Pond Supplies, Waterfalls, & Koi Pond Construction

Posts Tagged Helix Life Support Systems

11 Things All Ponds Need, #2 Will Rock You


11 Things All Ponds Need, #2 Will Rock You


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.


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!



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


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.


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.


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.



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


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!


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.


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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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


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


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.


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.

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Leslie Triplett, The Pond Gal

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

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3 Mistakes Architects Make When Designing Ponds


3 Mistakes Architects Make When Designing Ponds

Architects really know their stuff when it comes to buildings, but ponds are definitely one of their weak spots when it comes to design, equipment, and circulation.

The real first mistake they make is not having a pond builder in their back pocket for design questions. If they consulted a pond builder during the designing phase of a project, these 3 big mistakes could be easily avoided.


Architects are known for making beautiful curving, edges that make very cool nooks and crannies which become debris catchers.

The most beautiful lagoon looking ponds with hidden spot back in the trees and bushes create a pond builder’s nightmare.

The builder must then come in and find a way to filter these nooks and crannies. While it is possible using multiple skimmers, that can drive the price up significantly.

Multiple skimmers could also mean more pumps are needed, driving the cost up further, along with a crazy electric bill later on.


Fluid dynamics are something architects frequently overlook also.

They don’t take into consideration that the water in a pond needs to flow a particular way in order for filters, and especially skimmers to pick debris from the pond.

When that flow is interrupted, the debris will settle to the pond floor, creating a mucky mess that you must remove by hand later on.


When an architect designs a pool, they are typically very familiar with the equipment used, and spec accordingly.

The pond industry makes this difficult as there are no real standards, so architects are forced to guess.

When the pond builder shows up on the scene, the space left for pond equipment can be undersized, forcing us to invade space designated for something else, or stick equipment right out in plain view, mucking up an otherwise lovely view.


If you have an architect drawing up plans for your house, insure they are connected with a well trained pond builder that will help make your dream pond possible, while avoiding these simple mistakes.

For daily Pond Pro Tips, follow us on SnapChat and Periscope

Leslie Triplett, The Pond Gal

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

Connect with The Pond Digger:

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How Helix Helps Reduce Algae

waterfallbannerHere at The Pond Digger, we believe in water changes and would like to see a small percentage done weekly. Not a lot; maybe as little as 25 gallons per 1000 gallons of pond water. This accomplishes a ton of beneficial activities in a very short time frame that ultimately give your fish a cleaner, healthier home to live in and reduce the risk of diseases.

The Helix Life Support Filtration equipment help to support that goal. The Helix Waterfall Filters are cleaned by running water out of the pond as they rinse the media out. This equals a water change, and is frequently as much as you need to do to get that weekly percentage that totals 10% water change a month.

Also, when you are performing this filter media rinsing, you are using your pond water, not hose water to accomplish it, so it keeps all your beneficial bacteria from being damaged by the chlorine in your tap water.

The cleaning sends waste water, loaded with emulsified biological waste in the form of fish poop, fish food, and ground up plant materials, directly to your yard where they work as AMAZING fertilizer for your garden, fruit trees, or even your lawn. This same debris left in the pond is what fed the bad algae. By removing the food, you starve out the algae.

The benefits are adding up, right?

Now, this cleaning/water change accomplishes something even more amazing in the pond itself for your fish.

The fish poop, food, leaves, pollen, dust, and any other biological waste in the pond are food for the algae, so removing them means you will have less undesirable algae.

Tap water is loaded with oxygen and a few key elements that have an important job in reducing biological waste in the pond. This is going to get really scientific for just a minute, but bear with me. I’ll be as concise as possible, while still trying to be easy to understand.

Your tap water contains oxygen, calcium, magnesium, often trace amounts of copper to name a few things. All of the elements have a “charge” and each of these I just mentioned actually have a positive charge. Everyone, I’m sure is familiar with the old adage “opposites attract,”

In this particular instance, your pond contains all that biological waste that we talked about earlier. This waste is from, fish poop, food, plants dropping leaves, and fish respiring which produces ammonia. All of these by products have a negative charge. You may see already where I’m going.

When the negative charge from the fish poop (hydrogen sulfide) and the waste created when the fish breathe (ammonia) combines with the positive charge of the fresh oxygen, calcium, and magnesium from the tap water, the bad stuff gets broken down.

There is a really cool chemical reaction that happens and the ammonia and sulfides are literally broken apart at a molecular level, resulting in cleaner water. And that is what we want!!! Fish get happy, water gets clearer, and you have less algae! Its a win/win.

Helix Waterfall filters are designed with built-in air assist cleaning systems to make it easy to do a water change as you are cleaning your filter. The air helps to break apart debris that has been gathered on the filter media and then the rinse cycle washes it out of the filter. This action means you have to replace the poop filled water that you just evacuated and there you have it, a water change, courtesy of Helix Life Support Filtration.

Whether you have an existing pond, or you are about to build a pond, call our headquarters and we will help you get Helix Life Support Filtration on your pond.

Leslie Triplett, The Pond Gal


Koi Photo

Click Here to see our Spring Pond Seminar date!

1. Livestock Evaluation – It’s important to take a serious look at your fish population each and every year. It only takes about three years for a new pond owner to begin putting a strain on a pond’s life support system without even realizing it.

In the third year of pond ownership your Koi should start to put on some size (and mass) if you’re doing things right. A 26” Koi can have 8 times the body mass of a 13” Koi. Yes believe it or not, a Koi that doubles in length can put on 8 times the mass!

Imagine the food consumption and waste byproduct produced if all the Koi in your pond were suddenly 26”? How would that affect your water quality, pond maintenance and water treatment routines?
Much to often a pond owner will continue to do the same routine from day one of their pond, in the 3rd, 4th and 5th year. This is when things can start to go really wrong. Evaluation your livestock population each spring so you can make minor or major adjustments each year and enjoy your Koi as they mature in to majestic beauties.


2. Water Treatment Evaluation – Beneficial Bacteria, Barley Straw Extract, Algae Fix, Koi Clay, Flocculant, Pond Salt, and the list goes on. What treatments are you doing and how often?

I’ve evaluated ponds for clients and have found entire cabinets full of different water treatment products all being used at the same time! Find clarity in your water treatment selection and in turn find clarity in your pond.

If your pond is heavily populated you might find that increasing your beneficial bacteria doses will help manage your water quality. You might find that when your Koi attain 18” you can reduce algae care products because an 18” Koi can eat a serious amount of string algae!
Did you know the use a Flocculant or Koi Clay could improve your pond’s water clarity in a big way! Reviewing your water treatment usage each spring is a great way to make improvements in your water quality.

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3. Review Feeding Schedule Routines, Serving Sizes and Total Annual Poundage – Give this one some thought; think back to when you pond was brand new when you first populated your pond with Koi. Do you remember how much fish food you went through in your first pond season? Your Koi where still a bit shy and they we only a few inches long.

Chances are, you went through a pound or two of food in that first season. As your pond matures, so do the Koi and in the second season you certainly doubled or tripled that amount of food offerings. Before you know it you are into your third season, your Koi are even bigger, eat much more than last year and to top it off have become sexually active!

By the fourth season your Koi are pushing 2’ long and have 50 or 60 offspring swimming around the pond and they’re eating you out of house and home. I actually have a client with a 6000-gallon pond that purchases 250 pounds of fish food each year!

That’s crazy when you think about it! It’s important to realize massive jumps that can creep up on you and understand the demand this can have on your maintenance and water treatment routines.

HELIX Life Support Web

4. Life Support System Evaluation – Biological filters, UV filters, aeration systems, ion generators, sieve filters, settlement tanks, bottom drains, check valves, knife valves, 3-way valves, filter pads, skimmer nets & pads… Now take a deep breathe! Go about it one step at a time and evaluate each component of your life support system.

Ponds are exposed to a great deal each year with the seasonal changes, population explosions and such. I’ve seen bio-mechanical filters so overloaded with pond muck that they barely even worked, and the homeowner didn’t even realize it.

Replace UV lamps, repair diaphragms on air pumps, replace old filter pads on your mechanical filters, replace ripped skimmer nets and lava rock media bags. You get the picture now, right? Do a physical inspection of your life support each spring and rest easy while enjoying your pond the rest of the year.

If you don’t want to get your hands dirty then have no fear, The Pond Digger has started scheduling work orders for Spring Pond Care and we’ll be flooding into your neighborhood soon! That will leave more time for you to plant your annual spring flowers and prepare for the barbecue Pond Party planning for family and friends; don’t forget to send us an invitation, too!

To secure a spot on our clean out calendar contact our office at (800)-522-5043 to be placed on our waiting list. Be sure to leave a daytime number so that one of our maintenance techs can contact you to review your spring POND CARE work order if necessary.

We’ve worked hard to gain your business and we’re working even harder, to maintain it. The finest compliment we could ever receive is a referral from you! If your have neighbors, friends and family that are constantly at your place marveling over your pond, PLEASE give me their names so we can build one for them too and get them out of your hair!

Spring Pond Care Seminar


Show up at 9:30am on April 6th, 2013 and we’ll walk you through all the ins and outs of what you need to do for your 2012 SPRING POND CARE!!! We’re gonna cover FOUR Spring Pond Care Essentials Every Pond Needs Annually in great detail!!

When – Saturday April 6th, 2013 – 9:30am to 12pm

Where – 31710 Dunlap Blvd. Yucaipa, Ca 92399


Touching People’s Lives With Water™,
Eric Triplett
The Pond Digger