Discussion in 'Water Features' started by bcx400, Jul 22, 2005.

  1. bcx400

    bcx400 LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 77

    Sonoran- The only contribution Aquascapes gave to the pond-building industry is Marketing, Marketing, and Marketing. There have been many other manufacturers of pond components (better quality and prices IMHO) around long before Aquascapes. Many contractors mistakenly think Aquascapes invented the pond- marketing genius from Wittstock.

    I believe Aquascapes has traded their quality control for huge growth. Poor quality materials leads to poor quality installations, and ponds that do not perform up to a customers expectations. How can failing pumps and bad bulkhead fittings make a company look good?

    I will probably get bashed for saying this.... But I really hate the volcano-look of a bio-falls and tons of rock spilling down an artificial berm of excavation spoils.
  2. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    I couldn't agree more, especially when its just sitting around in the middle of a yard.
  3. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    I also agree.Homeowner pond building and professional installations of ponds have been going on for many years before Aquascapes showed up.
    There are far superior pumps that's for sure.
    I mean..who's eating the labor when you have to go back and fix a leak or pull the pump and replace it? ..
    The installer that's who.
    It would feel wrong to me to install a new pond then charge my customer for the new pump R&R.
    I installed it.... if it does not work I have to eat the labor and time to get one in that works.
    So I am going to use reliable pumps and parts in the 1st place.
  4. Sonoran

    Sonoran LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Hmmm, sure, Greg and his Dad (or vice-versa?) did not invent ponds. But like any other good invention, it ain't worth beans without marketing. Like the people I mentioned, he put ponds "on the map". If you look at the NUMBERS: how many people had ponds before the big Aquascape "Revolution" and how many people have ponds now? Before Aquascapes I don't recall EVER seeing a pond being built on TV, do you?

    My point is/was I think that while maybe you CAN get better parts from other companies and several other companies have been around longer (heck the guy is only in his 30's), so what? I give credit where credit is due and love him or hate him, it seems that no one can deny his impact on the water garden portion of the landscaping market.

    And incidentally, while it's easy to focus on Wittstock's marketing abilities, it it totally off base to say that his success is only about "marketing, marketing, marketing." I never heard of the "one day pond" or "twenty steps, twenty parts" before Aquascapes. No one wrote any book anything like the "Pond Builder's Bible" or his "How to Make Money Building Ponds" book. Who else was travelling the country teaching landscapers how to build ponds with waterfalls ("Build A Pond Day" seminars) before Aquascapes? Who was promoting using flexible spa hose instead of PVC Pipe before Wittstock? How about underlayment instead of carpet and newspaper? How about plant pockets? How about insulation foam, black even, instead of mortar and concrete? Heck, how about pond kits? COMPLETE pond kits! I have a lot of old pond and fish keeping magazines from over the years. None of this stuff was common practice before Aquascapes to my knowledge. And that's only a small, partial list.

    You make it sound like if you return to the job to swap-out a pump it will break you! You should be making about two-grand profit in one day installing a pond. If you have to return a month later and spend 11 minutes swapping-out a pump, is that going to totally ruin your profit-margin?

    I just don't get all of the Aquascape bashing...

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 5,132

    i like there system and for the most part it has worked well
    like anything there is always room for improvement but they have a kit to do it all
    as for the pumps could it be a bad batch?
  6. stoneseller

    stoneseller LawnSite Member
    from MD Z7
    Messages: 84

    Aquascapes certainly offer a conveniant package. You can buy their kits and save a bunch of time versus sourcing around to multiple suppliers. They certainly have done some great marketing, and have made pond installations far easier for the general public and general landscape contractor.

    That said, a lot of the strictly pond oriented business folks I have dealt with don't always say the best things about their systems.

    My only real grief with the system is the emphasis on gravel bottomed ponds & streams. I sell a heck of a lot of river gravel to folks for this application, but I personally think putting all that loose small rock in the bottom of a pond creates a maintainance nightmare. It cruds up, collects fish $hit & plant debris, and helps contribute to massive algea blooms from all the fertilizer generated as that muck decomposes.

    If you are in the pond maintainance business, you can probably make good money doing spring & fall thorough cleanouts. OTOH, if you own your own pond, & service it yourself, the hassle of bi-annual major cleanout is a PITA.
  7. landscaperbob

    landscaperbob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    In my opinion you can't beat the vertical mat method of PondSweep versus the horizontal Aquascapes. As far as gravel bottoms stoneseller,with proper plant coverage & filtration you can overpopulate a pond without any maintenance other than normal mat cleaning-as shown in these pics.This is my home pond-installed in 1999 (2,500 gal/4' deep/over 100 fish) & never cleaned.The close up of my big boys shows my riverstone as clean as the day it was installed. I also am not a big fan of the water mountain & try to use grade to my advantage whenever possible.



  8. n2h20

    n2h20 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 503

    I had several AS ponds on my routes and unless they were in the shade and few fish, they were some of my worst ponds. Worst in water quality, worst in algae problems and the rocks all end up in the bottom of the pond within 6 months.
    I do agree that Aquascapes helped the pond industry grow to what it is today.
    But their product is not very good,
    They DO know how to market thats for sure.
  9. thartz

    thartz LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 486

    Had a build a pond day at my house in feb. 2005 with 21 landscapers present.I've installed 3 kits thus far.My 3000 series pump went bad within 3 months but was replaced for free. I also bought the pond builders bible and have re-read it several times. If you get the proper ecological balance of plant and animal ratios the water stays fairly clean. Yes the volcano look is really fake looking but; if the designer of the pond does it properly you can mask this ( the bible does give suggestions). Is it perfect; no, but it does add a serious amount of fun profit between building the pond and selling lighting systems.I'll stay loyal until someone comes out with an extremely much better product. Their tech support could use some help. They seem to never return calls.
  10. The Lawn Boy Pro

    The Lawn Boy Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,217

    Aquascape Designs, Inc. has the right method for getting the job accomplished, but they fail to make lasting, high quality products. Such as their skimmers.... They tend to cave in on the sides after a a few years period. EasyPro (probably aquascapes biggest compeditor) has got the right idea going.

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