I typically spend other people’s money, as if it were my own, and by that I mean, I don’t just sell them equipment for their pond without walking through why they think they need it, if it is the right application for their pond, and if it will fulfill their expectations. If they don’t need it, I will tell them, because most importantly, if they do buy it, I want to make sure it is going to work for them the way they want it to.
I definitely talk people out of sales this way, but I believe that if I am acting in the best interest of my client, instead of the best interest of my checkbook, that I may earn a customer for life. I want my customers to know they can rely on me to help make a smart decision for their pond. This being said, there are a lot of times when people do need to upgrade. Sometimes to a better skimmer, like the Helix, or a better filter, and sometimes to a bigger pond!
The client that called me today said, “I think I need a bigger filter.” “Why do you think that?” I asked, “Because my pond is about 4500 gallons, and I have sixty koi in there.”
After I picked myself up off the floor, I calmly said, “Have you considered reducing your fish load? Give some away, sell some, just find homes for at least half of them? Because then, you can double your filtration, and maybe be okay for a while. But eventually, these fish are going to get to be 24”-28” long and have a girth as big as a dinner plate. This pond is not nearly big enough. Have you considered making a bigger pond?”
After he picked himself up off the floor, we had a great discussion about how he could consider upgrading his pond, both for the short term, until he can reduce his fish load, and for the long term to keep his fish happy.
While this story is extreme, it is common that people have too many fish, not enough filtration, or too small of a pond. How do you know if you need to upgrade? Let’s start here.
Adult male koi should have at least 250 gallons of water per fish, and adult female koi should have 500 gallons of water per fish. This is because females do get bigger, in both length and girth than male koi. Many people keep their koi more crowded than this, and not that I’m condoning it, but if you do keep your fish more crowded than this, you must take steps to keep your fish safe and healthy.
Imagine you have a fifteen-hundred-gallon pond, with nine adult koi of mixed sexes. Your fish load is too high, but not so out of line that you need to rehome fish. It would be simple to upgrade your filtration, and especially helpful if you put in a filter that made water changes easy, like a Helix Bio Mechanical waterfall filter, or an external pressure filter. These would be simple to plumb in, would give you a great boost in filtration, and make future maintenance easier. It’s a win/win/win.
If, as in the case of my client today, you just need a bigger pond, we can help you figure out how to make that happen, in a safe and timely manner to keep your koi happy and healthy until you’re done.