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4 Spring Pond Care Essentials Every Pond Needs!!

4 Spring Pond Care Essentials Every Pond Needs!!

Understanding Spring Pond Care

Spring is jumping on us quick this year! Before you know it, you’ll be enjoying the outdoors and all the wonder and excitement of your beautiful pond again.

That brings us to the topic of preparing your pond for spring. Mother Nature has a fantastic way of preparing her natural bodies of water for each new season by flooding waterways with fresh rains and melting snow, recycling old water out and refreshing it with new.

clean out the pond muckIn your rock and gravel eco-system ponds this service needs to be provided manually on an annual basis to help maintain its balance.

This means; you’ve got to get in there, drain the pond, rinse the gravel, remove any heavy debris that may have accumulated during fall and while you’re at it, clean the biological waterfall filter, thin out your aquatic plants, and replace the light bulbs your underwater lighting systems, among other things; all while ensuring the safety of your fish and other pond inhabitants.

Advanced ponds with suped up life support systems including aeration systems, UV clarifiers, Bio-Mechanical filters, Back Flushable Waterfall Filters, bottom drains, settlement tanks and such; the SPRING POND CARE procedures are much less painful and cost substantially less than traditional rock and gravel eco-system ponds. However there are many chores that shouldn’t be overlooked like replacing UV bulbs and cleaning quartz sleeves, inspecting air intakes and diaphragms on your air pumps, and the list of to do’s and don’t goes on.

Four Spring Pond Care Essentials Your Pond Needs Annually!

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 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.

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 purchased 250 pounds of fish food last 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.

4. Life Support System Inspection – 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 holey 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.

It’s a dirty job, but somebody has got to do it! It’s really not as hard as it sounds and for the “Down and Dirty”, do-it-yourselfers that are a little nervous, The Pond Digger will be hosting a FREE Spring Pond Care Seminar at our headquarters Saturday, March 25th!

FREE Spring Pond Care Seminar

Saturday, March 25th
9 am – 12 pm (noon)
@ The Pond Digger HQ:
31710 Dunlap Blvd
Yucaipa, CA 92399

Let us personally walk you through spring pond care procedures and other routine maintenance to build your confidence for this task.

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 barbeque Pond Party planning for family and friends; don’t forget to send us an invitation, too!

I hope everyone has it figured it out by now; The Pond Digger is not your ordinary Landscape Contractor.

We are fish freaks turned Landscape Contractor, and Landscape Contractor turned Pond Digger! We are constantly striving for excellence in our field with continuous research and development.

This enables us to make educated improvements on our product line, thus helping you with the maintenance and health care concerns of your pond and it inhabitants.

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 I can build one for them too and get them out of your hair!

 

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Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

Eric Triplett
The Pond Digger

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4 Simple Tricks To A Beautiful Pond

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4 Simple Tricks To A Beautiful Pond

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

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

FILTRATION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

USE A SKIMMER

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

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

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

AVOID OVERCROWDING and OVERFEEDING

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

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

Don’t put yourself in the path of temptation!

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

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

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

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

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WATER CHANGES

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

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

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

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

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

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

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

Eric Triplett
The Pond Digger

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11 Things All Ponds Need, #2 Will Rock You

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11 Things All Ponds Need, #2 Will Rock You

1. ALGAE

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

2. SALT

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

3. BACTERIA

 

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

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

4. POND PLANTS

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

5. BIO-FILTRATION

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

6. AERATION

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

7. SURFACE SKIMMING

 

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

8. FISH

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

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

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

9. SUN

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

10. CIRCULATION

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

11. MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE

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

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

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

Leslie Triplett, The Pond Gal

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

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Algae is beautiful

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Algae is beautiful

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

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

THE BAD GUYS

HAIRY

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

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

DON’T MISS THIS

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

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

PEA SOUP

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

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

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

MATTING

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

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

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

THE RIGHT STUFF

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

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

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GET IN THE RIGHT MINDSET

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

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

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

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

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

Leslie Triplett, The Pond Gal

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

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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.

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

Leslie Triplett, The Pond Gal

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

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How Saving $$$$ Could be Costing You Time

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How Saving $$$$ Could be Costing You Time

Some people have more time than money, and some people have more money than time. In today’s world, you’re always paying with one or the other.

When it comes to choosing a pump for your pond, the same old rules apply, do you want to spend more time working on it, or more money?

Submersible pumps have been used with fish for decades.

In aquariums the pump of choice for time, practically immemorial, has been mag drive pumps. These pumps can be used in ponds as well though, given the right circumstances.

In the pond world, typically direct drive pumps are used. Knowing the differences between these pumps, will help you choose the pump that is right for you.

DIRECT DRIVE PUMPS

A direct drive pump is a powerhouse of a pump. It can push a big volume of water a long distance, or a great height. Sometimes both!

It works sort of like a garbage disposal, using an impeller to sort of grind the water up into the main shaft and push it out of the pump with tremendous force.

If leaves, twigs, or other small debris are caught up in this cyclone, they are ground up into so much small grunge and driven into the filter where they are captured for later removal during filter cleaning.

The impeller is stationary, because you don’t need to take it out for cleaning. Some direct drive pumps need to be oiled occasionally.

Direct drive pumps do use a lot of electricity to fuel their tremendous power. Here in California, that tends to be a cause for concern as our electrical rates continue to climb exponentially each year.

One interesting aspect is direct drive pumps do not do well without a good head pressure (force or friction causing them to work harder) because the motor will spin too fast and burn the pump out early. This incidentally also causes the pump to use more electricity before it finally expires.

A larger pond, or a taller waterfall typically call for a direct drive pump as bigger features want more water movement. A direct drive pump does run a little hotter than a mag drive, so a small pond could run too warm with a direct drive.

MAG DRIVE PUMPS

A mag drive pump is a magnetic body with a magnetic impeller in the middle of it. The outer body makes the impeller turn using a magnetic force, similar to when you were a kid playing with little hand magnets that would attract or repel another magnet depending on the direction they were facing. The turning impeller pulls the water through the pump.

These pumps tend be less expensive than direct drives, and use less electricity. They do not have the power of direct drives though, so you will find that they can not push water as high, or as far.

DO I HAVE TIME, OR DO I HAVE MONEY?

Here is where the “Time or Money” aspect comes in. The mag drive pumps, while initially costing less, and running for a bit less per month, require regular maintenance from you to keep them running.

Dust, and small unicellular algae, along with string algae, sticks, and leaves can bind up between the two magnets of the motor, causing the pump to overheat and eventually fail.

In order to prevent this, after installing one of these pumps, it should be checked at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months to assess debris buildup.

At whatever point you begin to notice muck on the impeller, you know you should back track by a month, and set that as your routine cleaning time.

So, if you check the pump at 3 and 6 months and it’s fine, but at 9 months there is sludge, then you should clean the pump at least every 8 months. This cleaning schedule can be as frequent as every couple of months in very dusty areas like deserts or areas with high winds. It might be much less in a small sheltered courtyard.

Also, if your waterfall is small, you should typically use a mag drive pump because they like the lower head pressure that a shorter fall creates.

One more point on a mag drive. Sometimes, (but not always) when mag drives fail, the impeller can be replaced, bringing the pump back from the dead, so to say. This can be a very inexpensive way to learn the “I need to clean this pump more” lesson. Once a direct drive pump dies, its done for good.

Leslie Triplett, The Pond Gal

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

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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.

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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.

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Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

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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!

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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

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

YouTube Video Workshop

YouTube Video Training – Pond Contractor Focus Group

Did you know that YOUTUBE is the #2 Search Engine in the world? That’s right! YouTube is second to the One and only Google! What does that mean to you and your pond business?

It means, when someone is considering a new pond, a pond rebuild, a pond service, pond maintenance, pond supplies or anything pond related for that matter, there is a HUGE opportunity to get in front of consumers looking for help!

Our construction team and retail location get a ton of business from our video efforts on YouTube. Our Subscribers are BIG FANS of the content we provide and THANK US profusely for uploading videos that help them improve their experiences with water gardening and Koi ponds.

Our Focus the second Saturday of January 2013 will be “HOW TO DIRECT A VIDEO FOR YOUTUBE! We’re not gonna waste anyone’s valuable time going over reasons why you need to be on YouTube! We’re going to show you how to DIRECT the video!

What time of day! What Content! What Lighting! What to wear! What to Say! How to say it! How to close it! How to Flow it! This is HUGE! The TIPS and TRICKS you’ll learn at this Pond Contractor Focus Group will have a massive impact on your video efforts! I GUARANTEE IT!

I’ve got my iPhone all rigged up to a tripod with an upgraded camera lens ready for the video shoot at the Pond Contractor Focus Group this Saturday!

SUBSCRIBE to the Pond Digger YouTube Channel with over 2,000,000 views for more informational videos about ponds and water gardens

DATE: Jan. 12th, 2013

TIME: 7am to 9am

LOCATION:

The Pond Digger Headquarter
31710 Dunlap Blvd.
Yucaipa, Ca 92399
(800) 522-5043

BREAKFAST:
Served between 8am and 9am – We will be BBQing sausage and egg breakfast sandwiches on the Weber Charcoal Grill!

RSVP:
Not mandatory to RSVP I know how contractors get busy. Just show up if you want but if you call or email to let us know you’ll be showing up we won’t run out of coffee and breakfast sandwiches.

ATTENTION Pond Contractors – Focus on Business Fundamentals once a month with Eric Triplett

Plan on meeting up at The Pond Digger headquarters the Second Saturday of every month bright and early for round table training sessions. Collaborate with other landscape contractors on how to grow your business. Focus on your business for 2 hours uninterrupted each month with a group of guys dedicated to improving their businesses.

We shut off the phones; grab a cup of coffee and talk about marketing, bidding, business and much more. We’ll get down to the basics but plan on bending your mind and learning about new products and sharing ideas to grow your business.

What you can expect. Good conversation, product reviews, manufacturer discounts, gift certificates, guest speakers, training, training and more training. Let’s learn together. Let’ grow together.

Eric Triplett
The Pond Digger

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