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Pond and Water Garden Glossary

We love water gardening and if you are reading this page .. we guess that you love your pond or water garden, too.  Below is a list of terms that you may find useful as well as a few links to useful pond care products.

  • Acid rain: This is rain that has turned acidic as a result of the presence of sulfur or nitrogen oxides in the atmosphere. Acid rain can harm and even kill plants and aquatic life. 

  • Activated carbon: This product helps in absorbing impurities out of your water. Carbon typically has a short life span and should be replaced periodically in order to keep it from leaching these impurities back into the water. 

  • Alga: An aquatic single celled plant like organism. 

  • Algae bloom: An aquatic single celled plant like organism that grows quickly in warm water temperatures and high organics. 

  • Alkalinity: Determines the ability to maintain a constant pH in the pond; however, if the alkalinity is too low, the pH will drop to dangerous levels. Too high an alkalinity and the pH will also be high, making it more difficult to lower the alkaline levels.  PH Control for Ponds 

  • Antibiotic: This medication will slow the growth and eventually kill bacteria-like organisms found on your fish.

  • Antifungal: This medication will slow the growth and eventually kill fungi. 

  • Aquatic plants: Plant life species that reproduce in water, which can be kept submersed in a pot with soil, or simply floating. 

  • Bog: This is an area that allows certain species of plants to live in a marsh or swamp like environment, where there is little to no drainage. 

  • Bacteria: These tiny organisms are microscopic and acquire their nutrients from dead organisms. 

  • Barrel Pond: Biological filtration: These filters contain a medium that allow for good nitrogen consuming bacteria. 

  • Carbon dioxide: This gas is both odorless and colorless, and is formed by all organisms during respiration. This gas is used by pond plants, during the process of photosynthesis. This is useful for plants at a level of 15 – 30 ppm; however, it is dangerous to fish above 40ppm.  

  • Chloramines: This is a combination of chlorine and ammonia which help to destroy harmful bacteria and organisms in drinking water. Although not harmful to humans, these chemicals can be deadly to your fish.  Chloramine Removers & Dechlorinators

  • Chlorine: This chemical helps to destroy harmful bacteria and organisms in drinking water. Although not harmful to humans, these chemicals can be deadly to your fish. 

  • Chlorophyll: This green color in plant cells is important to the process of photosynthesis. 

  • Crustacean: Aquatic animals such as: crayfish, shrimp, crabs, and lobsters have an exoskeleton and jointed legs. 

  • Dorsal fin: This fin is located at the top of the fish. Evaporation: Is the process in which a liquid is altered to a vapor state. 

  • Filters: These units are intended to help aid, in keeping your ponds water clean and clear. 

  • Fry: Is the name given to young fish of various species. 

  • Gills: Gills allow fish to breath under water and is located on the side of the fish’s head hidden by the gill flap. The gills consist of filaments that resemble feathers. 

  • GPM: Is a unit that calculates water flow and refers to gallons per minute. 

  • Green water algae: This algae is single celled and will turn the pond water cloudy and green. 

  • Hair algae: This type of algae is quick growing and is commonly seen growing along the sides of your pond and around the waterfall of your pond.  

  • Heavy metals: These metal elements can harm fish at low concentrations; therefore, neutralize your tap or well water. 

  • Koi: These Japanese carp vary in size, shape, and color and are popular for large ornamental ponds. 

  • Lateral lines: This consists of a series of small openings, which are located alongside the fish, enabling them to sense vibrations in the water. 

  • Organic matter: Is the excessive matter left behind due to fish waste, uneaten foods, and decaying plants. 

  • Oxygen: This odorless, tasteless, colorless gas supports life. 

  • Pathogens: This refers to any agent that causes diseases such as bacterium, virus, protozoan, or fungus. 

  • Pectoral fins: These fins are located at the sides of the fish near the head region. 

  • Pelvic fins: These fins are located near the lower portion of the fish’s body near the head region. 

  • pH: The pH is the measure of acidity or alkalinity in water. A pH reading of 7.0 is neutral, pH lower than 7.0 is acid, pH higher than 7.0 is alkaline. 

  • Protozoan: This refers to small free swimming organisms, which are found in pond water. 

  • Sediment: Are the organic materials that are deposited by wind and water. 

  • Silt: These particles at the bottom of your pond, are smaller than sand, but bigger than clay. 

  • Slime coat: The slime coat is extremely important to a fish, because it helps defend them against an attack of bacteria or fungus. 

  • Soft water: This type of water contains extremely low concentrations of calcium, magnesium, or calcium.

  • Ultraviolet Sterilizer: This Ultra Violet Light Unit destroys suspended algae spores, bacteria, and other microscopic organisms.  

  • Vent: This is the bottom area where a fish passes waste. 

  • Water quality: This is a phrase that typically is used to express the chemical, physical, and biological state of your ponds water, usually in respect to its suitability for the fish and plants in this particular environment.

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