Pond Supplies, Waterfalls, & Koi Pond Construction
1-800-522-5043

Posts Tagged Pond Care

4 Simple Tricks To A Beautiful Pond

beautiful-pond-banner

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

cat-pond

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.

koi-circle

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.

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

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

Eric Triplett
The Pond Digger

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

5 Simple Steps To Prep Your Pond For Winter

unnamed

5 Simple Steps To Prep Your Pond For Winter

21926134-9713-4b39-8d2c-de7fda9647cb

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

f50130b1-3876-4e51-bea4-375b6bb97257

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.

94bebae9-327d-4011-8229-d67f80d3812e

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.

7fd4f0ae-dde7-472b-85dc-fac82e0a9f68

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!

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

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

Eric Triplett
The Pond Digger

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

Grow veggies without weeds for your smoothies?

plants-banner

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

plants-square

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!

planters

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!

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

WHO ATE MY KOI LAST NIGHT???

birdkoibanner

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!

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

3 Pond Myths EXPOSED!

fish-banner

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.

For daily pro pond tips, follow us on SnapChat, Facebook, Instagram, 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

Get on the Offense for the Best Success with your Pond

aerator-large

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.

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

What’s Happening on YouTube!

YouTube Channel Updates!

We love sharing our knowledge on YouTube. We give you, our loyal viewers, all of our experience, including not only our successes, but also our failures, in order to help you have a great experience with your pond, whether you are building one, or just appreciating the one you have.

IMG_0077

So, we are happy to give you our latest news on The Pond Digger YouTube Channel, about our recent and upcoming videos, and some exciting news on turtle views!

We are pleased to share that one of our first YouTube videos, “Turtle Pond Design” has reached 1 million views. We have produced many videos since Turtle Pond Design, that have more views than it does, but it holds a special place in our heart, and will always be one of our favorites.

We also just released the newest in our “Ponds Gone Wrong” series, “The Real McCoy”. This series will help you understand just how critical seaming your pond correctly is. We will reveal some great secrets in seaming, and some critical mistakes that we don’t want you to make!

On February 13th, we will begin filming a new tutorial on building a waterfall without a pond! This is especially great in homes with small children that don’t want the worry of a pond, or for businesses that want the magical sound of water without the liability of a body of water.

Also, we have great tips and tricks daily on Snapchat, and Periscope. Look for The Pond Digger on both sites to get your daily dose of pond fun! We hope to see you soon on YouTube, SnapChat, and Periscope.

IMG_0080

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

The ONLY 3 Fundamentals All Koi Experts Can Agree On

colorful koi fish

If you were getting ready to build a koi pond, and you wanted the opinion of the top 10 koi pond builders around the world, you would get 10, or possibly 11 different answers.

They have different ideas for filters, returns, where to UV or to not UV, pond skimmer selection, size, or depth!

You name it, every choice could be different for every builder.

We understand this can be confusing for someone just getting into the hobby, and amidst the debating and arguing, we would like to show you what all KOI EXPERTS actually do agree on; which quite frankly, is not much.

1. GET OUT THE WASTE

clean out the pond muck

The first thing is to “REMOVE ALL ORGANIC WASTE FROM THE POND.”

By organics, I mean fish poop, excess fish food, leaves, pollen, dust, and anything else that is floating (or sinking) around in your pond.

Now, of course they may not agree on the BEST METHOD of removal, but they want that stuff out of the pond.

A few methods of removing the organics from the pond are skimmers, and bottom drains.

When debris hits the surface, good skimming will pull it out of the pond and into the skimmer 24/7.

If you have debris trying to settle on the pond’s floor, then a bottom drain can be installed, which will pull stuff out 24/7 also.

Another alternative if you don’t have a bottom drain, is to vacuum the pond on a weekly or biweekly basis.

2. SEPARATE SOLIDS

The next point the top koi experts in the world will all agree on is to “Separate solids before filtration.”

There are a few ways to do this too, so of course there is plenty of room for disagreement.

One spot to separate solids is between the pump and the bottom drain. There are a couple of ways to achieve this.

There are settlement tanks, a large chamber the water swirls around in before it is pulled through the pump that allows solids to “fall out” of suspension. Then you empty the sludgey muck out of the bottom of the tank on a routine basis.

Then there are sieves. A sieve has an area where the water slowly pours over a fine screen to catch the debris out of the water before it goes to the pump. The screen can then be cleaned to remove captured debris as needed.

Another place to separate solids is between the pump and the filter. A small unit relatively speaking called a “multi-cyclone” that swirls the water in a chamber so the solids can spin out of suspension. The unit can then be cleaned of the captured waste.

feed the fish

3. NITRIFY THE WATER

The last point all koi experts will agree on, although not how to do it, is “nitrifying” or filtering the water before it is sent back to the pond.

After the water is pulled from the pond, and goes through the pump, before it goes back in to the pond, it needs to be cleaned and purified for the fish.

There are many ways to do this including but not limited too, waterfall filters, pressurized filters, up flow filters, down flow filters, shower filters, and more. The list goes on and on.

WHAT’S NEXT?

Now that you understand the three fundamentals that all koi experts will agree on, you can evaluate your personal koi pond and/or you can decide on how you might want to accomplish each of these important steps on that new dedicated koi ponds you are planning to build!

Of course if you are looking to ask 10 experts for a design we would love to provide you with one of the 11….

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

3 Things the Heron Knows About Your Pond That YOU Don’t!!!

PART_1447877653331_IMG_8423The name “Heron” evokes many emotions from pond owners, and none of them are good. They can range from devastation to hatred due to the loss of their beloved koi collection! Here’s a few tidbits to help you beef up your anti-heron arsenal, because we know, “Knowledge is Power” and this is one smart bird.

  • Herons can live up to fifteen years, reaching four and a half feet tall, with a six foot six inch wingspan.
  • They lay as many as 7 eggs annually, continually re-populating your neighborhood with new offspring to consume your precious koi!
  • They are absolute Pro fishermen.  They earn their living hunting dark colored, (well disguised), super fast, fish from dark, murky waters in the wild.
  • Imagine their sheer joy when they discover your CLEAR pond water filled with BRIGHTLY colored, slow moving (compared to their wild counterparts)  koi and goldfish!
  • It’s literally like spearing fish in a barrel.  Remember the old adage, “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer”?
  • The more you learn about Herons, the more likely you’ll be able to outsmart them.  Here is what herons know about your pond, that you never knew they knew.

#1.  MEAL PLANNING

They know where their next meal is coming from.  That 15 year lifespan is important because once they learn your pond’s location, each time they migrate through your area, every spring and fall, like Arnold Schwarzeneggar, they WILL be back.

For the next FIFTEEN years, your pond is on their flight plan.You can take extra precautions during these seasons to help prevent loss

#2. FULL MOON MADNESS

Herons are typically crepuscular, stalking your koi only in the early morning hours and at the failing light of dusk, but 3 days a month, they can eat your koi ALL NIGHT LONG!

When the moon is full, and the nights before and after the full moon, there is enough light for that ultra-determined predator to wait until you are tucked in before stealing your family jewels.

#3.  FEEDING YOUR FISH

This is the most incredible factoid that will shock, and maybe even disgust you.

Herons are smart, you know that, and patient, standing for hours at the pond’s edge waiting for the koi to get comfortable enough to swim near their scary shadow, but did you know they will FEED your koi?

Thats right, those genius predators know that if they regurgitate in to your pond, the fish will come running to that smell, because of course just like in a heron’s belly, the main ingredient in koi food is FISH!

Your darling babies, so well trained to come to the smell of koi food, will literally come RUNNING to heron barf.

PREVENTION

There is no 100% way to insure you koi are safe, unless you fully enclose your pond, but here are a few tricks to try:

  • A scarecrow; a motion sensor sprinkler that shoots the heron, and anyone else approaching your pond, with a harmless, but SCARY stream of water.  Change batteries MONTHLY!
  • Netting over your pond.  Helps keep out leaves too! Fishing line in a pattern over the pond, or as a trip wire around the pond.
  • Trees, shade sails, or a gazebo creating a safety canopy over the pond
  • Hotwire around the pond-shocking but not deadly
  • Heron statue-used to establish “territory claimed”- needs to be moved several times a week to replicate live birds.
  • Dogs- VERY effective deterrent, especially bird dogs!

Summer Lovin’ Tips and Tricks to Control Algae

waterfall-algaeSummer is finally here! Now its time to get outside to soak up the sun and be free to enjoy your water feature! While you are outside soakin’ up those rays, by the pond, keep these tips in mind, to keep you water feature looking pristine all summer long!

With summer comes beautiful, frolicking flower and plant blooms that bring sweet smells of summer, and keep us outside longer! Along with those beautiful aquatic blooms, comes algae, which is one bloom that is not so pleasant! Since you’re already outside, try a few things that will help maintain that algae bloom that isn’t so sweet.

Adding plants that provide shade to your pond will keep the sun from penetrating the water and in turn reduce algae growth. There are some aquatic plants that are perfect for this and are also beautiful! Water Lilies, Water Hyacinth, and Water Lettuce are all great for adding shade to your pond. With these three plants you get an added plus! Not only do they add shade to prevent algae growth, but they also add coverage for your fish to hide under, keeping them safe from dangerous and pesky predators! It’s a Win-Win!

Now, its understandable that you will want feed your fish a little more than normal since you will be outside and spending more quality time with them, but don’t do it! Or at least try, I know those little suckers can be irresistible. If you can manage to feed them less, they will produce less waste. If there is less waste in the pond, then the algae will have less to feed on. All you Koi lovers may feel a daunting weight on your shoulders as I tell you to feed your Koi less, but trust me, they will not starve! If they get hungry they will do you a favor and eat some of that algae that you are trying to get rid of! Another Win-Win!

Keeping up on a few maintenance items will improve your water clarity and prevent algae growth during these hot months as well. If you have not done so yet this year, switch out the bulb in your Ultra-Violet light! Those bulbs typically need to be replaced once per year. Once you get that fresh bulb installed, you will see a drastic difference! For those of you who are saying, “Ultra-Violet? In a pond!?” and you also have green water, please, please, please call us at The Pond Digger and we will help you step into the light! It works wonders!

Remember to keep an eye on your filtration media, rinse it clear of debris, as needed, keep any decomposing plants trimmed back, and most importantly keep adding beneficial bacteria! Keeping up on this maintenance will keep you and your eco-system happy and healthy

Now that I have given you plenty of tips and tricks that should keep those algae blooms down and keep those flower blooms up and smelling sweet, enjoy your summer, and stay outside longer!

For more information, contact The Pond Digger!
1-800-522-5043

Page 1 of 212