Atlantic Water Gardens Common Questions (FAQ)

We've gathered the most commonly asked questions about Atlantic Water Gardens Atlantic Water Gardens. If your question isn't answered here, you may also contact us with any questions you may have

Pump Questions

How do I choose a pond pump?

  1. Pick a look and specify a flow: Gallons per foot desired x Width of the waterfall in feet = Recommended flow (GPF)
  2. Determine friction loss: Find the tubing size & friction, calculate equivalent tubing length (Fitting Length in Feet + Tubing Length in Feet = Equivalent Tubing Length in Feet) and calculate friction head (Equivalent Tubing Length in Feet x Friction Loss = Friction Head in Feet)
  3. Find the Total Dynamic Head: Friction Head in Feet + Vertical Head in Feet = Total Dynamic Head
  4. Choose a TidalWave Pump:
  • For Low Head, Low Volume applications, use Magnetic Drive Pumps (MD Series).
  • For Low Head, Very High Volume applications, use Axial Pumps (L-Series) with 3" or larger tubing.
  • For Medium Head, Medium Volume, use Asynchronous Pumps (TT & TW-Series).
  • For High Head, High Volume Applications, use Direct Drive Pumps (A-Series).
  • For Solids and Dirty Water applications, use Direct Drive Solids Handling Pumps (PAF and SH-Series).

*View the Choosing the Perfect Pump Guide (pdf) for more information.

How to clean a TidalWave2 pond pump:

  1. Remove the intake screen.
  2. Remove the screws that hold the volute in place.
  3. Turn the volute one quarter counter-clockwise and pull.
  4. Pull out the impeller assembly.
  5. Wipe the assembly down with vinegar.

How to choose the right size fountain pump:

  1. Measure the height of your fountain piece in feet.
  2. Find your fountains required gallons per hour: Height of fountain piece (in feet) x 250 = required gallons per hour (GPH)
  3. Look for a TidalWave Fountain Pump that is rated for that number of gallons per hour.

*Remember to consider plumbing sizes and openings when choosing a fountain pump.

What is Total Dynamic Head?

Total Dynamic Head (TDH) is the total height (accounting for friction loss in the pipe) that water needs to pumped, or the total amount of work a pump has to do.

What is the warranty on Atlantic Water Garden Pumps?

  • TidalWave Fountain Pumps have a 1-year limited warranty.
  • Mag Drive Pumps have a 5-year limited warranty.
  • TidalWave A, L, SH, and PAF have a 2-year limited warranty.
  • TidalWave3 TT have a 3-year limited warranty.

Are Atlantic pumps adjustable?

The TidalWave Fountain Pumps are the only pumps with built-in adjustment capability, but you can always plumb a valve in-line to reduce the pumps flow.

How much electricity does a pond pump use?

The wattage your pump uses should be listed on the box and in the Atlantic Catalog (pdf).

How to calculate the daily cost of running a pond pump:

Watts x hours per day of operation/1000 x your local kWh rate

How to calculate the monthly cost of running a pond pump:

Watts x .72 (720 hours in a month)/10000 x your local kWh rate

Why does my pond pump keep turning off?

Your pump is most likely turning off because it is overheated due to a low water flow or low water level. Check that the pump is always fully submerged and that the intake is clear from any debris.

How do I store my pond pump for winter?

  • If you have a Mag Drive or Hybrid Pump, then remove, drain, clean and store it in a cool, dry place.
  • If you have a Direct Drive or Axial Flow Pump, then store it somewhere above freezing in a bucket filled with 6 inches of water.

Formal Spillway Questions

What is a formal spillway?

A formal spillway or waterfall spillway is a spout with an overflowing lip or edge that is mounted on a vertical wall to create falling water. The falling water is caught by a basin that is placed below, which may include a pump or circulation system that is located remotely. Formal Spillways create an elegant waterfall that adds the sight and sound of running water to any type of wall. Atlantic offers traditional Spillways & Scuppers or color changing spillways called Colorfalls.

What are the benefits of a formal spillway?

Formal spillways or waterfall spillways are an elegant alternative to naturalistic ponds and waterfalls. They are very economical and are can be customized using different lighting. Spillways are also available in a variety of options that can create white noise or be more silent. There is an Atlantic Formal Spillway for every type of wall and setting.

What do I do with my Colorfalls in winter?

  1. Remove the pump, then drain and store in a cool, dry place.
  2. Lower the water level in the basin and blow or vacuum out the pipe and Colorfalls.
  3. Replace and close the valve, so water can’t seep into the pipe.

What do I do if my Colorfalls is leaking?

  1. Make sure water is not being lost by dripping down the back wall, splash, evaporation or wind.
  2. Verify that the Colorfalls is correctly installed and level.
  3. Check all fittings and connections outside of the basin.
  4. Inspect the back of the Colorfalls to make sure screws are tight.

What do I do if my waterfall is spitting water?

If you have:

  • An older, single color Original Colorfalls, then check to see if the upper and lower lips have seperated.
  • Any type of Colorfalls, then debris may have built up in the spout. Clean out the debris with a Colorfalls Brush, pipe cleaner or thin wire.
  • A Color Changing Colorfalls, then open it from the back and remove and clean the filter and pump.

What do I do if my Colorfalls lights aren't changing colors?

Make sure your lights are connected properly by checking to see if the arrows on each plug are lined up. Next, resync the remote to the control module.

Can you control more than one light on a Colorfalls with a single remote?

Yes, if your Colofalls has a 6 pin connector and the appropriate number of 3-way, 6-wire splitters. You will need one wire splitter for up to 3 Colorfalls, two wire splitters for up to 5 Colorfalls, three wire splitters for up to 7 Colorfalls, four wire splitters for up to 9 Colorfalls and five wire splitters for 10 linked Colorfalls. If you have 10 linked Colorfalls, then you will also need a single larger 88 Watt Transformer.

How often do I need to add water to my formal spillway basin?

You should add water to your formal spillway or waterfall spillway as often as needed. The amount of water you will need to add varies due to factors in its environment such as sun, wind, temperature, humidity and splash. Be sure to check the water level every few days to make sure the pump is fully submerged. It may be easiest to install an Autofill Kit, which will connect to a garden hose or sprinkler line and automatically maintain the correct water level.

How high can my Colorfalls be installed?

You should install Colorfalls and scuppers as high as they are wide, so a 24” unit should be installed 24” above its basin.

Can I put a Colorfalls in my pond?

No, a Colorfalls should not be used in ponds because the amount of organic debris that builds up in ponds can clog its spout. If you would like a decorative formal spillway in you pond, then a good choice would be a Stainless Steel Scupper. It will pass organic debris more easily, but will also require more maintenance than a FilterFalls or open spillway.

How do I clean the inside weir of my Colorfalls?

A Colorfalls can be cleaned using a Colorfalls Brush, pipe cleaner or thin wire. It is not recommended that you use those tools on a Color Changing Colorfalls.

How much water does a Colorfalls need to create a solid sheet of water?

A Colorfalls is designed to use 80 gallons per hour for every inch of width. This means that a 12” Colorfalls would need 1000 gallons to create a solid sheet of water. The Color Changing Colorfalls is designed to use 100 gallons per hour for every inch of width. So, a 24” Colorfalls needs 2400 gallons to create a solid sheet of water.

Why is my Colorfalls remote not working?

The remotes signal could be blocked or it may need to be re-synced.

  • If you have a silver control module, then unplug the unit from the transformer, insert fresh batteries and re-sync the remote.

How much weight does a Colorfalls support?

All Colorfalls, including Classic and Color-Changing, support up to 40 lbs per linear foot.

Water Garden & Pond Questions

What is a water garden?

A water garden, also known as a pond, is a biologically active garden that contains water and living creatures. They typically contain aquatic plants and fish, which together create a balanced ecosystem that attracts birds and insects.

What are the benefits of a water garden?

Water gardens or ponds provide the relaxing sights and sounds of water, the enjoyment of the plants and animals that inhabit it, and a more temperate environment.

What is a pond skimmer?

A pond skimmer is a filter that takes in the surface water of a pond and removes any floating debris. This action promotes good gas exchange in pond water, which ultimately creates a cleaner, healthier and more easily maintainable pond. Skimmers also can house and protect submersible pumps. There are a variety of Atlantic Pond Skimmers that will keep your pond running in great condition.

Do I need an aerator for my pond?

Yes, an Atlantic Aeration System is essential for your pond because it increases the waters oxygen level. If there isn’t enough oxygen in a pond, then fish or other aquatic animals can suffocate and water quality will suffer due to plant decomposition that increases waste, gases and odors.

How do I choose the right pond aerator?

The type and amount of aerators you will need depends on 3 pond factors:

  1. Depth - How much water a diffuser can circulate.
  2. Shape - Pond shape can either aid or impede water circulation.
  3. Profile - The pond’s inner profile will determine the number of diffusers required.

*View the Pond & Lake Management Guide (pdf) for more information.

What is an Aeration Cabinet?

An aeration cabinet is designed to house, protect and muffle the sound of a compressor. Cabinets also enhance the longevity, security and ease of access to aeration systems when maintenance is needed. Atlantic offers a Deep Water Aeration Cabinet and Shallow Water Aeration Cabinet to fit any diffuser needs.

How deep does my pond need to be?

In general, ponds should be 2-3 feet deep and have plenty of shelves, planing pockets and fish caves. Be sure to check local regulations or required permits and call 811 to have utilities marked before digging a pond.

What is the difference between FastFalls and FilterFalls?

  • FastFalls are for Pond-Free applications. They are water diffusers that are to be used when filtration is unnecessary.
  • FilterFalls are for ponds. They provide necessary biological filtration.

Why is the difference between pond skimmers with filter brushes and pond skimmers with filter pads?

Skimmers with brushes are a more efficient method of filtration compared to filter pads. The brushes perform the same function, but still allow water to pass through them when loaded with debris. When filter pads are full of debris, they block the flow of water and can cause overheating and premature pump failure. This is why Atlantic Pond Skimmers use filter brushes versus filter pads.

When do I need to clean my pond skimmer?

You should check you pond skimmer on a weekly basis to make sure it isn’t clogged and clean it when necessary. In autumn months, you made need to check it more frequently due to the falling leaves.

How do I keep my pond from freezing in winter?

How to prepare you pond for winter:

  1. If possible, put a net over your pond in the fall to keep any leaves out.
  2. When it begins to get cold, but before your pond freezes, remove, drain and store your pond pump in a cool, dry place.
  3. Put an aerator or airstone in the shallows to create a hole in the ice all winter, so fish can breathe.

Are pond chemicals and treatments safe for fish?

Yes, all Atlantic Treatments and products are safe for fish and aquatic wildlife.

How much water is in my pond?

You can calculate the volume of your pond in gallons with this formula:

  • Average Width x Average Length x Average Depth x 7.5 gallons per cubic foot = Volume of Pond in Gallons

What does pond turnover mean?

Turnover is the amount of time it takes to circulate the total gallons of water in a pond.

Fountain Questions

What is a fountain feature?

A Fountain is a decorative water feature that has a reservoir, recirculating pump and some type of decorative waterfall. Fountains or fountain features are set on a horizontal surfaces and serve as a decorative addition to outdoor landscapes or indoors and in homes. An Atlantic Fountain Kit is the easiest way to install and enjoy a fountain in your space.

Can I put a water fountain indoors?

Yes, feel free to use an Atlantic Fountain in your home, business or any other indoor space. Water fountains can be installed on hardscapes, landscapes, in-ground, above-ground, indoors and outdoors.

What are the benefits of a fountain?

Fountains are the most economical and easy way to have your own water feature. A fountain installation is very simple and their versatility allows them to be incorporated in virtually any outdoor or indoor space.

What is the difference between a fountain and a formal spillway?

A fountain is a water feature that is set on a horizontal surface and a formal spillway or waterfall spillway is mounted on vertical walls.

How much weight can a fountain basin support?

Fountain Basins are able to support large loads as long as the weight is centered on them. The amount of weight will depend on the size of the fountain basin.

Can I use more than one decorative water feature with a fountain basin?

Yes, a Fountain Basin Plumbing Kit and 46” Round Fountain Basin can operate up to 3 water features using only one pump. Although, you should be sure that all water and splash is contained within the basin.

Can I purchase a ready-made fountain kit?

Yes, Atlantic offers a 18" Color Changing Vase Kit that includes everything you need to create a beautiful fountain for your home, yard, deck or patio. Simply add water and plug it in.

What is an Eco-Rise?

Although it looks like a wagon wheel, the Atlantic Eco-Rise is actually a molded riser that helps evenly distribute the weight of fountain pieces on an Eco-Blox Water Reservoir. The Eco-Rise also makes plumbing and installing pond lighting easy and hassle free.

Lighting Questions

Can I get a replacement bulb for my Atlantic pond lights?

Yes, depending on the lights you have. There are replacement bulbs for the AWG LED Lights, SOL Series Spotlights, Spout Lights and Hardscape Lights.

Why aren’t my Atlantic pond lights changing color?

Your lights may not be changing color due to problems with the remote control. Check to see if the protective film over the controls is removed and that there are fresh batteries. Then, make sure the control module and transformer are not too close to each other and re-sync the remote.

Can I use Atlantic pond lights underwater?

Yes, almost all Atlantic Lights are 100% fully submersible. All AWG Pond Lights, SOL Spotlights, SOL Ring Lights and the Spout Light can be submerged. The Hardscape Lights are the only Atlantic lights that can not be submerged underwater.

How many Color Changing lights can be run on a control module?

A control module can handle up to 80 watts, so you can use however many of the lights you want that are below 80 watts on one control module. You will also need to purchase the 88 Watt Transformer and the appropriate number of splitters for your lighting project.

Why isn’t my remote control working?

First, make sure the protective film over the controls is removed and that you are using fresh batteries. Then, make sure the control module and transformer are not too close to one another and re-sync the remote.

Can I put my Atlantic lights on a timer?

Yes, all Atlantic Lights can be hooked up to a timer.

Can I put my Atlantic lights on the same transformer as my existing landscape lights?

Yes, feel free to use the same transformer if you are using the SOL White LED Lights. You just need to cut off the quick connect plug, strip the wire and splice into your existing line with waterproof wire nuts.

Pond-Free Questions

What is a pond-free water feature?

A pond-free water feature is a water feature that draws water from a closed recirculation system that is built into the landscape instead of a pond. A pump is located in a pump vault, which draws water from the reservoir and creates a stream or waterfall. An Atlantic Pond-Free Kit is the easiest way to install and enjoy a pondless water feature in your outdoor space.

What is the difference between a pond-free water feature and a pond?

A pond-free water feature requires less maintenance, has lower liability and has much lower operating costs compared to a pond.

What are the benefits of a pond-free water feature?

Pond-free water features are much more simple to construct and less costly to maintain than a pond. They require no skimmers, filters, UVs, aerators and any maintenance that comes with those products. A pond-free water feature allows you to enjoy the beautiful sights and sounds of water without a big commitment.

What do I need to build a Pond-Free waterfall?

There are many components needed to construct a waterfall, so the easiest and safest option is to get a Pond-Free Kit. Atlantic Pond-Free Kits include everything you need to build a beautiful waterfall, besides the water and stone.

What is an Eco-Blox Water Matrix?

Eco-Blox are load-bearing water matrices that create underground water reservoirs to feed waterfalls. An Eco-Blox Water Matrix can support up to 7 tons and stores water in 96% of its space, so reservoirs can be dug much smaller. This means that using a water matrix instead of gravel will save you time, labor and material costs.

How many Eco-Blox Water Matrices do I need for my waterfall?

The number of water matrices you need will depend on your pond-free waterfalls volume. In general, you need three times as much stored water as you have running over the stream and falls.

What is a pond pump vault?

A pump vault is an underground enclosure sitting alongside the reservoir that protects the pond pump and plumbing. Atlantic Pump Vaults also provide easier access for any needed pump maintenance.

What is a FastFall waterfall?

An Atlantic FastFall is a water diffuser that can be used in pond-free applications to create a leak-free waterfall.

How long does it take for FallsFoam Waterfall Foam to dry?

FallsFoam can be trim in about an hour and will fully cure in 24 hours. Curing times may vary due to the foam being a moisture cure product. For the fastest and easiest installation, use a FallsFoam Steel Gun.

Do I need to prepare my pond-free waterfall for winter?

If you live in an area where temperatures stay below freezing for long periods of time, then you need to winterize your pond-free waterfall. If your winters are not severe, then you do not need to winterize.

How to winterize a pond-free waterfall:

  1. When it begins to get cold, remove the pump.
  2. Drain the pump.
  3. Store the pump in a cool, dry place out of the weather.
  4. Once temperatures rise, put the pump back into your water feature.

How do I clean slime and algae off my rocks, waterfalls and streams?

Sprinkle the recommended dose of Atlantic’s EcoKlean Oxy Pond Cleaner over your rocks and gravel to move any attached organics. If you would like a more long term solution, then you can install a Triton Ionizer. An ionizer will keep the rocks and gravel of your water feature clean without the use of chemical treatments. A Triton Ionizer will clear water for 1-3 seasons, and will continue to clean if electrodes are periodically replaced.

How long does it take for RTV Silicone Sealant to dry?

Atlantic RTV Silicone should be tack free in about an hour and will fully cure within 24 hours.

Ionizer Questions

Do I have to monitor copper levels in my pond?

Yes, if lead levels are higher than 0.01-0.03ppm, then it will lead to needing a premature replacement of electrodes, green or blue stained light colored surfaces and may affects plants and fish. Use a Triton Ionizer to control the amount of copper in your pond and reduce algae levels without the use of chemicals.

Can I leave my Ionizer at 100% if I don’t have any fish or plants in my pond or water feature?

No, high levels of copper can cause problems even if there is nothing living or growing in your pond. Leaving the ionizer at 100% could still lead to premature replacement of electrodes and staining of light colored surfaces green or blue.

Do I still need to use pond treatments if I have an ionizer?

You may still need to use Atlantic Treatments Atlantic Treatments for up to several weeks while the ionizer builds up to the effective dosage level. After the ionizer reaches the dosage level of 0.01 parts per million, then you can discontinue using treatments.

Do I still need to use bacteria if I have an ionizer?

Yes, beneficial bacteria, like Bio-Max is still needed and will be effective in breaking down your ponds organic waste.

How long does it take for an ionizer to work?

It depends on the amount of organic debris in a pond. An ionizer treats up to 2500 gallons in a week and may require at least 4 weeks to effectively treat a 10,000 gallon pond. The more organics there are in a pond, the longer it will take an ionizer to control them.

What level should I set my ionizer at?

It depends on the level of organic debris and condition of the water feature. If a pond or water feature has good circulation and is free of any organic debris, then a low setting should be adequate. If there is a lot of organic debris and rapid control is necessary, then start the ionizer at 100%, monitor the copper level weekly and lower the control as needed (never exceeding 0.01-0.03ppm).

Why does my ionizer control panel automatically turn itself down?

The ionizer control panel will continually monitor the micro-current that passes through copper electrodes and adjust accordingly. To increase the conductivity of the water you can add sea or pond salt. You can turn up the unit by adding 8 ounces of salt per 100 gallons of pond water. Be sure to not exceed 1 pound of salt per 100 gallons of pond water.

How do I get my ionizer to turn all the way up to 100%?

Increase the conductivity of the water by adding sea salt or pond salt. You should add 8 ounces of salt per 100 gallons of pond water an never exceed 1 pound of salt per 100 gallons.

Will sea salt harm pond fish or plants?

No, salt should be harmless to fish and plant life if it is in a concentration under 1 pound per 100 gallons. Although, some fish and plants may prefer lower concentrations.

How long with the ionizers copper bars last?

It depends on the size of your pond or water feature, circulation rate and power level the ionizer is set to. In general, at the lowest setting to maintain the idasl copper concentration level, the copper electrodes should last 1-3 seasons.

How long is the ionizers power cord?

The power cord has a total length of 30 feet, which consists of 15 feet from the transformer to the control unit and 15 feet from the control unit to the electrodes. If you need more length, then you can always add the 20’ Extension Cord to either side and create a length of 50 feet.

Treatment Questions

What is beneficial bacteria?

Beneficial bacteria is live microorganisms that help keep water balanced, clean and clear. This type of beneficial bacteria exists in Bio-Max, which utilizes oxygen to quickly break down organic wastes, nitrates and ammonia.

What is flocculent?

Flocculent is a chemical that binds small, lightweight particles suspended in water together, so they can drop to the bottom. The Quick Clear Pond Flocculent performs this action, which makes the debris easier to remove and clears the pond water.

How do I make my pond water clear fast?

To quickly eliminate organics and floating debris, use both Eco-Solv9 and Quick Clear Pond Flocculent together.

How do I use city water for a pond with plants and fish?

Use Re-Vive Dechlorinator to remove chlorine and chloramines from city water. This will also ease the stress on fish during water changes.

Why do I need to put bacteria in my pond?

Putting beneficial bacteria, like Bio-Max in your pond is essential for breaking down organic matter, toxic ammonia and nitrates that would otherwise hurt your ponds health. The non-toxic compounds and minerals that will result from the bacteria decomposition are easily metabolized and removed by plants, which will keep your ponds ecosystem balanced, clean and clear.

What can I use to remove goop and algae stuck to rocks in my stream or waterfall?

You should apply Atlantic’s EcoKlean Oxy Pond Cleaner by sprinkling the recommended dose over your rocks and gravel to move any attached organics.