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FAQs

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Design Consultation Services

What services can Aquarius Supply provide?

We have the resources to assist you in completing a landscape job from initial concept to final installation. A representative will work with you from your initial meeting through the final walk-through of your project. Our skilled experts will ensure that all phases of your project are well coordinated and of consistent quality.

What are the benefits of this service?

Aquarius Supply can refer you to a contractor best suiting your needs. We can also more effectively communicate your installation intentions and provide product recommendations based on budget and desired results. 

Stormwater Management (Rainwater Harvesting)

How is rainwater harvesting used for stormwater management?

With the urbanization of the landscape the volumes of pavement great volumes of stormwater runoff occur during regular rain events. Stormwater capture and reuse through rainwater harvesting greatly reduces runoff roof shed and in some cases eliminate runoff altogether.

What size and shape of storage tanks are available?

Storage tanks are available for above grade and below grade use. Sizes range from just a few gallons, to rain barrels to larger 30,000 gallon tanks and everything in between. Shapes can be made to work with your lot sizes and dimensions for irregular needs as well.

What other components will I need?

Any good system will require inspection and cleanout ports to ensure proper function. You will also need pre filtration to keep organics and sediment out of the storage tanks. Geotextiles, clean sand or stone backfill. Float switches, pumps and control units and a city water switch over valve may also be needed for your configuration.

How can I use the water?

You can use the water to irrigate landscaping, for urinals, and toilets, agriculture, and more. Note, some areas require dye to be added prior to using for urinals and toilet flush.

Is it safe to drive over these systems?

Most systems can be incorporated into a comprehensive plan and achieve an H 20 load rating plus. (80,000 pound trucks). However, not all systems can be used in all applications.

Stormwater Management (Infiltration)

Why is stormwater infiltration important?

With the urbanization of the landscape the volumes of pavement great volumes of stormwater runoff occur during regular rain events. Stormwater Infiltration helps to minimize runoff and in some cases eliminate runoff altogether. Some municipalities have a dual use sewer and stormwater system and during large storms the treatment systems overload and raw sewage, waste, and street borne hydrocarbons are poured directly into our river systems. Many areas have now adopted an “MS-4 Designation” which is a serious commitment to reducing these discharges to our watersheds.

What is the first line of reduction?

A first line reduction for stormwater runoff and infiltration is a Porous, Pervious, Permeable pavement in lieu of traditional paving methods.

What goes underneath the porous pavement?

Typically well graded clean stone goes directly beneath the paving surface. The stone works to provide storage for the inflow of water plus it can be effective media for cleaning some of the contaminants at the same time.

Can I store additional water underneath?

Sure, there are many chambers, cubes, tank systems to increase detention quantity and time after a storm for volumes of stormwater.

Is it safe to drive over these systems?

Most systems can be incorporated into a comprehensive plan and achieve an H 20 load rating plus. (80,000 pound trucks). However, not all systems can be used in all applications.

How do I clean the pavement and keep it serviceable?

The best way to do this is to keep organic items such as leaves, twigs, etc. clear from the surface through routine care. If something should get ground into the surface simple vacuuming with a shop vacuum will clean small areas, or a vacuum truck may be used for larger areas.

If I don’t have porous paving can I help clean stormwater and reduce contaminants from my watershed?

Yes, Aquarius Supply stocks and sells into the marketplace Inlet filtration which fit directly beneath storm drain grates at the street level. These devices are easy to install service and meet MS-4 requirements. We can also help with a Bio-swale BMP (Best Management Practice) in conjunction with an inlet and filter for infiltration purposes.

Stormwater Management (EPIC)

What is EPIC?

The EPIC System is an Environmentally Passive Integrated Chamber System. EPIC is engineering to provide drainage, capillary rise irrigation, and stormwater capture and reuse all in one system.

How does EPIC work?

EPIC works through a minimal engineered sand/soil profile as the infiltration and growth media. Beneath which is the EPDM Base layer, geotextile component, EPIC Chambers, pvc pipe and other components. When water infiltrates to the base EPDM it is moved to underground storage for future reuse of the water.

How do I know if EPIC is right for my project?

EPIC isn’t for everyone, but we can help to determine if EPIC is right for you, or if we have a more cost effective solution to meet your needs.

Is EPIC for residential or commercial use?

EPIC may be used for residential and commercial use.

Can I drive on an EPIC area?

Yes, with inclusion of the Netlon ATS into the engineered soil we can support up to a firetruck loading requirement.

What are the benefits of EPIC for sports turf fields?

EPIC systems under sports turf use up to 80 percent less water to grow lush turf. Turf will rebound after hard play quickly with the enhanced root system. Competitors will have less injury playing on real turf vs artificial turf. Plus with inclusion of the Netlon ATS on a sports field the field can also be used for overflow parking if needed.

Stormwater Management (Capture & Reuse)

What is BMP 6.5.2?

BMP 6.5.2 is a Stormwater Best Management Practice described as “Capture and Reuse”. At Aquarius Supply we are primarily involved in the engineering of systems where we capture stormwater runoff and then use this water for irrigation. Because of the karst formations in Pennsylvania we have a high level of sinkholes (http://dcnr.state.pa.us/topogeo/hazards/sinkholes/index.htm)

Therefore it is detrimental to install catch basins that only concentrate infiltration in one area causing erosion of the karst and creating sinkholes.

Using proper irrigation techniques to accomplish 6.5.2 capture and Reuse we slowly introduce water all over the property as naturally occurring rain would to help introduce a wide spread natural infiltration rate.

What is the design process for a BMP 6.5.2 Capture and Reuse System?

The NOI Application Checklist is quite substantial (http://www.lehighconservation.org/Water-Quality/NPDES-Permit-Forms-Documents) Once the design engineer establishes that 6.5.2 is the correct option it is quite a straightforward process. The gallons/cubic feet of water captured is calculated. Then the square footage of pervious surface to be irrigated is noted on a base plan as well as the time in which the governing body wishes the water is to be disbursed before another possible rain event, usually 6 days.

  • Then we design the appropriate size underground storage solution, pumping system and irrigation spray field design and watering schedule.

How long does it take to get a 6.5.2 Spray Irrigation Design Completed?

Once we are given all the proper data the design process usually takes 7-10 days depending on the complexity and our current workload. This is a basic checklist of the items we will need:

  • Landscape CAD file for the site with “irrigated area” spelled out.
  • Desired location for underground storage cistern.
  • Engineer calculations for storage demands.
  • DEP requirement for distribution days.
  • Do you want irrigation system to operate on city water during dry periods to keep the landscape lush? If yes:
    • Water source, service line size and water pressure.

What is the best choice for an underground Cistern?

There are many choices available in underground Cisterns. The unfortunate reality is there is no easy and inexpensive way to store water underground. Our goal is to always value engineer our projects making our services valuable and desirable to our clients. Here are a few of our preferred methods:

Root Protection

What is root protection?

Root protection is made of engineered HDPE panels, LDPE or PVC sheeting, or geotextile.

How does root protection work?

Root Protection is installed around Trees to contain the root ball within a determined area based on tree species.

What effect does root protection have on my plantings?

The HDPE, LDPE and PVC may cause root balling near the panel perimeter over time, but are generally harmless to the plantings. The Typar Biobarrier creates a no grow zone without any root balling.

How do I know which root protection is right for my project?

In order to determine the most cost effective and long term return on your investment we need to know your plant species, landscape plan, and general use of the area.

What are the benefits for a contractor to use root protection?

When utilized properly Root protection will protect your underground utilities, septic systems, hardscaping, curbing, or whatever structure you install it near. Some hardscape contractors are offering a longer warranty with use of the Biobarrier product.

Residential Drainage

Porous Pavement

What is Porous Pave?

Porous Pave is a revolutionary product consisting of recycled tire rubber, stone, and moisture cured urethane binder.

Are there different types of Porous Pave?

There are 2 types of Porous Pave; XL consisting of rubber, stone and binder, is meant to for structural uses. Porous Pave XLS is a soft rubber and binder only system meant for play areas.

How long has Porous Pave been on the market?

Porous Pave rubber product has been on the market for over 15 years now with sales growing annually.

How is Porous Pave packaged?

Rubber and Stone are packaged in individual 50 pound bags and the binder comes in 5 gallon pails and product is mixed on site.

What benefits does Porous Pave offer?

One of Porous Pave’s biggest features is its highly porous structure. Porous Pave allows large amounts of water to drain through it, thereby minimizing the amount of volume directed to storm drains, basins and other areas of drainagePorous Pave XL offers many benefits from a roughly 6,000 Gallon per hour per square foot installed, eliminating runoff when used. Filtration of the water through the material and stone base also occurs. Plus it is a non- slip rubber surfacing with no standing water in low lying areas. Click here for more!

Are there any other uses for Porous Pave?

Porous Pave XL can be installed directly over old asphalt, concrete, wood decking, metal ramps, etc. This provides a safe, non-slip surface and gives a rejuvenated look. Water will drain through to the edges with proper pitch.

Outdoor Living

Landscape Tools

Landscape Lighting

What elements need to be lit in a landscape?

This question can only be answered when you determine the overall effect you want. What mood are you looking for? What function will the light serve? Think about the light’s function and then walk around your property and choose focal points. Do you have a beautiful garden? Elegant fountain? Whatever elements jump out at you; this is your starting point. Remember also to consider safety lighting on walkways, steps and driveways.

Why is low-voltage lighting preferred?

Low-voltage lighting works well in residential lighting environments and holds a safe 12V of electricity. Your current electrical capacity is 120V which poses a risk to the people living inside the home during inclement weather conditions. Aside from safety concerns, low-voltage lights are more efficient, saving you money, and the bulbs last long without needing much maintenance. Installation is also much easier.

What type of lighting techniques should be used?

There are hundreds of lighting techniques, but for the sake of simplicity, you only need to concern yourself with a few. Uplighting and downlighting refers to the direction of the light. For example, with downlighting place a fixture in an elevated location and point it downward to illuminate the area beneath it. These techniques add a soft, beautiful glow to any landscape design.

Flood and spot lights emit a bright glow to featured objects. Use these techniques sparingly and in key locations. Shadow lighting illuminates a surface in front of another surface. By lighting the front object, you cast a shadow on the object behind it. Path lighting illuminates paths and walkways for elegance and safety

How do I plan my landscape design?

It is recommended to consult with a professional for this step. A landscape designer will study the layout of your property and the issues you may face in the process of executing your design.

If you are flying “solo”, sketch the property and include all the features you want to illuminate. Pay close attention to the power consoles and their locations. Draw a line from the fixtures to the consoles to display the cables. The process can get complicated around walkways, steps and driveways. If you feel uncomfortable, opt to speak to a professional or consider using solar lighting fixtures.

The landscape lighting design process can be difficult for novices. If you have any more questions, research the process in detail before you begin or hire a professional to design and install the lighting. Beginners may come across property issues they are not skilled enough to fix and cause unnecessary future damage.

Lake & Pond

Irrigation

How do I determine water capacity and working pressure?

Note: This test only works for water systems that are serviced by a municipal water service.

  • Locate the outside faucet closest to the main line, or a utility sink and for best results you can install your irrigation plumbing tie in. (We will call this T “Tie-in”).
  • Locate another faucet on your house and attach a pressure gauge (We will call this G “Gauge”).
  • With faucet T completely open, check the pressure reading on the gauge at faucet G. If it is less than working pressure, turn down the water flow from faucet T until the reading reaches the working pressure your system requires (for example if you want to run your rotary heads at 35PSI and you will loose 12PSI in your plumbing and piping system you will require 47PSI at G).  If it is greater than the working pressure, record the pressure reading and go to next step.
  • Place a five-gallon bucket under faucet T and time how long it takes to fill it with water. This test tells you how much water available, measured in gallons per minute (GPM). 

Double check your GPM using the following formula:

60 seconds / time to fill the bucket x 5 (bucket size) = _____ GPM

Enter your findings from the test here: ________ PSI ________ GPM

  • This is how much water is available at the designated working pressure or at the higher reading that you recorded.
  • Before you go any further, it is important to make sure you are starting off with the right flow and pressure information.  You may be getting a higher flow then the hydraulic system of the house is designed to handle. Therefore taking a few minutes now may save you countless headaches later! 

How do I determine design capacity?

Now that you’ve recorded your home’s water capacity, let’s make sure your water meter and service line can handle it.  Complete the next steps determine your actual system design capacity.

Flow Rates for Water Meters

Meter Size          Max. GPM

5/8”                     10

3/4”                     15

 1”                        25

  • Water Meter Size                             

______ = ______ Max. GPM

Water meter size is stamped or printed on the face of the meter, or shown on your water bill

  • Service Line Type/Size

_________ = ______ Max. GPM

  •  Type & Size
    • Flow Rates for Service Lines and Sprinkler Lines

Maximum Recommended Flow

Pipe Type

Pipe Size

Maximum GPM

PVC (Plastic)

 

 

Consider using 1" Schedule 40 PVC pipe upstream of zone valves

1" Schedule 40

13

 

3/4" Schedule 40

7.9

and at least 3/4" Class 200 PVC (SDR21) pipe downstream of zone valves

1" Class 200

16.7

 

3/4" Class 200

10.1

Galvanized

3/4" Galvanized Pipe

8.3

 

1" Galvanized Pipe

13.5

Copper(Service Line)

3/4" Copper Tube

6.8

 

1" Copper Tube

12.1

Polyethylene (Poly Pipe)

 

 

In freezing areas poly pipe may be used downstream of zone valves

3/4" Poly Pipe

8

1" Poly Pipe

13

  •  Enter the Lower GPM From Steps 1 or 2

______Max. GPM (this is your design capacity) 

  • Example:

Water Meter Size | Service Line Type/Size |Enter the Lower GPM

1” = 25 GPM | 1” Schedule 40 PVC = 13 GPM         

13 GPM = design capacity

Note:  It is recommended to use only 80% of the design capacity to allow for future household water consumption demand for domestic purposes 

What are some electrical troubleshooting ideas?

Foolproof Irrigation System Electrical Troubleshooting

To properly troubleshoot a 24VAC irrigation controller you must own a digital volt/ohm meter. Aquarius sells a very nice digital meter which can also be used for landscape lighting manufactured by Cast Lighting Item #CMETER.

With this tool you will use the VOLTAGE setting to test the controller output and the OHM setting to diagnose the field wiring. ALWAYS troubleshoot in this order: (1) Controller, (2) Field Wiring, (3) Solenoid.

Before you start diagnosing the situation regarding a field visit because either valves are not turning on, fuses blowing or the like, you must first eliminate the obvious; is there water to the system? Is the controller plugged in? Are the valves in question even programmed to run? When this is verified follow these steps to solve the problem.

  • Controller:
    1. Check the outlet the controller is plugged into for voltage, it should be around 110-130VAC.
    2. Now turn on a few valves and read the voltage on the terminal strip (valve outputs) this should be between 23-28VAC. If it is not check the output side of the transformer. If this does not read between 23-28VAC you have a failed transformer. Replace the transformer or the entire controller. If the transformer has the proper voltage but the zone output terminals do not you will definitely need to replace the controller.
    3. In this scenario we were lucky. However, you must still complete the next steps to properly diagnose the system and prevent another controller from being burnt out.
  • Field Wires:
    1. Now our goal is to ohm out the field wires and attached solenoids to see if they are working properly.
    2. With the controller turned off and your meter set to Ohms, attach one lead of the meter to the common terminal and the other to the zone wire. There are three types of problems that could be occurring; a short, broken wire or a bad splice. A normal reading should be between 20-60 ohms.
      1. Short: A short is a “shortcut” of the current back to the controller. This will read between 1-10 Ohms.
      2. Broken Wire: With this type of problem the current from the meter has no way of returning back to the meter because of the break. This will lead to an “infinity” reading, OL for “Open Loop” or 1000k depending on the meter. The meter may display a “k” for thousands or an “m” for millions.
  • Bad Splice:
    • With a bad splice the current from your meter is making it through the circuit and returning to the meter, but with so much resistance that the valve cannot operate. This is a typical culprit of “valve chatter”. A typical reading for a bad splice is higher than normal but lower than a broken wire. If you remember a normal reading is between 20-60 ohms. Therefore with a bad splice you would expect around 70-150 ohms.
  • Solenoids:
    1. At this point you have diagnosed each and every zone on the controller and taken notes. Now it is time to go out to the valves and check all of the solenoids on the problem runs to diagnose whether any of those solenoids have gone bad and contributed to any of the abnormal readings. You will need to cut the solenoid wire off at the splice and check your ohm reading on the solenoid only. You may find solenoids that have shorted out and lead to the low ohm readings. Replace those solenoids. Other solenoids may test well and this will tell you that you have problems with your field wiring and need to look for breaks or bad splices. Aquarius has various test instruments you can use to track down those wires without the need to run a new wire. Please consult an Aquarius associate for help.

How do I fit and install a gasket?

How do I calculate friction loss with poly pipe?

How do I calculate friction loss with PVC pipe?

What is Schedule 40 (SCH40) PVC pipe friction loss?

How do I calculate water meter friction loss and wire sizing?

How do I calculate friction loss through standard plumbing valves and fittings?

Fittings adversely effect the friction loss through a piping system. However, often less then a person may assume. With these two charts you can calculate the approximate amount of friction loss for a fitting by determining the approximate feet of pipe a fitting is equivalent too. Add up the total Base Footage for all your suspect fittings from chart (1), Multiply by the "Multiplying Factors to Convert Base Footage Equivalents to Footage Equivalents for Specific Pipe" Chart 2, and then look at a friction loss chart for the particular type of pipe and use that to determine the actual friction loss of those components
CHART 1 Base Footage Equivalent
Fitting Type Nominal Pipe Size: Inches
.5 (1/2) .75 (3/4) 1 1.25 (1-1/4) 1.5 (1-1/2) 2 2.5 (2-1/2) 3 4 6 8 10 12
Base Footage Equivalent: Numbers below are the "Base Footage Equivalents" of pipe for each of the fittings. Make sure you use the multiplier in CHART 2 below to convert this figure to the actual footage equivalent for the type of pipe you are using.
Gate valve 0.7 0.9 1.1 1.5 1.7 2.2 2.7 3.3 4.4 6.6 8.6 10.9 12.9
Spring Check valve 7 9.3 11.8 15.5 18.1 23.3 27.8 34.5 45.3 68.2 89.8 112.7 134.3
90 Deg Ell 1.6 2.1 2.6 3.5 4 5.2 6.2 7.7 10.1 15.2 20 25.1 29.9
45 Deg Ell 0.8 1.1 1.4 1.8 2.2 2.8 3.3 4.1 5.4 8.1 10.6 13.4 15.9
Run of Straight Tee 1 1.4 1.8 2.3 2.7 3.5 4.1 5.1 6.7 10.1 13.3 16.7 19.9
Branch of Straight Tee 3.1 4.1 5.3 6.9 8.1 10.3 12.4 15.3 20.1 30.3 39.9 50.1 59.7
Reducing Bushing 1 Size na 1.6 1.5 2.5 1.7 3.5 1.7 4 8.1 32.1 19.8 15.2 10.4
Reducing Bushing 2 Size na na 7.7 10.5 7.8 8.9 12.4 13.6 32.5 123.2 175.2 102.1 68.3
Increasing Bushing 1 Size 0.4 0.5 0.7 0.3 1 0.7 1.4 2.2 5.5 5.2 5 4.4 na
Increasing Bushing 2 Size 0.7 1.2 1.3 1.6 2.1 2.6 4.2 7.5 10.5 12.2 12.1 na na
                           
CHART 2 Multiplying Factors to Convert Base Footage Equivalents to Footage Equivalents for Specific Pipes
Kind of Pipe Nominal Pipe Size: Inches
.5 (1/2) .75 (3/4) 1 1.25 (1-1/4) 1.5 (1-1/2) 2 2.5 (2-1/2) 3 4 6 8 10 12
Multiply Base Footage Equivalent by these Multiplying Factors to calculate your actual footage to be used with a friction loss chart to calculate actual friction loss.
SDR11 1.42 na na na na na na na na na na na na
SDR21 na 1.84 1.92 1.61 1.48 1.31 1.41 1.28 1.16 1.04 0.99 0.95 0.93
SCH40 0.97 1.01 1.03 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.08 1.09 1.1 1.11 1.11 1.11 1.11
Controlled ID Poly Pipe 1 1 1 1 1 1 na na na na na na na
                           
EXAMPLE: A pond project using 6" SDR21 @ 400GPM with (5) 6" 90's and (4) 6" 45's. (5) 90's (5 x 15.2) = 76 Base Footage, (4) 45's (4 x 8.1) = 32.4 Base Footage. A total of (76 + 32.4) 108.4 Base Footage. 108.4 x Multiplying Factor of 1.04 = 112.74 actual feet of pipe. At 400 GPM the friction loss through 6" SDR21 is .46PSI per 100'. 112.74 / 100' = 1.128 (100' lengths) x .46 = .519 PSI loss through the fittings.
                           
                           
                           

Geotextiles

Garden Ponds

How do I decide where to install a new pond?

Take a good look at the available area and make sure that the location of the pond can be enjoyed from any decks and windows. Pull out the garden hose and create the pond's shape right on the lawn. Experiment with it for a few days and observe how both the sun and slope of the yard will effect the space you have chosen.

What do I need to keep in mind about ideal pond placement?

Plan the pond so that you can easily add a waterfall or a second pond in years to come. Most  pond keepers continue to improve and grow the size of their ponds from year to year.

  • A pond deeper than 18" is considered a pool in many municipalities. This will require the yard to be fenced.
  • Place the pond away from where run-off flows. Run-off could deliver fertilizers and other toxins to any fish.
  • Install a GFI outlet near the pond to avoid cords across the lawn and electrocution.

How deep does the pond need to be?

For fish, a deep spot is needed that is just below the frost line. This deep section only needs to be large enough to accomodate the fish and plants you keep in the pond in the winter. Contact local sources to determind the frost depth in the desired area.

What types of pond construction are there?

  • Preformed ponds come in a variety of shapes. They are extremely durable and less susceptible to tears and punctures. Preformed ponds are easy to install and clean, but require more skill to fit the hole in the ground with the shape of the pond. Also, when properly supported, preformed ponds are ideal for above-ground, indoor, and patio setups.
  • Pond liners are ideal for the more experienced water gardeners. They allow for easy and very forgiving installations, which consequently promotes greater creativity. Because you can create various shapes with pond liners, it is possible to construct larger, and deeper configurations (when compared to preformed ponds).
  • Skimmer (liner) pond kits are for the professional pond installers. The installation of a skimmer and a bio waterfall filter requires extra planning because additional external cavities need to be dug beside the pond. The installation of a skimmer also involves seaming the liner to the opening of the skimmer. Tubing considerations are paramount to proper skimmer and biofalls installation.
  • Concrete installations usually require a professional installation. Concrete is a medium that tends to crack as the ground freezes and thaws.

What about water runnoff?

  • The easiest way to avoid runnoff is to install the pond in a location that is not at the bottom of a slope or hill.
  • It is a good idea not to install the pond underneath any rain gutters - leaky eavestroughs may also prevent a rainwater runoff problem.
  • If you install the pond on sloping ground, insall run-off routes around the pond to help prevent rainwater and melting snow from getting into the pond.
  • Install the pond liner in a soil that is more clay-like than sand-like. Sandlike soil will move very easily when it is wet.

What is a typical backyard water garden composed of?

A typical Back Yard Water Garden consists of a Skimmer/Biological Waterfall Filter. These systems are usually 18-24” deep (Local Building Code dictates depth if there is not a fence around the feature) and various sizes from 5’x5’ to 30’x30’ and even larger. These systems rely on a biological waterfall for proper filtration and must be sized accordingly. These ponds are good for a small fish load. Aquarius has many “Kits” available to simplify your needs.

What is a no-pond water feature?

These systems consist of a waterfall terminating in a bed of river stone. They have become very popular in recent years. The benefits and sound of a waterfall without the maintenance associated with a pond. Aquarius has many kits available including the “FILTRIFIC” system which can only be described as the Cadillac of the industry with its innovative design.

What is a statuary fountain basin?

A Statuary fountain basin has become the latest trend in our industry. This is simply a basin that gets buried in the ground and holds water and then statuary is placed on it and a decorative stone covers the basin to hide the grate.

What is a Koi Pond?

Koi Ponds are for the fish enthusiasts. These ponds are typically designed to a depth of 4’ with steep sides without plant shelves to prevent water fowl from climbing in and eating prized fish. These ponds also consist of external pond filter, pump and UV Sterilizer with suction lines originating from a bottom drain or a combination of a bottom drain and a skimmer. The bottom drain helps facilitate the removal of fish waste and other debris. Although they may seem complicated the qualities of components have a long service life and make an easily maintained product.

Can you customize?

No body of water is beyond the design and engineering capabilities of Aquarius. Our goal is high quality value engineering in the design stage to minimize installed cost and more importantly the lowest cost of ownership. We usually gain the lowest cost of ownership by utilizing the highest efficiency pumps available. Our designs often may not look “pretty” in a CAD format but the end result is often ½ the expected cost with a better end product. Often the design of a “Bog Filter” is utilized for filtration if space is available. A Bog Filter uses a bed of gravel and plants with underwater piping to create a large biological filter.

What are the safety concerns?

Consult your local building department regarding the maximum depth allowed without a fence or the need for a fenced in area.  You may need to look at the likely foot travel routs within the property and provide adequate space to allow movement without the risk of falling in. Adequate lighting so the pond can be seen at night. Proximity of any electrical wiring or device that may fall into the pond (there are state and local codes governing the proximity of electrical devices to water features). You must also call 811 “National call before you dig”.

What are the aesthetics?

A well designed pond should look natural within the property. Take into account the viewing area and any natural elevations the pond can be incorporated in.

Are there environmental issues?

Ponds should not be placed in low lying areas that may be subject to flooding and possible contamination with pesticides, herbicides and animal waste. Also do not place under trees that tend to drop leaves, berries or blossoms that will increase the maintenance unnecessarily. The site should have 4-6 hours worth of sunlight each day. It is always best to dig in undisturbed soil to avoid settling.

Are there rules for incorporating fish?

The homeowner may say “No Fish” and later want fish. It is always best to “overbuild” and exceed expectations. You can never have enough filtration. A general rule for success for a water garden with a filtered pond with a skimmer and biological waterfall is approximately 3 to 4 inches of fish for every square foot of pond surface area. A Koi pond can handle a much larger fish load.

How should I size the pond?

When thinking of a pond size budget is usually the first concern. However, it is very often the case where a homeowner usually regrets installing too small of a water feature. When proposing a pond think bigger and better. You can always downsize the project. It is also not uncommon for a homeowner to have a small water feature replaced with a larger one as they evolve in their new hobby.

What size pump should be installed?

There are three primary concerns; the ecological stability of the body of water itself, the visual expectation of the homeowner as well as energy consumption.

  • The ecological stability of the body of water: As a general rule for Backyard Water Gardens we like to see the total volume of the pond turned over ½ - 1 times per hour.
  • The Visual Expectations of the Homeowner: Some people may want a trickle and some may desire “Niagara Falls”. It is important to ask what ones expectations are as you don’t want to disappoint. Common waterfall widths are 14, 16, 18, 24, 26 and 50” usually the one used is determined by the filtering requirements of the pond. Once a falls width is determined we recommend asking how thick of a column of water one desire coming over the falls. Usually ¼ - ½ of an inch over a perfectly level weir is adequate but 2” is not unheard of. It all comes down to ones choice. There is a formula below #5 to help you calculate your pump delivery needs.
  • Energy Consumption: We have eliminated all but the highest energy efficient pumps from our product offering as energy consumption is the single highest cost of ownership. For the people who desire “Niagara Falls” it is not uncommon to install two pumps and run one full time for ecological demands and run the other in “party mode” for the effect.

What type of pump should be installed?

Submersible pumps have been the overwhelming choice of pond pumps since the inception of the exploding pond market. This is primarily due to the ease of installation and a short learning curve. However the demands we ask of these pumps to run 24/7 is astronomical to say the least. Without exception this is the primary complaint and “Pain Point” for installers and homeowners. There is more insight as to why pumps fail in the “Why Pumps Fail” section below. The best option regarding pumps is the installation of External Pond Pumps. These pumps tend to last many times longer then submersibles due to their design. They utilize TEFC (totally enclosed fan cooled) motors and ceramic seals and are completely rebuildable. High Efficiency External Pond Pumps operate at 1,725 RPM (rotations per minute) compared to their pool counterparts which operate at 3,450 RPM. This and their design lead to High Output Volume and Low Head Pressure. The disadvantage to be overcome with the installation of an external pump is they need to be hidden which can be overcome with landscape plantings or faux rock covers. The plumbing is also more complicated but easily overcome. External Pumps may also need more maintenance to make sure they do not clog and lose their prime and burn up the seals. If a pond will not be maintained it may just be the best option to use a good quality submersible that will have a thermal overload that will shut it down when it is not covered with water to cool it down.

How do I size a pond liner?

  • Width: Width + (2 x Depth) + (2 x Overlap). So a width of 10’ with a 1.5’ depth and 1’ overlap = 10+1.5+1.5+1+1= 15’. So the liner would need to be 15’ wide.
  • Length: Length + (2 x Depth) + (2 x Overlap). So a length of 15’ with a 1.5’ depth and 1’ overlap = 15+1.5+1.5+1+1= 20’. So the liner would need to be 20’ long.

How do I determine the water volume?

To Determine What the Volume (Gallons) of Water are in a Rectangular or Square Pond:

  • Step 1 Cubic Feet: Width x Length x Average Depth = Cubic Feet. For the above pond with a Width of 10, Length of 15’ and an average depth of 1.5’. 10 x 15 x 1.5 = 225 Square Feet.
  • Step 2 Determine Gallons: There are 7.5 gallons per cubic foot of water. 225 Square Feet x 7.5 Gallons per Cubic Foot = 1,687.5 Gallon Pond.
  • To Determine What the Volume (Gallons) of Water are in a Round Pond:
    • Top Diameter (In Feet) x Bottom Diameter (In Feet) x Depth (In feet) x .785 = Cubic Feet of Pond. Cubic Feet of Pond x 7.5 Gallons per Cubic Foot = Gallons in Pond. For Example 3’TD x 3’BD x 2’Depth: 3 x 3 x 2 x .785 = 14.13 Cubic Feet x 7.5 Gallons per Cubic Foot = 105.98 Gallon Pond.

How do I determine the quantity of rocks to include?

It has become a popular practice to line the entire parameter of the pond with stone as well as covering the entire liner. This has been done for two reasons; to create additional surface are for biological habitat filtration as well as aesthetics and protecting the liner. There are now many who believe that the stone after a short period becomes completely packed with debris and anaerobic (dead) material. This leads to a much harder pond to clean and some say they are forced to completely drain the pond and power wash the stones to remove all the silt and debris. So the true amount of stone actually needed depends on your philosophy. But most definitely stone will be needed for the perimeter, waterfall and stream bed. The data below is for entirely covering the water feature.

Pond Project Rock and Labor Estimation Chart

Pond Size

Sq ft (LxW)

Gravel (tons)

6-12" Rock (tons)

12-18" Rock (tons)

18-24" Rock (tons)

Estimated Man Hours

8'x11'

88

.5

.5

1.5

.5

30

11'x11'

121

.75

1

1

1

35

11'x16'

176

1

1

2.5

1

40

16'x16'

256

1.75

2

2.5

2

45

16'x21'

336

2

2

4.5

2

50

21'x26'

546

3.75

3.5

6.5

3.5

65

Stream and Waterfall Project Rock and Labor Estimation Chart

Description

Liner (Stream Length + 5')

Gravel (tons)

6-12" Rock (tons)

12-18" Rock (tons)

18-24" Rock (tons)

Estimated Man Hours

10' Stream

10'x15'

.25

.25

1

.25

10

15' Stream

10'x20'

.5

.5

1

.75

15

20' Stream

10'x25'

.75

.5

2

.5

20

18" Waterfall

na

0

0

.5

.5

4

26" Waterfall

na

0

.25

.75

.5

6

50" Waterfall

na

0

.5

1

1.5

10

How do I determine the amount of water required for a waterfall weir?

When designing a waterfall by the effect of the water flowing over the weir it is not really up to you to choose the pump. Your feature will choose it for you. Spillways and formal water features often only need +/- ½” thick water column to look good. The chart below will be very helpful in determining what size pump will be required for your desired effect. The important thing is to take into account the elevation to the waterfall and the “head loss” in your piping system to determine how much water from the pump will actually reach the waterfall weir. For this reason we recommend you always upsize the pump to guarantee the desired effect will be reached and the water feature effect is not undersold.

Estimated Water Flow Over a Weir or Waterfall

Depth (Inches)

Discharge Per Foot of Weir Width

Depth (Inches)

Discharge Per Foot of Weir Width

Cubic Feet Per Second

Gallons Per Minute

Gallons Per Hour

Cubic Feet Per Second

Gallons Per Minute

Gallons Per Hour

0.5

0.03

13

780

3.25

0.47

211

12660

0.75

0.05

24

1440

3.5

0.53

236

14160

1

0.08

36

2160

3.75

0.58

262

15720

1.25

0.11

50

3000

4

0.64

287

17220

1.5

0.15

66

3960

4.25

0.7

315

18900

1.75

0.19

83

4980

4.5

0.77

343

20580

2

0.23

102

6120

4.75

0.83

372

22320

2.25

0.27

122

7320

5

0.9

402

24120

2.5

0.32

142

8520

5.25

0.97

433

25980

2.75

0.36

164

9840

5.5

1.03

463

27780

3

0.42

187

11220

5.75

1.1

495

29700

What is pond plumbing hydraulics?

Pond pump performance is rated in “Feet of Head” or “Elevation”. “Feet of Head” creates “Pressure Loss” and thus flow loss because the pump is pushing water up an “Elevation” making it work harder. The higher “Feet of Head” the lower the flow. One fact that is usually forgotten is the “Friction Loss” in all the pipe and fittings before the water ever reaches the waterfall. This “Friction Loss” can be calculated to determine additional “Feet of Head” which further diminishes the output of the pump. The “Feet of Head” loss in the pipe and fittings is almost always MUCH greater then the actual “Feet of Head” loss due to the elevation of the waterfall. All of this may seem overwhelming but it doesn’t need to be. Usually the solution is to just look at the pump specifications and use the 10’ performance curve even though the waterfall may only be at a 3’ elevation. This does come into play on larger water features and an Aquarius Associate can help demystify this concern. Please note that all submersible pumps that are not of the “magnetic drive” variant need back pressure to prolong their service lives. Read more in “Why Pumps Fail” below.

How do I properly install a submersible pump?

Submersible pumps are put under extreme operating conditions in a pond application and fail 90% of the time due to abuse and misuse. Careful attention and proper design and installation techniques will help eliminate these failures:

  • Low Water Level: “Run Dry”. Submersible Pumps are water cooled. Although they have “Thermal Overloads” to shut them down when they are overheating this “Cycling” is like driving your car without any coolant until the computer turns it off and then letting it cool down and driving another mile. It won’t be long until you blow a gasket and it’s all over. The following solutions are easily done with little time and effort and pay for themselves fourfold compared with the time of replacing a “defective” pump and possible loss of fish. One visual sign of run dry is rings of sludge burnt onto the pump motor housing.
  • Auto Fill Valve: Relying of the owner of a pond to fill the pond 100% of the time is unrealistic. An Auto Fill Valve is a must. Aquarius has easily installed valves that use a ¼” line that can easily be “Slit trenched” into the ground with a spade. Aquarius also has electric level controls that turn on a solenoid valve for unlimited fill capacity.
  • Low Level Pump Switch: A Low Level Pump Switch shuts down a pump when the water level gets to an unsafe level. These are extremely easy to install with wire ties on the discharge plumbing and with small pumps they are ‘Plug and Play”. Again this is a must for all installs.
  • Clean The Skimmer Filter: It is imperative that the homeowner understand that the skimmer filters get dirty and need to be cleaned. If they are not cleaned properly the Auto Fill Valve will introduce more water then necessary because of the drop of water level in the back of the skimmer and a visual high water level will be seen. If a Low Level Pump Switch is installed the falls will be “cycling” on and off. This cycling is also not good for the pump but better then burning the pump out.
  • Improper Head Height: This is an “unspoken” silent killer of pond pumps that plagues our industry. There are two types of submersible pumps; “Direct Drive” which are motor driven pumps which have a motor connected directly to an impeller and “Magnetic Drive” which have a fixed magnet impeller assembly and an electric magnet which drives the impeller assembly. Direct Drive units have higher head and come in many volume sizes. The Magnetic Drive units are lower head and lower volume.
    • This problem is associated with Direct Drive units. Submersible pumps are designed to operate at a certain RPM and Amperage Draw. Contrary to popular belief the higher the “head height” (back pressure) the lower the RPM and the lower the Amp Draw. In testing it is found that smaller direct drive pumps need about 10’ of head backpressure to reach their amp “sweet spot” without effecting performance. All larger pumps in the 1HP and above need anywhere from 15 to 30 feet of head backpressure to ensure a long service life. In informing one experienced pond professional with this information his response was “that’s amazing, when I think about it all my larger ponds with 10’ high waterfalls I have no problems with the pumps it is all my 3’ waterfalls that I have nothing but pump problems with”. The way to address this problem is as follows:
    • Install a Friction Loss Device: All pond professionals should own an “Amperage Probe” and be willing to dial in their pumps. Simply install a gate or ball valve and simply reduce the flow of the pump until the operating amps of the pump is reached. It is that simple. If the motor does not have an Amp rating WATTS /VOLTS = AMPS. This simple procedure can double and triple the life of a pump. For large pumps this can prolong the pump life from weeks to years. A pump that is not “dialed in” is the same as a car running at “redline” until it explodes.

How do I properly install an external pump?

External Pumps are technically referred to as “Close-Coupled End-Suction Self-Priming Centrifugal Pumps”. These pumps are of the design that have been running industry and supplying our homes since the birth of the industrial age. Most of the problems with these pumps come from improper installation techniques. The following are some good installation practices to insure maximum pump performance and service life.

  • Same concerns as Submersible Pumps: As above regarding Submersible Pumps install an Auto Fill Valve, Low Level Pump Switch and if a skimmer is use make sure it is maintained as well as the filter basket on the pump.
  • Suction Line Installation: External pumps Suck/Draw water much less efficient then they Push water. The more efficient the suction lines the better the performance.
  • Suction Line Size: To reduce friction loss the Suction Line Size should be increased a minimum of one size larger then the inlet of the pump. If it is a 2” inlet use a 3” pipe. For a 3” inlet use a 4” pipe. Flow velocity should never exceed 6 feet per second, as low as 3 feet per second is ideal.
  • Suction line Length: As a rule of thumb the closer a pump is to its water source the better. The reason is the farther away the source, the greater the friction loss. However, the need to put a pump farther away from the pond is easily overcome by using correct suction line sizing. It is all about reducing friction loss and getting the most water for the energy used. Please note the further away the longer time it takes to get an initial prime.
  • Suction Line Orientation: It is necessary for the suction line to gradually rise up to the pump for air to escape. Undulations cause air to be trapped and restrict flow.
  • Entrance to Pump: It is necessary to install an “Eccentric Reducer” when downsizing the pipe entering the pump. An Eccentric Reducer has a flat top and a beveled bottom which allows air to flow out of the suction line ensuring a clean flow of water. A short piece of pipe should be installed between the eccentric reducer 2 times the diameter of the pipe inlet size. A short piece of pipe installed before the eccentric reducer should be as short as possible but at least 4 times the diameter of the pipe. All this leads to the most efficient flow of the water into the pump.
  • Pump Installed Height: As the pump inlet point related to the water level it should be as close as possible. If the pump is below the water level ‘Flooded Suction” that is the best case scenario as it will have a positive inlet pressure.
  • Check Valve: It is necessary to install a check valve on the suction to prevent the need of priming the pump every time it shuts down. Use a swing check as they have the least friction loss compared to spring checks which greatly reduce flow.
  • Discharge Pipe: As always our main goal is to reduce friction loss. The larger the better and this usually depends on how far the pump is away from the pond and what other devices that causes friction loss like Bead Filters and UV lights will be installed after the pump. If the pump is relatively close usually the same size as the discharge or one size larger is sufficient.

 

Fountains & Aerators

Drivable Grass Structures

What is a drivable grass structure?

A drivable grass structure may be achieved by use of an engineering product. Utilizing drivable grass structures for areas creates pervious cover for parking, storage, event traffic without creating rutting or stormwater runoff.

How does drivable grass work?

There are many types of drivable grass solutions but all engineered products are introduced and cultivated into the soil, or installed on top, or installed as part of an engineered profile.

How do I know which engineered solution is right for my project?

In order to determine the most cost effective and long term return on your investment we need to know your typical use for the area to make the best recommendation for product.

Are these products for residential or commercial use?

We have products for every need and vehicle weight loading from a golf cart up to a ladder truck for fire emergencies.

What are some of the products available?

Aquarius Supply sells Netlon ATS which mixes with the soil, Bodpave85 Grids, TYPAVE 25 (a superior Grasspave 2 type product), Grassprotecta, Turfprotecta, NDS EZ Roll Grass and Gravel pavers, NDS Tufftrack.

Artificial Turf by EasyTurf

Do I need weed control?

Weeds compete with desirable lawn grasses for water, space, light and nutrients. They are very aggressive and can take over a lawn if not kept in check. It is when this type of imbalance occurs that many customers request help from Aquarius Supply Professionals. Before this happens, a preventive approach to controlling weeds is recommended. It includes regular fertilization, proper mowing and correct watering practices. Weeds can also be controlled through digging or hand pulling. This method is much more labour intensive and is not always effective since many weeds can reproduce through vegetative parts if they are not entirely dug out.

Which fixtures are right?

Remember when choosing fixtures that less is more. Unless you want to spotlight one key feature, generally low-voltage or solar lighting will work well. Consider softer light emitted from different angles to create an overall desired effect. You can also create a brighter illumination by grouping softer lights together. Low-voltage and solar lighting will also save you money on electricity.

How much is Porous Pave?

Porous Pave is more than traditional pavements, but priced competitively with other types of permeable pavers, pervious concrete, asphalt, etc. Our most direct competitor Flexi -Pave has only roughly half our porosity rate.

Why choose EasyTurf?

EasyTurf artificial grass is more than just the turf grass itself. It’s a complete landscape system. The artificial grass system includes preparation of the ground the artificial grass will be installed on, the drainage through the artificial grass backing, the infill material used to keep the artificial grass blades erect and provide ballast, and the yarn that create the “fake-grass” blades. EasyTurf artificial grass matches the look and feel of real grass. Artificial grass requires little to no maintenance. http://www.easyturf.com/commercial/ http://www.easyturf.com/residential/  

How long does EasyTurf last?

All EasyTurf synthetic grass products come with a 10 year warranty. With proper care and maintenance you or your customers will enjoy a beautiful synthetic turf for many long years, without the hassle of watering, or mowing!

Is EasyTurf flammable?

Easy Turf is virtually flame-proof. The sand and rubber infill assists in minimising any fire spreading.

Turf & Fertility

How much water does a lawn require?

Lawns need 1 to 1-1/2" (3-4cm) of water weekly. To determine the need for supplemental water, look for these telltale signs of oncoming drought stress:

  • Areas of the lawn especially near concrete or asphalt (sidewalks and driveways), under large trees and on slopes, take on a dark, silvery or smoky blue-green haze. In extreme cases the lawn appears yellowish.
  • Footprints or lawnmower wheel marks don't spring back shortly after they are made.

If your lawn shows symptoms of drought, water it immediately regardless of the time of day. Under normal circumstances, early morning is the best time to water your lawn so that the leaves can dry slowly and naturally without too much evaporation, and instead with most of the water penetrating the soil. Regular, fairly deep watering is better than daily light sprinklings. Deep watering and allowing the lawn to dry out between watering will force the roots to penetrate deeper in search of moisture.

Who registers pesticides in the US?

EPA and state departments (usually the State Department of Agriculture) register or license pesticides for use in the United States. EPA receives its authority to register pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). States are authorized to regulate pesticides under FIFRA and under state pesticide laws. States may place more restrictive requirements on pesticides than EPA. Pesticides must be registered both by EPA and the state before distribution. The United States has one of the most stringent pesticide regulatory systems in the world.

The safety and effectiveness of each product is thoroughly evaluated by agency toxicologists to ensure products meet strict safety standards. In most cases, pesticides are subject to more testing than pharmaceutical drugs. Professional applicators are highly trained and adhere to all state regulations concerning pesticide use. 

Where can I find additional information regarding pesticides?

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Pesticide Programs [Division Mail Code] Ariel Rios Building 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW Washington, D.C. 20460 Website http://www.epa.gov/pesticides 2,4-D Task Force Information Hotline 1(800) 345-5109 www.24d.org Professional Lawn Care Association of America 1(800) 458-3466 www.plcaa.org. Aquarius Supply professionals are available to answer any questions that you may have about the products or services that are used to help promote and protect a healthy lawn.

Is fertilizer Important?

Lawns require fertilizer to maintain health and vigor. A well-fertilized lawn will be better at preventing weed infestation as well as drought and disease. Lawns that are thick and healthy can help the environment by producing oxygen, filtering and enhancing ground water quality, cooling the air during hot weather, trapping and absorbing urban dust and pollution, and providing a safer playing surface. It also helps people feel better about themselves and their surroundings. Aquarius Supply offers our proprietary 24-4-16, 65% Slow Release Granular Fertilizer. Fertilizers must be applied evenly and at the proper rate to prevent burning or leaving stripes on the lawn. Your Aquarius Supply Professional will be happy to help.