Pond dye is a non-toxic water colorant, sold in a powdered or liquid form, used to darken the water. When added to a pond, the dye helps prevent algae blooms by blocking sunlight, which algae needs in order to grow. Pond dye is safe for fish, plants and swimmers. It is best to add dye when a pond or Natural Swimming Pool is new (when the ecosystem is first establishing itself) and early in the spring, just as water temps are starting to rise.
Our Mick's Mix pond dye is a special blend of blue and black dye that will effectively (and safely) darken the water without looking too black or too theme-parky blue. We developed this blend after having trouble finding the right shade of dye for our own Natural Swimming Pools and ponds that would help prevent algae blooms while still looking natural. You can buy a super concentrated powdered form of our Mick's Mix pond dye (sold in eco-friendly glass jars) through our online store everythingnaturalpools.com
Tip: When adding pond dye to your Natural Swimming Pool or pond, it is important to not add so much dye that you lose water clarity. Notice in the pic above how the water is darkened on the right, but you can still see the bottom of the pool. For a first use, start with a smaller dose and add more as needed once that first amount has dispersed so you don't make it too dark!
The Otter Renovation at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is complete! We had a team in Baltimore for several months working on projects at the zoo this past winter and spring. We finished some things in the Giant Tree Exhibit, helped construct the Lion Tribute Rock, and most importantly worked on the upgrade to the River Otter Exhibit!
Keep reading to see photos during the construction of the Otter Exhibit Renovation and after they returned to explore their updated home.
Check out the video below taken by the Maryland Zoo team showcasing some very happy Otters in their new exhibit
We love working at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore! We have been working closely with their team for many years, mainly to design and construct artificial rock work to create cohesive structure for the enrichment of the animals in their exhibits while also providing natural viewing points for visitors.
Below you will see some shots from the project during construction provided by Total Habitat staff, and after completed photos provided by the Maryland Zoo staff.
Photo credit: Maryland Zoo
Check our the Maryland Zoo Instagram and Facebook for more photos of animals and other things that are happening at the Zoo!
Though the writer didn't quite get everything right, including the price per square foot for natural pools (which in our experience is typically more like $20 - $80 per square foot, though it varies widely as explained in more depth on our Pricing page here), it is still nice to see Natural Swimming Pools getting some much deserved media attention! In fact, the natural pool shown at the top of the article was actually built by Total Habitat for Heather and Mike Dooley at their home in Napa, California. The Wall Street Journal article, Natural Pool Owners Are Kissing Chlorine And Other Chemicals Goodbye, also features a quote from Mick Hilleary, founder of Total Habitat, as well as from Meredith Stallcup (also of Total Habitat). Check out the full article here.
We've got some very exciting news here at Total Habitat, we have launched an online store where you can purchase all of the Natural Swimming Pool/Pond products we previously had available on this website plus so many more!
Whether you are building your own Natural Swimming Pool or Water Feature, or just maintaining one you already have, you'll be able to purchase a huge variety of products to fit your needs at www.everythingnaturalpools.com
You can buy beneficial bacteria to populate your biological filter, order a custom liner for your DIY project, or even purchase a fountain for a farm pond you may already have!
Go explore the retail store, learn more about NSP & pond products on our Guides page, and subscribe to our mailing list for updates on new products, maintenance tips and sales!
Looking for a specific product, or have questions about an item? Call us at (785) 856-5546 Ext.6 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We were recently featured in the news for Fox 8 WGHP in their coverage of the Greensboro Science Center Expansion. In the video below you can see us working on the Fishing Cat exhibit, adding texture and carving out the rocks formations into the concrete that was shot earlier that day.
Also featured is the nearly completed Pygmy Hippo Exhibit complete with an artificial goldmine entry way, waterfalls, and several large pools for the hippo to swim in. The mine feature is to bring attention to the visitors that deforestation, mining and illegal hunting has made pygmy hippos an endangered species in their natural habitat in West Aftica. Learn more about the pygmy hippo and the current conservation projects here.
Meredith has been working at Total Habitat since 2019. Meredith is from Overland Park, Kansas and currently lives in De Soto, Kansas. Her favorite thing about working for Total Habitat is the variety of work. "We are always learning something new, or ways to improve upon something. Everyone is expected to be able to complete any task that we might encounter so it is never boring or routine, and we're learning from each other in the process." When asked what her favorite tool was, she said the oxy acetylene torch or a really perfect black pen.
Outside of work Meredith loves everything to do with the outdoors. She loves going on hikes with her dog Anakin. In particular she loves looking at insects, flowers and rocks when hiking and has an extensive personal rock collection. She also enjoys swimming (in chlorine free water of course!) and reading in her spare time. Meredith said she loves the opportunity to travel with the company because she gets a chance to explore and hike in different climates and environments across the country.
Waylon has worked at Total Habitat since May of 2018. He is from Concordia, Kansas and has recently moved to Topeka, KS. When asked what his favorite tool he said the Omni Driver. His favorite project so far has been the Natural Swimming Pool in Tonganoxie in which they built up the rock walls in a spiral shape inspired from the nautilus shell.
Outside of work Waylon enjoys spending time with his with his children. When weather permits he likes to ride his motorcycle and do customization work on it. You can see the work he has done on his motorcycle below as well and showcasing his love for the Grateful Dead. He was thrilled to get to visit some famous Grateful Dead landmarks in San Francisco in the summer of 2019. If you ever get the chance to meet Waylon make sure to ask him about it, he is an exceptional story teller.
Logan has been working with Total Habitat since May of 2018. He is from, and currently lives in Lawrence, Kansas. His favorite thing about Total Habitat is the people. "It sounds cheesy, I know, but truthfully, I am extremely grateful to get to work with these individuals. They bring a variety of knowledge and background to the table and make working at Total Habitat far more than just a job."
Logan's favorite project so far has been the Natural Swimming Pool we built in Tonganoxie, which was built in a spiral shape inspired by the shell of a nautilus. Logan's favorite tool is the human brain, which is no surprise because one of his favorite subjects to study is Psychology.
If you get the opportunity to meet Logan you’ll know that he likes to take in the world around him. He enjoys observing the nature wherever he travels, insects & animals in particular. On a recent job near Seattle he enjoyed scooping a jar from the local lake making a temporary aquarium to identify and observe the lake organisms. This goes hand-in-hand with his talent for photography which you can see in the pictures he took of our NSPs below. Logan has an interest in Psychology which he studies extensively in his free time. His focused interest is in Personality Psychology and learning about interpersonal relationships and communication.
The long awaited opening of The Kay McFarland Japanese Water Garden at the Topeka Zoo has arrived! The official opening ceremony was held on August 27th, 2020. What was once a parking lot and an empty field is now a gorgeous space dedicated to former Chief Justice Kay McFarland's and her dream of a renowned Japanese garden in Topeka, Kansas.
We were honored to be part of this massive project by building all of the water features in the garden. We also provided water plants (along with Water's Edge & the Water Garden Society) and with the help of amazing volunteers installed all the water plants within the garden. Many of the plants you will see in the garden today were transplanted from Kay's personal garden, as another way for her memory to live on within the Japanese Garden.
*Read more about the specifics of this project in our previous post here
The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony featured performances by the Japanese drum group Three Trails Taiko. Speeches were made by the project leaders involved as well as Topeka Mayor Michelle De La Isla, and guest from the Japanese Consulate in Chicago General Kenichi Okada. General Okada stated about Kay McFarland, "She wanted to have a place of beauty, serenity, and peace for the people of Topeka, and now her vision has been completed."
Many of the speakers and attendees spoke of the pride and joy they felt in now having a piece of art in the Kansas state capital. Patrons from all over will come to visit and share in its beauty as they walk the through the different paths of the garden.
Speakers: Brendan Wiley: Zoo Director, Michelle De La Isla: Topeka Mayor, Koji Morimoto: Lead Japanese Garden Design Expert, General Kenichi Okada: Chicago Japanese Consulate, Pat Colley: FOTZ director, Elaine Schwartz: Trustee
*Watch full Three Trails Taiko Japanese Drum performances here, or visit their Facebook page for more information
"Once in a lifetime do you get the change to build something that is this meaningful, and this important to present and future generations. We are honored and delighted to have played such an important part in this fabulous creation. Enjoy the Garden!" - Mick Hilleary, Total Habitat CEO
Follow our Instagram and Facebook as we share more pictures of this beautiful garden as it changes with the seasons.
Check back with us each month for tips, new project pics, news, and more, here on our Total Blog!