It is natural to want to keep your pond or water garden as energy efficient as possible. This has left some enthusiasts wandering if it’s possible to slash their energy costs by turning off their waterfalls after dark. While shutting off your waterfall in the evening will save you some money, it can also create some hidden costs. Below are some of them.
The Beneficial Bacteria Must Be Replaced
The filtration unit needs water flowing through it in order to eliminate contaminants. When the pump is deactivated, the water will stop flowing, and if the water drains from the filter, you could find yourself in a situation where the beneficial bacteria which reside on the media declines, which means that it will need to be replaced.
Algae Bloom May Occur
Moving water is important as it holds debris in a column which is pulled into the skimmer and then efficiently eliminated through the filter. When you deactivate the waterfall the pump will also be shut off, which means that the debris will fall to the pond’s bottom as opposed to being carried through the skimmer and filter. It will build up and become a source of nutrients for algae, which will cause it to bloom and require significant time, algaecide and energy in order to remove. The cost of doing this can ultimately undermine any savings you gained in lower energy costs.
Additionally, the companies that manufacture pond pumps are aware of the concerns that many enthusiasts have about the costs of maintaining their ponds, so a lot of them are designing products which are energy friendly and use as little electricity as possible. As a consequence the monthly costs of operating a pond pump have fallen dramatically, from over $100 with older models to under $20 for the newer, more energy efficient products.
The Health Of Your Fish Could Decline
Shutting off the waterfall will make the water quiet and still, which means there won’t be as many water molecules circulating and connecting with air that is rich in oxygen near the surface. In other words, the water will become more stagnant and will be incapable of efficiently releasing hazardous gases such as ammonia or absorbing oxygen. This could result in the immune system of your fish becoming depressed, which could cause them to become sick.
Before shutting off your waterfall, it would be wise to explore other ways of making your pond more energy efficient. Moving water is a necessity for every pond or water garden whether it is natural or manmade. Once the water stops flowing the pond in turn will decline. Given the extensive amount of time, energy and work that you put into designing, installing and maintaining your pond this is likely the last thing you want. While energy costs have been increasing in recent years, it is also important to keep your aeration system in tip top condition and doing this will require electricity.