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12:50 AM   April 19, 2014
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Maintaining Perfection
A stunning pond display is only as good as the employee responsible for its maintenance. Perfect placement, sound design and stunning plant material advertise your pond merchandise to its fullest. But an unattended, unkempt display feature can soon turn into your worst nightmare, turning consumers off to the hobby altogether.

“If you’re going to put the pond in, you have got to maintain it,” said Tim Christopher, owner of Gettysburg Water Gardens in Gettysburg, Pa. “Don’t just put it in and ignore it. An unkempt pond is going to be worse than having none at all … You want a pond that’s going to reflect your business being clean and clear.”

The person you trust with the maintenance of your display becomes the person you trust with the entire category of merchandise you carry. Success with pond products rests in their hands.

“We have one person that also has written procedures in their binder and notes that reference all of the equipment, capacities, water treatments that are used and the frequency that they are used,” said Deb Spencer, co-owner of Water’s Edge in Lawrence, Kan.

If you can’t spare the man power, consider investing in high-tech equipment that can manage water quality for you.

Equipment with integrated UV units save on maintenance by minimizing algae and save on space by fitting inside skimmers and biofall units, said Spencer. You can really save some real estate and manpower.

“We equip [ponds] with the lowest-maintenance, best equipment we have,” she said.

Know what needs to be done and when. Whether that includes daily, weekly or monthly chores, make sure your staff is ready for the challenge.

“We have skimmers that we clean daily,” Christopher said. “For filters, it depends on the filter. Some require an annual cleaning, some are monthly – it just depends.”<HOME>

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