by Bonny Styles
In a small pool, proper living conditions for the creatures and plants in it can be obtained only with the help of technical equipment like filters and air and water pumps.
If you relied solely on nature, animals and plants would soon perish. For larger pools, where Goldfish, Kois, or Ducks live, technical devices are useful, too, and often indispensable.
There are two things you must always watch out for:
1. The pool water must have plenty of oxygen. Moving water, air pumps, and oxygenating plants will provide oxygen.
2. The pool must never accumulate too much decaying organic matter. Efficient filtering is therefore important. You can buy special pool filters or set up a stream. A stream is the most natural way to filter and aerate the water.
The Water Pump: A water pump is essential for emptying the pool and changing the water and for moving water over waterfalls and through fountains. It is also useful for circulating water within a pool thus helping to aerate it.
There are a vast number of different pumps, and a buyer without technical know-how will have to rely on advice from knowledgeable sales personnel at a garden center or aquarium store when buying a pump.
Be aware that it has to say specifically on the pump that it is suitable for use in water. It also has to be UL approved. Generally, a water pump should be checked and cleaned once a year (take it to the manufacturer’s service center or to the store where you bought it). Find out when you purchase the pump how often it should be brought in for maintenance (once a year is advisable).
The Air Pump: Usually a diaphragm air pump is used; it is very useful both in summer and winter for aerating the water. Attach an air stone to the end of the air hose that is in the water. You can get different types of air stones at aquarium stores or garden supply centers.
Important to Know: Normal air pumps should be hung only in a dry place, preferably inside the house. Run the air hose to the pool through a PVC pipe. Pumps with splash-proof housings and so-called garden-pool aerators can be set up outdoors.
Purchase your pump from a store with well-qualified help and inquire how the air pump should be used and maintained.
The Filter: You can buy special garden-pool filters that include circulating pumps. These filters are easy to run and use up very little electricity. All that is required in the line of maintenance is an occasional cleaning or changing of the filter material.
Devices Required for Overwintering: Where winter temperature may remain below freezing, it is often necessary to create an ice-free area in the pond. Practical devices available for this purpose include deicers, which can be constructed of styrofoam (with or without an air pump), and so-called pool heaters.