintain stable water parameters. Live rock adds a new dimension to the aesthetics and care to the basic marine aquarium. Special considerations for FOWLR setups include proper curing or acclimation of live rock, additional light or supplements to cultivate desirable coralline algae, and the restriction of many medications that harm beneficial life found in live rock.

REEF MARINE AQUARIUMS

The most challenging and expensive of the marine aquariums, reef aquariums are stocked primarily with corals and other invertebrates, with little or no fish. The corals and invertebrates are the stars of a reef aquarium. Since marine invertebrates are very sensitive to water conditions, water parameters must be monitored on a regular basis to maintain pristine conditions. Also, many corals are photosynthetic and require proper lighting to survive. The inhabitants of reef aquariums require special attention, so it is crucial to research lighting, water movement, supplementation, and other requirements.

Visit Garden Ponds and Aquariums Unlimited for all of your aquarium needs.

310 SW 1st St Moore, OK 73160      405-735-FISH (3474)

www.gardenpondsunlimited.com

Which type of aquarium is best for me? 2018-10-23T16:36:48+00:00

When Should I Get A Clean Out?

Should you get a clean out? The best time to have your pond cleaned out is during the fall/winter. Getting a pond clean out during the warmer months has many headaches alongside of it. The biological bacteria in your pond is already mature and thriving.  So, a clean out will kill all the good bacteria you need to have a healthy, happy, clear pond.  When you kill that bacteria, your pond’s biological ecosystem is forced to start over again and causes algae blooms and sometimes green or murky water that can stress your fish. So, instead of getting a pond clean out during the warmer months and risking a ton of headache, getting a pond clean out during the fall/winter eliminates a majority of the problems.

Just like your koi during the colder temperatures, your pond goes dormant as well. The bacteria in your pond thrives in warmer weather, and it isn’t active during the fall/winter. So, you don’t run into pesky algae blooms or green or murky water.  Instead of going through two biological cycles, your pond only goes through its spring cycle.

Should you get a clean out?

Our spring clean out season tends to fill up very quickly. Signing up for a clean out in the fall/winter insures you a shorter waiting period and your pond will look great for the holidays. Contact Garden Ponds Unlimited at 405-794-3323 or visit our online Pond Clean Out Form

When Should I Get A Clean Out? 2019-06-26T19:59:44+00:00

Nightscaping, A Whole New Dimension of Enjoyment

Water features are stunning during the day, but when pond lighting is used to enhance evening views, you’ll find the landscape takes on a whole new dimension!  Tuck a spotlight behind a waterfall and the feature takes on a magical feel. Used in the main portion of a pond, you’ll enjoy watching fish dart in and out of the lights.

Nightscaping

As the sun begins to set, underwater pond lighting creates a magical mood in the landscape. Think of that vacation you experienced at the beach and the serene feeling you enjoyed watching the moon cast a glowing trail over the ocean’s surface.

When you add a waterfall or underwater lighting to your water garden, you extend your viewing pleasure well into the evening or night. You can add lights during the installation of your water feature, or add later during your pond clean out.

Nightscaping

Nightscaping

Although moonlight casts its own soft glow on your water feature, waterfall lighting shows the details of the rock and water.

It’s always a joy to watch fish swim in and out of lights. Be sure to incorporate LED lights which use approximately 80-90% less electricity and last 10 times longer than their halogen counterparts.

Be creative with your water garden lighting options and you’ll find you enjoy your water feature during the evening hours just as much as you appreciate it during the daytime. Plus, if you come home after dark, your water feature will be all lit up for you!

Visit Garden Ponds Unlimited at 310 SW 1st St Moore, OK 73160 and see our underwater pond lighting display.  www.gardenpondsunlimited.com

 

Nightscaping, A Whole New Dimension of Enjoyment 2019-06-26T20:19:11+00:00