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KISS MY POND

KISS MY POND

The Kiss method of engineering has been used in many systems since it’s original debut by Kelly Johnson, lead engineer at Lockheed, regarding jet planes. The jet planes they built had to be repairable with hand tools, by mechanics in the field, under combat conditions. Simple was an imperative.

When it comes to your pond, superior filtration for brilliant water quality and clarity is the imperative. Simple is no longer the defining factor. We are concerned about making sure that your fish are happy, healthy, and visible for your enjoyment.

The Helix Life Support Pond Filtration System focuses on just that, keeping your water clean and clear, to keep you and your fish happy. We also want it to be easy to maintain in the long run, because we know, if it isn’t easy, you won’t do it. That’s ok, we get it, we don’t like to work harder than we need to either.

That’s why we’ve designed products to be easy to clean with simple valves to turn, or lightweight baskets to pull out and rinse. No more back breaking labor dragging out bags of lava rock and awkward media pads filled with water and laden with slimy ooze.

I have had people ask why Helix seems more difficult to install than the other pond filters on the market. It is true; it is not the easiest system to put in. This system was designed for FISH, by complete fish geeks, to keep your water as healthy as possible in an often uncontrollable environment, the great outdoors.

So, like most quality projects, there are some up front dues that must be paid for the long term goal, kicking back beside your pond. The initial extra few hours of work during installation, are well worth the reduction in maintenance for YEARS down the line.

So, the real answer is, it is a little harder to put in because we were more concerned with long term ease of use, than initial ease of installation. After all, you install once, but you do maintenance every week for the life of your pond. Helix wanted to make that “every week for the rest of your life” part easier.

While Helix is definitely more complicated to install, the Helix filters are designed for long term ease of cleaning. We use air blowing through the media to loosen up debris, which is then drained from the system using knife valves. The water can then be directed to your trees, garden, or ornamental plants for beautiful leaves, blooms, and veggies.

Not only does this make your plants happy, but you are performing a very important task each time you clean the filters. When you drain the filter, you are performing a water change. This water change does important things for your fish.

Here’s a quick science lesson. Water changes add fresh oxygen, calcium, magnesium, and sodium. These are the primary minerals in tap water. There are also small amounts of zinc, copper, and a few others. The beauty of these minerals is they all have positive electrons that really want to bond with the negatively charged elements in your pond.

These negatively charged elements make up the debris that builds up in the bottom of your pond, specifically the stuff that makes that nasty rotten egg smell when you stir it up, and ammonia, fish waste. So, each time you clean your filter, it works a little to help break down the icky stuff that is inside your pond too! Bonus!! Can you imagine if every time you flushed your toilet, it cleaned the shower too?

Additionally, the magnesium, and sodium are important in helping your fish to maintain healthy bodies. They use these elements to make their heart, kidney, liver, and other internal organs work properly, and to perform osmosis, a very important way for your fish to expel ammonia from their bodies at a cellular level. Is this too much chemistry? Hold on for one more tidbit.

The third thing the water change does is reduce any fishy pheromones that may be trying to build up in your pond. This allows your fish to get their “grow” on. Fish release pheromones, just like every other animal, including YOU!

A higher pheromone level tells your fish to STOP growing. Water changes reduce those pheromones. If you want great big, gigantasaurus koi, water changes will get you there, and Helix will make it happen, by simply turning some valves. See? EASY!

So, hopefully that helps you to understand how Helix works, why we designed and built it the way we did, and why, though it is a little more complicated to install, it sets you up for a lifetime of easy maintenance, and healthy, happy fish.

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

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

Leslie Triplett
The Pond Gal

Connect with The Pond Digger:

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NEW POND NO NO’S

NEW POND NO NO’S

Ready to embark on a new adventure into the pond world, but afraid that you’ll end up with an ugly, green, mosquito swamp? Never fear! We are here to help.

Here are the three most common mistakes that DIY pond newbies make, that you want to avoid.

1. THE BIGGEST ONE, SIZE MATTERS!

When it comes to a pond, the size of the filter matters. Perhaps more than anything else. If you under filter, you may spend the rest of your life working on your pond to try to keep it clean.

Eric is a SnapChat addict, spending his days gazing lovingly into his own eyes as he shares 20 years of experience and daily pond pro tips with his followers.

He shares new ponds he is installing, ponds he installed years ago, and ponds he is repairing, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Sometimes people will grasp the “General Idea” of how the filtration he sets up works, but not the full concept. In other words, they get just enough knowledge to be dangerous.

Eric recently shared a couple of Helix Suction Grid ponds that he had installed years ago.

The fish are outstanding, their colors bright and beautiful, built like brick…houses, with water so clear, it was like they were floating in the air.

People FREAKED, rightfully so, as you don’t often see ponds that old, looking that amazing.

Immediately, we had DIY builders trying to recreate this build, BUT, they were trying to cut corners by reducing filtration. While this corner cutting will work for a short while, in the long run, the results would be far less amazing.

The last place you want to cut corners is on filtration. Don’t do it!! Let us guide you along in your installation Train You.

2. TAKE OUT THE GRAVEL

Now, please don’t misunderstand here. You can absolutely build a koi pond with no rocks or gravel. But, you must make sure that the filtration you use, reflects the pond that you have.

For instance, let’s say you have an ecosystem pond, that you’ve had for years, and it has always looked fine, and worked well for you. Then you go to the local koi club meeting, and they lose their minds when they find out you have gravel in the pond.

They tell you that you’re an idiot, it’s fish abuse, you should be locked in a dungeon for 17 years, basically you hate your fish, and they know, because you have gravel in your pond.

You rush home, running red lights, breaking speed limits, nearly running over pedestrians and bicyclists. You remove all that terrible rock and gravel, do a big water change, let the water settle back out, breath a sigh of relief that your fish are still alive, and pat yourself on the back for a job well done. You fish saving hero, you!

Two weeks later, you walk into the backyard, and are shocked and saddened to see a huge pond of pea soup where your crystal clear pond used to be. What happened?

The deal here is simple. The ecosystem filters are designed to work with rocks, gravel, and plants.

When you remove them, you cripple the filtration, resulting in green, ugly water.

In order to fix this, you need to add external filtration, such as a pressure filter, UV clarifier, and settlement tanks with bottom drains.

Make sure the filtration you use matches the pond style you choose, whether it is a dedicated koi pond with a bottom drain, and no gravel, or an ecosystem pond with plants, rocks, and gravel.

3. METEORIC PROPORTIONS

Don’t start digging your pond, until you’ve confirmed the filtration required for the size pond you think you want. If you dig a hole like a meteor from the Jurassic era hit the earth, that puppy is going to be expensive to filter.

I had a client call the other day whose husband had been on a tractor in their south 40, for 3 days digging out a pond.

When I told her that just the liner for her little project was going to be over 10,000.00, she almost lost her cookies! She started yelling at her husband to stop digging, “Right Now!”

They had budgeted 5000.00 for the whole project, including tractor rental, and were already nearly halfway through that before buying a single piece of pond equipment.

When she asked me what she should do next, I had to tell her, either she needed to sell her husband’s kidney to pay for the equipment she needed, or fill that puppy back in, until it was a reasonable size, that their remaining budget could cover. (I was just kidding about the kidney.)

Anyways, make sure the pond you dig, fits the budget you have for filtration. Back to the beginning, if you cut corners on filtration, you will be paying for it for the rest of your life.

If you’re not sure of the where you want to land on pond size, or how big of a pond your budget will cover, or whether you want a bottom drain pond, or a gravel pond, give us a shout. We can help clarify things for you.

And when you get your pond kit from us, we hold your hand throughout the entire installation, from the first shovel of dirt to the placement of that last rock. We will talk you through the whole thing via text, emails, FaceTime, snapchat video, phone calls and smoke signals!

You can do it! We can help! Give us a call

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

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

Leslie Triplett
The Pond Gal

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

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Exciting New Weight Loss Program Building ponds

Exciting New Weight Loss Program Building Ponds

Are you serious about losing weight?

Would you like to kickstart a weight loss routine, or break a diet plateau that’s been holding you back from your goal weight?

Is your current “fad” dieting just not cutting it for you?

We have the quick and simple solution to help you lose weight in 30 days or less! We can help you drop those pesky extra pounds before winter sets in.

America has a weight problem that they are looking for a solution to. Look at how many weight loss programs there are. This alone can tell you how desperately people are looking for help losing weight.

Americans spend a whopping 35 BILLION dollars a year on diet programs and products. What if I told you a custom pond kit to build your very own paradise can be as little as $1,000.00, and get you started on your way to a new, sexier, healthier, THINNER, you!

Yes that’s right, we have literally helped thousands of people on the fun and exciting journey to weight loss through hard work and dedication. After a tough day at the office, people will spend hours in their backyard digging holes, hauling dirt, and lugging rocks.

The pay off is well worth the time and effort spent, as these hardworking weekend warriors are now happy to take their shirt off at the beach, or wear a bikini to the pool party, to show off their new, hard earned bodies!

In as little as a few short weeks, you can burn fat AND build muscle. Our easy to follow directions will have your fat on the run, and building up those beautiful muscles in no time!

If you already have a pond, but think this exciting, and easy method is for you then build a pond for a friend or family member! You can shed the weight while you create a beautiful gift for someone you love.

So, if you’re serious about losing weight, and you are ready to put in some seriously hard work to get the body you’ve dreamed of, contact The Pond Digger now, and get your starter pond kit. YOU CAN DO IT! WE CAN HELP!

Call The Pond Digger now so we can customize a weight loss pond design plan to match your goals and expectations! 

1-800-522-5043

Imagine a Speed Talking Eric Triplett reading the following line to you – (Results are not typical, but are possible! This entire blog was written for fun, but the pictures are ACTUAL before and after results of people building ponds for themselves or others. Life is Short, Enjoy Koi)

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

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

Leslie Triplett
The Pond Gal

Connect with The Pond Digger:

The Pond Digger on Facebook: www.facebook.com/theponddigger

The Pond Digger on Periscope: www.periscope.tv/theponddigger

The Pond Digger on Instagram: www.instagram.com/theponddigger

The Pond Digger on Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/theponddigger

The Pond Digger on Twitter: www.twitter.com/theponddigger

The Pond Digger on Youtube: www.youtube.com/theponddigger

The Pond Digger on Snapchat: www.snapchat.com/add/theponddigger

3 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.

1. FRANKENPONDS!!!

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.

2. JUST ENOUGH INFO TO BE DANGEROUS.

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.

3. GO BIG OR GO HOME.

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

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

First Thing A Pond Pro Notices When He Sees Your Pond

First Thing A Pond Pro Notices When He Sees Your Pond

So, you know how when the house cleaner is coming over to clean, you pick up the house, or when you drop your car off to the mechanic, you wash it?

What would you do if The Pond Digger was coming to see your pond?  What you believe is bad or dirty may be significantly different than what he notices.

Eric does pond inspections all the time.  Sometimes the owners know they have a particular problem, like the water is so green, you can’t see the fish, or the pump stopped working, or the pond isn’t holding water.  But he also does inspections where the owners just want a “check up”, so to speak.

If you were having Eric stop by to check on your pond, what “house cleaning” would you do before he got there?

Empty your skimmer, clean the leaf trap, wash the filter pads, trim up the plants?

Well, while he will certainly peek at those things, what he is really going to look at is circulation, aeration, population, and Algae but for the sake of the rhyme, let’s say algification.

Those four things are going to tell him a lot about your pond, without lifting a finger to open a pond filter.

CIRCULATION

Circulation is nearly the be all, end all, of your pond.  

If the water is not moving through the life support and filtration equipment fast enough, and the pond is not turning enough times an hour, we know there will be water quality issues, without even running a test.

Your pond should be turning at least 4-6 times an hour if it is under 2000 gallons, 2 times an hour for 3000-6000 gallons, and at least hourly if larger than that.  Until to get to a pond that is nearly a lake.  Then the game changes.

We also want to avoid dead spots in ponds.  Areas where the water doesn’t move will allow wind blown debris to settle to the bottom of the pond, where it will decay, and create water quality issues.

AERATION

Aeration is important not only to help get oxygen in the water for the fish, but also to help break down debris in the pond more quickly.

Without getting too high school chemistry on you, the positive ions on the oxygen molecules bond with negatives ions on hydrogen sulfide molecules (rotting debris in the pond molecules) and through a chemical reaction, help to break down the debris.

Aeration can be provided either through air bubbles from an air pump, or from the waterfall pounding on the water, breaking the surface tension, and allowing oxygen to be pulled down into the water.

POPULATION

Fish population is a huge clue about your pond.  If your fish are 5 years old, and still only 6″ long, we know that you have not been doing your water changes, so your water quality is poor even if all the tests say your water is great!

Fish, like people, release pheromones into their environment.  Unlike a person’s environment, in a pond those pheromones can’t blow away on the wind.  

They are trapped in the water like a closed up room traps air.  Think of the smell in a teenage boy’s bedroom!!!!   Unless you do a water change, those pheromones stay put.

Pheromones tell fish a lot of things, but one specific thing they say is, to grow, or not to grow.  If the pheromone level is high, they don’t grow.  So, we know, if your fish aren’t growing, the pheromone level is high, so you haven’t been doing water changes.

ALGIFICATION

Now, this is a pond, not a pool, so we WANT algae.  Yup, you read that right.  Algae in a pond is good.  But, not ALL algae is good.  

A nice layer of algae coating the liner,  rocks and gravel in your pond, is just what the Digger ordered, but if you have chunky, bubbly, algae floating on the surface, a boatload of stringy algae, or so much green algae you can’t see 2″ into your water, there may be something fishy in your set up.  Pun TOTALLY intended.

These types of undesirable algae can indicate poor filtration, too much food, debris build up, proper maintenance failure, low oxygen, and much more.

So, go try to evaluate your pond like Eric would.  Assess your circulation, aeration, population, and algification, get it all in order, and you will be well on your way to celebration!

If you are interested in a personal pond Inspection from The Pond Digger himself, feel free to call and schedule an appointment at 800-522-5043.

Heading into fall is one of the best times of the year to schedule small tune ups on your water feature.

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

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

Leslie Triplett
The Pond Gal

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

WORST BLOG EVER!!!!!

Worst Blog Ever!!

Blogs are usually fun for me to write. I often, literally, laugh out loud as I describe some past experiences, or antics of Eric, The Pond Digger. Today, however, is a different story.

As I struggle to write this blog, my emotions get the best of me. I can’t seem to control the tearing in my eyes, and my heart breaks anew, every time I get on FaceBook, or see news coverage of Houston.

The heart wrenching photos plastering my FaceBook wall of Houston refugees are killing me. People huddled in refugee centers, livestock swimming in fields, dogs and cats perched on the roofs of cars and homes, abandoned in the haste of departure, as people flee for their very lives. I saw one video of a small toddler wandering in thigh deep water, ALONE!!!

Shelter, food, and of course water for all living things, is the primary focus. I have seen some amazing people step up and help by opening their retail stores to be refugee centers, private individuals freeing abandoned animals left in flooded fields, houses, and vehicles, and veterinarians donating their time and medicine straight out of their own clinics!

My first response is, “Where can I send money?”??!?!!?!?!! I’m not close enough or capable of helping in any way but financially. I’m sure the same can be said for many of you, but you’re just not sure where to send money.

In today’s jaded society though, the challenge is, who can we send the funding to that will actually go to help victims of the hurricane, and not line pockets of a charity with 6 figure income presidents??????

I tried my best to sort through the crazy number of organizations that are pledging to help Houston. Whether giving to a local charity (local to the disaster) or a national charity, is a personal preference, but the national charities tend to help locally for a shorter time. If I’m trying to help Houston victims, and I want to insure my donation goes directly to them, a local Houston charity is the safest bet. This is what I’ve come up with.

Houston Food Bank
www.houstonfoodbank.org

United Way of Greater Houston
www.unitedwayhouston.org

Food Bank of Corpus Christi
www.foodbankcc.com

Houston Humane Society
www.houstonhumane.org/

San Antonio Humane Society
www.sahumane.org/

Plus, here are a few honorable mentions that are doing some pretty cool stuff to help people and animals;

Forgotten Horses Rescue
www.greatnonprofits.org

Best Friend’s Animal Society
www.bestfriends.org

Brazos Valley Equine out of Navosota Texas
Has been providing free medicine and veterinary care

Jim McIngvale out of Houston Texas-
He’s letting refugees LIVE in his furniture stores!!!! How cool is that?

I’m hoping that last note helps you focus on the people and animals that need help during this traumatic event. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

4 Power Plants to Make Your Pond Blossom for Spring

4 Power Plants to Make Your Pond Blossom for Spring

Ponds are captivating for so many reasons; the musical splash of the waterfall, the flash of jewel toned fish, the peaceful calm that infuses your soul, and the vibrant colors of the beautiful blooms.

If your pond is a little less vibrant this year, here are a few plants you can add that will brighten your view.

Water lilies are always a hit. From newbie pond enthusiasts to the oldest of seasoned pond pros, everyone loves to see a lily in bloom in the pond. There are a staggering variety of colors, from the most pale, serene white, to astonishing, powder blue, to breath taking blood red. Everyone has their favorite, so make sure to find yours.

To keep that beauty in bloom throughout the summer, make sure to supplement with a high quality fertilizer pellet EVERY MONTH during the growing season.

Aquatic Iris come in many colors, each with a slightly different bloom time, to keep your pond pretty in pink, or purple, or yellow, almost all summer long. Once the blooms fade, and the leaves begin to yellow, cut them back to allow the late bloomers room to shine.

Water Hyacinth can bloom from spring to fall with enough hours of sunlight. They also perform some advantageous maintenance while they grow, consuming waste like no other pond plant does.

If your water is a little murky, an addition of hyacinths can go a long way towards clearing that cloud up, all the while providing you with delicately beautiful, lavender or white blooms to enjoy.

Pickerel, a tall, slender plant with a broad leaf, produces purple or white blooms, that will make you smile. These beautiful plants have enough body to help add lush greenery to your pond, and pleasant blooms to enjoy through the summer.

Last, but never least is the amazing lotus. This plant can get leaves as large as dinner plates, that can tower a staggering SIX feet above your water line, and can produce blooms as large as your your head.

Be diligent about fertilizing as this shocking beauty needs a lot of food to grow leaves and blooms as large as this. Make sure to fertilize every month to get the most out of your lotus. Patience is the key, as the second or third year in your pond really reveals the true production capabilities of this amazing aquatic plant.

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

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

Eric Triplett
The Pond Digger

Connect with The Pond Digger:

The Pond Digger on Facebook: www.facebook.com/theponddigger

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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!

 

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

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

Eric Triplett
The Pond Digger

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I Have A New Fish

wicked-colors-koi

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.

sick-koi-orange

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.

sick-koi-yellow

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.

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

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

Eric Triplett
The Pond Digger

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The Worst Pond Myth, Busted WIDE Open

fish-filter

The Worst Myth Pond Myth, Busted WIDE Open

I seem to start off a lot of these blogs with “I got a call from a client…” I do, I know, but answering the phone calls, and everyday questions that people have gives me the insight to answer the questions you may have also.

So, I got a call from a client the other day asking about enlarging his pond:

He said slotspie he thought it was about time since his 5 koi had been in one of those 100 gallon home depot ponds for the last TEN YEARS?!?!!??!?!!?

He tells me they’ve been fine in there, and they are healthy, so he doesn’t need much more in the way of filtration, or size really, but just a little bigger might be nice. And he truly believes this.

He thinks these fish, that should be 32″-36″ by now, with a girth the size of a dinner plate, are happy and healthy.

I do have to say, I think I held my poker face pretty well. My soul was dying, my brain was sizzling into a little pile of mush, and my heart was broken for those poor koi. After 10 years, they are only 12″ long.

thanksgiving-koi

Not only are these fish NOT healthy, but they are NOT happy, and they are seriously stunted. Perhaps for life now. They need a proper sized home, proper filtration, frequent water changes, and a good diet, STAT!

Okay, I’ll lighten up, I guess this is a “first world problem”, right? But still, if I can prevent this from happening to more koi, I will.

So let me try to bust this myth wide open, one more time:

Fish do not grow to the size of their environment

They are limited by the pheromone level and water quality in the pond.

The pheromone level is determined by the quantity of fish, and the frequency of water changes.

The more you change the water, the lower the pheromone level will be. Plus, water changes equal lower ammonia, nitrites, and more.

I’ve seen 24-30″ fish in a tiny child’s wading pool. They grew that large in just a few years with superb water quality due to excellent filtration and frequent water changes.

While they would’ve been happier in something larger, (which they did get) at least we knew they were healthy, because they had achieved proper size.

Pheromone level is what allows the fish to grow. Keeping them in too small a pond, without proper filtration, nutrition, and water changes not only stunts their growth, but also slowly kills them.

I’m not talking slowly like, ya, once we’re born, we’re all slowly dying. I’m talking, these gorgeous, amazing fish that can live for more than 100 years, are dying in as little as a few years.

thanksgiving-koi-underwater

So, if you want koi, plan on BARE MINIMUM 250 gallons per adult male koi, and 500 gallons per adult female koi in your pond.

For instance, if you want 10 female koi, you need at least a 5000 gallon pond. If you want a big herd of koi, build 20,000 gallons.

A 5000 gallon pond isn’t for everyone though, and I do understand this. But it is pretty simple. If you want a 100 gallon courtyard pond, don’t put koi in it.

Put some nice goldfish in there, like Shubunkins, Comets, or Black Moors. They stay relatively small, and while you still can’t have oodles in there, a couple of these guys in 100 gallons with proper filtration, and water changes will be A-okay.

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

Life is Short, Enjoy Koi!

Eric Triplett
The Pond Digger

Connect with The Pond Digger:

The Pond Digger on Facebook: www.facebook.com/theponddigger

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The Pond Digger on Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/theponddigger

The Pond Digger on Twitter: www.twitter.com/theponddigger

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