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Outdoor Escapes

Pet Age Staff//March 10, 2013//

Outdoor Escapes

Pet Age Staff //March 10, 2013//

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It’s no secret that the DIY movement is sweeping the nation, and now, pet retailers may be able to cash in on it, as more and more consumers are choosing to build their own ponds instead of contracting out the work.

Several high-end manufacturing companies are creating products that make setting up a pond simpler than many might think.

“I would go so far as to say that ‘simplicity’ has become a consumer demand and expectation rather than a mere trend,” Damian Hall, marketing/events manager for Rolf C. Hagen Corp., said. “People want to experience the joy of a pond, but don’t want to have to go overboard with installation and maintenance. These consumers are installing smaller ponds of 500 to 4,000 gallons and demanding easy-to-use-and-maintain products.”

Hagen is one of the leaders in producing some of those easy-to-use products, he said. Take for example their Laguna pressurized canister filters with built-in UV filters, such as the Pressure-Flo Filter 1400 UVC, an all-in-one filtering system that keeps pond water clear and healthy.

It provides mechanical and biological filtration, as well as UVC sterilization, and as part of the cycle water passes along an integrated UV-C lamp, where it is exposed to ultraviolet rays that inhibit the growth of single-celled algae organisms.

Pressure-Flo also features a new Backwash-Cleaning System, a one-of-a-kind component, which cleans the whole surface of the foam filters. Backwash cleaning can be easily and comfortably done in a few minutes without opening the lid. This feature ensures that the filter performs at optimal levels for many days and prolongs the time between full maintenance sessions — again, a feature that addresses the demand for simplicity.

Laguna offers a full line of products and accessories for the do it yourself pond-keeper, from liners to filtration to décor, Hall said. The line includes the MaxFlo Pumps and PowerJet Fountain Kits, as well as ClearFlo Pressurized filters.

Keep It Simple

Another company helping DIY’ers with ponds is Danner Manufacturing.

“Simplicity is our overriding theme,” Bill Minnick, president of Danner Manufacturing, said. “With our products you’re not looking at a lot of different shapes and sizes like with other companies. Everything fits together and it lasts a long time so you rarely have to replace anything.”

Danner makes both DIY kits and separate products.

Their Proline Pond Kit comes complete with everything needed for a pond setup, including a PondMaster 4850 HY-Drive, a mesh polypropylene pump bag, a ProLine Pro5000 skimmer, ProLine Pro5000 filter and falls, BioMatrix biological filter media and bag, ProLine quick Dis/Connect, black PVC flex tubing, and all fittings, stainless steel hardware, and sealants.

These kits are designed for the needs of consumers — all of the components work seamlessly with each other, and the hardware is easily replaceable and quick to install.

EasyPro Pond Products also offers all-in-one DIY pond kits that retail stores like to carry because they are convenient for people who want to build a pond themselves, said owner Dave Ouwinga.

Everything comes in one box: a 45 mil rubber liner, underlayment, a mini skimmer with filter brushes, mini AquaFalls filter with molded rock lip, PVC flex pipe, check valve assembly, silicone sealer and PVC glue, and a 2,200 GPH Mag Drive Pump.

Landscaping With Water

Even with simple DIY kits, ponds can be a big undertaking. As a result, experts are seeing another trend emerge.

“It’s not just regular ponds that customers are looking for nowadays,” Ouwinga said. “There have become a lot of different options for people other than ponds. Anything soothing or relaxing, like a waterfall or bubbling rock is pretty popular for backyards.”

Hall said Hagen has seen the same trend.

“Outdoor living spaces and ‘staycations’ have led to a rebirth in gardening and home improvements,” he explained. “We have moved past our stainless steel kitchens and vaulted ceilings and we are now looking out into the patio and backyard and are personalizing these spaces.”

Given the trend, retailers might want to think about carrying products like EasyPro Pond Products’s Just-A-Falls, which are complete kits for building waterfalls and streams. These allow homeowners to build their own waterfalls and streams in small spaces.

The Just-A-Falls kits include a 45 Mil rubber liner, pump discharge assembly, liner underlayment, waterfall spillway, pump vault, flexible tubing, submersible pump, reservoir cubes, installation kit with glue, foam and fittings.

There are even options for retailers who own stores in a metropolitan area and have customers with limited space.

Hagen’s Laguna line has come up with the Patio Pond. It is a self-contained deck pond that fits in just about any setting, including decks, porches and patios.
The Patio Pond has a high back design, which generates a water wall that cascades into the basin.

Bill Kolbenschlag is a freelance writer, media professional and chief communications specialist at Radiant Tribes Internet Marketing Company.  Follow him on Twitter @Tribes_BK