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I Have A New Fish

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I Have A New Fish

Picture this: A frantic man rushes through the front door of my shop. He harried, frazzled, and obviously upset. He sees me, gets a small, nervous smile, and says, “My fish need help!” The next sentence is one of these: My fish are laying at the bottom of the pond, gasping for air by the waterfall, jumping like Shamu at Sea World, or not eating, and they ALWAYS eat!

I ask, “Did you add new fish three weeks ago?” He looks at me like I’m the palm reader at the state fair, and says, “Yes! How did you KNOW that!?!!?!??!”

Here’s the skinny on adding new fish: Quarantine, quarantine, quarantine, quarantine.

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Did I say it enough? Do it. It is as simple as that.

Nike said it, and it’s more true with quarantining your koi than with exercise. Just do it.

When you get a new koi, whether you purchased it at a shop, a show, or it came as a gift from a friend, or your spouse, or your mom’s neighbor’s daughter’s hairdresser’s boyfriend, and you KNOW, beyond a shadow of a doubt, these koi are SAFE, QUARANTINE.

A few simple steps can save your koi, and you from a world of heartache. Believe me, I speak from experience. Please do it even if the dealer, friend, or neighbor says that the fish have been quarantined.

Set up a simple tub, wading pool, aquarium, whatever works for you, with a filter on it, and a couple of permanent residents to keep the filter active.

Make sure it is large enough to house the biggest koi you are likely to purchase.

My system is one of simple prevention. Once you have your new bouncing baby koi in hand, get him set up in the quarantine tank. The most common parasites are easily treatable in a small environment like this.

My typical routine is to treat for flukes, anchor worm, fish lice, costia, trichodina, chilodnella, epistylis, and ich.

Medicines vary from state to state, so get what is available in your area to treat these parasites.

Keep in mind that in the early stages, several of these parasites are easily treatable using salt, so make sure a good quality salt is part of your quarantine process.

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Follow all procedures listed in the medications you use, and be sure not to mix medications that should not be used with others. This is the easiest way to kill your koi quickly.

The other part of quarantining is to help prevent bacteria from getting in your pond. We feed anti-bacterial food during quarantine, and treat for bacteria topically also to help insure the safety of our previous residents.

We are typically treating for flexibacters, aeromonas, and streptococcus, so see what is in your neck of the woods, and treat accordingly.

Again, salt is a safe and simple ally for many of these guys in the early stages, without the dangerous side affects of some of the stronger medications.

After the treatment period is complete, (according to procedures on your medications) your fish can now be added to your pond. The old adage, “An ounce of treatment is worth a pound of cure” is never more true than when it comes to quarantining your fish. Learn from my mistakes and set up a quarantine tank. Your fish will thank you.

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Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

Eric Triplett
The Pond Digger

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The Worst Pond Myth, Busted WIDE Open

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The Worst Myth Pond Myth, Busted WIDE Open

I seem to start off a lot of these blogs with “I got a call from a client…” I do, I know, but answering the phone calls, and everyday questions that people have gives me the insight to answer the questions you may have also.

So, I got a call from a client the other day asking about enlarging his pond:

He said he thought it was about time since his 5 koi had been in one of those 100 gallon home depot ponds for the last TEN YEARS?!?!!??!?!!?

He tells me they’ve been fine in there, and they are healthy, so he doesn’t need much more in the way of filtration, or size really, but just a little bigger might be nice. And he truly believes this.

He thinks these fish, that should be 32″-36″ by now, with a girth the size of a dinner plate, are happy and healthy.

I do have to say, I think I held my poker face pretty well. My soul was dying, my brain was sizzling into a little pile of mush, and my heart was broken for those poor koi. After 10 years, they are only 12″ long.

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Not only are these fish NOT healthy, but they are NOT happy, and they are seriously stunted. Perhaps for life now. They need a proper sized home, proper filtration, frequent water changes, and a good diet, STAT!

Okay, I’ll lighten up, I guess this is a “first world problem”, right? But still, if I can prevent this from happening to more koi, I will.

So let me try to bust this myth wide open, one more time:

Fish do not grow to the size of their environment

They are limited by the pheromone level and water quality in the pond.

The pheromone level is determined by the quantity of fish, and the frequency of water changes.

The more you change the water, the lower the pheromone level will be. Plus, water changes equal lower ammonia, nitrites, and more.

I’ve seen 24-30″ fish in a tiny child’s wading pool. They grew that large in just a few years with superb water quality due to excellent filtration and frequent water changes.

While they would’ve been happier in something larger, (which they did get) at least we knew they were healthy, because they had achieved proper size.

Pheromone level is what allows the fish to grow. Keeping them in too small a pond, without proper filtration, nutrition, and water changes not only stunts their growth, but also slowly kills them.

I’m not talking slowly like, ya, once we’re born, we’re all slowly dying. I’m talking, these gorgeous, amazing fish that can live for more than 100 years, are dying in as little as a few years.

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So, if you want koi, plan on BARE MINIMUM 250 gallons per adult male koi, and 500 gallons per adult female koi in your pond.

For instance, if you want 10 female koi, you need at least a 5000 gallon pond. If you want a big herd of koi, build 20,000 gallons.

A 5000 gallon pond isn’t for everyone though, and I do understand this. But it is pretty simple. If you want a 100 gallon courtyard pond, don’t put koi in it.

Put some nice goldfish in there, like Shubunkins, Comets, or Black Moors. They stay relatively small, and while you still can’t have oodles in there, a couple of these guys in 100 gallons with proper filtration, and water changes will be A-okay.

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Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

Eric Triplett
The Pond Digger

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Make Money with your Pond!

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Make Money with your Pond!

PONDS SELL HOUSES

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A pond full of colorful, gorgeous koi, swimming gracefully through the sparkling, clear water, calls to visitors like nothing else at a home.

They can easily imagine the sound of the waterfall trickling down the falls relaxing them at the end of a long, hard day, beverage in hand, tie unknotted, shoes kicked off, feet propped up.

This followed by that same musical waterfall lulling them to sleep at bedtime, with frogs calling a vocal backup.

This relaxing bit of nature, in the middle of the crowded, busy city, can really be the advantage your home has over other homes on the market.

Make sure your pond is clear, the waterfalls unobstructed by plants that hinder the view.

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STAGE YOUR POND JUST LIKE YOUR HOUSE

Leave the windows on the pond side of the house open during showings and open house dates to insure potential buyers hear the pond inside, and outside.

Recently, during my own open house, I made sure all the windows near my 2 ponds were open. People commented on the lovely sounds of the waterfalls all day.

Place a few lounge chairs strategically around the pond to call people to them. Encourage them to sit, and take in the view. Put a cooler with waters or a few snacks on a table nearby.

STAY-CATION RELAXATION

The possibilities are endless, and with people dreaming of “staycation homes” the market has never been more affected by tranquil, relaxing, at home amenities.

Make sure they see the beauty of your pond and all it has to offer.

We have had many clients come to us after the sale of their home saying the pond was the deciding factor in the sale.

Though they hated leaving their beloved ponds, they were happy to know the new owners were so enthralled with the water feature that it helped the sale of their home.

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Now, they are excited to build a new, bigger pond at their new home!

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Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

Eric Triplett
The Pond Digger

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4 Simple Tricks To A Beautiful Pond

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4 Simple Tricks To A Beautiful Pond

Too much food, too many fish, no water changes, and poor filtration are the main reasons ponds get a bad reputation. Ugly, smelly, green, or with a ton of algae, these problems are easily solved with a few simple changes.

Getting clean, clear water is easy if you have a few important pieces of equipment, and some simple, routine maintenance tricks in place.

FILTRATION

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Make sure you have enough filtration for the size pond you have. When I say enough, I really mean, add more…..more is better….basically, you can never get enough filtration.

Keep in mind that pond filters are designed to support the amount of fish life your pond is SUPPOSED to have. You and I both know, your pond, my pond, her pond, his pond, has waaaaay too many fish.

First, when it comes to filtration, you must understand this, if a filter says it is for a 3000 gallon pond, the manufacturer is expecting you to have about 6 koi in that 3000 gallon pond, so that filter is for a 3000 gallon pond with SIX koi. See what I mean?

Put filters on there like to support the quantity of koi you KNOW you will put in your pond, and then CLEAN them.

Don’t wait for the little light to tell you it’s time to clean.

Don’t do it once a month because someone told you.

Don’t wait until the pump slows down because the filter is clogged.

Clean it often. Test your routine by occasionally cleaning the filter between the normal cleaning times that you’ve set up, and see if the water comes out dirty. If it does, step up your routine.skimmer-dog

USE A SKIMMER

Plus, put a skimmer on your pond. If you have a pump in the bottom of the pond, it pulls every bit of debris that hits your pond’s surface directly to the bottom of the pond. Then all that debris sits there and decays. Does that make sense?

A pump in the bottom of the pond means your pond is designed to collect debris at the bottom.

A pump in a skimmer pulls the debris in to the skimmer into some kind of handy little device that allows you to take it out of the pond, and put it in the mulch pile.

AVOID OVERCROWDING and OVERFEEDING

You and I both know that we have too many fish in our pond, and we feed them more than we should. I mean, they’re so cute when they’re begging and sucking on your fingers or toes, you just can’t help it.

So, the first step is when your pond is full, and you know you shouldn’t put any more fish in there, stop putting fish in there. Just say no.

Don’t put yourself in the path of temptation!

Stay away from the fish that are for sale when you buy your koi food. Get your food, and go home.

The next step is to try to feed only what your fish need to thrive, and not what your heart wants to feed them.

The general rule of thumb is, the amount of food that they can consume in just a minute or two, or the equivalent amount of food to the size of their eyeball. I know that just freaked you out. I like feeding my fish too.

These are the toughest things to overcome, but if you succeed, your water quality will show it, in a good way.

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WATER CHANGES

The last tip is to do frequent water changes. Not the whole pond, not even half, but the equivalent of 10-20% on a monthly basis divided into small weekly portions will have a startling affect on your water clarity and cleanliness.

If your pond is 1000 gallons, try doing a 50 gallon water change every week.

See, that’s not much, you very likely can do this much simply when cleaning the filters correctly, and in the right time frame.

I’ve seen some grossly under filtered, crazily overcrowded, insanely overfed ponds in amazing shape due to regular water changes. It’s almost shocking.

These simple little changes will create a huge difference in your pond, and you will be back to loving it before you know it.

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Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

Eric Triplett
The Pond Digger

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5 Simple Steps To Prep Your Pond For Winter

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5 Simple Steps To Prep Your Pond For Winter

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WINTER PREP

Winter is coming. That chill is in the air, crockpots are coming out of cupboards, and the barbecues are getting packed away. People are thinking turkey, sleigh bells, and “Auld Lang Syne”.

The pond plants are fading, turning brown and melting away for their winter slumber. Koi and goldfish are slowing down, parked on the bottom of the pond, dreaming of warmer days.

Before we get too far into winter, here are a few tips to help prepare your pond for a simpler seasonal transition next spring.

TRIM BACK ALL PLANTS

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As the plants begin to turn brown, and their leaves fall in to the water, they are brewing up next spring’s algae. Make your life simpler by cutting back all the summer plants before they die back.

Trim off all the remaining leaves and toss them in to your mulch pile. Leave the pots submerged, and your favorite blooms will be back in full force come spring time.

EMPTY THE SKIMMER BASKET

Fall is the most challenging time for your pond. Leaves dropping non stop can fill your pond with debris.

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Make sure you are cleaning your skimmer basket daily during fall, and remember to check a couple of times weekly during winter to keep your skimmer working at it’s best.

Until your trees are bare, adding a net cover to help with severe leaf drop is a great idea, and can help reduce your work load, and keep your skimmer from clogging.

CLEAN THE FILTERS

Make sure your filters are clean and pristine before winter. Even if your are in a climate that doesn’t freeze, you are probably not as likely to spend as much time tinkering with your pond as summertime months allow.

It is especially important if you have to shut your pond down for winter, to clean the filter out thoroughly before you close it down.

All that debris that the filter has so diligently captured, will harden into your media over winter, and then begin to decay next spring when the filter is running and it gets wet again.

That freshly released decaying debris will cause excessive ammonia and nitrite in your pond, causing a ton of undesirable algae to pop up next spring.

TREAT WITH BENEFICIAL BACTERIA

Before your water temperatures drop below 60 degrees, make sure you do an extra heavy dose or two of beneficial bacteria.

This will help eat down any debris that has settled in to your rocks, gravel, or planting media.

When spring rolls around, these areas should already be fairly clean, You’ll be six steps ahead right off the bat!

LIGHTS

If you are in an area where you can keep your pond running, check all your lights before it gets too cold to get in the water.

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Shorter days mean more evening hours of pond adventure, lights make a world of difference. Especially if it is already dark by the time you get off work, and night time is the right time for you to view your pond.

If you wait until December, even a wet-suit may not be enough to get you to crawl in that frigid water!

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Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

Eric Triplett
The Pond Digger

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5 Reasons Everyone Needs a Koi Pond In A Zombie Apocalypse!

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5 Reasons Everyone Needs a Koi Pond In A Zombie Apocalypse!

CLEAN, RUNNING WATER

Clean water will be compromised! Forget turning a faucet at the kitchen sink for fresh water! We all took that precious resource for granted now didn’t we?

Having a KOI POND established as a natural Eco-system on your property will secure yourself with a critical water source needed for your very survival!

Without water you will be forced to venture out into untold Horrific Zombilicious dangers. The Bigger & Deeper the KOI POND, the Better! More water!

FOOD

Your food supply would certainly be compromised like “real” quick during a worldwide Zombie Apocalypse!! Riots, Hoarding & Robbery! You’ll have to fend for yourself!

You can grow veggies and edible aquatic plants in your Koi Pond & if you really…. Really… REALLY had to; you could eat your beloved Koi Fish!

The Bigger the KOI, the Better! The MORE KOI the merrier!! Remember you’re doing it for the very survival of your family!

PERSONAL HYGIENE

You’re going to need a place to bathe your smelly self at least once a week! Can you just imagine how you’re gonna reek after slaughtering Zombies, running and hiding from Zombies after a weeks time? Blahhh…

Come on!! You can boil the water you take from the pond, for drinking, after you bathe! Get over it! You’re in the middle of a Zombie Apocalypse for Pete’s Sake! You don’t even know what you’re capable of yet!

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EMOTIONAL ESCAPE

You’ll need that mental and emotional escape more than ever in the gory day-to-day Zombie Apocalypse World.

At least once a day you’ll need to stare into your KOI POND to find peace, sanity & tranquility in the mayhem of smashing Zombie Brains just to stay alive!

Shoot everyone needs a koi pond escape TODAY without a ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, so you’ll really need this ESCAPE once you see your best friend get his or her face eaten off right before your eyes!

KILLING ZOMBIES!

Pond Building Tools will be great for killing Zombies! Think about it! A shovel has nearly the perfect weight, length and a sharp edge for wrecking Zombies!

Shovels, Pick axes, and screwdrivers are just a couple of the hand tools that would come in handy for slaughtering Zombies in combat.

Let us not forget that the rock-work used in and around the pond & waterfalls would be perfect for smashing Zombie Heads over and over again.

If these compelling reasons don’t have you racing to install a KOI POND in your yard ASAP, don’t come running to my home for valuable resources when the seemingly inevitable ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE rears it’s ugly face.

If you care enough about your family and friends, do us ALL a favor and PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE email these CRITICAL REASONS Why Everyone Must have a KOI POND!

God Speed…

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

Eric Triplett
The Pond Digger

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Grow veggies without weeds for your smoothies?

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Grow veggies without weeds for your smoothies?

No more weeding your veggie garden?

The Amazing and Simple way to eliminate weeds and algae in one step, and get healthy too! <-- I like this one

EAT HEALTHY, REDUCE ALGAE, WEED FREE

Always wanted a winter veggie garden for your smoothies, but hated weeding? Want to reduce algae in your pond? Tired of eating McDonalds and ready to try a healthy alternative? We can do all this in one step by using these plants in your pond. Yes, you will be eating plants right out of your pond!

There are many pond plants that help reduce algae growth by out competing the algae for food. The beauty of growing these plants in your pond is that you don’t have to weed a garden, which is the worst part of gardening. But, there are only a few that will dress up your smoothie too!

PICK THE RIGHT PLANT

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By picking certain pond plants, you can grow a natural algae control, and smoothie ingredients at the same time! It’s practically the definition of sustainability. Feed you, keep the pond clean, no environmental harm, fast and consistent regrowth…everything you need. All this with no weeding!

Here are some of the best plants to support algae control, and give a healthy boost to your morning shake for better living. These guys do best in winter. If you want to know summertime plants, I’ll be back in spring with that list.

WINTER WARRIORS

Watercress (nasturtium officinale)-excellent in salads and smoothies, watercress has a slightly peppery flavor. It helps to boost your immunity and support thyroid health too. Plus, the seeds can be used as a natural alternative to mustard!

PennyWort (centella asistica)- called a “pharmacy in one herb” the benefits of consuming this plants raw are numerous. It is an antiviral, antibacterial, anti inflammatory, plus it can increase longevity, sharpen your memory, and fight arthritis. Raw, in a smoothie is the best way to consume it daily. AND, it tastes yummy!

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Water celery and Water parsley (oenanthe javanica & oenanthe sarmentosa) – these are exceptionally high in fiber and folic acid, with great antioxidant properties that help fight cancer.

Water mint (mentha aquatica)- known for its great taste in teas and cooking, added raw to your smoothie, it promotes proper digestion, and soothes upset tummies.

Memory Herb (bacopa monniera)- not my favorite taste, so hiding it in a smoothie is the best way to get a daily dose of this powerful antioxidant that promotes liver health, and as the name suggest, helps strengthen your memory, while combating stress.

HEALTHY POND = HEALTHY YOU!

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Leslie Triplett, The Pond Gal

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

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11 Things All Ponds Need, #2 Will Rock You

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11 Things All Ponds Need, #2 Will Rock You

1. ALGAE

I know this is hard to believe but algae..YES ALGAE! 9 our of ten pond owners see algae and assume they have a dirty pond! Algae has several important functions in your pond such as helping filter the water to keep it clear, giving your fish something to graze on, providing hiding spots for baby fish, giving your koi somewhere to lay their eggs, and making your pond look more natural.

2. SALT

Fish need salt. They use it in many bodily functions, just like people. It makes their heart beat correctly, as well as helping other internal organs function correctly, helps fish perform osmosis, fight off parasites, build up their protective slime layer, and can help reduce uptake of ammonia and nitrites. Use a good quality pond or aquarium salt, free of iodide. Buy Pond Salt Here!

3. BACTERIA

 

Yes, your pond needs bacteria. I’m not talking flesh eating bacteria here! We want “good” bacteria that helps to break down excess fish waste, plant debris, and fish food that can turn into undesirable algae, ammonia, and nitrites. All bothersome to either you or your fish.

Beneficial bacteria, can also help improve your filtration if your pond is overcrowded with fish, like mine! Check out the Professional Strength water treatments we use on all of our ponds! Buy Beneficial Bacteria Here

4. POND PLANTS

Pond plants are excellent at helping reduce the nutrient build up in your pond that allows undesirable algae to grow. While a nice biofilm of algae on the rocks is very beneficial, we want to avoid an outbreak of string, mat, or pea soup algae. Pond plants consume all the same nutrients the “bad” algae grows on, and can out compete it, reducing the growth of it. They take all those icky nutrients, and turn them directly into beautiful leaves and blooms. Plus, your fish like to chew on pond plants, especially beautiful, yummy, lily blooms.

5. BIO-FILTRATION

Filters capture the free floating debris that can settle out and cause your water quality to deteriorate. When you empty the filter the captured nutrients are removed entirely from the system, creating clean, clear water that you and your fish will love.

6. AERATION

Aerators help to agitate the surface of the pond, allowing oxygen exchange to occur. This oxygen exchange will help to break down undesirable nutrient build up, reducing ammonia and nitrites to keep your fish happy and healthy. This surface agitation also allows more oxygen to get into the water column for your fish to breath.

7. SURFACE SKIMMING

 

Surface skimming helps to reduce the debris that actually settles to the bottom of the pond. The skimmer will catch the debris in a handy little net or basket, that can be easily cleaned to remove the decaying material from the water column. The less debris that hits the bottom of the pond, the better your water quality will be! Our favorite pond skimmer of all time is The Helix Pond Skimmer! Buy The Helix Pond Skimmer Here

8. FISH

Fish, in moderate numbers, actually help perform a valuable service in the pond. As they swim along the bottom, they will stir up debris that has settled there so the filtration system has a second chance to remove them from the water column and they eat undesirables like mosquito larvae!

They also provide some nutrients, (poop) in a very easily broken down form for the plants to quickly absorb and make in to beautiful blooms.

Plus, koi over 16″ can do some serious damage to string algae. They suck that stuff up like spaghetti noodles!

9. SUN

Sunshine feeds your plants, and allows that beautiful layer of lovely biofilm algae to grow on your pond walls. So, you might say, sunshine helps filter your pond!

10. CIRCULATION

Proper circulation helps prevent debris from getting captured behind rocks, plants, and gravel. Captured debris begins to decay, creating problem algae, and undesirable water quality.

11. MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE

Designing a regular maintenance schedule for your pond, and sticking to it will help keep your pond from getting dirty. Weekly water changes, filter back washes, and skimmer basket cleaning, help remove decaying material from your pond before they get a chance to cause a negative affect.

Trimming plants regularly helps reduce leaves and stems in your pond, and checking on your equipment will keep your pond in tip top shape for years to come.

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For daily pond pro tips follow us on SnapChat, Instagram, FaceBook and Twitter.

Leslie Triplett, The Pond Gal

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

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9 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Built My First Pond

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9 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Built My First Pond

People are always saying, “If I knew then what I know now…” This statement was never more true than in the world of ponds. If you are considering building a pond, read these helpful tips we’ve heard hundreds of times from our clients. Maybe they can help keep you from saying, “If only I’d known….”

1. I wish I would’ve known how much I love it I want to go bigger


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About 35% of our business is actually making ponds bigger for clients. Not only if you have more pond, do you have less weeds, but you also have less grass or other plants to water. Though ponds evaporate a little, they use up to 75% less water than the same footprint of lawn! Help with the drought, build a bigger pond!

2. I wish I would’ve known friendly the fish are, I want more

This common occurrence also results in needing a larger pond. The fish are soooo friendly, eating right out of your hand and even letting people pick them up, that everyone wants more!

3. I wish I would’ve known how many colors of lilies there are

Lilies are the ultimate pond plant. If you have a pond, you must have a water lily. The PROBLEM is, there are dozens of colors of lilies. In order to have room for every color of lily you want, you may need a bigger pond!

4. I wish I would’ve known about floating stepping stones

There are many cool features you can add to a pond, but floating steps are one of the most amazing ones, in my opinion. When you are out in the middle of the pond, surrounded by the clear, clean water, with dozens of fish begging for food, and lilies blooming away, you are transported to another world. It is an experience that once people have, they want in their own yard. So they need a bigger pond.

Are you sensing a theme yet?



5. I wish I would’ve known how much my family loves it

I’ve had many clients tell me that they are so pleased that their wife/husband and kids spend more time with them because they are relaxing by the pond together. It’s pretty cool to hear, and now they need a bigger pond.

6. I wish I would’ve known how big koi get

Koi get HUGE!!! They can easily reach a length of 28″-30″ with a breadth equivalent to a dinner plate!!! Imagine that swimming around in a little 11′ X 16′ pond. You’re gonna need a bigger pond.

7. I wish I would’ve known about Helix Pond Filtration

I have clients dreaming of the ease of maintenance Helix Life Support offers you. No dragging out heavy bags of lava rock that can tear and spill everywhere, or fighting with unwieldy pads full of decaying algae and fish waste. Helix has simple cleaning routines that don’t even require getting your hands wet, much less dirty. People love it. They want a bigger pond.

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8. I wish I would’ve known that you travel to build ponds

The Pond Digger has built ponds in nearly half of the state’s across the US, including Hawaii. After spending weeks or months of blood, sweat, and tears, building their dream pond, clients say if they had known Eric traveled to build ponds, they would’ve had him flown out to build their pond. And they would’ve made it bigger.

9. I wish I would’ve known about dojos and hi-fin banded sharks

After seeing the cool varieties of fish besides koi and goldfish that can live in a pond, people wish they had made their pond bigger so they could put more fish in.

For daily pond pro tips follow us on SnapChat, Instagram, FaceBook and Twitter.

Leslie Triplett, The Pond Gal

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

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Algae is beautiful

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Algae is beautiful

Yup, I said it. Algae is not only beautiful, but it can contribute greatly to the success of your pond. Algae is a natural part of a well designed ecosystem, and something that we actually like in a pond.

There are of course, several types of algae that are unattractive, undesirable, and down right icky that we do not want in our ponds.

THE BAD GUYS

HAIRY

Hair or string algae is a long, rough feeling algae that not only looks ugly, but can actually choke out some of your beautiful pond plants. It typically shows up more in the spring or fall, when the weather makes it harder for your pond plants to grow.

The best way to prevent hair algae from forming is to understand why it is there. Hair algae grows when there are plenty of available nutrients, but nothing to consume them quickly. In spring and fall, your pond plants are growing very slowly, so their nutrient consumption is greatly reduced. Over feeding is the number one contributor to an overabundance of nutrients. Be sure to reduce feeding in these seasons to help prevent string algae from gaining a foothold.

DON’T MISS THIS

PS, super secret tip; If you have koi over 16″ and you have string algae in your pond, you are feeding waaaaaaaay too much.

Huge koi like that consume hair algae like teenage boys eat potato chips. Cut back on your feeding and prepare to be SHOCKED as the algae disappears.

PEA SOUP

Green water algae, AKA pea soup algae, makes it difficult, if not impossible to see your fish. This is also an algae we want to avoid. With the exception of a new pond going through a beginning cycle, your water should be crystal clear to the bottom of the pond. Even if your pond is 6′ deep.

Green water algae typically grows when there is not enough filtration on your pond. If you have a water garden style, ecosystem pond, and you are sure the actual filter is large enough, you very likely need a bunch of plants. Add plants, and watch them work.

If you are unsure if your filtration is enough, my bet is that it isn’t. Add a pressurized bio filter, a second waterfall filter, an inline filter, basically whatever it takes to make it happen. Often on a dedicated koi pond, there is no choice but to run a UV clarifier. UVs, when sized properly kill algae DEAD in just a few days. Put it on, and clear that water up.

MATTING

There is also a “matting” type of algae that grows when there is too much debris building up on the bottom of the pond. This, of course, goes back to not enough filtration.

So, now that I’ve covered the bad algae, and how to prevent and combat it, let’s talk about the GOOD algae.

Every week, and sometimes every day, I get calls, and emails from customers concerned about algae in their pond. This is where it gets a little tricky. We spend a lot of time fighting algae, but some algae is good and we want it in the pond.

THE RIGHT STUFF

The good algae covers all the rocks in a layer, that seasonally gets up to an inch long. It can often be bright green in the middle of summer, dark brown to almost black during winter, and look like a lush little lawn during spring and fall.

We call this algae a “biofilm” and it contributes significantly to filtration. It helps keep your water clear, and your fish happy and healthy. It pulls out nutrients that can cause the bad algae and catches small particulates that float around looking icky.

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GET IN THE RIGHT MINDSET

Keep in mind, your pond is not a swimming pool or a fountain at the local shopping center. A pond is a living, dynamic ecosystem, that relies heavily on mother nature to get a nice balance going on. This biofilm algae is a very important part of this.

Let it grow and learn to love it. In the end, you’ll be happy you did.

Much like your Work/Life Balance, the trick with your pond is to find the right balance of algae in your pond.

For a list of water treatments we use to keep our ponds balance visit this link –
Water Treatments

For daily pond pro tips follow us on SnapChat, Instagram, FaceBook and Twitter.

Leslie Triplett, The Pond Gal

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

Connect with The Pond Digger:

The Pond Digger on Facebook: www.facebook.com/theponddigger

The Pond Digger on Periscope: www.periscope.tv/theponddigger

The Pond Digger on Instagram: www.instagram.com/theponddigger

The Pond Digger on Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/theponddigger

The Pond Digger on Twitter: www.twitter.com/theponddigger

The Pond Digger on Youtube: www.youtube.com/theponddigger

The Pond Digger on Snapchat: www.snapchat.com/add/theponddigger

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