Custom Water Features for Los Angeles

Have you ever thought about adding a water feature to your residential landscape? Sierra Pacific Design is the most trusted name for the design and construction of custom water features in Los Angeles. Whether you are looking for a beautiful Koi pond that brings life to your garden, or a custom waterfall that introduces the calming sounds of running water, Sierra Pacific Design will transform your garden into a tranquil garden paradise.

As we like to say, if you can imagine it, we can create it.

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Beautiful Koi Pond Design

Watch as the Aquascape team create a beautiful Koi pond design for homeowners Amber and Larry Payne. The level of beauty in this Koi pond design shows you what can be achieved by a certified Aquascape Koi pond designer who perfectly integrates a Koi pond organically into the existing garden landscape.

In this video you can clearly see how the placement and size of the Koi pond design in relation to the backyard home and patio area are very important. The waterfall flows through a meandering stream directly to the Koi pond which is situated right next to the patio area. This allows the family and guests to enjoy the Koi pond both from the patio area and from the family room. In fact, the family even installed an underwater Koi fish camera so that they can see their Koi fish from the TV in the living room. The television becomes a gigantic aquarium screen showing off their beautiful Koi fish. How cool is that?!

When you work with certified Aquascape specialists, you can rest assured that you are working with true landscape professionals that are dedicated to creating a Koi pond design that truly brings your backyard to life with magical Koi fish, chirping birds and all of the other natural wildlife that a Koi pond attracts. Add a dramatic waterfall feature to your Koi pond and your backyard will be transformed into a paradise beyond your wildest imagination!

Feel free to contacts us for more information on Koi pond design. We are happy to provide a no obligation consultation on your Koi pond design and waterfall installation project.

koi pond design

Get $200.00 worth of FREE PLANTS with any installation.

Contact us for a complimentary consultation today!

A beautiful backyard waterfall and pond is less expensive than you think. Contact us for a no-obligation design consultation today.
  • If you have any questions about garden waterfall and pond installation just let us know.
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Fish Pond Cleaning in 7 Easy Steps

Fish Pond Cleaning Service Los Angeles
A question we constantly get is how often should I clean out my fish pond? The answer is that every pond is different. Larger fish ponds may need less cleaning than smaller fish ponds because the amount of pond debris is minimal compared to the volume of water in the pond. Smaller fish ponds may require an annual cleanout if there are a lot of fish or a great deal of debris buildup throughout the year.

We think the best time of year for fish pond cleaning is in the Spring when you can remove material accumulated over the winter from leaves blowing into the pond.

Items you will need before you begin:

  • A cleanout pump with approximately 25 ft. of discharge hose
  • A children’s wading pool or large storage container to hold your fish during the pond cleanout
  • A net to cover the container so that your fish do not jump out
  • A fish net
  • Buckets for your fish
  • A bucket for collecting leaves and debris
  • A shop vac or pond vacuum for removing sludge
  • Aquascape Pond Detoxifier to remove chlorine and chloramines prior to putting your fish back in

Step 1: Begin Draining Your Fish Pond

Attach your cleanout pump to the discharge hose and put it in the pond. Use the pond water that you pump out of the pond to fill the tank for the fish. Take the water from the top as this water is generally cleaner than the water at the bottom of the pond. Make sure to place your fish storage container in a shady area before you start filling it.

Once your temporary fish storage container is full you can drain the remaining pond water into your garden. Fish pond water is full of beneficial nutrients which are great for your lawn and garden landscape. Leave about 8-10” of water at the bottom of the pond so that you can catch your fish easily and safely.

Step 2: Catch Your Fish

Gently catch your fish using a fish net and place them in your temporary storage container. Be sure that your storage container contains your original pond water to avoid shock from rapid temperature change and also make sure to cover the container with a net to keep your fish from jumping out. If you think your cleanout will take more than 3-4 hours you can further protect your fish by aerating the temporary holding tank with a fish tank air pump or a small fountain pump so that they won’t run out of oxygen.

Step 3: Remove Leaves and Debris

Now that you have an empty pond and your fish are safely secure in their holding tank you can begin cleaning the pond. Grab your bucket and start collecting all of the leaves and debris that have collected over the year. You should collect debris by hand so that you don’t accidentally puncture your pond liner. This is also a good time to trim away any plants that may be growing too close or into your fish pond. You can also use a shop vac or a pond vacuum to remove dirt and sludge that has accumulated at the bottom of the pond.

Step 4: Wash the Fish Pond

In our opinion you may not need to rent a pressure washer as a high pressure nozzle on a garden hose is often good enough. As you do this, don’t overdo the cleaning and try to remove all of the algae buildup as this algae is actually beneficial to your fish pond’s ecosystem. Start at the top and work your way down to the bottom and never use any soaps or detergents of any kind as they may harm your fish and pond liner. Rinse the pond one last time and drain the remaining water.

Step 5: Clean the Filters

Remove any debris from the bottom of the skimmer and then clean the waterfall filter box. Also remove the media nets and filter pads and rinse the media and filters of the accumulated debris. Now put all of your clean filters back into the skimmer and filter box.

Step 6: Refill the Fish Pond

Now that your fish pond is all clean, it’s time to fill it up with water again. Make sure to leave enough room for the water in your temporary fish storage container as you will be adding this water back into your fish pond as well. More importantly, when filling your pond using tap water, remember that most city water contains chlorine and chloramines and must be treated with Aquascape Pond Detoxifier.

Step 7: Acclimating Your Fish to Their New Clean Home

Fish pond cleaning can be stressful for fish. Goldfish and Koi can only deal with rapid water temperature changes of one or two degrees, so it is important to slowly acclimate them to the new water temperature in the pond. We recommend dipping your fish buckets into your temporary storage container and filling it with the old pond water. Then add some fish and place the buckets into the pond so that the fish are still in their original pond water but are surrounded by the new water. This helps the fish to slowly acclimate to the new pond water temperature. Once all of your fish are in buckets in the pond, add the remaining old pond water to the pond as well. After 15 minutes the temperature of the pond and the water in the buckets should be the same. Now start mixing some of the new pond water into your fish buckets so that your fish can also adjust to the new pond water as well. After another 15 minutes you should be able to release your fish into their new clean home.

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Koi Pond Design Pictures and Pond Building Tips

If you want to bring living beauty into your garden landscape, there is no better way than by building a Koi pond. A Koi pond truly transforms your garden landscape into a peaceful paradise with tranquil sounds of running water, beautiful reflections of light across the water, and of course the “living jewels” of brightly colored Koi fish swimming peacefully in your garden.

One thing to consider as you read through these tips is that your local landscaper will typically not know the best methods for building a Koi pond that perfectly integrates into your garden landscape and provides a healthy and protected environment for your Koi fish to live a long and happy life. If you want the best Koi pond design and live in the Los Angeles area, feel free to contact us for a complimentary Koi pond design consultation.

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Tips for Building a Garden Pond (Part Two)

In part one of our series on building a garden pond we discussed important planning steps you should consider such as choosing a location, deciding on the size of the garden pond and electrical outlet placement. If you missed part one please see tips for building a backyard pond.

In part two we discuss even more garden pond building tips such as using a professional pond liner, tips for installing pond liners and more.

Part 2 – Building a Garden Pond

Tip 1 – Consider a Pond Kit

A pond kit is a great way to build a pond for first timers and will include all of the necessary components needed to get the pond up and running. Items in a garden pond kit typically include a liner, an appropriate pond pump suitable for the size of the pond, a filtration system and skimmer, and a pump valve assembly. Pond kits come in a variety of sizes and we recommend Aquascape pond kits which provide professional pond equipment and a 45-mil EPDM rubber liner with a 20 year guarantee.

Tip 2 – Use a Professional Pond Liner

We recommend using a 45-mil EPDM rubber liner for a backyard pond. While EPDM liners cost more than other types of pond liners we know from experience that it is better to spend more on a high quality pond liner rather than trying to find leaks and fix them later. Make sure to get your EPMD liner from a pond supplier as sometimes you will see EPDM used for roofing but that version often contains chemicals that can harm water plants and fish. Also, whenever possible, try to get a pond liner that will completely cover your entire garden pond. Bonding two liners together is time-consuming and, if not done correctly, will often start to leak. If you notice that your liner already has a seam in it don’t worry. Seams bonded at the factory are just as reliable as the rest of the liner.

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Tips for Building a Backyard Pond (Part One)


Have you ever wondered how a backyard pond is built? In this video the Aquascape Pond Squad joined by local certified Aquascape contractors build a backyard pond complete with mini waterfalls as a surprise for their in-laws in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Although they make it seem easy and fun, keep in mind that the Aquascape Pond Squad has already planned out the backyard pond design in advance and has an entire army of contractors to help finish their backyard pond. The reality is that proper site surveying and creative pond landscape design takes some time – and it is not always straight forward and easy! Feel free to contact us anytime for a complimentary site survey and design ideas for your backyard pond.

Here are some essential tips for building a backyard pond.

Part 1 -Planning to Build a Pond

Tip 1 – Check Your Soil Stability

Check the soil and make sure that the soil is stable enough to support a pond in your desired location. Stability is important as once your fill your pond it will become quite heavy, and if your soil is not compacted the pond walls may collapse or become misshapen.

Tip 2 – Choose Your Location

When you are planning on building a fish pond, remember to choose a site that gets at least partial sunlight. Sunlight is essential for water plants which your fish will feed on. If possible, you should select a location so that the pond can be enjoyed from a window in your house. You can reduce pond maintenance by deciding not to build your pond under a tree as the leaves and twigs will end up constantly falling into your pond and filling up the skimmer. As these leaves decompose, they can also end up altering the water’s chemical balance and end up killing fish.

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Discover the Best Aquascape Pond Builder in Los Angeles

If you are thinking of Aquascaping your garden landscape with a beautiful waterfall and garden pond then you are choosing to make an investment that will not only be aesthetically pleasing but will also increase the value of your property. Yet, not all pond builders and garden pond pumps are equal.

Many non-certified garden landscapers often don’t have a lot of experience installing an elaborate garden water feature such as a waterfall and garden pond. Inexperienced pond builders end up designing and installing water features that don’t really blend into the garden landscape, or worse, utilize cheaply made pond pumps and inferior pond liners that quickly break down after installation.

The fact is Aquascape is the #1 supplier of high quality pond pumps and water features for backyard waterfall and pond construction projects. When you work with a certified Aquascape contractor utilizing high quality Aquascape pond pumps and equipment, you are truly investing in a garden water feature that will look better, last longer and provide long term value to your property.

Plus, when you work with a certified Aquascape pond builder, you are working with someone who is truly dedicated to designing a beautiful custom water feature that will look natural and seamlessly blend into your existing garden landscape. All Aquascape pond builders are required to attend continual training and education seminars while maintaining a proven record of outstanding work and dedicated customer service. Simply put, Aquascape pond builders are the best at what they do and that is designing and building naturally elegant and captivating garden water features, waterfalls and ponds.

The #1 Aquascape Pond Builder in LA

Aquascape Waterfall and Pond Builder Los Angeles
Sierra Pacific Design is proud to be the #1 Aquascape waterfall and pond builder in Los Angeles and number #12 nationwide. As a certified Aquascape pond builder our extensive experience building ponds and waterfalls, our experience gives us the ability to design, build and maintain water features that are typically much more elegant and of a higher quality than water features built by non-certified landscapers.

When you work with a certified Aquascape pond builder like Sierra Pacific Design, you can rest assured that you will receive an elegant and beautiful garden water feature that uses high quality and long lasting Aquascape pond equipment. If you are thinking of investing in a beautiful water feature, you owe it to yourself to work with the best in the business – Sierra Pacific Design Ponds and Waterfalls.

Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation

We will be happy to provide you with a free site survey and an estimate for a beautiful garden water feature such as a waterfall and pond that will transform your landscape into the garden oasis of your dreams.

Contact us for a complimentary consultation today!

A beautiful backyard waterfall and pond is less expensive than you think. Contact us for a no-obligation design consultation today.
  • If you have any questions about garden waterfall and pond installation just let us know.
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Rainwater Collection Without Using Ugly Rain Barrels

Many residents in Los Angeles have already made adjustments to their landscaping strategies in an effort to cope with our ongoing California drought. Classic green lawns are disappearing in favor of drought tolerant landscaping that requires less water and many homeowners are also utilizing outdoor rainwater collection systems such as rain barrels as a way to conserve every last precious drop of rainwater.

A row of rain barrels, however, isn’t exactly aesthetically pleasing, and some may be understandably reluctant to have them stacked in the lovely garden that they have worked so hard to create. Fortunately, collecting rainwater doesn’t have to mean installing rows of ugly rain barrels. Instead, homeowners can now greatly enhance the beauty of their garden landscape by adding an Aquascape RainXchange rainwater harvesting system that efficiently collects rainwater while being practically invisible in the garden.

Rainwater Collection Los Angeles

The RainXchange Doesn’t Use Rain Barrels

Imagine the enjoying the appearance and sound of a sparkling waterfall while relaxing on the deck or entertaining family and friends with an outdoor barbecue – using sustainable rainwater and without an ugly rain barrel in sight! This can be achieved using an Aquascape RainXchange™ Rainwater Harvesting System that use a sub-surface drainage system to harvest rainwater instead of unsightly rain barrels.

The rainwater is stored underground and is available for use on an as-needed basis. Moreover, collected rainwater can be re-circulated in water features such as waterfalls and garden ponds, meaning homeowners save money on municipal water costs, elevate the value and appeal of their property with a water feature, and can rest assured that they are doing their part to conserve water during a drought. Collected rainwater can also be used to irrigate gardens of vegetables and herbs with nutrient-rich rainwater free of municipal water additives and chemicals.

Make Every Drop of Water Count

Even drought-stricken California receives some annual rainfall water, and if predictions are any indication, this year’s strong El Nino weather pattern may bring significant precipitation to the Los Angeles area this winter. Smart homeowner will be ready to catch every last drop of precious water for later use because long-range forecasts indicate that despite some seasonal El Nino activity, the drought is far from over. Remember however that drought conditions doesn’t mean that drought tolerant gardens need to be an ugly pile of rocks and cactus – just because people are giving up their lawns and allowing water-intensive vegetation to die doesn’t mean that they have to sacrifice aesthetic appeal in their outdoor living spaces.

Garden Waterfall Design

A gorgeous pondless waterfall, for instance, can provide a beautiful and lush focal point for a drought tolerant garden landscape while being completely sustainable when paired with an Aquascape RainXchange system.

Learn More About The RainXchange Rainwater Collection System

Please feel free to contact us today for a free consultation. We will be happy to provide you with a free site survey and an estimate for a water collection system and special water features such as a waterfall and pond that will transform your landscape into the garden oasis of your dreams.

Contact us for a complimentary consultation today!

A beautiful backyard waterfall and pond is less expensive than you think. Contact us for a no-obligation design consultation today.
  • If you have any questions about garden waterfall and pond installation just let us know.
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Drought Tolerant Landscaping Ideas for Los Angeles

Many homeowners are doing their part to conserve water during the current drought by forgoing watering their lawns. However, this practice simply results in dry grass that is ugly and a fire hazard. A better alternative is to use drought tolerant landscaping that doesn’t require traditional lawn grass at all. Here are some drought tolerant landscaping ideas for those who want to save water without skimping on their garden’s aesthetic appeal.

Drought Tolerant Plants

California native drought tolerant plants

Plant Native Vegetation

Indigenous plants perform better because they are already acclimated to local climate conditions and easily thrive with the water provided by area rainfall. Plants imported from other regions, on the other hand, often need extra pampering in order to remain healthy. Check with your local nursery or landscaping company for suggestions on native drought tolerant plants in your location. As an added bonus, native plants also resist local pests and pathogens that may damage or even destroy their imported counterparts. Drought tolerant landscaping solely with native vegetation is referred to as xeriscaping, and the goal is to produce a garden landscape that requires no extra watering whatsoever.

Drought Tolerant Drip Irrigation System

Example of a typical drip irrigation system

Use Smart Irrigation Systems

Modern irrigation systems use several aspects of technology to get the most benefit using the least amount of water possible. For instance, automatic sprinkler systems can be programmed through a sensor to turn off if it begins to rain during scheduled watering times. Drip irrigation systems are also very popular because they can supply water directly to the roots zones of drought tolerant plants and prevent water from being wasted.

Pondless Waterfall Design

Drought tolerant landscaping with a pondless waterfall

Install Hardscaping or a Water Feature

Patios, walkways, ponds, waterfalls and even colored pebbles provide aesthetic appeal to drought tolerant landscaping spaces and often are much more interesting and enjoyable than a thirsty lawn. A pondless waterfall uses very little water and the sound of running water dramatically increases both the beauty and visual appeal of a garden landscape. Pondless waterfalls are very easy to install and use recirculated water so homeowners can appreciate the soothing sounds of a water feature without the maintenance or safety concerns involved with having a pond.

Aquascape RainXchange

An example of a rainwater capture, filter and reuse system with a pondless waterfall

Install a Rainwater Harvesting System

Even drought-affected regions experience some degree of rainfall, so why let it go to waste? You can easily install a rainwater harvesting system in conjunction with a pondless waterfall. An Aquascape RainXchange rain water harvesting system reduces municipal water bills and is a perfect sustainable water source for a pondless waterfall. Many people are surprised at the amount of extra water rainwater catchment systems generate. For instance, an average roof of 2,000 square feet will generate up to 41,000 gallons of water in areas that receive just 30 inches of rain per year.

Please feel free to contact us  for more a complimentary consultation and some ideas for a beautiful drought tolerant garden landscape.

Contact us for a complimentary design consultation today!

A beautiful drought tolerant garden landscape with water features is less expensive than you think. Contact us for a no-obligation design consultation and receive $200.00 worth of free plants with any landscaping project
  • If you have any questions about garden waterfall and pond installation just let us know.
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3 Misconceptions About Drought Tolerant Landscaping

With California’s drought entering its fourth year of record-breaking dry weather many people are looking to apply drought tolerant landscaping techniques to their garden landscapes. But what exactly is a drought tolerant landscape?

Misconception #1: Drought tolerant = rocks, cactus and dried up animal skulls

Xeric is Greek for “requiring little water.” The most common misconception is that Xeriscaping, another term for drought tolerant landscaping techniques is just “Zero” scaping, or removing all lawn and plants and laying down gravel, rocks and some cactus or succulents. In fact, many California native plants and flowers can withstand dry conditions, need much less water and can still provide a lush, green drought tolerant garden landscape. We have even produced outstanding drought tolerant landscaping designs from a mix of artificial grass and drought tolerant plants which looks just as natural and green as your typical thirsty green lawn and garden.

Drought tolerant landscaping ideas

Drought tolerant landscaping by Sierra Pacific Design with low water plants and artificial grass

Misconception #2: Water Conserving Landscapes Are Sterile and Lifeless

Many California native plants have long lasting blooms and lush green foliage while using much less water. When planting, it is important to take into consideration the plant’s size at maturity. Layer your plants by height and bloom time for a pleasing design and constant color.

You can further conserve soil moisture by adding compost, mulch and shredded leaves to your garden regularly. Compost not only adds beneficial nutrients and microbes to the soil, it helps retain moisture. Another tip is to use a soaker hose for watering. Sprinklers and overhead watering is fine for lawns, but a soaker hose can be more efficient for drought tolerant gardens. The best drought tolerant landscape strategies begin with proper plant selection and the first phase of your garden plan should be to group plants with the same water requirements in the same watering zone, which will help provide efficient watering.

Misconception #3: Drought Tolerant Gardens Require No Maintenance

While your new drought-tolerant landscape may require less water, it will still require some periodic low maintenance. Be sure to prune your plants properly, following the natural shape of the plant. Regular weeding will also be necessary and removing pest infested or diseased plants is a must.

Drought Tolerant Landscaping Tips:

  • Determine north, south, east and west
  • Take note of sunny and shady spots
  • Create and use shade for plants that may need more moisture
  • Identify slopes and drainage patterns to help funnel water through the garden
  • Use compost or mulch to maintain soil temperature, improve water retention, prevent runoff and control weed growth

Be patient with your new drought tolerant landscape design. Many gardeners actually live for this kind of challenge. Install your new drought tolerant garden in stages if you wish and be as creative as you want. Remember, those lush, green and colorful blooms are out there waiting for you.

We Create Drought Tolerant Landscapes That Are Natural and Inviting

Do you really want a colorless field of rocks and pebbles with some sparse succulents? Or are you ready to imagine a beautiful sustainable garden featuring drought tolerant plants, a rainwater catchment system and a flowing natural waterfall that is truly inviting to the eye?

If you are thinking about transforming your lawn with drought tolerant landscaping, contact us today for a complimentary consultation. We are the experts in bringing the beauty of southwest native plants and the tranquil sounds of flowing water to transform thirsty lawns into beautiful drought tolerant garden landscapes.

Contact us for a complimentary consultation today!

A beautiful backyard waterfall and pond is less expensive than you think. Contact us for a no-obligation design consultation today.
  • If you have any questions about garden waterfall and pond installation just let us know.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
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