Pond Supplies, Waterfalls, & Koi Pond Construction

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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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I Have A New Fish

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I Have A New Fish

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

Eric Triplett
The Pond Digger

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

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

CLEAN, RUNNING WATER

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

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

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

FOOD

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

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

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

PERSONAL HYGIENE

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

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

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EMOTIONAL ESCAPE

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

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

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

KILLING ZOMBIES!

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

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

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

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

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

God Speed…

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

Eric Triplett
The Pond Digger

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Grow veggies without weeds for your smoothies?

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Grow veggies without weeds for your smoothies?

No more weeding your veggie garden?

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

EAT HEALTHY, REDUCE ALGAE, WEED FREE

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

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

PICK THE RIGHT PLANT

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

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

WINTER WARRIORS

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

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

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

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

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

HEALTHY POND = HEALTHY YOU!

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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The Carnivorous Koi

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The Carnivorous Koi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IMPORTANT DIETARY INFORMATION:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Leslie Triplett, The Pond Gal

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

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WHO ATE MY KOI LAST NIGHT???

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WHO ATE MY KOI LAST NIGHT???

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

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

pineconebirdANGRY BIRDS

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

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

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

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

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

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

racoonMASKED BANDITS

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

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

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

FAKE FURRY FRIENDS

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

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

curvyneckPREVENTION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

redeyewhitebirdPLAN AHEAD

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

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

ALMOST NOTHING IS PERFECT

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

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

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

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

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Leslie Triplett, The Pond Gal

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

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3 Pond Myths EXPOSED!

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3 Pond Myths EXPOSED!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Speaking of water changes….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is some basis in reality for this myth:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Leslie Triplett, The Pond Gal

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

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3 Mistakes Architects Make When Designing Ponds

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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.

SHAPEshape

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.

CIRCULATIONcirculation

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.

LIFE SUPPORT AREAlife-support

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.

PLANNING YOUR DREAM POND

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.

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Leslie Triplett, The Pond Gal

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

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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!
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