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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

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Leslie Triplett, The Pond Gal

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

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Horses, Ponds, and Potato Chips

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Horses, Ponds, and Potato Chips

Here I go again, off on some crazy tangent, right? Horses and ponds have NOTHING in common! But I think they do. Let me know your thoughts.

Horses are like potato chips, you can’t have just one. You start off with a pony, then outgrow him so you have to get a trail horse. Then you decide you want to compete in horse shows, so you need a fancy show horse. Then you decide you want to do dressage….it goes on, but I’ll stop. ūüėČ

AND SO IT BEGINS…..

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When it comes to ponds, people often start off with the Home Depot starter kit. It’s the equivalent of a pony.

A little pond to get your feet wet, barely large enough to house a few goldfish and a water lily, and BAM!!! You’re hooked like a trout on a line.

You love the gorgeous colors of the lilies, the friendly fish begging for food when you come home from work, the peaceful sound of the little waterfall lulling you to dreamland every night. It’s amazing, and suddenly your new, favorite hobby.

MR. UPGRADE

Very quickly, you outgrow this little pony, and it’s time to move on to a nice safe trail horse.

horse-faceYou build, or have built: a new pond big enough to house koi, (potato chips in their own right), plant 3 or 4 lilies; and begin to drive your friends and family crazy with non-stop koi pond talk and photos of your new obsession.

GETTING CRAZY

Now, you discover KOI SHOWS!!! How cool is it to be able to show off your gorgeous fish and hang out with other koi enthusiasts who, just like you, can spend hours talking about the ever changing color of their Shiro Utsuri.

Your family breathes a sigh of relief as you traipse off to a new show every month, and cease to plague them with “My koi is so cool” stories.

This means, you guessed it, a whole new fancy koi pond, for your fancy show koi.

horse-mouthSix feet deep, with bottom drains, external filters, UV for clarity, and the peaceful hum of the pumps that keep your precious wet pets alive, lulling you to sleep at night.

So, you see, much like horses, the obsession with koi can change your life.

If you have any horse-crazy people in your life that you think are just plain nuts, consider you may now be the crazy koi guy, spending hours consuming The Pond Digger YouTube videos like other people watch Netflix.

If YouTube isn’t enough, you can find daily pond pro tips from Eric on SnapChat, FaceBook, and Instagram. Embrace your obsession and have fun.

See Eric speak, LIVE, at the Inland Koi Club meeting , Sunday September 28th in Yucaipa California!!!!

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

Leslie Triplett, The Pond Gal

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

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The Carnivorous Koi

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The Carnivorous Koi

Did you know Koi eat fish? Well, okay, maybe they don’t outright run around hunting down small koi or mosquito fish like a coyote eats rabbits….or do they?

“DUDE!!!! I just watched *Skeletor EAT Happy!” This was the panicked phone call I got from Joey Moss the other day after he watched his big Koi, Skeletor, eat his baby Koi, Happy, who was born in the pond.

Apparently, Skeletor was overly excited at feeding time, and sucked in Happy along with some pellets of Koi food.

This nearly tragic tale, had a happy ending since Skeletor spit Happy back out after deciding he wasn’t the right flavor, but it doesn’t always end this way.

Koi WILL eat fish. I have had clients watch their koi eat mosquito fish, small goldfish, small koi, frogs, and more.

NOTE: Koi are NOT carnivorous but they an are opportunistic feeders better know as omnivores. If you watch them for a few hours, you may see that they pick nearly everything up in the pond with their mouth, to test and see if it is edible.

If they like the flavor or consistency, they swallow it. Much like a troublesome 2 year old, they are always looking to see what they can put in there mouth.

People may be slightly at fault here, as one of the most abundant protein sources is fish, and any quality koi food you look at will have fish as the number one or two ingredient.

We’ve trained them to like the flavor. Weird, right? Not really. We just learned what to feed fish by watching what fish eat in the wild. Fish eat fish.

IMPORTANT DIETARY INFORMATION:

When koi are young and growing, they need more protein for making new cells.

A growth formula is the way to go. It provides a higher protein level to promote correct growth.

As they mature, they will need less protein, so they can be switched to an all season diet.

If you are trying to brighten color on your koi, there are color enhancing foods that can help. COLOR ENHANCING FOODS are often a higher protein level even than GROWTH FORMULAS, so please don’t feed this diet straight up. Mix it with an ALL SEASON or Growth Formula.

Too much protein for too long can cause kidney damage in your koi and shorten their life. ):

When the seasons change, the temperature fluctuations between night and day dropping the pond’s water temperature can cause problems with a koi’s digestive tract.

A quality COLD TEMPERATURE FORMULA fish food has wheat germ as the first ingredient because it digests easily. It is designed to be digested quickly, so by the time the cooler night time temps come, the morning meal is already digested, and not sitting heavy in their belly like Thanksgiving dinner.

A fun treat to try with your koi is watermelon. Cut the melon into discs like wagon wheels and then take a small 2″ diameter ring out of the center. Float the wheel in the pond, and put some pellets of food in that small open space at the center.

We do this because the koi sometimes don’t recognize watermelon as food. As the koi are eating the pellets they will end up tasting the watermelon, and then the fun begins!

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent, except for Joey Moss. Joey’s name is real!

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Leslie Triplett, The Pond Gal

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

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WHO ATE MY KOI LAST NIGHT???

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WHO ATE MY KOI LAST NIGHT???

“My koi are all GONE!” This is a phone call we have received too many times at headquarters. Not only is it awful for the client who’s koi have mysteriously vanished, but it makes us sad too. Usually the client wants to know what ate their koi, so they can prevent it from happening again.

There are, of course, several possible culprits when it comes to eating koi right out of your pond. Raccoons, egrets, herons, cats, snakes, dogs, and even hawks or owls, have been known to catch koi and eat them. Here are a few helpful hints to figure out who your hunter is, so you keep your fish safe.

pineconebirdANGRY BIRDS

Herons, egrets, and other water birds live almost entirely on fish.

Your pond maybe the easiest buffet they’ve ever seen. Let’s face it, their normal hunting grounds are big lakes, rivers, and even the ocean!

Imagine how much easier it is for them to catch a meal from your small backyard pond. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel…

Typically, when a pond has been raided by predatory birds, we see little to no sign they’ve been there at all.

If the plants are all in place, the water is still crystal clear and not muddied up, but your fish are MIA, you were probably hit by some type of bird.

They are very slow and methodical hunters. Even when we’ve seen hawks or owls hit the pond to snag a fish, they swoop down, and make a grab without disturbing anything in the pond, except for the fish….the fish are VERY disturbed.

racoonMASKED BANDITS

When a raccoon, or bear is hunting your koi, they create a complete disaster. You’ll find plants torn out by the roots, pots knocked over, and rocks pushed in to the pond.

They wreak havoc. It’s like drunken college students on spring break in Ft. Lauderdale, MESSY!

Snakes are also very sneaky, and you may see no sign of their visit, but it will be mostly smaller fish that are gone, The fish eating snakes do not grow very large, so the fish they take are smaller.

FAKE FURRY FRIENDS

Dogs can create quite a mess too, but not nearly as bad as raccoons or bear. They might just knock some plants or rocks down while chasing the fish around.

Cats also do little damage to the environment, but you will notice smaller fish missing.

curvyneckPREVENTION

Once the correct hunter has been determined, you can take steps to help prevent further raids.

For birds, about the only effective deterrent seems to be a good net. Cover the pond with a sturdy net, staked in place, and you should be pretty safe.

Unless you have a bird hunting dog. Dogs are awesome.

If you have a fat, lazy, couch dog, maybe not so much, but an active beagle will be worth his weight in gold when it comes to protecting your koi.

Even a tiny, yappy, determined yorkie or chihuahua will chase off many predators. I’ve also seen a good guard dog chase off a bear!

For raccoons, cats, and dogs, it seems the best deterrent is a “scarecrow”.

This is a motion activated sprinkler that squirts everyone that approaches the pond with a stream of cold water. When I say everyone, I mean EVERYONE.

The scarecrow doesn’t care if it shoots, a heron, a goat, or you. It is fully non-discriminatory.

It is a good idea to place it so you have a safe path to shut it off before you get hit.

Snakes are a conundrum. I am not sure how to prevent them from coming, or chase them away if you have them. If anyone has any brilliant, snake-deterrent ideas, send them my way!

redeyewhitebirdPLAN AHEAD

Our general rule of thumb is, eight by eight is a dinner plate. Basically we mean, if your pond is only 8′ x 8′ or less, it is very easy for predators to catch koi from your pond. We encourage you to build bigger than that as your first preventative step.

Deeper ponds are also very helpful, as the fish can swim down. We like to add a fish tunnel. This is simply a nice sized pipe built into the pond that the fish can swim in when they are being chased.

ALMOST NOTHING IS PERFECT

These hunters are all very wily. After all they make their living finding food, and they are good at it.

There is almost no way to insure the complete safety of your fish. An aviary around the pond is pretty good. Or you can build your pond in the house. I have seen this a few times. It is very effective, especially in the mountains, since how the heck does anyone keep a bear from going where it wants to?

Bigger is better, and deeper is helpful. And, by the way, there are some other methods I’ve heard tell of, but remember, most wildlife is protected, and killing them can result in heavy fines, so be careful what you do.

Try to build preventatively, and if you already have a pond that has been raided, I hope you can find some answers here.

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

Leslie Triplett, The Pond Gal

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

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3 Pond Myths EXPOSED!

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3 Pond Myths EXPOSED!

I hear all kinds of crazy stories. Most of them are even about ponds! Today, I thought I would expose some of the most commons Old Wife’s Tales I hear about ponds, that can help improve the quality of your fish’s lives.

MYTH #1 FISH ONLY GROW AS BIG AS THEIR PONDfish-square

This has become the platform for people that want to put a koi in their 60 gallon Home Depot, plastic, preform pond.

With proper feeding, filtration, and water changes, your fish are going to grow as big as they are meant to be, no matter the size of the pond.

I have personally seen several 3′ long koi in a 300 gallon pond. I once even saw a 28″ koi that had been grown in one of those 6′ wide, 18″ deep kiddie wading pools. Of course, filtration, and water quality in both of these instances was beyond reproach.

The real secret to koi growth is pheromones. Koi release pheromones in to the water all the time.

The pheromones in the pond tell the fish many things, such as who is ready to breed, who is sick, and most importantly, how crowded the pond is. If you keep the pheromone level low, the fish will grow more.

When the pheromone level is high, it tells the fish not to grow. The easiest way to keep the pheromone level low is to perform water changes.

Speaking of water changes….

MYTH #2 WATER CHANGES ARE BAD FOR MY FISHkoi-feeding

Water changes are good, great even. The more frequently you change water in your pond, the better. I’m not talking 100% water change every week, of course, but a nice small weekly water change would be a beautiful and very beneficial thing.

This one is a stumper for me. About the only way I can figure out how this one started was if someone forgot to de-chlorinate their water after a change, or it was high summer, 115 degrees, and they put ice cold water back in the pond after a water change.

In either of these cases, you are going to lose some fish. Otherwise, water changes help in so any ways.

A normal, reasonable, regular water change, does nothing but good for your pond.

It will help remove any waste build up, reduce ammonia and nitrite in the water, and add oxygen, magnesium, calcium, and potassium, all of which perform beneficial duties for your pond.

Removing all of the above contaminants will also help reduce your algae production.

Algae thrives on decaying materials in your pond, and regular water changes will help to reduce those decaying materials.

MYTH #3 PONDS ARE DIRTY, UGLY, AND A TON OF WORKcherry-dragonfly

There is some basis in reality for this myth:

If a pond is set up with incorrect filtration, has too many fish, and is fed like crazy, it very well could be messy, smelly, and a lot of work. I’ve seen this time and time again. Frequently with little, preformed, hard plastic, ponds from big box stores.

The reality is, these little puddle style ponds are not big enough for fish, except maybe a few mosquito fish.

They never have good enough filtration, and some have no filter at all. They are destined to fail.

When we design a pond, we always try to filter the same way we know people are going to stock the pond; more than needed.

Usually, by the time our clients finish stocking, they have just the right amount of filtration. And then they say, “Just one more koi I think”!

The reality is, you can never have too much filtration, and that is the goal to shoot for.

If you end up somehow not overstocking your pond, the koi in there will love the extra filtration they have. It’s a no-brainer.

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Leslie Triplett, The Pond Gal

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

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5 Magical Elements Plants Add to Ponds: Including Dragons!

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5 Magical Elements Plants Add to Ponds: Including Dragons!

instabutterPlants bring a lot to your pond. Of course there are the aromatics and amazing blooms, but you already know about that.

I’m going to tell you 5 things you may not know about, that plants bring to your pond, that can dramatically improve your life!

Okay, maybe not so dramatic, but some pretty dang cool stuff.

BIRDS, BIRDS, BIRDS!

Ponds, or waterfalls, but especially ponds WITH waterfalls bring birds in.

Spectacular, sparkling hummingbirds, flitting in and out of the waterfall, catching flying bugs, adorable finches, bathing and drinking, regal hawks cooling off, the list goes on and on, but you’re catching the drift.

Put out a few feeders, and you’ll get even more.

But then, you have to fill those feeders! Here’s the beauty of pond plants:

Many of the plants that you can put in and around your pond produce nectar for birds like orioles and hummingbirds, or they produce seeds after they flower, for seed eaters like finches.

Herbs are especially great seed producers and look and smell great around your pond.

Now, you won’t have to remember to fill up feeders, but your visiting birds have groceries!

Day and night, your new feathered friends will give you hours of fascinating entertainment, and provide the useful service of bug and mosquito control.

No worrying about zika or west nile for you!

BUTTERFLIESinstabuttflower

Plants bring butterflies! Okay not all plants, but the right plants bring in a ton of butterflies.

Butterflies eat the nectar from many of the blooming flowers that you can plant in and around your pond.

They are especially attracted to many of the plants that have darker colored blooms like lilacs, fuchsia, bleeding heart and hummingbird plant.

Then they spend the rest of their time flitting around your pond looking pretty. Great bonus!

DRAGONFLIES

Dragonflies are voracious carnivores straight from the egg, ravenously consuming other insect larvae, including mosquito larvae.

As they mature and take flight, they commence consuming an even greater number of flying insects, such as mosquitos.

This helps reduce the risk of disease carrying pests in your neighborhood.

Plus, dragonflies are just cool to look at and play with. They will land right on an outstretched hand, allowing an up close and personal encounter, that will have your kids, or grandkids, and maybe even you, giggling in delight.

Chinese legend says that a dragonfly lands on you because it senses your inner peace. It’s like a personal stress test!

By adding tall plants the dragonflies can perch on and hunt from, you create inviting areas for dragonflies to hang out.

The more comfortable they are, the longer they will stay consuming those nasty, flying, bad, bugs like mosquitos.

BATS

Notorious for sucking blood, and hanging out with vampires, bats have a bad reputation. I’m here to bust that lie wide open.

Bats are incredibly helpful in your yard. They eat all kinds of annoying flying insects, and that includes mosquitos. (I hate to beat this dead horse into the ground, but everyone is concerned about zika lately)

In fact a single bat can consume up to 1000 mosquitos in a night. Yes, I said ONE THOUSAND. That’s a lot of vector control packed in to one tiny body.

Getting bats to come is a bit more difficult than dragonflies or hummingbirds though.

Plant a couple of taller trees or plants near your pond, and hang up some bat houses. The bats will move in and begin patrolling your grounds for invasive, disease carrying insects immediately upon arrival.

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NIGHT LIFE (around your pond)

The last cool tip is WHITE flowers. White flowers come on all kinds of plants, but the best part of white flowers is the way they reflect the moonlight at night.

While most flowers appear to turn black at night, white flowers practically fluoresce in the moonlight, giving your pond an added dimension, and extra hours of enjoyment past sunset, without an extra electric bill.

Be sure to use a variety of white blooming plants to maximize the time period of blooms.

For a list of plants that will help attract birds, butterflies, or bats, or a list of plants with white flowers, email leslie@theponddigger.com

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Leslie Triplett, The Pond Gal

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

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5 Facts For Fighting Mosquitoes

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5 Facts For Fighting Mosquitoes

cherry-dragonflyDragonflies are almost universally loved and admired.

They grace our artwork, clothing, and now they can adorn, and protect, your yard. From their envy worthy flying skills, to their marvelous jewel tones, they seem to have it all.

Dragonflies have an added bonus; they eat mosquitoes!

If you are worried about mosquitoes or West Nile Virus, simply put in a pond. You will attract dragonflies, and combat mosquitoes and West Nile at the same time. Plus, ponds are cool and stuff!

There are as many as 5000 species of dragonflies and damselflies, none of which are actually “flies” but they do a lot of flying.

Damselflies often fly under the misnomer of dragonflies, though they are a separate species. The easiest way to tell them apart is by their wings:

dragonfly-comparison damselfly-comparison

When dragonflies perch, their wings spread are flat out to the sides, as they are portrayed in most artwork. Damselflies perch with their wings pinched together above their backs.

FACTS!

  1. dragonfly-2Their order, ‘Odonata’ actually translates as toothed ones, and dragonflies are called this for good reason:

    Dragonflies are voracious carnivores, from the moment they hatch, until the end of their life, which can be as long as a year for some species.

  2. While in their larval state, the dragonflies live underwater, breathing though their butts, (yes, I said butt!) consuming tadpoles, other insect larvae, (like mosquito larvae), small fish, and even each other.

  3. Once they take flight, they eat flying insects, including mosquitoes, and can consume hundreds per DAY!!!

  4. While most predators in the wild only catch about 25% of their targeted meals, dragonflies have an astonishing 90% catch rate.

    Their flying maneuvers, which include, hovering, moving side to side, zooming straight up or down, and flying backwards, along with their nimble 6 footed, in the air, grabbing technique, helps them capture those dirty mosquitoes like no one else can.

    Even a bug zapper is not as good as a dragonfly!

  5. dragonfly-1The one drawback may be this; dragonflies are territorial, with males duking it out for air space and females. This may mean for the best mosquito control, you need multiple ponds for many dragonflies.

    Multiple ponds in your yard….haha, I do amuse myself, even if I don’t amuse others.

So, build a pond, and fight West Nile Virus and those pesky mosquitoes. Your neighbors will thank you.

For daily pond pro tips follow us on SnapChat, Periscope, Facebook, and Twitter.

Leslie Triplett, The Pond Gal

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

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Abomination or Angelic Beauty

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Photo courtesy of Koitotheworld.com

Abomination or Angelic Beauty

Traditional Koi connoisseurs are filled with an all consuming passion for their fishy friends. They love the depth and spectrum of colors, carefully evaluate the body shape, and dissect the lineage of their koi. They have preferred breeders to buy from, and those breeders wok tirelessly to produce the “perfect” koi.

butterfly-koi-vertical

Photo courtesy of Koitotheworld.com

Koi connoisseurs anxiously await the color changes brought on by each passing year, as their koi mature and change. They fret over the plain, little, black, fingerling, hoping it will make the leap through the “Dragon’s Gate” to become the amazing snow white, and deep black Utsuri they dream of. They drool over the never ending changes on their prize Showa, waiting for the final dramatic flourish of color that will make the time spent all worth while.

What they don’t do is love Butterfly Koi. They actually consider them abominations. They kind of hate them. Some koi connoisseurs don’t even consider butterflies to be actual koi.

Still, I love butterfly koi. Their long, flowing fins, take flight in my mind as elegantly as eagles soaring majestically overhead.

I love their colors and patterns, the way they move, and their slightly, odd body shape. I even love the long flowing nares, admittedly somewhat similar to an old man’s nose hairs sticking out all over the place, but beautiful in their own way.

Traditional koi connoisseurs don’t consider butterflies “real” koi. In fact, only recently have they been allowed at some koi shows. They don’t show well against traditional koi though, so they are given their own classes, and are entered as “longfin variety” not koi.

Butterfly koi were originally bred by crossing Indonesian long fin river carp with traditional koi to help increase the hardiness of traditional koi.


Some koi connoisseurs don’t even consider butterflies to be actual koi.


butterfly-koi-tattThe Japanese breeders that produced them, called them “onogaoi” which translates as long tail carp. So, I guess technically they aren’t true koi, when you get down to the nitty gritty.

That said, butterfly koi are a beautiful addition to your pond, with their ridiculously long fins flowing and swirling around them in the peaceful waters, they lend a greater sense of calm to the pond, and add their own special beauty.

Butterfly koi fans often call them “angel” koi, supporting the beauty of their graceful finnage with a heavenly nickname. Other fans call them “dragon” koi, a name reminiscent of the strength they have given to the traditional koi lineage.

If you are willing to live outside the box, look in to butterfly koi, you may be pleasantly surprised.

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Leslie Triplett, The Pond Gal

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

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Get on the Offense for the Best Success with your Pond

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Get on the Offense for the Best Success with your Pond

It’s hot. There’s no denying it. While we love this kind of weather for beaches, barbecues, and biking, your koi are not as thrilled with it. Don’t wait for the heat of the moment to ruin your fun in the summer time! Here’s the low down on the high temperatures.

A LITTLE CHEMISTRY

When the weather warms up, the oxygen content in your ponds drops. This means there is less oxygen for your fish to breathe. Koi fish are much more active in warm weather, eating, swimming, and breeding, so they need more oxygen.

On top of this, any excess food, fish waste, or leaf material decaying in the pond are using oxygen as well. Added together, this means that the already low oxygen content caused by warm weather, is further challenged by everyday summer fun in your pond.

While a waterfall is helpful, it often can not keep up with the demands set by summer temperatures and other oxygen demands. We suggest supplementing the pond with an aerator.

WHAT IS BEST FOR MY PONDPro Air Pumps

There are many different sizes and styles of aerators available, and the manufacturers offer suggestions for the size pond they should be used on. In order to choose the correct aerator for your pond, you should know how deep it is, at the deepest point, and the surface dimensions.

If you have a lake, you need to know the depth at the deepest point, and the size in terms of acres, (1/4 acre, 1/2 acre, etc.) to select the proper size. These units are typically much larger, and can run multiple air diffusers with a single compressor. There are special housing containers to protect these larger units from snow and floods too.

WHERE SHOULD I PUT IT?

The air diffuser, or the part that actually goes in the water, should be placed at the centermost, and deepest point of your pond. This will allow the bubbles to create a specific circulation pattern that brings the newly oxygenated water down to the bottom of the pond. The less oxygenated water will be drawn to the surface, to be loaded up with more oxygen, creating a great flow throughout the whole pond.

ADDED BONUSaerator-cat

One amazing side affect of this additional aeration is that it helps break down sludge on the bottom. Without getting too technical, here’s how it helps.

When the freshly oxygenated water flows to the bottom of the pond, there is a chemical reaction between all the yummy new oxygen in your water, and any decaying, icky, grossness, gathering on your pond floor.

The positive charge of the oxygen, frees the negatively charged molecules on the icky stuff, (like hydrogen sulfide) and a chemical reaction breaks them down into water and sulphur dioxide, a gas that can now leave the pond, improving your water quality.

TAKE HOME

I know that was a little like high school chemistry, and no one wants to revisit that class, but all you really need to know is this;
If you add aeration, your fish have more oxygen when they need it, and it will make your water quality better.

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Leslie Triplett, The Pond Gal

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

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POK√ČMON and PONDS?

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POK√ČMON and PONDS?

I realize that you are thinking…Here goes Eric, losing his mind over some new trend. Okay, admittedly, I do get a little carried away sometimes, but this new trend is on FIRE!

FIND THE FUN

AND, people are getting up off their couches and actually WALKING, (or even running) to catch the Pokémon in their neighborhoods, grocery stores, and shopping centers.

What could be better? Kids can use their mobile phones and their feet! Exercise and gaming all in one! Plus the WHOLE family can join in.

When I am cruising the neighborhood, trying to catch Pikachu and his buddies, I see people of all ages, from 6 to 60 chasing down Pok√©mon with me. It’s a friendly game, and before you know it, you are bonding with strangers over where to find Diglett. We compare catches, share secrets, and tell each other where to look for the coolest critters.

I recently caught an Arcanine, and I am the envy of all the kids! My kids, and their friends actually WANT to spend evenings with me chasing down Pokémon in the neighborhood several times a week.

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EMBRACE THE ADDICTION

The point is, I fully embraced this new addiction my kids have, and I’m spending all kinds of fun time with them. We sprint around, laughing, yelling, and playing for hours every week.

How does this apply to ponds you ask? It’s soooooo simple. I am not a huge Pok√©mon fan, but my kids are…..get it? I am doing this to spend quality time with them, and they love me for it. Plus, there are “pond based” Pok√©mon, AND you can drop a “lure” by your pond so the kids can catch cool critters right at the water’s edge. Just be prepared to meet your neighbors, and their kids, and their friends.

So, when it comes to your pond, take this Pokémon advice and apply it to the pond in your life:

INVOLVE EVERYONE

1. Involve your family and friends as much as possible. Give them what THEY want in your pond to help them enjoy it. Add candles and comfy, plush seating for your wife, put an outdoor TV for your husband with a built in ice chest nearby. Add an excellent gaming chair for your kids with some wifi, and get a hotspot if it is too far from your modem. Even if they are staring at their phone, at least they are out there with you.

GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANTlights

2. Find a way to enjoy the pond after dark. Let’s face it, most of us work 40+ hours a week and can’t begin to enjoy our pond until evening. Pok√©mon creators knew this, and have special critters that only come out at night. They are practically FORCING you to go play with your kids!!!! Brilliant.

Add lights, night blooming plants, and citronella tiki torches to your pond. It will create such a cool atmosphere, you will want to be there, and you family will too! Put a picnic table nearby, so you can enjoy beautiful, peaceful evening meals by the pond. Fire pits are always a bonus, because what kid doesn’t love s’mores?

FINAL THOUGHT

The real take home here is this, if you are as addicted to your pond as your kids or grandkids are to Pokémon, take my advice and offer them incentives to love time by your pond as much as you do.

And maybe offer to go Pok√©mon hunting in trade. You’ll be glad you did!

For daily pond pro tips, follow us on SnapChat, Periscope, and Twitter

Leslie Triplett, The Pond Gal

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

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