Common Sense Guide to Purchasing Pond Equipment

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It’s good to be thrifty. It’s smart to shop around for competitive pricing. But — how can I say this tactfully when I know no other way than bluntly — don’t be stupid!

Just because something is cheap does not mean you’ll save money. This is true with everything in life and is especially true when it comes to ponds. The words “price” and “cost” have two different meanings. The price is what you pay at the time you purchase an item. The cost is what you end up paying over the life of the product. Something that is low priced may end up costing you more after only a year or two.

Discount Warehouses & Mail Order Catalogs

Discount stores are not the way to go unless you are an expert on ponds! We don’t discount our pricing on filtration systems and there’s two very good reasons for that. First of all, we don’t inflate the prices. Second, our time and expertise are valued within that price.

When people purchase through a discount store there is no one to help with questions on installing that equipment and no one to help if there is a problem. You will save money by purchasing through a full-service, reputable dealer who has experts available for you. Though the price of a piece of equipment might be higher than a mail order catalog or discount store’s price the value is in the service. If you purchase equipment from us we give you so much in-house consultation that your head will spin. But we would have to charge dearly for that same in-house consultation if the product was purchased elsewhere — in fact, much more than the difference in the price in the first place.

“You Get What You Pay For”

The old clichés “you get what you pay for” and “do it right the first time” are the two truest statements that come to mind when I think of buying pond supplies.

One of the most aggravating things we run across with companies that manufacture pond equipment and supplies is that they will slap anything on a label and sometimes we feel we’re the only ones out there that challenge them. They will have you believe that their $69.95 filter will “get rid of green water” and is a “biofilter for up to 1000 gallons”. Wow! What a deal!

Not so fast. It’s not a deal at all. In fact, it should be illegal. Thousands of people throw money away this way everyday on products that don’t work. In this case the money was simply wasted because, as one finds later, it doesn’t do the job and will need replacing. Call it a $69.95 lesson on what not to buy.

Bottom line is you do “get what you pay for”. If the price is too good to be true — it is.

“Do It Right the First Time”

The best way to save money when building a pond or adding a filtration system is to do it right the first time. It costs at least twice as much if you don’t do it right to begin with. Many times a second filtration system is installed because the “cheaper one” didn’t do the job. We’ve seen many cases when a pond was totally reconstructed because it didn’t run correctly. It’s more costly to rebuild than to build. It costs labor to take apart the old.

Avoiding Costly Errors

Here are a few ways to avoid costly errors when purchasing equipment:

Research, research, research. Then come see us and we’ll correct you on everything you learned. There’s a load of misinformation on the internet. Be careful. Use your common sense and if you don’t have any, borrow your neighbor’s.

Decide whether you are purchasing for the present or the future. For example, if you are planning to sell your home within a year then you wouldn’t probably want to put on an external pump. It would make sense, however, to purchase an external pump if you will be living with the pond for a couple of years or more. External pumps, though higher priced, cost less because they save money in the long run.

Decide whether your time is worth more than the cost to build your pond with a low-maintenance system. Then bite the bullet and opt for the low-maintenance system. You’ll fall in love with yourself later for being so good to you.

Don’t ever try to seam two pieces of liner together because someone gave you a piece and it wasn’t quite big enough. You’ll be replacing it later, trust me!

Don’t undersize your filter. It will require constant cleaning and will not keep your pond properly clean or healthy.

Don’t go with a system because it is a name brand that you trust — and don’t always trust name brands. Labels will mislead you and just because a company spends a great amount of money on marketing does not mean it’s a good product. There are many out there that aren’t worth the paper the ads are printed on.

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