Product Reviews:
What NOT to Buy
The Odyssey Muck Vac:  Suggested Retail $106.59

I have tried this product on my own pond and on a client's
pond, and I think I can confidently day that it is a piece of
crap.  The concept is appealing to any ponder, but I
would like it a whole lot better if it actually WORKED.

What they neglected to tell me when I purchased this
Muck Vac system is that you need
at least 50 psi of hose
pressure
to make the thing work.  
Now, I don't know about you, but I would think that if you were selling a product that needed a certain amount of hose pressure
to make your product work, you would design your product so the psi required would be within the normal range of residential
water pressure.  If you want to give it a try, I suggest you call me and try mine first before you make the investment.  Who
knows.  YOU may have enough psi in your own back yard!
The opinions expressed here are based on personal experience.  
I have actually USED all of these products and these are my findings.
Floating Pond Thermometer:  Suggested Retail $11.50

It is important to have a pond thermometer for a number of reasons.  The most obvious of which is to know when you can start
feeding your fish in the spring, or stop feeding them in the fall.  However, this is a FLOATING pond thermometer, which means
that it will only tell you the water temperature in the top 6" of your pond.  Fish don't typically swim within 6" of the top of the
pond, and the water temperature at the middle or bottom of the pond can vary as much as 15 degrees from the top 6" during a
change of season.  Get yourself a SINKING pond thermometer for accurate readings of your water temperature down where the
fish are living.
This is a total waste of good fish or plant-buying money.  The concept is that the roots of the plants will have direct contact with
the nutrients from the fish waste, which is floating around in your water, and the plants will florish.  This is only true if you pot
your marginals in 2" river rock.  Therefore, they are completely useless for potting water lilies.  Also, once the plants DO take
root, the roots will snake through the openings in the plant basket and make a tangled mess.  The only way to get the plant out
of the basket when it's time to repot is to cut the basket apart.  The WORST part about these plant baskets is that most people
don't plant their aquatic marginal plants in river rock.  They use soil or heavy clay.  I promise you, no matter how hard you try to
be careful about placing these baskets in your pond, the soil particles in the basket will get sifted out into your pond water
LONG before your plants have taken root, turning your pond water black (or red, or gray, if you are using clay).  Don't buy
them.  Use a pot with NO holes, or better yet, use an old, black nursery pot that your neighbor-who-saves-everything saved,
and line it with newspaper to block the holes and reduce the amount of soil that seeps into your pond.  Once your plants get big
enough, don't use a pot at all.  Just rinse off the roots and slap them on your plant shelf.  (Water lilies and lotus excluded.)
Audio sounds provided by www.Freesound.org
38391- volivieri water flows over rock.wav
72722 - Manuel Calurano - Conversation
between a nightingale and a frog.mp3
Write me at:  pondgal@gridcom.net
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Mesh Plant Baskets:  Suggested Retail   from $3.99 to $5.89  
Anything Labeled "Aquatic Planting Media"
The only thing you need to pot up your water plants is clay soil and a couple of sheets of newspaper (if you have nursery pots
with holes in them).  If you don't live in a new subdivision where they've stripped all the top soil off so they can resell it to you
in order for you to be able to support grass, and therefore don't have any clay soil handy, find a friend who lives in a new
subdivision and tell them you'll trade them a bucket of your black dirt for a bucket of their clay.  They'll do it in a heartbeat, all
day long!  You want clay because it doesn't have a lot of organic material in it to decompose in your pond and foul the water,
and that's all "Aquatic Planting Media" is:  Clay.  Really expensive clay.
Water Quality Products
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Algae Treatments
Product Reviews:  What NOT to Buy
Egg lights, or any other mini LED lights for that matter, are crap in my opinion.  Don't
waste your money on them.  They're a LOT less expensive, but don't be sucked in by
saving a couple of bucks.  I have NEVER found a set that doesn't leak like a sieve, and the
bulbs are extremely difficult to replace.  It was a good idea at the time, I'm sure, but the
engineer who designed these never actually TRIED them in an application that included
water.
Egg Lights