Pond Supplies, Waterfalls, & Koi Pond Construction

Posts Tagged Waterfall Construction

3 Horrible DIY Pond Builder Mistakes

3 Horrible DIY Pond Builder Mistakes

According to The Pond Digger, These Are The Most Dangerous DIY Pond Builder Mistakes

We spend a great deal of time helping Do-It-Yourselfers design and build their dream ponds. Its a great job, and the reward of seeing people get their hands dirty bringing their dreams to fruition is priceless. When we get pictures of clients standing next to their completed projects, with that ear to ear grin, so proud of the beautiful thing they have created with their own blood, sweat, and tears, it is the ultimate reward.

On the flip side, one of the most challenging conversations we handle, on the daily, is helping the DIYer with their problematic pond because they started their project without professional guidance. My husband, Eric Triplett, The Pond Digger spends a great deal of time with weekend warriors in their backyards after the fact. Wouldn’t you prefer to have Eric in your backyard before you start the project for pre-pond build guidance rather than after your project for post-pond build guidance?

Here is are the three most common DIY Pond Builder mistakes we experience on a regular basis.


People see lots of ideas on the internet. They like a certain skimmer, the water clarity on this system, they want a bottom drain, plants, no gravel on the bottom, but gravel on the shelves, (WHAT??!!?!) purple elephants, pixies spreading wildflowers, and then they want all this random equipment they’ve gathered to function perfectly together.

They basically pull equipment they like, out of different pond set ups they like, smoosh it all together, and hope it will all work. By mixing parts of successful recipes for pond construction they are creating dysfunctional systems, just like Dr Frankenstein did in Mary Shelley’s novel.

The results are often as devastating for the pond owner and their fish, as they were for Dr Frankenstein, resulting in high ammonia, not enough oxygen, poor circulation, no water clarity, and out of control algae!

Pick a pond build recipe that works, and stick to it.


At the beginning of their project, these weekend warriors spend their time researching all things pond, so they can be informed when it comes time to purchase the kit from us. The challenge of separating the wheat from the chaff of info on the ‘net in the pond world, is just like everything else on the internet. There is just too much, and soon enough, you must stop or lose your mind.

Now they are diving in without enough info to achieve the goals and expectations they have for their pond.

I recently had a DIY pond guy decide he would build a pond just like Eric did on Snapchat.

When he sent me his pond size, and equipment list, I had to put on the brakes.

While the components he had were generally correct, they were not correctly sized for his feature.

He would have been sorely disappointed with his results, because he thought he knew what he needed, but didn’t understand the specifications.

That’s okay though, I’m here to help.


Not just a suggestion, but akin to a command, maybe with a little less force. 😉 Reconsider your size.

Not going big enough in the first place accounts for over 30% of The Pond Digger Construction projects, because the homeowner didn’t want to get crazy and build a lake in their yard. I’m telling you, get crazy. In about a heartbeat, that 8 x 11 pond will be looking small.

You’re going to want to start with 3 or 4 koi, then someone gives you their koi because they are moving away, then you get a koi for your birthday, then you go to a show, and pick up a super cool koi like you’ve never seen before, suddenly your koi spawn and you want to keep the babies, and then…..you can see where I’m going here, right?

Don’t forget, these are living, breathing, critters that GROW. So, you bought 4 cute little six inchers, that are now a whopping 24 inches, and that’s not even counting the motley crew that were added by circumstance. See? Your pond is too small.

Just go big in the beginning, it will save you in the end.

Do It Yourself Photos from a few of our clients

Charla Hatch – Snowflake, Arizona

Geoffrey Hayes – Hampton, Illinois

Geoffrey Hayes – Hampton, Illinois

Thomas Banneck- Muskogee, Oklahoma

Theresa Corkill

Jaimie Russell – Hawaii, Hawaii

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

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

Leslie Triplett
The Pond Gal

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3 Mistakes Architects Make When Designing Ponds


3 Mistakes Architects Make When Designing Ponds

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

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


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

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

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

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


Fluid dynamics are something architects frequently overlook also.

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

Leslie Triplett, The Pond Gal

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

Connect with The Pond Digger:

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

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

Hall of Fame

Eric Triplett is being inducted in to the “Green Industry Hall of Fame” on Saturday May 2nd, 2015. Typically accustomed to rocking the pond world, this particular honor has rocked Eric’s world.

While we feel this honor is richly deserved, Eric humbly continues to question if he has really contributed enough to the field, frequently heard saying, “I thought you had to be older to win an award like this?”

Eric’s recent contributions to pond filtration, the Helix Life Support Filtration line has helped dramatically reduce the annual water consumption of a pond, while still maintaining the high water quality standards required by his water features’ aquatic inhabitants. This is an especially important achievement in California’s current water-starved climate.

Eric’s career in the water feature world was initially spurred by his love for anything with scales, eventually making him a leader in the pond world. Triplett’s unique and innovative ideas in pond filtration have opened the waters for many people who love ponds, whether they are building for others or simply enjoying their own backyard oasis.

Eric loves to share all he has learned with everyone he meets. He willingly helps people start their own pond installation business and through his “Ponds For Schools” program, helps kids around the Inland Empire learn the benefits of water features in daily life. He has contributed dozens of water features to schools throughout the IE.

Loaded with tips and tricks he has learned through years of installing, Triplett’s Youtube channel is a mecca for do-it-yourselfers hoping to build the pond of their dreams. His new #asktheponddigger show is getting great reviews, thanks in part to Eric’s level headed responses to serious questions.

On the horizon for Eric is his new TV show “Pond Diggers”. More than just about building ponds, the show features Eric’s eclectic crew and provides an education in one entertaining program.

Leslie Triplett, the Pond Gal

Epic Waterfall Fail

Waterfall Recipe for DISASTER!

“The low bid could be the most expensive choice.” – Eric Triplett

A person in Santa Paula, California considering a waterfall in his backyard has concerns because a friend of a friend said Waterfalls were a lot of work. This friend of a friend had one and ended up having it removed because it was so a pain!

Please read the following email I just sent him.

NOTE: My Mother isn’t reading our blogs yet and names have been changed to protect the identities of the parties involved! Enjoy………

Hey Carlton,

It’s always hard for me to hear details of failed water features especially from a “friend of a friend”, in a second hand fashion. I don’t tell this to many people, but my Mom is a terrible cook! She couldn’t produce a batch of Chocolate Chip Cookies if her life depended on it! Seriously…..

Fact of the matter is: Cookies are good, yummy, and delicious. They make my wife and kids smile just looking at one! They go crazy when they smell a batch of cookies baking at the perfect temperature. Touching a warm cookie fresh out of the oven is even a treat and the taste, ahhh that delicious taste.

It’s amazing how many senses a simple chocolate chip cookie touches. We can all be thankful that even though my Mother is a cookie killer, it hasn’t kept the rest of the population frightened of such a wonderful thing. The Cookie.

Now a Pondless Waterfall on the other hand; Well, 1 bad installation, 1 bad experience, 1 bad contractor deviating from a perfect recipe can produce horrifying results. You can certainly understand how easy it is to destroy a perfectly good thing in the water feature contractor arena.

Just a simple as it is for me to connect you with 1000’s of men, women and children that love chocolate chip cookies, I can literally connect you with 1000’s of people that have Disappearing Waterfalls that couldn’t imagine owning a home without the sound of waterfalls on their property.

I didn’t let my Mother’s poor cooking keep me from the joy’s of eating, much as you shouldn’t let the poor experience of your friend’s friend keep you from the peace and tranquility a properly installed water feature has to offer.

I will hold your hand through all your concerns and can assure you that it is ABSOLUTELY possible to have a beautiful, low maintenance Disappearing Waterfall in your very own yard,, that you will enjoy for years and years.

By the way, our company will travel to Santa Paula, California for new water feature construction. We have tools and will travel!

Touching People’s Lives With Water,

Eric Triplett
The Pond Digger