Course curriculum

  • 1

    Getting Started

    • Getting Started in the Water Feature Industry

    • Four Stages of a Business

    • First Steps to Starting Your Water Feature Business

    • How Does a New Contractor Get Hands-On Experience?

    • What Percent of Landscapes Have a Water Feature?

    • Developing Your Own Style

    • Know Your Abilities – Don’t Get in Over Your Head / Working with Other CACs

    • Starting a Water Feature Business Intro

    • Getting Started Quiz

  • 2

    The Five Steps of the Construction Process

    • Introduction

    • The Five Steps of the Construction Process

  • 3

    The Lead Process

    • The Lead Process - Part 1

    • The Lead Process - Part 2

    • Consultation Fee

    • The Lead Process - Part 3

    • The Lead Process Quiz

  • 4

    The Pre-Sales Call

    • The Pre-Sales Call

    • Locating the Utilities Before the Sales Call

    • The Pre-Sales Call Quiz

  • 5

    The Sales Call

    • Introduction: Sales Call

    • Sales Call: Fountainscape Design

    • Sales Call: Fountainscape Bid Sheet

    • Sales Call: Pondless Waterfall Design

    • Sales Call: Pondless Waterfall Bid Sheet

    • Sales Call: Pond Design

    • Sales Call: Pond Bid Sheet

    • Quiz: The Sales Call

  • 6


    • Calculating Liner & Underlayment

    • Calculating Stone & Gravel

    • Calculations Quiz

  • 7

    Closing the Sale

    • Closing the Sale Part 1

    • Pre-Install Walkthrough Video

    • Closing the Sale Part 2

    • Closing the Sale Quiz

  • 8

    The Pre-Install

    • Job Folder

    • The Pre-Install Quiz

  • 9

    Introduction to the Installation Process

    • Introduction to Installation Videos

  • 10

    The Install: Fountainscape

    • Aquabasin Installation

    • Stacked Slate Urn Installation

    • Stacked Slate Urn Enhancements

    • Fountainscape Install Quiz

    • Bonus: Stacked Slate Sphere Installation

    • Bonus: Stacked Slate Wall Installation

    • Bonus: Fire and Water Spillway Bowls Installation

    • Bonus: Stacked Slate Sphere w/Fire Installation

    • Bonus: Mongolian Basalt Installation

    • Bonus: Mongolian Basalt Fire Feature Installation

  • 11

    The Install: Pondless Waterfall

    • Part 1: Backyard Waterfall Landscape Fountain Kit Overview

    • Part 2: Setting up the Aquabasin

    • Part 3: Installing the Aquabasin

    • Part 4: Aquabasin Plumbing Hookup

    • Part 5: Backfilling the Aquabasin

    • Part 6: Positioning the Liner

    • Part 7: Starting the Waterfall

    • Part 8: Hooking up the Waterfall Spillway

    • Part 9: Hooking up the Pump

    • Part 10: Foaming the Waterfall & Installing Lights

    • Part 11: Finishing Touches

    • Pondless Waterfall Installation Quiz

    • Bonus: Advanced Pondless Waterfall Installation

    • Bonus Part 1: Laying Out the Pondless Basin

    • Bonus Part 2: Excavation

    • Bonus Part 3: Positioning & Excavation for Pondless Waterfall Vault

    • Bonus Part 4: Installing the Liner & AquaBlox

    • Bonus Part 5: Backfilling the Pondless Basin

    • Bonus Part 6: Waterfall Design & Construction

    • Bonus Part 7: Installing the Pumps

    • Bonus Part 8: Installing the Waterfall Spillway

    • Bonus Part 9: Installing a Bib Liner

    • Bonus Part 10: Finishing Touches

    • Bonus Part 11: Pondless Waterfall Maintenance

    • Bonus Part 12: Hiding the Pondless Vault

    • Bonus Part 13: Tweaking the Lights

  • 12

    The Install: Pond

    • Part 1: Equipment Needed

    • Part 2: Product Overview

    • Part 3: Laying out the Pond

    • Part 4: Locating and Installing the Biofalls

    • Part 5: Hooking up the Biofalls

    • Part 6: Excavating the Pond & Determining the Depth

    • Part 7: Installing the Skimmer and Connecting the Plumbing

    • Part 8: Underlayment and Liner

    • Part 9: Rocking in the Pond

    • Part 10: Attaching the Liner to the Skimmer

    • Part 11: Working with Stone

    • Part 12: Beach Construction and Edging

    • Part 13: Recessing Larger Boulders into the Edge

    • Part 14: Pond Edging Next to a Patio

    • Part 15: Placing Lights Inside the Pond

    • Part 16: Rinsing Out and Filling the Pond

    • Part 17: Building the Waterfall

    • Part 18: Connecting the Liner to the Biofalls

    • Part 19: Using Waterfall Foam

    • Part 20: Installing the Pump and Skimmer Components

    • Part 21: Adding Plants to the Pond and Edging

    • Part 22: Building the Waterfall in Front of the Biofalls

    • Part 23: Building Wing Walls

    • Part 24: Installing the Biofalls Rock Tray

    • Part 25: Connecting the Lights

    • Part 26: Installing the Automatic Dosing System

    • Part 27: Turning on the Waterfall

    • Part 28: Wrap Up

    • Pond Install Quiz

  • 13

    The Post-Install

    • The Post-Install

    • Post Install Quiz

  • 14


    • Maintaining a Fountainscape

    • Maintaining a Fountainscape Quiz

    • Maintaining a Pondless Waterfall

    • Maintaining a Pondless Waterfall Quiz

    • Maintaining a Pond - Part 1

    • Maintaining a Pond - Part 2

    • Maintaining a Pond Quiz

  • 15

    Bonus Sessions

    • Pond Design

    • Stream Design

    • FAQ: 100% Customer Satisfaction

    • FAQ: Does Aquascape Do Drawings?

    • FAQ: Why do you wait until the pond is finished before electrical is installed?

    • FAQ: Have any of your processes changed due to COVID?

    • FAQ: Do you build ponds differently if you know there is an abundance of wildlife nearby?

    • FAQ: Can you put your pumps on a timer?

    • FAQ: "You can't put rocks and gravel in a koi pond!"

    • FAQ: Will koi destroy plants in your pond?

    • FAQ: "You can't put koi in a two-foot deep pond!"

    • FAQ: When do you not charge a consultation fee?

    • What do you do with the fish in the winter-time?

    • Can you put chlorine in a pondless or fountainscape?

  • 16

    Bonus Sessions: The Pond Guy's Pearls of Wisdom!

    • Working ON Your Business and Not IN Your Business

    • What is the First Job of the CEO?

    • All Business Is, Is Fixing Problems...

    • Why Do I Vlog?

    • Training

    • Motivating Your Team


Owner and CEO

Greg Wittstock, The Pond Guy

Greg, aka The Pond Guy, has been dabbling in water gardens since the age of 12 and has a love of everything water and turtles. After experimenting with ponds for over eight years, Greg had a “light bulb” moment during a drive home from the boring summer job he took during college in 1990. He decided that he wanted to do something he loved for a living – he wanted to build ponds. Just 30 seconds later, he had a company name, Aquascape. The next year, he began building ponds during his breaks in the school year. From there he created the Aquascape, Inc. business model, which includes a mix of distribution, retail, and installation services. Greg is a sought-after speaker on topics ranging from water gardening to business success and strategy. He authored The Pond Guy on Marketing and has appeared on the cover of Inc. Magazine. You may have also seen him on Nat Geo Wild’s “Pond Stars” series. When Greg is not working, he enjoys scuba diving and exploring remote parts of the world. Greg has a love of life and adventure; his motto is “Carpe Diem.”

Vice President of Construction

Brian Helfrich

Brian has been with Aquascape, Inc. since 1995, starting out in the warehouse and working his way up to his current position as construction manager. He’s given hundreds of pond construction seminars across the country and is considered to be one of the premier waterfall builders in the nation. Brian shared his pond expertise as a contributing author for The Pond Builder’s Bible, published by Aquascape, Inc. Brian’s creative pond designs have been featured in numerous publications, including Better Homes and Gardens special interest publications, and Nature’s Garden. In addition, Brian has generously extended his pond artistry to several impressive, public water feature designs including Epcot® International Flower and Garden Show, Chicago Lincoln Park Zoo, Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, and more. He also appeared on Nat Geo Wild’s “Pond Stars” series. Since 2006, Brian has designed and led the project team for Aquascape’s signature water gardens at the Chicago Flower and Garden Show, much to the delight of show attendees. In 2009, Brian and the Aquascape Designs construction crew received the Silver Award for Excellence in Landscape from the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association.